NY Education

RFP Posted: Scoring Pilot and Field...

RFP Posted: Scoring Pilot and Field Tests for Select New York State Examinations

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) Office of State Assessment is seeking proposals to score constructed-response items and/or essays on pilot and field tests for examinations including, but not limited to, Regents Examinations in English, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies.
RFP Posted: Response to Interventio...

RFP Posted: Response to Intervention (RtI) Personnel Development Project – Project Evaluation Services

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) P-12: Office of Special Education is seeking to establish a contract for evaluation services as part of the State Personnel Development Grant (SPDG), Response to Intervention Personnel Development Project.
Funding Opportunity: Carl D. Perkin...

Funding Opportunity: Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act Programs to Serve Incarcerated Youth

The Perkins Career and Technical Education (CTE) Incarcerated Youth Program is a competitive grant program intended to provide CTE programs and activities in facilities providing educational services to incarcerated individuals under the age of 21.
News and Notes: Farewell to Commiss...

News and Notes: Farewell to Commissioner King

News and Notes: Farewell to Commissioner King
Title I School Improvement Grant Po...

Title I School Improvement Grant Posted for Socioeconomic Integration Pilot Program

The purpose of the Socioeconomic Integration Pilot Program is to increase student achievement in Priority and Focus Schools by encouraging greater socioeconomic integration in these schools.
Commissioner King to Join the Obama...

Commissioner King to Join the Obama Administration

New York State Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr. announced on December 10, 2014 that he has accepted a position with the U.S Department of Education. King will serve as Senior Advisor to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

InsidehigherEd

Essay on talking about your researc...

Essay on talking about your research

Joseph Barber wants you to bring excitement and story-telling to the way you talk about your research.

Essay on talking about your researc...

Essay on talking about your research

Joseph Barber wants you to bring excitement and story-telling to the way you talk about your research.

Essay on writing and rewriting the ...

Essay on writing and rewriting the academic C.V.

Ellen Mayock goes through the steps.

Essay on giving a teaching demonstr...

Essay on giving a teaching demonstration as an academic job candidate

Melissa Dennihy offers tips for job candidates on a crucial part of the campus visit.

Essay on references in academic job...

Essay on references in academic job searches

Christine Kelly asks: Are your references helping or hurting your job hunt?

Essay on references in academic job...

Essay on references in academic job searches

Christine Kelly asks: Are your references helping or hurting your job hunt?

BBC News Education

'No top university' for many school...

'No top university' for many schools

Hundreds of schools and colleges in England do not send any students on to the UK's top universities, data shows.
Norfolk schools inspections 'fair'

Norfolk schools inspections 'fair'

There is no evidence that three Norfolk academies had unfair advance notice of Ofsted inspections, an independent review has concluded.
'No proof' academies raise standard...

'No proof' academies raise standards

There is no clear evidence to show that "academies raise standards overall", says a report from the Education Select Committee into England's school system.
Graduate jobs 'benefit school-leave...

Graduate jobs 'benefit school-leavers'

Leading firms will offer school-leavers more opportunities as the graduate jobs market picks up, a survey suggests.
University seeking 'eureka' dean

University seeking 'eureka' dean

The University of Bristol is inviting applicants for the brand new post of 'associate dean of eureka moments'.
More private students get state loa...

More private students get state loans

Taxpayers financing £675m in loans to students at private colleges, new figures reveal

US Govt Dept of Education

Let?s Read! Let?s Move! at the Whit...

Let?s Read! Let?s Move! at the White House

Cross-posted from the Let?s Move blog.
ED Celebrates Award-Winning Student...

ED Celebrates Award-Winning Student Art in the National PTA?s Exhibit ?Believe, Dream, Inspire?

New Ed.gov Homepage and More

New Ed.gov Homepage and More

You may have noticed we launched our new Ed.gov homepage today. This completes the third and final phase of our visual refresh for our main website. We released the second phase of the refresh back in June. So, what?s new? Streamlined Homepage The new homepage takes our efforts to streamline navigation on the website one big step further. There are fewer links and more open space on the homepage.
Help Us Get the Word Out About the ...

Help Us Get the Word Out About the FAFSA

A #SOTU Twitter Chat with Secretary...

A #SOTU Twitter Chat with Secretary Duncan

Last night, the President delivered the State of the Union Address. Following the Address, Secretary Duncan jumped on Twitter to hear your initial reaction to the SOTU and answer your questions. Leaving the Capitol now. What are your thoughts on the President?s #SOTU? Have questions? Ask me using #AskArne
America?s College Promise: A Ticket...

