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Education Department Awards $13.3 Million in Grants to Support Principal DevelopmentU.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced today that more than $13 million in grants has been awarded to 20 projects under the School Leadership Program (SLP), which supports the development, enhancement, and expansion of innovative programs to recruit, train, and mentor principals and assistant principals for high-need schools and districts. Grantees include school districts, institutes of higher education and non-profit organizations.
For Low-Income Students Considering College, a Nudge to Aim HighThe group that administers the SAT has begun a nationwide outreach program to try to persuade more low-income high school seniors who scored high on standardized tests to apply to select colleges. The group, the College Board, is sending a package of information on top colleges to every senior who has an SAT or Preliminary SAT score in the top 15 percent of test takers and whose family is in the bottom quarter of income distribution.
Opinion: Make Full-Day Kindergarten a RequirementIllinois currently competes with all other states for federal funds, yet it is one of the 15 states that do not mandate kindergarten, according to the Education Commission of the States. In fact, children in Illinois are not required to attend school until age 7, which is far too late.
Kentucky a National Leader in Instituting Common Core Math and Reading Lessons in ClassroomTwo years after becoming the first state in the nation to implement the more rigorous academic standards, education officials in Kentucky say teachers have embraced the changes and are encouraging their peers in other states who have been hesitant to implement Common Core.
Leading for Early Success: Building School Principals’ Capacity to Lead High-Quality Early EducationA new publication by the National Governors Association (NGA) titled Leading for Early Success: Building School Principals Capacity to Lead High-Quality Early Education highlights the work done in Illinois around the new P-12 principal endorsement in describing how governors can build effective school leadership to promote high-quality P-3rd education.
ACT to Start Giving Tests DigitallyStarting as early as spring 2015, the ACT college admissions exam will go digital, reflecting students' tech savvy and the demand for quicker results. The tests will still have the familiar multiple-choice options for college hopefuls but they will also expand to include interactive portions, such as a simulated science lab for students to conduct experiments or space for students to explain concepts in their own words...
Early Childhood Teachers Adapt to Common CoreLearning how to construct written arguments...is an important element of the new Common Core State Standards, set to begin phasing in next year. Last year, Dumas Elementary was one of 35 schools that became "early adopters" of the standards and were given money to pay for substitutes while teachers worked on model lesson plans aligned to the standards. The lesson plans became the basis for curriculum guides.
Op-Ed: Why Collaboration is Vital to Creating Effective SchoolsCollaboration in schools is not a big topic in the national education discussion, and that’s unfortunate, because it’s a key to effective schools. Here’s a post on how and why by Greg Anrig, vice president for policy and programs at The Century Foundation, a nonprofit public research organization based in Washington D.C. He is the author of the new e-book, “Beyond the Education Wars: Evidence That Collaboration Builds Effective Schools,” which looks at how struggling schools make improvements by collaboration between labor and management.
Illinois Programs Look to Train Current, Future WorkforceA cornerstone of Illinois' economic development success is the quality and depth of its workforce...The Illinois State Board of Education announced in 2012 that Illinois is among six states that will participate in the Pathways to Prosperity Network, a coalition that aims to increase the number of high school graduates who attain a post-secondary credential with value in the labor market. "The goal is for high schools, community colleges, technical colleges, and colleges and universities to start offering more of these curricula that lead to these hot careers in Illinois," says John Rico, chairman of the Illinois Workforce Investment Board.
Districts Matter: Cultivating the Principals Urban Schools NeedDistricts Matter: Cultivating the Principals Urban Schools Need A report by the Wallace Foundation looks at the unique role that districts can play to help principals shoulder their central responsibility: improving teaching and learning. As a result of new evidence around the importance of school leadership, more districts are seeking to cultivate first-rate principals for all of their schools.