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April 15, 2014

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California School Librarians Look to Higher Ed during Advocacy Overhaul

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New data confirming a 1:7,000 ratio of media specialists to students has the California School Library Association rallying for big advocacy. Key to those efforts will be the support of universities, who can help publicize that students’ college readiness is suffering without information literacy experts at every school.

Work and Wages: Inquiry Across the Curriculum | On Common Core

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Stories about labor and the economy continue to dominate headline news. In what ways does a “rising tide lift all boats”? What is the real minimum wage required to bring working families out of poverty? These and other important questions can be explored in the context of today’s curriculum standards.

Free Mackin Ebooks; Qlovi’s Common Core Platform; E-Rate Filing Opens | News Bites

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Here are our latest briefs on a digital publishing mini-MOOC, free Mackin ebook bundles, Qlovi’s Common Core platform, an archived copyright tweetchat, Multicultural Children’s Book Day, Philadelphia’s Year of the Bard, the E-Rate filing window, and the NAACP Image Awards.

Bellevue (WA) to Rehire School Librarians

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Washington State’s Bellevue School District is seeking to hire two certified media specialists, to be known as Research Technology Specialists, by this spring and hopes to fully staff more of its secondary schools—whose librarians were cut in 2009—by 2015, District Superintendent Dr. Tim Mills confirms.

No Fail Nonfiction for YA | JLG’s Booktalks to Go

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So many books, so little time. It’s hard to sell something to readers which you haven’t had time to read yet, so SLJTeen is introducing JLG’s Booktalks to Go Teen. This monthly column will provide you with ready to use booktalks on new releases for your teen readers.

Washington State Representative Introduces Student Privacy Bill

Rep. Elizabeth Scott R-39

Washington State Representative Elizabeth Scott (R-Monroe) has introduced a state bill that aims to protect the educational privacy rights of students. A parent advocacy group, Stop Common Core in Washington State, is urging residents to offer support for the bill.

PBS Digital Innovators Award; Latin@s in Kid Lit; Urban Librarians Conference | News Bites

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PBS LearningMedia launches its Digital Innovators Program. Take the Latin@s in Kid Lit challenge. The Urban Librarians Conference—April 2014—is seeking presenters. The national Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs is accepting nominations for its Américas Award. The University of Wisconsin – Stout is offering two winter courses on literacy and the Common Core.

NY District Returns ‘Nasreen’s Secret School’ to Third Grade Classrooms

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In the Southold (NY) Union Free School District, third graders can continue to hear the story of a young girl’s experience under Taliban rule, as told in Jeanette Winter’s Nasreen’s Secret School . However, the book’s use in the district does not please everyone—including seven-year veteran board member Scott DeSimone.

‘Nation’s Report Card’ Shows Los Angeles, District of Columbia Reading Scores Up as Progress Stalls in Houston, Cleveland

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Fourth- and eighth-grade students in Los Angeles, the District of Columbia, and Baltimore show strong reading achievement during the past two years, while students in Houston, Cleveland, and Austin are still struggling, according to findings from the National Center for Education Statistics.

Scholastic Upgrades Nonfiction Program for the Common Core

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Scholastic has released a new program for K–6 reading instruction aligned with the Common Core State Standards, a new collection of nonfiction books and informational texts that includes memoirs, photo essays, and more.

Librarian Creates Site for Teachers to Earn Digital Badges for New Skills

Librarian Creates Site for Teachers to Earn Digital Badges for New Skills

Even teachers need a little acknowledgment for learning new skills, according to library media specialist Laura Fleming. Through her site, Worlds of Learning, Fleming is offering teachers at her school and beyond the opportunity to earn digital badges—honors that can be posted online—for mastering digital literacy in various areas, from QR codes to video editing.

This article was published in School Library Journal's December 2013 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

New York Resumes Town Halls to Promote Common Core’s Benefits

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New York’s education commissioner and Board of Regents members will be speaking at town hall events in New York City on December 10–11 to promote the Common Core. But parents and teachers who oppose the standards—or how they have been implemented—plan to attend to air their objections, they tell SLJ.

Inquiry and Integration Across the Curriculum | Natural Selection and Adaptation

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In a lesson designed for middle school students, the authors investigate questions about the evolution of life on Earth through the lens of contemporary standards.

Education Experts Divided on PISA Scores Showing U.S. Teens’ Flat Performance

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Teens in the U.S. scored about average in reading and science and below average in mathematics when compared to their counterparts around the world on the most recent Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), with little change seen from previous scores. This reported gap has sparked debate among U.S. education experts on how to interprete the data and on the PISA’s relevance.

From Definition to Implementation, Librarians Embrace Common Core | AASL 2013

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Finding new and innovative ways to implement the Common Core was one of the hottest programming themes during the recent American Association of School Librarians conference. During the event, the nations’ media specialists showed they have the will and the knowledge to lead the conversation on academic rigor.

Candlewick Turns to Pinterest to Promote its Common Core Offerings

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Candlewick Press has announced the launch of a dedicated Pinterest page in order to promote its Common Core resources to teachers, library media specialists, booksellers, and parents.

Big, Bigger, Biggest | Dinosaur Delights

How Big Were Dinosaurs

A bevy of new nonfiction titles open a window onto the extraordinary animals that walked the earth eons ago.

Education Matters: ‘Smartest Kids’ Author Amanda Ripley on Her Inspiring Research

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Investigative journalist Amanda Ripley, author of The Smartest Kids in the World, shares highlights of her research into the world’s top performing educational systems—Finland, Korea, and Poland—and what the US can do to replicate that success. The Common Core is a great place to start, she says, but for real improvement, administrators, educators, parents, and students need to agree that education matters.

Inquiry and Integration Across the Curriculum: Global Citizenry

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When the new social studies and the Common Core standards are used together to plan curriculum, the result is a truly powerful, integrated approach to learning. Here’s a lesson that shows the way.

‘Nation’s Report Card’ Shows Students’ Math, Reading Skills Slowly Improving

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American students’ skill levels in mathematics and reading have risen marginally since 2011, according to the National Center for Education Statistics . However, The Nation’s Report Card: 2013 Mathematics and Reading shows challenges to student success remain. Gains in reading have not quite kept pace with those in math, and achievement gaps are still evident between racial/ethnic groups and among states.