Preteens’ use of Instagram creates privacy issue, child advocates say

On the photo-sharing app Instagram, search the keywords #Fairfax, #Rockville or #DC and up pops hundreds of photos from children, The Washington Post reports. Among them, until recently, were many from Kyle, a 12-year-old. His full name, Gaithersburg middle school and favorite Montgomery County hangouts were on public display before his parents put a stop to it. Technically, Kyle was not supposed to be on Instagram, the mobile app owned by Facebook. The company’s policy sets the minimum age at 13. But Kyle said he was able to join easily, no questions asked. Within minutes of setting up his account this past fall, he was uploading “selfies” of his cherubic face and blond mop top and tagging photos of friends with their names…

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Wash. law boosts AP computer science education

A new state bill could boost interest in AP computer science.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill opening the door for schools across the state to count Advanced Placement (AP) computer science as a math or science credit. The law’s goal is to improve and expand access to computer science education, a high demand skill in Washington’s technology-fueled economy.

Prior to the law, AP computer science, often one of the most difficult classes offered, did not count as a math or science credit. Instead it counted as an elective. By granting the course academic credit, the bill aims to encourage more students to take the course and many more schools to offer it.

Currently, only 35 of the state’s 622 high schools offer AP computer science. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Drew Hansen, Rep. Cyrus Habib, Rep. Roger Freeman, and Rep. Chad Magendanz, passed the Legislature with nearly unanimous support.

(Next page: Reaction to the new law, and what a report says about computer science education)

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Seattle schools back down from standardized test after protests

The Seattle public school system, facing a rebellion that stoked the national protest movement over standardized testing in U.S. public schools, is backing away from the contentious multiple-choice exam for its upcoming school year, Reuters reports. Teachers, educators, and students at several Seattle schools staged a boycott in January against the computerized Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test, saying it was not aligned with the state’s curriculum and produces “meaningless results” upon which teachers’ performances are evaluated…

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From future coders to your grandma, STEM education for everyone

WNYC reports that whether you’re 18 or 85, keeping up with new technology is increasingly important for success and even well-being. This week on New Tech City, WNYC’s Yasmeen Khan visits the Academy for Software Engineering near Union Square to meet the students at the city’s first public high school to put computer science front and center in the curriculum. The first freshman class is about to wrap up its first year. So, what did they learn? “I built a data center in my bedroom,” said student Gio Rascigno…

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What if Finland’s great teachers taught in U.S. schools?

The Washington Post reports that many governments are under political and economic pressure to turn around their school systems for higher rankings in the international league tables. Education reforms often promise quick fixes within one political term. Canada, South Korea, Singapore and Finland are commonly used models for the nations that hope to improve teaching and learning in their schools. In search of a silver bullet, reformers now turn their eyes on teachers, believing that if only they could attract “the best and the brightest” into the teaching profession, the quality of education would improve…

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Bill to lower barriers to pregnant teens’ education

UPI reports that a U.S. Senate bill would help states and local school districts support pregnant and parenting youth who face challenges staying in school, legislators say. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M.; Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii and U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., said each year approximately 750,000 U.S. teens get pregnant and almost one-fifth of students across the country drop out of high school. In a nationwide survey, 33 percent of female dropouts and almost 20 percent of male dropouts reported that becoming a parent was a major factor in their decision to leave school…

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32 summer professional development opportunities

It’s a common misconception that education professionals have summer vacation like their students. But anyone who’s been a teacher, administrator, or even superintendent knows that summer is the perfect opportunity for professional development.

Whether it’s attending online webinars, traveling to workshops, or sitting down for a good read, there are plenty of opportunities to brush up on Common Core State Standards, 21st century leadership, and technology integration this summer.

In this list of summer professional development for educators, we highlight some of the most prestigious and easiest-to-access opportunities around the U.S. and online to help you get started on your summer professional development adventures—hopefully between delicious barbeques and beach vacations, of course.

(Next page: Summer workshops)

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Fourth-grade creationist science quiz: Dinosaurs lived millions of years ago — False

The following fourth grade science quiz for a unit called “Dinosaurs: Genesis and the Gospel” has been making the rounds on Facebook and elsewhere on the internet, and it turns out it is real, The Washington Post reports. According to snopes.com, the quiz was given at a private religious school in South Carolina. You can read here the whole item…

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Cheating scandal: SAT canceled for all of South Korea

For the first time, the SAT has been canceled for an entire country, MSN News reports. “The College Board and ETS (Education Testing Service) have made the difficult but necessary decision to cancel the May 2013 administration of the SAT and SAT Subject Tests at all test centers in the Republic of Korea,” College Board said in a statement last week. The test had been scheduled for May 4…

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