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From New York Times:

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From The New York Times:

As classrooms become more electronically connected, public schools are the country are exploring whether they can use virtual learning as a practical solution to unpredictable weather, effectively transforming the traditional snow day into a day of instruction. About one-third of school districts in the United States already have significant one-to-one initiatives, where students and teachers are given laptops and can work away from school on some assignments. In New York State, no district can substitute a virtual day for a snow day because not all students have computers or Internet access. In addition to questions of access to technology, in order to make snow days into days of instruction and for students to truly keep up, a thoughtful plan aligned with the curriculum would need to be developed before a storm struck.

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From The New York Times:
This special section features a range of articles including responses from nineteen Americans on the question of how to improve science education in the United States, implications of the Common Core for math education, and an article on how educators in China are looking to American classrooms to improve hands-on science learning and critical thinking in Chinese schools.

From The New York Times
For the first time since No Child Left Behind, President George W. Bush’s signature education law, passed with overwhelming bipartisan support a dozen years ago, a bill seeking to rewrite the law came to the floor of the House for debate on Thursday, dividing legislators along party lines. Lawmakers tussled over the role of the federal government in public education, with Republicans calling for a return of control over curriculum standards, testing and spending to states and districts. Democrats, by contrast, assailed the proposed bill, saying that it reduced financing designated for the students most at risk, failed to set high standards and watered down efforts to hold schools accountable for student performance.

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From The New York Times:
Just a few years ago, school districts around the country were slashing summer classes as the economic downturn eviscerated their budgets. Now, despite continuing budgetary challenges, districts are re-envisioning summer school as something more than a compulsory exercise where students who need to make up lost credits fight to stay awake inside humid classrooms. According to the National Summer Learning Association, a nonprofit group, 25 of country’s largest school districts – including Charlotte, N.C.; Cincinnati; Oakland, Calif.; Pittsburgh; and Providence, R.I. – have developed summer school programs that move beyond the traditional remedial model. The New York City public schools offer several summer programs that mingle enrichment with academics, including an intensive arts institute and a vocational program combining course work and paid internships.

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From The New York Times: For years — and especially since 2005, when Lawrence H. Summers, then president of Harvard, made his notorious comments about women’s aptitude — researchers have been searching for ways to explain why there are so many more men than women in the top ranks of science. Now comes an intriguing clue, in the form of a test given in 65 developed countries by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. It finds that among a representative sample of 15-year-olds around the world, girls generally outperform boys in science — but not in the United States.

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From The New York Times: It is just a metal door with three windows, the kind meant to keep the clamor of an elementary school hallway from piercing a classroom’s quiet. Other than paint the color of bubble gum, it is unremarkable. But the pink door on Room 311 at Public School 163 on the Upper West Side represents a barrier belied by its friendly hue. On one side are 21 fourth graders labeled gifted and talented by New York City’s school system. They are coursing through public school careers stamped accelerated. And they are mostly white.

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From The New York Times : When Rashaan Payne was 2 years old, his pediatrician noticed that he was not talking at the level of most children his age. After autism was diagnosed, Rashaan began receiving speech therapy once a week at his home on the South Side of Chicago, paid for by the federal and state governments. When he turned 3 in October, federal law mandated that he leave that program and be evaluated for services within the Chicago Public Schools. But while his mother, Treva Thompson, said she has filed paperwork and repeatedly called the neighborhood school, Rashaan has yet to be evaluated. She is worried that after making progress, her son will lose ground.

From The New York Times:

In an effort to encourage collaboration between charter schools and traditional neighborhood schools, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded $25 million in grants to seven cities. The Gates Foundation, which is one of the largest philanthropic players in public education, was scheduled to announce the grants to Boston, Denver, Hartford, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia and Spring Branch, Texas. Relationships between traditional public schools and charters, which are publicly financed but privately operated, are often fraught, with neighborhood schools seeing charters as rivals for money and the most motivated students.

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From The New York Times: It was once common for elementary-school teachers to arrange their classrooms by ability, placing the highest-achieving students in one cluster, the lowest in another. But ability grouping and its close cousin, tracking, in which children take different classes based on their proficiency levels, fell out of favor in the late 1980s and the 1990s as critics charged that they perpetuated inequality by trapping poor and minority students in low-level groups. Now ability grouping has re-emerged in classrooms all over the country – a trend that has surprised education experts who believed the outcry had all but ended its use.