National Association  for  Bilingual Education


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  • Thursday, August 14, 2014 1:14 PM | Anonymous

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    August 14, 2014
    View as Web page

    Contact Tim Ebner at
    or (301) 280-3100

    Most Teachers Believe Common Core Will Improve Instruction and Student Learning

    Concerns Raised About Student Readiness, Access to High-Quality Materials and Training, and Benefits of New Aligned Assessments

    The Common Core State Standards Initiative will enter a critical period in the coming school year. Several states have recently reversed course on adoption of the mathematics and English/language arts standards, as vocal opposition gains prominence elsewhere. Despite fraying of the two national consortia developing assessments tied to the new standards, schools are preparing for the first full-scale administration of those common-core-aligned tests. All the while, educators continue their efforts to put the standards into practice.

    Against this dynamic backdrop, a new report from the Education Week Research Center takes stock of educators' readiness to teach the common core, their access to high-quality curricular materials and training, and their students' readiness to master the demands of the new standards. The reportundefinedFrom Adoption to Practice: Teacher Perspectives on the Common Coreundefineddraws on a national survey of teachers fielded during the 2013-14 school year, and follows a similar survey conducted a year earlier. Support for these studies was provided by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, which also underwrites coverage of deeper learning in Education Week.

    The report finds that overall awareness of the common core has increased over time and a growing share of educators have received training on the new standards. Most teachers also believe that the common standards, in the long term, will benefit their own instruction and their students' learning, although views about the effects of forthcoming aligned assessments are less positive.

    Yet, educators report significant hurdles that may stand in the way of fully implementing the common core in their schools. Fewer than half of respondents, for example, say that their textbooks and other main curricular resources are aligned to the new standards. On this matter, respondents overwhelmingly trust their fellow teachers' judgment on whether materials are aligned, treating the claims of curriculum providers and publishers with considerable skepticism. And very few teachers believe their students are ready to master the common core.

    Other major findings from the report:

    • A large majority of teachers are familiar with the common standards, although they are markedly less knowledgeable about the forthcoming consortia assessments.

    • While educators feel moderately prepared to teach the common core to students as a whole, confidence drops for certain student groups.

    • Just four percent of teachers feel their students are ready for the rigors of the common core. Confidence in students' readiness has declined.

    • Less than a third of teachers report having high-quality textbooks aligned to the new standards.

    • When seeking guidance about curriculum alignment, 87 percent of educators trust the views other teachers; only 38 percent trust publishers and curriculum providers.

    • Eight in 10 teachers want more professional development on the common core. The reported quality of these training experiences, however, has declined over the past two school years.

    • According to educators, the most useful training involves collaborative planning time, professional learning communities, structured training opportunities, and job-embedded coaching.

    From Adoption to Practice


    The Full Report
    From Adoption to Practice: Teacher Perspectives on the Common Core is now available for download at You can access the report HERE.

    Additional Research
    Other reports from Research Center, including an earlier study of teachers and the common core, can be found online at

    Coverage on the Common Core
    More information and resources about the common standards and assessment, including Education Week's latest coverage, are available online at

    Questions and Interview Requests
    Experts from the Education Week Research Center are available to provide additional information about the study. To submit questions or schedule an interview, contact Tim Ebner at or (301) 280-3100.

  • Wednesday, June 18, 2014 4:11 PM | Anonymous




    A New Generation of English Language Proficiency Summative Assessments: Challenges and Opportunities

    Dear Colleague:

    What are the language demands of the new college- and career-ready academic standards, and how can states effectively determine the English Language Proficiency (ELP) of English language learners?

    The K–12 Center at ETS recently held The English Language Proficiency Assessment Research Working Meeting, attended by more than 60 English language researchers and assessment experts, state and district leaders, consortia representatives from the Assessment Services Supporting ELs through Technology Systems (ASSETS), the English Language Proficiency for the 21st Century (ELPA21) Consortium, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and Smarter Balanced, and policy organization leaders to explore the following questions:

    • How is the construct of English language proficiency changing in light of college -and career-ready standards in core content areas, and how can it be measured?
    • Given the work done by states over the past decade, what are research-based findings and recommendations concerning the development and implementation of composite ELP scores?
    • How might more informative reports of English language learners' content performance be developed, given data from the new ELP assessments?
    • How might data from the new ELP and Comprehensive assessments be used to improve inferences and reporting for English learners, and what are the technical and policy challenges?
    • What are critical research questions and policy options in developing and setting an "English Proficient" performance standard?
    • Given the current state of the field, what are the high-priority research and development questions ahead?

