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Vocational Education and the American Economy

Vocational Education and the American Economy | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
How important is a strong vocational education and training system to national economic success?
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Leading Schools
Improving Schools Through Enhanced Leadership
Curated by Mel Riddile
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Leading Success: Dynamic Solutions for Every School, Each Student

Leading Success: Dynamic Solutions for Every School, Each Student | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Our toolkit for educators includes videos, case studies and more that lead you to a forum for equity, personalization, smart data, collaboration and continuous improvement...
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Nancy J. Herr's curator insight, July 3, 6:53 AM

NASSP sponsored tools for success. Take a look at the many resources for new and experienced leaders alike.

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'Myths & Lies' That Threaten Our Schools

'Myths & Lies' That Threaten Our Schools | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
David C. Berliner and Gene V. Glass answer a few questions about their book, "50 Myths & Lies That Threaten America's Public Schools."
Mel Riddile's insight:

"Some of our schools do not do well, but it is a bald face lie to say America's schools in general do poorly."

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Learning Styles - No Supporting Evidence

"Results demonstrated no statistically significant relationship between learning style preference (auditory, visual word) and instructional method (audiobook, e-text) for either immediate or delayed comprehension tests."

Mel Riddile's insight:

Translation: Learning styles are a myth and so 70s and 80s style pedagogy.


Believe me. I know. I drank the kook-aid too. In reality, I never saw anyone use learning style theory effectively in the classroom with measurable results.


Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is the modern method of instruction based on real research into actual brain function.


Check out David Rose's presentation on UDL at http://udlseries.udlcenter.org/presentations/bach_to_gaga.html

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Want teens to pay attention? Tell them they're being manipulated by the "commodification of distraction"

Want teens to pay attention? Tell them they're being manipulated by the "commodification of distraction" | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Many a parent and teacher has despaired over how easily young people’s attention is diverted, especially when they’re online. Stay focused! we urge them. Don’t let yourself get distracted! Our admonitions have little sway against the powerful temptations of the Internet. But there may be a better way to help teenagers resist the web’s lures: …
Mel Riddile's insight:

Helping students understand  that "companies that earn their money on the web do their best to manipulate our moods (and our attention, and our wallets) every minute we’re online" may be a more effective way of helping them make wise use of their time on the Internet. It worked with smoking!

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Why Homework Matters - Edudemic

Why Homework Matters - Edudemic | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
As an elementary/middle school teacher, I hear constant complaints about the issue of homework. There are valid points against overdoing it and even studies that suggest, in some cases, it doesn’t always help. There’s a big difference between busy work and assignments that are meaningful. Some researchers, like Sara Bennett and Nancy Kalish, propose that …
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New Research on the Efficacy of Providing School Breakfast

New Research on the Efficacy of Providing School Breakfast | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
New research on the effects of providing breakfast at school shows a mixed bag for students.


"in “high-poverty, urban schools, [in-class breakfast] increases participation by 138 percent, and increases breakfast eating by over 27 percent."

Mel Riddile's insight:

"Researchers have suggested that school breakfast programs targeted exclusively at low-income students often suffer from limited participation because of the stigma attached: Students who eat them are forced to essentially admit their families’ limited resources. In some places, this has been addressed by making subsidized meals universally available."

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Is Finland a "large-scale laboratory of U.S. education innovation."

Is Finland a "large-scale laboratory of U.S. education innovation." | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

By Pasi Sahlberg


"If you want to discover the origins of the most successful practices in pedagogy, student assessment, school leadership, and school improvement in Finland, you only need to visit some schools there and have a conversation with teachers and principals. Most of them have studied psychology, teaching methods, curriculum theories, assessment models, and classroom management researched and designed in the United States in their initial teacher education programs."

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Les Howard's curator insight, July 30, 10:14 AM

A quote from the article: "The United States exhibits only modest innovation in its education system but, at the same time, it is the world leader in producing research, practical models and innovation to other countries."

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Why Brainstorming Doesn't Work

Why Brainstorming Doesn't Work | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Ever been in a meeting where one loudmouth's mediocre idea dominates? Then you know brainstorming needs an overhaul.


"what actually happens is when one person is talking you're not thinking of your own ideas," Leigh Thompson, a management professor at the Kellogg School, told Fast Company. "Sub-consciously you're already assimilating to my ideas."

That process is called "anchoring," and it crushes originality. "Early ideas tend to have disproportionate influence over the rest of the conversation," Loran Nordgren, also a professor at Kellogg, explained. "They establish the kinds of norms, or cement the idea of what are appropriate examples or potential solutions for the problem."

