WASCDeBrief WASCDeBrief


April 26, 2012

WASCD News
WASCD Lead­ers Take an Active Role in Philadelphia
ASCD’s Annual Con­fer­ence in Philadel­phia fea­tured sev­eral ses­sions that focused on the lat­est edu­ca­tion pol­icy news and devel­op­ments. Wis­con­sin ASCD President-​elect Karen Wendorf-​Heldt (CESA#9) and Richard Lange (Illi­nois ASCD) joined ASCD Direc­tor of Pub­lic Pol­icy David Grif­fith to edu­cate and encour­age par­tic­i­pants to become advo­cates for their stu­dents, orga­ni­za­tions, and pro­fes­sion. Their ses­sion empha­sized the cru­cial need for fed­eral pol­i­cy­mak­ers to hear from edu­ca­tors as Con­gress works to reau­tho­rize ESEA. They helped demys­tify the advo­cacy process by shar­ing their expe­ri­ences and first steps to becom­ing edu­ca­tor advocates.
WASCD Board Mem­ber Nick Dus­sault (CESA#7) was among those ASCD Leg­isla­tive Com­mit­tee mem­bers who met with Gamal Sherif, a US Depart­ment of Edu­ca­tion Teach­ing Ambas­sador Fel­low, to dis­cuss fed­eral pol­icy issues. Sherif was most inter­ested in hear­ing ASCD’s per­spec­tive on the Obama administration’s new RESPECT ini­tia­tive and was very respon­sive to Leg­isla­tive Com­mit­tee mem­bers’ con­cerns about the need to reau­tho­rize ESEA, as well as the impor­tance of pro­vid­ing sup­port for teach­ers and prin­ci­pals in this dif­fi­cult eco­nomic climate.
Past Pres­i­dent Tony Fron­tier (Car­di­nal Stritch Uni­ver­sity) pre­sented a two-​day pre­con­fer­ence pro­gram and a Sat­ur­day sec­tional ses­sion with David Liv­ingston, his co-​author along with Robert Marzano, on Effec­tive Super­vi­sion: Sup­port­ing the Art & Sci­ence of Teach­ing.
Past Pres­i­dent Mary Gav­i­gan (White­fish Bay) pre­sented ASCD Lead­er­ship 101 about var­i­ous path­ways to get involved in ASCD gov­er­nance and affil­i­ate lead­er­ship along with Anne Roloff (Illi­nois ASCD) and Nancy Deford (Vir­ginia ASCD).
WASCD Pro­gram Plan­ning Chair Eileen Depka pre­sented a Mon­day sec­tional ses­sion Join­ing For­ma­tive Assess­ment and Response to Inter­ven­tion: Infor­ma­tion, Tools and Tech­niques. You have the chance to hear Eileen at WASCD’s RtI program on May 10th in WI Dells.
WASCD Pro­grams
There is still time to reg­is­ter for WASCD’s
last pro­gram of the 2011-​12 school year.
RtI: You have a team. Now what?
May 10 in Wis­con­sin Dells
WASCD presents a work­shop for those respon­si­ble for imple­ment­ing RtI plans. Bring a team of dis­trict admin­is­tra­tors and teacher lead­ers includ­ing your busi­ness man­ager to hear what oth­ers are doing and plan your imple­men­ta­tion. Pre­sen­ters include WASCD Lead­ers Eileen Depka, Kurt Schnei­der, Sally Habanek and Kathy Myles, groups from the Stoughton Area School Dis­trict, School Dis­trict of Beloit, DPI and the RtI Center.
Com­mon Core State Stan­dards
ASCD on the Com­mon Core Standards
We at ASCD believe the national dia­logue on the Com­mon Core State Stan­dards has reached a turn­ing point. With 46 states adopt­ing the stan­dards, it is no longer a ques­tion of if the stan­dards should be adopted, but how they will be implemented.
