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Gleanings The Skinny on School Choice Only a small fraction of kids are transferring out of schools that have failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress for two straight years under NCLB, according to a new study from the Center on Education Policy. The report, which revealed 2 percent of eligible students have opted
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Gleanings

The Skinny on School Choice

Only a small fraction of kids are transferring out of schools that have failed to make Adequate Yearly Progress for two straight years under NCLB, according to a new study from the Center on Education Policy. The report, which revealed 2 percent of eligible students have opted to change schools, determined that only half of schools required to offer a transfer option this year have done so. Districts cite logistics as the main problem: not enough space in the "receiving" schools, or in the case of rural areas, no other schools nearby.

In Their Dreams

If you want your students to become better problem solvers, tell them to get a good night's sleep. While the link between creativity and sleep has been long suspected — for example, it's said that chemist Dmitri Medeleyev devised the periodic table upon waking from a nap — it's finally been proven scientifically. In a controlled experiment, German scientists at the University of Luebeck found people who got a full eight hours of sleep were three times more likely to figure out a hidden rule to a complex calculation than the sleep-deprived.

Assessing the State of Education

Are Bush administration policies hurting or helping public education? Seventy-two percent of respondents to our online QuickPoll say it's the former, with some commenting that NCLB "makes impossible demands and hampers the local school's ability to allocate resources" appropriately, and that its underlying objective is "to discredit public education so American voters will be more in favor of vouchers and charter schools." But 28 percent disagreed. One reader opined: "Democrats are just bitter because the Republicans embarrassed them by taking the lead — both strategically and financially — on something as obvious as system accountability."

Hit List

Books

T&L QuickPoll

Do you agree with [Howard] Dean that the Bush Administration is laying the groundwork for serious damage to our country's public education system?

Hurting: 72%
Helping: 28%

Did you know you could do advanced mathematical calculations, convert units of measurement, perform reverse phone number look ups, and get real-time stock quotes using the Google search box? These are just some of the many useful revelations in How to Do Everything with Google, a well-written guide chock full of tips on making the most of the popular search engine — from crafting more effective searches to finding specialized information. Penned by Google engineers and trainers, the book is at its best when explaining features users often pass by — Google News, for instance, which aggregates and ranks the latest news from thousands of sources, and also provides customized news alerts via e-mail. Not exactly bedtime reading, to be sure, but surprisingly interesting and guaranteed to drag you out of your usual searching rut. McGraw-Hill/ Osborne; www.osborne.com

Online

With National Poetry Month almost upon us, educators looking for a fresh angle on the topic should visit Poetry Slam Inc.'s Web site on spoken word performance — a competitive art form that's enjoyed phenomenal growth in the past decade and gained mainstream recognition on television and Broadway, thanks to Russell Simmons' Def Poetry Jam. While PSI's site is nothing special, technically or aesthetically, it offers a handy Frequently Asked Questions section that includes poetry slam history and rules; an updated list of slam venues nationwide (and also some overseas locations); and selected audio clips of well-known performance poets doing their thing. PSI also sponsors the National Poetry Slam, the "Super Bowl" of slams, to be held this August in St. Louis, Mo. www.poetryslam.com

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Gleanings New Poll Reveals Budget Woes District technology budgets have taken big hits, according to a report released this summer by CoSN and Grunwald Associates. The Digital Leadership Divide survey found that while 38 percent of district tech budgets have increased in the past three years, 62 percent have

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Gleanings The Young and the Wired A surprising percentage of kids use e-mail as early as kindergarten, according to NetDay. The nonprofit, which recently released the results of its Speak Up Day 2003 study, found 29 percent of grade K-3 students have their own e-mail accounts, compared to 45 percent for grades 4-6

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Gleanings A Closer Look at "Failing" Schools Do schools considered "failing" under No Child Left Behind have more or less technology than the average American school? This intriguing question, asked by Market Data Retrieval in their recent Technology in Education 2003 report, yielded interesting numbers. In terms of

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Q&A with Roger Wagner Big Idea: Invented multimedia authoring software HyperStudio, released by Roger Wagner Publishing in May 1989. K-12 Cred: Before founding his software company, Wagner taught math and science at Mountain Empire Junior-Senior High School in Pine Valley, Calif. Owner: PBA Galleries, a San

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Q&A with Tom Snyder Founder: Tom Snyder Productions in 1980 Hallmarks: Creative and collaborative curriculum products for the one-computer classroom Award Winners: TimeLiner; Fizz & Martina's Math Adventures; Geography Search; Decisions, Decisions; and more. Q: What has been the biggest turning point in education

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Gleanings Surf Report A new survey from Web filtering company St. Bernard Software and JAS Market Research found inappropriate Net use is alive and kicking in K-12 schools, with 59 percent of the 200 technology decision-makers polled reporting incidents ranging from students accessing games (the number one

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Gleanings Teachers Speak Out A recent survey from Public Agenda revealed many of the nation's teachers feel that the expectations placed on them for raising student achievement are not only unrealistic, but unjust. The report found that 59 percent of the 1,345 public school teachers polled believe "it's unfair to be

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Gleanings Laptop Lessons Some heartening news for proponents of 1-to-1 computing in schools: a recent study out of Canada links wireless laptop use with improved English skills. Conducted by the Peace River North School District in British Columbia, whose Wireless Writing Project puts notebook computers in the hands

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Q&A with Peggy Healy Stearns Job: Award-winning children's software designer Clients: Sunburst, Tom Snyder Productions, Fable-vision Creations: Solve It!, The Graph Club, Neighborhood MapMachine, Community Construction Kit, Diorama Designer, Rainforest Designer, Let's Get Writing, Stationery Studio Next: Stationery