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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Conquering the Holy Grail of Second Language Fluency

The Huffington Post – Sarah Wike Loyola

“I have a hunch that you have either said or heard someone say something along these lines before. As a person who has been teaching Spanish for close to 15 years, I hear such claims incessantly. So, why does world language learning and teaching have such a bad rap? Why is it so seemingly difficult to become fluent in a second language? And, most importantly, is feeling at ease communicating in a second language unachievable for most?.” (more)

Why Access to Screens Is Lowering Kids’ Social Skills

Time – Belinda Luscombe

“People have long suspected that there’s a cost to all this digital data all the time, right at our fingertips. Now there’s a study out of UCLA that might prove those digital skeptics right. In the study, kids who were deprived of screens for five days got much better at reading people’s emotions than kids who continued their normal screen-filled lives.” (more)

Why You Might Want More Than One College Savings Account

Time – Kerri Anne Renzulli

“The good news: There is no difference in how Coverdell ESAs and 529 savings plans factor into your child’s student aid, says Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of Edvisors.com, a website that helps people plan and pay for college.” (more)

Sharpen the pencils: Tennessee revives cursive teaching

Reuters – Tim Ghianni

“Children in Tennessee will have to get used to holding a pencil again next year when new cursive handwriting standards go into effect in schools throughout the state.” (more)

States Given a Reprieve on Ratings of Teachers

The New York Times – Motoko Rich

“Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced on Thursday that states could delay the use of test results in teacher-performance ratings by another year, an acknowledgment, in effect, of the enormous pressures mounting on the nation’s teachers because of new academic standards and more rigorous standardized testing.” (more)

It ain’t flashy but it works: Get personal and schools improve

The Seattle Times – Claudia Rowe

“In the search for answers to problems in education, the go-to phrase employed by everyone, on all sides, is this: There are no magic bullets. Well, there might be one, but it’s squishy-sounding, labor-intensive and difficult to measure.” (more)

Principal Turnover and Pensions

Education Next – Leslie Kan

“The U.S. Department of Education recently released the results from the 2012-13 principal staffing survey. Like the survey on teachers, principals were tracked as “stayers,” “movers,” and “leavers,” where stayers are principals who remain in the same school, movers are principals who transfer to another school, and leavers are principals who leave the profession either to retire or go elsewhere.” (more)

Quality Teachers for All

Students First – Juliana Ramirez

“For many families, back-to-school season means shopping for new clothes, buying school supplies, getting kids used to waking up early again, and being back on carpool duty. But for me, this time of the year means I must, once again, research the classes and teachers my little sister is assigned to.” (more)

Louisiana to proceed immediately with national Common Core tests, education chief says

The Times-Picayune – Danielle Dreilinger

“Education Superintendent John White said Wednesday that Louisiana’s public elementary and middle schools will immediately proceed with plans to use a new, national Common Core test for English and mathematics. “It’s time to move ahead,” White said.” (more)

To have and have not

The Economist – Staff Writer

““POVERTY”, wrote Aristotle, “is the parent of crime.” But was he right? Certainly, poverty and crime are associated. And the idea that a lack of income might drive someone to misdeeds sounds plausible. But research by Amir Sariaslan of the Karolinska Institute, in Stockholm, and his colleagues, just published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, casts doubt on the chain of causation—at least as far as violent crime and the misuse of drugs are concerned.” (more)