DEN Trend Report: 4/8/15

DEN Trend Report FeaturedLooking to learn more about what’s trending in education?!? Here’s a recap of this week’s news.
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Five States Get Waivers for No Child Left Behind (Wall Street Journal)
By Caroline Porter
As members of Congress work on a new version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act this year, the federal government continued its policy of granting waivers from the law, also known as No Child Left Behind, on Tuesday. Five states received renewals of their waivers, which allow them to skirt the current law, providing they abide by the current administration’s policies.
Four Student Data Privacy Issues Adults Should Be Aware Of (KQED Mind/Shift)
By Anya Kamenetz
Several efforts in Washington are converging on the sensitive question of how best to safeguard the information software programs are gathering on students.

Doing Math vs. Understanding Math (Education Week)
By David Ginsburg
A key instructional shift called for by the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics is the dual emphasis on conceptual understanding and procedural fluency. NCTM draws a connection between these two areas in its position paper on procedural fluency (as I did in my post, Procedural Fluency: More Than Memorizing Math Facts):
Procedural fluency builds on a foundation of conceptual understanding, strategic reasoning, and problem solving.

Online Course-Taking Evolving Into Viable Option for Special Ed (Education Week)
By Michele Davis
As new technologies allow digital lessons to be tailored to various learning styles, a growing number of programs are evolving to enable students with disabilities to take online courses created with their needs in mind.

Why E-rate Expansion Is a Must for Our Schools (eSchool News)
By Dan Domenech
As a former school superintendent, and as the current head of the School Superintendents Association (AASA), I know firsthand that staying ahead of the curve when it comes to high technology isn’t easy. The digital concept is so important for our schools today. That’s why especially pleased when, recently, the Federal Communications Commission and the Universal Service and Administrative Company extended a crucial filing deadline related to the high-speed internet program in schools and libraries, commonly known as E-Rate.

Latino Children’s Language Skills Are Lagging by Age 2, Study Says (Washington Post)
By Emma Brown
Nine-month-old Latino babies have the same language and cognitive abilities as their white peers, but by the time they reach age 2, they lag significantly behind, according to new research from the University of California at Berkeley.

21 Reasons to Quit Your Job and Become a Teacher (Huffington Post)
By Katrina Fried
In a recent article about happiness at work, Harvard professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter suggests that the happiest among us are those who are solving the toughest problems and “making a difference” in people’s lives. If contributing to the betterment of the world is indeed among the keys to happiness, then it’s no wonder that the extraordinary teachers featured in “American Teacher: Heroes of the Classroom” [Welcome Books/Random House] express a deep sense of fulfillment and pleasure in the work that they do day in and day out. Against all odds, each of the fifty educators profiled is making a lasting positive impact on his or her students; the kind of impact that recasts futures, changes lives, and might just inspire the rest of us to consider a second career in education. As Ron Poplau, a 52-year public-school veteran who teaches high school community service in Shawnee, Kansas, explains to his students, “the doer of good becomes good.” Still need a nudge? Here are 21 excellent reasons to quit your job and become a teacher

Skills Gap: Two Million Vacant Manufacturing Jobs by 2025 (Huffington Post)
By Jerry Jasinowski
U.S. manufacturers are facing an even greater skills gap crisis than previously imagined: some 2 million unfilled manufacturing jobs by 2025, only 10 years from now, according to a new report from the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte.

Three Ways to Create a Student-Centered School (EdSurge)
By Nichole Husa
Based on the research and current trends across the country, it is clear that the trajectory of education is headed towards student agency and personalization. For an individual school or district looking to make inroads in these areas, the breadth and depth of a personalized learning program is ultimately dependent on its vision, infrastructure, and capacity for sustainability. This is no more evident then in the schools I serve in the city of Detroit with Matchbook Learning, where a turnaround is doomed to failure without these pillars. Yet, a top-performing institution can quickly fall into complacency without addressing the push toward centering the classroom around the student.

How Struggling Schools Can Make Dramatic Improvements in Just A Few Years (Huffington Post)
By Rebecca Klein
It’s not easy and it’s not common, but schools are sometimes able to make dramatic turnarounds in just a matter of years.
But what are the critical factors necessary to turn a struggling school into a success?
A brief published last week by the Center of American Progress looks at existing research on school turnarounds in an effort to answer this question. The brief highlights four schools — Frederick Douglass High School in Maryland, Leslie County High School in Kentucky, Emerson Elementary School in Kansas and Rose Ferrero Elementary School in California — and the work they have done to make striking progress over a short time.

7 Cyberlearning Technologies Transforming Education (Huffington Post)
By Aaron Dubrow
The year was 1984 and in addition to the chalkboards and alphabet posters, our 2nd grade classroom was equipped with an odd, beige box at a table in the back behind the students. It was an Apple II computer and over the course of the year we’d learn how to operate it – mainly to make a turtle-shaped cursor shuttle across the screen.

50 Great Apps for Teachers (Washington Post)
By Valerie Strauss
For a change of pace, here’s a list of “awesome” apps for teachers from Scholastic Instructor magazine offering activities for a wide range of subjects. These  were chosen through crowdsourcing on Scholastic’s Facebook page for teachers as well as with help from the magazine’s teacher advisers and education bloggers. They were published in a recent edition of the magazine,, and I am republishing them with permission.

Sens. Alexander, Murray Propose Bipartisan Measure to Replace NCLB (Washington Post)
By Lyndsey Layton
The federal role in local schools would be significantly reduced under a bipartisan proposal released Tuesday by Senate leaders working to replace No Child Left Behind, the country’s main education law.
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and ranking Democrat Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.) want to shift decisions about academic standards, whether and how to evaluate teachers, what to do about low-performing schools and other matters to states and local school districts.

Developing for Impact: Making Meaningful Change, Not Just More Apps (US Department of Education)
By Richard Culatta
The demand for high-quality educational apps is increasing as communities become more connected, devices become more affordable and teachers and parents are looking for new ways to use technology to engage students. Yet many existing solutions don’t address the most urgent needs in education.
That’s why this morning Secretary Duncan announced the release of a new resource: The Ed Tech Developer’s Guide: A Primer for Developers, Startups and Entrepreneurs. Created with input from knowledgeable educators, developers, and researchers who were willing to share what they have learned, we designed this guide to help entrepreneurs, app developers, and educators apply technology in smart ways to solve persistent problems in education. It is our hope that the guide will answer key questions and highlight critical needs and opportunities for developing digital tools and apps for learning.



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  1. Kim Linz said:

    The math article from Education Week is spot on. Not only is this the way children learn best, but teaching math becomes far more fun when we get away from memorization.

  2. Neva Moga said:

    The article on Developing for Impact,, from the DOE blog has the most meaning for me. I’m at a place where I feel like access to technology or software or apps should not be the barrier. What are we doing with the tools we have at our fingertips? This article highlights the fact that we need to “think about innovative approaches that allow students to engage differently. What does technology make possible that could not be done before?” In the end, it’s not about the new gadget or app itself, it’s what teachers enable students to do with it that matters most.

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