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Log in to Witsby: ASCD’s Next-Generation Professional Learning and Credentialing Platform
April 1, 1996
Vol. 53
No. 7


Family Education Network

Family Education Network, The Educational Publishing Group, Inc.
The aim of this online and print-based membership service is to build a community of families who are concerned about their children's education. The network's three main areas are The Parent Network, which includes an archival information service and expert referrals on a wide variety of problems that parents face; Teen/Net, which enables teens to tap into homework help, news, college prep, computing and software, and a reference center; and KidNet, designed to encourage children to form communities around their various interests. Each user receives a member publication and membership in a savings/discount program.
For more information, contact The Educational Publishing Group, 20 Park Plaza, Suite 1215, Boston, MA 02116. (617) 542-6500; fax (617) 542-6564. 1996 http://www.families.com.

Employers, Families, and Education

Employers, Families, and Education: Promoting Family Involvement in Learning, Families and Work Institute.
The U.S. Department of Education commissioned this report to show how businesses can help family members become more involved in children's learning. For example: Wells Fargo helped fund a homework hotline and a parent room for workshops and support groups at the Rio Vista Elementary School in Pittsburg, California. SBC (formerly Southwestern Bell) funded a pair of booklets on practical ways that parents and teachers can support each other's efforts and approach parent-teacher conferences. The Chicago office of Coopers and Lybrand helps local school councils (groups of parents, teachers, and residents) prepare school budgets, assess needs, evaluate principals and programs, and do strategic planning. Some employers have developed schools on their grounds for their employees' children, either through partnerships with public school departments or by opening private schools.
This report is a follow-up to the 1994 publication Strong Families, Strong Schools, which summarizes 30 years of research on the importance of including families and community members in children's learning. The Education Department also offers a series of free brochures on the subject.
Available from Family Involvement Partnership for Learning (a group of more than 100 national organizations), U.S. Department of Education, 600 Independence Ave. S.W., Washington, DC 20202. (800) USA-LEARN. 1995. 34 pp. Paperbound, free.

Becoming a School Board Member

Becoming a School Board Member, Lee G. Bolman, Terrence E. Deal, and Sharon F. Rallis.
This portable mentor, as the authors call it, uses fictional dialogues between a new board member and a seasoned veteran to illustrate potentially troublesome situations. Viewing school as an important community symbol, the authors describe four ways of understanding schools and what a board member's role should be in each case: school as factory; extended family; jungle (with scarce resources and diverse interests); and temple—an expression of human aspiration and faith in human possibility.
Available from Corwin Press, Inc., 2455 Teller Rd., Thousand Oaks, CA 91320-2218. (805) 499-9774. 1995. 76 pp. Paperbound, $11.95.

Learning in Overdrive

Learning in Overdrive: Designing Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment from Standards, Ruth Mitchell, Marilyn Willis, and The Chicago Teachers Union Quest Center.
This primer can be used with any set of standards—national, state, or school district. It shows in step-by-step detail how to work from a series of abstract statements to create a year's worth of interdisciplinary units. The Learning in Overdrive unit differs from the traditional unit in that it is more flexible in its timing; is learner-centered, individualized, and stresses more active learning and higher-level thinking within and across disciplines; and calls for collaborative, team teaching. A sample standards-driven social studies unit is used to show teachers how to connect standards to interdisciplinary or single discipline clusters. A "Pure Water Day" learning exhibition shows how to devise real-world tasks that embody standards.
Available from North American Press, 350 Indiana St., Suite 350, Golden, CO 80401-5093. (800) 992-2908. 1996. 140 pp. Paperbound, $17.

Technology Today and Tomorrow

Technology Today and Tomorrow: Curriculum, Classrooms, Computers, North Carolina ASCD Journal 1995, Barbara M. Parramore, guest editor.
Topics in this issue include what to consider when selecting classroom software; how to enhance 4th grade writing skills through telecommunications; team science; and how North Carolina policymakers and teacher educators have maximized their investments in instructional technology. There's also a brief rundown of other programs and a review of a book (The Challenge to Care in Schools).
Available from Executive Director, North Carolina ASCD, c/o School of Education, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC 27412. (910) 334-5000. Summer 1995. 52 pp. Paperbound, $10.