Mel Riddile's insight:
  • Idea generation should exist separate from discussion!
  • Write first, discuss later system eliminates the anchoring problem because people think in a vacuum, unbiased by anyone else.
  • Discussion still has its merits, but should only take place after the group has generated a variety of distinct ideas with which to work. Raw ideas rarely work. It's the permutation and combination of the outlandish and banal that lead to the best proposals.
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Teacher: 10 Things I Learned Sitting in a Classroom

Teacher: 10 Things I Learned Sitting in a Classroom | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
A week of summer PD has left Sarah Cooper inspired but also more thoughtful about how her students experience daily classroom life. Read her 10 takeaways.
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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, July 29, 4:10 PM

Sometimes spending time, reflecting on and living what happens in classrooms is necessary. It is not always obvious to us in the midst of teaching. Teaching and learning are relational thus messy, noisy, strange in good ways, etc.

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How Much Sleep Do Students Actually Need?

How Much Sleep Do Students Actually Need? | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

Actually, teens need more sleep than the average adult.


Sleeping less than 7 hours per night impairs brain function.

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The rough road of math improvement: We consistently "underestimate how hard it would be" to make the changes

The rough road of math improvement: We consistently "underestimate how hard it would be" to make the changes | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

by Daniel Willingham


"Over the weekend New York Times Magazine ran an article titled “Why do Americans Stink at Math?”  by Elizabeth Green. The article is as much an explanation of why it’s so hard not to stink as an explication of our problems. But I think in warning about the rough road of math improvement, the author may not have even gone far enough.

Mel Riddile's insight:
  • A few days of professional development is not remotely enough training, but that’s typical of what American school systems provide.
  • the “You, Y’all, We” method is much harder, and not just because you need to understand math more deeply. It’s more difficult because you must make more decisions during class, in the moment.
  • " As a college instructor I’ve always thought that it’s a hell of a lot easier to lecture than to lead a discussion. I can only imagine that leading a classroom of younger students is that much harder."


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Push on School Counseling

Push on School Counseling | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

A  meeting of higher education experts at the Harvard Graduate School of Education focused on “digging into the trenches on school counseling: best practices in college counseling, how to better-train counselors, and how to harness new technology to help students.”


Experts cited increasingly overworked counselors--notably at high schools in low-income areas--and called for more investment.

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"What children do in June, July and August dramatically affects their skills, knowledge and capacity to learn."

"What children do in June, July and August dramatically affects their skills, knowledge and capacity to learn." | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

The stark contrast between the summer activities of have and have-not children not only highlights ethnic and class differences but also distinguishes who is likely to succeed — and who may struggle in school and later in life.

Mel Riddile's insight:

A 2013 Rand Corp. study found wealthier students often gain ground in the summer while low-income students fall back, and that this summer slide is cumulative.” In other words, according to the study, “It may be that efforts to close the achievement gap during the school year alone will be unsuccessful.”


The National Summer Learning Institute at Johns Hopkins University is an excellent source of research on the subject of 'summer learning loss.'

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Why smart, poor kids lied about college

Why smart, poor kids lied about college | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Everyone assumed that if students paid their deposits they would show up in the fall. The truth was a shock.
Mel Riddile's insight:

"as many as one in five high school graduates who have been accepted to and intend to enroll in college fail to matriculate anywhere in the fall semester as a result of unforeseen challenges they encounter during the summer.”


We learned that our under-resourced students needed a lot of hand holding in order to get them to show up for college in the Fall. We had to do whatever it took to get them there, even if it meant arranging transportation and providing someone to meet them when they arrived.

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Maryland Launches Academy to Help Assistant Principals Become Principals

Maryland Launches Academy to Help Assistant Principals Become Principals | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
The Governor's Aspiring Principals Academy is a yearlong program that includes in-person meetings along with online coaching, mentoring, and networking for 48 assistant principals, vice principals, and other school leaders.
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Last night's sleep impacts todays memory!

Last night's sleep impacts todays memory! | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

Cognitive benefits of last night's sleep: daily variations in children's sleep behavior are related to working memory fluctuations - Könen - 2014 - Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry

Mel Riddile's insight:

"Sleep quality and time in bed were predictive of performance in the morning, and afternoon performance was related to current tiredness. The children with a lower average performance level showed a higher within-person coupling between morning performance and sleep quality."


Three things we should ask of all parents:

  1. Your child must attend school every day!
  2. Make certain that your child gets enough sleep.
  3. Feed your child breakfast.
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5+1 easy ways to improve your classroom learning space

5+1 easy ways to improve your classroom learning space | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

Check lighting, visual distractions

Mel Riddile's insight:

Ensure that students can hear. Audio enhanced classrooms can make a huge difference in learning.

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Dipsticks: Efficient Ways to Check for Understanding

Dipsticks: Efficient Ways to Check for Understanding | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

What strategy doubles student learning? According to 250 empirical studies, the answer is formative assessment, defined by Bill Younglove as "the frequent, interactive checking of student progress and understanding in order to identify learning needs and adjust teaching appropriately."


Through alternative formative assessment, teachers can check for student understanding without falling back on the tedious or intimidating pop quiz.

Mel Riddile's insight:

""When the cook tastes the soup," writes Robert E. Stake, "that's formative; when the guests taste the soup, that's summative."


Keep in mind that checking for understanding using "dipsticks" is is a formative assessment or "assessment for learning."