    The complete agenda and the slide decks for all presentations can now be found here .

    In addition, you can view a presentation by Margaret Heritage on formative assessments for English language learners here.

    A summary report will be available this fall. Please make sure you are on the K–12 Center's distribution list to receive notice of its availability.

    Feel free to forward this email to your colleagues so they can also to our mailing list.

    We look forward to hearing your feedback, as we strive to serve as a catalyst and resource for the improvement of measurement and data systems to enhance student achievement.


    Pascal (Pat) D. Forgione Jr., Ph.D.
    Distinguished Presidential Scholar and Executive Director
    Center for K–12 Assessment & Performance Management at ETS
    701 Brazos Street, Suite 500
    Austin, TX 78701
    Office (Austin): 1-512-439-0864
    Office (San Antonio): 1-210-558-5823

    About the Center for K–12 Assessment & Performance Management at ETS: Created by Educational Testing Service (ETS) to forward a larger social mission, the Center for K–12 Assessment & Performance Management at ETS has been given the directive to serve as a catalyst and resource for the improvement of measurement and data systems to enhance student achievement. 26685

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  • Thursday, June 12, 2014 1:27 PM | Anonymous

    The Center for K–12 Assessment & Performance Management at ETS


    At the K–12 Center, our goal is to facilitate discussion among the best minds in the country in order to assist with the development of a new generation of assessment and performance management methodologies, technologies, policies and practices. With an extensive collection of research papers, guides, videos of discussions with the Assessment Consortia leaders, the Center is a valuable resource for national, state and local policymakers and school leaders. Learn more about us.

    The English-Language Proficiency Assessment Research Working Meeting: Summative Assessments

    June 11, 2014
    Houston, TX

    Held in collaboration with the Houston Independent School District ISD

    This one-day research meeting brought together more than 60 leaders in the English-language assessment community, including representatives of four assessment consortia: the two English Language Proficiency (ELP) Assessment Consortia and the two Comprehensive Assessment Consortia.

    This research working meeting discussed critical emerging technical issues and opportunities to improve the measurement and reporting of English-language proficiency to support improvements in teaching and learning.

    The goals of the Research Working Meeting were to:

    • inform the thinking of the ELP and Comprehensive Assessment Consortia by discussing the critical issues, opportunities, and research questions related to A) the new ELP summative assessments and screener/placement assessments that can lead to improved inferences about ELs and improved instruction within content areas, and B) research questions related to the definition of an English Proficient performance standard.
    • provoke the measurement/assessment community to identify high-priority research questions related to these topics that are likely to support improvements in the education of ELs.
    • examine the opportunities to leverage the work of the ELP Consortia and Comprehensive Consortia to improve the instruction of ELs within content areas, the inferences drawn about their language development and needs, and the professional development needs of their teachers.
    • produce recommendations for future action that will be captured within a summary report for policymakers, that serves to lay the groundwork for informed and strategic action.


    Coming Fall 2014: Summary Report of the English Language Proficiency Assessment Research Working Meeting: A Report for Policymakers

    View the Agenda (PDF)

    Presentation Materials



    Session 1: Summative ELP Assessments for a New Era

    Part A: English-Language Proficiency Reexamined in the Era of College-and Career-Ready Standards

    Session Moderator: Charlene Rivera, George Washington University (2014)
    Setting the Context
    Carsten Wilmes, ASSETS Consortium representative (2014)
    Margaret Ho, ELPA21 Consortium representative (2014)
    Alexis Lopez, ETS (2014)

    Part B: Improving Inferences and Reporting

    Session Moderator: Charlene Rivera, George Washington University (2014)  
    Gary Cook, University of Wisconsin (2014)
    Research-Based Findings and Recommendations to Improve Inferences and Reporting
    Panel Discussion: Technical and Policy Implications
    • Tim Boals, ASSETS and University of Wisconsin
    • Kenji Hakuta, ELPA21 and Stanford University
    • Deb Sigman, California Department of Education
    • Angelica Infante, New York Department of Education
    • Magda Chia, Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium
    • Tamara Reavis, PARCC Assessment Consortium

    Session 2: Defining an “English Proficient” Performance Standard

    Session Moderator: Robert Linquanti, WestEd (2014)
    Current Issues and Opportunities
    David Francis, University of Houston (2014)
    Conceptualizing the Relationship Between English-Language Proficiency and Academic Performance
    Karen Thompson, Oregon State University (2014)
    Illustrating Empirical Relationships Between English-Language Proficiency and Academic Performance
    Panel Discussion: Research and Policy Implications
    • Dan Wiener, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
    • Phil Olsen, Wisconsin Department of Education
    • Martha Martinez, Oregon Department of Education
    • Abdinur Mohamed, Ohio Department of Education
    • Gloria Zyskowski, Texas Department of Education

