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Ryan at peace

By John Published: March 31, 2011

Northwest schools and the Canal Fulton community are mourning the loss of 10-year Ryan Trewin, who died on Tuesday.

Jim Carney had the story for the Akron Beacon Journal:

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Gains in math go unnoticed

By John Published: March 28, 2011

By John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer

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Schools calculate state aid

By John Published: March 25, 2011

By John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer

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District spreadsheets land, treasurers scramble

By John Published: March 24, 2011

?Thursday budget update: Ok, we got the spreadsheets just before 12:30 p.m. and I've spent the afternoon crunching them as best as possible. You can get them at the Office of Budget Management.

School treasurers were lighting up their email networks trying to figure out how the state was presenting the numbers.

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Still waiting for those district spreadsheets

By John Published: March 23, 2011

Last week Gov. John Kasich released his proposed two-year budget in which he promised that about 400 out of Ohio's 613 districts would see increased state funding.

Reporters were told then that the district-by-district spreadsheets showing the impact of that budget on local schools would be ready by the end of the week.

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Risk little, learn little

By John Published: March 23, 2011

Here's an interesting study at UCLA published in the March 23 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience about how quickly the brain corrects misperceptions of sights and sounds. Turns out it's pretty darn quick. Here's UCLA's press release:

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Falls superintendent to resign

By John Published: March 23, 2011

John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer

Cuyahoga Falls school superintendent Edwin Holland has to pass a levy in May at his current job and then launch a November levy campaign for his new job as superintendent of the Cuyahoga Heights school district.

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All educated and nowhere to work

By John Published: March 21, 2011

Here's two columns from the New York Times, one by Nobel-Prize-winning economist and the other by a 24-year-old old recent grad lucky enough to get a job in this economy.

First the recent grad:

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School construction up in air

By John Published: March 20, 2011

By John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer

Ohio school districts using state construction funds no longer may require local bidders to pay prevailing union wages and benefits.

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New wearable scanner can observe rat brains while they learn

By John Published: March 17, 2011

The invention of modern brain scanning technology has enabled neuroscientists to observe living brains in action, but the scanners require the subject to lie flat on their backs in big, bulky machines. Technology Review (MIT) reports the development of a miniature scanner so small and light a rat can wear it and scamper around naturally. That will allow neuroscientists to track the flow of chemicals such as dopamine while the rat learns new ways to get food rewards.

The device was designed to be used with ratsthe main animal model used by behavioral neuroscientists. But the researchers who developed the device, at Brookhaven National Laboratory, say it would be straightforward to engineer a similar device for people.

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Repeal of All Day K in governor's hands now

By John Published: March 16, 2011

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that legislation repealing a mandate for all school districts to provide all day kindergarten has passed the Ohio State Senate and awaits the governor's signature.

The State Senate voted 25-8 to eliminate the requirement, mirroring the House's decision last month. Gov. John Kasich is expected to sign the bill.

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State school chief Deborah Deslisle resigns

By John Published: March 15, 2011

This just in from Ohio Gov. John Kasich's office on the day he will announce his two-year budget:

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Happy Pi Day!

By John Published: March 14, 2011

With the use of computers, Pi has been calculated to over 1 trillion digits past the decimal. Pi is an irrational and transcendental number meaning it will continue infinitely without repeating. The symbol for pi was first used in 1706 by William Jones, but was popular after it was adopted by the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler in 1737. Learn more about Pi.

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Bill gives schools more leverage

By John Published: March 13, 2011

By John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer

Ohio Senate Bill 5 would make sweeping changes to public employees' bargaining rights throughout the state, but one provision could have a more immediate effect on contracts at three local districts.

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If you show a mouse a movie: tracing the brain's circuits in 3-D

By John Published: March 11, 2011

Here's a video of  Harvard Medical School research published March 10 in Nature describing how scientists "crawled" through a mouse brain's cerebral cortex to map part of the neural circuitry that fired when they showed the mouse a movie.

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82 percent of U.S. schools may be labeled 'failing'

By John Published: March 9, 2011

Christine Armario and Dorie Turner
Associated Press

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There will be cheating

By John Published: March 9, 2011

Yesterday I linked to a video by cognitive neuroscientist Daniel Willingham about the flaws of using standardized testing to reward teachers with pay and /or tenure (see his video at the bottom of the post).

