News for Teachers From the
U.S. Embassy, London
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JANUARY 2015
NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND

No Child Left Behind, expanded the federal role in public education in 2002. The law emphasized accountability, requiring schools for the first time to test students annually in math and reading in grades 3 though 8 and once in high school. It also required states to make scores public for groups including racial minorities and the poor.

Today the U.S. Congress is making its most serious effort in years to rewrite the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act.
The law, which governs how the federal government spends about $79 million annually on K-12 education, it had been due for rewriting in 2007, but Congress has been unable to come to agreement about the proper federal role in public schools.
The Senate has now began debating on this education law.
Full Committee Hearing - Fixing No Child Left Behind: Supporting Teachers and School Leaders
Tuesday, January 27 2015

Full Committee Hearing - Fixing No Child Left Behind: Testing and Accountability
Wednesday, January 21 2015
Witnesses statements:
Dr. Marty West , Associate Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA
Mr. Paul Leather , Deputy Commissioner, New Hampshire Department of Education, Concord, NH
Mr. Tom Boasberg , Superintendent, Denver Public Schools, Denver, CO
Ms. Jia Lee , Fourth and Fifth Grade Special Education Teacher, Earth School, New York, NY
Mr. Wade Henderson , President and CEO, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the Leadership Conference Education Fund, Washington, Washington
Mr. Stephen Lazar , Eleventh Grade US History and English Teacher, Harvest Collegiate High School, New York, NY

America's Educational Crossroads: Making the Right Choice for Our Children’s Future
Remarks of U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
January 12, 2015
In this speech at the Seaton Elementary, a high-poverty school in Washinton DC, Education Secretary Arne Duncan spelled out his priorities for a new federal education law Monday, calling on Congress to build in funding for preschool, add $1 billion annually in federal aid for schools with the neediest students, and maintain the federal mandate that says states must test students every year in math and reading.

Reauthorizing ESEA: Four Recommendations to Make Testing Work
by Laura S. Hamilton, Brian M. Stecher, Grace Evans
Rand 21 January 2015
Since it expired over seven years ago, numerous attempts to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)—better known in its most recent incarnation as No Child Left Behind (NCLB)—have surfaced and withered.

Why Annual Statewide Testing Is Critical to Judging School Quality
By: Matthew M. Chingos and Martin R. West
Brookings January 20, 2015
With Congress moving rapidly to revise the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), no issue has proven more contentious than whether the federal government should continue to require that states test all students in math and reading annually in grades three through eight.

For more information on No Child Left Behind

TEACH TO LEAD (T2L)

Teach to Lead is an initiative jointly convened by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and the U.S. Department of Education to advance student outcomes by expanding opportunities for teacher leadership, particularly those that allow teachers to stay in the classroom.
Find out more information on the T2L initiative

What Is a Teacher Leader? What Should It Be?
Huffington Post Posted: 01/06/2015 12:44 pm EST
In launching the U.S. Department of Education's Teach to Lead initiative, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called out the need for teachers' voices to be heard, and more than that, to be listened to.
For a while now, many educators and reformers have been discussing Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 hour rule (from his book Outliers: The Story of Success), which states that it takes approximately 10,000 hours of practice at something before one can develop mastery.

TEACH TO ONE

Meet The Classroom Of The Future
NPREd January 12, 2015
William Huntsberry
The classroom of the future probably won't be led by a robot with arms and legs, but it may be guided by a digital brain.
It may look like this: one room, about the size of a basketball court; more than 100 students, all plugged into a laptop; and 15 teachers and teaching assistants.

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ARTICLES/REPORTS

Effective leadership makes schools truly inclusive
By James McLeskey and Nancy L. Waldron
Phi Delta Kappan Magazine February 2015

As inclusive programs have been developed, many seem to assume that inclusion will produce significantly better achievement for students with disabilities. This hasn’t proven true: Most students with disabilities educated in inclusive schools continue to lag far behind peers in reading, writing, and math.
Available in hardcopy only. Email your request to weblond@state.gov you must be resident in the UK .

Teachers to the Test
Amanda M. Fairbanks
The Atlantic Jan 8 2015
Evaluating educators based on their students' exam scores is misguided and threatens reform efforts.

Despite Reports to the Contrary, New Teachers Are Staying in Their Jobs Longer
By Robert Hanna & Kaitlin Pennington
Center for American Progress Thursday, January 8, 2015
Despite recent education policy stories that have reported new teachers leaving the profession in significant numbers—up to 50 percent by the fifth year in the profession—as well as two recent reports that relied on 10-year-old data, the picture since 2007 has been decidedly rosier: Fully 70 percent of beginning teachers stay in the profession for at least five years.

Quality Counts Introduces New State Report Card;
U.S. Earns C,and Massachusetts Ranks First in Nation Report Also Examines Early Learning, Releases Early Education Index

Changing a Culture Inside and Out of School
By John Buntin
Governing January 2015
Fixing a failing school may require a complete change in culture. That’s not an easy thing to achieve, but Memphis is trying.

The Surprising Amount of Time Kids Spend Looking at Screens
New research suggests children are far exceeding the two-hour daily limit recommended by pediatricians.
Alexandra Ossola
The Atlantic Jan 22 2015
Slouching posture, carpal-tunnel, neck strain, eye problems. The negative effects that technology use is having on humans’ bodies are surprising. Kids who spend much of their days in and out of school, their faces glued to digital screens, may be establishing bad habits early.

2014 Teacher Prep Review:
A Review of the Nation's Teachers Preparation Programs
December 2014 National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ)
The report places only 26 elementary and 81 secondary programs in its top grouping. Programs that prepare elementary teachers are 1.7 times more likely to fall into the failing category than their secondary-education counterparts. One reason, according to NCTQ, is that so many of them continue to disregard scientifically based reading-instruction methods.


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Inclusion of any of the items listed above, especially those from sources outside the U.S. Government, should not be construed as an endorsement of the views contained therein or as official U.S. policy.