According to the Los Angeles Times, Corona-Norco Unified School District, the 10th largest school system in California, has managed to avoid "the pitfalls common to similar districts with diverse student populations and budget constraints."


On Wednesday, May 2nd, Google will host its first Education on Air, a free online conference about education technology. Presenters will hold sessions between 12 p.m. and 10 a.m. through Google+ Hangouts, video chats that will be livestreamed to the public on Google's social media pages. The session topics are (not surprisingly) Google-centric, but also seem pretty fun and practical. For instance, you can watch presentations on Using Google Docs to Organize the Classroom, Google Forms for Everything, Managing Digital Portfolios, and the Use of Google Earth to Visualize Student-Collected Air Pollution Data. There's no need to register, ...


By guest blogger Stephen Sawchuk Four teachers have been announced as the first recipients of the Fishman Prize from the New Teacher Project (TNTP), a teacher-training group. They'll each be awarded $25,000 and get the chance to participate in a summer internship with the organization. Before you say, "not another teacher contest," this one is interesting because TNTP has designed it with the idea of spreading effective teaching practices. The summer residency program—designed so the winning teachers don't miss any class time—will involve working with other teachers to improve technique and producing a paper to be published...


Heads-up: If you are a reading or language arts or English teacher and you're getting apprehensive, or excited, about the Common Core standards—and you probably should be one or the other at this point—we have a couple of timely webinar opportunities for you next week. From Paper to Practice: Implementing the Common Core State Standards in English/Language Arts, scheduled for Tues., May 1, from 2 to 3 p.m. ET, will feature two literacy educators from Kentucky who are on the cutting edge in working with special instructional tools designed for the standards. They'll illustrate some of ...


A new study out of the University of Akron has found that automated grading programs can assess student essays as effectively as human readers can. The study essentially compared computer-generated ratings to those of human scorers on thousands of essays written by high school juniors and sophomores. The differences, the researchers concluded, were not significant. "In terms of being able to replicate the mean [ratings] and standard deviation of human readers, the automated scoring engines did remarkably well," the study's lead author, Mark D. Shermis, told Inside Higher Ed. While automated readers may improve efficiencies in grading papers and tests, ...


In a recent Huffington Post piece, Jessica Minahan, co-author of The Behavior Code, writes that teachers are not properly prepared to work with students who have mental health problems. Even so, she claims, "In a typical classroom of twenty, chances are good that one or two students are dealing with serious psychosocial stressors related to poverty, domestic violence, abuse and neglect or a psychiatric disorder." And according to at least one study she sites, these students are not making any significant academic or behavioral progress in school. The problem starts with teacher training, says Minahan. Education degree programs include just ...


Could a teacher's bad habit compromise his classroom management? Emily Yoffe of Slate's Ask Prudence thinks so—and she has a nose for these sorts of things ......


A couple of months ago, I came across an interesting Bloomberg Businessweek story about a business school program at the University of Virginia designed specifically for K-12 principals. The idea behind the program is that today's principals, particularly those leading struggling schools, need management training as much as (if not more than) education experience. The program participants, according to the story, "examine case studies on companies such as General Electric (GE) and Walt Disney (DIS), study organizational behavior, and learn how to analyze data." Many schools whose leaders have completed the program have reportedly seen strong test-score gains. "I took ...


Do you have any students in your class who don't own books at home? According to her press agent, the founder of the nonprofit First Book, Kyle Zimmer, likes to share the anecdote about a teacher in a Title 1 classroom who asked her students to bring in a book from home to read in class. To her surprise, three students brought back a phone book, the only book they found at home.


Mark Bauerlein, a professor of English at Emory University, proclaims that, starting next year, he's going to stop requiring students in his freshman composition class to write analytical papers exhibiting critical-thinking or higher-order thinking skills. Instead, he's going to have them just write two-page summaries of the works they're reading for class. He explains his thinking: Why scale the tasks downward? Because in my experience, students have a hard time with [summarizing], and if they can't summarize well, they can't interpret, analyze, or just plain describe well, either. Added to that, in most workplaces (as far as I am aware), ...