America?s College Promise: A Ticket to the Middle Class

During last night?s State of the Union address, President Obama reiterated his commitment to make two years of community college free for all Americans who are willing to work hard toward graduation.

Yahoo

Chile's Bachelet prepares next phas...

Chile's Bachelet prepares next phase of education reform

Chile's President Bachelet delivers a speech during the High Level Segment of the U.N. Climate Change Conference COP 20 in LimaChile's President Michelle Bachelet said on Tuesday her government was preparing the second phase of an ambitious education reform, hours after Congress approved the first set of changes. "What we've put an end to here is a set of illegitimate bases put in place during the dictatorship, behind the nation's back, and today we've recovered Chile's historic tradition and the best practices in the world," said Education Minister Nicolas Eyzaguirre. The government will now look to bolster teacher pay and conditions, bring public schools, now managed and financed by townships, under national jurisdiction, and make university education free, Bachelet said. Months of massive student protests, demanding major changes to an education system that was privatized under then-dictator General Augusto Pinochet, helped shape the 2013 electoral campaign and propel Bachelet into power.

The Originals "Brotherhood of the D...

The Originals "Brotherhood of the Damned" Review: Food Fight!

The Originals "Brotherhood of the Damned" Review: Food Fight!The Originals S02E11: "Brotherhood of the Damned" If history is written by the winners, it's up to artists to keep telling the stories of the forgotten. Specifically, not enough people are talking about the black vampire soldiers of World War I. Sure, we've heard all kinds of things about the War to End All Wars?archduke assassinations, heartwarming Christmas Eve soccer games?but the story of black vampires soldiers' contributions remain woefully underrepresented. Okay, fine, I'm sort of joking here, but it really is true that sometimes a teen supernatural drama does more to honor underreported history than most other art forms. Teen Wolf invoked the Japanese internment scandal of WWII in a more resonant and engaging way than any pop culture art in recent memory. And this week The Originals portrayed its own spin on the Harlem Hellfighters, an outrageously obscure (i.e., not taught in public schools) regiment of black soldiers who fought for a country that wouldn't even guarantee their rights and safety within its own borders. Yes, in both examples these true scenarios were intruded upon by fictional supernatural hunks, but still: Some stories need to be told regardless of the genre. Unlike most shows, The Originals does not shy away from this responsibility. By now we know that the primary side-effect of a werewolf bite isn't death, but flashbacks! In "Brotherhood of the Damned," Marcel's werewolf bite sent his memories back to the time he enlisted in the army during WWI. Klaus forbade him from going (referring to the humans' great international war as a "food fight"), but Marcel's journey took him overseas anyway, where he was suddenly watching his friends die ignoble foxhole deaths. After a particularly savvy compatriot sussed out that Marcel was (a) a vampire, and therefore (b) the most capable leader in their midst, Marcel took on the responsibility of keeping his unit alive. Unfortunately mustard gas had other ideas and the unit were all choking to death on their own blood. That's when Marcel had his a-ha moment: Turn 'em! Turn 'em all! And then we were treated to the episode's best and most potent image: Marcel leading a troupe of black vampire soldiers across a battle-scarred field toward the German army. Guys? It was the best. Forget flashbacks, I want an en entire EPISODE of this plotline. But the flashbacks were more than simply an amazing visual; they perfectly paralleled what Marcel was going through in the present day. Specifically, he needed to lead his vampire comrades out of the compound and through a parade without any of them giving in to a curse that made them crave the blood of innocents. That this sequence was intercut with the WWI flashback was just straight-up inspired and powerful, and did more to confirm Marcel's heroic nature than the season and a half that preceded it. For as often as flashbacks seem to be merely a gratuitous excuse to put the actors in hilarious wigs and get them to rip each others' bodices, it's these flashbacks that draw upon the grim energy of true history that really resonate. If it's not clear by now, I really loved these flashbacks! As it turned out, mentally visiting another realm became the episode's biggest theme when Finn used magic to trap his three brothers' consciences in a witch holodeck (or whatever). A very cool rustic cabin flanked with animals that represented each Mikaelson?a wolf for Klaus, a stag for Elijah, and a fox for Kol?they were unable to return to their physical bodies until Finn discovered what Klaus' biggest secret was. It was kind of implausible that Finn couldn't use magic to discover that Hope was still alive, but was perfectly capable of using some of the most powerful magic we've seen in this universe to do all these other huge things, but whatever. This sequence in particular took on an added poetry when Elijah and Klaus freed themselves by severing their ties to their taxidermied spirit animals. Elijah, for example, was not a noble stag in that he had once murdered Tatia all those years ago, and Klaus refused to be associated with the dastardly wolf by forgiving Elijah for said crime. (Sounds complicated, but it played out beautifully in the episode.) Long story short, The Originals continues to casually traffic in some of the most intellectually complicated and elegant concepts on network television. The other big thread of "Brotherhood of the Damned" was Hayley's meet-up with Jackson's grandmother. As a Crescent Wolf elder, the grandmother would be administering their werewolf rites, trials, tests, hazing, and game of werewolf Twister, before actually marrying them and spreading her hybrid powers to the rest of the wolves. But when Hayley found out that one of the rites involved smoking truth-weed and divulging all her secrets?including the pesky one about having a living baby?she tried to back out of the plan. Jackson somehow managed to change her mind, but then Klaus caught wind of this ritual and now seeks to stop it by any means necessary. Watch out, grandma! Yes, Josh and Aiden appeared in this episode, but never in the same scene, so. That being said, "Brotherhood of the Damned" was still pretty great. It's hard to say for how much longer this Finn plotline will keep our attention but as long as episodes can continue to be as inventive and well-constructed as this one, it's hard to complain. In the meantime, I for one would like to publicly thank all the black vampire soldiers who bravely defended our nation. We salute you, sirs. QUESTIONS ... Roughly how many holidays are observed in the French Quarter every year? Seven thousand? Nineteen thousand? ... Would you let Cami babysit your child? ... What's Rebekah up to in that witch prison? ... Could you marry someone like Jackson and stay "just friends"? Be honest.

