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May 2012

Come the Revolution

THE NEW YORK TIMES, Thomas Friedman | Posted: May 16, 2012

Andrew Ng is an associate professor of computer science at Stanford, and he has a rather charming way of explaining how the new interactive online education company that he cofounded, Coursera, hopes to revolutionize higher education by allowing students from all over the world to not only hear his lectures, but to do homework assignments, be graded, receive a certificate for completing the course and use that to get a better job or gain admission to a better school.
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Teachers honored for online lesson plans

NAPA VALLEY REGISTER, Staff Report | Posted: May 10, 2012

hree Napa County teachers were recognized for developing lesson plans using “ed1stop” in a countywide contest implemented by the Napa County Office of Education and sponsored by NapaLearns. Ed1stop is an award-winning online portal that offers subscription-based services and free educational Web sites. Teachers were invited to develop a lesson plan using ed1stop as a resource to incorporate technology into their classroom and curriculum. A committee of local education technology experts selected the winning lesson plans, and awards were presented at a special event.
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Vanessa Robledo sets her sights on making good — and doing good, too

NAPA VALLEY REGISTER, Paul Franson | Posted: May 4, 2012

Growing up in a Latin family with seven brothers and a sister, Vanessa Robledo was always trying to stand out. “My father was always talking about his sons,” she said. “I had to overachieve to be noticed.” That she’s done. Now president and a partner in Black Coyote Winery, she became president of her family’s winery at 24 years old and built it into a healthy and thriving business.
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Yeah, that’s right! We’re educational too!

HARD ROCK CAFE NEWS, Toni Sanchez | Posted: May 1, 2012

Calistoga teacher Lindsey Olsen and his sixth grade Geography class were honored with a dedicated post on the Hard Rock Cafe blog!
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April 2012

Educating the Next Steve Jobs

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, Tony Wagner | Posted: April 14, 2012

Most of our high schools and colleges are not preparing students to become innovators. To succeed in the 21st-century economy, students must learn to analyze and solve problems, collaborate, persevere, take calculated risks and learn from failure. To find out how to encourage these skills, I interviewed scores of innovators and their parents, teachers and employers. What I learned is that young Americans learn how to innovate most often despite their schooling—not because of it.
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Three Napa principals win honors

NAPA VALLEY REGISTER, Isabelle Dills | Posted: April 7, 2012

Two principals and one assistant principal from the Napa Valley Unified School District were recently honored as Administrators of the Year for the region.
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March 2012

Despite more college grads, U.S. workforce needs even more

USA TODAY, Mary Beth Marklein | Posted: March 26, 2012

The number of adult Americans who have earned college degrees has been increasing, but not fast enough to keep up with workforce demands, according to a report released Monday. At the current rate, employers in 2025 will need about 23 million more degree-holders than the nation’s colleges and universities will have produced.
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The Relationship School

THE NEW YORK TIMES, David Brooks | Posted: March 22, 2012

Usually when you visit a school you walk down a quiet hallway and peer in the little windows in the classroom doors. You see one teacher talking to a bunch of students. Every 50 minutes or so a chime goes off and the students fill the hallway and march off to their next class, which is probably unrelated to the one they just left.
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Virtual Tutoring and Tina Ha

MOBILIZE.ORG, Nathan Chen | Posted: March 20, 2012

I recently had the opportunity to interview Tina Ha, a recipient of the Target 2020 California Award Winner (held by Mobilize.org). Her project, “Virtual Tutoring for Skyline College”, would connect those unable to receive access to necessary tutoring services with trained tutors through Skype.
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TED offers free video lessons for high school and college students

THE WASHINGTON POST, Lyndsey Layton | Posted: March 11, 2012

Imagine you’re a high school biology teacher searching for the most vivid way to explain electrical activity in the brain. How about inserting metal wires into a cockroach’s severed leg and making that leg dance to music? Starting Monday, that eye-popping lesson, performed in a six-minute video by neuroscientist and engineer Greg Gage, is available free online.
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2013 Teacher of the Year Nominations


The Napa County Office of Education (NCOE) is currently accepting nominations for the 2013 Teacher of the Year! Celebrate a teacher in your life by reviewing the guidelines and submitting your nomination online here. All nominations must be received by March 30, 2012.

