August, 2006 #28          


Welcome to Dimensions On-Line, the electronic edition of Dimensions.   E-mailed to all members it contains news of interest to FASCD members and Florida educators.  This newsletter is a benefit of your membership in FASCD.



Annual FASCD Conference Coming


Mark your calendar now for Friday, December 1 and Saturday morning, December 2 for the annual FASCD Conference.  The theme of this conference is:  “Reconstructing the Educator’s Toolbox”.  Printed announcements and registration details will be in the mail by the end of the month.


This year the major speaker is Dr. Deborah Estes, a nationally known presenter on how educators can use recent discoveries about learning and the human brain to improve learning opportunities for students.  Her presentation is “Effective Brain-Based Presentations.”    You can learn more about her and her presentation on her website:  http://www.estes-group.com/.  


Dr. Marcy Kysilka and Dr. Larry Holt will present their brand new book “Instructional Patterns: Strategies for Maximizing Student Performance”. Copies of the book will be available for sale at a special conference price.


Break-out presenters during both days are needed who can speak to programs, teaching strategies, experiences, etc. that will advance the program.  Areas of interest include:  “Reading Across the Curriculum”,  “Applications of Brain Research,”  Teaching Strategies That Work,”  “Closing the Achievement Gap for Minority Students,”  and other similar areas where successes in the classroom can be shared.  If you have a presentation or know someone that does, please send an e-mail to fascd@fascd.org for complete details.



Annual Board Planning Retreat – June 24/25


The annual board planning retreat was held Saturday and Sunday, June 24/25 in Orlando.  Carlos Viera was thanked and applauded for his service as president.   Ralph Barrett, installed as president for 2006-07, gave Carlos a plaque commemorating his leadership. The remainder of the time involved working in small groups and together to assess the current status of FASCD, update our documents and prepare a revision of the constitution which will be mailed to all members in the next few month. 


Details about specific outcomes will be described in future issues of Dimensions and Dimensions On-Line. 



Get Involved with FASCD


FASCD is always looking for folks who want to get more involved in the activities of FASCD.  In order to move forward we need more members who will take a little bit of their time to get involved with their organization.  A few recent resignations from the board have created openings for replacements.  If you have four Saturdays a year to help direct our organization, you might consider applying for a board position.  If interested, please send a two-page (no more) resume to fascd@fascd.org.  The board will review applications and you will be invited to join the board at their next meeting. 


We, like most affiliates group our work around five major areas: 

1 – Diverse Active Membership,

2 – Communication/Publications,

3 – Programs, Products, and Services, 

4 – Influence/Policy, 

5 – Leadership and Governance.  


If you are interested in getting involved in activities such as the development of our annual conference, professional development institutes, membership recruitment, influence activities and/or any other areas please send an e-mail to fascd@fascd.org indicating your interest.  We will get back to you with ways that you might get involved. 



Members in the News



Have you had a recent event to share with others in FASCD (like a job change, promotion, retirement, award or recognition received, unique travel experience, etc.)?  We would like to include your information in the next Electronic Dimensions. Send it to us:  fascd@fascd.org



Districts and Schools in the News


Publicize Your Good Work

Is your school or school district doing any unique curriculum, instruction, assessment, or staff development programs, projects, or material development you are willing to share with others? Here is an opportunity for sharing the good work your schools and/or district is doing. Please contact Allan Dornseif at fascd@fascd.org  with information. 



ASCD Education Advocacy Center


If you want to make a difference with laws and regulations affecting all aspects of education, check out the ASCD Education Advocacy Center at:  www.ASCD.org



Positions Available






Web Walk



When people start to feel the draconian grip that NCLB has over our public school system and how it is depriving their own children of a good education, it gets personal.  Charles Murray, normally a very conservative guy that you would think would support NCLB, has been personally bitten by NCLB so he marshalls bell curves and a stream of statistics, as he sets out to prove NCLB's accountability metrics are "meaningless" and "deceptive."   





