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

Supporting Student Success through Time and Technology
The National Center on Time & Learning
Over the last decade, two distinct but complementary trends are emerging to transform the ways in which children are educated. One of these trends, blended learning, is changing schools through the infusion of technology.

Innovation in Action
Cardozo Education Campus in Washington, DC. The students, teachers and school leaders at Cardozo are making big gains through an all-hands-on-deck effort to help every student graduate prepared for college and career, and ready to achieve their dreams.
With incredible leadership from its educators, smart community partnerships, and the help of an Investing in Innovation (i3) grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Cardozo has seen double-digit gains in attendance; reading proficiency is up 10 percent; suspensions are down; and 54 percent fewer students failed math last year.

A New Approach to Designing Educational Technology
Is the biggest learning disability an emotional one?
By Chris Berdik
Slate 4 March 2015
Udio, an online reading curriculum funded by the Department of Education. It’s aimed at kids in middle school, the grades where struggling readers start running into trouble in nearly every subject.

Udio: The Universal Literacy Network  Udio is a networked reading environment that displays engaging Web content in a supported, personalized, and pedagogically rich format.


Is income inequality really unrelated to education?
Jonathan Rothwell
Brookings March 3, 2015
Full-time workers between the ages of 25 and 64 with at least a bachelor’s degree earn an average of $84,000 per year, compared to $42,000 for those with only a high school diploma. There is strong evidence that education, in fact, causes higher earnings and that the value of college has consistently grown relative to high school since 1980.

The Classroom Racial Gap Hits an All-Time High
Minority students became the majority this year, but most teachers are still white. Policymakers are seeking for ways to get and keep more minority teachers.
by Chris Kardish
Governing March 2015
A major challenge in the U.S. education system, is the mismatch between the racial and ethnic diversity of the nation’s overall student population and that of the teacher workforce.”

Why Our Classrooms Benefit From Minority Teachers
By Matthew Lynch
Education Week March 10, 2015
The number of minority students enrolled in U.S. schools is growing at a rapid rate, yet student enrollment is not matched by minority teacher representation. The National Center for Education Statistics tells us that nearly 82 percent of public school teachers are white -- and Black and Hispanic students are two to three times more common than teachers of the same ethnicity. The gap is typically the widest in areas of the country with high percentages of students of color.

How Can Charter Schools Best Help Poor Kids? Start Promoting Integration
Richard D. Kahlenberg and Halley Potter
The Century Foundation - Posted February 2, 2015 One of the great promises of the charter school movement is to help low-income families, access better schools for their kids. But what is the best way for charter schools to achieve this goal? Thus far, policymakers and philanthropists have placed a heavy bet on charter schools that specifically target disadvantaged students—maximizing their “bang for the buck” by serving as many low-income students as possible. This focus is well-meaning, but it fails to address the role that concentrated poverty plays in harming the educational outcomes of low-income students.


Doug Lemov is a former English and history teacher who is now a managing director of UnCommon Schools, one of the most successful nonprofit charter school networks in the country. It has 42 urban schools preparing more than 12,000 low-income students in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts.

Uncommon Schools Uncommon Schools starts and manages outstanding urban charter public schools that close the achievement gap and prepare low-income students to graduate from college.

Why teachers should ask more questions
By Jay Mathews
Washington Post January 13, 2015
Doug Lemov new book, “Teach Like a Champion 2.0,” is an impressive volume, with 473 pages of intricate advice backed by a DVD that lets readers see how 62 techniques are applied in class. At first, I thought it was too much like the first book to merit a column. Then I got into it and saw what it revealed about how to tell quickly whether students are getting what the teachers are giving to them.


