June 12th, 2012
02:34 PM ET

Possible Chicago teachers' strike, lecturers vs. teachers, and children's emotions

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

Chicago Tribune: 9 out of 10 CPS teachers authorize strike
As negotiations between union members and Chicago's school district continue, 90% of the city's unionized teachers have authorized a strike. The union and district have reached agreement on several items, but remain split on teacher pay and linking teacher salaries to student performance.

Education Week: Telling Is Not Teaching
Walter Gardner scoffs at the advice that some college professors give to public school teachers. Most college professors lecture, Gardner says, and wouldn't survive long in a modern K-12 classroom.

PsychCentral.com: Teachers Need More Training to Handle Children’s Emotions
A new study suggests that when dealing with children's emotions, teachers tend to rely on how they respond to their own emotions. The study's author suggests that learning how to deal with children's feelings should be incorporated into teacher training.

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Filed under: Behavior • College • Curriculum • Issues • Policy • Practice • teacher unions • Teachers • Today's Reading List
June 7th, 2012
01:05 PM ET

Million dollar PTAs, clearer financial aid packages and 'pink slime'

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

New York Times: Amid Million Dollar PTAs, a School Fights to Keep Its Library
In response to an article on New York City PTAs that raise a million dollars, KJ Dell'Antonia says that one city school had trouble raising $40,000 to save its library. The school doesn't quite make the cut for Title I funds which would have saved the library outright, and Dell'Antonia wonders why parents should have to shoulder that financial burden.

U.S. News: College Financial Aid Packages May Become Clearer in 2013
Ten colleges and universities have pledged to release more detailed information about financial aid offers to prospective students. Students will be given financial information that includes how much the school will cost per year, the differences in the type of aid offered, and how much a monthly loan payment could be.

Food Safety News: Nearly Every State Opts Out of 'Pink Slime' for School Lunch
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says that only three states have ordered Lean Finely Textured Beef (LFTB), which critics call "pink slime," for their school lunch programs. Ground beef without LFTB costs about 3% more. The USDA and the beef industry say that LFTB is safe, but one beef producer isn't surprised that states have cut their orders for the product.

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Filed under: College • Economy • Financial aid • Issues • Lunch • Policy • Practice • School lunch • Today's Reading List
June 5th, 2012
01:02 PM ET

Today's Reading List

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

Bennington Banner: Vermont drops waiver request for No Child
Vermont's Board of Education voted unanimously to stop pursuing a waiver from No Child Left Behind provisions. The U.S. Department of Education said that Vermont's proposed accountability system lacked detail and wouldn't ensure student success, while Vermont says it was trying to create a system that relied less on standardized testing and negative consequences against educators and schools.

Miami Herald: Students at Miami Dade College’s InterAmerican campus received funds to help undocumented high school students go to college.
Students from a Miami college won $5,000 to start a social media and community project that will outline higher education options for immigrant students, including undocumented ones.

StLToday: Imagine schools mark graduations, closings
In what could be the largest charter school shutdown in the country, Missouri's Board of Education voted to close Imagine's six St. Louis schools. Many of the roughly 3,800 students, who finished the school year last week, don't know what school they will attend come August.

Cleveland.com: Public colleges in Ohio asked to go totally smoke-frees
A member of the Ohio Board of Regents says that he will introduce a measure asking the state's public colleges to ban smoking tobacco on their campuses. State law already prohibits smoking in public buildings.  Currently students can smoke on college greens and other outdoor locations.

Sun Sentinel: Mandated Holocaust education depends on donors to survive
Florida was the first state to mandate Holocaust education in its public schools. A film crew documented the 1994 law's inception and current implementation and found that state budget cuts are forcing some districts to look to outside sources of funding to train teachers on the curriculum.

May 31st, 2012
12:10 PM ET

Today's Reading List

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

Salon.com: Cheating runs rampant
Daniel Denvir says than emphasis on high stakes testing at the federal and state levels has led to rampant cheating among U.S. school districts. His article also says that subjects outside of reading and math have been hurt as well, including science, physical education and the arts.

Education Week: NCATE Accredits First 'Nontraditional' Program
The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education has accredited iTeachU.S., which can now recommend teachers for licensure in the states of Texas, Louisiana, and Tennessee. The online provider is the first non-higher-education-based teacher preparation program accredited by NCATE.

