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U.S. Department of Education Releases Guidance on English Learners

The U.S. Department of Education today released non-regulatory guidance to help states, districts and schools provide effective services to improve the English language proficiency and academic achievement of English learners (ELs) through Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The guidance is an effort to ensure that students who are English learners receive the high-quality services they need to be college and career ready.

“In too many places across the country, English learners get less access to quality teachers, less access to advanced coursework, and less access to the resources they need to succeed. Together, we can change that reality,” said U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. “Under the Every Student Succeeds Act, we have an opportunity to give students the gift of bilingualism and of multilingualism so they are prepared for college and career with a better sense of themselves, their community, their future, and a better appreciation for our diversity as a country.”

In the 2014-15 school year, more than 4.8 million English learners were enrolled in U.S. schools in grades K-12. English learners comprise nearly 10 percent of the student population nationwide, a figure that has more than doubled in the past few decades, and in many schools, districts and states, English learners are an even higher percentage of the student population. Estimates suggest that this number may be even higher for learners under the age of six. For example, nearly a third of children in Head Start programs are classified as dual language learners. There is also a growing body of research that makes clear that students who are bilingual have advantages, not only in their literacy development, but in the development of problem-solving skills and other areas of cognition in addition to a potential for greater earnings over their lifetimes.

 

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Peer-Led Anti-Bullying Efforts Yield Payoffs

As part of the Roots anti-bullying program, influential students came up with projects, such as wristbands or social-media campaigns, to change school norms around peer conflicts.
 

No matter how diligent teachers and administrators are, it's easy for bullying to happen under the noses of adults at school. In the bathrooms, the hallways, and on social media, students are often the only ones around to police themselves.

That's why researchers at Princeton, Rutgers, and Yale universities are analyzing middle schoolers' social networks to find the students most likely to change their classmates' attitudes around bullying. They are finding that bullying is generally driven not by a few bad apples but by a majority of students within the overall culture of a school. Shifting alliances and cycles of harassment and retribution can all play into that culture, and undercut adults' anti-bullying campaigns.

"Adult-identified leaders are often very different from student-identified leaders," said Hana Shepherd, an assistant sociology professor at Rutgers University. "Adults look at traditionally defined 'popular' kids, the 'good' kids, while kids who are leaders of smaller groups might not be on the social radar of adults, but often are [influential] too."

During the 2012-13, school year, Shepherd, Elizabeth L. Paluck, a Princeton psychology professor, and Peter M. Aronow of Yale University repeatedly surveyed more than 24,000 students across 56 middle schools about the students they respected most and liked spending time with online and in person, out of a list of every student in their schools. They also asked students to list peers they had conflicts with, and the social norms in each school around behaviors shown to increase conflict, such as retaliating on behalf of a friend who has been bullied.

Not Just 'Popular' Kids

The researchers used the data to create network maps of student friendships in each school, identifying not just the most popular students or those whom teachers considered leaders, but the students who are most influential to different peer groups throughout the school. Of those so-called "seed" students, the researchers randomly invited half to participate in the Roots program, an anti-bullying program intended to support students in recognizing and finding ways to improve their own school climate around bullying.

 

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Census Bureau upgrades free K-12 statistics resources

Educate your students about the value and everyday use of statistics. The Statistics in Schools program provides resources for teaching and learning with real life data. Explore the site for standards-aligned, classroom-ready activities.

 

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Education Department Releases America's College Promise Playbook

Resource Guide Offers Best Practices to Expand College Opportunity, Increase College Affordability
 
SEPTEMBER 13, 2016
 
Contact:   (202) 401-1576, press@ed.gov" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(126, 93, 142); background-color: transparent;">press@ed.gov
 
 
 

Today, the U.S. Department of Education released the America's College Promise Playbook, a comprehensive and up-to-date resource guide that provides practitioners with relevant and actionable information about how they can offer more students access to an affordable, high-quality education through which students can go as far as their talents and work ethic can take them.

Inspired by the President’s America’s College Promise plan to make two years of community college free for responsible students, letting students earn the first half of a bachelor’s degree or an associate degree and earn skills needed in the workforce at no cost, the playbook focuses on strategies that bring partners together to serve students across all stages of their college and career pathways. The America’s College Promise proposal influenced the design of the largest city-wide free community college program to date, the Los Angeles Promise.

“Last year, the President set forth a bold vision to make two years of college as universal as high school was a century ago, helping students earn the first half of a bachelor’s degree and earn skills needed in the workforce at no cost,” said U.S. Education Secretary John B. King Jr. “Community colleges are not just a distinctly American institution, but as the largest, most affordable segment of America’s higher education system, they are critical to reaching the President’s goal to have the highest share of college graduates in the world and to ensuring America’s economic prosperity in the future.”

On Tuesday, as part of the Department’s 2016 Opportunity Across America Bus Tour, Secretary King will visit Pellissippi State Community College in Knoxville, Tennessee where President Obama originally announced the America’s College Promise proposal, which was inspired by Tennessee’s efforts, in January 2015.

As one of the clearest paths to the middle class, higher education has never been more important. Over the next decade, the number of jobs requiring some level of higher education is expected to grow more rapidly than those that do not, with 11 of the 15 fastest-growing occupations requiring postsecondary education. At a time when jobs can go anywhere in the world, skills and education will determine success for individuals and for nations.

Yet, far too many students either don’t go to college or never finish their degree. The President has proposed a new $61 billion investment over the next decade for America's College Promise to create a new partnership with states to help them waive tuition in high-quality programs for these students, while promoting key reforms to help more students complete at least two years of college and help meet the demands of a growing global economy.

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30 Techniques to Quiet a Noisy Class

One day, in front 36 riotous sophomores, I clutched my chest and dropped to my knees like Sergeant Elias at the end of Platoon. Instantly, dead silence and open mouths replaced classroom Armageddon. Standing up like nothing had happened, I said, "Thanks for your attention -- let's talk about love poems."

I never used that stunt again. After all, should a real emergency occur, it would be better if students call 911 rather than post my motionless body on YouTube. I've thought this through.

Most teachers use silencing methods, such as flicking the lights, ringing a call bell (see Teacher Tipster's charming video on the subject), raising two fingers, saying "Attention, class," or using Harry Wong's Give Me 5 -- a command for students to:

  1. Focus their eyes on the speaker
  2. Be quiet
  3. Be still
  4. Empty their hands
  5. Listen.

There is also the "three fingers" version, which stands for stop, look, and listen. Fortunately, none of these involve medical hoaxes.

Lesser known techniques are described below and categorized by grade bands:

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