    Session 3: Synthesis and Closing

    Session Moderator: Kenji Hakuta, Stanford University (2014)
    Gathering of Major Take-Aways for Report to Policymakers
    Nancy Doorey, K–12 Center at ETS
    Closing Comments and Next Steps

    Session: Formative Assessment for English Language Learners

    Part A: English-Language Proficiency Reexamined in the Era of College-and Career-Ready Standards

    Session Moderator: Charlene Rivera, George Washington University (2014)
    Setting the Context


    Join K-12 Center Email List

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  • Tuesday, June 10, 2014 12:59 PM | Anonymous


                                   APIASF Logo Small











    Tia T. Gordon
    202-906-0149 or 202-756-4851 


    Katie Tran-Lam
    Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund






    APIASF Hosts its Fifth Annual Higher Education Summit on June 17



    Washington, D.C., June 10, 2014--Hundreds of college presidents, education leaders, federal and state policymakers, government officials, corporate executives, and students from across the nation will come together for the 2014 Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) Higher Education Summit on June 17 in Washington, D.C. In its fifth year, the annual event is organized into a series of presentations, panels, and breakout sessions to highlight the necessity of accelerating student success, mobilizing communities and resources, and advancing institutional capacity that contribute to meaningful change for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students.


    This year's event--part of APIASF's higher education summit series to engage in significant conversations around the unique needs of AAPI students--will focus on identifying areas of opportunity and impact, addressing college access and completion gaps, and removing barriers for all underserved students. Participants will learn about evidence-based, scalable models of success for advancing institutional capacity through strategic collaboration and resource-sharing to benefit AAPI students.


    This year's theme for the 2014 APIASF Higher Education Summit is "Creating Meaningful Change for AAPI Students."



    WHO:  Hundreds of national AAPI leaders, along with higher education researchers,

    policymakers, community advocates, corporate partners, and educators as well as

    APIASF President and Executive Director Neil Horikoshi


    WHAT:   2014 APIASF Higher Education Summit


    WHEN:  Tuesday, June 17, 2014


    WHERE:  Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania

    Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20004  



    Highlights of the 2014 APIASF Higher Education Summit include:


    ·         The session, "Advancing the Equity Agenda for Underserved AAPI Students," will explore efforts to advocate for and implement specialized learning and support services for equalizing educational opportunities among underserved AAPI students. Panelists include Curtiss Takada-Rooks, assistant professor, Asian Pacific American Studies, Loyola Marymount University; and Audrey Yamagata-Noji, vice president, student affairs, Mt. San Antonio College.


    ·         The U.S. Department of Education-funded Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs) utilize civic engagement and leadership development to successfully serve AAPI students. The "AANAPISIs, Civic Engagement, and Leadership Development for Social Change: Three Models of Success" session will share how connecting social change can increase student perseverance, retention, and success. Presenters include Melissa Canlas, director, Asian Pacific American Leaders United, City College of San Francisco; Timothy Fong, professor of ethnic students and director, California State University, Sacramento; and Tom Izu, project director, IMPACT AAPI, De Anza College.


    ·         "Mobilizing through Participatory Action Research (PAR): Localized Efforts to Increase AAPI Student Success in Higher Education" is a session aiming to explore the potential for increasing AAPI student success in higher education by mobilizing educational stakeholders through PAR, including collaborative partnerships with institutional and community partners. Speakers include Jason Chan, doctoral student, higher education & organizational change, University of California, Los Angeles; Edward Curammeng, doctoral student, University of California, Los Angeles;  and Bach Mai Dolly Nguyen, research associate, National Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islander Research in Education.


    Requests for media credentials and interviews can be made to Tia T. Gordon at (202) 906-0149 or For more information and a full listing of scheduled events, go to  Follow us on Twitter at @APIASF and #APIASFSummit to receive live event updates.


    # # # 



    About the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund

    Based in Washington, D.C., the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) is the nation's largest non-profit provider of college scholarships for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI). APIASF works to create opportunities for students to access, complete, and succeed after post-secondary education; thereby developing future leaders who will excel in their career, serve as role models in their communities, and will ultimately contribute to a vibrant America. Since 2003, APIASF has distributed more than $80 million in scholarships to AAPI students across the country and in the Pacific Islands. APIASF manages three scholarship programs: APIASF's general scholarship, the APIASF Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions scholarship program, and the Gates Millennium Scholars/Asian Pacific Islander Americans funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.



    Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund | 1900 L Street NW | Suite 210 | Washington | DC | 20036

  • Monday, June 09, 2014 12:37 PM | Anonymous



    Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Southwest

    Bridge Event: Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners in Elementary and Middle School, July 22, 2014 by RELSW at San Antonio, Texas





    You are invited to join us along the beautiful San Antonio River Walk for a free conference on the latest research and strategies for improving English language academic instruction.

    Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners in Elementary and Middle School

    Register OnlineLimited to 150 participants.
    Admission is free.


    Date and Time



    July 22, 2014
    Sign In: 8–9 a.m. CT
    Event: 9 a.m.–3 p.m. CT






    Embassy Suites Riverwalk
    125 E. Houston Street
    San Antonio, TX 78205
    Discount rates available for conference registrants.


    Engage with nationally recognized researchers and practitioners while exploring strategies for supporting English learners in building the language and literacy skills they need to succeed. Conference sessions focus on the research-based recommendations in the new What Works Clearinghouse practice guide Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners in Elementary and Middle School.

    Learn more | Register online

    Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners in Elementary and Middle School

    Sign up to be notified of other events
    Subscribe to the REL Southwest mailing list and Spotlight e-bulletin to be notified of other upcoming events and to receive information about our services, products, and resources. Subscribe online



    Copyright © 2014 SEDL

    About REL SW

    Contact REL SW



    The Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Southwest supports educators in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas in using data and research evidence to address high-priority education needs. We conduct our work through innovative research alliances, which bring together educators, practitioners, policymakers, researchers, and others to address education issues.

    Visit the REL Southwest website to learn more. Subscribe to the REL Southwest Spotlight e-bulletin to stay informed about our work, services, resources, and events.

    This document was developed under Contract ED-IES-12-C-0012 from the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences. The content does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of IES or the U.S. Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. government. Questions or comments should be directed to:

    Jackie Burniske
    Dissemination Director
    REL Southwest at SEDL
    4700 Mueller Blvd.
    Austin, TX 78723
    Tel: 800-476-6861
    Twitter: @relsouthwest


  • Wednesday, December 04, 2013 1:13 PM | Anonymous





    Dear Friends,
    I believe in a strong America; an America that is the definitive beacon of opportunity, an America that is the global leader in economic prosperity, an America that has the most competitive workforce in the world.

    But the daunting truth is that we are not that America. We are falling behind. We have to do better, for our children, and for generations to come who deserve a revived, strong nation.
    Yesterday, results from the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) were released. The assessment compares 15 year olds from developed countries across the globe in math, science and reading. The results point to a jarring reality we all need to face in our country: our education system is not equipping our children for the competitive workforce.
    Other countries are making faster progress. U.S. teenagers are now ranked 26th in math, 21st in science, and 17th in reading. Shanghai, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong are leading the pack, while countries like Poland and Ireland surpassed us for the first time.

    There is no excuse in the book to justify our performance on the world stage. We are in a competitive 21st century and it’s time we start preparing our kids to compete. Without adequately preparing our kids with the fundamental skills needed in school, how can we expect them to go on and contribute to a vibrant workforce? We need to do better.
    Yesterday’s results dramatically underscore the need for higher, internationally benchmarked standards and a focus on foundational skills in K-12 education. We accomplish this by holding schools accountable for performance and providing teachers with the supports they need to help students meet these higher expectations. This improves our children’s opportunity to achieve success in school, college, career, and life, thereby preparing them to successfully compete with their peers around the globe.
    However, we do see a positive outcome in the PISA results that reaffirms my core belief: all students can and will learn when education is focused on them. Massachusetts participated for the first time in the international benchmarking system and received separate scores. Massachusetts’s average scores were higher than both the U.S. and global average scores in all three subjects. The reason Massachusetts out performs not only the rest of America but other countries? Reform works. In 1993, Massachusetts adopted a bold package of education reforms to transform the failing status quo and focus the system on students’ learning. They implemented rigorous standards and achievement tests that students have to pass to graduate.
    Today other states are following their lead and it couldn't come at a more critical time.
    I hope that you will join me in this mission of giving every child in America a quality education. Your voice has a significant impact. Here’s how you can do your part to guarantee a strong America:

    1. Share this email with 5 friends and encourage them to sign up for email updates by visiting
    2. Share this important message on social media by posting this URL:
    3. Visit our new Policy Library where you can become an expert on education reform and create your own Reformer Toolbox



    Click here to view online.