Students, teachers hospitalized aft...

Students, teachers hospitalized after chemistry lab mishap in N.J.

Students, teachers hospitalized after chemistry lab mishap in N.J.Gloucester County emergency crews responded to a high school after a chemistry lab mishap Monday morning.

Foster Civil Discourse in High Scho...

Foster Civil Discourse in High School Civics Classes

High school civics classes are making a comeback and along with them come discussions of highly charged issues in the classroom. This month, Arizona became the first state to approve a law requiring high school students pass the U.S. citizenship test in order to graduate, a regulation several other states are considering, The Associated Press reported. "You can't just assume that people understand these rights and responsibilities and these habits," says Mary Ellen Daneels, a U.S. government teacher at Community High School in West Chicago, Illinois. Civics education usually covers the basics of democracy and citizenship.
Fake schools draw scrutiny of feder...

Fake schools draw scrutiny of federal investigators

FILE - In this Feb. 4, 2011 file photo, activists of India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) youth wing break police barricades at a protest in New Delhi, India, against alleged radio collars placed on Indian students of the Tri-Valley University in California. Several Indian students of the U.S. university, shut down on charges of a massive immigration fraud, were forced to wear radio collars around their ankles so that the U.S. authorities could keep a tab on their movements. Investigators say Tri-Valley was among the largest school fraud scams they encountered, involving hundreds of mostly Indian nationals living in cities as far away from Pleasanton as Miami, Chicago and Honolulu. (AP Photo/Mustafa Quraishi, File)SAN FRANCISCO (AP) ? From her hometown in India in 2010, Bhanu Challa said she had no reason to doubt that Tri-Valley University was a legitimate American school where she could pursue a master's degree. Its website featured smiling students in caps and gowns and promised a leafy campus in a San Francisco Bay Area suburb.

School-wide prevention program lowe...

School-wide prevention program lowers teen suicide risk

By Madeline Kennedy (Reuters Health) - After a school-based prevention program, European teenagers were about half as likely to attempt suicide or to feel suicidal, a new study shows. Danuta Wasserman, a professor of psychiatry at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, said the program was likely successful because students ?felt that the power of mastering their feelings, coping with stress and choosing solutions was in their hands and not decided or forced by adults.? Suicide is the third leading cause of death between the ages of 10 and 24, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Suicide attempts are even more common, with some research suggesting that 4 to 8 percent of high school students try to kill themselves each year, the CDC says. Those most at risk have a history of suicide attempts, mental illness or substance abuse, or a family history of mental illness and access to lethal methods.

Independent

Birkbeck College academic investiga...

Birkbeck College academic investigated after allegations of 'research misconduct'

A leading scientist and academic and his research team are being investigated after his university received anonymous allegations of ?research misconduct?, The Independent can reveal.

Comic studies growing as a major ed...

Comic studies growing as a major educational discipline, claims Dutch professor

Once considered the exclusive preserve of children and hardcore fanatics, comics have become such an important form of mainstream entertainment that they are ?gathering steam? as an academic discipline, according to the Oxford Art Journal.

