Greetings K12 Newsletter Readers
Headlines and resources for today.
1) Russellville Middle School in Arkansas Parents, school administrators, and quite a few grown-ups in the community of Russellville, Arkansas are upset. There’s a bit of a scandal brewing after it was discovered that this year’s yearbook featured a list of the “Top 5 worst people of all time” that named Adolph Hitler, Osama Bin Laden, Charles Manson, George W. Bush, and Dick Cheney.
2) How a cheap graphics card could crack your password in under a second
3) Teacher Tips: Last Days of School: Please share these Really great Activities and just in time summer suggestions
4) Low-income Chicago students to get low-cost broadband
Mayor Rahm Emanuel visits Lindblom Math & Science Academy High School after Comcast announcement. Mayor Emanuel with student Alandrea Mosley in Computer lab,
The digital divide that has left nearly 40 percent of all Chicagoans with little or no access to the Internet is about to narrow for 330,000 needy students. On Tuesday, Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined Comcast in announcing, Internet Essentials, a first-in-the-nation program designed to provide high-speed Internet services for the families of Chicago Public School students who qualify for free school lunches.
Comcast normally charges $48.95-a-month for broadband Internet service. Under the new program, eligible families will be able to get that service for $9.95-a-month with no installation or service fees. In addition, eligible families will get technology training and a coupon to purchase mostly refurbished computers valued at up to $500 for $150. The program will launch with the start of the next school year and continue for at least three years. The partnership with Comcast is one piece of a comprehensive plan to increase Internet access in inner-city Chicago neighborhoods. SNIP
6) Alliance Releases New Report on Deeper Learning
Policy and practice at the local, state, and national levels should support the concepts of deeper learning to help all students meet higher expectations and be prepared for college and career, according to a new Alliance policy brief released on May 26. The brief argues that deeper learning provides students with the deep content knowledge they need to succeed after high school and the critical thinking, collaboration, and communication skills that today’s jobs demand.
The term deeper learning may be new, but its basic concepts are not, said Alliance President Bob Wise. Deeper learning is what highly effective educators have always provided: the delivery of rich core content to students in innovative ways that allow them to learn and then apply what they have learned.
The brief, A Time for Deeper Learning: Preparing Students for a Changing World, notes that American schools tend to offer a two-tiered curriculum in which some students—primarily white and relativelyy affluent—have had opportunities for deeper learning, while otherss—primarily low-income and students of color—have focused al almost exclusively on basic skills and knowledge. It finds that the nationâ€™s prosperity in the near future will depend more than ever on students from underserved groups.
Earlier this year, the Alliance held webinar featuring Barbara Chow, program director of education at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Andreas Schleicher, head of indicators and analysis division at the OECD’s Directorate for Education. Chow and Schleicher provided an overview of deeper learning and discussed how deeper learning can increase economic opportunity and civic engagement in order to ensure that American students are rigorously prepared for success in a globally competitive workforce. Watch archived video from the webinar.
Download the deeper learning policy brief, read the press release,
or watch Gov.
National Academies Press Makes All PDF Books Free to Download GREAT RESOURCE!
Ed Tech Not Immune from Civil Rights Obligations, Feds Advise
By David Nagel
As technology increasingly permeates classroom learning, school leaders need to be increasingly active in meeting the needs of students with disabilities. That was the word out of Washington May 26 as the Obama administration issued guidance on school compliance with federal anti-discrimination law.
The United States Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights Thursday issued a “dear colleague letter” to public K-12 institutions (as well as a separate letter to higher education institutions) and a set ofanswers to frequently asked questions that expands on a letter sent out exclusively to college and university presidents last June (DCL).
In the FAQ, OCR makes explicit some legal obligations of all education institutions, including K-12 institutions, to “ensure equal access to the educational benefits and opportunities afforded by the technology and equal treatment in the use of the technology for all students, including students with disabilities.” At the same time, the FAQ said the intent is not to stifle the use of new and emerging technologies, but to “remind everyone that equal access for students with disabilities is the law and must be considered as new technology is integrated into the educational environment.”
The document also makes clear the obligations outlined in the original dear colleague letter:
Apply to all K-12 faculty and staff;
Apply to all forms of emerging technologies, not just book readers;
Include pilot programs and other short-term initiatives;
Are applicable to online schools;
Apply to online course materials as well; and
Apply to schools and classes even when no students may have a disability.
Those obligations, the documents argue, are not new, but rather clarifications of existing law, specificallySection 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
“Technology can be a critical investment in enhancing educational opportunities for all students,” said Russlynn Ali, assistant secretary for civil rights within ED, in a separate statement released by OCR today. “The Department [of Education] is firmly committed to ensuring that schools provide students with disabilities equal access to the benefits of technological advances.”
The FAQ document also suggests questions school leaders should address when trying to determine whether a new technology is accessible or not. And, for times when an accessible option is not available, it provides guidance for “accommodations or modifications that permit [those with disabilities] to receive all the educational benefits provided by the technology in an equally effective and equally integrated manner.”
ED’s press office today also noted that the department has asked for increased funding for students with disabilities in the fiscal year 2012 federal budget.
The complete “dear colleague” memo to K-12 leaders can be accessed on ED’s news portal here. The compliance FAQ can be found on the Office of Civil Rights site here.
Linda Darling-Hammond’s Fiery Commencement Address
Posted on May 25, 2011
In her commencement address at the Teacher’s College graduation last week, published by the Nation magazine, Linda Darling-Hammond rails against â€œthe new scientific managers’ in very impassioned rhetoric. Some highlights:
As scientific managers were looking to make schools efficient in the early twentieth century—to manage schools with more ttightly prescribed curriculum, more teacher-proof texts, more extensive testing, and more rules and regulations—they consciously sought to hiree less well-educated teachers who would work for low wages and would go along with the new regime of prescribed lessons and pacing schedules without protest. In a book widely used for teacher training at that time, the need for unquestioned obedience was stressed as the first rule of efficient service for teachers.
While there is lots of talk of international test score comparisons, there is too little talk about what high-performing countries actually do: fund schools equitably; invest in high-quality preparation, mentoring and professional development for teachers and leaders, completely at government expense; organize a curriculum around problem-solving and critical-thinking skills; and test students rarely—and never with multiple-choice tests.
Meanwhile, the profession of teaching and our system of public education are under siege from another wave of scientific managers, who have forgotten that education is about opening minds to inquiry and imagination, not stuffing them like so many dead turkeys—that teaching is about enabling students to make sense of their experience, to use knowledge for their own ends, and to learn to learn, rather than to spend their childhoods bubbling in Scantron sheets to feed the voracious data banks that govern ever more decisions from the bowels of the bureaucracy.
These new scientific managers, like those of a century ago, prefer teachers with little training—who will come and go quickly, without costingg much money, without vesting in the pension system and without raising many questions about an increasingly prescriptive system of testing and teaching that lines the pockets of private entrepreneurs…
The new scientific managers, like the Franklin Bobbitts before them, like to rank and sort students, teachers and schools—rewarding those at tthe top and punishing those at the bottom, something that the highest-achieving countries not only donâ€™t do but often forbid. The present-day Bobbitts would create efficiencies by firing teachers and closing schools, while issuing multimillion-dollar contracts for testing and data systems to create more graphs, charts and report cards on which to rank and sort… well, just about everything.
Money Drives K12 Education Policy
Yo Grad! How much is your college education worth?
Anthony P. Carnevale, Director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, released the report.
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Greetings K12 Newsletter Readers