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Twilight of the Lecture

HARVARD MAGAZINE, Craig Lambert | Posted: March 2012

IN 1990, after seven years of teaching at Harvard, Eric Mazur, now Balkanski professor of physics and applied physics, was delivering clear, polished lectures and demonstrations and getting high student evaluations for his introductory Physics 11 course, populated mainly by premed and engineering students who were successfully solving complicated problems. Then he discovered that his success as a teacher “was a complete illusion, a house of cards.”
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February 2012

A Sound Deal on Teacher Evaluations

THE NEW YORK TIMES | Posted: February 16, 2012

Thanks to an agreement brokered by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York has moved a step closer to carrying out the statewide teacher evaluation system it promised two years ago in return for $700 million from the federal Race to the Top education program. Ending the impasse between the teachers’ unions and education officials will help improve instruction across the state.
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Beyond SATs, Finding Success in Numbers

THE NEW YORK TIMES, Tina Rosenberg | Posted: February 15, 2012

In 1988, Deborah Bial was working in a New York City after-school program when she ran into a former student, Lamont. He was a smart kid, a successful student who had won a scholarship to an elite college. But it hadn’t worked out, and now he was back home in the Bronx. “I never would have dropped out of college if I had my posse with me,” he told her.
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The New Haven Experiment

THE NEW YORK TIMES, Nicholas Kristof | Posted: February 15, 2012

New Haven has arguably become ground zero for school reform in America because it is transforming the system with the full cooperation of the union. One of America’s greatest challenges in the coming years will be to turn around troubled schools, especially in inner cities. It’s the civil rights issue of our age, and teachers’ unions have mostly been an exasperating obstacle.
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APNewsBreak: Official: 10 states get ed waiver

ASSOCIATED PRESS, Ben Feller & Kimberley Hefling | Posted: February 9, 2012
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Thursday will free 10 states from the strict and sweeping requirements of the No Child Left Behind law, giving leeway to states that promise to improve how they prepare and evaluate students, The Associated Press has learned.
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McPherson Elementary shows its stuff

NAPA VALLEY REGISTER, Ed Estin | Posted: February 8, 2012

Last Friday, class 25 of Leadership Napa Valley spent Education Day at McPherson Elementary School with the principal, various teachers, students and parents. The day knocked my socks off. Everyone connected with the school displayed passion, knowledge and professionalism. The third-, fourth- and fifth-grade leadership students were able to enter a room of 25 adults without missing a beat.
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New Technology High School honor roll, fall 2011

NAPA VALLEY REGISTER | Posted: February 6, 2012

To view, click here

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Magnet schools seeking students

NAPA VALLEY REGISTER | Posted: February 5, 2012

Napa Valley Unified School District parents are getting an education in new programs that are being offered at various elementary schools during open enrollment, through Feb. 24.
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Challenge to schools: Embracing digital textbooks

ASSOCIATED PRESS, Kimberley Hefling | Posted: February 1, 2012

Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski on Wednesday challenged schools and companies to get digital textbooks in students’ hands within five years. The Obama administration’s push comes two weeks after Apple Inc. announced it would start to sell electronic versions of a few standard high-school books for use on its iPad tablet.
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January 2012

The True Cost of High School Dropouts

THE NEW YORK TIMES, Henry Levin & Cecilia Rouse | Posted: January 25, 2012

Only 21 states require students to attend high school until they graduate or turn 18. The proposal President Obama announced on Tuesday night in his State of the Union address — to make such attendance compulsory in every state — is a step in the right direction, but it would not go far enough to reduce a dropout rate that imposes a heavy cost on the entire economy, not just on those who fail to obtain a diploma.
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Average is Over

THE NEW YORK TIMES, Thomas Friedman | Posted: January 24,2012

In an essay, entitled “Making It in America,” in the latest issue of The Atlantic, the author Adam Davidson relates a joke from cotton country about just how much a modern textile mill has been automated: The average mill has only two employees today, “a man and a dog. The man is there to feed the dog, and the dog is there to keep the man away from the machines.”
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What you (Really) Need to Know

