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You Can’t Learn What You Can’t See: Here’s How Your State Screens For Vision Problems

NPR – Elissa Nadworny

“It’s one of the most basic things in education: seeing the board. Research has shown, over and over again, that if you can’t see, you’re going to have an awfully hard time in school. And yet too often this simple issue gets overlooked. Just this year, research showed that children with a significant vision problem during the pre-school years perform significantly worse on tests of early literacy. And that poor performance early on affects their reading scores when they reach the third grade, says Kira Baldonado, director of the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health. Her organization is out with a new report today that looks at children’s vision screening across the country. We pulled the numbers and created a state-by-state breakdown — and a look at who those vision tests are reaching.”(more)

To reach parents, schools try universal language of data

Ed Source – Jane Meredith Adams

“Nine mothers from Burma flipped open manila file folders in Room 210 in Oakland’s Garfield Elementary School and looked at information that was as foreign as it was compelling – a chart comparing their child’s progress in reading to that of their unidentified classmates and grade-level standards. The data appeared in the universal language of bar graphs and the mothers, who are Karen-speaking refugees with little formal education, each saw at a glance how far her child has come and how much more there is to be to learned before the end of the school year. It is the kind of real-time comparative data that most teachers don’t reveal to families, and it is the core of an approach called Academic Parent-Teacher Teams, which is taught by the San Francisco-based research group WestEd. In addition to Garfield Elementary, the program is operating at schools in the Sacramento, Stockton and San Juan Unified districts and 300 schools nationwide. The idea is to share ongoing math and reading scores in a way that emphasizes progress, doesn’t embarrass families and creates a parent-school relationship that is based on the obvious but often overlooked common ground of how a child is doing in class.”(more)

Helping Students Find “Voice” in Their Writing

Education World – Keith Lambert

“Elementary teachers set the foundation for the work. Middle school teachers begin to build the framework to master structure. High school teachers work to support students to go beyond frameworks and truly discover their personality on the page. Each of these steps are critical to an emerging writer’s journey to finding their voice. But voice is a tough battle to fight. We all know what it looks like when a student is stuck to a rote structure. That robotic voice and stiff flow, as a student does their best to replicate writing formats they have been taught to follow step-by-step. We know that’s not them; not writing that comes from the heart. It’s a student completing a task to please their teacher. But how do we encourage students to explore their own writing style when they are still struggling with internalizing the basics of organization and writer’s purpose? Today, Education World examines teaching the elusive “voice”: ways to explore it with students, some strategies for teaching it, as well as some helpful resources to extend the work.”(more)

Cape considers dual language immersion

Delmarva Now – Jon Bleiweis

“Spanish or Chinese could be the prominent language in a Cape Henlopen elementary school classroom in the near future, as the school district contemplates adding a dual language immersion program. It could happen as soon as 2017, according to district assistant superintendent Kathy Petitgout. It’s part of Gov. Jack Markell’s 10-year world language expansion initiative, which started in 2011. The goal is to have 20 immersion programs in the state and 10,000 students be part of them…Lynn Fulton-Archer, an education specialist for world language immersion with the state Department of Education, said the increase can be attributed to potential economic and academic benefits. Not only does it give students another marketable skill in a global workplace, but decades of research has shown that students who have an earlier start in language learning in an immersion education typically perform as well or better than their monolingual peers on standardized test, she said. It also has the potential to close the achievement gap across minority populations that are enrolled in the programs, she said.”(more)

HK$2.6b extra for pre-school education

HK Edition- oseph Li in Hong Kong

“The recurrent government expenditure for kindergarten education will rise from HK$4.1 billion to HK$6.7 billion, after Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying pledged in the latest Policy Address to offer quality, free kindergarten education to children aged 3 to 6 from school year 2017-18 – with a view to lifting the overall quality of pre-school education.
The government hopes to deliver quality kindergarten education through a new curriculum, better teacher quality and improved governance of schools, following implementation of free education.
Subsidies to kindergartens will increase significantly, Education Bureau (EDB) sources said. For a long whole-day kindergarten with 90 students, the annual subsidy will increase from HK$2 million under the existing education voucher system to HK$4.9 million. For a whole-day kindergarten with 90 students, the annual subsidy will increase to HK$4 million from HK$2 million now. And for a half-day kindergarten with 200 students, the annual subsidy will rise to HK$6.6 million from the current HK$4.5 million.”(more)

Creative new teaching method brings ‘hero moments’ to students in south-west Sydney

NEWS- Nick Dole

“A new teaching method being trialled in New South Wales, which incorporates games and physical theatre, is allowing each student a chance to shine.High school teacher Catherine Myers said she used to dread her Monday morning science class.For the past 10 weeks she has been part of a trial involving a new teaching method, which involves students spending less time reading and writing, and more time on their feet.”They’re doing it through theatre, through games, through play rather than books and writing,” she said.She said there had been a “monumental” improvement in results.”(more)