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From the Editor

Anne Wujcik, EditorBefore turning to the news, I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and a wonderful holiday weekend. We all have so much for which to give thanks!

It's been a busy news week.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler proposed a $1.5 billion increase in the E-Rate spending cap, the first increase in E-Rate funding since the program's inception in 1997. The FCC is expected to vote on the proposal on December 11.

Congress passed and the President signed into law the Child Care and Development Block Grant of 2014. The legislation had broad bi-partisan support.

President Obama and Sec. Duncan hosted a gathering of superintendents - recognized for their leadership in helping transition their districts to digital learning - at the White House this week. A centerpiece of the event was the signing - both actual and virtual of the Future Ready Digital Pledge.

The K-12 OER Collaborative, an initiative led by a group of 11 states with the goal of creating comprehensive, high-quality, open educational resources, released a Request for Proposals to create open educational resources (OER) supporting K-12 mathematics and English language arts.

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Voice from the Field

Dr. Sally I’Anson, Director of Professional Development, Interactive AchievementPersonalized Learning: Why Formative Assessment Just Makes Sense

The notion of personalizing education would have been laughable to those who started our American schools and most unwanted by immigrant parents a hundred years ago. Through research, we have learned a great deal about what makes teachers and schools excellent. Perhaps the confluence of education technology and increasing expectations for student learning to support a shifting economy have created the drive for personalized learning.

  • Personalized learning creates an opportunity to break away from traditional assessments.
  • Formative assessment provides a constant and consistent flow of information about individual student progress toward standards-based, personal learning targets.
  • Providing teachers with highly specific learning data for each child through formative assessment teacher tools is what accelerates learning.
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She Snoops for Scoops: The Personal Side of the EdNET Community

Vicki Smith BighamSo long to a long and busy week as we had towards our much-deserved weekend, followed by Thanksgiving week. This is the season of gratitude and thankfulness, and I am thankful for work. I am also thankful the weekend is here, and I am hoping you are thankful to have a chance to catch my scoops, so read on now....

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50 Ways To Test: A Look at State Summative Assessments For 2014-15

Has the frenzy around Common Core State Standards impacted decisions on which state summative assessments are being administered this year? That's the question on many minds as we approach spring testing time. Published by the Education Commission of the States, 50 Ways to Test: A look at state summative assessments in 2014-15, provides an overview of the two testing consortia and federal testing requirements. The report also includes a comprehensive table with a breakdown of the state summative assessments being administered in grades 3-12 in all 50 states during 2014-15.

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Digital Promise Releases New Report: "Improving Ed-Tech Purchasing"

“Improving Ed-Tech Purchasing” is a new report from Digital Promise and the Education Industry Association that identifies the key obstacles and potential solutions for the procurement of K-12 personalized learning tools. The Johns Hopkins University Center for Research and Reform in Education surveyed district leaders, educators, and learning technology developers from across the country for this study, with a subset participating in in-depth interviews. We asked both educators and providers about their experiences with purchasing practices, their pain points, and their ideas for improvement. Their answers indicate inefficiencies in the process and a disconnect between schools and providers. For example, 6 percent of providers report satisfaction with current procurement processes, compared to 68 percent of district stakeholders.

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