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  • Common Core State Standards, Factors Influencing Student Achievement, Responsive Coaching, Teacher Evaluation, Autism

  • JP works with schools providing training on how to ameliorate teacher weaknesses brought to light through the process of teacher evaluation.

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Report: Growing number of under-prepared teachers

The teacher shortage has become an issue in many areas around the country. States are passing new laws to weaken the demands required of prospective teachers before they can lead a classroom. Utah now allows teachers to be hired with no prior training or experience in the field.

The substitute teacher shortage has also become severe in many regions. A report on conditions in Illinois found almost 20% of teacher absences go unfilled each week among 400 districts participating in a survey. In Boston, a startup solution called Parachute Teachers recruits professionals to cover classrooms and offer lessons on topics they’re passionate about. Students aren’t following their teacher’s prescribed curriculum, but they do get authentic learning opportunities in his or her absence.

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Computer Science

ED’s Support for Computer Science

The U.S. Department of Education provides tools and resources to states and districts to create high-quality CS learning opportunities for students in grades P-8 and provide greater access to CS courses in high school including:

·   Funding Opportunities at ED: Building on the STEM Act of 2015, ED released a Dear Colleague Letter that includes guidance on opportunities to support STEM education. This letter discusses opportunities to expand access to STEM and CS learning experiences for all students. The Department of Education’s Office of Innovation & Improvement’s (OII) invests in innovative and evidence-based projects that reach high need schools and communities; such programs could include launching or scaling CS projects.

·   CS Teacher Institute: The Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) and National Science Foundation (NSF) are participating in a joint effort to expand the field of computer science educators in Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs. This effort is creating a cohort of educators who will provide additional computer science professional development to other educators across the country.

·   Creating 21st Century Learners and Coders: The U.S. Department of Education’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program, funded at more than $1 billion and the federal government’s largest investment in afterschool and extended day programs, will increase awareness of high quality CS resources for out-of-school programs.  

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6 Techniques for Building Reading Skills—in Any Subject

Students need good reading skills not just in English but in all classes. Here are some ways you can help them develop those skills.

As avid lovers of literature, teachers often find themselves wanting to impart every bit of knowledge about a well-loved text to their students. And this is not just an ELA issue—other disciplines also often focus on the content of a text. However, teaching reading skills in English classes and across the disciplines is an almost guaranteed way to help students retain content. Unfortunately, the tendency to focus on the content is a real enemy to the ultimate goal of building reading skills.

Without a repertoire of reading strategies that can be applied to any text, students are being shortchanged in their education. In order to teach students to read effectively, teachers must be sure that they are not simply suppliers of information on a particular text but also instructors of techniques to build reading skills. Here are some ideas on how to incorporate reading skills lessons into a curriculum.

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99 Grants to fund your tech

Finding extra change (and lots of it) to pay for technology in your district can be a big roadblock to getting any new project started. However, through foundations, federal or state agencies and even local businesses, money is available. And it may be available for your project. 

In this report, Kajeet provides a brief description of 99 funding sources that you can use to jump-start or sustain your school’s technology initiatives and move forward into the modern classroom. 

Download the 99 Grants to Fund Your 2017 Technology Initiatives report to discover grants listed by state, or even those which are open to everyone nationally, to help you secure money for your tech programs.

 

Download here

‘Language at the Speed of Sight’ Fights to Reopen Our Closed Book on Literacy

Image result for Language at the speed of sight

A few weeks ago, while we were all looking the other way, the triennial survey comparing the world’s educational systems came out. For America, the news wasn’t good. Math scores dropped, while reading numbers weren’t much different from last time. Neither finding puts us on course to lap Singapore anytime soon.

Predictably, of the limited media coverage the survey received in the United States, most articles focused on math and science. Who cares if Johnny can’t read well, so long as he can multiply?

Too often, according to Mark Seidenberg’s important, alarming new book, “Language at the Speed of Sight,” Johnny can’t read because schools of education didn’t give Johnny’s teachers the proper tools to show him how. Economic inequality is a big problem, too, of course, but kindergartners may be grandparents before that can be redressed. Mr. Seidenberg, a veteran cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, makes a strong case for how brain science can help the teaching profession in the meantime.

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