In one recent survey of deputy state super­in­ten­dents of edu­ca­tion con­ducted by the Cen­ter on Edu­ca­tion Pol­icy in Jan­u­ary 2012, pro­vid­ing pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment in suf­fi­cient quan­tity and qual­ity was the most-​often cited teacher-​related chal­lenge to imple­ment­ing the Com­mon Core State Stan­dards. This data under­scores the fact that to suc­cess­fully imple­ment these stan­dards, it is crit­i­cal that edu­ca­tors at all lev­els — teach­ers, prin­ci­pals, super­in­ten­dents — receive the nec­es­sary pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment. This, we believe, is the key to mov­ing the Com­mon Core State Stan­dards from words to action. It’s not enough to sim­ply dis­trib­ute the new stan­dards to edu­ca­tors and expect pos­i­tive, mean­ing­ful change to hap­pen. We need to pro­vide edu­ca­tors with tar­geted pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment to help them under­stand the new stan­dards, plan lessons and deliver aligned instruc­tion, eval­u­ate learn­ing to deter­mine mas­tery, and pro­vide addi­tional sup­port to the stu­dents who need it.
The pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment pro­vided can­not be a sin­gu­lar event. Instead, the pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment must be sus­tained, job-​embedded, and involve feed­back and follow-​up obser­va­tions. It should be tied to spe­cific instruc­tional goals. And just as we eval­u­ate stu­dents and teach­ers, we must eval­u­ate the pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment itself to make sure it is meet­ing teach­ers’ needs. Build­ing local capac­ity and enabling edu­ca­tors to help one another col­lec­tively deliver standards-​based instruc­tion will ulti­mately lead to improved stu­dent performance.
Hand in hand with an ongo­ing, job-​embedded pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment effort should be an increased focus on the Whole Child approach to learn­ing. ASCD believes each child, in each school, in each com­mu­nity deserves to be healthy, safe, engaged, sup­ported, and chal­lenged. ASCD sup­ports the Com­mon Core State Stan­dards because we sup­port learn­ing that chal­lenges each stu­dent. How­ever, for each child to suc­ceed we must also set equally high stan­dards and expec­ta­tions for the school cul­ture, fam­ily engage­ment, and the student’s social-​emotional wellness.
Edu­ca­tors know that no sin­gle pro­gram or ini­tia­tive pro­vides the sil­ver bul­let for stu­dent achieve­ment or school improve­ment. But we do know that the newer, higher stan­dards will require schools and com­mu­ni­ties to more com­pre­hen­sively sup­port mean­ing­ful stu­dent learn­ing. We believe they pro­mote a level of aca­d­e­mic pre­pared­ness for grad­u­ates to suc­cess­fully pur­sue fur­ther edu­ca­tion, a career, and civic par­tic­i­pa­tion. We believe they will encour­age school instruc­tional staff to develop and deliver effec­tive, engag­ing instruc­tion reflec­tive of indi­vid­ual stu­dent needs and strengths. Per­haps most impor­tantly, we know the stan­dards neces­si­tate an under­stand­ing of all the fac­tors related to learn­ing — health, safety, con­nect­ed­ness to school, per­son­al­iza­tion, rel­e­vance, and so forth to ensure the long-​term suc­cess of students.
So, as our national dia­logue around Com­mon Core State Stan­dards con­tin­ues, let’s turn our atten­tion to how sus­tained pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment and the Whole Child approach to learn­ing can help us meet our shared goal of sup­port­ing the suc­cess of each learner.
David Grif­fith, ASCD Pub­lic Pol­icy Director
Read the entire con­ver­sa­tion from the National Jour­nal (March 15, 2012).

There are sev­eral fac­tors that deter­mine whether text is com­plex, says Tim­o­thy Shana­han, a pro­fes­sor and depart­ment chair­man at the Uni­ver­sity of Illi­nois, Chicago, and Dou­glas Fisher and Nancy Frey, pro­fes­sors at San Diego State Uni­ver­sity, Cal­i­for­nia. They write in this arti­cle that vocab­u­lary, sen­tence struc­ture, coher­ence and orga­ni­za­tion of the text can indi­cate its com­plex­ity. Another fac­tor, how­ever, is the level of knowl­edge stu­dents have before read­ing the text.
Edu­ca­tional Lead­er­ship, March 2012
Check out other ASCD resources on text complexity. Watch and listen as David Liben, Grant Wig­gins, Jay McTighe and Matt Copeland dis­cuss approaches to teach­ing com­plex texts.
