Virtual School Meanderings

November 24, 2014

The Pulse Newsletter: November Edition

From Friday’s inbox…

Florida Virtual School
The Pulse. A newsletter for FLVS Parents and Students
The Pulse Newsletter: November Edition
Dear Michael,


Want to make a 26-second PSA for the Florida Department of Education Celebrate Literacy Contest? Ready to try an Hour of Code?

Then be sure to read this issue of The Pulse, our newsletter for FLVS parents and students!

Click here to view the November newsletter.

In this edition:



Happy Thanksgiving from FLVS!


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AERA15 Insider – November 2014

From last week’s inbox…

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AERA15 Insider
November 2014

The AERA Annual Meeting is the largest gathering of scholars in the field of education research and a showcase for ground-breaking, innovative studies in a diverse array of areas. It is where to encounter ideas and data that will shape tomorrow’s education practices and policies, and where to connect with leading thinkers from the U.S. and around the world. Leading up to the 2015 Annual Meeting, AERA15 Insider will provide a monthly glance at meeting highlights and features. Join us April 16-20 for five rewarding days of ideas, engagement, networking, and professional advancement.

In this Issue:

New at the Annual Meeting

Onsite AERA Career Center

Welcoming Orientation

Discover Chicago

April 16–20, 2015


Registration and housing will open

Online program available in mid-February.

About the Theme
The 2015 Annual Meeting theme is intended to focus our attention on justice—locally as well as globally—in a spirit of mutually respectful collaborative engagement with our disciplines and modes of inquiry in the context of the world around us. Read more

New at the 2015 AERA Annual Meeting
Education Research-to-Performance Youth Apprentice Program Research Festival

Participants in the AERA Education Research-to-Performance Youth Apprentice Program will exhibit their developing and ongoing work during a Research Festival at the Annual Meeting. Under the guidance of senior education researchers, high school students will participate in a series of activities—performances, exhibits, and paper and poster presentations—designed to enhance their appreciation of education research, deepen their engagement in it, and inspire them to recognize just how powerful and persuasive knowledge production can be.

Looking for a New Opportunity?
Take Advantage of the Onsite AERA Career Center

The AERA Career Center is an onsite space at the Annual Meeting where employers and job seekers meet for prescheduled interviews. Job seekers have the chance to meet with recruiters and hiring employers. Employers have the rare opportunity to meet with multiple job candidates of the highest caliber all in one location. Registration opens in December.

New to AERA or the Annual Meeting?
Get Your Bearings at the Welcoming Orientation

New members and first-time meeting attendees are encourage to attend an hour-long orientation session the morning of April 17. Chaired by AERA President Joyce E. King, President-Elect Jeannie Oakes, and Executive Director Felice J. Levine, the session will offer an opportunity to learn more about AERA, the benefits of membership, and how to navigate the Annual Meeting.

Discover Chicago
An American Treasure

Chicago is more than just a big city. Besides its striking downtown, which includes some of the tallest buildings in the world, Chicago has a distinctive coastline, hundreds of vibrant parks and more than 200 unique neighborhoods. It’s this truly distinctive mix of global attractions and local charm that make this city second to none. Visit the AERA Chicago Tourism website for information on attractions, tours, museums, dining, getting around, and more.

2015 Annual Meeting PageTheme | General Info | Program Info | Registration | 
Meeting Services | Housing & Travel | Visiting Chicago | Exhibitor Info | Contact AERA
2015 Annual Meeting
“Toward Justice: Culture, Language, and Heritage in
Education Research and Praxis”
Thursday, April 16Monday, April 20, 2015
Chicago, Illinois


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November 22, 2014

Influencing the Future – SRI Education Notes – November 2014

From Thursday’s inbox…

:: In the News

A First Look at Local Control Funding in California

A new study by SRI and a team of researchers from across California offers the first independent look at the implementation of the state’s Local Control Funding Formula legislation. The research found strong support from education officials but made clear they are concerned about the future of the effort and challenged by its requirements. Learn more about the study, Toward a Grand Vision: Early Implementation of California’s Local Control Funding Formula.

WGBH Launches First 8 Studios

SRI Education is part of new effort to research and develop digital and tablet material for early learners. In October, WGBH Boston announced the formation of First 8 Studios, a new digital-first production team developing digital and tablet-based content and off-screen supplemental materials for preschoolers and early learners. It has launched its first product, an app—Early Math with Gracie & Friends. The app is based on findings from the National Science Foundation-funded Next Generation Preschool Math(NGPM) research project studying the integration of digital content in preschool classrooms. WGBH partnered with SRI and Education Development Center (EDC) on the NGPM project. WGBH, SRI, and EDC have created a set of supplemental curricular materials that integrate technology-based activities with 46 original hands-on and traditional classroom activities, and a digital Teacher’s Guide that will be released in early 2015.

