Hundreds of educators and librarians attended a recent two-day, literacy-focused "unconference" in Michigan. In this article, an attendee describes the experience at Nerdcamp that included educators developing and collaborating on literacy topics on site and holding a half-day event for students to work on projects with book authors and illustrators.
Teachers in the Beaverton School District in Oregon are working to build on last year's efforts to transition to the Common Core State Standards. Teachers say the skills promoted by the standards will be important for students in the district, where K-5 schools last year began adopting writing standards and will add math this year and reading next year. "There is an emphasis on using evidence to defend your answer, and I think that skill is critical across all subjects," said June Yi, a Sunset High School language-arts teacher helping to transition the common core into classrooms.
As New York City Department of Education officials seek the ability to cut librarians from schools, Urban Librarians Unite founder Christian Zabriskie argues in this blog post that the city's schools need more librarians, not fewer. Librarians are trained research specialists who teach other educators and students how to use the digital tools replacing traditional texts, he writes, noting that research shows schools with librarians demonstrate higher student achievement.
The beginning of the school year in Colorado brings many school reforms, including teacher and principal evaluations, widespread implementation of the Common Core State Standards and online state tests in social studies and science. "We're looking at this as a huge opportunity for us to be better professionals," Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Cindy Stevenson said of the evaluations that have been in the works for two years.
Middletown City Schools in Ohio can hire six full-time and 10 part-time reading tutors to provide interventions for struggling K-3 readers as the district prepares to meet the state's third-grade reading mandate. Paid for with federal Title I grant funds, the tutors will assess students' reading levels to identify those needing help as well as write and implement intervention plans that can include tutoring and summer literacy camps.