April 3rd, 2012
02:03 PM ET

Today's Reading List

Here's what the editors of Schools of Thought are reading today:

AJR.org: Flunking the Test
Paul Farhi argues that America's education system isn't as broken as news coverage would have the public believe. Farhi also says that news stories highlight the efforts of education reformers while ignoring what he believes is the real story – the effect of poverty on student achievement.

This Week in Education: Media: Flunking Paul Farhi's Education Journalism Critique
Alexander Russo critiques Paul Farhi's criticism of education reporting in the American Journalism Review. Russo says Farhi missed about a dozen examples of education reporters doing excellent work in the field and that he didn't talk to prominent education experts.

U.S. Department of Education: ED Celebrates National Financial Literacy Month
April is National Financial Literacy Month. The U.S. Department of Education office of Federal Student Aid plans to offer daily financial advice through Twitter.

L.A. Times: Low-income students struggle with AP exam fee waiver cuts
The College Board estimates that a federal budget cut to an Advanced Placement exam waiver program will result in 29,000 low-income students skipping the exam due to cost.

JSOnline: Ready for prom? Don't have alcohol on your breath
At some Wisconsin high school dances, it won't just be chaperones checking students at the door as schools implement portable breath alcohol screeners.

March 30th, 2012
11:30 AM ET

Today's Reading List

Here's what the editors of Schools of Thought are reading today:

CBS 2 Chicago: School Board Unanimously Approves Longer School Year
Despite protests from the city's teachers union, Chicago's school board voted to add ten days to the school calendar, making it the longest in the country. Some parents also questioned the move in light of the school district's projected $700 million shortfall in next year's budget.

International Business Times: 'Bully’ Movie Rating Change: ‘We Thought We Could Win’
“Bully” opens today without a rating, after its production company failed to convince the MPAA to change the documentary’s rating from “R” to “PG-13.” Anti-bullying activists wanted the PG-13 rating so that more children could see the film; the nation's second largest theater company, AMC, says it will allow unaccompanied minors into the movie with a note from a parent or guardian.

NPR: Alan Alda Asks Scientists "What Is A Flame?"
Veteran actor Alan Alda challenges scientists to define a flame so that ordinary people can understand the concept. Instead of Alda or other scientists judging the definitions, 11-year-olds around the world will.

Edudemic: 15 Ways To Use The New iPad In Classrooms
With the new iPad, users can connect to the Internet, take pictures, record movies, and produce presentations. Teachers tweeted how students can use these functions to create digital content.

Daniel Wilingham: Students should be taught how to study.
The majority of college students study by rereading their notes, which University of Virginia psychology professor Daniel Willingham argues is a terrible strategy. Willingham says that self-testing – the ninth most used strategy – is the best for recall, and should be taught.

March 26th, 2012
01:04 PM ET

Today's Reading List

Here's what the editors of Schools of Thought are reading today:

Education Week: Arne Duncan: Newspapers Shouldn't Publish Teacher Ratings
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan supports including "value added ratings" – which are based on student test scores – in teacher evaluations. Duncan says he's just not a fan of publishing those ratings in the local newspaper; which both the Los Angeles Times and New York Times have done recently.

WSBTV: Alpharetta student sues over prom changes
Reuben Lack is asking a federal judge to reinstate Lack as his metro Atlanta school's student body president . He says he was dismissed for proposing a "Prom Court" that could include gay and lesbian students; a school spokeswoman says Lack, "failed to complete his responsibilities according to set bylaws."

Miami Herald: Gov. Scott signs school prayer law
Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a controversial bill that authorizes school districts to develop policies that would allow students, but not teachers or other school employees, to pray or deliver "inspirational messages" at public events.

Pix11: New Jersey Middle School Bans Hugging
A New Jersey principal has outlawed hugging at his middle school. Some students are perplexed at the new rule but the district's superintendent says that excessive hugging led to the ban.

WQAD8: Four girls start business to buy therapy dog
Four fifth grade girls start a dog walking business. Their teacher's daughter has a disabling genetic condition, and the girls hope to raise the $5,000 to $15,000 for a therapy dog.

March 23rd, 2012
01:32 PM ET

Today's Reading List

Here's what the editors of Schools of Thought are reading today:

Inside Higher Ed: Big tuition hikes at private colleges complicate affordability picture
When the recession hit, American families actually paid less for their children's college expenses as they looked around for more affordable options. As a result, some private schools have issued tuition freezes for 2012; but a few elite private universities, Dartmouth and Princeton among them, are bucking the trend and raising tuition at percentages greater than the inflation rate.

