NREA Weekly Updates: April 15th, 2022

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MSU education professor recognized for contributions to rural education scholarship
MSU education professor recognized for contributions to rural education scholarship
BOZEMAN — A Montana State University education professor has been recognized for her significant and lasting contributions to rural education scholarship.
Jayne Downey, professor in the Department of Education in the College of Education, Health and Human Development and director of the MSU Center for Research on Rural Education, received the 2022 Career Achievement Award from the American Educational Research Association’s Rural Education SIG. The national award is presented biannually.
Downey displays a deep and abiding dedication to supporting rural teachers, students, and schools, has made significant contributions to national and global rural education scholarship, and serves as an international leader in the field through sustained scholarship and collaborative research, according to Tricia Seifert, head of the Department of Education, and Jennifer Luebeck, professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences, who nominated Downey for the award.
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Discovery Education
Sesame Workshop and Discovery Education Launch Early Learning Channel for PreK to Grade 2 Kids
Sesame Workshop and Discovery Education Launch Early Learning Channel for PreK to Grade 2 Kids
(New York, NY, April 19, 2022) Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit media and educational organization behind Sesame Street, and Discovery Education, a worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art, K-12 digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place, announced the creation of a new Sesame Workshop-branded early learner channel designed to meet the needs of children from PreK to grade 2. Consistent with Discovery Education’s solutions for schools, the channel will include high-quality video content today’s students know and love, as well as lesson plans and educator resources; interactive games and activities for kids; and family partnership supports—all focused on a whole-child approach.
The Sesame Workshop channel, with innovative teaching and learning solutions, will be available in the fall on Discovery Education’s learning platform. Beginning with curricular resources designed to address new and continuing needs associated with interrupted schooling and prioritized by Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSR) funding, the content comprises social and emotional development and wellness; foundational academic skills in math and literacy; and a social studies-aligned curriculum focused on positive and healthy identity and sense of belonging. At the center of these resources will be research-based content from across the wide range of Sesame Workshop media, including Sesame Street, The Electric Company, and more.
“Sesame Workshop is committed to ensuring school readiness and helping children develop the emotional, social, and cognitive skills needed to become lifelong learners,” said Akimi Gibson, Vice President & Educational Publisher, Sesame Workshop. “As part of this ongoing commitment, we are thrilled to partner with Discovery Education to distribute proven, cohesive yet flexible PreK-2 curricular resources directly into the hands of schools and the educators of our youngest learners. Discovery Education’s 20+ years of expertise in the learning space and their leadership in delivering high-quality supplemental curriculum at a tremendous scale make them an ideal collaborator in our efforts to help all children grow smarter, stronger, and kinder.”
“Sesame Workshop’s success can be attributed to its collaborative, research-intensive approach to the development of highly engaging, child-centered media and programs,” said Pete Weir, Chief Product Officer, Discovery Education. “Their offerings reflect both a deep understanding of children’s developmental needs and the best ways to address those needs. We are excited to partner with Sesame Workshop to bring the first dedicated PreK-2 channel to our award-winning K-12 platform, and are eager to collaborate with educators nationwide on their efforts to align their early childhood initiatives, state standards, and kindergarten readiness goals.”
Additional content areas, such as STEAM, healthy habits, and coding are being prioritized through educator feedback and will be added in the future. To learn more about this exciting partnership and do a deep dive into the Discovery Education platform with our new summer learning activities, grab-and-go instructional activities, and new resources to support SEL and ELL call or email Discovery Education at (888) 280-7493 or
  • House Appropriations hearings with ED Secretary Cardona and DOL Secretary Walsh – The House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee will hold a hearing with Education Secretary Miguel Cardona on the President’s fiscal year (FY) 2023 budget on Thursday, April 28, at 10am ET. A hearing with Department of Labor Secretary Marty Walsh – originally scheduled for April 27 - has been postponed until May 17 at 10am ET.
  • Please take CEF’s survey about options for in-person meetings – Thank you to those who have already filled out CEF’s short, anonymous survey about options for how to hold our weekly meetings when there are venues available for CEF to convene in-person. We expect that when we shift from our current online-only meetings, we’ll evaluate how a new option works and will stay open to the possibility of further changes to find a way to meet that provides the best mix of safety, convenience, information-sharing, and networking for everyone. Please fill out the survey here.
  • Twitter chat about the FY 2023 education budget next Thursday morning – Right before ED Secretary Cardona testifies on the Administration’s FY 2023 education budget CEF will hold a Twitter chat to highlight what it is important for next year’s education funding bill. We’ll hold the chat on April 28 from 9:15-9:45am ET. Early next week, we’ll send a CEF Update with background for about Twitter chatting, the three questions we’ll ask so you can have answers prepared to share on Twitter, and some graphics.
  • Coming soon: community sign-on letter urging a high allocation for the FY 2023 Labor-HHS-Education bill – CEF is working once again with three other coalitions - the Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce, the Coalition for Health Funding, and the Coalition on Human Needs – on a sign-on letter asking Appropriations Committee leaders for the largest possible allocation for the Labor-HHS-Ed bill. We will circulate this letter soon for signatures from national, state, and local organizations and institutions (not for individual signatures). Last year’s sign-on letter is posted here.
U.S. Department of Education Listening Sessions: Career and College Pathways
U.S. Department of Education Listening Sessions: Career and College Pathways
Dear Colleague,
The U.S. Department of Education is advancing Secretary Cardona’s Vision for Education, including a core priority to reimagine the connections and transitions from PK-12 to college to career and improve equitable outcomes for students.
We invite you to join one of three different virtual discussions on career and college pathways – to share your feedback from the field regarding your perspectives and experiences, where there is room for innovation and improvement, and how the Department can be helpful in supporting this important work.
To prompt our discussion, please begin thinking about the following questions:
  • What challenges are you seeing related to the connections from PK-12 to college to career?
  • What are best practices in the field driving stronger connections from high school to college and/or careers?
  • How can the federal government be supportive in this work?
We hope that you or another representative from your organization can join us at oneof the following times. Please click on the relevant link to register. After you register, you will receive a Zoom link to join the meeting.
Thank you for all the important work you are doing to support students, educators, and families.

Office of Communications and Outreach
Webinars & Trainings
On Tuesday, May 3 at 12:30 PM EDT (9:30 AM PDT), join expert analysts from Future Design School and unpack emerging education trends analyzed in The Future of Education Report 2022, including:
- Developing and measuring critical competencies
- Creating a future-ready Portrait of a Graduate
- Implementing personalized inquiry and individualized progression
- Rethinking assessment

During this exclusive webinar, NREA members will gain access to exclusive research and insights on how schools are shifting to address the skills gap and explore inspiring case studies from around the world.

Register here:
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has a long history of inspiring American students to reach for the stars. By engaging students in real-life design challenges, teachers provide learning opportunities that have lifelong impacts. NASA’s Artemis mission is inspiring students, in partnership with LEGO Education, by offering a free Build to Launch Curriculum to schools nationwide, giving students a chance to learn from and interact with our nation’s top aeronautics leaders as they progress towards the first launch in 2022. This exciting mission offers students meaningful, hands-on experiences that aim to inspire the STEM workforce of the future. Please join the U.S. Department of Education and NASA to learn more about the Artemis mission, their collaboration with LEGO Education, and how to spark joy in your classrooms.
Call For Action:


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