Schools amplify inequity with failed solutions to teacher shortage

We’re racing against a ticking clock to resolve the teacher shortage for our students’ futures as the number of unfilled positions at schools and districts hits record levels.

Every unfilled staff vacancy at a school means that students are not receiving a high-quality education, which has a resounding effect on outcomes. One study shows that 10 additional teacher absences per year lead to 1.2 percent and .6 percent of a standard deviation decrease in math and English test scores, respectively. This principle applies to core subjects, which give students a solid foundation for academic and career success, and enrichment classes, which expand their skill sets and understanding of the world.

The teacher shortage is even more detrimental to students in underserved districts, where teacher absences tend to run higher than the national average of 11 days per year.  …Read More

Independent Study Finds that Amplify Science Has Significant Positive Impact on Student Learning

BROOKLYN, NY (January 26, 2022)Amplify, a publisher of next-generation curriculum and assessment programs, announced today that a gold-standard independent study led by the nonprofit research, development, and service agency WestEd, and with funding support by the National Science Foundation, found promising evidence that the Amplify Science middle school curriculum has a significant positive impact on student learning. 

WestEd researchers found that:

  • The estimated impact was statistically significant (p < 0.001) and corresponds to an effect size of 0.36. This impact is consistent with the average student using the Amplify Science curriculum moving up 14 percentiles compared to their peers who used other materials.
  • The results were similar across gender and racial groups, and for students with varying levels of math and literacy achievement.
  • More than 80 percent of teachers agreed that they and their students benefited from using Amplify Science curriculum.
  • Almost 90 percent of teachers reported that Amplify Science supported them in engaging students in science discourse.

The randomized controlled study focused on physical science for grade 7 and included 28 teachers and more than 1700 students across three districts that served diverse populations.

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Edmentum to Acquire Apex Learning, an Industry Leader in Virtual and Hybrid Learning for Middle and High School Students

Minneapolis June 22, 2021 – Edmentum (edmentum.com), a global pioneer in education technology, announced a definitive agreement to acquire Apex Learning, a Seattle-based industry leader in digital curriculum and virtual learning with over 20 years of deep expertise providing high-quality, rigorous, and teacher-centered programs. Apex’s mission of making a difference in education complements Edmentum’s drive to amplify teaching and propel student learning forward. Together, these two organizations will support millions of students worldwide.

“I am thrilled to welcome Apex into the Edmentum family,” said Jamie Candee, Edmentum CEO. “As the school year comes to an end and districts evolve into new models of teaching for the fall, so too must Edmentum continue to grow to meet those needs. Pairing Apex’s proven, high-quality secondary learning programs with Edmentum’s full suite of high-quality, online learning programs creates a rich array of offerings designed specifically for the next generation of learners. Together, in partnership with schools and districts globally, we will move education forward.”

Edmentum’s research-based approach offers hundreds of state- and nationally-certified courses, supported by comprehensive consulting and educational services. Adding Apex’s credit-bearing core and elective courses, project-based technology courses, and student-targeted, standards-matching tutorials will create a new industry-leading model for virtual and hybrid learning programs.…Read More

Adventure 2 Learning Acquires Mission Move, An Activity-based Education Provider

Mission Move’s standards-based video program utilizes kinesthetic movement to make math, language arts, and nutrition fun for elementary-aged students.

New York, NY – Adventure 2 Learning, a leading video-based education platform, announces the acquisition of Mission Move to expand its offering of fun, interactive programs to help educators and parents make learning exciting.

Mission Move was developed by educational experts to utilize kinesthetic teaching and amplify learning for children in kindergarten through fifth grade. Mission Move incorporates movement with lessons in math, English language arts (ELA), and nutrition to make learning fun and engaging for kids. Mission Move won the 2016 Wisconsin Innovation Award following the initial success of its program in schools throughout the state. An independent research study across 3 school districts that was subsequently published in the Journal of Childhood Obesity found that Mission Move not only increased students’ general physical activity and desire to learn, but also resulted in an 18% increase in math scores and 8% reduction in behavior-related incidents across the districts. …Read More

5 tools to amplify student voice

As we prepare students for college, career, and life, it’s vital that we foster skills that will ensure students are successful. As educators, we’ve heard about the importance of the “21st century 4 C’s” to our students’ future success. Post-secondary schools and employers are looking for students and a workforce that can communicate effectively, work collaboratively, think critically, problem-solve, and use creativity in various settings. I believe there is a 5th C that is also important–and that is Choice. If our scholars have a choice, they have a voice.

In my experience as an Educational Technology Specialist (ETS) and many years as a middle school teacher, one thing I have learned is that if students have a choice in demonstrating their knowledge and showcasing their skills, they are often more invested in the task or end product. When I was a gifted English Language Arts teacher, I used project choice boards for all my units. Furnishing students the opportunity to choose the means and methods for practicing acquired skills, modeling newly learned concepts, and creating original content increases student engagement.

As an ETS, I collaborate with teachers and assist in developing technology-infused standards-based lessons and activities.…Read More

Discovery Education Brings Together Thought Leaders to Amplify Social-Emotional Learning

Educators, Students, and Families Receive Access to Dynamic Learning Resources for SEL Day

Educators, students, and families are invited to explore social-emotional learning with dynamic digital resources from Discovery Education and its diverse network of partners. In recognition of the second annual Social and Emotional Learning Day (March 26), the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum and professional learning presents communities no-cost content for wherever learning takes place.

Social-Emotional Learning is often described as the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. Research reveals that SEL programs provide students the ability to manage stress and depression, improve self-esteem, and better school behavior. The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) key pillars of emotional intelligence are self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision-making, social awareness, and relationship skills.…Read More

Nova Launches National Youth Science Communication Initiative: Nova Science Studio

Today, the award-winning science series NOVA, produced for PBS by GBH Boston, announced the launch of NOVA Science Studio, a new national program to teach and engage young people through an interdisciplinary curriculum focused on science communication, digital media literacy, and video production. With a goal to empower youth with the skills to tell engaging stories about science through short-form videos and create a platform to amplify the voices of young people who have been traditionally underrepresented in science communication, NOVA Science Studio will give students exposure to a wide range of careers in journalism, media production, and STEM. The program will run now through June 2021. A video trailer for the new initiative can be found  here.

The program will include 30 middle- and high-school students representing five regions around the country: Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, and West Coast. The program, NOVA’s first focused effort to create educational resources to teach science communication to teens, grew out of a pilot program during the 2018-2019 academic year in the Boston area that worked with nearly 30 students. Each new region will be led by a NOVA Science Studio Site Coordinator who brings an expertise in science communication and video production; the group includes science communicators, producers, and teachers who have a strong track record of covering science through multi-platform storytelling. Names and bios for the site coordinators can be found here.

NOVA Science Studio will also draw on NOVA’s own talent, with participation by members of the editorial, broadcast, and digital teams.…Read More

Quality learning at home

Amplify knows it can be hard to sort through the many lists of possible resources to use with students at home—and to figure out which ones will truly advance learning during this unusual time. To help educators and families, Amplify has pulled from their top-rated programs to create a series of remote learning experiences that are high-quality, easy to use at home, and totally free.

https://freeresources.amplify.com/

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Seven Strategies for Engaging Middle-Schoolers in Complex Texts

Amplify300x390Learn from curriculum and early adolescence experts the best ways to help middle school students develop close-reading skills as required by the new college- and career-ready standards: the ability to analyze challenging texts and to grasp literal and inferential meanings.