    The Foundation for Excellence in Education is igniting a movement of reform, state by state, to transform education for the 21st century economy by working with lawmakers, policymakers, educators and parents to advance education reform across America. Learn more at

    Contact Us
    P.O. Box 10691
    Tallahassee, Florida 32302


    Follow Us



    Foundation For Excellence in Education
    Copyright © 2013

  • Tuesday, March 12, 2013 1:38 PM | Anonymous


    Legislature Reappoints Educators from the Bronx and Queens to the Board of Regents

    Following today's joint session of the Legislature, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Education Committee Chair Catherine Nolan, and Higher Education Committee Chair Deborah J. Glick announced the re-election of Dr. Geraldine D. Chapey of Queens and Dr. Betty A. Rosa of the Bronx to the New York State Board of Regents.

    "These appointments to the Board of Regents follow decades of combined education leadership and steadfast commitment to the development and enlightenment of our youth," said Silver. "Under their guidance, I know our schools can train and nurture the future leaders of a strong and prosperous Empire State."

    "From pre-kindergarten to higher learning and professional training, New York is an example for the nation in affordability, access, and forward thinking," said Nolan. "With these appointments, I am more confident than ever in our ability to meet the challenges of the future with creativity and innovation."

    "As our education system strives to be ever more inclusive, the importance of forward-thinking Regents grows," said Glick. "I welcome the reappointment of Regents Chapey and Rosa and I commend my fellow legislators on recognizing the commitment to equal access to learning demonstrated by our Board of Regents."

    Dr. Geraldine D. Chapey, the Regent for the Eleventh Judicial District, Queens County, is currently a University Professor at the City University of New York and a member and past president of School Board 27. Dr. Chapey has been re-elected twice since she was first elected to the Board in 1998. This award-winning educator previously served as CUNY's Academic Dean of the School of Education and Human Services. She was the First Director of the NYC Board of Education's Title I Non Public School Speech and Hearing Clinical Program for communicatively disabled children in almost 200 schools in the five boroughs, and chaired the first Parents in Partnership Program for the Borough of Queens. Dr. Chapey presently serves on the Governor's Advisory Council and on the Board of Directors of the Association of Teachers of New York. Her many degrees and certifications include a doctorate from Fordham University, and an American Speech and Hearing Association Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology.

    Dr. Betty A. Rosa, the Regent for the Twelfth Judicial District, Bronx County, previously served as the Superintendent of Community School District 8 in the Bronx. First elected in 2008, this is Dr. Rosa's second term on the Board. Among her many achievements, Dr. Rosa founded what became the number one middle school in the City of New York based on New York State examination results, M.S. 101 (Maritime Academy for Science and Technology). Born in New York City but raised in Puerto Rico until the age of ten, Dr. Rosa worked as a bilingual teacher and reading coordinator in the city school system and also served as an assistant principal and principal in special education before becoming principal of I.S. 218, a full-service community school in partnership with the Children's Aid Society. Her numerous diplomas and accolades include two Master of Science in Education degrees, one in Administration and Supervision and the other in Bilingual Education, from CUNY, and an Ed.M. and Ed.D. in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from the Urban Superintendents Program at Harvard University. Named Superintendent of the Year by Mercy College in 1999 and Educator of the Year in 2002, this very legislative body honored her as an "Outstanding Educator." She is now the president of educational consulting firm BDJ & J Associates LLC.
  • Monday, February 11, 2013 1:31 PM | Anonymous

    Speaking multiple languages may be an advantage in more ways than one: a new study suggests that bilinguals are speedier task-switchers than monolinguals.

    Task-switching and its real-world applications

    Task-switchingundefinedthe ability to mentally “switch gears” and refocus on new goalsundefinedis a valuable skill that has numerous practical uses. You use it to shift attention from the wheel to the road while driving, or to switch gears between offense and defense in a team sport. Bilingualism has already been associated with a number of cognitive advantages, and now a 2010 study from Language and Cognition has investigated how bilingualism might enhance crucial task-switching skills in young adults.

    This Carnegie Mellon University study recruited 88 college students, half of whom were monolingual and half of whom were bilingual. Both groups had about equal SAT scores, suggesting no inherent difference in cognitive ability.

    Each participant sat in front of a screen with two different kinds of tasks assigned to each of their two hands. As cues appeared onscreen, one hand was responsible for identifying the color of the cue. The other hand was responsible for identifying the shape of the cue.

    There were two aspects to this task-switching experiment: single-task trials and mixed-task trials. In single-task trials, participants identified either color or shape but never switched between the two tasks. In mixed-trial tasks, participants frequently switched between color and shape identification tasksundefineda more difficult procedure.

