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Back Office Business, February 2011 - Tech Learning

Back Office Business, February 2011

Challenge: Many public libraries rely on their state libraries to select and provide access to authoritative information.
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Delaware’s public libraries now have access to major e-book resource

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Challenge: Many public libraries rely on their state libraries to select and provide access to authoritative information. At the same time, our public schools, which have experienced significant materials budget cuts, are increasingly looking to their public libraries for support.
Solution: Delaware chose the Public Library Complete Pilot Program from ebrary (www.ebrary.com/corp) to provide simultaneous, multi-user access to more than 21,000 full-text ebooks from leading publishers. Delaware public high schools will be eligible for complimentary onsite and offsite access.

Worcester (MA) Public Schools launches reading-intervention program

Challenge: To help elementary and secondary students improve critical reading and language skills.
Solution: The district began using Scientific Learning’s Fast ForWord (www.scilearn.com) software in September and has already seen students in three different schools achieve more than a year and a half of growth in 28 days. Students work on the program for a half hour each day in computer labs.

Math achievement off the charts in Kentucky

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Challenge: To improve students achievement in low- and high-performing schools and with a wide range of student groups, including gifted and students in poverty.
Solution: After using Carnegie Learning (www.carnegielearning.com) Math curricula, eight Kentucky districts moved up in math percentile rankings at both the high school and middle school levels. Owsley County in rural eastern Kentucky improved a remarkable 70 points in high school math and 42 points in middle school rank. Schools in Owsley, Ohio, and Union County districts demonstrated AYP for the first time since the institution of NCLB.

Indiana first to align with Common Core State Standards

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Challenge: Ensuring that Indiana teachers and building- and district-level leaders are well prepared to teach the subject areas in which they are licensed, provide leadership, and contribute to improved achievement for all Indiana students.
Solution : The Indiana Professional Standards Advisory Board, in conjunction with the Indiana DoE, unanimously approved new developmental and content standards for educators, making Indiana the first state in the nation to fully align its teacher standards with Common Core State Standards (www.corestandards.org). The new, rigorous standards are aligned with the Indiana Academic Standard, as well as with national standards in each field.

The sixth-largest district in the U.S. offers online tutoring

Challenge: To help ninth-grade algebra students master skills and concepts, receive additional support, complete homework, and prepare for exams.
Solution : Broward County Public Schools used Title I funds to offer one-to-one online tutoring from Tutor.com. The students can connect to online tutors for help in science, social studies, or English—in addition to algebra.

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Challenge: With extremely limited funds (this district was second to last in perpupil spending in the state), Esko (MN) Public Schools had to figure out how to boost math scores for 6th-grade students who receive Title 1 funds for reading but not for math.

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Challenge: The California Learning Resource Network(CLRN) evaluates resources for its 10,000 public schoolsto serve as supplemental resources in their classrooms.