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21st-century learning

The changing nature of homework and increased use of technology in assignments have affected tutoring companies and the services they provide. Personalized learning is an increasingly important concept for homework help, says Lynn Fontana, chief academic officer of Sylvan Learning, a national tutoring center chain that provides homework help for pre-K12 students.

A recent Pew Research Center study found that when performing online research, students rely heavily on sources with questionable academic quality, such as Wikipedia, and value immediacy over quality. This phenomenon is part of the new literacies, or digital media literacy, that has reverberated across K12 classes.

Students’ state test scores can accurately identify good teachers, but aren’t the only piece of the puzzle.A teacher’s rating is most reliable when test scores are combined with classroom observations and student surveys, according to a study of 3,000 teachers from seven U.S. public school districts.

Successful implementation of Common Core State Standards will depend on principals’ leadership and their ability to work with teachers, parents, and staff to promote the progression of mathematical and literacy skills across grades. To help reach this goal, national nonprofit education reform organization Achieve partnered with College Summit, the National Association of Secondary School Principals NASSP), and the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) to create a series of action briefs on the role of school leaders and counselors in Comm

Many of the nation’s largest urban school districts have experienced enrolment declines over the past decade, and struggle to keep costs down while losing revenue, a new report found. Half of the 100 largest school districts have seen enrollment decreases from 2005 to 2010, with some declining nearly 33 percent, according to “Adapting to Enrollment Declines in Urban School Systems: Managing Costs While Improving Educational Quality,” from

New York schools may soon undergo a transformation, with extended learning time, higher-paid “master teachers,” and full-day pre-kindergarten programs in high-need communities, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The governor’s plan, based largely on a report from the New York Education Reform Commission, also calls for integrating social and health services through community schools, and recruitingGov. Andrew Cuomo addresses gun control in Albany, N.Y. in January.

In January, the controversial results of the StudentsFirst State Policy Report Card made national headlines. The report, which ranked states A through F based on how well their policies aligned with the reform group’s agenda, gave 11 states a failing grade, and awarded none an A. It also underscored the role of district leaders in enacting school reform by outlining each state’s policies and determining where administrators can implement changes.

Students in five states will soon spend at least 300 extra hours in the classroom for the next three years or more, thanks to an initiative that aims to increase student achievement across socioeconomic lines by providing more in-school educational opportunities, announced last December.

U.S. education is increasingly going global: The U.S. Department of Education recently announced its first-ever, fully articulated international strategy, designed to strengthen schools and advance the nation’s international priorities.

cyber cafe

If your school librarians are feeling beleaguered these days, well, they have good reason. Consider:

• The ranks of certified school librarians have been decimated in recent years by districts struggling to balance budgets.

• The explosive growth of anywhere-anytime digital content in K12 districts threatens to make the concept of library-as-media-center an anachronism.

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