Archive for September, 2005

This article from edweek.org is interesting (free registration required to read it). It quotes Michael Pressley, who is writing a technical report on the widely used DIBELS measure . The test has been around a while, at least since 1997 when I saw it being used in California, but it has gained popularity because it is quick to use. I do see how the data would be helpful in screening for children who may have reading difficulties, but it certainly doesn’t measure all the aspects of reading. I also wonder about its construct validity, as well as the idea that comprehension and vocabulary are never really assessed.
The dilemma remains: how does a school/district/state assess and screen for children who will have reading difficulties in an efficient, cost-effective way while using a valid and reliable method? It does seem redundant to do both the DIBELS and the TPRI, which already serves as a screening instrument.


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Forgetting Cursive

With higher use of technology, students are not practicing cursive. This article says that some students can’t read or recognize cursive, either.

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Banned Books Week

What’s your favorite banned book?

Here’s the American Library Associations information and lists about Banned Books. Banned Books Week is September 24-October 1.
My favorite “banned” authors have to be Judy Blume and S.E. Hinton.

Also, read about Book Burning in the 21st Century.

Check out K.Leigh’s post about which Banned Books you’ve read!

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Denise and Jo and Colleen’s social.


Jessica, Leti, and David at doc seminar:


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What does the schooling of “homeless” children look like? If Margaret Spellings’ recommendation to veto the law that bans segregation of students is approved, it mightt mean that students considered “homeless” could possibly be taught at their residence, i.e., the Astrodome, for example, in the case of Katrina evacuees. I think the students should be bussed into the schools to interact with other students. It will make their lives seem just a little more normal to be in the routines of a school that has systems in place and where they can socialize with other students.Orrin Hatch, Utah Republican, advocates for creating classrooms where the children are staying with their families in order to keep families united. I can see both sides of this debate, but I think personally, that going to an established school will actually help normalize life a little more for the children and perhaps offer them a better education. Here’s a good quote from the article:

William L. Taylor, chairman of the Citizen’s Commission on Civil Rights, said the administration’s plans to ease McKinney-Vento and No Child Left Behind could leave the displaced students warehoused and forgotten. “We need some focus on the needs of the children, and not go around waiving a lot of regulations without deciding whether there’s a need,” Mr. Taylor said.

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Real, authentic writing addressed to the the president! This article tells how today the longest letter ever written to the president will be revealed on the Mall near the White House. These young writers have addressed some serious issues:teacher salary, community living conditions, smoking, people with disabilities, and other relevent topics. The whole project was funded by Pilot Pen Corporation of America. Interesting! I think giving voice to young people in a real way like this is great. I wonder if they’ll show it on the news or cable news tonight. (I watch them all: CNN, Headline News, Fox News, MSNBC). The article was in the NCTE Inbox.

On a personal note, when I was ten (in 1984) I wrote a letter to Ronald Reagan and invited him to come over to my house so I could interview him for my newspaper (which had an audience of about 4-6 people!). He wrote back and said sorry, he was too busy, but thanking me for the kind letter. It also included his photo, but I’ve lost the letter in the shuffle of moving.

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Here’s an article that discusses how the federal government is planning to spend at least $595 million on funding of research projects. Here are some of the priorities listed in the article. (EdWeek article-free registration required).

• Studying education interventions that promote students’ academic learning and that can be widely deployed;

• Finding out what programs or policies do not work in education and which might not be cost-effective;

• Funding more basic research on the reasons that education programs, policies, and practices work in some places but not others; and

• Developing systems for delivering research on which policymakers, educators, and the public will come to rely.

I’m wondering what “delivering research” implies? Or does that mean a sort of central hub like the What Works Clearinghouse through which research is filtered and then passed on/shared?

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