|Happy Mother's Day to all!|
|TAEA 2017 Annual Conference|
|The Tennessee Alternative Education Association is proud to announce our 2017 Annual Conference on Alternative and Nontraditional Education|
July 10-12, 2017
Embassy Suites Hotel, Murfreesboro, Tennessee
The Tennessee Alternative Education Association is proud to announce our 2017 Annual Conference on Alternative and Nontraditional Education, as well as Annual Meeting of the Membership.
Visit our website to download the registration form at www.the-taea.org
Learn more about this event >>>
- Registration Fee: $150
- Presenter Registration: FREE
Dr. Pam Bruening, President
Kathleen Chronister, Vice President
Pat Conner, Treasurer
Dr. Ja'net Bishop, Secretary
Kay Davenport, Past President
Jacqueline Whitt, Dr. John E. Holmes, Dr. Ed Lowther, Denise Riley, Richard Thompson, and Dr. Amy Schlessman, Board Members
|Every Student Succeeds ACT |
|How to Cultivate Productivity in Your Teen |
Dennis Triton | LifeSmart Publishing, LLC | May 1, 2017
Last week we talked about senioritis,
and how giving in to the temptation to slack off near the end of the school year can come back to bite us. That’s why it’s so important that we as parents and teachers do our best to cultivate productivity in our teens.
Over the years, I’ve noticed an interesting trend in my chance encounters with people. It goes something like this:
Me: “It’s great to see you! How’ve you been?”
Them: “Busy!” Or,
Them: “Crazy busy!” Or,
Them: “Out of control!” Or,
Is this good?
No, it’s not. We’re experiencing a crisis of over-commitment and information overload like never before. It’s not supposed to be this way. After all, technology is supposed to make us more efficient, isn’t it? Not more stressed! At the risk of sounding like Fred Flintstone, faster isn’t always better—especially if it reduces our quality of life and productivity.
These days, everyone is consumed with “busyness.” You see it everywhere. Our attention spans are shorter, our responsiveness has markedly deteriorated, our cell phones have become appendages (where almost nonstop beeps and vibrations are creating a false sense of urgency), we’re having a harder time focusing, and relational depth is increasingly being replaced by superficial breadth. Our children are bombarded with information and opportunities like never before and it’s showing up in anxiety levels.
It is crucial that we arm them with a strong productivity foundation to handle this brave new world.
recognized for Leadership in School Turnaround
|A Passion for Savings Schools on the Brink|
Darrel Burnette II | February 22, 2017 | 2017 Leaders Series, EdWeek
With more than a quarter of its schools deemed failing and at risk of being taken over by the state, Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dorsey Hopson hired Sharon Griffin, a hard-charging, no-nonsense Memphis native, to oversee what has become a life-saving turnaround experiment.
That was in 2012. Tennessee’s legislature had just passed a law allowing the state’s education agency to take the reins of the state’s worst-performing schools and either run them directly or hand them over to a charter operator, a move that stood to drain potentially millions of state-aid dollars from the already financially struggling district. But a clause in the law allowed for districts to try out their own interventions using some federal money and flexibility from the state’s cumbersome K-12 policies.
Continue reading >>>
|The Teaching Profession in 2016 (in Charts)|
|EdWeek | Madeline Will | Dec. 2016|
Over the last year, we have seen a huge number of reports, surveys, and other data that explore various changes and challenges facing the teaching profession.
For the past three years, Teaching Now has compiled graphs—from both our in-house research center and outside organizations—to visually capture the state of teaching. These statistics serve as a reminder of the wide variety of issues that educators face, and perhaps some of what is on the education landscape for 2017.
Clicking on any chart will direct you to a larger version of the image.