British Muslim school children suff...

British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks

Muslim pupils across Britain are suffering a backlash of bullying and abuse following the Charlie Hebdo massacre amid a broad rise in Islamophobia in schools which the Government is failing to tackle, campaigners have told The Independent.

Record numbers of women going to un...

Record numbers of women going to university, according to UCAS

A record number of women started university courses in September - with the result that the gap between male and female acceptances for places is at it its highest level ever, according to the first official analysis of the latest intake into universities.

Raif Badawi Exclusive: Nobel Laurea...

Raif Badawi Exclusive: Nobel Laureates urge Saudi academics to condemn flogging of writer jailed for daring to criticise clerics

The international outcry over  restrictions on freedom of speech in Saudi Arabia escalated last night as an array of Nobel prizewinners published an open letter calling on the country?s academics to condemn the public flogging of the blogger Raif Badawi.

Top head says money spent by school...

Top head says money spent by schools on 'fad' iPads could have funded 8,000 teachers

Schools should stop wasting money buying iPads and other ?shiny gadgets? for pupils and instead hire more teachers, the leader of Britain?s largest headteachers? organisation says today.

Education Week

State superintendent calls for redu...

State superintendent calls for reduction in student testing

Arizona passes law requiring studen...

Arizona passes law requiring students to pass civics test

Gov. Sandoval unveils budget with $...

Gov. Sandoval unveils budget with $1.1 billion tax increase

Battle Lines Drawn on Annual Testin...

Battle Lines Drawn on Annual Testing in ESEA Renewal

As Congress kicks off new efforts to rewrite the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the No Child Left Behind mandates on state assessments are at the heart of the debate.
W.Va, Wyo. Debate Climate-Change Me...

W.Va, Wyo. Debate Climate-Change Mentions in Science Standards

W.Va. is the second state to have a debate surface over climate-change language in the Next Generation Science Standards for K-12 schools.
Miss. Board of Education quitting m...

Miss. Board of Education quitting multistate test group

Educause

The Role of Campus Leadership in En...

The Role of Campus Leadership in Ensuring IT Accessibility

“Everyone should have an opportunity to participate in higher education.”

With those words, Michael K. Young, President of the University of Washington, opens a new video from his institution’s AccessComputing Project, IT Accessibility: What Campus Leaders Have to Say. Developed with support from the National Science Foundation, this video presents university presidents, chief information officers, and other higher education leaders who stress the importance to higher education of accessibility for persons with disabilities, and of having campus technology environments that support it.

read more

The Game is Changing. What Will Be ...

The Game is Changing. What Will Be Expected of You?

“When we were doing our studies for the National Academies, the typical first response of university presidents or CFOs or provosts was to say: ‘I understand things are changing very rapidly, but I'll ask my CIO to take care of it. The CIO usually can.’ We would then ask: ‘Suppose you wake up in the morning and come in to your office and nothing works anymore. You can't access e-mail. All of your course systems have collapsed. Who fixes the problem?’ They begin to scratch their heads, and pretty soon it's like the five phases of grief. They start off with denial and anger, move through bargaining and depression, and finally reach acceptance.” — James J. Duderstadt, Change and the Research University

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The Top-Ten IT Issues, 2012

The Top-Ten IT Issues, 2012

EDUCAUSE Top 10 IT Issues, 2012

The EDUCAUSE annual publication of top IT issues has long resonated as a yearly snapshot of the most pressing issues for IT leaders in higher education. At the top of list for 2012:

Updating IT professionals’ skills and roles to accommodate emerging technologies and changing IT management and service delivery models Supporting the trends toward IT consumerization and bring-your-own device Developing an institution-wide cloud strategy

 

Below are the EDUCAUSE Review article summarizing the IT Issues Panel's findings for 2012 and accompanying resources.

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Tune In June 5 -- Rolling Out a BYO...

Tune In June 5 -- Rolling Out a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Program

This free hour-long session, “Rolling Out a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Program,” will offer ideas, sample policy statements and guidelines, and lessons learned for campuses interested in implementing a BYOD strategy for mobile devices on campus.

Those unable to attend may wish to visit the archives after the event or browse related resources.

Interact on Twitter at #EDULive.

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Get Involved with EDUCAUSE -- Volun...

Get Involved with EDUCAUSE -- Volunteer Submissions Are Due June 1

As someone who has a vested interest in higher education IT, you are part of a dynamic and close-knit community where we share new ideas, network with peers, and work toward the common good of the profession.

