DEN Trend Report: 1/27/16

DEN Trend Report FeaturedLooking to learn more about what’s trending in education?!? Here’s a recap of this week’s news. Let us know what you think about this week’s news in the comments below.

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Spending In Nation’s Schools Falls Again, With Wide Variation Across States (Washington Post)
Emma Brown
The nation’s per-pupil spending on K-12 public schools dropped in 2013 for the third year in a row, reversing more than a decade of funding increases, according to federal data released Wednesday.
Spending continued to vary widely across the country, from a low of $6,432 per student in Utah to a high of $20,530 per student in the District of Columbia. The biggest spenders were largely clustered in the Northeast, while the lowest were in the West and Southeast.
The national average was $10,763, down 0.6 percent compared with 2012, adjusting for inflation.

Researchers Say U.S. Schools Could Learn From Other Countries On Teacher PD (Education Week)
Ross Brenneman
A new pair of reports use international comparisons to show that any school accountability system that fails to take teacher professional development into consideration might be fighting a losing battle.
The studies, commissioned by the National Center on Education and the Economy, a nonprofit that studies education systems around the world, were led by researchers Ben Jensen and Minxuan Zhang. Both researchers presented on their work at a forum hosted by the NCEE here earlier this month. They said their findings boiled down to a single point: School accountability needs to factor in the quality of teacher professional development.

New Platform Will Help Districts Compare, Contrast Internet Access (Education Dive)
Erin McIntyre
Dive Brief: The nonprofit EducationSuperHighway has released Compare & Connect K-12 in beta, and the online platform gives districts a way to compare and contrast broadband Internet pricing and bandwidth information across the U.S.
The new platform works by collecting 2015-16 E-rate application data, which is publicly available, and also by showing Internet speed, access, and wide area network (WAN) costs.
Since the platform is still in beta, EducationSuperHighway is soliciting feedback from users and districts and plans to improve the tool based on comments.

Wi-Fi-Enabled School Buses Leave No Child Offline (PBS Newshour)
Leah Clapman
The digital divide and lack of reliable internet access at home can put low-income and rural students at a real disadvantage when it comes to 21st century skills and connected learning. So when Superintendent Darryl Adams took over the second poorest school district in the nation, Coachella Valley Unified School in California, one of his priorities was getting his students online. But how do you do that in a rural area where many of his students live in trailer parks and remote communities? The answer: the 100 school buses that roll into the parking lot every day.

A Tale Of Three Tech Rollouts: Challenge And Success In North Carolina (Education Dive)
Erin McIntyre
When it comes to what constitutes the building blocks of successful ed tech rollouts, no one knows better than district leaders, principals, and teachers.
One recent study of 4,300 educators by TES Global and the Jefferson Education Accelerator confirmed that teachers want to be empowered and have a sense of ownership over the tech utilized in their classrooms. Some 63% of respondents said that they wanted to be the primary decision makers about tech in the classroom, while 38% said they aren’t currently a part of the tech decision-making process. Additionally, 45% said tech trainings hadn’t made them more any more comfortable with new devices or platforms.

New Education Secretary To Teachers: Our Bad (US News)
Lauren Camera
Acting Education Secretary John King offered teachers an olive branch of sorts Thursday, acknowledging his department’s role in creating a politicized education environment that sometimes led to them being painted as villains.
“As everyone in this room knows, the education policy discussions of the last few years have often been characterized by more heat than light,” he said to a room of teachers at the School of the Future in Philadelphia, a public school formed through a partnership between the city school district and Microsoft that focuses on digital learning.

Schools Turn to Digital Tools for Personalizing Career Searches (Education Week)
Sean Cavanagh
What factors point students toward a particular career?
Maybe it’s a chance conversation with an adult in the working world—a mechanic, a nurse, or an architect. Or it’s the love of an academic subject and the possibility of making a living immersed in it. Or it’s a piece of guidance offered by a teacher or school counselor, while going over a lesson or a transcript.
Today, many districts are encouraging students to think about career possibilities earlier in their K-12 journeys—and they’re relying on digital platforms to guide that career exploration. Schools are using those online systems to assess student interests and personalities, then feed students, parents, and counselors information about how those inclinations might mesh with potential jobs. The platforms can give students detailed information on everything from descriptions of those occupations to employment data to a map of the academic preparation necessary to reach different careers.



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