Chart #1: Teaching the Common Core
Chart #2: Incorporating a Growth Mindset in the Classroom
Chart #3: Technology in the Classroom
Chart #4: Teachers Use Their Own Money for Students
Charts #5 & #6: Teachers Are Feeling Frustrated, Ignored
Chart #7: Teacher Shortages Could Be Growing
Chart #8: We Have a Teacher Diversity Problem
Chart #9: There Are a Lot of New Teachers
Chart #10: Student Engagement Is Low
Read article in full, and about these charts here >>>
|10 Qualities of Really Amazing Employees|
|LinkedIn | 2014 | Kevin Daum, Inc.com |
It takes a lot to recruit and maintain top talent; as an employer I have always been grateful for those special employees who came along and just get it. They understand the power of cause and effect, drive the company forward, and know exactly what they need to do for advancement and rewards.
Only a worthy company can retain them and afford them.
These amazing employees share ten common behaviors which they seem to do effortlessly. Here are those behaviors, plus advice to help you help your great employees become even more amazing.
1. They Enthusiastically Learn All Aspects of the Business
2. They Help Steward the Company
3. They Generate Viable Opportunities
4. They Resolve Issues Before
They Become Issues
5. They Tell It Like It Is
6. They Demonstrate High Standards With Low Maintenance
7. They Grow Themselves and Others
8. They Research, Apply, and Refine
9. They Stimulate Happiness
10. They Facilitate Amazing Bosses
Read article in full >>>
|Principals Work |
60-Hour Weeks, Study Finds
|Sarah D. Sparks | Education Week | November 2016|
A national study shows that principals regularly clock more than a standard, full-time workload every week.
On average, principals work nearly 60 hours a week, with leaders of high-poverty schools racking up even more time, according to the first nationally representative study of how principals use their time. It was released last month by the federal Regional Education Laboratory for Northeast and Islands.
"Years ago, I tried the best I could to get everything done in 'normal work hours,' but these last 10 years, I've just assumed Sunday is going to be a work day for six or seven hours," said Eric Cardwell, the principal of the 525-student Besser Elementary School in Alpena, Mich. "The principalship: It's not a job; it's a lifestyle," he added. Continue Reading >>>
|The Heartbreaking Way This Teacher Discovered 5 Students' Biggest Secrets|
|Lauren Devy | PopSugar | April 2017|
When Elle Deal decided to try a new exercise with her fifth grade students, the Friday activity turned into something incredibly heartbreaking.
The elementary school teacher asked her kids to write a short blurb, titled, "I wish my teacher would know . . . " and their answers left a major impact on her. Elle shared a few of the heartbreaking (and anonymous) statements on Facebook as a reminder to everyone to "leave this life a little better than how we found it."
"Kid 1: I wish my teacher would know, my dad is in jail and I haven't seen him in years.
Kid 2: I wish my teacher would know, I don't always eat dinner because my mom works and I don't know how to work the stove.
Kid 3: I wish my teacher would know, my sister sleeps in the same bed as me and sometimes she wets the bed and that's why I smell funny.
Kid 4: I wish my teacher would know that I don't always have sneakers for gym class because my brothers and I share one pair.
Kid 5: I wish my teacher would know I like coming to school because it's quiet here, not like my house with all the yelling."
Continue Reading >>>
|The Graduation Speech Harvard Is Calling 'The Most Powerful' You’ll Ever HearArticle Title|
|May 2016 | ABC News | Joi-Marie McKenzie|
It's the speech Harvard University is calling "the most powerful, heartfelt" speech "you will ever hear."
Donovan Livingston, a master's graduate at the university, was chosen by a committee of faculty, staff and students to speak at the School of Education's convocation, a rep for Harvard told ABC News.
Instead of a traditional speech, Livingston used spoken word to perform his poem, "Lift Off."
Livingston told ABC News that the "true inspiration behind the piece" was the fact that he couldn't perform a poem when he gave his commencement remarks during his senior year of high school.
The poem spoke about racial inequalities in the educational system, what it means to be black at Harvard and inspired the class of 2016 to use their roles as future educators to help others realize their full potential. Continue Reading >>>
|Exploring the Overlooked Role of Culture in Helping Kids of Color Succeed|
|The Annie E. Casey Foundation | aecf.org | April 24, 2017 |
A case study from the Annie E. Casey Foundation explores the important and often overlooked role that culture can play in shaping programs and practices aimed at leveling life’s playing field for children of color.