EDUCAUSE provides opportunities to be an active member by volunteering in a variety of roles, either short- or long-term, throughout the year. These opportunities include:

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Is Agile the Future of Project Mana...

Is Agile the Future of Project Management?

Gartner predicts that by the end of 2012, agile development methods will be used on 80 percent of all software development projects. Project Management Institute’s research shows that agile project management tripled from December 2008 to May 2011, and can help decrease product defects, improve team productivity, and increase business value.

Read the latest article release on agile project management from the Project Management Institute.

To help you apply project management processes at your organization, EDUCAUSE members have access to a selection of professional development resources:

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Huffingtonpost.com

Study Finds Pro-Charter School Argu...

Study Finds Pro-Charter School Arguments Are More Convincing

Groups against the expansion of charter schools may need to find new talking points. A study from Michigan State University professors Sarah Reckhow and Matt Grossman and University of Rochester Ph.D. student Benjamin C. Evans recently found that the language used by pro-charter school advocates is more effective in advancing their cause than the language used by groups who discourage support of these schools. Researchers surveyed over 1,000 Michigan residents about their views on charter schools in order to glean these results. The study was published in December in the peer-reviewed Policy Studies Journal. Charter schools are publicly funded, but typically privately run. In recent years, the schools have proliferated: According to the National Center for Education Statistics, between the school years of 1999 ? 2000 and 2011 ? 2012, the percentage of public schools classified as charters increased from around 2 percent to 6 percent. While support for charter schools has largely become a bipartisan issue -- President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton have come out in favor, as well as Republican legislators like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, researchers were interested in ascertaining whether trends of support are likely to fall along certain ideological lines. Researchers surveyed people about their views on charter schools to see how arguments for and against charter schools resonated with liberals and conservatives. Some survey participants were told that charter schools were more likely to employ nonunion teachers when asked about their support of the schools, while others were told that charter schools were operated by for-profit companies. Another group acted as a control. Groups against the expansion of charter schools typically argue that charter schools serve to privatize public education, thereby exacerbating existing inequalities. Supporters of charter schools, on the other hand, say that they offer parents a choice, and that employing nonunion teachers can help spur innovation. The researchers found that self-reported conservatives were more likely to express support for charter schools when they learned that these schools employed nonunion teachers, while liberals were more likely to turn against charter schools when presented with information about the role of private companies in their operations -- although this made less of an impact. Arguments against unions seemed to resonate more strongly with participants, and made them significantly more likely to support charter schools. ?People who clearly had relatively little political knowledge and identified as conservative were the most persuaded,? Reckhow told The Huffington Post over the phone. ?I?ll be blunt about it, I was very surprised by our privatization results. I really thought that would have an impact and I was surprised that it did not," she said. "People had either already incorporated that information -- they already knew that -- or perhaps it wasn?t persuasive.? Reckhow also noted that when people were asked if they support the proliferation of charter schools in their communities versus in the state?s lowest-performing districts, they were more likely to favor increasing the number of charter schools in failing areas. She told HuffPost she thought this was because respondents might be satisfied with their local school options, and might be more likely to support charter schools in places where they feel distant from the schools' impact. Still, certain aspects about Michigan politics and the state?s charter landscape may have also impacted the results. ?Michigan recently became a 'right-to-work' state,? noted Reckhow. This means that in Michigan, it is illegal to require groups of workers to pay union dues as a precondition for employment. In recent years, union membership in Michigan has dropped. "This is a visible issue in Michigan," said Reckhow. "Once you bring unions into the equation, it does affect public perception." The survey did not measure participants' reactions to charter schools after learning about their academic results, although Reckhow said she would have been curious to see that data. ?In Michigan, charter schools run the gamut -- some schools are high-performing and do better than nearby public schools, and a good number of charter schools are in the bottom 25 percent of schools in the state, they probably should be shut down but they?re not being shut down,? said Reckhow. ?The limitation of the study is we really can?t deal with that type of question.?
More Hard Charter Lessons

