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New App Gives Access to Student Records

23, Mar 2012

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Parents, over the years, have had many different methods of tracking their children’s attendance and progress in school. Whereas before, parents may have had to rely on their children relaying information back to them, or spies letting them know of their children’s whereabouts, now one Oklahoma school district has made it easier than ever by granting parents access to student records through a smart phone app.

Tahlequah School District in Tahlequah, Okla. has partnered with School Connect, a mobile education app developer based out of Norman, Okla., to create this powerful tool that would give parents unprecedented access to student progress.
“There really is no place to hide now,” TPS Superintendent Dr. Shannon Goodsell said to The Tahlequah Daily Press. “Parents can come to the board of education office, show a photo identification, and we will give them a username and password to access all of their child’s information.”

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TED Releases YouTube Videos for Teachers

23, Mar 2012

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Announced over a year ago, TED, an organization dedicated toward spreading information and ideas through technology, has launched a new YouTube channel, called TED-Ed, dedicated solely to providing short online lessons and video clips to be used in the classroom.

“Right now there’s a teacher somewhere out there delivering a mind-altering lesson and the frustrating thing is, it only reaches the students in that class,” TED-Ed project director Logan Smal¬ley said to The Washington Post. “We’re trying to figure out how to capture that lesson and pair it with professional animators to make that lesson more vivid and put it in a place where teachers all over the world can share it.”

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, nearly 100 percent of schools have access to the Internet, making it a nearly essential tool for teachers in their lessons as more teachers are using streaming videos and overhead presentations.

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Seattle Reconsidering Teach for America

14, Mar 2012

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In a long line of criticism and challenges that Teach for America has recently faced, the Seattle School Board is reconsidering its current three-year contract with the organization after its first year with board members questioning the training and effectiveness of teachers from the program as well as the need for them.

In 2010, TFA received a three-year contract from the Seattle School District allowing them to teach in Seattle schools. However, some board members feel that they no longer need the TFA teachers as there is no longer a shortage of fully certified teachers.

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Studies: Charters Don’t Harm Public Ed.

13, Mar 2012

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School choice programs have long been controversial as critics have felt that by allowing parents to choose to opt out of public schools in favor of charters and private schools, the result may harm public education.

However, a recent study out of the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, shows that school choice programs could potentially help public schools depending on how these schools handle the drop in enrollment.

Currently there are 34 school choice programs in 19 states, with other states examining similar programs. These programs allow parents to choose whether to keep their children in public school systems, or move them to alternative education paths such as charter schools or private schools through vouchers and tax credit programs.

According to the study, many schools have fixed costs that remain the same regardless of school enrollment along with varied costs that depend on enrollment. The researchers estimate that on average in the U.S. 36 percent of a schools budget is fixed and 64 percent is varied.

“This means when public schools lose students to a school that better meets their needs, there is no fiscal harm,” Ben Scafidi, a senior fellow with the Friedman Foundation and author of the report said in a statement. “They actually have more money when students leave because there are fewer to educate, and they get to keep some of the allotted funds to educate them.”

The researchers explain that if public schools make strategic decisions in how they distribute fixed cost funds—which they describe as costs concerning expenditures on capital, interest, general administration, school administration, operations and maintenance, transportation, and “other” support services—certain costs could be reduced immediately.

For example they explain that if a school were to lose a significant number of students they could immediately, cut back on assistant principals, reduce transportation costs, or even merge with another school.

“It’s like when children go off to college; families usually reduce household spending,” Scafidi said. “So too is it possible for public schools to reduce spending.”

At the same time, the study shows that public schools can often benefit academically. The researchers give two reasons for this. First, teacher effectiveness improves as schools are able to lay off less effective teachers and move students into more effective classrooms. Second, they explain that Rajashri Chakrabarti, an economist who focuses on education, has shown that public schools are more likely to improve when money follows the student through education vouchers.

“If districts have school choice programs and lose a few hundred children, they really are benefiting financially because they keep many of the dollars spent on each child,” Robert Enlow, President and CEO of the Friedman Foundation said in a statement. “In no other business in America do you still get paid for not having a customer to serve.”

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Minorities Face Harsher Discipline

09, Mar 2012

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Expanding on an early probe into the Los Angeles Unified School District, a new study out of the Department of Education shows that minority students, particularly Black and Hispanic students, are more likely to face harsher punishment than White students. Additionally, the study also found that teachers in working areas with a high concentration of minority students have less experience and are often paid less than other areas.

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The Big Dig Scholarship

08, Mar 2012

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Amount and Deadline:

$3000 (1 Award) – June 1, 2012 (11:59pm ET)

Scholarship Description:

The Big Dig Scholarship is available to high school seniors who will be entering their first year of college and students who are currently in their first or second year of college. You must submit an essay between 500 and 1000 words that answers the following issue: “In 200 years, one of your relatives is going to be digging in what is now your backyard. They are going to find something that you buried in 2010 and it is going to put any financial worries they have to rest. Your job today is to decide what to bury. Your goal is to find something that will have immense value in the future.” In addition, you must be a resident of the United States to qualify for this award.

Additional Information:

Please visit the sponsor’s Web site (http://www.antiquetrader.tv/studentscholarship.php) for additional information and to apply.

Applicable Majors:

All fields of study


Tags: scholarships, financial aid, grants

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New AP Courses Tested in Various Schools

08, Mar 2012

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The College Board and Cambridge University have partnered together to offer a new advanced placement course designed to help students in their preparation for college. The program, AP Cambridge Capstone Program and Credential, is designed to help students develop a stronger background in areas—independent research, collaborative teamwork, and 21st-century knowledge—that are increasingly important in college.

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School on Wheels Teaches Homeless Kids

07, Mar 2012

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Over the past few years, many are feeling the effects of the economic recession. Some have lost their jobs. Some have lost their homes. This has left many children homeless and no where to turn once they leave school. One organization, School on Wheels, seeks to remedy some of the situation by providing after school tutoring and programs for these children.

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Edmodo Opens Up To Third Party Apps

07, Mar 2012

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Edmodo, a startup social networking company geared toward teachers and educators, has announced that they will follow in the footsteps of other social networks like Facebook, and open their application programming interface (API) to third parties. These third party developers will develop applications that can be used on the site to supplement a variety of subjects.

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26 States apply for waiver against NCLB

02, Mar 2012

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The Education Department said on Wednesday that over half of all states in the country have submitted an application to apply for a waiver by this week’s new deadline to be unchained from the demanding requirements of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law.

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