THE NEW YORK TIMES, Lawrence Summers | Posted: January 20, 2012

A paradox of American higher education is this: The expectations of leading universities do much to define what secondary schools teach, and much to establish a template for what it means to be an educated man or woman. College campuses are seen as the source for the newest thinking and for the generation of new ideas, as society’s cutting edge.
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No Child Left Offline

NORTHBAY BIZ, Bonnie Durrance | Posted: January 2012

Forget “out of the box.”
What’s happening in Napa County schools is out of the ballpark. Through an unprecedented local collaboration between a few visionary entrepreneurs, the Napa Valley Vintners, a host of philanthropic partners, community members and Napa County educators, the students of Napa County, from pre-kindergarten through high school, in all five districts, are being catapulted into the 21st century.
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New Tech examines math issues

NAPA VALLEY REGISTER, Isabelle Dills | Posted: January 13, 2012

When it comes to English-Language arts and social studies, New Technology High School’s state test scores far exceed school district averages. Education officials attribute this success to New Tech’s unique curriculum model — project-based learning.
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Student tech squad launches at Burnett school

MILPITAS POST, Shannon Barry | Posted: January 11, 2012

William Burnett Elementary School is giving its students the tools they need today to become the tech leaders of tomorrow through a new club. MOUSE Squad meets an hour after school every Friday, with a goal of giving students the skills needed to survive and thrive in today’s virtual world.
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Interview: Taking Footsteps2Brilliance with Ilene Rosenthal

EDTECH DIGEST | Posted: January 11, 2012

In the U.S., 46 percent of children enter kindergarten at risk of failure and 88 percent of them never catch up. From the moment that Ilene Rosenthal learned of these statistics, she knew that something needed to be done to level the playing field for early learners (pre-K through third grade). Ilene has spent the last 20 years developing education technology solutions that accelerate student learning in reading, language arts and mathematics.
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The Value of Teachers

THE NEW YORK TIMES, Nicholas D. Kristof | Posted: January 11, 2012

Suppose your child is about to enter the fourth grade and has been assigned to an excellent teacher. Then the teacher decides to quit. What should you do? The correct answer? Panic!
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She Snoops for Scoops: The Personal Side of the EdNET Community

EDNET, Vicki Smith Bigham | Posted: January 6, 2011

Peg Maddocks, Ph.D. has been named Executive Director of NapaLearns. Nonprofit NapaLearns supports students, teachers and administrators in Napa County with the classroom technology, digital curriculum, funding and partnerships they need to be successful in today’s online world. In this newly created position, Peg will be responsible for advancing NapaLearns’ innovative programs to improve the educational outcomes of students in public schools throughout Napa County.
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Real-world experiments could bridge math gap

NAPA VALLEY REGISTER, Dave Posner | Posted: January 4, 2012

This is related to the discussion about project-based learning, New Technology High School, math, etc. I have two ideas for what I think would make terrific activities for Algebra 2, but it would take some help to make them happen. They both relate to motion under gravity.
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Anna Yip: Giving students an official voice

NAPA VALLEY REGISTER, Natalie Hoffman | Posted: January 1, 2012

At just 16 years old, Anna Yip — the student representative on Napa Valley Unified School District’s governing board — is already more involved in the education system than most local grown-ups.
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December 2011

Collective Impact

STANFORD SOCIAL INNOVATION REVIEW, John Kania & Mark Kramer | Posted: Winter 2011

The scale and complexity of the U.S. public education system has thwarted attempted reforms for decades. Major funders, such as the Annenberg Foundation, Ford Foundation, and Pew Charitable Trusts have abandoned many of their efforts in frustration after acknowledging their lack of progress. Once the global leader—after World War II the United States had the highest high school graduation rate in the world—the country now ranks 18th among the top 24 industrialized nations, with more than 1 million secondary school students dropping out every year.
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What Americans Keep Ignoring About Finland’s School Success

THE ATLANTIC, Anu Partanen | Posted: December 29, 2011

Everyone agrees the United States needs to improve its education system dramatically, but how? One of the hottest trends in education reform lately is looking at the stunning success of the West’s reigning education superpower, Finland. Trouble is, when it comes to the lessons that Finnish schools have to offer, most of the discussion seems to be missing the point.
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Recent grad: New Tech provided tremendous education

