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Education is just like life: one must first walk before learning to run. That's why proponents of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education) are also promoting early learning and children's literacy initiatives around the country. In a nutshell, that's the message Colorado Lt. Governor Joseph Garcia will be touting as a speaker at the 9th Annual NALEO National Summit on the State of Latino Education this week in Washington, DC. Garcia will discuss many different early learning and children's literacy issues and solutions aimed at closing the achievement gap.
The government shutdown has caused as many as 19,000 children to lose access to Head Start today, the National Head Start Association reported Tuesday. More than 20 programs across 11 states did not get the annual grant they had been scheduled to receive Tuesday and cannot provide early education and related social services to children and families.
In a sign that no one is too young to use high-tech mobile devices -- or too young to receive an iTunes gift card -- Apple has introduced a Kids App Store to better cater to the children who have adopted iPhone and iPads. The Kids App Store was debuted alongside the launch of the much-anticipated iOS 7.
Cutting professional development and assistive technology, freezing open positions, and shifting money from general education are among the ways that districts are coping with the $600 million that across-the-board federal spending cuts known as sequestration have carved out of the nationwide budget for special education so far.
The labor is going to be long and difficult, but this baby is on its way in most affluent countries. Japan and Germany, two countries long considered laggards in the child care area, are now increasing their spending. In the United States, President Obama is keeping the issue atop his domestic agenda, where it is gaining traction despite slim chances of Congressional approval. Many states and several big cities have developed innovative and successful pre-K programs.
Steve Inskeep talks to Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy about the district's $1 billion iPad initiative, which aims to put a tablet in the hands of every student over the next year. The plan has prompted questions about the role of technology in the classroom, and the extent to which it can enhance teaching and improve student achievement.
Cursive is an art. It's woven into the very fabric of the United States constitution. Yet, everywhere we look, it's literally being written out of existence. Like a sandcastle built at the edge of the sea, with each crashing wave, the strokes of cursive are slowly fading away. Once at the very heart of public school education, cursive is aggressively being replaced by computer classes. As of today, 45 states have adopted the Common Core State Standards for English, which omits cursive from required curricula in schools today.
As federal agencies prepare for a possible government shutdown at midnight tonight, it's unclear if members of Congress have given much thought to the implications of pulling the plug on virtually all federal programs. In fact, over the past several years and in the midst of continual budget debates -- over spending and deficits and debts and across-the-board cuts -- this isn't the first time lawmakers have lost sight of the people behind the programs they fund.
With Labor Day in the rearview mirror, students have begun settling in for the exciting road ahead. Fall also tends to be the season of state tests and federal mandates, and it can become easy to forget that education is about so much more. Luckily, most children -- and some children's books -- already know this. For the youngest, some of the most profound lessons come in shapes and colors; older brothers and sisters, on the other hand, can gain much by exploring identity and how to be brave and clever about helping others.
In lieu of the traditional "Absolute Best School Climate Blogging (This Week)," I thought it would be fun to commemorate the end of this year's Banned Books Week. The American Library Association initiative turned 31 this year. Here's the list of the most-challenged books of the last 10 years. To be fair, #1 is about a tortured, genocidal maniac out to murder a boy. But let's look at Banned Books Week from another angle.

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