The case study, Considering Culture, is rooted in two findings: 1) that the traditions, social practices and pervading mentalities of communities of color are very different than in predominantly white communities; and 2) that children of color face tougher odds
and experience fewer gains than their white counterparts at every step — from birth to adulthood.
Despite these well-documented differences, there are very few evidence-based programs intentionally geared toward communities of color, according to Considering Culture, which is the fourth installment in a five-part Race for Results case study series.
This prevailing lack of rigorously tested and targeted options for helping some of our nation’s most vulnerable children succeed is both a glaring omission and a great opportunity. In its case study, the Casey Foundation underscores a need to support more researchers of color as well as more research-driven, culturally based approaches to serving communities of color.
Beyond identifying these important missing pieces, the Foundation also examines the efforts of programs and nonprofits already engaged in culturally relevant, community-specific work. Some early lessons learned from these efforts — as outlined in the case study — include:
- Culture is key
Understanding a community’s unique ethnic culture and incorporating this knowledge into an evidence-based program can support both the program’s uptake and its long-term success.
- The right partnerships are powerful
Research institutions, universities and government agencies have experience when it comes to developing, validating, and funding evidence-based programs. Partnering with these institutions is a smart move for small organizations working toward evidence-based status.
- Know your options
In some communities, the type of data collection needed to achieve evidence-based status can feel too invasive and discomforting — and ultimately turn a community off. In these instances, community-defined evidence may be an effective alternative.
Download Case Study
- Give the community a say
Look to communities of color to define their own needs and desires — and describe what success looks like for them.
|Are You Stuck In A Hole And Can't Get Out?|
|Eric Wettstein | July 2014 | LinkedIn|
Have you ever had those days where you feel like you're stuck in a hole in the sidewalk? (I've fallen, and I can't get up!)
You've been there before, you know... where you're walking along and you trip in a hole, get your heel caught in it or just about twist an ankle from... Whoa!...Where did that come from? Ouch!
All habits have a built-in reward system which feeds some emotional need. That's why some habits are so hard to break and others even harder--it's purely based on the emotional need it satisfies in you, sometimes going as far back as infancy.
So the reality is to some extent, every habit good or bad can be addictive because it has the ability to feed a need. Whether it's popping a pill, pumping iron/runner's high, or risk taking "highs" (like skydiving) or simply waking up to the sunshine on our face or eating a great meal.
Omitting the extreme, most of us seek safety, security, comfort, consistency, stability and more things that make us feel good and we tend to avoid painful, fearful things. But sometimes even those bad habits can make us "feel good".
Read on for 5 steps to help you break any habit in it's most basic form
|Resource for Alternative Education Professionals|
|Parenting-based therapy helps curb disruptive behavior|
|Amy Wallace | May 2, 2017 | United Press International (UPI)|
A new study shows that therapy involving parents is more effective in the treatment of children with disruptive behavior disorders, or DBDs, than other treatments.
Parent-based therapy had the best results compared to 20 other therapeutic approaches in treating DBDs in children.
DBDs are a range of disorders that lead to aggression, acting out, defiance and rule-breaking in children. These disorders can lead to serious negative outcomes in later life such as incarceration, co-morbid mental disorders and premature death. For example, 40 percent of children with diagnosed conduct disorder, a type of DBD, go on to have antisocial personality disorders.
"Parents seeking help for their children with disruptive behavior problems can play an active role in their children's treatment," Jennifer Kaminski, of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a press release. "These therapies can provide parents the tools to serve as their child's best advocate and guide their child's behavior during their everyday interactions. Given the range of therapies in practice, this update provides information about the most effective approaches to ensure families are receiving evidence-based care."