NAPA VALLEY REGISTER, Phoebe Harper | Posted: December 30, 2011

As a graduate of New Technology High School, class of 2009, I can no longer sit back and watch the battle rage about my school, a place that I owe everything to. So from the perspective of a former student, I wanted to offer some insight into the way the school works. First of all, you want to get to know New Tech? They offer free tours conducted by students. You can go into the classrooms, see the facilities and look over the curriculum. Call up the school and they will be more than happy to welcome you in during school hours.
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Sandra Day O’Connor objects to civics ignorance

LOS ANGELES TIMES, Howard Blume | Posted: December 30, 2011

Los Angeles- Only about a third of American adults can name all three branches of government, and a third can’t name any. Fewer than a third of eighth-graders could identify the historical purpose of the Declaration of Independence.
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Student offers thoughts on New Tech experience

NAPA VALLEY REGISTER, Julia Baginski | Posted: December 28, 2011

All of this talk about New Technology High School has been discussed by everyone except a student. I think it’s my turn to say something. From kindergarten to eighth grade, I went to Stone Bridge Waldorf School in Napa. My experience there was the most unique and enjoyable learning process I have ever been through. When others were learning to count with numbers, I was learning how to add and subtract by counting the number of loops on my knitting needles.
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NapaLearns appoints first executive director

AMERICAN CANYON EAGLE, Eagle Staff | Posted: December 22, 2011

NAPA, CA — Peg Maddocks, Ph.D. has been named Executive Director of NapaLearns, effective January 3, 2012. A 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, NapaLearns supports students, teachers and administrators in Napa County with the classroom technology, digital curriculum, funding and partnerships they need to be successful in today’s online world.
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NapaLearns Welcomes First Executive Director

NapaPatch, Holly Krasser | Posted: December 19, 2011

Peg Maddocks, Ph.D. has been named Executive Director of NapaLearns, effective January 3, 2012.
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NapaLearns Appoints Executive Director

NapaLearns, Holly Krassner | Posted: December 15, 2011

DECEMBER 15, 2011, NAPA, CA — Peg Maddocks, Ph.D. has been named Executive Director of NapaLearns, effective January 3, 2012. A 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, NapaLearns supports students, teachers and administrators in Napa County with the classroom technology, digital curriculum, funding and partnerships they need to be successful in today’s online world.
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Math issues being addressed at New Tech

NAPA VALLEY REGISTER, Michelle Spencer | Posted: December 16, 2011

New Technology staff would like an opportunity to address some of the points brought up by John Stallcup in his Dec. 9 letter, “Numbers don’t add up to successful program.”
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The New Tech’s Net Sum is Not Zero Raisin

NAPA VALLEY REGISTER, Grapes & Raisins | Posted: December 15, 2011

In a letter to the editor last week, John Stallcup asserted that “a couple of facts are too obvious to ignore” in his scathing attack on the mathematics program at New Technology High School. Yet in using the school’s poorly rated California Standardized Test math scores to denigrate the whole of the Student-Centered 21st Century (SC21) education program, Stallcup was himself ignoring a treasure trove of facts in opposition to that argument.
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New Tech students get political with Rep. Thompson

NAPA VALLEY REGISTER, Isabelle Dills | Posted: December 10, 2011

On Friday afternoon, a dozen seniors at New Technology High School nervously waited for Rep. Mike Thompson to arrive to be interviewed by students as part of a political studies project.
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Educators worldwide may be in Napa next summer

NAPA VALLEY REGISTER, Isabelle Dills | Posted: December 7, 2011

Educators from around the world may be flocking to Napa Valley next summer to attend a special conference on project-based learning.
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November 2011

Eric Ries: How The U.S. Education System Is Failing Students

HUFFINGTON POST | Posted: November 30, 2011

The debate surrounding the so-called broken education system in the U.S. has drawn input from leaders across industrial sectors, and in a conversation with The Washington Post’s Michelle Williams, entrepreneur Eric Ries discusses his thoughts on how to fix the problem that “our educational system is not preparing people for the 21st century.”
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New school act better option than NCLB waiver

