News for Teachers From the
U.S. Embassy, London
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APRIL 2015

It’s that time of year again! Registration is now open for USA College Day London 2015.
On 25-26 September, Friday 4:30 pm - 7:30 pm and Saturday 10:30 am - 3:00 pm, the US-UK Fulbright Commission will host its annual College Day in Central London.
We already have over 100 universities pre-registered, so take advantage of our early registration and register now.
About the Event: In its 38th year, USA College Day is the oldest and largest fair of its kind in Europe. With 2014’s event attracting 4,500+ visitors and over 180 exhibitors, this event is not to be missed!

College Day provides a cost-effective way to reach thousands of prospective UK students at one time. There has been a tidal wave of increased interest in US study in recent years. During the 2013-2014 academic year, over 10,000 British students pursued study in the US. This is an approximate 8% rise on the previous year, the largest year-on-year increase in over a decade. Thus, 2015 is the perfect time to recruit UK students.

NEW for 2015: We will be moving to a new venue in Central London. ILEC Conference Centre,47 Lillie Road, London SW6 1UD which is a more modern event space that also allows all exhibitors to be placed on one floor. It is located in the Earl’s Court area, very nearby to the Kensington area. We couldn’t be more thrilled for this change and look forward to seeing you all at this new space!

Can’t send a member of your admissions staff? Alumni, current students and/or faculty currently in the UK are more than welcome to represent your institution if you supply materials and training.

Registration information: Complete registration information can be found here
    •Just a reminder that the registration fee is £400 GBP, approximately $650 (before 14 July – however, we sold out well before the deadline last year, so register early!). It’ll only take a few minutes to register.
    •Late Registration Fee (after 14 July): £415 GBP (approximately $675 USD)
Alternatively, if you are interested in your institution having a presence at this year’s event without attending as an exhibitor, you may wish to consider promotional opportunities, such as placing an advertisement in the event brochure. For more information on these options, please email
We appreciate your support of this annual event, and we look forward to the possibility of seeing you at USA College Day 2015!


Time to give CTE what it deserves
— R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Deidra M. Gammill
Phi Delta Kappan March 2015

CTE courses also have been shown to significantly reduce dropout rates (Ritter, 2014) among high school students, in part because students are able to see how their academic study blends with real work situations. Because these courses integrate academic knowledge with career-based learning, they also help schools meet the career-readiness components outlined by the Common Core State Standards.
For the full text of the article email the IRC on:

The Voices of Career and Technical Education Teachers
A Report of the American Federation of Teachers 2014 Survey
Today's career and technical education is not yesterday's vocational education. It provides multiple pathways to high school graduation and higher education, real-world job skills, and internships and apprenticeships that lead to careers. It is a vital component of a 21st-century education system.
For the full text of the article email the IRC on:

New CTE model is a plus for schools and students
by Ilene Kantrov
Phi Delta Kappan March 2015

At Spruce Creek High School in Port Orange, Fla. In just one year, students who had been among the lowest performing students at the high school showed significant academic gains compared to other students at their school and at other high schools in the county. Those previous low performers were enrolled in the Academy of Information Technology and Robotics (AITR), part of the Ford Next Generation Learning (NGL) network, an initiative of the Ford Motor Company Fund.
For the full text of the article email the IRC on:

The Common Career Technical Core (CCTC) is a state-led initiative to establish a set of rigorous, high-quality standards for Career Technical Education.
The development of the CCTC was a multi-step process that incorporated input from approximately 3,500 individuals representing K-12 education, business and industry and higher education from across the nation.

Association For Career & Technical Education (ACTE) Founded in 1926, ACTE is the nation’s largest not-for-profit education association dedicated to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers. ,


Making play work for education Research demonstrates that guided play can help preschool children prepare for reading and math better than free play and direct instruction alone. Phi Delta Kappan May 2015
In 2014, New York City implemented a badly needed and bold initiative: It vastly expanded its prekindergarten offerings, with the promise of serving every 4-year-old in the city. The goal is to boost every child’s academic and school-readiness skills by using guided play.
For the full text of the article email the IRC on:

As Prekindergarten Expands in New York City, Guiding Guided Play
By Ginia Bellafante
New York Times Sept. 4, 2014
On Thursday, more than 50,000 public school children in New York embarked on their formal education as the city officially began its expanded prekindergarten program, the marquee undertaking of Bill de Blasio’s mayoralty.

Investing in Kids Can Yield High Returns:
Q&A with Dr. Lynn A. Karoly
Rand 8 April 2015
Investing in early childhood programs has strong appeal for policymakers in the public sector, as well as investors in the private sector. I think there is tremendous opportunity for public-private partnerships with such investments, taking advantage of some of the newer funding mechanisms like Social Innovation Fund grants, social impact bonds, and other pay-for-performance mechanisms.

Report debunks ‘earlier is better’ academic instruction for young children
By Valerie Strauss
Washington Post April 12
The debate about appropriate curriculum for young children generally centers on two options: free play and basic activities vs. straight academics (which is what many kindergartens across the country have adopted, often reducing or eliminating time for play).