More Hard Charter Lessons

News comes from Indianapolis last week that two of the older charters in town are being shut down. Fall Creek Academy and University Heights Preparatory Academy are going to that Big Chalkboard in the sky. Fall Creek actually goes back to the days when then-Mayor Bart Peterson could whip up charters at will thanks to a magic mayoral empowerment law that Indiana passed just for his city (Peterson has since moved on to making money more directly in the charter biz). After a strong start, the school fell on less stellar times, and when the city pulled the charter, they turned to Ball State University. It's Ball State that has now shown them the door "due to chronic underperformance" I don't know much more about these charters; I don't know if they're the victims of gross injustice or incompetents long overdue for being closed down. That's not what I noticed about the story. What I noticed was the headline: ANGER BUILDS! Over Closing of Fall Creek & University Heights Charters. Why Won't Ball State Explain; Respond? The article also contains this sentence: "Parents wanted to know why and were stunned to hear that officials from Ball State weren't prepared to personally answer their concerns." I want to feel bad for these parents. I really do. But it's like trying to feel bad for people who smoke cigarettes for the health benefits and then are shocked and upset when they get cancer. It's like people who buy a long-haired dog and are upset that there's fur on the furniture. It's like people who hit themselves in the head with a hammer and complain about the headache. Here are two things for charter school customers to remember, so they can avoid being shocked, stunned, angry or otherwise surprised in the future. Charters are not run by elected school boards. They do not have to answer to the voters. They do not have to answer to the customers. They do not have to explain anything, and in some cases have gone to court to fight for their right to be just as non-transparent as they want to be. They are a business, and they don't have to show you their decision-making process any more than McDonald's has to show you the recipe for their special sauce. Charters can close at any time for any reason. People seem to automatically associate the idea of a school with the idea of permanence. That's incorrect. Public schools are permanent. Charter schools are not. Public schools represent a community commitment to provide schooling as long as it's needed. Charter schools represent a business decision to operate as long as it makes sense. Columbus, Ohio saw 17 charter schools close in one year. That is not some bizarre anomaly. Enrolling your child in a charter is making a bet that the school will be in business as long as you want to send your child to it. If you lose the bet, you have to know that losing was always a possibility when you made the bet in the first place. Considering a charter? Do your homework and understand the risks that come with choosing a charter. Pro tip: "doing your homework" does not mean "listening to charter sales pitch and nothing else." That's like getting info about the car you want to buy only from the salesman trying to sell it to you. I believe it's possible to find charters that do a pretty okay job out there, but any charter comes with certainly fundamental differences from public school, and some come with differences that can be shocking or stunning if you haven't been paying attention. Bottom line? Charter schools are not created to be just like public schools-- and they aren't. If you're going to understand anything about putting your child in a charter, that's the bare minimum that you need to grasp. Originally posted at Curmudgucation
23 Easy Valentine's Day Crafts That...

23 Easy Valentine's Day Crafts That Require No Special Skills Whatsoever

From classroom cards to home decorations, Valentine's Day brings all kinds of crafting opportunities. Luckily, you don't have to be a DIY genius to get creative with your kids this February. We've scoured Pinterest and found 23 easy Valentine's Day craft ideas that kids can make for their classmates, teachers, grandparents, siblings, and any other special people in their lives. @media only screen and (min-width : 500px) {.ethanmobile { display: none; }} Like Us On Facebook | Follow Us On Twitter | Contact HuffPost Parents
Student Commits Suicide in Palo Alt...

Student Commits Suicide in Palo Alto: An Open Letter to All Parents

The Palo Alto community has just experienced another tragic student suicide on January 24, 2015. This was a talented young man from Gunn High School, a senior, who took his life because he was so stressed out about life. As a teen, he lost his sense of perspective and forgot that his actions were a permanent solution to a temporary problem. The community is stunned and devastated after all the recent efforts taken to improve the stress levels at both high schools in the city. So far, these efforts haven't worked. Here is a letter from a student in the Palo Alto community that applies not only to Palo Alto, but to parents in hundreds of other communities in the U.S. We are a nation of over-stressed parents and teachers. It should be read by all the Tiger Moms and Dads out there who are micromanaging their kids so they can get into the top private school, top high school, top university. Here is the letter. Hopefully, parents and schools can hear the message and make some changes. It is no secret that Palo Alto schools are academically advanced and pressuring, and to put blame on every other factor but school is honestly moronic. School is not the entire reason, but it is definitely a large contributor to our deteriorating health. Yes, mental disability can be a part, but just think for a moment on how and why it develops. It is our relentless schedules, a large range of social issues, personal horrors I can't think to relate, and our terribly unforgiving parents. Good God, the things you put us through. It's AP classes, it's SAT prep from day 1, it's punishment for less than a 4.0 GPA, and it fuels the tears that put us to sleep at night while you rest soundly. So many students, if not the majority, are the embodiment of pure stress. If we're not tired, we're smiling through how absolutely livid you make us. You can meet up about this, sit around for a while discussing the tragedies our town continues to face, and break away for the day. It does not end for us. We are always in this loop of what-if's, worrying we will disappoint our unsupportive parents who, quite frankly, deserve no part in our future, "successful" or otherwise. It is a full-time concern, while you practically act as part-time parents in making sure we are even surviving. Notice how I refuse to say "some parents." If I did that, you would sit back, relax, and think "oh, they must not mean me." I think this amount of devastation calls for addressing all of you. You are a part of the death that takes us, and you all need to do your part in raising us well. Quit coddling each other about your fears and how sad it is to deal with us and actually talk to your kids. Listen to us. I get our future success is extremely important and supposedly vital in a society like ours, but why is our mental health and emotional stability less significant? We face hellish expectations at school, and not having your support at home literally tears us apart. We are wasting away while you sit back and watch. Those of you who actually care need to do more than add an extra counselor to each school. I hardly think a comment on, unsurprisingly, another article on a teenage suicide will do much to change any minds or behaviors, but I am so, so angry. Suicide continues while our parents value wealth and success over our lives. We cannot wait for change. We need it now. Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
The Changing Role of the SEA