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, Tom Torlakson | Posted: November 17, 2011

Parents, teachers, administrators and members of Congress all seem to agree on this much: It’s time for No Child Left Behind to go. But what should take its place? As a teacher and state superintendent of public instruction, I’ve seen the shortcomings of this federal law firsthand.
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October 2011

Stanford Teacher Ed Program To Help Recruit 230 STEM Teachers

THE JOURNAL, Time Sohn | Posted: October 19, 2011

The Stanford Teacher Education Program has agreed to recruit and prepare 230 top-notch science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) K-12 teachers over the next five years through its elementary and secondary teacher preparation programs.
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Vintners bestow Auction Napa Valley bounty

NAPA VALLEY REGISTER, Sasha Paulsen | October 14, 2011

Dubbing the event “100 million reasons to celebrate,” the Napa Valley Vintners gathered Thursday night to celebrate the success of the 2011 Auction Napa Valley and announce this year’s beneficiaries. At Auction Napa Valley 2011, held June 2-5, the Vintners passed the $100 million fundraising mark for community non-profits since the first auction in 1981. The 2011 grants total $6.85 million.
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A hundred million reasons to celebrate

NAPA VALLEY REGISTER, Rick Jones | Posted: October 13, 2011

Auction Napa Valley (ANV) is the world’s most successful charity wine auction, something of which all of us in Napa County can be proud. The annual community fundraiser, hosted by the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) and supported by an army of local volunteers, was founded in 1981 and has grown into a four-day celebration of wine, food and fundraising held the first weekend in June.
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Students left waiting at public schools

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, Caille Millner | Posted: October 4, 2011

Davis Guggenheim’s new documentary, “Waiting for ‘Superman,’ ” is going to be a talker. The film, which won an audience award at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, composes a thoroughly convincing portrait of the dysfunctions within American public education as it follows four children in search of a better school, and therefore a better future.
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August 2011

Race to the Top funding should be top priority

NAPA VALLEY REGISTER, Gary Lieberstein | Posted: August 23, 2011

It’s official — the numbers that we have long waited for are out. It is no longer estimated that 1 in 5 California students will drop out of high school. In Napa County, it is an absolute fact. Thanks to data collected by the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS), we now know that only 77 percent of students will graduate on time from high school. This has long been a concern of mine, as district attorney of Napa County, because I’ve seen the effects of inadequate education firsthand. And research backs what I’ve learned from experience: Kids who do not graduate from high school are far less likely to find a job sufficient to support them and they are much more likely to turn to crime — or become victims of violence.
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Blueprint for great schools

CA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, Tina Jung | Posted: August 9, 2011

SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today unveiled A Blueprint for Great Schools, a report by his 59-member Transition Advisory Team calling for California to foster excellence in teaching, provide community support for families, and retool schools to make more students competitive in college and the workforce. “We are setting our sights high because our students deserve it,” said Torlakson. “As our Blueprint for Great Schools shows, there’s no substitute for investing in our children’s education. But we owe our students much more than just money. We also owe them our leadership, our best thinking—and above all—our very best people.”
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Education Needs a Digital-Age Upgrade

THE NEW YORK TIMES, Virginia Heffernan | Posted: August 7, 2011

If you have a child entering grade school this fall, file away just one number with all those back-to-school forms: 65 percent. Chances are just that good that, in spite of anything you do, little Oliver or Abigail won’t end up a doctor or lawyer — or, indeed, anything else you’ve ever heard of. According to Cathy N. Davidson, co-director of the annual MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Competitions, fully 65 percent of today’s grade-school kids may end up doing work that hasn’t been invented yet.
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July 2011

Calistoga points the way in technology for schools

NAPA VALLEY REGISTER, Sean Scully | Posted: July 14, 2011

From a simple cup of coffee in a Calistoga bakery has sprung an idea that could change the lives of 16 children, and could go on to change the way all 6 million of California’s public school students are taught. In January, Superintendent Esmeralda Mondragon met with Chuck McMinn, president of the nonprofit NapaLearns, to figure out a way to help a small group of pre-kindergartners whose families couldn’t afford private preschools yet who were not poor enough to qualify for state-funded classes.
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K-12 to see double-digit growth in e-learning through 2015

