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That 2013 requirement is far lower than EPA's initial proposal of 11 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel, or the equivalent of 14 million gallons of ethanol. Cellulosic biofuels are those made from plant-based materials; they are considered the next generation of fuels after ethanol. The renewable fuels industry characterized the adjustment as a smart move in tune with the marketplace.
The new cellulosic requirement, he said, "has totally obliterated Big Oil's myth that the RFS is inflexible and unworkable.
The rule comes more than six months after a federal court ordered the agency to revise its 2012 cellulosic requirement of 8.65 million gallons, finding the agency's methodology in calculating it was not accurate enough.
But EPA declined to lower the requirements for overall advanced biofuel, of which cellulosic fuels are a subset.
That is bound to stir controversy over the "blend wall," or the technically feasible amount of ethanol that can be blended into motor fuel.
EPA also announced that it will "propose to use flexibilities" in the renewable fuel standard to reduce the 2014 volume requirements for advanced biofuel and total renewable volumes. But Stephen Brown, vice president for federal affairs at Tesoro Corp., said the agency may have to do more to address the issue. In a statement, the American Petroleum Institute said the targets are still too high and the flexibilities insufficient. An initiative is underway in Lincoln, Nebraska, that would make it the first city in the Midwest with a feed-in tariff, or CLEAN program. EISA’s schedule calls for 500 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol in 2012 and one billion gallons in 2013.
As the educational community is moving toward implementing the Common Core Standards, I have been publishing tools and strategies to support that effort (see below).
Terry Heick, of TeachThought, wrote this piece prior to my thoughts around vocabulary and literacy-rich classrooms; I think it complements those two pieces quite nicely as we think more about how environment supports 21st century learning.
Wherever we are—the University of Sydney or Mississippi Elementary, we’d all like to think our classrooms are “intellectually active” places.
So we put together 10 characteristics of a highly effective classroom that can act as a kind of criteria to measure your own against. This is not a feel-good implication, but really crucial for the whole learning process to work. Many teachers force students (proverbial gun to head) to ask question at the outset of units or lessons, often to no avail.


Ideas for lessons, reading, tests, and projects—the fiber of formal learning—should come from a variety of sources. Inquiry-based learning, project-based learning, direct instruction, peer-to-peer learning, school-to-school, eLearning, Mobile learning, the flipped classroom, and on and on—the possibilities are endless. Learning doesn’t need to be radically repackaged to make sense in the “real world,” but starts and ends there.
Personalized learning is likely the future, but for now the onus for routing students is almost entirely on the shoulders of the classroom teacher.
Students should not have to guess what “success” in a highly effective classroom looks like. Kimberly is an educational consultant who works with district leaders to improve instructional effectiveness and student learning. EPA has backed down from an ambitious target for cellulosic biofuel production, releasing a final rule Tuesday that requires refiners to blend 6 million gallons into the nation's supply of gasoline this year. The final rule -- which sets the volume requirements under the renewable fuel standard -- puts the target for cellulosic biofuel at the equivalent of 6 million gallons of ethanol. The oil industry, which brought the challenge, had argued that the number was too aggressive, given the actual production of cellulosic fuels last year of about 22,000 gallons. The final rule keeps the proposed rule's requirement of 2.75 billion gallons of ethanol-equivalent volume. In a statement, EPA acknowledged industry worries over the issue and said it would extend the deadline to comply with the 2013 standards by four months, to June 30, 2014. Recently, I published the Top 10 Characteristics of Effective Vocabulary Instruction and The Top 10 Characteristics of a Literacy-Rich Classroom.
The role of curiosity has been studied (and perhaps under-studied and under-appreciated), but suffice to say that if a learner enters any learning activity with little to no natural curiosity, prospects for meaningful interaction with texts, media, and specific tasks are bleak. Cliche questions that reflect little understanding of the content can discourage teachers from “allowing” them. So it makes sense that if good questions should lead the learning, there would be value placed on these questions. If they all come from you, TeachThought, and your PLN at-large, you’re risking a compliance over curiosity.
Chances are, none are incredible enough to suit every bit of content, curriculum, and learner diversity in your classroom. As great as it sounds for learners to reflect on Shakespeare to better understand their Uncle Eddie—and they might—depending on that kind of radical transfer to happen entirely in the minds of the learners by design may not be the best idea, no?


The more infrequent, clinical, murky, or threatening it is, the more you’re going to separate the “good students” from the “good thinkers.” And the “clinical” idea has less to do with the format of the test, and more to do with the tone and emotion of the classroom in general. It should also not be entirely weighted on “participation,” assessment results, attitude, or other individual factors, but rather meaningfully melted into a cohesive framework that makes sense—not to you, your colleagues, or the expert book on your shelf, but the students themselves. Curiosity, persistence, flexibility, priority, creativity, collaboration, revision, and even the classic Habits of Mind are all great places to start. No Tears for Tiers, a book about Common Core Vocabulary that she is writing, will be published by Solution Tree in 2014.
Entities that do not comply with the law run the risk of having their authority to conduct business suspended.
Both support the Common Core State Standards since the requirement to use more nonfiction and informational text in our teaching will result in increased demands for effective vocabulary instruction and a literacy-rich classroom to support and enrich student learning. But the fact remains—if students can’t ask great questions—even as young as elementary school—something, somewhere is unplugged. And that means adding currency whenever possible—grades (questions as assessment!), credit (give them points—they love points), creative curation (writing as a kind of graffiti on large post-it pages on the classroom walls), or simply praise and honest respect.
A characteristic of a highly-effective classroom, then, is diversity here, which also has the side-effect of improving your long-term capacity as an educator. Digital (acceptable) or physical (desirable), plan from the onset for the learning to leave the classroom. One response is to personalize learning—to whatever extent you plan for—by a variety of criteria—not just assessment results or reading level, but interest, readiness-for-content, and others as well. So often what students learn from those around them is less directly didactic, and more indirect and observational. In her other life, you'll find her in her gardens, biking, reading, or hanging out with her two teenagers (when they let her, that is). Mentors, the community, content experts outside of education, and even the students themselves. Then, as you adjust pace, entry points, and rigor accordingly, you’ll have a better chance of having uncovered what the learners truly “need”. Bloom’s taxonomy is constantly traveled up and down, from the simple to the complex in an effort to maximize a student’s opportunities to learn—and demonstrate understanding—of content.



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