Final exams, state tests, consortia/common core tests are summative assessments or "assessment of learning."

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School Discipline Survey: 85 percent of superintendents believe there are positive consequences to using out-of-school suspension

School Discipline Survey: 85 percent of superintendents believe there are positive consequences to using out-of-school suspension | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

In April 2014, AASA, The School Superintendents Association, and the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) partnered to survey 500 school superintendents to determine the state of district-wide school discipline policies and practices.

Mel Riddile's insight:
  • 85 percent of superintendents believe there are positive consequences to using out-of-school suspension
  • 33 percent report that suspension maintains or improves school climate by removing the worst offenders
  • 15 percent say that suspension improves the behaviors of disciplined students. 
  • 92 percent of superintendents agree that out-of-school suspension have negative consequences
  • 71 percent say that state laws and policies have limited districts and schools’ ability to make disciplinary decisions
  • 40 percent of respondents said insubordination, defiance, failure to obey, and disrespect of teachers and staff were the most common cause of out-of-school suspensions.

Most principals, myself included, would prefer to have an in-school alternative to suspension as part of their discipline continuum, but that takes funding and that requires district support. My district would not financially support in-school suspension. I had to find my own way of funding the program, which, our long-term data demonstrated, significantly reduced discipline referrals and incidents.
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Nancy J. Herr's curator insight, July 30, 8:38 AM

While most of us would agree that keeping kids in school if possible is a better alternative to out of school suspension, we also ask ourselves "What is the best way to handle the worst offenders? " School climate can be very negatively affected by their presence . Here some superintendents weigh in. 

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5 Practical Learning Tips Based On How People Do--And Don't--Learn

5 Practical Learning Tips Based On How People Do--And Don't--Learn | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
5 Practical Learning Tips Based On How People Do--And Don't--Learn
Mel Riddile's insight:

3. Use spaced repetition to remember key facts


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LET Team's curator insight, July 30, 4:14 AM

Pomodoro technique to minimise procrastination....worth a shot!

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New Teacher 911

New Teacher 911 | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Our curated resource collection points to lots of help for new middle level teachers, from the first weeks of school to that Christmas smile.
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Cold-calling can be kind, not cruel.

Cold-calling can be kind, not cruel. | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Cold-calling can be kind, not cruel.

"About half of the teachers in the seminar never said anything in class discussion. At times I wished the professors would call on these quieter students so that we could hear their voices. Ideally they would contribute on their own, but sometimes it was hard to break in when many others raised their hands. Cold-calling would have created an even more robust community by making elbow room for the less assertive learners."

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Engaged teachers engage students!

Engaged teachers engage students! | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

Brandon Busteed is executive director of education at Gallup


"there is nothing more important we can do as a country than to build the world’s most effective "educonomy," which would seamlessly integrate our educational system, our employers, and our job creators."

Mel Riddile's insight:
  • Teacher engagement is the most important driver of student engagement.
  • Student engagement in school drops precipitously from 5th grade through 12th grade.
  • About seven in 10 K-12 teachers are not engaged in their work (69%)
  • From parents to current college students to the general population, everyone agrees that the number one reason to go to college is “to get a good job.”
  • Yet, only 14% of Americans and 11% business leaders say that college graduates are well prepared for success at work.
  • Google announced that it found almost no correlation between the grades and test scores of its employees and their success on the job. So, the company has stopped asking for the information on employment applications.


Solutions

  1. offer paid and unpaid internships to high school and college students
  2. offer externships for teachers and faculty
  3. foster teacher and faculty engagement


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Are waivers more trouble than they are worth?

Are waivers more trouble than they are worth? | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
Not having to negotiate with federal officials on the finer points of teacher evaluation, rigorous standards, or school turnarounds has made it easier to chart their own paths, some education leaders say.
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Colleges are learning what it feels like to be rated.

Colleges are learning what it feels like to be rated. | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

By Valerie Strauss writes at the Washington Post (7/28) “Answer Sheet”


Presidents of 50 Virginia colleges have written to Education Secretary Arne Duncan “expressing ‘serious reservations’ about the Obama administration’s ‘misguided’ development of a school rating system that could include data such as how much students earn after graduation.” 

Mel Riddile's insight:

K-12 schools, principals, and teachers have known for a decade what it feels like to be slapped with an arbitrary rating. Now it is the turn of colleges and college presidents to feel the sting of corporate reformers who seek to use a single number, letter, or label to define a school. It is all about RoI--Return on Investment. The federal government wants assurances that federal loan dollars are being spent wisely.

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5 Ways to Improve Reading Comprehension

5 Ways to Improve Reading Comprehension | Leading Schools | Scoop.it
I received a free online access from SNAP! Learning and was compensated for my time. All opinions expressed are my own.  What is reading comprehension? Why is it important? I know I’ve said it before, but it’s my favorite way to put it. Reading equals thinking. In order to truly read, a reader must also be thinking about the …
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