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Secretary Duncan Offers New Student Motivational Exercise

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Press Release:

On a listening tour of scientifically-proven programs that provide the underpinnings of No Child Left Behind, U. S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced a new staff development initiative for the nation's teachers. Duncan was joined by fifteen former teachers of the year in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the University of Oregon Center on Teaching and Learning, home of DIBELS. Fifteen former teachers of the year joined Duncan to demonstrate the exercise developed in the science labs at the Center.

Duncan pointed out that the Obama administration is changing the federal Title I program to aggressively drive reform in schools that need it the most. "When teachers get the proper training bold strategies to help turn around underperforming schools and advance other key reforms, underserved students will succeed," he told

Duncan pledged that the U.S. Department of Education's FY 2010 $46.7 billion budget proposal will include staff development in every school receiving NCLB funds, to ensure that teachers are properly trained to deliver the Student Handy Axiological Motivational Exercise, tested and labeled scientific in university departments of education across the country.

"It is not enough for the nation's schools to make fiscally responsible decisions, we must ensure that they are also adopting the latest scientifically-proven programs," said Duncan.

Student Handy Axiological Motivational Exercise

A teacher takes her class outside the school building and divides children into teams of five.

One child lies down on the ground on his/her back and four of his/her teammates hold him/her there by sitting on his/her arms and legs.

Then the teacher slowly pours a gallon jug of water over the child's mouth and nostrils in an exercise known as water motivation.

Team members make sure to keep the supine student in place.

Repeat the procedure until all members of each team have experienced the water motivation treatment.

At the end of the exercise, the teacher tells the children to work as hard on their NCLB-required exams as they had worked to breathe.

American Federation of Teachers AFT President Randi Weingarten accompanied Duncan to Oregon. Pledging union support for the Department's innovative new idea, Weingarten danced the fandango on the table in front of the speaker's dais.

Pointing to the need for standardized national teacher training, Weingarten said, "We live in a highly mobile, instantly connected world in which knowledge travels on highways we can't even see. Our students need to be able to navigate through that world-to study, work and live in states other than the one in which they were educated, if they so choose or if circumstances demand it." Weingarten continued, "Their ability to do that, and to do it well, will be limited if we don't offer them a standardized upgrade in motivation."

Weingarten is scheduled to testify on the merits of the initiative at an upcoming House Committee on Education and Labor hearing.

Joel Packer, Director of Education Policy and Practice at the National Education Association, pledged, "We'll be sure to have a seat at the table on this one."

— Susan Ohanian
Press Release



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