12/21/2012

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The Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy: Resources for educators Here at McREL, we are heartbroken by the tragedy that occurred last Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School. To the families in Newtown, Connecticut, and across the country who are grieving the loss of loved ones, please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you. For educators and families anywhere who are in need of some assistance helping children through the continuing effects of this tragedy, please consider the following resources: American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: Children and Grief This article describes the normal reactions to expect from young children when they lose a loved one as well as behaviors that indicate professional help is needed. American Academy of Pediatrics: Resources to Help Parents, Children and Others Cope in the Aftermath of School Shootings AAP provides a list of resources for parents/teachers, students, and schools to help cope specifically with the effects of school shootings. National Association of School Psychologists: Helping Children Cope - Tips for Parents and Teachers This handout offers advice for adults, parents, and schools to help children cope with any kind of national tragedy. PBS: Talking with Kids About News PBS offers general strategies for talking and listening to children about news events. U.S. Dep’t of Health and Human Services: Tips for Talking to Children and Youth After Traumatic Events - A Guide for Parents and Educators This brief explains common reactions to traumatic events by preschoolers, young children, and adolescents, and provides tips for helping children and for getting professional help when...
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International student performance: Are the data what they seem? Re sults from the 2011 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) show what educators have come to expect about U.S. students: Compared to their counterparts in many Asian and some Western European countries, their test scores lag in math and science—the fields of study often equated with innovation, technology, and healthy, competitive economies. Do these data, as an education task force sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations warned in a March 2012 report, put the United States’ “future economic prosperity, global position, and physical safety at risk”? Certainly, many would agree, as Eric Hanushek, Paul E. Peterson, and Ludger Woessman say in an article for Education Next, that the U.S. position is “problematic.” In a 2010 analysis, the trio of experts in education reform and economics in education found only 6 percent of U.S. students performing at the advanced level in mathematics, which is a percentage lower than that attained by 30 other countries. In 2011, just 32 percent of 8th graders in the U.S. were proficient in math, placing the United States 32nd in the world. Further, the rate of improvement among U.S. students is underwhelming: In a study of 49 countries, it was right in the middle, with 24 countries improving faster. Eight countries made gains at twice the rate of U.S. students. Hanushek, a renowned expert in educational policy and education economics at Stanford University, believes that these results have “enormous implications” for the future of...

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