The 2014 Education Choice and Competition Index Summary and Commentary
By Grover J. "Russ" Whitehurst and Ellie Klein
The Brown Center on Education Policy at Brookings
Exploring the critical role of school choice in the future of education reform, the Education Choice and Competition Index (ECCI) is an interactive web application that scores large school districts based on thirteen categories of policy and practice. The intent of the ECCI is to create public awareness of the differences among districts in their support of school choice, provide a framework for efforts to improve choice and competition, and recognize leaders among school districts in the design and implementation of choice and competition systems.

Is it Groundhog Day for school choice?
By: Grover J. "Russ" Whitehurst and Ellie Klein
Brookings February 26, 2015
An important component of choice is variety. To the extent that all schools provide the same curriculum to similar students with similar teachers and staff, choice is between Tweedledum and Tweedledee.


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As State Civics Testing Grows, Critics Worry It's Not Fixing the Real Problem
by Alan Greenblatt
Governing March 10, 2015
Following Arizona's footsteps, states are starting to make students pass the U.S. citizenship test that immigrants take in an effort to create a better-informed citizenry.

Where Have All The Teachers Gone?
Eric Westervelt
nprED March 03, 2015
Several big states have seen alarming drops in enrollment at teacher training programs. The numbers are grim among some of the nation's largest producers of new teachers: In California, enrollment is down 53 percent over the past five years. It's down sharply in New York and Texas as well.

Why Our Children Don’t Think There Are Moral Facts
By Justin P. McBrayer
New York Times March 2, 2015
What would you say if you found out that our public schools were teaching children that it is not true that it’s wrong to kill people for fun or cheat on tests? Would you be surprised?

Districts' Boys-Only Programs Prompt Legal Questions
By Corey Mitchell
Education Week March 4, 2015
The American Civil Liberties Union and a District of Columbia council member are questioning the legality of plans for an all-boys public high school that they say may violate federal protections meant to ensure equality for young women.

Investing In Our Future
Helping Teachers and Schools Prepare Our Children for College And Careers
The Executive Office of the President
February 2015
A strong K-12 school system is an economic imperative for working and middle class Americans because every student deserves the opportunity to rise as far as their hard work and initiative will take them. This year, Congress is expected to consider amendments to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which will give us an opportunity to help all of our children succeed in college and their careers

Are ‘Learning Styles’ a Symptom of Education’s Ills?
By Anna North
New York Times February 25, 2015
Do you like to learn by seeing, hearing or doing?
According to some education researchers, it may not matter. They say the idea of teaching according to students’ “preferred learning styles” — auditory, visual or kinesthetic — has little to no empirical backing. But although criticism may be denting the idea’s popularity, it still persists — which may say something larger about the way teachers today are trained.

A new way to design a school
Students get to help create their own school
by Lillian Mongeau
Hechinger Report February 23, 2015
80 – Number of community interviews conducted to prepare a design for a brand new charter high school in San Jose, California.

All You Need to Know About the ‘Learning Styles’ Myth, in Two Minutes
Christian Jarrett Science
Wired 5 January 2015
Is there any evidence to support the learning styles concept?
Yes there is a little, but experts on the topic like Harold Pashler and Doug Rohrer point out that most of this evidence is weak.

Paying the Best Teachers More to Teach More Students
Marguerite Roza and Amanda Warco
Edunomics Lab At Georgetown University Feb 2015
there is a way forward that would yield higher pay without fiscal sacrifice, new analysis shows: increasing the class sizes of only the most effective teachers. Targeted increases in class size would require fewer teachers overall and the savings from the reduced number of teachers could be repurposed as bonuses for the teachers taking on larger classes. It would also, importantly, improve net student learning as more students would be taught by the most effective teachers.

The Evolution of Charter School Quality
By Patrick Baude, Marcus Casey, Eric A. Hanushek, & Steven G. Rivkin Cato Institue December 16, 2014
Research Briefs in Economic Policy No. 16
The role of charter schools in improving academic achievement is controversial, and existing evidence has led to contrasting conclusions about appropriate future policies. Past incongruous findings provide support for both advocates and opponents of charter schools.

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