USA Today gives us another reason to be skeptical in a big project they're kicking off this week about cheating based on an analysis of  the standardized tests of millions of students from six states and Washington D.C.

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Kasich mentions Williams-Bolar in State-of-the-State

By John Published: March 8, 2011

Ohio Gov. John Kasich's State of the State address today is getting headlines  for some of the jeering and boos he heard.

But when he talked about is concern over excessive felony sentences that ruin a person's employment chances for life, he got a standing ovation and plenty of applause. WKSU-89.7 has video of the speech. At minute 28, Kasich talks about the Kelley Williams-Bolar case:

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On to State! (Science Olympiad)

By John Published: March 8, 2011

Congratulations to Nordonia Hills, Hudson, Revere and Stow-Munroe Falls high schools for sending teams to the Ohio Science Olympiad tournament in Columbus next month.

They were the top four teams in a regional competition on March 5 at the University of Akron that comprised 14 teams from public and private high schools and middle schools. The state tournament will be held on April 30 at Ohio State University.

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The "New Humanism" and education

By John Published: March 8, 2011

David Brooks' latest New York Times column "The New Humanism" contemplates an emerging enlightenment informed by disciplines of the brain and mind, including neuroscience. His sweep is broad:

This body of research suggests the French enlightenment view of human nature, which emphasized individualism and reason, was wrong. The British enlightenment, which emphasized social sentiments, was more accurate about who we are. It suggests we are not divided creatures. We don't only progress as reason dominates the passions. We also thrive as we educate our emotions.

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Bill may save summer vacation days for students

By John Published: March 5, 2011

Dave Scott
Beacon Journal staff writer

Barring any additional calamities, area students might avoid a shortening of their summer vacation.

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Wadsworth students help bail out NASA in simulation

By John Published: March 4, 2011

John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer

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Wadsworth 5th graders rescue astronauts

By John Published: March 4, 2011

Here's a video I took this morning of a project at Wadsworth's Central Intermediate School that required the 5th graders to interact via Skype with the Challenger Learning Center at Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, West Virginia.  Wadsworth CIS, named an Ohio School to Watch this year, worked on an "e-mission" set in the year 2080 to save a space ship, The Distant Discovery, that is lost among the outer planets. The school got a $5,000 grant from Wheeling Jesuit University and a $5,000 grant from Martha Holden Jennings Foundation. Assistant principal Eric Jackson, seen in the video, wrote the grants with Jacinda Yonker, the talented and gifted coordinator at Medina County Educational Service Center, who used to teach in West Virginia and knew all about the Challenger Learning Center.

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Nordonia could face bigger cuts

By John Published: March 4, 2011

By John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer

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Nordonia Hills will cut 54 jobs

By John Published: March 3, 2011

Superintendent Wayne Blankenship said, ''Discussions with the district's union leaders have taken place, making it clear the cuts are by positions, not people. We will let individuals know of the reductions by April 1, 2011.''

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Poet Charles Wright

By John Published: March 2, 2011

Yes, National Poetry Month is a month away, but it's never too soon to hear from one of my favorite poets, Charles Wright. Here's the National Poetry Month blog entry on Wright I wrote last year. Here is a video recently posted of Wright talking to PBS. I love to see him in his backyard, which I know so well from his poems, but have never seen.

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Interactive whiteboards on the cheap

By John Published: March 2, 2011

While we're thinking about ways to save money, here is a TED lecture from 2008 that explains how teachers can use a Wii gaming remote control to create their own interactive whiteboard.

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Akron schools lauded for being efficient

By John Published: March 2, 2011

By John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer

Akron Public Schools spends money more efficiently in non-teaching areas of the budget than the four largest school systems in the state, according to a new report released Tuesday by Ohio Education Matters.

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East High athletes to be called Dragons

By John Published: March 1, 2011

By John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer

The voters have spoken and the Akron school board agreed Monday: Akron's East High School athletes shall be known as the Dragons, beginning next fall.

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Akron Public Schools among most efficient in Ohio

By John Published: March 1, 2011

 Ohio Education Matters is releasing its third report as part of the Ohio Smart Schools initiative, which will rank Akron Public Schools among the most efficient in Ohio in providing non-instructional services.

Press conference at 1:30 at APS.

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