The Changing Role of the SEA

2015-01-26-SEAchangingrolebanner.jpg By Jessica Conlon

To say we’re in a time of tremendous transformation in education has practically become a cliché. Unfortunately, most state education agencies (SEAs) didn’t get the memo. Many still function as bureaucracies dedicated to compliance and enforcement, instead of setting a vision for education and providing the necessary support to achieve it. That needs to change.

Over the last few years, many states have initiated a variety of ambitious policy reforms, from new educator evaluation systems to rigorous standards and assessments to sweeping school turnaround plans. But implementing these bold policies successfully in hundreds of schools statewide is a massive undertaking, and it’s clear that districts need more from their SEAs in order to improve student outcomes—–from clear direction and guidance to critical thought partnerships and additional resources. Unfortunately, in most cases, these districts are left to fend for themselves.

There are a few high-performing SEAs that have broken the bureaucratic mold and emerged as innovators and change management experts. (States like Colorado, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Tennessee come to mind.) Tennessee in particular has been on the cutting edge of ambitious reforms, and the appointment of Kevin Huffman as Commissioner of Education brought the visionary leadership needed to guide his agency and state through their implementation. Former Commissioner Huffman, who left the post in January, called for the Tennessee Department of Education to be restructured, leveraged the state’s regional offices to customize support for districts, and attracted high-quality talent to join his agency. Today, Tennessee is the fastest improving state in the nation in K-12 education.

But even SEAs in states like Tennessee are in jeopardy of reverting back to their former selves. SEAs and their leadership continue to come under pressure from those who have long opposed the bold initiatives these agencies are championing. In addition, the federal money that supports these initiatives is dwindling.

Here are three things states can do to make sure they take a step forward, not a step back:

Prioritize recruiting and retaining great people to state teams. For SEAs, this means appointing visionary leaders with the ability to staff their teams with talented and committed experts in policy, curriculum, instruction, data and even communications. The school chief role has become high profile and politicized. What was once a role for a bureaucrat now requires exceptional leadership, education expertise and the skills to communicate and engage effectively with various stakeholders. A school chief should know where she wants to take education in her state and have the determination to withstand the inevitable opposition she’ll face.

Provide high-quality and customized implementation support. Setting policy is easy. The real work begins with implementation. It might be appropriate for some components of implementation to be standardized, including policy interpretation guidance, training for district administrators and specialists, or model resources (such as Common Core-aligned curricular materials or model observation forms for a new evaluation system).

But high-quality implementation may look different for each district, especially if state policy allows some local control of policy setting (for example, designing an evaluation system that meets certain criteria). SEAs need to be capable of a sliding scale approach to implementation support. With some high-performing districts, the SEA may play the role of thought partner, while lower-performing districts may need more hands-on support.

Ensure legislatures set SEAs up for success. As state legislatures begin to consider additional policy changes this year, it’s important to keep in mind that SEAs can be used for more than enforcement—if the right conditions exist. To do so, they need the funds, flexibility and mandate to set ambitious goals and policy and then execute on them. This means having the flexibility and autonomy to compete for the best talent at all levels in the agency, and having the resources necessary to provide superior support to districts.

SEAs have often been written off as compliance machines, but as their best selves, they can be much more. They are the government entities best-positioned to provide both the thought leadership and technical assistance districts need to improve outcomes for students, and working conditions for educators.

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Jessica Conlon is a Project Director of Strategy, Systems and Policy at TNTP. 

DC Plans to Invest $20 Million in M...