Researchers reviewed 64 studies analyzing 26 forms of treatment over a 20-year period and found two methods that they cited as "well-established" for evidence-based success: group therapy focused on parent behavior and individual parent behavior therapy with child participation.
Thirteen treatment options were considered probably efficacious including family problem-solving training and individual parent behavior therapy.
The study was an update of two previous reviews in 1998 and 2008 of evidence-based psychosocial treatments for children with DBDs up to age 12.
"The results of this review add even more support behind the notion that parental involvement in treating disruptive behavioral issues in children is very important," Kaminski said. "Parents should consider these two therapies when looking for the right treatment for their child. With the help of trained professionals, they can be an active participant in their child's treatment."
The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology.
Read article as it originally appears via UPI >>>
|Opportunities through the Robert Woods Foundation |
|7 Misconceptions About Charter Schools Clarified at #IQ2USLive Debate|
|Lisa Nielsen | The Innovative Educator | March 3, 2017|
Our president has shared that education is a civil rights issue of our time. He and his newly appointed Secretary of Education believe the solution is school choice in the form of charter schools and vouchers. While the concept makes sense at face value, when we scratch beneath the surface, it becomes clear that the solution is based on a premise riddled with misconceptions. These misconceptions were brought to light this week during the IQ2S Debate: Are Charter Schools Overrated. The debate was conducted by Intelligence Squared a nonpartisan organization that aims to restore civility, reasoned analysis, and constructive discourse to the often biased media landscape.
At the debate experts presented their case in an effort to help citizens answer the question, “Are charter schools overrated?” As the debate unfolded, several misconceptions the public has about charter schools were addressed. This enabled an online and live audience in New York City to come to an informed decision on issue of school choice.
These are the seven misconceptions addressed at the debate.
Charter and public schools serve similar numbers of students with special needs and limited English proficiency
Charter schools outperform public schools
Charter schools are more innovative than traditional public schools
Charter schools are a good solution for all children
School choice is a civil rights issue
Charter schools were created to help privatize education
Public schools need rules and regulations that charter schools don’t
Interested to learn more about why each belief is a misconception? Read on
|This Is The Test Your 4-Year-Old Would Need To Pass To Get Into An Elite New York City Kindergarten|
|Amy Zimmer | BusinessInsider | 2014|
Some of the city's most elite private schools will soon require 4-year-olds to take a new, harder admissions test given on an iPad and designed to assess math and literacy skills.
The educational services company ERB
's Admission Assessment for Beginning Learners
(AABL) will be given for the first time in October and is a significant departure from the previous, IQ-like test most New York City private schools required for the past 45 years.
While the new test is much cheaper for families — it's $65, rather than $568 for the old test, because the new test is taken by iPad rather than by a trained examiner — experts believe many parents will shell out even more on classes and books to prepare their toddlers for it.
The ERB's IQ test was more subjective, especially on the verbal section, in which the examiner could award partial credit, said Bige Doruk, founder of test prep company Bright Kids NYC.
"For example, if the question stated 'What is a mouse?' and the kid answered 'animal,' he or she would get 1 point. If the kid said 'a gray animal that is small, has a tail and likes to eat cheese,' the kid would get the full 2 points," Doruk explained. Continue Reading >>>
|How Successful People Stay Calm |
|LinkedIn | Dr. Travis Bradberry | August 2014|
The ability to manage your emotions and remain calm under pressure has a direct link to your performance. TalentSmart has conducted research with more than a million people, and we’ve found that 90% of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress in order to remain calm and in control.
If you follow our newsletter, you’ve read some startling research summaries that explore the havoc stress can wreak on one’s physical and mental health (such as the Yale study, which found that prolonged stress causes degeneration in the area of the brain responsible for self-control). The tricky thing about stress (and the anxiety that comes with it) is that it’s an absolutely necessary emotion. Our brains are wired such that it’s difficult to take action until we feel at least some level of this emotional state. In fact, performance peaks under the heightened activation that comes with moderate levels of stress. As long as the stress isn’t prolonged, it’s harmless.