Audiovisual Resources for Family Programming

Audiovisual Resources for Family Programming, Barbara Jordan and Noreen Stackpole.
More than 1,700 items, covering the gamut of parenting and child development issues, are listed in this annotated directory. Among them are 100 titles under "School Issues" (dropout prevention, discipline, literacy, parent-teacher conferences, conflict management, building community, and self-esteem, for example). There are also hundreds of items for parents and teachers of children with disabilities and chronic health problems. The entries are primarily videotapes, but the list also includes games, kits, audiocassettes, and workshop and program curriculums.
Available from Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc. 100 Varick St., New York, NY 10013. (212) 925-8650. 1995. 438 pp. Paperbound, $29.95.

Adolescent Outreach Campaign

Adolescent Outreach Campaign, National Foundation for Depressive Illness.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death among adolescents and young adults, and, according to the foundation, unrecognized or untreated clinical depression is at the root of most suicide attempts. As part of its outreach campaign, the foundation has set up a toll-free phone line to provide up-to-date information on depression and manic depression. Callers may also request information packets on these illnesses, which include nationwide referral lists of medical centers and physicians who specialize in their treatment, and area support groups. (Callers should indicate that they want the adolescent package.)
Available from National Foundation for Depressive Illness, Inc., P.O. Box 2257, New York, NY 10116. (212) 268-4260. Toll-free Adolescent Outreach Number: (800) 245-4305. $1.01 for information packet.

A People's History of the United States

A People's History of the United States: The Wall Charts, Howard Zinn and George Kirschner.
This pair of big illustrated posters and an explanatory book culls the best of Zinn's 1980 best-seller by the same name. His mission is to present American history not through the acts of statesmen, but through the experiences of immigrants, women, African Americans, and other groups and individuals who have played a crucial role. The colorful wall charts convey a complex time line in a simplified, coherent way.
Available from The New Press, 450 West 41st St., 6th Floor, New York, NY 10036. (212) 629-8811. October 1995. 48-page book and two 36-inch x 55-inch posters. $25.

Sex, Teens and Abstinence

Sex, Teens and Abstinence; Do I Want to Be A Teenage Parent?; When No Means No; How to Say No and Keep Your Boyfriend, Journeyworks Publishing.
One of the most effective ways to help young people take responsibility for their actions is to get them to ask questions and consider the consequences. This series of four pamphlets does just that. Each is sensitively and simply written, and neither preachy nor patronizing.
Available from Journeyworks Publishing, 736 Chestnut St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060-3706. (408) 423-1400. 1995. 16 pp. Paperbound, $1 each, $14 for 50, $25 for 100, $46 for 200.

Principles and Indicators for Student Assessment Systems

Principles and Indicators for Student Assessment Systems, National Forum on Assessment.
The primary purpose of assessment is to improve student learning. This is the guiding principle of the National Forum on Assessment, a coalition of education and civil rights organizations that seeks to transform assessment practices as part of wider school reform. The group wants policymakers, teachers, administrators, schools of education, parents, and also community groups to evaluate existing assessment systems and refine them or develop new ones so that they adhere to various "indicators" that flow from this basic premise. Assessments should, for example: be grounded in knowledge of how people learn; clarify what is important for students to learn; be flexible enough for a diverse student body; and allow students to demonstrate their learning in many ways. A glossary, bibliography, and list of resource organizations are included.
Available from the National Center for Fair and Open Testing (FairTest), 342 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139. (617) 864-4810; fax (617) 497-2224. 1995. 32 pp. Paperbound. $10. Bulk discounts available.

What Every Special Educator Must Know

What Every Special Educator Must Know: The International Standards for the Preparation and Certification of Special Education Teachers, The Council for Exceptional Children.
These international, outcome-based standards are the first ever created specifically for special educators. The bulk of the book covers the core of knowledge and skills the council considers essential for beginning special education teachers. Separate standards are presented for special education generalists and for the full gamut of specialties, including emotional or behavioral problems, learning disabilities, physical and health disabilities, and the education of very young children and children with unusual gifts or talents. Also included are guidelines for professional preparation programs and the council's code of ethics and standards for professional practice.
Available from The Council for Exceptional Children, 1920 Association Dr., Reston, VA 22091. (703) (1-800) CEC-READ. (703) 620-3660; fax: (703) 264-9494. 1995. 140 pp. Paperbound, $14.50.


ArtsEdNet is an electronic online service from the Getty Center for Education in the Arts. The site offers a wealth of resources for arts educators, including curriculum materials, an online conference for discussions, and links to museums and other arts groups. http://www.artsednet.getty.edu

ENC Online

ENC Online was established by the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse for Mathematics and Science Education to improve teaching and learning in these areas. It contains descriptions and examples of teaching materials and links to many other sites aimed at mathematics and science reform. http://www.enc.org

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