Editor’s Note: Text com­plex­ity is one of the top­ics that will be addressed at the WASCD Pre­con­fer­ence pro­gram on Oct. 3, 2012 by Karin Hess, National Coun­cil for the Improve­ment of Edu­ca­tional Assessment

As school dis­tricts move closer to adopt­ing the Com­mon Core State Stan­dards, edu­ca­tors say they are work­ing to ensure they are pre­pared for the new focus on infor­ma­tional texts. Some edu­ca­tors say stu­dents are less famil­iar with non­fic­tion and how to read it. Experts also urge edu­ca­tors to ensure they main­tain a bal­ance with instruc­tion on fic­tion texts.
Edu­ca­tion Week, March 13, 2012
DPI Con­nec­tion
Race to the Runner-​Up
Five states that lost out in the orig­i­nal grant com­pe­ti­tion to help reform their early child­hood edu­ca­tion pro­grams will get a sec­ond chance to win a grant. The five runners-​up to the Early Learn­ing Chal­lenge Fund — Col­orado, Illi­nois, New Mex­ico, Ore­gon, and Wis­con­sin—will be eligible for a remain­ing slice of $133 mil­lion. Nine states won the first round of fund­ing to increase the qual­ity of, and access to, their early edu­ca­tion ser­vices for chil­dren ages 05. The par­tic­u­lars of this new, lim­ited com­pe­ti­tion will be released later this year with the grants to be awarded before Sep­tem­ber 30.

Edu­ca­tion “Uncon­fer­ence” Opportunity
A free, one-​day “unconference” called edCamp will land in Mil­wau­kee on May 12, offer­ing a chance for edu­ca­tors, admin­is­tra­tors, stu­dents, and librar­i­ans to share and learn from each other.
“Par­tic­i­pants are encour­aged to come with an idea for a ses­sion to lead or antic­i­pa­tion for a full day of learn­ing,” said Chad Kafka of Franklin Public Schools, one of the edCampMKE organizers.
In the edCamp concept, the first ses­sion of the day allows all atten­dees to share or lis­ten to ideas for the rest of the ses­sions to be offered that day. An edCampMKE ses­sion can explore any­thing related to edu­ca­tion — class­room tech­nol­ogy inte­gra­tion, brain research, and other top­ics are all possible.
“The day focuses on edu­ca­tion,” Kafka said, “so dis­cus­sion around a teach­ing phi­los­o­phy, shar­ing a tech tool, or talk­ing ped­a­gogy are all game!” “The con­cept of edu­ca­tors learn­ing from other edu­ca­tors is a pow­er­ful means of pro­fes­sional learn­ing and the edCamp for­mat is a great way to expand and strengthen one’s own per­sonal learn­ing net­work,” said Asst. State Supt. Kurt Kiefer. “The DPI is com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing this type of pro­fes­sional learning.”
Con­tact edCampMKE organizers or DPI Edu­ca­tion Con­sul­tant Stuart Ciske for more edCamp information.

New Assess­ments: Progress and Website
Work pro­gresses toward new state assess­ments, through the multi-​state Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, in which Wis­con­sin has played an active role.
Smarter Bal­anced recently unveiled a new website which includes sev­eral fea­tures for keep­ing tabs on the assess­ment project and access­ing resources related to assess­ment devel­op­ment and Common Core State Standards imple­men­ta­tion. An inter­ac­tive timeline shows when spe­cific steps were, or will be, com­pleted. (Some recent devel­op­ments were the com­ple­tion of con­tent spec­i­fi­ca­tions in mathematics, English language arts/literacy, and IT architecture specifications to guide the even­tual sys­tem.) Other pages tar­geted toward teach­ers, administrators, higher education, parents, and other stake­hold­ers also pro­vide use­ful updates. For exam­ple, the con­sor­tium intends to work with groups of teach­ers from each par­tic­i­pat­ing state to develop test items, pilot the new assess­ments, and ensure a suc­cess­ful tran­si­tion to the tests, begin­ning in 201213 and con­tin­u­ing through 201314. The web­site also includes ways to stay up to date on their work through email or social media.
