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Few states recognize the arts as part of their ESSA accountability plans

Education Dive – Linda Jacobson

“Dipping business- or credit-sized cards into blobs of acrylic paint, the principals begin to create sweeping designs on the mural-length sheet of butcher paper stretched across long tables. As they circle the table, they blend the colors together, then place Post-it notes with key words from the book chapters they were assigned to read the previous evening on top of their creation. Called “scrimming,” the hands-on — or, as some said, almost therapeutic — technique is a way to capture important terms from a text and make a thorough read more productive. A blend of skimming and scrim, a fabric used in theater that appears opaque until light shines through, the practice is one these principals from across California say they would encourage teachers to use with students as a close reading strategy.” (more)

OPINION: Seven lessons on proficiency education

The Hechinger Report – Kameron Isaacs

“Here in Connecticut, we have been watching closely as Maine experiments with proficiency-based learning. Known by the U.S. Department of Education and think tanks as personalized competency-based education (PCBE), the model is founded on flexibility, as opposed to the time-and-location-bound work that students will face when they graduate.” (more)

Elementary School Creates Superhero ‘Mindset Man’ to Encourage Growth Mindset

Education World – Nicole Gorman

“Growth mindset has taken off in education circles because experts believe that if students can adopt such a way of thinking, they can find a path to success regardless of their innate ability simply because they believe they can. Because the concept is relatively new and research is still catching up, the jury is still out on what the best way to cultivate growth mindset in students is, leaving the door open for educators to try different techniques. In one Connecticut school, that opportunity has allowed for the creation of a superhero persona designed to keep students motivated and faithful in their opportunity to excel throughout the school week.”(more)

How One Museum Is Inspiring Young Girls to Pursue STEM

Education World – Nicole Gorman

“It’s been a U.S. focus over the past decade and increasingly so in the past few years to encourage young people’s interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. There’s just one problem. Despite the coordinated efforts, women and minorities are consistently left behind. STEM-related employment and education activity continues to increase year over year, but degrees and jobs are primarily dominated by white and Asian males. Just last year around this time, The U.S. News/Raytheon STEM Index revealed that not only were was the gender gap in STEM not narrowing, it was actually widening to the dismay of the many good-intentioned advocates pushing for otherwise.”(more)

Helping Children Cope With Crisis

The Huffington Post – Marian Wright Edelman

“Executive Director of the Connecticut Commission on Children Elaine Zimmerman helps meet many child needs in her state including sharing advice to help children cope with terrible events. Some of our nation’s largest tragedies have hit Connecticut’s children close to home. Many lost family members who worked in New York City on September 11th. Then there was the unimaginable heartbreak and horror of the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut which murdered 20 first graders and six beloved teachers in a place where families believed their children would be safe. But epidemic gun violence has shattered schools, colleges, and movie theaters and streets and homes all over America. Connecticut children are far from alone in their fears of violence and terrorism. Constant stories about wars, desperate refugee parents and children, worries about attacks on places of worship, and the cumulative natural and unnatural devastation can make the world seem like a very scary, unpredictable place. So Elaine Zimmerman has shared suggestions she, as Executive Director of the Connecticut Commission on Children gives adults to help children cope with crisis and provide all children the security they desperately need.”(more)

Should Halloween Celebrations Be Limited to Outside of School to Honor Non-Participating Students?

Education World – Nicole Gorman

“A school district in Connecticut has made national news after its administration warned parents that Halloween—including the costumes and candy which come with the holiday—would be banned from all elementary schools in the area this month. Letters circulated from Rosemarie Marzinotto, principal of Milford, Connecticut, Live Oaks School which warned parents that no Halloween-themed activities would be allowed in the district’s elementary schools this season; all activities, she said, would be limited to being fall-themed only. “This decision arose out of numerous incidents of children being excluded from activities due to religion, cultural beliefs, etc. School-day activities must be inclusive. Halloween costumes are not permitted for students or staff during the day at school,” she said, according to news station FOXCT.”(more)