Thursday, October 11, 2007

LCEA Morning Edition 10/12/2007

America's Choice program uses school-wide focus on one book to teach all subjects.
The Washington Post (10/11, T1, Hernandez) reports, "Through a new academic program called America's Choice, Suitland Elementary [Maryland] is trying harder to connect what the students see in books to practically every area of school life in hopes of bolstering reading and math skills among students, as well as leadership and teaching skills among staff."

Illinois elementary school uses new literacy curriculum to build independent reading skills.

Illinois' Forest Park Review (10/10, Adams) reported that kindergarten, first and second grade teachers at Garfield Elementary (Illinois) are working with a new literacy curriculum known as SLANT. The program "has not received national attention," but Garfield teachers believe it "has the potential to produce huge results."

Chicago program empowers girls through Shakespeare.
The Chicago Tribune (10/11, Eckinger) reports, "The Viola Project" works with Chicago Public Schools, and in its own independent workshops, "to empower girls through the study and performance of Shakespeare's plays." Co-founders Ellie Kaufman and Reina Hardy host workshops where girls ages 8 through 18 study and perform Shakespeare's plays, playing all roles regardless of gender.

Palm Beach, Florida teachers find that microphones increase class participation.

In an opinion piece in Florida's Palm Beach Post (10/11), Emily Minor writes that in more than 1,500 Palm Beach County public school classrooms, "[t]eachers are wired for sound with microphones that dangle around their necks." The sound systems are receiving positive reviews from Palm Beach teachers. "[A]t the end of the day, you're not nearly as tired because the strain of teaching in a teaching voice is not there," according to Gary Weidenhamer, the district's manager of educational technology and "a classroom teacher for 25 years." Fifth grade teacher Mike Sabatino says the system "makes it easier for the student to understand what's going on all around the room."

Colorado educator's presentation has now reached more than 10 million people.

Colorado's Rocky Mountain News (10/10, Meadow) reported, "All Karl Fisch, an energetic but essentially anonymous educator at Arapahoe High School in Centennial [Colorado], wanted to do was 'start a conversation' among fellow teachers" about how to "prepare kids to become successful, happy citizens of the 21st century." He created a PowerPoint presentation on trends in the global population that he saw shaping the world today's students will live in.


Non-profit group sends teachers on international enrichment experiences.

California's ABC affiliate KGO-TV (10/10, Hollyfield) reported, "International travel on a teacher's salary can be challenging, and that is why" the nonprofit group Funds for Teachers "steps in and offers grants" that allow teachers to arrange international enrichment experiences. Oakland, California French teacher Celeste Dubois, for instance, used a $5,000 grant last year to travel to Paris and videotape interviews with French teenagers. "She started showing the tapes to her classes yesterday...

Columnist: Why are New York teachers facing administrative action assigned to punitive "rubber rooms?"

In his On Education column for the New York Times (10/10), Columbia University Journalism Professor Samuel Freedman wrote that teachers in New York City's public school system who await administrative decisions on disciplinary matters or other job actions can be "ordered by [principals] to a reassignment center, more commonly known among New York teachers as a 'rubber room.'"

National Science Board calls for federal criteria for science and math curricula.
Illinois's Medill Reports (10/10, Ali) reported that the National Science Board on Wednesday recommended that Congress create "a wide-ranging national council to coordinate science and math education from preschool through college," which would be "comprised of representatives from federal and local agencies as well as school districts." The proposed council "would work independently of other federal programs to create national guidance on science, technology, engineering and math curriculum."


Supreme Court splits on special education funding case.
The New York Times (10/11, B1, Stout, Medina) reports, "The Supreme Court on Wednesday let stand a ruling that the New York City school system must pay private school tuition for disabled children, even if the parents refuse to try public school programs first. But the justices are likely to take up the issue again soon, with nationwide implications."


Some Pennsylvania schools adopt positive-reinforcement discipline strategies.
Pennsylvania's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (10/11, Cronin) reports that several Pittsburgh area schools have adopted a "positive-reinforcement approach to discipline this year," and "research shows it works, improving both behavior and grades." At Avalon Elementary, for example, "students can earn 'Good Apple' cards for good deeds, such as lining up straight in the hallway lines or waving hello instead of shouting it.


Student wounds four, kills self in Ohio high school.

The AP (10/11, Milicia) reports, "A 14-year-old suspended student opened fire in his downtown [Cleveland, Ohio] high school Wednesday, wounding four people as terrified schoolmates hid in closets and bathrooms and huddled under laboratory desks. He then killed himself." Two teachers and two students were wounded.
Cleveland Plain Dealer (10/11, Turner) adds, "All the children are in good condition and the two adults' conditions were 'slightly elevated,' according to Mayor Frank Jackson (D)."