DC Plans to Invest $20 Million in Minority Male Students

D.C. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson announced a plan to invest $20 million to support programs for Washington, D.C.'s men of color. This includes opening an all-boys college preparatory high school in 2017 under the "Empowering Males of Color" initiative. The funding for the support programs will come from private and public sources. The D.C. Public Education Fund is working to raise money to support these initiatives outside the operating budget. Henderson's decision to invest seriously in the specific needs of minority boys has everything to do with "mathematics," she says. Black and Latino boys make up 43 percent of the students enrolled in D.C.'s public schools. The graduation rates, reading and math scores and attendance of minority boys are all lagging in the District. By fourth grade, nearly half of the city's black and Latino male students are reading below grade level. In the District, 48 percent of black male students and 57 percent of Hispanic male students graduate in four years, compared with 66 percent of their classmates. Only about a third of black male students are proficient in reading and math, compared with nearly 66 percent of students who are not black or Latino males, according to DC CAS scores. The push is a citywide effort led by Mayor Muriel E. Bowser who is working to improve equity and increase opportunities for black and Latino males. The efforts also align with President Obama's work to help keep male minority students in school and out of prison. I'm ecstatic to see the effort and money dedicated to increasing the success of minority male students in the District. These young men deserve the investment that Washington, D.C., is making in them, and I predict we will see big improvements in graduation rates and reading/math scores moving forward.

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We Do Medical School Admissions

We Do Medical School Admissions

For a number of years I have worked with standard medical school admissions as well as BS/MD admissions.  This has mainly been through referrals from other counselors that knew I did medical school admissions. I haven’t generally talked about this much because frankly, I hate turning people away and I already turn away too many...Continue Reading >

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The post We Do Medical School Admissions appeared first on BS/MD Admissions by College Admissions Partners.

What Classes are Important to BS/MD...

What Classes are Important to BS/MD Programs.

BS/MD programs, and selective colleges in general, like to see students that have challenged themselves academically. Great, but specifically, what classes are important to BS/MD programs? The answer to that varies depending on the classes available at a particular high school but in general terms BS/MD programs like to see students that have 4 years of...Continue Reading >

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The post What Classes are Important to BS/MD Programs. appeared first on BS/MD Admissions by College Admissions Partners.

Why You Don?t Want to Say You Know ...

Why You Don?t Want to Say You Know Your Medical Specialty

It happens all of the time when I am first contacted by a student. They tell me that their dream is to be a “name the medical specialty”. Neurosurgeon is particularly popular. There isn’t necessarily wrong with having an interest in one particular medical specialty. Maybe your interest came about because your favorite aunt died...Continue Reading >

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The post Why You Don’t Want to Say You Know Your Medical Specialty appeared first on BS/MD Admissions by College Admissions Partners.

Penn State is Now a Seven Year Prog...

Penn State is Now a Seven Year Program

Historically, some of the oldest BS/MD programs were six year programs. But recently there have only been four BS/MD programs that were six year programs. And now there are three. Penn State University has eliminated the six year option in the BS/MD program. Starting next fall all of the new BS/MD students at Penn State...Continue Reading >

RSS Feed Content © Todd Johnson and College Admissions PartnersPenn State is Now a Seven Year Program

The post Penn State is Now a Seven Year Program appeared first on BS/MD Admissions by College Admissions Partners.

New Year. New Consultant. Kelley An...

New Year. New Consultant. Kelley Anne Johnson Joins College Admissions Partners

Happy 2015 to all our readers! This seems like as good of a time as any to announce the addition of College Admissions Partners’ newest consultant: Kelley Anne Johnson. I will let Kelley Anne introduce her self. Hi, I’m Kelley Anne and so excited to be joining College Admissions Partners this year. Before you wonder if it...Continue Reading >

RSS Feed Content © Todd Johnson and College Admissions PartnersNew Year. New Consultant. Kelley Anne Johnson Joins College Admissions Partners

The post New Year. New Consultant. Kelley Anne Johnson Joins College Admissions Partners appeared first on BS/MD Admissions by College Admissions Partners.

Do You Need Sports for BS/MD Progra...

Do You Need Sports for BS/MD Programs?

Will you be a more competitive candidate for BS/MD programs if you play a sport? No. Does that mean that sports, as an activity, are not important? No. Sport are fine as activities but they are no better than, or worse than, any other general activity. If you like playing a sport, then play a...Continue Reading >

RSS Feed Content © Todd Johnson and College Admissions PartnersDo You Need Sports for BS/MD Programs?

The post Do You Need Sports for BS/MD Programs? appeared first on BS/MD Admissions by College Admissions Partners.

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