U.S. Department of Education: FAFSA Completion Project Expands: Targets Single High School LEAs and Rural Districts
The U.S. Department of Education is helping some districts increase the percentage of students who complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Studies show that completing the form increases college enrollment, especially among low-income students.

Mind/Shift: Building Good Search Skills: What Students Need to Know
Most students have limited search skills, honed by their use of free search engines to scour the Internet. Some people say that other types of search tools – scholarly databases, for example – have to become easier to use, and that students need to be taught effective search techniques.

New York Times: Ban Lifted, R.O.T.C. to Return to Harvard’s Campus
Now that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" has been lifted, Harvard University will soon open an Army Reserve Officers Training Corps office on campus, provide space for classrooms and training, and cover the program's administrative costs. The prestigious university first banned R.O.T.C. programs during the Vietnam War. That ban remained in effect until recently as a protest against military policy that prohibited gays and lesbians from serving.

Al.com: Fences, guns and guards: Mobile County school board considers ways to stop guns at school
In the wake of a recent high school shooting, Mobile County's superintendent is looking into building fences and installing metal detectors on campuses. Some lawmakers are pushing to change an Alabama law that bars resource officers from carrying guns.

March 21st, 2012
02:27 PM ET

Today's Reading List

Here's what the editors of Schools of Thought are reading today:

The Salt Lake Tribune: Herbert vetoes sex-ed bill, says it constricts parental choice
Utah's governor has vetoed a bill that would mandate that public schools could either have abstinence-only sex education programs or no sex education program at all. The governor says the existing law, which gives parents the choice of whether their children receive sex education or not, is sufficient.

Education Week: Bridging Differences: The Lesson of Florida
Florida's legislature recently rejected a "parent trigger" bill that would have given parents the power to overhaul local public schools. Diane Ravitch says parents figured out that for-profit charter companies, not parents, would have been the real beneficiaries.

New York Times: Room for Debate: Make Sure Parents, not Companies, Have Power
When it comes to parent trigger laws, Amy Wilkins says parents need to be involved in the decisions setting up the new school as much as they were involved in dismantling the old one.

Bakersfieldnow.com: School board members get perks while teachers lose jobs
Greenfield Union School District recently laid off 23 teachers. The school board said that it had cut the budget to the bone to lessen the impact on teachers, but some people think one more budget item should be eliminated – the elected board's $59,000 health care plan.

Edutopia: Create a Good Environment for Studying at Home
Psychologist Art Markman gives his advice for an effective studying environment. Markman says students need a consistent environment to truly develop their study habits.

March 20th, 2012
11:30 AM ET

Today's Reading List

Here's what the editors of Schools of Thought are reading today:

CBSDenver: Garfield Re-2 Schools to Get Permanent 3-Day Weekends
Facing its 4th year of budget cuts, the Garfield School District Re-2 School Board has voted to reduce the school week to four days. The move will affect ten schools in the district.

Fox8.com: Elementary School Students Hurt in Wild Food Fight
Dozens of students reported injuries and eight were taken to the hospital after a lunchtime food fight breaks out in the cafeteria of a Cleveland elementary school.

KETV.com: Teen Surprised Teammates After Recovering from Coma
A high school wrestler who was in a coma after a car accident surprises his teammates and walks into their awards banquet.

NYTimes: Spring Break Gets Tamer as World Watches Online
They’re still heading to beaches for Spring Break, but today’s college crowd is very aware of the consequences of possible appearances on social media.

Washington Post: The Answer Sheet: How retaking the SAT changed prep tutor’s view
A test prep tutor takes the SAT and passes on some of what she learned from the experience.

March 16th, 2012
11:32 AM ET

Today's Reading List

Here's what the editors of Schools of Thought are reading today:

CBSDFW.com: Dallas ISD Cutting Contracts Of 250+ Teachers
Dallas Independent School District did not renew contracts for more than 250 of its teachers. The district says it is now evaluating teacher effectiveness and removing underperforming educators, but the president of the local teacher association says the district may just be trying to address its budget issues.

NOLA.com: Louisiana House panel clears school charter, voucher bill as teachers pack Capitol
In a rare appearance before a legislative committee on Wednesday, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal made his case for education reforms that include increased school choice, tying teacher pay and retention to student performance, and reorganizing the state's pre-K programs. Several districts canceled classes this week to allow teachers to travel to the Capitol to express their views.

