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Elementary students report higher engagement, more pride in schoolwork than older peers

Education Dive – Linda Jacobson

“Most students report feeling engaged in school and taking pride in their work — but engagement drops as students get older, and less than half of middle and high school students feel like what they are learning in school is relevant to their lives outside of school, according to YouthTruth Student Survey results released Thursday.”(more)

My School’s Great, but American Education? Not So Much. New Poll on U.S. Attitudes Suggests Public Perception ‘in a State of Flux’

Education Dive – Kevin Mahnken

“Americans remain as conflicted as ever on K-12 schooling and the proper role of the federal government in it, according to a new poll from the research and advocacy group EdChoice. Respondents generally saw the nation’s education system as being on the wrong course and were skeptical of the government’s capacity to correct it — but parents also gave high marks to their local schools and approved many federal education initiatives, such as those aimed at students with disabilities.”(more)

State board’s next challenge: how to measure school climate, the heartbeat of a school

Ed Source – John Fensterwald

“Busloads of high school students and parents from organizations statewide have trekked to State Board of Education meetings for two years, clamoring for changes they believe will improve school climate. In moving testimony, students described schools where they feel disconnected, misunderstood and often under-challenged. “If you are serious about closing the achievement gap, and bringing equity to our most vulnerable students, don’t continue to neglect school climate,” Armon Matthews, a junior at Oakland High School, testified this month to the board. Matthews is a student leader with Californians for Justice, a statewide nonprofit that has led a school climate campaign under the Twitter hashtag #SchoolClimateIsTheHeart. After a long look at the subject, a study group overseen by Chief Deputy State Superintendent Glen Price released preliminary recommendations that would thrust school climate and conditions to the forefront of the state’s school improvement and accountability system.”(more)

Making Teacher Reflection Meaningful

Education World – Keith Lambert

“Teacher reflection: You remember being forced to do it at university and in your teacher certification programs. You certainly take a moment or two daily, or innately throughout the day, to reflect upon your practice, make adjustments, and better prepare for the next day’s adventure. But how often do you earnestly sit with focused reflection and clearly prioritize and synthesize your thoughts in writing? Some of us have integrated it actively into our practice. Yet many of us struggle to find the time and energy.”(more)

4 ways to ensure a successful school culture initiative

E-School News – Tom Hierck

“A growing body of research confirms that school culture significantly influences student learning. Indeed, it’s in the culture that classrooms build their success. Yet, too many schools accept pockets of excellence. Why is it acceptable for some classrooms to implement best practices for students while others are allowed to opt out? Culture is the collective beliefs and commitments that enable individuals, who might otherwise only be loosely connected, to rally around an effort.”(more)

Teachers: How to use your voice for a positive school culture

E-School News – Jennifer Abrams

“Moving from the classroom into the role of a teacher leader and a coach was a transition, to say the least. I recognized I was credentialed in teaching students English language arts, but didn’t have a credential in communicating effectively with adults. I took workshops and courses on facilitation and coaching, but the idea of being a professional in a learning community who was an effective group member as well as a leader continues to be something I am growing into everyday.”(more)