Washington Post:College dropouts have debt but no degree
The percentage of college dropouts who have students loans has risen over the past decade. Public policy has pushed more students towards college, and some education experts say that more needs to be done to help students reach graduation.

ED.gov: Student Voices of Military-Connected Children Inspire Guidance from Secretary Duncan
After meeting with children of members of the U.S. military, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan wrote a letter asking school districts to consider the needs of military children. The students told Secretary Duncan of the hardships they face when transitioning to new schools and difficulties in connecting deployed family members with school activities.

MySanAntonio.com: Vaccine adds to cost of college
Vaccination against meningitis is now mandatory for most students at Texas colleges. At around $140 per shot, the vaccine against the rare but potentially fatal infection could cost as much as one or two textbooks.

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May 24th, 2012
04:10 PM ET

Today's Reading List

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

Arizona Daily Star: Students who didn't pass AIMS can't walk in Tucson Unified graduations
Roughly 100 Tucson seniors will not be allowed to walk in graduation ceremonies after they failed part of a state-mandated test. Some parents argue that the students didn't receive enough preparation for the test or the time to remedy the situation.

The Atlantic: Do Cell Phones Belong in the Classroom?
In many American high schools, teachers and students are at odds over cell phone use. While some teachers consider the devices distractions, others say educators should learn to incorporate cell phones into their lesson plans. Robert Earl argues that whatever philosophy is applied, students have to learn to love learning.

Edutopia.org: The Homework Trap
Clinical psychologist Dr. Kenneth Goldberg has a list of suggestions about how parents should approach the issue of homework with their kids.

Connected Principals: Lessons Learned
A veteran teacher shares 13 lessons learned during a 13-year career in the classroom.

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May 15th, 2012
11:40 AM ET

Today's Reading List

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

Los Angeles Japanese Daily News: USC Honors Nisei at Graduation
Nine Japanese-American students who were forced into internment camps while they were students at University of Southern California during World War II graduated from USC on Friday. A small group protested the graduation because the honorary degrees are only being conferred upon the living, and because some were denied their transcripts if they continuted their education elsewhere.

AZCentral.com: Some schools removing valedictorian title
Some Arizona high schools are honoring more of their best students, not just the top two who used to earn the titles valedictorian or salutatorian. Some top students prefer the competition for the title and are afraid the lack of one hurts them in the hunt for college scholarships.

Education Week: Charters Bills Go Down in Alabama, Mississippi
Recently, charter school bills have been popular in the Deep South. However, in Alabama and Mississippi this legislative session, charter school measures died before they could hit pro-charter school governors' desks.

U.S. News: 3 Etiquette Tips for New PTA Members
Parent-Teacher Associations can have an impact on school budgets, curriculum, and other activities. The article offers advice on how parents who are new to a school can introduce themselves to the PTA.

Wired.com: Girls Impress FIRST Championship With Project That Could Save Lives
Thousands of students gathered in St. Louis recently to compete in a national robotics competition, which includes the Junior FIRST Lego League. The Hippie Pandas, an all-girl team from New York, invented a way for people to pasteurize milk safely, and their invention is already in use in Nicaragua.

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May 10th, 2012
01:30 PM ET

Today's Reading List

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

NationalJournal.com: Recess, New Menus Key to US Obesity Crisis, Report Finds
A recent report from the Institute of Medicine projects that 42% of Americans could by obese by 2030. One recommendation from the institute: at least 60 minutes per day of physical education and activity in schools.

AJC.com: Colotl allowed to stay for another year
Federal officials granted Jessica Colotl, the Georgia college graduate at the center of a debate over whether illegal immigrants should attend public colleges, a one-year deferment from deportation. Colotl's case resulted in a state ruling that barred illegal immigrants from many of Georgia's colleges.

Washington Post: Principal urges state ed chief to take standardized tests to see problems with exams
New York principal Sharon Fougner was so upset with questions on recent state standardized tests that she issued a challenge to New York's education commissioner – take the test. In a letter to the commissioner, Fougner reports that many of her students cried during testing, while others simply gave up. "It is unacceptable for eight, nine and ten year olds to be subjected to this kind of torment," Fougner says in her letter.