DaSy Center’s “Improving Data, Improving Outcomes” Conference

In September, SRI’s Center for IDEA Early Childhood Data Systems (DaSy) Center hosted its second “Improving Data, Improving Outcomes” conference in New Orleans. The meeting provided information on development and enhancement of early childhood data systems and improvement of data quality. The conference also provided information on the measurement and use of child and family outcomes data to make informed decisions. Check out the agenda and information about national frameworks, products, and states’ experiences and resources for improving policy and practice. The conference was held in partnership with the IDEA Data Center (IDC) and the Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center.

SRI Presents at Fall 2014 Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE) Conference in Washington D.C.

  • H. Alix Gallagher, Katrina Woodworth, CJ Park, Teresa McCaffrey and Haiwen Wang:Impact Evaluation of National Writing Project Professional Development Program
  • Barbara Means and Jessica Mislevy: Creating Means to Measure Improvements in K-12 STEM Education: A Multi-Stakeholder Collaborative Effort
  • Andrew Krumm: Using Data from Digital Environments to Better Understand Learning
  • H. Alix Gallagher, Jeremy Roschelle and Mingyu Feng: Recruiting Participants for Randomized Controlled Trials

:: Stay Connected

Click here to go to the SRI Facebook page. Click here to go to the SRI Facebook page. Click here to go to the SRI Facebook page. Click here to go to the SRI Facebook page. Click here to go to the SRI Facebook page.

SRI Education is tackling the most complex issues in education to help students succeed. We work with federal and state agencies, school districts, major foundations, nonprofit organizations, and international and commercial clients to address risk factors that impede learning, assess learning gains, and use technology for educational innovation. Visit

SRI Education
333 Ravenswood Ave.
Menlo Park, CA 94025

1100 Wilson Boulevard
Suite 2800 (28th floor)
Arlington, VA 22209

© 2014 SRI International is a registered trademark and SRI Education is a trademark of SRI International. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Contact UsSubscribe to the
SRI Education Newsletter.

Denise Glyn Borders Vice President, SRI Education

Influencing the Future

At SRI Education, our work is really about influencing the future. We study the past and the present, to find answers to the challenges of today and, using solid evidence, illuminate the paths to tomorrow. In the midst of battles over teacher evaluation and tenure, the implementation of ambitious education standards, the use of technology in the classroom, new methods of school funding and other issues, we strive to provide knowledge and ideas that help educators and other stakeholders find effective ways forward. In this latest version of SRI Education Notes, we share some of our current efforts and highlight important new projects.

Denise Glyn Borders, Ed.D.
Vice President, SRI Education

SRI Study of New System of Educator Evaluation in Massachusetts offers Lessons for Many States

Building Human Capital to Strengthen Education

SRI Study of New System of Educator Evaluation in Massachusetts Offers Lessons for Many States

The evaluation of teachers is one of the most controversial issues in education today. A range of corporate, philanthropic, and political interests are pushing for the development of evaluation systems that incorporate measurements of student performance and use those data to inform high-stakes decisions on teacher pay, tenure, and future employment.  Teachers and other educators are pushing back, saying such systems are inaccurate, ineffective and unfair and do little to inform and support the development of quality teaching.

In this highly charged situation, an SRI research team is working to provide insight, information, and ideas on how educators might move forward in ways that change the national debate on evaluation and strengthen student learning.  Working with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, SRI researchers have undertaken an examination of an interrelated series of human capital initiatives that aim to move beyond evaluation based exclusively on testing, accountability, and control to a collaborative system focused on the continual growth and development of educators.

“The effort in Massachusetts represents an important shift in how educators are evaluated,” said Roneeta Guha, the director of the project for SRI. “This system is not about firing teachers. It’s about finding ways to support and develop educators in ways that enhance their abilities to help students learn. We think it offers important lessons for education systems across the nation.” Read more.

A New Vision for After School Science Education

A New Vision for Afterschool Science Education

A new SRI study offers insights into science learning in California’s Afterschool Education and Safety (AES) programs and is helping to establish a new vision to expand and strengthen learning opportunities and interest in science for elementary school students.

