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The Education Innovator #42
Volume II
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The Education Innovator
 November 8, 2004 • Number 42
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Feature
Panhandle Education Consortium's Florida Education Channel
What's New
The U.S. Department of Education releases A Guide to Education and No Child Left Behind; Education Department will host panel on international education; Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education Sclafani discusses secondary school reform on free teleconference; Office of Educational Technology Director Patrick speaks on assessment technology; KidzOnline develops online financial literacy course for teens; Pioneer Institute releases study on choice in Massachusetts; Education Industry Association issues voluntary standards for supplemental educational services programs; and Minnesota Public Radio uses interactive website to support radio programming on student achievement.
Innovations in the News
New York City lawyers urge New York State lawmakers to lift the cap on new charter schools, plus information on Advanced Placement, charter schools, teacher quality, technology, and writing.

Panhandle Education Consortium Goes the Distance
The focus on results and high-quality professional development in No Child Left Behind has placed renewed emphasis on the importance of ongoing teacher education. The Panhandle Education Consortium (PAEC) in Florida has created ways to help improve teacher performance through targeted professional development delivered across the airwaves. Just like "American Idol," the consortium has taken its local talent and turned it into a national phenomenon with the potential of "star quality." The consortium has also taken a cue from the latest commercial television practices by interweaving its Florida Education Channel (FEC) broadcasts with widespread audience participation through the Internet.

The Panhandle Education Consortium began in 1967 as a collaborative effort to coordinate teacher professional development, services, and information among nine counties in Florida. This effort now has expanded into a network of teacher education-oriented multimedia, including a TV channel and website, featuring online courses and teacher resources. The Florida Education Channel, a publicly broadcast educational television channel based in Chipley, Florida, is the primary vehicle for delivering the professional development.

FEC broadcasts teacher-training programs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for use at home or in school. The channel offers a wide variety of programming produced by national education leaders. The programs vary from instructive to informative. Some programs highlight teaching strategies or feature call-and-answer segments. Others explain news about innovations in teaching and legislation that will affect schools and teachers. Certain profile pieces highlight successful Florida schools, teachers, and administrators.

The FEC has been widely implemented all over Florida. In fact, the state has installed satellite dishes in every Florida school district. As a testament to its success, the Florida Education Channel has recently been picked up for national broadcast by the Dish Network satellite television company.

PAEC is also the force behind the FloridaLearns Academy, which provides web-based follow-up to FEC programs, and the electronic Professional Development Center, which features online courses and teacher resources. The FloridaLearns Academy and the Professional Development Center can be accessed through PAEC's website. FloridaLearns uses a variety of media to make professional development interesting, convenient, and practical. Television programs on the FEC are used in conjunction with web-based courses and Internet follow-up via the Professional Development Center. The goal of the center is for educators across the state to meet or exceed Florida's Professional Development System Evaluation Protocol.

The advantage of PAEC's technology for teacher development is that it allows teachers and administrators to have widespread access to information and resources, without requiring them to spend time away from the classroom. This can mean efficient time management for teachers, consistent learning gains for students, and financial savings for school districts.

Although the channel currently focuses on Florida, its interstate involvement with the Dish Network gives it a nationwide reach; school systems and teachers across the country can avail themselves of its services. All of the Internet resources could similarly be extended nationally.

The FEC is also providing online and satellite access to high quality teacher workshops videotaped at the U.S. Department of Education's Teacher-to-Teacher summits held this past summer.

FEC broadcasts on Dish Network 61.5, channel 9418; it is also available through live video streaming at http://www.fec.tv/.

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What's New

From the U.S. Department of Education
The U.S. Department of Education has released a new booklet, A Guide to Education and No Child Left Behind, which gives a brief history of education in the U.S., statistics on the number of students and schools, and a definition of the federal role in education and what No Child Left Behind means for the education of all of America's children. (Oct. 2004)

The U.S. Department of Education will host an International Education Week event open to the public. A panel moderated by U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Eugene Hickok will discuss education in Australia, Chile, Japan, and the United Kingdom. The session will take place November 15, from 3:00 - 5:00 P.M. in the U.S. Department of Education Auditorium. Please register by November 12 with Tori Hatada (Nov. 8)

Susan Sclafani, Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education, will discuss secondary school reform on a free teleconference sponsored by PLATO Learning, November 9, at noon CT. (Nov. 4)