    Researchers compared single-task and mixed-task reaction times to determine how reaction time and accuracy differed between groups and trial types.

    Bilinguals were much faster than monolinguals on trials that required task-switching undefined their reactions were 6 milliseconds quicker on average. Both groups, however, were equally quick to respond on single-task trials, which did not involve switching.

    Task-switching and executive control

    This 2010 study contributes to a growing body of evidence suggesting that bilinguals enjoy enhanced executive control compared to monolinguals. Executive control refers to a combination of cognitive abilities undefined including task-switching undefined that help you make decisions, control impulses, and plan thoughtfully. It’s long been thought that constant management and monitoring of two languages improves executive control undefined a belief that this Carnegie Mellon study supports.

    How you can improve your own task-switching

    Regardless of how many languages you speak, there are plenty of other ways to enhance your own task-switching abilities and meet the varied demands of everyday life. Lumosity’s Brain Shift and Brain Shift Overdrive games train task-switching using an exercise similar to the one in the 2010 study. Or try Color Match to exercise impulse control. Unlock full access today to hone your skills!


    Source: ANAT PRIOR and BRIAN MACWHINNEY (2010). A bilingual advantage in task switching. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 13, pp 253-262.

  • Thursday, February 07, 2013 11:27 AM | Anonymous

    NEW Header April 2011

    February 2013


    "Like" Mister G on Facebook 


    On the Road



    February 16,  10:30 am

    Sunnyside Winter Concert

    Florence, MA


    February 17, 2:30 pm

     Norwood Theatre

    Norwood, MA


    February 19, 11:30 am

    The People's Institute

    Private Concert

    Northampton, MA


    February 20, 10:00 am

    Weston Community Children's Association

    Weston, MA


    February 21, 10:00 am

    Temple Israel

    Natick, MA


    February 22, 1:00 pm

    Springfield Museums

    Springfield, MA 


    Further on down the road...


    March 23, 3:30 & 4:30 pm

    Children's Museum of Manhattan

    New York, NY


    March 30th, 1:00 pm

    The Meltdown

    Florence, MA


    April 1

    Tour of Mexico 

    Mexico City


    April 27

    Kindiefest at Brooklyn Academy of Music

    Brooklyn, NY


    April 30

    Wellesley Library 

    El día de los Niños

    Wellesley, MA






     Dear Josie,


    Do you wear a jacket when you go outside to play in the snow?


    Anne, age 5

    Sarasota, FL


    Hi Anne,


    Missus G gave me a lovely red fleece  for Hanumas and I do wear it for special occasions (dinner with friends, going to "the club," urban promenades).


    But most of the time, I prefer to go au naturel and just wear my fabulous, water resistant fur coat.


    Barks and Woofs,





    Have a question or comment for Josie?  Email her at: 







    Join Our Mailing List


    National Association for Bilingual Education Conference


    We skipped out on the historic Snowpocalypse at home in New England and headed to the National Association for Bilingual Education Conference in Orlando, Florida.  

    My workshop on how to incorporate music in the classroom turned into a serious dance party. It's inspiring to hear how these bilingual teachers are using the songs from "Chocolalala" to teach their students all over the USA. 

    I also played a concert at the conference and got to meet some of the kids after the show. 


    "Under the Hat": New Educational Video Series


    A little Under the Hat history: I spent 20 years making music for adults before getting a Masters in Elementary Education and becoming a teacher. 


    These days, we can't get to all the communities we'd like to, so we created Under the Hat as an independent music education series.  


    Whether the videos were shot on tour or in my recording studio, every episode includes information about different aspects of how songwriters create music. 


    Under the Hat: Following the Butterflies

    Under the Hat: Following the Butterflies


    The episode above was filmed in Mexico and explains how the song "Señorita Mariposa" was inspired by the annual Monarch butterfly migration to the Sierra Madre mountains. The episode also includes a lesson on the traditional Afro-Cuban rhythm known as clave. 


    Ordering Mister G CDs


    BUGS CD cover Pizza for Breakfast Cover


    Hand-crafted in the USA, a gift that won't break... give all-original, independent music


      Click  here to get your copies of CHOCOLALALA, BUGS and Pizza for Breakfast, plus T-shirts for the whole family!



    Press of the month...

    Family Fun Magazine


    Thanks Family Fun for this great review!


    MIster G logo 

    Thanks for reading our newsletter.   


    Want to bring Mister G to your theater, school, performing arts center, library or festival?  


    Email us at and we'll make it happen! 