“Afterschool programs have the potential to engage students in quality science learning experiences that may not fit into the regular school day,” said Ann House, Ph.D., senior researcher in SRI Education’s Center for Technology in Learning and project director for the study. “Until now, little data have been available about how much science is offered in afterschool settings. We now have a more complete picture of best practices for informal science learning and recommendations for improving and extending science offerings for children across California and nationwide.”

Conducted over five years with funding from the National Science Foundation, the study found that while most afterschool programs were interested in and trying to include science in their regular offerings, other activities such as arts, sports, or tutoring were far more common. In many afterschool programs studied, science learning opportunities were limited. Staff were not trained in how to lead science activities, and had limited opportunities for professional development and little access to quality curriculum materials or science activities. Read more.

SRI Hosts 2014 CyberLearning Summit

Curriculum Materials Make a Difference for Next-Generation Science Teaching and Learning

Do curriculum materials matter for helping students achieve new science standards? A recent study by SRI showed that project-based curriculum materials that explicitly support the features and practices called for within the new science standards have a positive effect on teaching and learning.

The study found that implementing project-based curriculum materials that help teachers engage students in authentic science practices can impact teaching practice and increase student learning. Students who participated in a project-based science curriculum outperformed students in a standard textbook curriculum on measures aligned with important core science ideas and science practices outlined in the new Next Generation Science Standards.

“Curriculum materials matter because they guide what teachers do in the classroom,” said SRI Senior Researcher Christopher Harris. “Our findings suggest that investments in well-designed materials and new assessments can make a real difference for achieving next-generation science learning outcomes.”

Read the full report.

New Projects at SRI Education

From teaching quality to technology, from early learning to evaluation, our team at SRI is deeply engaged in critical education research and projects that will inform and shape the future of education policy and practice. Here are a few new projects:

  • In Texas, as part of a charter school expansion grant with IDEA Public Schools, we are examining district capacity and the challenges of scaling up established high-performing school models.
  • Also in Texas, with funding from the Department of Justice/National Institute for Justice, we are investigating safe schools strategies in Pharr San Juan Alamo Independent School District.
  • We’re working with several campuses in the California State University system in support of their New Teacher Quality Partnership Grants. Our work developing indicators and measuring progress will help CSU campuses create new models for preparing STEM teachers and increase participation of underrepresented groups in teaching STEM subjects.
  • With funding from an Institute of Education Sciences researcher-practitioner partnership grant, we’re working with the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada, to examine and support English language learners’ science learning in the elementary grades.
  • With funding from the National Science Foundation, we’re taking on new projects on big data, learning analytics, and computer science instruction.
  • We are partnering with our colleagues at WestEd on the Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services recently awarded National Center for Systemic Improvement.

These are just a handful of the new engagements we are excited about!

November 21, 2014

Plugged In | 11.21.14 | (powered by iNACOL)

A final word today from the neo-liberals…

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International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL)

powered by iNACOL…

Keeping Pace
In my last post I discussed why we feel that the word “digital” is better than either “online” or “blended” alone to describe the education landscape as of late 2014. Much activity has moved from state virtual schools and statewide charter schools to…
Getting Smart
As indicated by a recent RAND report, blended, personalized and competency-based learning holds the promise of significant achievement gains. With all the new tools being developed, the opportunity set gets better every month. However, at this stage…
It’s well known that public libraries are no longer just about the books – even e-books. Many community libraries are receiving 21st century digital-age makeovers: Numerous digital technologies, maker spaces to invite creation, even video production suites…
In Baltimore County Public Schools, where I’m the purchasing manager, we’re underway on a strategic plan to prepare students for their chosen college or career path. We’re providing flexible, learner-centered, blended learning environments…
The Hechinger Report
Space matters. For over 200 years we have been teaching in row-by-column seating. Many experts argue that this classroom style has conditioned both educators and students to ineffectively utilize space. Researchers have said that space affects…
In the United States, the PreK-12 marketplace for digital education materials is estimated at approximately $8 billion, and growing. This is just for content and software, not including hardware such as devices and broadband infrastructure. And as…
Blend My Learning
“First-generation” is a term that generates great pride within many college graduates who hold the title. This pride stems from recognizing the tenacity you had to develop in order to navigate a path unfamiliar to many, if not all, of your family and friends. It…
THE Journal
The Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) is improving its broadband infrastructure to better support personalized learning curriculum and applications. With 35,000 students and 5,000 staff members at more than 100 sites and several new technology…
Inside Higher Ed
I shared faculty skepticism about online education for many years. True, my mind has been changed in recent years by online courses I’ve encountered that are easily as rich and meaningful as face-to-face courses. But caution is still warranted. Without careful…
The UVU Review
Dr. Clayton Christensen, Professor of Business Administration to the Harvard Business School, spoke to Utah Valley University students and faculty on Thursday, Nov 20 in the Ragan Theater about disruptive innovation and how to predict in advance whether…
The Los Angeles Unified School District’s Bond Oversight Committee on Thursday approved $12.1 million in funds to help repair the district’s computerized student information system. Superintendent Ramon Cortines had asked for more than $53…
According to the New Media Consortium’s famous Horizon Report K-12 (2014) – the go-to research paper on technology trends – gamification will start hitting classrooms over the next two to three years. There are two aspects to gamification. The first is…
Schools in Liberia have been closed since July as the country has confronted a deadly Ebola outbreak that, so far, has killed nearly 3,000 people. With 1.4 million school-aged children currently without access to education, tech developer Rumie is hoping to…
Angry Birds mobile game maker Rovio has unveiled details of its Fun Learning education initiative, aimed at remaking education for kids three to six years old. Rovio has teamed up with fashion designer Ivana Helsinki to create fun outfits for a program…


