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Common Core State Standards
Common Core State Standards are essential to promoting and advancing the educational growth of our nation’s students as they develop an in-depth understanding of not only solving a problem, but also being able to investigate, strategize, and choose the best solution to solving the problem. Common Core Standards require students to think more critically about the content being taught before them, which creates a more stimulating and in-depth classroom experience. Common Core ensures equity in education by providing all educators the means to teach all students the same content across the board. This allows all students the chance at a high quality and fair education because they are working with the same objectives as all students in their grade level across the board. Common Core provides standards and objectives that are clear to teachers, which allows them to modify daily lesson plans for diverse learners. Common Core State Standards prepare students to be more competitive in our global economy. In order to succeed in the real world, students must be able to investigate, organize ideas, and select an appropriate plan to solve a given problem. The standards provide structure for teachers to educate students by teaching them how to consider what actions need to be taken in order to solve a problem instead of just knowing a simple set of facts. Common Core State Standards are beneficial to our nation’s education because they are more developed than previous state standards, promote equity between students, and prepare students for the job force in our nation as it continues to adjust to daily advances in technology in a competitive global economy.
Healthy Child Care Colorado
Healthy Child Care Colorado arose out of the Healthy Child Care America initiative that began in the 1990s with support from the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration; the Child Care Bureau, Administration for Children and Families; the American Academy of Pediatrics; and the American Public Health Association. These partners recognized the potential to positively impact the health and safety of children in early childhood settings throughout the country. Their cognitive growth will be equivalent to their peers. This will mean they do better in school and have better social skills. These children will also be physically healthy to compete and function like other children their age. Adding these kinds of policies adds work to teachers and school administrators. Policies like these take away from time and resources that can be used for education. Schools also need to provide the food to the children directly. The food must also meet the guidelines of the food administration. Documents must be kept as well as financing for reimbursement. Students who receive free lunch are also affected by this because they are able to recognize that they need additional resources. Parents will have a lighter burden because they will not have to worry about how they will pay for lunch. Tax payers will also be affected because schools do not often have the budget to pay the food vendor so many is taken from funds used for learning. The United States Department of Agriculture provides tools for schools to follow mandates. Some of these mandates focus on preventing child obesity and focus on health. This system shows how to properly serve food, including portions of grains, amounts of sodium and portions. School administrators can utilize these tools to create ideas so that serving a healthy lunch is made easier.
“The US Census Bureau projects that by the 2030s, children whose home language is other than English will increase from roughly 22 percent to 40 percent of the school-age population” (Magruder, Hayslip, Espinosa, and Matera (2013) p. 9). This increase in second language learners will cause the educator to accommodate for those needs. Second language learners “need teachers who welcome them and recognize their unique abilities, what they know, and what they need to learn” (Magruder, Hayslip, Espinosa, and Matera, 2013, p. 10). Educators can encourage conversation and language learning by making the student’s experiences interesting and interactive with things such as reading, and singing (Magruder, et al., 2013). The more second language leaners communicate with adults and peers, the stronger their vocabulary and listening skills will grow (Magruder, et al., 2013). It is important that the educator intentional plan activities and opportunities to build on the second language learner’s experiences and language skills. Magruder et al. (2013) states, “intentionality in goal setting, planning, instruction, and observation is critical” (p. 15). When an educator has students in the classroom who speak a language other than English only, it is important that he or she develop language learning opportunities through intentionally planned and prepared lessons (Magruder, et al., 2013).Second language learners have unique needs just as any other student in the classroom does. The educator must be prepared and filled with knowledge on how to support the needs of all the students. Second language learners need extra support in the environment and instruction as well as family support (Magruder, et al., 2013).
Zero Tolerance Policy
A national survey conducted in 2004 declared that parents and educators of secondary and high schools had almost mutual view regarding the necessity of having adequate school discipline and student behavior in order to succeed (Public agenda, 2004). Certainly, schools as educational institutions have the right and responsibility to create an inclusive, effective, and safe learning climate. Nonetheless, there is a tremendous controversy regarding the approaches in keeping inclusive and safe school environment. Instead of traditional ways of dealing with misbehaviour on a case by case basis, analyzing the conditions of each situation, and the repercussions for the overall safety of the school environment, almost each school district in the USA now applies zero tolerance policy that extremely restrict discretion in particular cases, involve law authorities, and designate students from school (Skiba et.al, 2006). These policies generally require out-of-school suspension or expulsion on the first offense for a range of behaviors- firstly constituted for owning of a weapon or illegal drugs, but now frequently also including smoking tobacco or fighting in school. The first steps towards the zero tolerance policy were taken in early 1990s when crime rate started to grow rapidly especially violent ones involving young people (Puzzanchera et.al. 2009). Correspondingly, Congress legislated tough-on- crime laws to the educational institutions environment and passed the Gun-Free Schools Act in 1994. According to that Act, a student who brings a weapon to school must be expelled for at least one year. In 1996-97 academic year, 79 percent of schools had implemented zero tolerance policy for violence, going beyond federal mandates. In order to strengthen these policies, the federal government and states started to increase funding for school based security system.
So how do we as leaders help build capacity for sharing and implementing the Quality Initiatives with staff and with families? Emphasize your school’s strategic plan and the importance of Quality Initiatives. Use professional development trainings to help teachers understand effective Quality Initiatives. Identify ways to organize and communicate student progress, such as by setting up an online student information system and parent portal. Collaborate with teachers to set response times for replying to emails and phone calls regarding families’ concerns. Encourage teachers to use a variety of means for sharing student data with families.. Help teachers understand the importance of the Quality Initiatives on a consistent basis so that parents know how frequently they can expect to see information posted about their child’s progress. Work with teachers to develop effective and culturally appropriate tools for sharing Quality Initiatives plans and progress with families.
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