Rebecca Mieliwocki, a 7th grade English teacher in California, was named the 62nd National Teacher of the Year this morning. According to a press release from the Council of Chief State School Officers, which sponsors the annual award, Mieliwocki is a 14-year veteran teacher has been in her current position at Luther Burbank Middle School in Burbank, Calif., for nine years. She has a bachelor of arts in speech communication from California Polytechnic State University and teaching credentials in secondary English from California State University Northridge. Mieliwocki's parents were both teachers. CBS received an exclusive interview with Mieliwocki, in which ...


Covering a recent panel discussion at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute on technology and education reform, Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Maureen Downey notes that, for some experts, one of the key promises of digital-learning technology is that it could give more students access to the best teachers. She reports: [School sytems] can enlarge the classroom of the teachers achieving the best results with students and pay them more for doing so by multiplying their reach through technology, Hassel [co-director of the consulting firm Public Impact] said. ... [They can] relieve those great teachers of noninstructional tasks, use video to reach more students, ...


Haven't gotten around yet to celebrating National Poetry Month in your school or classroom? Feeling kind of guilty about it, aren't you? (I'm feeling kind of guilty that we haven't mentioned it till now.) Well, you still have next week, and here's a nice opportunity: Thurs., April 26, is National Poem in Your Pocket day. On that day, readers are encouraged to find a poem they love and carry it with them to share with colleagues, friends, classmates, etc. If you need materials, the Academy of American Poets has an extensive online poetry library, as well as a special selection ...


The Deseret News, a newspaper in Utah, recently looked into what it called "one of the hottest trends in education theory": discovery learning.


Chris Lehmann, principal of the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, has a post on the components of "transformative" schools—schools, in his terminology, that go beyond content and skills and push students and educators into "realizing the best versions of ourselves." Such schools seek to educate "the whole child" and develop into rich and sustaining communities. But it's essential to keep in mind, Lehmann cautions, that there's a lot of back-end work that goes into that: This doesn't happen by serendipity. There has to be systems and structures that allow everyone access to these ideas. At SLA, those are the ...


On the Atlantic's National blog, University of Michigan education professors Jeffrey Mirel and Simona Goldin express optimism that the current movement towards a common curriculum could boost what they consider woeful levels of teacher collaboration in U.S. schools: One of the key differences between public education in the U.S. and elsewhere is the lack of a common curriculum. In other countries common curricula unite the work of teachers, school leaders, teacher educators, students, and parents. ... [A common curriculum in the U.S.] would align the scope and sequence of what should be taught and learned, and teachers could ...


Well, here's one way to spur student engagement: A group of teachers at Jennings High School in St. Louis has produced a rap music video to get their charges motivated for state-mandated end-of-course exams. According to St. Louis Today, the teachers wanted to do something out of the ordinary to convey the importance of the tests to their students. "The hope is that when students get a test placed in front of them, they realize, there's been a big to-do about this. This is a big deal," said one teacher. The video has certainly succeeded in making an impression: Students ...


Dan Brown, a Washington-based teacher who contributes to our Teaching Ahead virtual roundtable at times, has a compelling discussion going on on his Teacher Leaders Network blog about the "5 Worst Things a Teacher Can Say to Students." According to Brown, the No. 1 "absolute worst and most frequently remembered wounding" statement a teacher can make is: "I get paid whether you [fill in the blank] or not." The ranking of that phrase rang true for me. In visiting an alternative school for an upcoming story about project-based learning, a 17-year-old student who had just transferred there from a traditional ...


In a post I wrote yesterday, a blogger offered 12 cons for using social media in schools, one of which was the risk of cyberbullying. One thing her post didn't mention is that cyberbullying can be difficult to pin down--so there's an accompanying "con" that schools have to navigate the murky waters of online speech.


On The Daily Grind teacher-blogger Mr. McNamar muses that the P.A. systems used each morning in schools around the country are woefully out of date. Even those savvier schools doing TV broadcasts are behind the times. He writes: In a generation where schools are constantly looking to draw their students in and engage them, it seems to me that we are missing many great opportunities to deliver messages through Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Youtube. Schools are still fearful of these social media sites, and the result is a greater divide between the students and the school leaders. Charlie Osborne, ...


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