Archive for the ‘Education Policy’ Category

preschool-reading-readiness1Professors from Stanford, Columbia and the University of Virginia find that the performance gap between children who live in high- and low-income families has begun to narrow.  An article in The New York Times, “The Good News About Educational Inequality,” reports that children from poorer families are found to be better prepared to enter kindergarten today than they were 20 years ago.

While there’s still a long way to go to reach equality, these surprising findings about the “school readiness gap” (more…)

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“Where there is peace and meditation, there is neither anxiety nor doubt.”  St. Francis de Sales

The New York Times blog “Well” posted an article by Norman Rosenthal, M.D. entitled “Using Meditation to Help Close the Achievement Gap.” It offers impressive findings about children’s improved performance when meditation (or sometimes other quiet activities) is integrated into the classroom.   Because these students live in inner-city neighborhoods where high stress levels often impact learning negatively, the success of mediation programs cited in the article is seen as a way to help close the achievement gap.

You can read the entire article that includes studies showing meditation’s benefits (e.g., reduced stress, increased emotional intelligence, improved sleeping, higher self confidence, increased attendance & academic performance) as well as find related resources at (more…)

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PBS KIDS Oh Noah is designed to teach Spanish to children ages six to eight through animated videos with embedded games that help build vocabulary.  While many of us can intrinsically appreciate the benefits of bilingualism, an article last month in the NY Times blog Well, entitled “The Superior Social Skills of Bilinguals,” went beyond looking at some of the obvious advantages of being bilingual, such as being able to experience more diverse conversations and experiences.

The article referenced two recent studies that “demonstrate that multilingual exposure improves not only children’s cognitive skills but also their social abilities.”  Resources for bilingual education (more…)

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“We need the tonic of wildness . . .We can never have enough of nature.”  Henry David Thoreau

I’ve been waiting for a chance to share this article published in The New York Times on the last day of 2015.  Entitled “Preschool Without Walls,” it’s about students at Seattle’s Fiddleheads Forest School, where — regardless of weather — children spend four hours a day in “cedar grove ‘classrooms’ nestled among the towering trees.”

The article describes the children’s love of learning in nature at Fiddleheads, founded in 2012 by a certified preschool teacher and a naturalist/science educator.  It also details how the outdoor classrooms are part of a larger educational trend that goes beyond previous programs that are also described in the article.

While you may not be able to conduct your classrooms out of doors, you’ll find resources (more…)

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If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.”  Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson’s words were taped to my desk at home for many years as my son was growing up.  Their meaning is apt for many educators and other adults who inspire and support youth, including American Graduate Champion Charlie Bean of the St. Louis Public Schools.

January is National Mentoring Month and Public Media’s initiative American Graduate will have a large presence during the National Mentoring Summit, Jan. 27-29, including Charlie Bean and one of his mentees — or “beans” as calls them — Malik Avery.

Learn more about who will be at the summit and the discussions  (more…)

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This clip from a previous Communities In Schools Town Hall gives us a taste of the information that communities share as they search for ways to help students overcome challenges to their school success.  For nearly 40 years, Communities In Schools has been helping students achieve in school, graduate and go on to bright futures.  Public broadcasting, too, has a long history of improving educational outcomes for high-need students and communities, and now highlights American Graduate, a public media initiative that helps students stay on the path to graduation and future success.

As an American Graduate Station, WGBY invites you to (more…)

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The guiding questions for this year’s Technology in Education (TiE) Conference, “Connected Teachers / Connected Learners,” are compelling ones.   They have to do with how technology can engage local and global communities, center young people’s voices, support authentic and empowering partnerships, and connect teachers.  Equally important to ask, what are the skills, experience and mindset that teachers and students need to be successful?
WGBY will be among conference presenters on Thursday, January 14, at Holyoke Community College with


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