Susan Patrick, Director of the Office of Educational Technology for the U.S. Department of Education, was the featured speaker on assessment technology at a leadership forum of the National School Boards Association Conference in Denver. (Oct. 27)

Financial Literacy
KidzOnline is developing a new program called Mastering Money, an online financial literacy course for teenagers. (Nov. 1)

School Choice
The Pioneer Institute download files PDF (558K), has released results from a survey that found 45 percent of urban public school parents would prefer a private school instead of a charter or public school, if costs were no object. (Nov. 2)

Supplemental Services
The Education Industry Association has developed a set of voluntary standards of business conduct in the marketing and delivery of tutoring services to students participating in supplemental educational services programs. (Nov. 1)

Technology
Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) hosted a Town Hall meeting to examine the achievement gap in education. To prepare for the meeting, MPR listeners could go to the interactive Idea Generator, an online resource of research and opinions on the topic. (Oct. 22)

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Innovations in the News

Advanced Placement
Walpole (MA) students' test scores continue to exceed state and local averages on standardized tests. Last year, 57 students took 111 AP tests, and 93 percent received a score of 3 or above. The pass rate is the highest in the school's history. [More-Daily News] (Nov. 2)

In Galveston (TX) students can receive $100 for passing an Advanced Placement course. Teachers in the district earned a total of $20,900 for helping students prepare for the tests last year. These incentives are part of a program administered by Advanced Placement Strategies. The University of Texas Medical Branch is a major contributor to the program. [More-Galveston County Daily News] (Nov. 1)

Charter Schools
New York City lawyers are urging New York State lawmakers to lift the cap on new charter schools. Under a state-imposed cap, the city may only create another 20 charter schools. [More-NY Daily News] (Nov. 2)

The King-Chavez Academy of Excellence Charter Management Organization (CA) is reaching out to parents at King Elementary School in San Diego to help them turn around this school, which is in need of improvement. Three charter schools are being proposed for King Elementary that would emphasize academics, athletics, and the arts. [More-San Diego Union-Tribune] (Nov. 3)

The Anne Arundel County School Board (MD) has received two proposals for the county's first charter schools. One is a Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) academy. Maryland currently has only one charter school. [More-Washington Times] (Nov. 2)

Lena and Wausaukee School Districts (WI) will receive $10,000 each for their charter schools as part of a $6.8 million charter school grant to the state from OII. [More-Peshtigo Times] (Nov. 3)

Teacher Quality
Teachers and students at P.S. 35 and at nine other schools in District 9 in the Bronx are part of a bold experiment that New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein believes will reinvent how teachers are trained to do their jobs by carving out a new role for veteran educators and paying them more to fill it. [More-New York Times] (Nov. 1)

Technology
The Clark Advanced Learning Center charter school in Florida has received a technology grant from the U.S. Department of Education to serve as a model and to host seminars and professional development workshops for teachers on how to merge new technology into lessons. The center is a partnership between Indian River Community College and the Martin County School District. [More-Sun-Sentinel] (Nov. 4)

Students needing extra help in math, reading, or writing at LeTort Elementary (PA) are lining up to enroll in the Technology Academy tutoring program before and after school. Students can earn tokens to be used for field trips when they successfully complete assignments. The school received a grant from the state to provide this service. [More-Sentinel Newspapers] (Nov. 2)

SchoolNet is providing Corpus Christi teachers with student data so they can see how well students are doing on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills for accountability purposes. Teachers will use this information to construct lesson plans. [More-CorpusChristi Caller-Times] (Nov. 1)

More technology will be entering Department of Defense Dependents' Schools (DODDS) classrooms, where textbooks will be slim CD-ROMs, and each student will have his or her own computer terminal. [More-Stars and Stripes] (Nov. 4)

The American Film Institute teaches teachers video technology, visual literacy, and how to incorporate video assignments into English and humanities classes. The seminars recognize that the medium of motion pictures is a universal language for today's children. This program is supported by a grant from OII. [More-Gazette] (Oct. 20)

Writing
Teachers, parents, students, and university professors see the value in having high school students write term papers. [More-Boston.com] (Oct. 31)

Two Northern Kentucky school districts are using computers to scan student writing and offer automated criticism. The program, "Criterion," from Educational Testing Service, gives feedback on grammar, word usage, spelling, and style, and frees teachers to work one-on-one with students. Students in Kentucky are required to provide writing samples as part of the state's accountability system. [More-Enquirer] (Oct. 7)

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Last Modified: 01/25/2008