Virtual School Meanderings

May 28, 2017

Military Crossroads with Career and Technical Education (CTE)

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Military Crossroads with Career and Technical Education (CTE)

From 2000 to 2004, I was an active duty Soldier in the United States Army and have been in the Florida Army National Guard since 2005. There are many parts of my military career that stand out in my memory. Basic training, my drill sergeant during the hot summer at Fort Jackson, being in my […]

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By Guest Blogger on May 26, 2017 01:48 pm

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Worth A Read

A regular Sunday feature.

Worth A Read

Some states make great progress, while children in other states are left behind

Posted: 23 May 2017 09:00 PM PDT

The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) released ‘The State of Preschool 2016,’ the latest edition of its annual yearbook profiling state-funded prekindergarten programs in the U.S. “Nationwide, state-funded preschool program enrollment reached an all-time high, serving nearly 1.5 million children, 32 percent of 4-year-olds and 5 percent of 3-year-olds. State funding for preschool rose 8 percent to about $7.4 billion, a $564 million increase. State funding per child increased to $4,976, exceeding pre-recession levels for the first time. Six state funded preschool programs met all 10 current quality standards benchmarks. Nine states had programs that met fewer than half; and seven states do not fund preschool at all.”

NASBE Identifies Pros and Cons of Fifth Indicators

Posted: 23 May 2017 09:00 PM PDT

A new series of policy updates from the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE): “explores the pros and cons of five frequently discussed indicators: career and technical education, school climate and student discipline, social and emotional learning, chronic absenteeism, and access to high-level course work. The brief highlights what states have proposed in their ESSA plans so far and offers key considerations for state boards that are refining their plans for September submission.”

Beyond Test Scores: A Better Way to Measure School Quality

Posted: 22 May 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Jack Schneider has written a new book on test scores, however, he thinks it is time to move past these metrics rethink the entire accountability system used in schools. “‘Beyond Test Scores’ reframes current debates over school quality by offering new approaches to educational data that can push us past our unproductive fixation on test scores. Using the highly diverse urban school district of Somerville, Massachusetts, as a case study, Schneider and his research team developed a new framework to more fairly and comprehensively assess educational effectiveness. And by adopting a wide range of measures aligned with that framework, they were able to more accurately capture a broader array of school strengths and weaknesses. Their new data not only provided parents, educators, and administrators with a clearer picture of school performance, but also challenged misconceptions about what makes a good school.”

Mandatory Retention Laws Are Failing Students

Posted: 21 May 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Brenda Álvarez discusses the retention of third grade students, which has become policy in 16 states plus Washington, D.C. “Unless exceptions are made, students most likely to suffer from these laws are students of color, students living in poverty, English language learners, and students with special needs.”

The California Districts With a Leg-Up on ESSA

Posted: 21 May 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Leo Doran looks at nonacademic indicators of student success, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), and how California has been compiling data on new student metrics for several years. Eight California districts, known as the CORE districts, have been using “school climate surveys, rates of chronic absenteeism, and the social emotional mindsets of their students” in their accountability programs.  Also, “The districts were also promising to lower the number of students enrolled necessary to trigger special disaggregated reporting for sub-group status from 100 to 20, which was seen as an important protection for minority or historically marginalized student groups.”

School choice policies may impact segregation and diversity of public schools

Posted: 21 May 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Kristie Auman-Bauer writes about Erica Frankenberg’s work at the Center for Education and Civil Rights at Penn State. According to an interview with Frankenberg, “the new generation of school choice policies adopted in response to legal decisions may actually be increasing school inequalities, despite their goals of maintaining integrated schools.”

NYT: Value Not Added

Posted: 20 May 2017 09:00 PM PDT

Peter Greene discusses a recent article from the New York Times on Value-Added Measuring of teacher performance. “You’ll never find me arguing against any accountability; taxpayers (and I am one) have the right to know how their money is spent. But Sander’s work ultimately wasted a lot of time and money and produced a system about as effective as checking toad warts under a full moon – worse, because it looked all number and sciencey and so lots of suckers believed in it. Carey can be the apologist crafting it all into a charming and earnest tale, but the bottom line is that VAM has done plenty of damage, and we’d all be better off if Sanders had stuck to his radioactive cows.”

EBSCO Alerts

ebscoFirst, I did not receive the alert for virtual school this week.

Next, I did receive the alert for cyber school, but there were also no relevant items.

Finally, once again I did not receive the alert for K-12 online learning.

So nothing to report this week.

May 27, 2017

iNACOL Symposium 2017 | Sponsor and Exhibitor Opportunities

From the neo-liberals…

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iNACOL Symposium 2017 - Transforming Systems + Changing Lives - October 15-18, 2017 Charlotte, North Carolina
Dear Colleagues,

Sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities are now available for the iNACOL Symposium, held onOctober 23-25, 2017 in Orlando, Florida.

The iNACOL Symposium will convene more than 3,000 key experts and educational leaders who are personalizing learning for equity, access and quality. This is your opportunity to learn about the successes and challenges from leaders and practitioners designing and implementing new school models–driving personalized teaching and learning–through competency-based, blended and online learning.

iNACOL attendees include key decision makers in state and district programs including school administrators, program leaders, teachers and technology providers.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsoring the iNACOL Symposium provides powerful networking opportunities, unprecedented access to top decision makers and broad recognition to your organization both on-site and online. Register as a sponsor here.