New York Times: Move to Outsource Teacher Licensing Process Draws Protest
Stanford University is working with education company Pearson on the development of a new national licensure procedure. Of the 68 teacher-candidates at the University of Massachussetts, 67  are protesting the procedure, saying that their colleagues are better equipped to judge them than are paid scorers.  The teacher candidates have also refused to send in required videos of their teaching due to privacy concerns.

Al.com: Columnist smarter than a fifth grader? No way
In a head-to-head knowledge match, a Huntsville Times columnist loses to a Horizon Elementary School fifth grader.

May 8th, 2012
11:27 AM ET

Today's Reading List goes to the prom

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

MetroWest Daily News: Are these prom dresses too hot to trot?
According to a Harvard sociologist, teen fashion may becoming more provocative due to influences like "The Jersey Shore" and Angelina Jolie. However, prom styles may have more to do with school dress codes than social norms.

AZdailysun.com: Home-schoolers don't miss out on prom
The roughly 300,000 home schooled students in Texas miss out on many of America's traditions. Home schooling groups around the state are trying to make sure prom isn't one of them.

Detroit Free Press: Project prom dress: Teen designers get creative with prom dresses made from newspapers
The Detroit Free Press issued a challenge to area high school students – make a prom dress out of the newspaper. Readers can select from eight finalists, and the winner will be awarded $500.

YNN: Johnstown prom tradition a tradition no more
In years past, Johnstown, New York seniors would arrive at prom in front-end loaders, ATV's and even boats. Officials killed the tradition this year out of concern for the students' safety.

Wave3.com: Tim Tebow goes to prom – sort of
On a bet, an Iowa teen asked New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow to her prom through Twitter. When he didn't reply, she brought Tebow anyway – but not in the flesh, a cardboard cutout.

May 4th, 2012
12:35 PM ET

Today's Reading List

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

Cooperative Catalyst: Behind the Standardized Test Curtain
Todd Farley wrote a book about his experiences working for some of the biggest standardized test publishers. Farley says there are a few reasons why schools shouldn't trust the industry to handle exam scoring.

Mail Tribune: 'It's Our Education'
Nearly 100 Eagle Point High School students walked out of school - not to spite their teachers but rather to support them. The Oregon school district and its teachers union have been trying to negotiate contracts for more than a year, and the teachers have threatened to strike beginning May 8.

Georgia Health News: Long weekends risky for teens?
A North Georgia town says it's seeing a higher teen birthrate and more teens having sex in general. Health officials say a four-day school week implemented this year has caused teens to have nothing better to do on Mondays.

Wired: My Standard Based Grading Notes
Physics professor Rhett Allain has started to use standards-based grading with his college students. Allain provides his methods and results, similar to a lab report, and says that his new method of grading measures what students understand and isn't just a measure of effort.

DesMoinesRegister.com: 32 heads are better than 26: Class breaks twin record
The Guinness World Records certified that Valley Southwoods Freshman High School has the "Most Twins in the Same Academic Year at One School." The 16 sets of Iowa twins beat out the old record by three pairs.

May 1st, 2012
01:16 PM ET

Today's Reading List

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

Thomas B. Fordham Institute: Is there anything “common” left in Common Core?
Kathleen Porter-Magee says that the debate over the Common Core standards has very little to do with the content of the standards, and more to do with the politics of education reform.

Stltoday.com: Illinois considers charging kids for riding school buses
Illinois education officials are considering allowing the state's school districts to charge students to ride the school bus. Local officials across the state are queasy about the measure, saying it hurts low-income students.

WHOtv.com: IOWA PRIDE: Conference To Confront Bullying
Two weeks after a bullied teen committed suicide, 150 other homosexual teens gathered for the Iowa Pride Conference. The Iowa Pride Network says that schools should set up gay straight alliances in high schools, which the group claims can reduce verbal and physical harassment of gay teens.

KSLA12: Students ordered to cut, dye "gang related" hair styles
School officials said that a reddish dyed streak in some students' hair could be a symbol of gang activity and have ordered students with the hair style to cut or dye their hair. Some parents reluctantly obeyed the order, while Tameka Brooks pulled her two sons out of school, claiming that the district was engaging in racial profiling.

Edutopia: Kids Speak Out on Student Engagement
Heather Wolpert-Gawron asked her 220 eighth graders "What engages students?" Working with peers, using technology and connecting projects to the real world topped the list.

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