Lively Minds:
Distinctions between academic versus intellectual goals for young children
Lilian G. Katz, PhD University of Illinois
Clearinghouse on Early Education and Parenting
The main argument presented here is that the traditional debates in the field about whether to emphasize so-called free play or formal beginning academic instruction are not the only two options for the early childhood curriculum.

The State of Early Childhood Programs
Center for American Progress. April 10, 2015
The social and economic benefits of high-quality early childhood programs have created substantial momentum for increased investment. As more and more states have acknowledged the importance of such programs, they have answered this call. Despite these efforts, states must make additional investments in early childhood programs in order to increase accessibility and improve or maintain quality. The provides insight into what states are doing to ensure that high-quality education is accessible to all children and how they can improve on that success.


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Get real — improve leadership learning
By Gerald L. Fowler and William K. Cowden
Phi Delta Kappan May 2015

Schooling has changed dramatically in recent decades, but critics say the universities that prepare school leaders have done little to adjust their curriculum to these changes — the myriad of reforms and the complex political environment in which school leaders now work. This reality led the educational leadership department of Shippensburg University to ask ourselves this question: What if we just turned every course in our Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility Program into a form of practicum?
For the full text of the article email the IRC on:

Don't Quit: 5 Strategies for Recovering After Your Worst Day Teaching
Johanna Rauhala
Edutopia April 16, 2015
"There are stirrings of life in discontent," wrote E.M. Forster, meaning that even in frustration and despair, a small flame wants to warm us. Life -- ours and those of our students -- nudges us. It is not wild or stormy, and chances are that it's barely a flicker. And on the worst school day, it may not be felt at all. But trust that life is there. And when you open your classroom door tomorrow morning, you will find it.

Teaching Critical Thinking Should schools do more to foster analytical skills?
By Marcia Clemmitt
CQ Researcher April 10, 2015 • Volume 25, Issue 1
As standardized tests assume a larger and larger role in elementary and secondary schools, many education specialists and corporate hiring managers are expressing concern about students' ability to engage in critical thinking.
For the full text of the article email the IRC on:

How Education Policy Went Astray
Half a century ago, President Johnson signed a law—now known as No Child Left Behind—that he believed would solve inequality. But achievement gaps have only grown.
Julian E. Zelizer
The Atlantic Apr 10 2015
Fifty years ago, on April 11, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson went back to his old schoolhouse next to the Pedernales River in Stonewall, Texas, to sign the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, also known as the ESEA. The legislation constituted a huge expansion in the role of the federal government in the classroom, an area of public policy that had traditionally been left to state and local governments.

Kentucky Common Core Rollout: First State to Implement Standards Demonstrates “Faster Progress” in Learning
7 Apr 2015
Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Results from the first state to adopt the Common Core State Standards—Kentucky—show that students with more exposure to the standards “made faster progress in learning” than peers who followed the older state standards, according to a study conducted by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Getting College and Career Ready During State Transition Toward the Common Core State Standards
Zeyu Xu Kennan Cepa Working paper Mrach 2015
This study provides a first look at how student college -and career- readiness have progressed in the early years of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) implementation. It is motivated by concern that changes triggered by the standards transition might be disruptive to student learning in the short run,even when those changes may become beneficial once fully implemented.

There Isn’t Really a Mass Exodus of Good Teachers
By Luke Kohlmoos
Real Clear Education March 13, 2015
There is no systemic evidence that all the best teachers are leaving. In fact the opposite appears to be true. More research, and more years of data, is needed before any definitive causal connection can be made but early results seem promising that evaluation is playing a positive role in keeping the best educators in the classroom for the long haul.

The Education of Hip Hop
Irvin Weathersby Jr.
Atlantic Mar 19 2015
What the musical genre reveals about America’s racially charged times and how it can serve as a valuable teaching tool

Laughter and Learning: Humor Boosts Retention
Sarah Henderson
George Lucas Education Foundation March 31, 2015
E.B. White famously quipped, "Humor can be dissected, as a frog can, but the thing dies in the process." At the risk of committing some sort of "humor-cide," a type of scientific dissection must take place if teachers are to consider harnessing the powerful effects of humor, not only to increase joy and enhance the classroom environment, but also to improve learner outcomes.

What Schools Do Families Want (And Why)?
A policy brief of Era New Orleans' paper on school choice post-Katrina
By Douglas N. Harris and Matthew F. Larsen
Education Research Alliance for New Orleans
Examined how New Orleans families chose schools before and after Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans is particularly importan to this debate because attendance zones were eliminated after Katrina, and almost all traditional schools were turned into charter schools. "Overall, the lowest-income families are attending schools with average test scores that are higher than before the reforms, but these families weigh academic outcomes somewhat less than higher-income families," the report said.

Teachers Newsletteris produced by the Information Resource Center at the United States Embassy in London
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.