A majority of the 8,200 delegates gathered for the National Education Association’s annual convention overwhelmingly approved a plan that would push for aggressive changes to the federal No Child Left Behind law, which is up for reauthorization next year. The nation's largest union, whose leaders have often complained they were not allowed to participate in the crafting of the country's chief education law, approved a plan that calls on NEA members to lobby Congress for reforms to bring the law more in line with the views of the 2.8 million-member union. The changes proposed include establishing an accountability system that no longer relies only on testing as the measure of success or failure. Instead, the union recommends designing a system based on multiple benchmarks, including teacher-designed classroom assessments, student portfolios, graduation/dropout statistics, and college-enrollment rates, among other measures. The plan also calls for smaller class sizes, more funding for http://news.publiceducation.org/t/5220/43681/129/0/



According to former U.S. Secretary of Education, Rod Paige, the so-called 65 percent solution is one of the worst ideas in education today. What we really need is a 100 percent solution, a reform that tackles America's antiquated education financing system, gives dynamic school leaders more freedom, fosters true equity and opens the door wider to school choice. Most children living in poverty, for example, need longer school days and years, better teachers and materials, and extra services like tutoring. Instead of gimmicky fads, we need fundamental reforms. One good idea now picking up support is "weighted student funding." Under this approach, each child receives a "backpack" of financing that travels with him to the public school of his family's choice. The more disadvantaged the child, the bigger the backpack. Perhaps the best thing about weighted student financing is that it's a reform both liberals and conservatives can support. Liberals should like the extra investment in need http://news.publiceducation.org/t/5032/43681/108/0/


NAMING RIGHTS TO PUBLIC SCHOOLS SOLD IN WISCONSIN Milwaukee's school district is selling naming rights to everything in sight, from rooms and hallways, to gyms. School administrators think it will be easier to enter into marketing agreements with companies than raise more money from taxes. Arnold Fege calls this approach a type of "civic laziness" on the part of school leaders who should make the effort to engage the public in understanding why "schools are worthy of tax increases." Marge Pitrof reports on who might buy these rights, and why. (Audio file) http://news.publiceducation.org/t/5032/43681/111/0/



In a very brief recent report by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of the Inspector General, "Compliance Requirements within Title I, Part A of the No Child Left Behind Act" the report found the following: "We identified 588 SEA and LEA compliance requirements within Title I, Part A of the NCLB Act -- 566 requirements in Subpart 1 and 22 requirements in Subpart 2." "We concluded that the requirements not specifically identified for monitoring need to be reviewed and evaluated to determine whether all of the requirements are necessary to fulfill the goals of the NCLB Act ... In view of the number of requirements included in the NCLB Act and the corresponding resources necessary to comply with and monitor those requirements, the Department should ensure that all of the requirements are necessary." Please note that the nearly 600 mandates are just for Title I, and don't include any of the requirements for highly qualified teachers and paraprofessionals, English language learners http://news.publiceducation.org/t/5032/43681/118/0/



Grant Opportunities for Schools and Teachers


Attention:  Please let us know if you have ever applied for a grant opportunity reported in Dimensions OnLine - and the outcome.


Art Contest Celebrates the Diverse Heritages of All Students

NCCREST is sponsoring a national art contest in conjunction with its National Forum to capture the vision of all artists about what schools look like when they value and include the background, experiences, and heritage of all students. Maximum Award: $300 and a trip for two to Washington for the 2007 NCCREST National Forum. Eligibility: students K-12 and adults. Deadline: October 31, 2006.  http://news.publiceducation.org/t/5032/43681/128/0/


Awards for Improving Communication within School Systems & Communities

The National School Public Relations Association Connect-ED Leadership Through Communication Award honors those who recognize communication as a critical component of leadership and who exhibit an ongoing commitment to incorporating communication into their strategic thinking and daily operations. The award recognizes the leadership of superintendents and public relations/communications professionals who, along with their teams, improve communication within their school systems and communities. Maximum Award: $10,000. Eligibility: K-12 public school district superintendents and their public relations/communications professionals. Deadline: September 1, 2006.   http://news.publiceducation.org/t/5220/43681/142/0/


Innovative Use of Data Collection Technology

Vernier Software & Technology and the National Science Teachers Association Technology Awards recognize the innovative use of data collection technology using a computer, graphing calculator, or handheld in the science classroom. Maximum Award: $3,000. Eligibility: Teachers of science grades K – College. Deadline: October 15, 2006.   http://news.publiceducation.org/t/5220/43681/144/0/