THE JOURNAL.com, David Nagel | Posted: July 21, 2011

Worldwide, the growth of electronic learning technologies and services is slowing. But the growth in K-12 electronic learning in the United States will continue in the double digits at least through 2015, according to a revised e-learning forecast released this week. In the United States, preK-12 will dominate all other segments, including healthcare and higher education, in the growth of annual expenditures on e-learning technologies and services. According to a report released by market research firm Ambient Insight (“The Worldwide Market for Self-paced eLearning Products and Services: 2010-2015 Forecast and Analysis”), growth will continue at a compound annual rate of 16.8 percent–despite the elimination of the federal Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT) program and despite an overall weakening of e-learning growth, particularly in the United States.
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iPads credited with Calistoga reading gains

NAPA VALLEY REGISTER, Isabelle Dills | July 18, 2011

A four-week preschool program at Calistoga Elementary School may serve as an example for the state on how to enhance education with technology. Sixteen preschool-aged children participated in the Virtual Summer Bridges Academy, a pilot program that used iPads along with traditional teaching methods to help build vocabulary and reading comprehension skills.
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Calistoga points the way in technology for schools

THE WEEKLY CALISTOGAN, Sean Scully | Posted: July 14, 2011

From a simple cup of coffee in a Calistoga bakery has sprung an idea that could change the lives of 16 children, and could go on to change the way all 6 million of California’s public school students are taught. In January, Superintendent Esmeralda Mondragon met with Chuck McMinn, president of the nonprofit NapaLearns, to figure out a way to help a small group of pre-kindergartners whose families couldn’t afford private preschools yet who were not poor enough to qualify for state-funded classes.
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Thanks for making pilot preschool program a success

THE WEEKLY CALISTOGAN, Letter to the Editor from Esmeralda Mondragon | Posted July 14, 2011

Thanks to all who helped make our pilot preschool program a success. It involved half a year of planning, starting with a discussion in late January with Chuck McMinn of NapaLearns, who has been promoting and supporting the use of technology as a learning and teaching tool and whose vision is to make technology accessible to all children. On Feb. 8, I attended an all-day seminar at Apple headquarters in Cupertino with other superintendents. We were introduced to the power of technology as a teaching and learning tool, specifically the iPad. In late February, I convened a small group of key individuals to begin developing the idea, build partnerships and eventually prepare for implementation.
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The Start-Up of You

THE NEW YORK TIMES, Thomas Friedman | Posted: July 12, 2011

The rise in the unemployment rate last month to 9.2 percent has Democrats and Republicans reliably falling back on their respective cure-alls. It is evidence for liberals that we need more stimulus and for conservatives that we need more tax cuts to increase demand. I am sure there is truth in both, but I do not believe they are the whole story. I think something else, something new — something that will require our kids not so much to find their next job as to invent their next job — is also influencing today’s job market more than people realize.
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Napa teacher layoff notices shrinks to 12

NAPA VALLEY REGISTER, Isabelle Dills | Posted: July 1, 2011

Almost all of the Napa Valley Unified School District teachers who received layoff notices earlier this year will be rehired, Superintendent Patrick Sweeney said Friday. The school district will end up with about a dozen layoffs, Ashley Halliday, the district’s superintendent for human resources, said. This is far less than the 90 preliminary layoff notices that were issued in March.
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June 2011

iPads entertain, educate kids in pilot program

NAPA VALLEY REGISTER, Isabelle Dills | Posted: June 30, 2011

For a group of 4-year-olds in Calistoga, the best way to prepare for kindergarten is to have technology at their fingertips. Sixteen preschool-aged children are participating in the Virtual Summer Bridges Academy, a four-week pilot program at Calistoga Elementary School that uses iPads to help build vocabulary and reading comprehension skills.
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Class of 2011 moves on