Research from the University of California, Berkeley, reveals an upside to experiencing moderate levels of stress. But it also reinforces how important it is to keep stress under control. The study, led by post-doctoral fellow Elizabeth Kirby, found that the onset of stress entices the brain into growing new cells responsible for improved memory. However, this effect is only seen when stress is intermittent. As soon as the stress continues beyond a few moments into a prolonged state, it suppresses the brain’s ability to develop new cells. Continue Reading >>>
|The State of Personalized Learning|
|EdNET Insight | Dr. Philip W.V. Hickman | Dec. 2016 |
Personalized learning is the ed tech phrase of the year and a key concept for how digitally delivered teaching and learning will make the most significant impact on teaching and learning, but what is it? The variety of products and practices that claim to personalize learning differ vastly, making the term hard to understand.
Schools want to provide personalized learning, a plethora of vendors are selling it, and it is required for ESSA beginning in 2018. A few BLEgroup superintendents, staff, and vendors held a discussion to see if we could define a way to understand the reality of the concept. We also conversed with vendors who believe they are providing personalized learning products and services to K-12 schools and with school districts who believe that they are far down the path of providing personalized teaching and learning.
All personalized learning is not the same: Before data collection and discussion, all stakeholders held a common definition of personalized learning as “customized curriculum targeted to each student’s level of subject knowledge and his/her learning style.” After our discussion and observation of several districts’ practices and conversations with vendors of personalized learning platforms, we came to the conclusion that there needed to be an easy-to-use taxonomy for the types of PL products and practices so that school systems can clearly understand product and practice variation.
The current use of the term “personalized learning” varies from:
We concluded that rapid new developments in the areas of adaptive assessment, data analytics, customized content, and adaptive instruction in recent years are the reason why “personalized learning” is not a well understood concept. There are currently at least three generations of personalized learning on the market. Continue Reading >>>
- small group instruction based on performance levels to
- longitudinal history of all assessments students ever took to provide them with knowledge of what to assign to
- artificial intelligence based products that assess the cognitive level and learning style of a student and provide a variety of resources based on the student’s learning style, current performance, and understanding of a subject.
|Many low-income students use only their phone to get online. What are they missing?|
|Matthew Lynch | 2016 | The Edvocate|
For many of us, access to the Internet through a variety of means is a given. I can access the Internet through two laptops, a tablet, a smartphone and even both of my game systems, from the comfort of my living room.
However, this access is unequally distributed. Although nine out of 10 low-income families have Internet access at home, most are underconnected: that is, they have “mobile-only” access – they are able to connect to the Internet only through a smart device, such as a tablet or a smartphone.
A recent report, “Opportunity for all? Technology and learning in low income families,” shows that one-quarter of those earning below the median income and one-third of those living below poverty level accessed the Internet only through their mobile devices.
This leads to limited access: A third of families with mobile-only access quickly hit the data limits on their mobile phone plans and about a quarter have their phone service cut off for lack of payment.
So, what impact does this type of access have on youth learning?
What changes with a computer connection
My research has explored underserved youth’s use of technology to discover and participate in content related to their interests. Having access only through their mobile devices means that low-income families and youth do not have the same access to the Internet as those with other Internet connections.
One-fifth of families who access the Internet only through their mobile devices say too many family members have to share one device. This means that the amount of time each individual has to access the Internet is limited. Continue reading >>>
|DeKalb school chief advises governor: We’re talking about choice when we should be discussing change|
|AJC Blog | Maureen Downey | January 2017|
In this essay, DeKalb Superintendent Steve Green offers Gov. Nathan Deal suggestions on creating an effective school reform plan.
By Steve Green
Gov. Nathan Deal has told the Georgia General Assembly early in the 2017 legislative session that his administration will focus on education reforms. In coming months, the citizens of DeKalb County and the rest of Georgia can expect a lot of talk about our public schools and how to improve them. Discussions will swirl on standard hot topics: School choice. Vouchers. Use of public tax money for private-school education. Responsible funding, and so on.