Grants for Successful Interactive Teaching Programs

The Best Buy te@ch program rewards schools for successful interactive programs they have launched using available technology. Winning te@ch programs focus on kids using technology to learn standards-based curriculum, rather than on teaching students to use technology or educators using technology that children aren’t able to use hands-on. Maximum Award: $2,500. Eligibility: Accredited K-12 public, private, parochial, and nonprofit charter schools located within a 50-mile radius of a Best Buy store. Deadline: September 30, 2006.   http://news.publiceducation.org/t/5468/43681/162/0/


NEA Foundation Student Achievement Grants

The NEA Foundation Student Achievement Grants provide funds to improve the academic achievement of students by engaging in critical thinking and problem solving that deepen knowledge of standards-based subject matter. The work should also improve students’ habits of inquiry, self-directed learning, and critical reflection. Maximum Award: $5,000. Eligibility: practicing U.S. public school teachers, public school education support professionals, or faculty or staff at public higher education institutions. Deadline: October 15, 2006.  http://news.publiceducation.org/t/5468/43681/163/0/


Research of Note


A Researchers Toolkit

The Education Development Center has just put out a new issue of their journal, Mosaic, titled “A Researcher’s Toolkit:  Using Different Methods to Shed Light on Critical Questions.”  The issue covers a variety of EDC projects and how they use basic, applied, and experimental research methods.  The articles discuss inquiry science, studying the value of using classroom “artifacts” in professional development for teachers, and the role schools play in health promotion.



The Black–White Achievement Gap: Do State Policies Matter?
This article addresses a longstanding issue in American education, the gap in academic achievement between majority and minority students. The article accumulates and evaluates evidence on the relationship between state education policies and changes in the gap, while addressing some of the methodological issues that have led to differences in interpretations of earlier findings. The authors found substantial heterogeneity among states in the types of policies they pursued, as well as in the coherence and consistency of those policies during the period 1988–1998. States’ overall policy rankings correlate moderately with their record in improving Black student achievement but are somewhat less useful in predicting their record in reducing achievement gaps. State reform efforts are a blunt tool, but a tool nonetheless. The authors make recommendations for state policymakers, such as direct support of local reform efforts with proven effectiveness in addressing the experiences of students of different races attending the same schools.  http://epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v14n8/


Standards-Based Teacher Evaluation as a Foundation for Knowledge- and Skill-Based Pay
This CPRE Policy Brief presents findings from the CPRE Teacher Compensation Group’s research on knowledge- and skill-based pay conducted at four sites and using the Danielson Framework for Teaching as the competency model for evaluating teachers’ knowledge and skills. Examined are the relationships between teacher evaluation scores and student achievement, teacher and administrator reactions to standards-based evaluation, the effects of such evaluation on teaching practice, and the impact of design and implementation processes. To address the promise and challenges of knowledge- and skill-based pay systems that the research reveals, the brief concludes with guidelines and caveats for using the systems. 



ASCD Education Search Service


Never again will you have to waste time and money searching for Educational Leadership articles, statistics, Web sites, books, and other education resources. Now you can have ASCD's Education Search Service do the research for you. Next time you need facts and information for a research report, article, or presentation, simply call 1-800-933-2723, ext. 5745, or 1-703-575-5745 and have ASCD find the resources for you! The ASCD Reference Library will scan their extensive archives and the Internet. They'll get back to you with a complete search report in as little as 24 hours, depending on the extent of the search.


 FASCD Electronic Dimensions is published monthly as the newsletter of FASCD, publishing announcements, coming events, awards, short articles and items of interest for and about FASCD members.  Items for publication should be sent to FASCD headquarters at the address below.  Views expressed are not necessarily the official position of FASCD.  Any product announcements appearing in FASCD Electronic Dimensions are paid advertisements. They do not reflect an endorsement by FASCD.

Allan Dornseif, Executive Director FASCD

4929 Linsey Court, Sarasota FL  34243

941-360-8074 or e-mail:  fascd@fascd.org