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Volume  2,   Issue 2            March 2016
Newsletter Editor:  Dr. John E. Holmes
Why Do Students Drop Out?
Even though high school completion rates have continually increased during much of the past 100 years, dropping out of school persists as a problem interfering with educational system efficiency and the most straightforward and satisfying route to individual educational goals for young
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Change leader, change thyself
By Nate Boaz and Erica Ariel Fox
McKinsey Quarterly - March 2014
Anyone who pulls the organization in new directions must look inward as well as outward.
Leo Tolstoy, the Russian novelist, famously wrote, “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
Tolstoy’s dictum is a useful starting point for any executive engaged in organizational change. After years of collaborating in efforts to advance the practice of leadership and cultural transformation, we’ve become convinced that organizational change is inseparable from individual change. Simply put, change efforts often falter because individuals overlook the need to make fundamental changes in themselves.
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Student Film Contest

Congratulations to the 2016 Student Film Award Winners

2016 Student Film Award 1st Place Robert Stethem Educational Center
Pomfret, MD.    

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2016 Student Film Award 2nd Place Mountain High School
Kaysville, UT      

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2016 Student Film Award 3rd Place  Daniel McKee Alternative School
Murfreesboro, TN

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Honorable Mention:
Smyrna West
Smyrna ,TN
Frank McClain High School
College Park, GA
10 Engaging Digital Education Sites For Any Social Studies Classroom
If you have performed a recent search you may have found there is a countless number of social studies resources on the internet. In this post the goal was to find ten sites that addressed the area of Social Studies across all the diversified areas found in the discipline. Below, you will find the results of some extensive searching! You will discover a wide variety of materials including readings, OER (Open Education Resources), primary documents, textbooks, lessons, activities,  interactives, videos, audios, and some great blog readings. There is bound to be something for any teacher. Best of all many of these resources will help build a Social Study Classroom e-curriculum while facilitating those important 21st century skills and engaging students! Enjoy your journey!

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NAEA Board
Kay Davenport, President
Jacqueline  Whitt, Vice President
Edward Lowther, Secretary
Pat Conner, Treasurer
Denise Riley, John E. Holmes, Richard Thompson, Adrienne Lacey-Bushell, Ja’net Bishop, Pam Bruening, and Joel Shutte, Board Members
Robert L. Eichorn,, Immediate Past President (Advisor)
Tom Trautman, Regional Symposium Consultant
How to Talk a Student Down From Violence
Milwaukee Public Schools safety assistant Maria Navone, has made it her mission to help her students and coworkers handle the factors that affect behavior, learning, and success. In a CPI podcast, she discussed how she used her Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® skills to bring a 10-year-old boy in a Special Ed classroom from threatening to kill everyone in the room to calmly sitting next to her and telling her what he needs to calm down, learn, and be happy. Here are the steps she took to talk the boy down from crisis.  
Smart Seating Charts: The Key to Better Student Performance?
Teachers have long known that not every student is perfectly suited to traditional classroom setups, but with budgets tight, doling out individual attention is not always a reality. What if there was a way to make the traditional classroom setting work better for everyone though?
Research has found that classroom seating arrangements have a great impact on student performance and behavior.  A study done by Angela Hammang at Montana State University found that when carefully crafted seating charts were in effect, teachers were twice as successful reaching students and that the attainment of lower ability students was doubled. In her research, Hammang experimented by moving students around in different seating charts to help them find their optimal place, in this case it was a biology classroom, based on learning styles and personalities. She also looked at groupings by gender and past grade performances. In all cases, the students performed at a higher level when the teacher assigned seating in a calculated manner. Students on the underachieving end of the spectrum showed the most improvement when classroom seating was developed with thought, and not simply assigned based on the alphabet or another random manner.  
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The Tools of Cooperation and Change
The primary task of management is to get people to work together in a systematic way. Like orchestra conductors, managers direct the talents and actions of various players to produce a desired result. It’s a complicated job, and it becomes much more so when managers are trying to get people to change, rather than continue with the status quo. Even the best CEOs can stumble in their attempts to encourage people to work together toward a new corporate goal.
In this article, which employs some ideas from Do Lunch or Be Lunch,by Howard Stevenson and Jeffrey Cruikshank, we explain how to choose the right tools and offer advice for managers contemplating change.
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"There’s a Way to Help Inner-City Schools. Obama's New Education Law Isn’t It".
UCLA education expert Pedro Noguera on No Child Left Behind's replacement and how to really reach black kids.
"If the streets shackled my left leg, the schools shackled my right." That's how author Ta-Nehisi Coates described growing up in Baltimore in last year's influential Between the World and Me, his treatise on the history of racism in America. Instead of fighting to eliminate racist patterns in American society, Coates wrote, the country's public schools often replicate them: "I was a curious little boy, but the schools were not concerned with curiosity. They were concerned with compliance."
Coates' poignant classroom narratives add to at least three decades of research documenting similar experiences by African American students. At the forefront of this work is sociologist Pedro Noguera, a distinguished professor of education at the University of California-Los Angeles and a director of its Center for the Study of School Transformation who also taught in urban classrooms for five years before entering academia. In his 2008 book, The Trouble With Black Boys, Noguera discovered a jarring discrepancy in his research that echoed Coates' experiences almost two decades earlier. Although nearly 90 percent of black male high school students in California schools said they agreed with the statements that "education is important" and "I want to go to college," less than a quarter said their teachers treated them fairly or that they trusted them or that they worked hard to achieve good grades. It's no wonder then, Noguera wrote, that racial achievement gaps remain stubbornly large.
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Strategies for Helping Students Motivate Themselves
Providing students with freedom of choice is one strategy for promoting learner autonomy. Educators commonly view this idea of choice through the lens of organizational and procedural choice. Organizational choice, for example, might mean students having a voice in seating assignments or members of their small learning groups. Procedural choice could include a choice from a list of homework assignments and what form a final project might take -- a book, poster, or skit.

Some researchers, however, believe that a third option, cognitive choice, is a more effective way to promote longer-lasting student autonomy. This kind of cognitive autonomy support, which is also related to the idea of ensuring relevance, could include:
  • Problem-based learning, where small groups need to determine their own solutions to teacher-suggested and/or student-solicited issues -- ways to organize school lunchtime more effectively, what it would take to have a human colony on Mars, strategies to get more healthy food choices available in the neighborhood, etc.
  • Students developing their own ideas for homework assignments related to what is being studied in class
  • Students publicly sharing their different thinking processes behind solving the same problem or a similar one
  • Teachers using thinking routines like one developed by Project Zero at Harvard and consisting of a simple formula: the teacher regularly asking, "What is going on here?" and, after a student response, continuing with, "What do you see that makes you say so?"

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2016 NAEA Conference!
March 16–19, 2016
Sawgrass Marriott, Ponte Vedre Beach, FL
Click Here For More Information

National Alternative Education Association  •  110 Glen Echo Drive  •  Smyrna, TN 37167

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