New Project-Based Learning Platform Launches for iPad

A new project-based learning platform created by ed tech entrepreneur and speaker Adam Bellow is now out for iPad. WeLearnedIt lets teachers assign projects to students and assess them using a number of multimedia features.

Pediatricians’ Rx for Schools: Later Start Times

Delaying the start of the school day until at least 8:30 a.m. would help curb their lack of sleep, which has been linked with poor health, bad grades, car crashes and other problems, the American Academy of Pediatrics says in a new policy.

Should Local Schools be Forced to Admit Illegal Immigrants?

School districts around the country are beginning to discover where the Obama administration has moved many of the new illegal immigrants, but most voters don’t believe these youngsters should be allowed to attend local schools.

Common Core Is Becoming Even More Unpopular

The Common Core State Standards initiative, arguably the most sweeping change to public education in at least a generation, is facing mounting skepticism—and still drawing many blanks.

Google Classroom Opens Virtual Doors

Google has officially opened the doors of its Classroom tool to anyone with a Google Apps for Education account. – See more at: http://www.educationnews.org/technology/google-classroom-opens-virtual-doors/#sthash.2BwyJ7ac.dpuf

Gallup: Americans Wary of Federal Influence on Public Schools

Americans’ trust in U.S. leaders has slipped amid partisan gridlock that has led to federal government inaction on pressing issues at home and abroad. Americans’ weak confidence in the federal government extends to issues surrounding public education.

ACT Report: Only 26% Meet All College Ready Benchmarks

More students than ever are taking the ACT college admissions test, but student achievement remains flat, as nearly one-third of students are not meeting any college readiness benchmarks, according to a new report from the testing agency.

In These States, Be Prepared to Get Spanked

Put an end to hitting children in school.

Add that to the list, along with immigration reform, student loan reform, and spending authorization, of things Congress failed to do when it went on vacation earlier this month.

Teachers in Certification Scandal Agree to Stop Teaching

Four people caught in a teacher certification test fraud scandal have agreed to stop teaching, ending the federal case involving a long-running scam that affected students in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee.

Poll: Common Core Support Among Teachers Drops to 46%

On most policy questions, public opinion changes slowly, if at all.

But when new issues arise, important shifts can occur before opinion sorts itself into settled patterns. And, on occasion, critical events can jar opinion from settled patterns into a new equilibrium.

Poll: 1 in 5 Public School Teachers Send Kids to Private Schools

School choice will soon be the new normal. According to Education Next’s latest annual poll, 1 in 4 families with school-age children have tried alternatives to district schools such as home schools, charter schools or private schools. Interestingly, 28 percent of public school teachers have tried such alternatives, with 19 percent – 5 points higher than the general public – sending their kids to private schools. – See more at: http://www.redefinedonline.org/2014/08/survey-1-in-5-school-teachers-send-kids-to-private-schools/#sthash.tgxy8XaV.dpuf

Website Aims to Be ‘Consumer Reports’ for Common Core Materials

EdReports.org, a new nonprofit funded with $3 million from the Gates Foundation and the Helmsley Charitable Trust, will launch in winter 2014. According to a statement posted Friday on the group’s website, it will provide free, Web-based reviews of instructional materials, with a focus on “alignment to the Common Core and other indicators of high quality as recommended by educators, including usability, teacher support and differentiation.”

Retailers Imprinting Their Brands on School Districts

At San Juan Unified campuses, students take home back-to-school supply lists emblazoned with the Target logo and a web address for the retailer’s ordering site. Natomas Unified displays ads on its website directing families to shoe stores and clothing retailers.

Where “Back to School” Means Private School

More than two-thirds of adults with children under 12 say that the neighborhood school district is among the most important considerations when choosing a home, according to a June 2013 Trulia survey. However, some parents factor schools into their housing choices differently. Nationally, 10% of school kids grades 1-12 attend private schools, and in some neighborhoods, the majority of kids go to private school.

Central American Migrant Wave Tests Schools

Public schools around the country are returning from summer break to face a challenge: integrating and paying for the influx of migrant children who have streamed across the Mexican border this year.