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Education Digest December 2015

December 2015 Volume 81, No. 4

Investing in Teachers Instead of Prison - Arne Duncan / U.S. Department of Education

In the last 30 years, state and local correctional spending in the U.S. has increased nearly twice as fast as spending on K-12 education. Shouldn’t we instead put an emphasis on schools rather than jails? Shouldn’t we strive to keep kids in school from the start by increasing the wages of our greatest teachers so that we can keep them in our neediest schools? After all, the benefits of a great teacher prove out in life, not just in school.

Schools Deemed ‘Discriminatory’ Struggleto Erase Disparities - Sarah D. Sparks / Education Week

In a district where bias was pervasive, reform has not come easily—unconscious biases often undermine efforts to combat discrimination. But, by putting one’s self in another’s shoes, getting to know students on a personal basis, and experiencing people who run counter to a stereotype, we can break down those biases.

Tips to Combat the Top Three Risk Trends for Schools - Keith Dobrolinsky

Cyber security, practicum liability, and school security top the list of risk management issues for schools. Provided here are assessment questions, tips, and established protocol that schools can follow to minimize risk and maximize the well-being of students and the school community.

What Explains Success at Success Academy? - Charles Sahm / Education Next

A laser focus on what is being taught and how best explains the stellar results achieved at this network of NYCcharter schools. Rigorous, high-quality English Language Arts and math curricula taught by well-prepared teachers who receive continuous support and feedback all add up to student success.

7 Proven Strategies for Winning Ed Tech Grants - John K. Waters / T.H.E. Journal

K-12 educators are always looking to add technology to their classrooms. Fortunately, now there is a wider range of tech ed funding sources and more creative ways to pitch your story. Here are several proven strategies that you can apply that will set your proposal apart from the competition.

History Day Program - Nancy Norris-Bauer / NJEA Review

“Over the course of their projects, students are transformed from passive receivers of historical information to judicious consumers, evaluating sources, opinions, and interpretations, as well as becoming teachers themselves, sharing what they have learned.” This quote sums up the program. It’s not just a day—it’s an experience.

Communication Is Key for Baltimore County - Joetta Sack-Minn / Learning First Alliance

Using various social media, district reaches out to the internal and external school community daily to make shareholders feel like they are part of what the system does and that their input and involvement is crucial.

Students Rising Above - Gary M. Stern / Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education

One-on-one mentorship program provides first generation, low-income students with the financial and emotional support to overcome personal challenges and ultimately graduate from college. Remarkably, nine months after graduation, 80% of students are immersed in a career or attend grad school.

Contextual Collaboration - Crowdsourced Whitepaper / The Center for Digital Education

Student information systems (SISs) store critical information (grades, medical data, student history) across many areas of a school district for various users (administrators, teachers, students, parents). Here are pros, cons, features, and implementation tips for such systems.