Obama Foodorama: After Firestorm Of 'Pink Slime' Criticism, USDA Alters School Lunch Policy For Ground Beef
The meat industry calls it "Lean Finely Textured Beef Product" and critics call it "pink slime." After a large outcry through an online petition, questions from federal lawmakers, and feedback from school districts, the U.S Department of Agriculture announced on Thursday that it will provide schools the option to order beef products with or without the controversial product.

Indystar.com: Indiana's education schools make new efforts to better teach teachers
Next year, Indiana and other states will begin assigning letter grades to teacher-preparation programs that are based on the evaluations of teachers-in-training, which in turn will be based on student performance on standardized tests.

The Washington Post: The 10 most read Irish authors
An online research tool for students reveals this list of most-read Irish novelists, poets and playwrights.

March 13th, 2012
01:22 PM ET

Today's Reading List

Here's what the editors of Schools of Thought are reading today:

Tampa Bay Times: A weekend interview with Michelle Rhee about parent trigger
The former DC schools chancellor and parent trigger advocate talks about parent empowerment and teacher effectiveness.

EdReach: Teachers: Do you want your kids watching Khan? Or watching YOU?
Author Daniel Rezac argues that “teachers need to step up and take the Khan approach, putting their learning online.”

AJC: School lunch controversy: “Pink slime” or “lean, nutritious, safe beef”
The beef industry says treating beef trimmings with ammonia is safe for humans to eat. Critics of the food product say it shouldn't be put in front of children, and have started a petition to ask the USDA to stop using it in the National School Lunch Program.

KRDO.com: Palmer High School Yearbook Diversity Debate
Two students on the yearbook staff at Palmer High say a yearbook page was replaced because it depicted a lesbian couple holding hands. The district says the page was cut from the yearbook because of public displays of affection.

KETV7: Prom Invites Become Creative, Entertaining
Some Omaha-area teens come up with unique ways to ask for a date to the prom.

March 9th, 2012
11:36 AM ET

Today's Reading List

Here's what the editors of Schools of Thought are reading today:

NYR: Opinion – Flunking Arne Duncan
Diane Ravitch argues that if U.S. Secretary of Education likes to evaluate teachers, then the public should be able to rate Secretary Duncan's progress. Ravitch offers her report card on the education secretary, and it doesn't include any As for effort.

The Atlantic: Opinion – Why Great Teachers Are Also Learners
Vicki Davis encourages teachers to love learning, because when students see enthusiasm for learning, she says, they are inspired and will want to learn.

NBC4.com: CCS' Unpaid School Lunch Accounts Go Into Collection
Columbus City Schools says it is short a million dollars – from parents who owe the school lunch fund. The district says thousands of parents who owe more than $50 could be hearing from a collection agency if their lunch accounts aren't settled by the end of the month.

KESQ.com: Palm Desert High School Designated 'Cuss-Free Zone'
The staff at California's Palm Desert High School is challenging its students to stop cussing. Each classroom has a "swear jar" and more than 80 students have joined the school's "no cussing" club.

9News.com: Girl handcuffed in school for being 'extremely rude'
A Colorado 11-year-old student was handcuffed and transported to a juvenile holding facility for being rude to school officials. Her mother admits her daughter was wrong, but thinks that being arrested was too severe a punishment, while school officials say the incident was handled appropriately.

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Filed under: Behavior • Elementary school • High school • Issues • NCLB • Policy • Practice • Today's Reading List
March 6th, 2012
04:46 PM ET

Today's Reading List

Here's what the editors of Schools of Thought are reading today:

Education News: Las Vegas District Teacher Layoffs Loom, says Superintendent
An unsettled teacher contract and a looming deficit could mean as many as 1000 layoffs of teachers and staff in Clark County Schools.

Fox2 Now: Parent Furious After Watching Middle School Bus Fight Video
At least one parent is furious at what she saw and heard in a video on a school bus ride home for 5th and 6th graders.

CBS Detroit: Free College for All? State Democrats to Unveil Plan
Democratic state lawmakers in Michigan will release a plan to offer free college for those who need it.

Fox 31: Court: Students can carry guns on campus
The Colorado Supreme Court has struck down a gun ban by the Colorado Board of Regents that prevented people with concealed weapons permits from carrying guns on campuses.

Wall Street Journal: Tech Titans Fund Undocumented Students
Some Silicon Valley CEOs are supporting an effort that provides a college education, legal assistance and a possible path to citizenship for undocumented students.

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