New Report Sets Direction for 21st Century School Design
Schools in the 21st century should feature more diverse learning environments, greater technology, and be more integrated with their communities, recommends a new report on school design issued last week by the American Architectural Foundation (AAF) and KnowledgeWorks Foundation. The 70-page Report from the National Summit on School Design provides recommendations to help designers and educators make better decisions about some of the $30 billion spent annually on new or renovated school facilities. In recognizing the historic opportunity created by a multibillion dollar national school construction boom, the report states that American education is at a “watershed moment in school design” when “the definition of the American school is evolving into something entirely new.” According to the report’s findings, critical components of that success must involve: designing schools to support a variety of learning styles; enhancing learning by integrating technology; fostering a “small school” culture; creating schools as centers of the community; engaging the public in the planning process; making healthy, comfortable, and flexible learning spaces; and considering non-traditional options for school facilities and classrooms.
For the full story, visit http://www.archfoundation.org/aaf/aaf/News.36.htm
Pennsylvania Unveils Latest Statewide Public Cyber School
Families across Pennsylvania were given a new option in public education with the announcement of the Agora Cyber Charter School. This public cyber school, which will serve students in grades K-10, is currently accepting enrollments from new students and hiring certified teachers from across the state. The Agora Cyber Charter School is the only public cyber school in Pennsylvania using both the curriculum and school management services by K12 Inc. As a K12 certified school, Agora Cyber Charter School’s teachers, students, and parents will have access to not only the complete K12 learning program, but also to K12’s team of education, curriculum, and school management experts. Agora Cyber Charter School teachers will have the benefit of receiving K12’s specialized teacher training designed to equip them to meet every challenge and become excellent cyber school educators. Additionally, students who enroll in Agora receive a computer system on loan from the school, access to the K12 Online School, lessons, assessments, books, materials, planning and progress tools, Internet reimbursement, access to the school community, and much more.
For the full story, visit http://www.k12.com/agora/pdf/Agora_Cyber_Charter_School_PR.pdf
Raytheon Launches High-Tech Externship Program for Teachers
Raytheon Co. has launched a teacher externship program at its Network Centric Systems (NCS) facility in Marlborough, MA. Developed in partnership with Leadership Initiatives for Teaching and Technology (LIFT2), the externship provides teachers a unique opportunity to learn about the latest trends in technology. With exposure to critical industry applications, including science, technology, engineering, and math through real-world projects, the externship helps teachers prepare for enriched classroom instruction. At Raytheon, a teacher’s experience includes hands-on, full-time work in the company’s engineering department supporting numerous NCS customer solutions, including satellite communications. At the externship’s conclusion, candidates will apply skills learned on the job toward developing a curriculum to help cultivate a technology pipeline for the future. Raytheon’s first externship candidate is Wayland High School (MA) physics teacher and Science Department Head Kenneth H. Altshuler.
For the full story, visit http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/micro_stories.pl?ACCT=149999&TICK=RTN&STORY=/www/story/06-16-2006/0004381930&EDATE=Jun+16,+2006
Delaware Selects BASI Series to Assess Students at Two Detention Centers
Pearson Assessments recently announced that the Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth, and Their Families (DSCYF) selected the BASI (Basic Achievement Skills Inventory) series of tests to assess learning outcomes of students in their school programs. The BASI tests are a versatile, multilevel, norm-referenced series of achievement tests that measure math, reading, and language skills for children and adults. The department provides educational services to approximately 350 students in 10 juvenile justice and mental health school programs at two detention centers. Previously, the assessment instrument they had been using could only be administered individually, requiring a lot of teacher time. Now, when new students arrive at the centers, teachers will administer the computer-based version of the BASI series in an orientation classroom with individual computers for each student. This lets teachers and administrators get an immediate readout on each student’s learning outcomes.
For the full story, visit http://www.pearsoned.com/pr_2006/061306.htm
Connecticut State Ed Commissioner Named Greenwich Superintendent Connecticut State Education Commissioner Dr. Betty J. Sternberg has been appointed the new superintendent for the 9,000-student Greenwich school district. The 25-year-veteran of Connecticut’s Department of Education and an outspoken critic of the No Child Left Behind Act, Sternberg, 56, is the district’s first permanent woman superintendent, and was the first woman appointed commissioner of education. As superintendent, Sternberg will receive a $210,000 salary her first year. Her contract also includes a $30,000 annuity, up to a $15,000 performance incentive, a $1,000 monthly car allowance, a $4,000 annual professional development stipend, a $2,000 monthly housing allowance, and a one-time $25,000 moving allowance for relocating to the Greenwich area. “My goal as a superintendent will be to develop a model school culture that will close the achievement gaps raising the achievement of all students while raising, at a faster rate, the achievement of those whose achievement has historically been lower,” Sternberg told The Greenwich Citizen.
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