Pro­grams from Other Organizations
4th Annual Min­netonka Sum­mer Institutes:
Trans­form­ing Edu­ca­tion for the 21st Century
Fea­tur­ing inter­na­tion­ally respected change leaders
Each year, the Minnetonka Schools hosts the lead­ing edu­ca­tors to share research on how to trans­form schools and increase stu­dent achieve­ment. Join the con­ver­sa­tion this sum­mer with Michael Ful­lan, Tony Wag­ner, Bill Dagget, Anne Davies, Dou­glas Reeves, Heidi Hayes Jacobs and James Popham. This con­fer­ence is designed for teach­ers, prin­ci­pals, and dis­trict lead­ers to attend as a team and to be ready to return with a plan of action.
June 2728, 2012: Assess­ment and Lead­er­ship Institute
July 1920, 2012: 21st Cen­tury Learner and Change Institute
Attend both con­fer­ences for only $550. Details and email.
National Rural Edu­ca­tion Tech­nol­ogy Sum­mit 2.0
April 30, 201212:00pm to 6:00pm EDT
Join U.S. Sec­re­tary of Edu­ca­tion Arne Dun­can as he wel­comes stu­dents, edu­ca­tors and rural edu­ca­tion stake­hold­ers to this online con­fer­ence designed to pro­vide exam­ples of how tech­nol­ogy is used to over­come the chal­lenges of dis­tance and increase access to edu­ca­tional oppor­tu­ni­ties in dis­tant and remote rural areas.
The Con­fer­ence sessions are designed for stu­dents, admin­is­tra­tors and teach­ers, and include inter­ac­tive pre­sen­ta­tions and resources. Par­tic­i­pants will have access to a “Resource Hall” designed to high­light pro­grams across the fed­eral gov­ern­ment that can be used in rural communities.
Learn more about the National Rural Edu­ca­tion Tech­nol­ogy Sum­mit 2.0 and register today — and did we men­tion it’s FREE!
Did You Know?
Should schools teach keyboarding?
New tech­nol­ogy, such as touch screens, has dimin­ished the need for stu­dents to learn proper key­board­ing tech­niques, some edu­ca­tors say. Now, some com­pa­nies are seek­ing to develop a new way of typ­ing — beyond the tra­di­tional key­board. “Chil­dren are grow­ing up not with the PC any­more, but the tablet,” said Ben­jamin Ghas­s­abian, inven­tor of key­board­ing soft­ware Snap­keys. “Many, many schools are using tablets. Fin­gers do not have to be all over the screen. There are only two posi­tions — up or down, right or left.” T.H.E. Journal (4÷10)
Stop Bul­ly­ing Now
Edu­ca­tion Sec­re­tary Arne Dun­can unveiled a new and improved StopBullying.gov web­site that includes action steps indi­vid­u­als, fam­i­lies, and schools can take to stop bul­ly­ing. The web­site also includes expanded infor­ma­tion about stu­dents who may be at risk for being bul­lied, and can help deter­mine whether an indi­vid­ual is engag­ing in bul­ly­ing. The new site coin­cides with increased pub­lic inter­est in bul­ly­ing with the release of a pow­er­ful and dis­turb­ing doc­u­men­tary, Bully.
There are six keys to effec­tive read­ing instruc­tion, says Richard L. Alling­ton, pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­sity of Ten­nessee in Knoxville, and Rachael E. Gabriel, assis­tant pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­sity of Con­necti­cut in Storrs. The pro­fes­sors write, in this issue of ASCD’s Edu­ca­tional Lead­er­ship, that chil­dren should: read books they select, read with accu­racy, under­stand what they read, write about what they care about, talk with their peers about read­ing and writ­ing, and lis­ten to adults read.
Edu­ca­tional Lead­er­ship, March 2012
Should social media be used as a learn­ing tool?
This blog post addresses the pros and cons of using social media as a teach­ing tool. Among the ben­e­fits to using tools such as Face­book and Twit­ter in the class­room are stu­dents’ famil­iar­ity with the sites, avail­able resources and their abil­ity to assist in research, blog­ger Char­lie Osborne writes. Social media also help engage stu­dents in lessons and appeal to var­ied learn­ing styles, she adds. How­ever, the same tools may cre­ate dis­trac­tions, facil­i­tate cyber­bul­ly­ing and require fil­ters, she notes. ZDNet/iGeneration blog (4÷10)
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