  • Friday, January 18, 2013 5:02 PM | Anonymous


    January 18, 2013
    ...a bi-weekly update on U.S. Department of Education activities relevant to the Intergovernmental and Corporate community and other stakeholders
    On January 16, in front of a crowd that included victims of gun violence, families who lost loved ones to gun violence, and children who had written letters asking him to do something to prevent more senseless massacres like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School, President Obama announced a series of sweeping reforms to curb gun violence across the nation.  “We can’t put this off any longer,” he asserted.  “Just last Thursday…news broke of another school shooting, this one in California.  In the month since 20 precious children and six brave adults were violently taken from us at Sandy Hook, more than 900 of our fellow Americans have reportedly died at the end of a gun.  And, every day we wait, that number will keep growing.”
    The reforms are the result of the effort led by Vice President Biden and members of the Cabinet, including Secretary Duncan, to come up with concrete steps that can be taken to keep children safe, help prevent mass shootings, and reduce the country’s broader epidemic of gun violence.  “The Cabinet members and I sat down with 229 groups…from law enforcement agencies and public health officials to gun advocacy groups, hunters and sportsmen, and religious leaders.  And, I’ve spoken with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle and had extensive conversations with governors and mayors and county officials,” the Vice President said.  “The recommendations we provided to the President on Monday call for executive actions he could sign, legislation he could call for, and long-term research that should be undertaken.  They’re based on the emerging consensus we heard from all the groups…”
    The President initiated 23 executive actions ( and issued three presidential memoranda (  However, the most important reforms require Congressional action.  Among other items, the President is calling on lawmakers to require universal background checks for all gun sales, ban military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and give law enforcement additional tools to prevent and prosecute gun crime.  FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO
    Regarding school safety, “The actions the President is taking and proposing to reduce gun violence echo what educators say they need to better protect and support students in school and in their communities,” Secretary Duncan said.  “America’s schools are among the safest places in our country.  The President’s comprehensive approach will make schools and communities safer.”  Indeed, the President has proposed to provide new resources that communities can use to:
    • hire School Resource Officers (SROs) -- specially trained police officers who not only enforce the law but act as teachers and mentors;
    • hire school counselors, psychologists, and social workers to support students struggling with mental health issues and help avert crises before they occur; and
    • purchase school safety equipment, like security cameras and secure locking systems.
    The Department will also work with states and school districts to ensure that every school has in place a high-quality emergency plan.  And, the agency is proposing to help 8,000 schools put in place proven strategies to reduce violence, bullying, drug abuse, and other behavior problems and to gather and share best practices on school discipline.  FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO
    In the area of mental health, the President also:
    • called for a new initiative to train teachers and other adults who regularly interact with students to recognize young people who need help and ensure they are referred to mental health services;
    • proposed providing stipends and tuition reimbursements to train over 5,000 additional mental health professionals to serve students and young people; and
    • called for a new initiative targeted to providing students with needed services, like counseling, to help break the cycle of violence in schools facing pervasive violence.
    In town for Inauguration weekend?  The Presidential Inauguration Committee’s web site ( offers a wealth of information about the inauguration and related activities.  Specifically, today, a number of federal agencies are holding open houses ( to welcome the public and explain the work and resources in the Executive Branch.  The Department of Education’s open house -- from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon in the lobby and auditorium of the agency’s headquarters (400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C.) -- will feature an open exhibit time with staff sharing information and answering questions, a short speaking program with policy overviews, and breakout sessions led by senior officials.  Also, on Saturday, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., the Department will exhibit on the National Mall for the National Day of Service (, highlighting ways for everyone to create a culture of academic success.
    On January 1, the Department’s Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) released the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2013-14 academic year.  Completing the new FAFSA is the first step in accessing more than $150 billion available in federal student aid, including grants, loans, and work-study funds.  In addition, many states and colleges use FAFSA data to determine student eligibility for state and institution-based aid.  FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO
    Recent blog posts outline five reasons to complete the FAFSA ( and provide answers to the top three questions about the FAFSA (
    Later this month, FSA will launch a public service campaign to promote the availability of financial aid for college.  The campaign will include TV, radio, print, and web advertisements.  A version of the ad is posted at
    The deadline for applications for the Department’s 2013-14 Teaching Ambassador Fellowship, offering highly motivated and innovative school teachers the opportunity to work for one year for the agency -- either full-time in Washington, D.C., or part-time in their home states -- is fast approaching.  In particular, to help achieve the program goal that “the final team of selected fellows…represent the diversity of our student body and settings in which students receive instruction across the country,” the Department is seeking applications from the 17 states that have not had a fellow in the program’s five years: Alabama, Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.  The Department is also encouraging tribal educators to consider applying.  All fellows will be selected based on their record of leadership, impact on student achievement, communications skills, and insight from school and classroom experiences.  Applications are due by January 29.  Fellows will be named in early summer.  FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO
    In a January 14 letter to local superintendents, marking the “midpoint of the traditional school year,” Secretary Duncan recognized “all of you for the work you do and your commitment to student achievement.”  In particular, he recognized “those of you who recently started in new positions.  Whether this is your first year leading a school system or you are a seasoned veteran who has moved onto a new challenge, taking the reins of a district is an immensely rewarding opportunity that few will ever experience.”  He also listed initiatives undertaken by the Department over the last four years “to set a strong foundation that ensures your districts can provide high-quality programs and supports to our nation’s students,” including Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) flexibility, Race to the Top state and district funding, and Investing in Innovation (i3) and Promise Neighborhoods grants.  “As we enter 2013 and President Obama begins his second term,” he added, before concluding with a note about the tragedy at Newtown, “I am excited about the potential to improve student learning and achievement in districts like yours all across the nation.”  FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO
    • The second public draft of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) is out for review through January 29.  The draft standards were created through a collaborative, state-led process.  To date, 26 partner states are providing leadership to the writing teams and to other states as they consider adoption of the NGSS.  FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO
    • The Department has invited applications for new awards under the Magnet Schools Assistance Program (, which supports the development and implementation of magnet schools that reduce, eliminate, or prevent minority group isolation and provides an opportunity for eligible entities to expand public school choice for students attending low-performing schools.
    • The Department is also seeking high-quality applicants for a position in the Implementation and Support Unit (ISU), within the Office of the Deputy Secretary.  This position will work directly with state and/or district leadership to support efforts to implement comprehensive education reforms.  FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO
    • “Projections of Education Statistics to 2021” (, released by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), provides data on student enrollment, graduates, teachers, and expenditures for schools and degree-granting institutions.
    • Think Global Flight ( is an international in-flight effort that intends to cultivate and promote a greater awareness and interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in classrooms by way of an around-the-world flight of adventure, taking off in April 2014.  The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) features this activity among its industry partnerships at
    “Like most Americans, I believe the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms.  I respect our strong tradition of gun ownership and the rights of hunters and sportsmen.  There are millions of responsible, law-abiding gun owners in America who cherish their rights to bear arms for hunting, or sport, or protection, or collection.  I also believe most gun owners agree that we can respect the Second Amendment while keeping an irresponsible, law-breaking few from inflicting harm on a massive scale.  I believe most of them agree that, if America worked harder to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, there would be fewer atrocities like the one that occurred in Newtown.  That is what these reforms are designed to do.”
    -- President Barack Obama (1/16/13), announcing new measures to prevent gun violence
    The President is scheduled to deliver his State of the Union address on February 12.
    On January 22, NCES will release “Public School Graduates and Dropouts from the Common Core of Data: School Year 2009-10,” presenting the number of high school graduates, Averaged Freshman Graduation Rate (AFGR), and dropout data, disaggregated by year, gender, race/ethnicity, and, where applicable, grade.  FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO|m&va=1.
    On January 29, at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time, the Department will open an exhibit at its headquarters titled “Diversity Means,” featuring the works of over 70 school-age artists from among the 2012 winners of the National PTA’s Reflections Program.  Racquel Charles of Georgia, the National Outstanding Interpretation Winner in Dance Choreography, and Polly Moser of Maryland, the National Outstanding Interpretation Winner in Musical Composition, will perform.  They will be joined by senior agency officials, the National PTA president, Reflections Program chairman, and board members, and other educators and leaders.  To RSVP to attend or learn more about the Department’s year-round exhibit program, please contact
    In March, Secretary Duncan will join education ministers, education organization and union leaders, and teachers from countries and regions with high-performing or rapidly improving education systems for the 2013 International Summit on the Teaching Profession in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.  This year’s summit will focus on teacher quality, including professional standards and teacher appraisal.  FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE GO TO
    Please feel free to contact the Office of Communications and Outreach with any questions:
    Deputy Assistant Secretary, Intergovernmental Affairs -- Stacey Jordan, (202) 401-0026,
    Program Analyst -- Adam Honeysett, (202) 401-3003,
    This newsletter contains hypertext links to information created and maintained by other public and private organizations.  These links are provided for the user’s convenience.  The U.S. Department of Education does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of this outside information.  Furthermore, the inclusion of links is not intended to reflect their importance, nor is it intended to endorse any views expressed, or products or services offered, on these sites, or the organizations sponsoring the sites.
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