Exceeding Expectations in Louisiana

By Debbie Jenkins

Debbie Jenkins is the elementary curriculum and instruction supervisor of Bogalusa City Schools in Louisiana. This post originally appeared on Amplifys Viewpoints

Learn more about Bogalusa City Schools use of Core Knowledge in this video.

There’s an old Barbara Mandrell song that goes, “I was country when country wasn’t cool.” Similarly, I like to say, “E. D. Hirsch was Common Core before Common Core was cool.”

For those who don’t know who E. D. Hirsch is, he is the chief architect of Core Knowledge Language Arts, the reading and language arts program for K-3 that we are using in our two elementary schools. The gains our students have made in just one year with CKLA are just beyond belief. It gives me goosebumps thinking about it.

At our two rural elementary schools, 93 percent of our students qualify for free and reduced lunch. Many of our kids don’t have much of a chance to leave our city of Bogalusa. Their parents would

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What Ogden reveals about the SAGE test, teaching and how students learn

OGDEN Student performance took a hit in almost every school in Utah with the implementation of a new year-end assessment known as SAGE, or student assessment of growth and excellence.

School officials say moving to SAGEs higher standard of proficiency over Utahs previous year-end assessment, the criterion-referenced test, or CRT, accounts for the fact that more than half of students in the state are now considered below proficient.

But that doesnt explain the especially hard punch for places like Dee Elementary School in Ogden, where English language arts scores fell by almost 77 percent about 30 percent beyond the average drop experienced by Utahs elementary schools.

In the last four years, Dee and other Ogden schools have been hailed as having turned the tide in academic performance, fighting their way out of the bottom ranks through administrative overhauls and data-driven teaching initiatives.

Between 2010 and 2013, Dee had gone from being among the worst-performing schools in the state to more than doubling its proficiency scores in language arts.

In light of the data, many are raising questions, such as why SAGE seemed to hit hardest in the Ogden School District, a place known for its rapid gains in academic achievement?

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Tags: Sage , Sage Test

ESADE to Launch Dual MBA Program with Beijing’s Guanghua School of Management

Leading European business school ESADE has signed a new partnership with China’s Guanghua School of Management to offer a two-year dual MBA program beginning next fall, the school announced today. Participants will spend the first year of the new program studying on ESADE’s Barcelona campus and the second taking classes at Guanghua’s Peking University campus in Beijing.

The two institutions have been collaborating on academic projects for several years, including exchange programs for undergraduate and MBA students, international training programs for MSc students and a jointly organized conference featuring faculty from both schools.

The new dual program “confirms ESADE’s commitment to internationalization” and will help strengthen its programs for “executives who aspire to lead the global economy,” ESADE Director General Dr. Eugenia Bieto said in a statement. The institutions share similar program portfolios, similar faculty size and a commitment to innovation, he added.

The new dual MBA program will launch in September 2015. The first year will take place at ESADE’s Barcelona–Sant Cugat campus and will include courses covering general management, as well as on-site consultancy projects and Spanish language classes. The second year, at

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Welcome Back Surprise for Brainerd High Students


Today:  Mostly cloudy with occasional showers and t-showers.  An afternoon high in the low/mid 70s.  A southwest wind at 10mph.  Showers will be diminishing this afternoon into this evening.

Tuesday Night:  Remaining showers and t-showers tapering … More…

Welcome Back Surprise for Brainerd High Students

Thousands of Hamilton County students packed their book bags, put on their best clothes and took off for their first day of school Thursday morning. 

“My responsibilities are to keep the children safe,” said Wilma Dunn, the safety patrol officer who got to her post at Brainerd High School just before 5:00am. 

Many students at Brainerd High arrive by bus with book bags in hand. Others didn’t have their school supplies as organized.

“I missed the bus because I had to go back to get a pencil,” said Rykiedra Finley, an incoming freshman, “couldn’t go to school without a pencil.”

Despite the early set back, Finley is staying positive.

“Oh my gosh I’m scared,” said Finley, “I’m so scared, nervous.”

Well, she’s staying as positive as she can be.

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Fish Really is Brain Food, New Study Confirms

Wondering how to beef up your brain, not only to boost your learning power but also to protect against the risk of age-related brain diseases like Alzheimers? Read on for the latest news about the powerful impact regular fish consumption may have.

I write often about the relationship between diet and learning on Mission to Learn. If you want to be an effective learner, both day-to-day and over the long haul, you need to consistently eat in a way that supports both your physical and mental health. Among other things, that means making sure there is some good brain food in your diet.

Like me, you have probably heard since you were a kid that fish is the brain food. A growing amount of research has lent support to that belief in recent years, including a study recently published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, analyzed the relationship between regular fish consumption and brain structure in a group of 260 cognitively normal adults.

The results?

It turned out that adults who consumed baked or broiled (not fried) fish at least once a week had significantly higher grey matter volumes in parts of the brain tied to memory and cognition.

Interestingly, the positive impact of eating fish did not appear to be tied to the Omega 3 fatty acids found in many fish.

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Tags: New , New Study