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AERA Highlights – November 2014

Also from Wednesday’s inbox…

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November 2014

Research Policy News
Beyond AERA
AERA Centennial Calls
Calls for AERA Journal Editors
Other AERA Calls
New on the AERA Website
AERA in the News


AERA Urges Lame Duck Congress to Pass Omnibus Funding Bill
AERA has joined members of the education and scientific communities to encourage Congress to agree on an omnibus appropriations bill for the remainder of FY 2015. The uncertainty of funding creates significant challenges to federal agencies trying to manage operations.
AERA Comments on IES Research Centers’ Advances and Priorities
AERA has submitted comments to the Institute of Education Sciences’ National Center for Education Research and National Center for Special Education Research, in response to a call for feedback on the centers’ priorities and on areas for new research.
2014 AERA Annual Meeting Attendees Provide Continued Favorable Feedback
AERA conducts three data-collection efforts to gain insight about participants’ and attendees’ experiences and satisfaction with the meeting. This year’s survey of all Annual Meeting attendees found that a large percentage of attendees remain satisfied with the meeting.

Research Policy News

Election Ushers in Change to Education and Science Leadership on Capitol Hill
Before the election, it was anticipated that there would be dramatic changes in congressional leadership on education issues. Looking forward, education staff have indicated several key pieces of legislation that need to be reauthorized.
Census Bureau Considers Removing Bachelor Degree Field From ACS Data Collection
The Federal Register published a notice from the Census Bureau detailing a plan to remove seven questions from the American Community Survey. One of the questions is on respondents’ undergraduate field of degree.
National Science Foundation’s SBE and EHR Advisory Committees Meet on Key Issues
The advisory committees of the National Science Foundation’s Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences and Education and Human Resources Directorates recently held their biannual meetings, undertaking several issues of importance to the education research field.

Beyond AERA

Rep. Rush Holt Named Next CEO of AAAS
Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ), who is retiring from Congress next month, will become the next chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Holt will assume his new role at the AAAS annual meeting in February.
National Science Board Releases STEM Education Data Resource 
The National Science Board has announced the release of a new interactive, online public resource for examining trends in STEM education and the workforce. Data from the NSB reportScience and Engineering Indicators 2014 are the primary source for this resource.
OBSSR Releases Report on Education and Health Research 
The Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research released a report recommending that education and health researchers cooperate to more effectively use existing data, develop common vocabulary and measures, and emphasize that “education policy is health policy.”
Education Department Seeks Public Input on What to Evaluate 
The U.S. Department of Education is seeking public input on what the most pressing education policy and practice questions are and how finding answers could give educators, parents, and local, state, and federal governments the information needed to make improvements.

AERA Centennial Calls

Calls for AERA Journal Editors

Other AERA Calls 

New on the AERA Website

Trending Topic Research File:
Bullying Prevention and School Safety


AERA in the News

More AERA in the News

AERA Highlights is published by the American Educational Research Association monthly to inform members and others interested in education research about the latest news and developments in AERA and in the field.
Editor: Felice J. Levine
Managing Editors: Tony Pals and John Neikirk
Contributors: Juliane Baron, Nathan Bell, Lauren Green, Bridget Jameson, Christy Talbot, Martha Yager
Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing

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American Educational Research Association
1430 K Street, NW, Suite 1200
Washington, DC 20005

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