ST. HELENA STAR, Jesse Duarte | Posted: June 16, 2011

St. Helena High School’s class of 2011 graduated Thursday in a ceremony that blended fond memories, high hopes, nods to beloved teachers, and some international flavor. Amaury Avalos said that whether her 115 fellow seniors are bound for college, the workforce, or military service, graduation is as much of a beginning as an end. She encouraged her classmates to “open our minds and accept change, whether it is good or bad.”
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Feds could offer No Child Left Behind waivers

THE MONITOR, Neal Morton | Posted: June 15, 2011

Local educators welcomed the opportunity to apply for waivers to the federal No Child Left Behind law, which U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said needs changing before the start of school this fall. Duncan warned Congress this week that if it does not reauthorize or rewrite the controversial law – formally known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or ESEA – he would offer states and districts relief from some of the bill’s rigid provisions.
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Vintage seniors told to whack at stereotypes

NAPA VALLEY REGISTER, Howard Yune | Posted: June 9, 2011

The last of 13 school years were done, the final batch of final exams handed in. On Thursday, the senior class at Vintage High School received the payoff — wine-colored caps and gowns, the cheering of thousands and their entry into adulthood. In two long columns, the Class of 2011 entered Memorial Stadium to celebrate its graduation — both queues merging into a V as they took their seats, perhaps the last such merging for many in this mingling of backgrounds, races and aspirations. Among a crowd bearing balloon bunches, placards and bleating air horns along with cheers, more than 500 Vintage High seniors received their diplomas as a soft evening sun set on the field and their childhoods.
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Napa New Tech: School of the Future is Here

KQED, Tina Barseghian | Posted: January 5, 2011

What does the high school of the future look like? It’s one that emphasizes useful, relevant skills that can be applied to college and the work world beyond. One that encourages students to be critical thinkers, responsible for their own actions. One that trains them to work collaboratively and push themselves to outside their comfort zones. And one that uses the benefits of technology to reach those goals.
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April 2010

St. Gregory students discuss College and Work Readiness Assessment (CWRA) test

YOUTUBE, stgregoryschool | Posted: April 1, 2010

Watch video

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August 2010

Free Harvard Report on Raising Teens

RICHARD ROSSI’S BLOG, Richard Rossi | Posted: August 14, 2010

Here is a fascinating and FREE 100 page report from The Harvard School of Public Health. You will find, for example, a set of Five Basics of Parenting Adolescents, with a list of strategies for each. Also featured is a list of Ten Tasks of Adolescence, which delineates the main aspects of adolescent development that parents and other adults need to be aware of and support.
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October 2010

Community college dropout rate alarms researchers

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, Nanette Asimov | Posted: October 20, 2010

Bryan Guillermo stared at his dismal grade report and considered dropping the math class he had just begun at City College of San Francisco. It was fall 2004. Two months into his first semester, Guillermo already felt overwhelmed by the basic algebra, quadratic equations and polynomials covered in class.
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December 2010

New Principal Shows “What a School Could Be”

CATO INSTITUTE, Nat Hentoff | Posted: December 30, 2010

Having written on education since the 1950s — including such books as Does Anybody Give A Damn: Nat Hentoff on Education, Our Children are Dying and Living The Bill of Rights — I finally see a growing movement among some teachers, principals and even a few school districts away from standardized tests of whole classrooms and whole schools to a recognition that there also has to be a School of One for each student.
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Learning about today’s new tech schools

NAPA VALLEY REGISTER, Betty Rhodes | Posted: December 27, 2010

I’m extremely excited about a subject that’s brand-new to me: “student-centered 21st-century cchools” (SC21). I recently met with a good friend, Bob Fioretti, who was one of my leaders at Leadership Napa Valley. As we chatted, I asked Bob what exciting things he was involved in at the moment. (He recently wrote a wonderful new book along with Stephen Covey, Brian Tracy and Ken Blanchard entitled, “Discover Your Inner Strength.” An excellent read that I highly recommend.)
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The New Tech Effect

NEW TECH NETWORK, New Tech Staff | Posted: December 3, 2010

At NTN results matter. All results. Not just those that are state mandated, but a full range of results that tell us how students feel, think, respond to and engage in a range of cognitive, emotional, behavioral and social activities associated with their educational experience.
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