Weekly Roundup for April 13, 2012

It's National Library Week. Have you been to the library lately?

Guest post by Rebecca Forbes, Grants & Contracts Assistant, TASC

>   A virtual Ben Franklin explaining the Declaration of Independence? The future of the 21st century classroom may hold this and other surprises, says Nick Grantham, founder of Fractus Learning, on Edutopia.

>   New efforts to make math more fun and accessible are gaining traction, including online games and a Museum of Mathematics, set to open this fall in New York City.

>   When the principal and the whole school team have the authority to align their time and resources around a common vision – the strategy at the core of ExpandED Schools – students succeed. See the evidence at one school in New Orleans, as explained by Wendy Kopp, CEO and founder of Teach For America, in The Atlantic.

>   The value of the arts in education has received much consideration recently, as two studies – from the National Center for Education Statistics and the National Endowment for the Arts – explore the issue of access and the positive effects of such programs, particularly for at-risk youth. Education Week offers analysis into the finer points of these studies here.

>   This National Library Week, let’s celebrate an integral member of any school’s staff: the librarian. Author and History Channel host Brad Meltzer offers a stirring tribute to these heroes – and a call to action for more state and federal support.

>   PTA membership is experiencing a steady drop, as parents chafe at rising dues and the reality of the organization’s mission and advocacy work.

>   If we want all children to be reading on grade level by 3rd grade, early education is key. Some 28% of America’s 4-year-olds were enrolled in a state-funded preschool program in the 2010-2011 school year, according to the National Institute for Early Education Research’s annual State Preschool Yearbook.  

>   Now that the Mega Millions jackpot fever has subsided, the lucky winners now must decide what to do next. For the three Maryland public school educators who won that choice means returning to the classroom out of “a strong commitment to their students.”

Featured Friday Funding Opportunity
Entertainment Software Association Foundation
The ESA Foundation seeks to harness the collective power of the interactive entertainment industry to create positive social impact in communities. Grant requests must provide programs and services that utilize technology and/or computer and video games to educate America’s youth and young adults.

Deadline: May 15

And now for something completely different:

Today is the 113th birthday of Alfred Mosher Butts, the inventor of Scrabble. In 1870, the Metropolitan Museum of Art was formally established.

And it’s Friday the 13th! Do you have paraskevidekatriaphobia? That’s a deep fear of this very day. Valerie Strauss, of The Washington Post, provides several fascinating tidbits that could stoke some frenzied contemplation.