In The News

N.J. lawmakers follow words of support for vo-tech schools with legislative action

A package of bills intended to improve and support New Jersey’s vocational and technical schools got a speedy boost from the Legislature. The final passage was quick by Trenton standards – the bills intended to bolster vo-tech schools and their burgeoning career academies were introduced only five months ago.

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Low-scoring Florida county schools to get high-tech labs

A $1.9 million state school improvement grant will fund the development of new science labs in nine schools that have received an F or D school grade this year as well as low marks in science on statewide exams.

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Snow days turn digital at more schools

An increasing number of districts are using e-learning to keep class in session during bad weather and to meet the required number of instruction days without having to add makeups to the calendar. Some districts are developing lesson plans specifically for digital snow days. Others offer more time to complete assignments given on snow days.

Career tech expands into new territory

Career and technical education (CTE) isn’t what it used to be. CTE encompasses a dizzying array of subjects and skills: Everything from the traditional (auto tech and welding) to the high-tech (graphic design and animation). At the CareerTech Vision 2014 conference, topics include helping CTE teachers sharpen student literacy and coordinate with academic counterparts.

Edmonds school system exploring districtwide sound enhancement systems

The Washington district is looking further into potentially providing sound enhancement systems for all classrooms in its nearly 40 schools. The Lightspeed REDCAT system currently being used by some schools distributes sound evenly throughout the room.

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Florida pilot program will give teens more control over schoolwork, schedule

Pinellas County will be among 10 districts nationwide receiving a college-ready learning grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The county is establishing five school-within-a-school programs and transforming an intermediate school into an “incubator school” with new technologies and personalized learning.

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Rethinking vocational high school as a path to college

For years, vocational high schools have been seen as a lesser form of schooling – tracking some kids off to work while others were encouraged to go on to college and pursue higher income professions. But things are changing. Vocational high schools are focusing much more on preparing students for higher education.

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Kids hone tech skills as Common Core exams move online

Elementary school students in New York City will soon take the state's high-stakes Common Core exams on computers rather than paper, and some schools have already started preparing kids as young as 4 years old for the shift.

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Mississippi school system launches tech initiative

This year marked the beginning of Alignment Jackson, an initiative to improve Jackson Public Schools by increasing professional development, creating teacher teams and, most popularly, providing a MacBook laptop to each ninth grader. The policy change also allows students to bring their devices like cell phones to class.

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Minn. district approves iPad initiative, lays off tech employees

The Rochester School Board approved a proposal to expand its 1-to-1 iPad program to more schools. But the board is also laying off 17 staff members from the technology department. Those jobs will be cut and re-titled to 19 new positions with different descriptions, qualifications and skill sets.

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