This week, the entire teaching staff at Godfrey-Lee Public Schools spent a day in a sort of mini-EdCamp to prepare for the oncoming school year. Organized by Tech Integration Specialist Sarah Wood (@woodsar) with help from the entire Tech/Media Team, teachers and administrators volunteered to present on their favorite tech topics and tools in six concurrent sessions throughout the day. This was the second year school kicked off with this type of professional learning event but it was obvious from my point-of-view as an observer and participant that the tech skills of our staff have grown significantly.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Another idiosyncrasy of NCLB, incidentally, is that most disabled and non-English-speaking are treated the same as other students. Those students are tested and their scores are included in the AYP analysis.
So should parents care if their school doesn't make AYP?
No question, it's a big deal for educators who have to deal with the public-relations fallout as well as extra scrutiny from the state Department of Education.
But most educators acknowledge that AYP is not a very accurate measure of school quality. It's certainly possible for a high-performing school not to make AYP. It's possible for a school -- especially a small school with a homogeneous population -- to meet AYP standards with mediocre performance.
AYP gets a lot of attention. From the standpoint of parents judging school quality, that attention is probably undeserved.
Monday, August 15, 2011
Several articles were posted this weekend on Mlive and carried across the state in various local editions of Booth newspapers. The articles lay out the premise that income and school achievement are linked. This is not new news by any means but the 2010 census and achievement as measured by NCLB-mandated test scores appear to validate what educators have known for decades.
- level of education for each parent (past research seems to indicate the mother's education level is a greater factor than the father's)
- single or two-parent family
- English language proficiency (both for the parents and the children)
- whether the children who do not speak English as their first langage are proficient grammatically in their first language
- transiency of the family and the amount of time a child has spent in the same school or district
- whether reading is valued in the home and books, magazines or newspapers are available
Friday, August 5, 2011
The explosion in technology and rapid expansion of careers in computer science, engineering, medicine and other tech-related fields has illuminated the need to help students think and learn using critical computational skills.
We believe that today’s students need these skills to meet workforce demands of the future and to help solve some of the most pressing, intractable problems of our time. Today’s “digital natives” have grown up in a world where technology is evolving rapidly, creating new fields of study, new types of jobs, and requiring new sets of skills. As educators, we can help today’s students gain computational thinking skills so tomorrow’s professionals in medicine, history, law, education, or other fields, will be valued contributors in solving problems and making new advances. (p. 3)