The real issue in public education isn’t any one of these flashpoints. Our basic discussion should be much simpler: How do we give students what they need to succeed?
Providing each student – gifted, mentally challenged, expatriated, or burdened by distracting socioeconomic or family needs – with the foundational elements to succeed in schools should be the real issue at the center of new legislation.
We in the DeKalb Country School District welcome Gov. Deal, along with state and federal leaders and all other parties with a role in the proposed legislation, to join us at a point of common understanding. Continue Reading >>>
|The Myth of Walkthroughs: 8 Unobserved Practices in Classrooms|
EdWeek | April 2016 | Peter DeWitt
Walkthroughs are pretty popular these days. A principal, or a team of administrators and teacher leaders, walk through a group of classrooms and look for certain instructional practices. After they're completed, the team provides feedback to the teacher. In schools where walkthroughs are done correctly, teachers and leaders work together, have agreed upon or co-constructed the "look for
" that should be taking place in the classrooms, and have dialogue around the feedback.
In other cases...walkthroughs aren't so popular or positive.
This may happen because the school leader and teachers do not work collaboratively. The principal never co-constructed what to look for with teachers, and the teachers are not told beforehand. The walkthroughs are more about compliance, and therefore the success of walkthroughs is more of a myth than a reality.
There are leaders who say they are doing walkthroughs, when in actuality, they have never shared the focus, or the form, they're using with the teacher...and the teacher doesn't receive any effective feedback.
When completing a Visible Learning (Hattie) capability assessment in Melbourne, Australia in February, there was a school leader who co-constructed the walkthrough goals with teachers, and every week hung up a regular-sized gold sign in the faculty room, main office, and the main hallway near his office. The sign provided the walkthrough focus of the week so everyone was aware of what it was, and there had been a team involved who established each focus area. Continue Reading >>>
|White Students Get Experienced Teachers, While Black Students Get Police In School|
|Huffington Post | June 2016 | Rebecca Klein |
In America, the most rigorous classes, experienced teachers and moderate discipline practices tend to be reserved for white students, according to new survey results from the U.S. Department of Education.
The Department of Education’s Civil Rights Data Collection surveys 99 percent of the nation’s public schools on issues related to the level of opportunity provided to their students. The survey, which is conducted every other school year, collects data about students’ access to classes, teachers and school discipline trends. The latest survey, which has data from the 2013-2014 school year, also collected data on issues like student absenteeism and the quality of education provided in juvenile justice facilities.
The Department of Education provided reporters with top-level national indicators and will release full data that informed its conclusions later in the week.
The survey results paint a picture of vast educational inequalities based on students’ skin color and disability status, with only a few bright spots. Specifically, while student suspension rates appear to have dropped 20 percent since the last time data was collected in 2011-2012, stark racial inequities persist in terms of which students receive this punishment.
“In general, the data shows students of color, students whose first language is not English, and students with disabilities are, according to a number of indicators, not getting the same the opportunities to learn as their classmates who are white, first language is English or who do not have disabilities,” U.S. Secretary of Education John King Jr. said on a call with reporters Monday.
|One Key to Reducing School Suspension: A Little Respect|
|Sarah D. Sparks | 2016 | Education Week |
“R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Find out what it means to me.”
In schools working to reduce suspension rates, teachers could take a cue from Aretha Franklin: Considering how young people view respect can greatly improve classroom management, new studies show.
A one-time intervention to help teachers and students empathize with each other halved the number of suspensions at five diverse California middle schools, and helped students who had previously been suspended feel more connected at school, according to Stanford University research published in April in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“Changing the mindset of one teacher can change the social experience of that child’s entire world,” said Jason A. Okonofua, a Stanford University social psychologist who led the experiments. Continue Reading >>>
|24th Annual Conference on Alternative Education|
March 5, 2018–March 7, 2018
Conference Registration cost $350.00