News for Teachers From the
U.S. Embassy, London
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DECEMBER 2014
BEHAVIOR

Make students part of the solution, not the problem
Trevor Gardner
Phi Delta Kappan Oct 2014
A California high school develops a Student Justice Panel to hear student concerns about violations of the student code, providing students with a way to not just have a voice but to effect change in how students are disciplined.

The Power of the Pygmalion Effect
Teachers Expectations Strongly Predict College Completion
By Ulrich Boser, Megan Wilhelm, and Robert Hanna
American Progress October 6, 2014
People do better when more is expected of them. In education circles, this is called the Pygmalion Effect. It has been demonstrated in study after study, and the results can sometimes be quite significant. In one research project, for instance, teacher expectations of a pre-schooler’s ability was a robust predictor of the child’s high school GPA.

Rethinking School Discipline
January 8, 2014 Remarks of U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
The Academies at Frederick Douglass High School, Baltimore, MD
On the Release of the Joint DOJ-ED School Discipline Guidance Package
The need to rethink and redesign school discipline practices is long overdue. Too many schools resort too quickly to exclusionary discipline, even for minor misbehaviors. Exclusionary discipline is so common that in some cases, pre-K students as young as three- and four-years old are getting suspended. Here in Maryland, 91 pre-K students were suspended or expelled during the 2011-12 school year.

School-Wide Positive Behavior Support (SWPBIS)The underlying theme is teaching behavioral expectations in the same manner as any core curriculum subject.
SWPBIS is a proactive approach based on a three-tiered model of prevention and intervention aimed at creating safe and effective schools. Emphasis is placed on teaching and reinforcing important social skills and data-based problem-solving to address existing behavior concerns. SWPBS is being implemented in thousands of schools across the country and has been demonstrated to reduce discipline problems and increase time for instruction.

Impact of School-wide Positive Behavior Supports on Student Behavior in the Middle Grades
Research on Middle Level Education 2014 Volume 37 Number 8
By Edmund J. Nocera, Kathleen M. Whitbread, Gene P. Nocera.
Research shows that school-wide positive behaviour supports (SWPBS) can be an effective alternative to traditional reactive, punitive approaches to problem behavior.

TEACHER TRAINING

Easy A's
Training our Future Teachers
The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) November 2014
Using evidence from more than 500 colleges and universities producing nearly half of the nation's new teachers annually, this report answers two questions that go to the heart of whether the demands of teacher preparation are well matched to the demands of the classroom: Are teacher candidates graded too easily, misleading them about their readiness to teach? Are teacher preparation programs providing sufficiently rigorous training, or does the approach to training drive higher grades?

White House Proposes Tougher Accountability Standards for Teacher Colleges
November 26, 2014 Education Writers Association
Emily Richmond
In 2011, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called it “laughable” that in the prior decade the majority of states had failed to rate even one teaching preparation program as inferior. On Tuesday, the White House released draft accountability regulations that are no joke for the nation’s teacher colleges, and could result in a loss of federal funding if their graduates fail to do well on the job.

How Do You Make a Great Teacher?
By Zócalo Public Square
smithsonian.com
December 1, 2014
Push student teachers harder, stick with them once they’re in the classroom, and integrate them into their schools' communities

Creating a Consistent & Rigorous Teacher Licensure Process
By Tamara Hiler and Stephenie Johnson
Third Way Fresh Thinking 20 November 2014
When a person chooses to become a lawyer, the process from day one is clear-cut: LSAT, law school, and bar exam. These three well-defined, linear, and rigorous steps provide every candidate with a distinct picture of the expectations required to practice law—and ensure that they are prepared when they step foot in a courtroom. The pathway into the teaching profession couldn't be more different.

Best Education School
Ranked in 2014
U.S. News and World Report
A teacher must first be a student, and graduate education program rankings can help you find the right classroom. With the U.S. News rankings of the top education schools, narrow your search by location, tuition, school size and test scores.

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COMPETITION FOR SCHOOL STUDENTS

The U.S. Department of State office of Art in Embassies welcomes Students to submit a short, powerful writing on any topic relevant to British-American relations or statecraft by December 31, 2014.
Students from both the US and UK are encouraged to participate. Selected texts will be carved into stone on highly visible walls around the new U.S. Embassy, and collected on a web platform.
For more details on the competition.

SUTTON TRUST US PROGRAMME FOR STATE SCHOOL STUDENTS

Application Deadline: 27 January 2015
Following on from a successful three years of the Sutton Trust US Programme, the Sutton Trust along with the Fulbright Commission are pleased to announce opening of applications for the 2015 US Programme.
Find out more on the Sutton Trust US Programme

EDUCATION AND SQUASH

Urban squash is a youth development model that combines the sport of squash with academics, mentoring, community service, and college placement for public school students in under-served communities. Its intensive, year-round programming, which takes places after school and on the weekends and in the summer, engages students from the time they try out in elementary or middle school until they graduate from college.To bring squash to the community and use it to help young people from under privileged backgrounds to get into college. Read more about this program.

ARTICALS/REPORTS

Smart money: What teachers make, how long it takes and what it buys them
The National Council on Teacher Quality(NCTQ) December 2014
What teachers are paid matters. Many factors play a role in making the decision to become a teacher, but for many people compensation heavily influences the decision not only to enter the profession but also whether to stay in it and when to leave. For teachers, knowing where salaries start and end isn’t enough; they must also understand the path they will take from starting salary to the top of the scale.

The Power of Poetry in the Classroom
By Kip Zegers
Education Week
Here is why the arts, including poetry, matter in high school.

Old Tactic Gets New Use: Public Schools Separate Girls and Boys
By MOTOKO RICH
New York Times NOV. 30, 2014
Single-sex education, common in the United States until the 19th century, when it fell into deep disfavor except in private or parochial schools, is on the rise again in public schools as educators seek ways to improve academic performance, especially among the poor.

The Pursuit of Deeper Learning
Beth Hawkins
The Atlantic Dec 2 2014,
At this California charter school, students are evaluated based on yearly portfolios—not test scores

Why Is American Teaching So Bad?
Jonathan Zimmerman
New York Review of Books December 4, 2014
In 1853, the most important man in nineteenth-century American education gave a speech praising female teachers. Horace Mann was the head of the growing common school system in Massachusetts, where women teachers already outnumbered men by four to one. That helped save money for taxpayers, because school districts could pay women less than their male counterparts.

Improving Family Engagement in Early Childhood Education Through Technology
by Lindsay Daugherty, Rafiq Dossani, Erin-Elizabeth Johnson, Cameron Wright
2014 Rand Corporation
In this policy brief, we describe both the barriers that hinder family engagement and the ways in which technology may afford new opportunities to improve early childhood education outcomes — empowering families to become better educators at home, and strengthening connection and communication between school and home.


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.