Education News and Notes
By Anat Tour, math teacher and children’s author/illustrator
June 12, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--With the end of the school year arriving, be sure to view the Khan academy video (below) to prepare for tests or simply get ahead for the next school year!
In addition, here are my picks for this month’s top stories of interest to local students, teachers, and parents. Finally, bullying is a serious issue; announcing the new StopBullying.gov, find out what you can do.
- Teachers, like pitchers, make saves every day
- How Corporations Are Helping To Solve The Education Crisis
- State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces 2012 Model Attendance Improvement Programs : SD Unified Schools is among those that made this list
- Study: MRI reveals brain function differs in math-phobic children
- Don’t judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree – The problem with assessment
- Khan Academy
- Low-income students struggle with AP exam fee waiver cuts
- Education experts disagree on importance of school class size
- California Department of Education important dates for the month of June
- In Bullying Programs, A Call For Bystanders To Act
- Announcing the New StopBullying.gov
Teachers, Like Pitchers, Make Saves Every Day
Baseball statisticians keep track of "saves" performed by relief pitchers who record the final outs in close games, writes Sam Chaltain in this blog post. In classrooms, teachers make saves every day -- when they help focus a student with attention issues or mediate a classroom conflict, for example. Keeping track of those saves, Chaltain writes, reminds us that a teacher's skill needs to be measured by more than students' academic growth.
How Corporations Are Helping To Solve The Education Crisis
It’s not just about giving money anymore (ahem, Mark Zuckerberg). Companies are finding new ways to bake fixing American education into their corporate DNA.
State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces 2012 Model Attendance Improvement Programs: SD Unified Schools is among those that made this list
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced that 11 districts have been designated as models of attendance improvement and dropout prevention by the State School Attendance Review Board.Torlakson praised the local SARBS for their work in reducing student absence, which costs school districts millions of dollars each year in lost income, and greatly increases the chance of students dropping out of school. “There's a very basic fact that is often overlooked: Even the best teacher can't help students who don't make it to school,” Torlakson said. "These review boards are proving that there are highly effective strategies for improving attendance and reducing the dropout rate.”
For more information on the SARB process for attendance improvement and dropout reduction, visit the California Department of Education Web page.
Study: MRI reveals brain function differs in math-phobic children
Children who get anxious about doing math have brain function that differs from children who don’t, with math-specific fear interfering with the parts of the brain involved in problem-solving, according to functional MRI (fMRI) scans of 7- to 9-year olds that formed the basis of a study published online March 20 in Psychological Science. http://www.healthimaging.com/index.php?option=com_articles&view=article&id=32896:study-mri-reveals-brain-function-differs-in-math-phobic-children
Don’t judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree – The problem with assessment
“Everyone is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” - Albert Einstein
With the backing of Gates and Google, Khan Academy and its free online educational videos are moving into the classroom and across the world. Their goal: to revolutionize how we teach and learn. Sanjay Gupta reports. If you missed the 60 min. clip on Khan Academy click below:
Low-income students struggle with AP exam fee waiver cuts
Many low-income students across the country are struggling to pay the fees for Advanced Placement exams after federal budget cuts reduced the funding for a national fee-waiver program. In response, the College Board, which administers the tests, is increasing its subsidies for low-income students. However, it is expected that about 29,000 low-income students will not take the exams as planned, preventing them from earning early college credits. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-ap-test-20120331,0,2533838.story
Education experts disagree on importance of school class size
It's a vexing academic sudoku that principals tackle — and teachers must adapt to — as schools try to line up budgets, staff and attendance projections in pursuit of an elusive educational sweet spot: effective class size. http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_20720013/education-experts-disagree-importance-school-class-size
California Department of Education important dates for the month of June
Ed Ahead for June 2012 The monthly Ed Ahead is compiled by the California Department of Education (CDE) Communications Division. The monthly advisory contains a current schedule of upcoming events. Please note that these calendar items are subject to change. Any changes as well as additional events are announced through the regular CDE media advisory process.
In Bullying Programs, A Call For Bystanders To Act
Administrators have struggled to find effective ways to help curb bullying in their schools in recent years, and a growing number of bullying prevention programs have emerged to meet the demand.
Many schools started by cracking down on bullies, then later focused on propping up victims, with the hope of helping to make them "bully-proof." Now, they have shifted their efforts to people who witness bullying. http://www.npr.org/2012/03/30/149606925/in-bullying-programs-a-call-for-bystanders-to-act?ft=1&f=1013
Announcing the New StopBullying.gov
The site encourages children, parents, educators, and communities to take action to stop and prevent bullying, and provides a map with detailed information on state laws and policies, interactive webisodes and videos for young people, practical strategies for schools and communities to ensure safe environments, and suggestions on how parents can talk about this sensitive subject with their children.