If you are interested in sponsoring, please view:

Exhibitor Opportunities

Becoming an iNACOL Symposium exhibitor provides access to the field’s key decision makers looking to identify new content, tools, platforms and strategies. Register as an exhibitor here.

If you are interested in exhibiting, please view:

Don’t forget to reserve hotel rooms for your team. Please contact us with any questions. We look forward to seeing you in Orlando.

About the iNACOL Symposium

The iNACOL Symposium is the premier learning conference for those advancing powerful, personalized, learner-centered experiences and shaping the future of K-12 competency-based, blended and online learning. On October 23-25, 2017, iNACOL’s annual conference will bring together more than 3,000 experts and educational leaders exploring the leading edge of powerful, personalized learning in K-12 education from across the United States and around the world, including leading practitioners and educators, policymakers, researchers and innovators from throughout the field. Attendees will find invaluable networking opportunities; access to expertise, analysis, the latest trends and research; and thought-provoking interactive sessions for leaders shaping the future of education. The Symposium includes hundreds of engaging interactive sessions, with tags to guide attendees toward highly relevant professional learning opportunities. Learn more on the iNACOL Symposium website.

About iNACOL 

The mission of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) is to catalyze the transformation of K-12 education policy and practice to advance powerful, personalized, learner-centered experiences through competency-based, blended and online learning. iNACOL is a non-profit organization focusing on research, developing policy for student-centered education to ensure equity and access, developing quality standards for emerging learning models using competency-based, blended and online education, and supporting the ongoing professional development of school and district leaders for new learning models. Visit our website, like us on Facebook, connect with us on LinkedIn and follow us on Twitter.

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Coming up! 9 New edWebinars for Educators

From Friday’s inbox… - Free edWebinars for Every Educator

Coming up next!
Connect with experts and colleagues for personalized professional learning that is informative and fun. Share ideas, practices, and additional resources with fellow attendees in live chat. Earn a CE certificate for attending or viewing the recording.
View my edWebinarsToo busy right now to attend live? Register to watch later – even over the summer!
New! If you’re an edWeb member, you can now view all of your edWebinar activity on your member homepage and download your CE certificates. Your registrations will also appear on your page, making it easy to watch later and take a quiz to get your certificate.

Free edWebinars with CE Certificates

Alex Farkas_ M.A.T.
The Power of Music: Create a Positive and Focused Learning Environment through Music
Wednesday, May 31 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time
Presented by Alex Farkas, M.A.T., In-School Services Curriculum Mentor, Music Together Worldwide

Dr. Mike Longoria
Music, Movement and Learning:
Bringing Joy Back to Education!
Wednesday, May 31 at 5 p.m. Eastern Time
Presented by Dr. Mike Longoria, a.k.a. Dr. Mike

Sarah Rich
Using Tech to Enhance Students’ Summer Reading Experiences
Thursday, Jun. 1 at 4 p.m. Eastern Time
Presented by Sarah M. Rich, Lead Teacher Champion, Squiggle Park

Maya Claridge
Bullying Prevention: Tips & Tech Tools
Monday, Jun. 5 at 4 p.m. Eastern Time
Presented by Maya Claridge, Singer/Songwriter and No Bully Advocate; Nicholas Carlisle, CEO for No Bully; and Alex Ruwe, Training and Development Manager for CrisisGo

Bryan L. Miller
ISTE 2017: The Game Plan of What You Can’t Miss
Monday, Jun. 5 at 5 p.m. Eastern Time
Presented by Bryan L. Miller, Educator Community Manager, Wonder Workshop

Marisa Russo_ M.Ed.
Embedding Purposeful Literacy Scaffolds and Strategies to Support EL Learners
Tuesday, Jun. 6 at 4 p.m. Eastern Time
Presented by Marisa Russo, M.Ed., Executive Director, EL Development and Early Literacy Instruction, at Achieve3000

Dr. Tracy Weeks
Navigating the Digital Shift: Policies and Practices to Support Digital Instructional Materials for Learning
Wednesday, Jun. 7 at 4 p.m. Eastern Time
Presented by Dr. Tracy Weeks, Executive Director, SETDA and Diana Myers McGhee, Director of Technology and Information, Fort Thomas Independent School District, Kentucky

Nina Finkler_ M.Ed._ LDT_C_ BCBA
Behavioral Strategies for Students with Autism:
Going Beyond 1:1
Thursday, Jun. 8 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time
Presented by Nina Finkler, M.Ed., LDT/C, BCBA, President of Nina Finkler Autism Services

Debi DePaul
Developing Fraction Understanding through Visual Math Models
Thursday, Jun. 8 at 4 p.m. Eastern Time
Presented by Debi DePaul, Elementary Mathematics Consultant at ORIGO Education

Visit the edWeb Calendar Earn a CE Certificate NEW! Search all edWebinars
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A new community from edWeb and Noodle Markets to explore buying and acquisition, product efficacy, tech initiatives, and legislation. Join the community. is a free professional learning and social network that makes it easy for teachers and all educators to connect and collaborate with peers, share information and best practices, and spread innovative ideas to improve teaching and learning.

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