DA Daily

High school agriculture programs flourish as farms dwindle

Along with high school programs, membership in Future Farmers of America is up to about 580,000—nearly double its ranks of the mid-1980s. That spike dispels the notion the national organization is merely a haven for farm kids, given that the number of U.S. farms are on a long-term downward trend.

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Neuhaus Education Center launches multi-platform reading program

Neuhaus Education Center, a nonprofit organization promoting reading success and literacy locally and nationally, has launched Neuhaus Academy. The program provides free self-paced, online programs with videos and phonetic instruction.

Overhaul of Pennsylvania's special ed funding formula proposed

Identical bills in Pennsylvania's House and Senate are making an attempt to overhaul what educators and lawmakers agree is an outdated and inequitable funding formula for special education. The proposed legislation uses a three-tiered approach to account for students who need varying levels of extra support.

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Early access offered to Capstone's PebbleGo beta version

Capstone is offering early access to a beta version of its pre-K3 research solution PebbleGo. PebbleGo 2.0 features a new interface optimized for the iPad, Android, Kindle Fire HD and other mobile devices, as well as enhancements to PebbleGo's Animals, Biographies, Earth and Space and Social Studies database modules.

LearnZillion's 2014 Dream Team to create resources

LearnZillion's 2014 Dream Team of 200 math and English language arts teachers will convene in New Orleans for TeachFest. The group's summer-long collaboration will culminate in the creation of formative assessment tools and resources that will support teachers implementing the Common Core.

Google Classroom offers assignment center for students and teachers

Google is launching Classroom, a new offering in its Google Apps for Education to provide students and teachers with a central place to create, store, organize and provide feedback for classroom assignments. The service is in beta and available only in some schools.

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North Carolina lawmakers put school open enrollment bill on hold

Lawmakers decided to put the brakes on draft legislation that would allow a student to attend any school in the state. The Open Enrollment/Home School Pilot bill is on hold to enable Joint Legislative Program Evaluation Oversight Committee members to spend more time discussing its provisions and talking with local superintendents about the plan’s logistics.

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School support vital for foster care youths

Children and youths in foster care often struggle in school because of the challenges they face in their home lives. They are deprived of academic opportunity by virtue of their state involvement. Two bills currently being considered by Connecticut could help to improve the academic experience of children in foster care.

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Stabbing prompts clear-bag rule at Pennsylvania school

Students have been prohibited from carrying backpacks for years at Franklin Regional, but they are now being asked to replace the allowed drawstring bags with clear plastic bags provided by the schools. The precaution is intended to "bring an added sense of safety and security during the school day as the school community continues to heal," said district spokeswoman Mary Catherine Reljac.

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Proposed Springfield budget cuts central office to avoid teacher layoffs

The Massachusetts city's proposed $446 million school budget for fiscal year 2015 will cut central office positions by 20 percent, mostly through attrition, and institute a hiring freeze to avoid layoffs of teachers. State funding will barely increase while federal grant money will decrease.

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