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Studies take aim at playground gossip
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
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Gossip and social ostracization may come far down on the list of concerns for educators trying to prevent bullying, yet emerging research suggests relational bullying, though often the most frequently overlooked, may hold the key to changing an aggressive culture in schools. Of the three major types of bullying — physical, verbal and relational — relational aggression, has been the latest and least studied, both because it involves less visible, immediately dangerous behavior than fighting or verbal abuse, and in part because it involved more nuanced relationships among the bullies, victims, and bystanders. More

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Can America win the education race?
VOANews    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
”left” In the State of the Union address, President Barack Obama spoke a lot about education. One of the President's key talking points was the Race to the Top competition, which offers states money to develop plans to improve teacher quality and student performance. The President went on to urge Congress to follow this idea for the next version of the federal law on elementary and secondary education. He also asked educators to help develop one hundred thousand new teachers in science, technology, engineering and math over the next ten years, noting that many teachers now are old enough to retire. More



The 'thinking gap' (and why teachers shouldn't keep kids busy every second)
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Doug Lemov's "Teach Like a Champion: 49 Techniques That Put Students on the Path to College" has been widely praised for its specific, no-nonsense breakdown of teaching techniques. Yet the book suffers from its unquestioning acceptance of the "thinking gap" — its unspoken assumption that children in urban schools cannot and should not sit still and think. Lemov seems to believe that students must be kept busy at every moment and must know the exact purpose of each activity. This premise limits the kinds of teaching that can take place and the topics that can be taught. If students cannot tolerate any stillness or doubt, if they are unable to occupy themselves with their own thoughts, then they will not be able to pursue advanced or even intermediate topics in the humanities and sciences. More

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Can K-12 handle a newfangled career and technology education?
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A couple of renowned scholars at Harvard's education school are getting hugs and slaps for suggesting that secondary schools shouldn't hold all their students to a college-prep track. Here is their argument in a nutshell: With so few people earning even an associate's degree, and the economy demanding at least some post-high school training, there have to be rigorous, engaging, career-oriented options for students who aren't college-bound. The report is essentially a clarion call for top-notch career and technical education. Because, as you can guess, that's where it's been stuck during these years that college-prep has become the default argument in the K-12 world. More

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Technology changing how students learn
The Twin Falls News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When Leah Bess turned on the interactive whiteboard and pulled up an online math game, her second-grade students gathered around and sat on the floor like it was story time. A boy with fire-red hair walked up to the SMART Board and looked at the math problem. Red circles needed to be transferred from one box to another and the end result had to equal eight. His little finger dragged one circle, then another to the boxes. He poked his finger at a digital number eight, and a big smiley face appeared to give him a wink before flying to the other side of the screen. Computerized musical notes offered congratulations. More



Middle school zaps students into action
San Gabriel Valley Tribune    Share    Share on
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That phrase now is being heard by students at Center Middle School in Azusa, Calif., who don't do their homework. The school recently implemented a program called ZAP (Zeros Aren't Permitted) aimed at holding students accountable for their homework, or lack of it. If a student fails to turn in an assignment, instead of getting a zero, he or she is sent to an after-school tutoring session to finish the work. More

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Survey: School board members' focus shifting
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
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The results of a nationwide survey of school board members show a shift in focus toward student achievement and away from the nitty-gritty district management issues known as the "killer Bs:" Buses, buildings, books, budgets, bonds, and similar issues. But today's school board members appear not to be as interested in issues many policy observers deem to be on the cutting edge of school reform. They consider charter schools, performance pay for teachers, and year-round school not as important to student achievement as strong leadership and professional development, according to the survey results. More

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Indiana bill requires teacher training in suicide prevention
The Times of Northwest Indiana    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Indiana House voted 97-1 to require teachers be trained in child suicide prevention and how to recognize the warning signs of students considering suicide. State Rep. Charlie Brown, D-Gary, sponsored House Bill 1018. He said increased pressure to perform academically is pushing some students over the edge. The legislation, which now goes to the Senate, requires the state Division of Mental Health and Addiction to work with the Indiana Department of Education to develop a basic or in-service course on child suicide prevention for Indiana teachers. More



Governors find education opportunities in budget woes
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It is the worst of times for state budgets. But across the country, some elected officials say it's the best time to rethink how their states spend money on education. Governors and other officeholders are arguing that their states have no choice but to re-examine assumptions about how schools are using the money they currently receive, given bleak budget conditions that may not improve substantially for at least a few years. Some are urging their states to demand more financial accountability from schools, while others have proposed redirecting at least some of the flow of funding to districts and programs, in the hope of either saving money or improving student performance. More

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Pre-K model releases first year results in Mississippi
The Associated Press via Sun Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Mississippi's business leaders say a privately funded early childhood development project could serve as a roadmap if lawmakers eventually establish a state funded prekindergarten program. But, Mississippi Economic Council President Blake Wilson said officials want to wait until the four-year Mississippi Building Blocks program is complete before approaching lawmakers. "We're not interested in getting behind legislation until after this project is finished," Wilson said after a news conference at the Capitol to announce an analysis of the first-year results. More

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Texas public schools want options to deal with cuts
Houston Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
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Educators again warned Texas lawmakers that severe budget cuts will hurt public education and pleaded for more flexibility in the way school districts deal with lower funding. School superintendents want more freedom in determining class sizes and permission to cut employee pay or to furlough teachers and other district employees, which school boards cannot do today under Texas law. School districts also could save money by using the Internet to provide public notice about budget issues or hearings that now require paid advertising in newspapers, they said. More

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Report: California schools spent less in the classroom as budgets increased
San Jose Mercury News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new report that says California schools shortchanged classroom spending even as education budgets increased has sparked criticism from educational leaders who say the report paints a distorted picture of the financial challenges districts face. The report by Pepperdine University shows K-12 expenditures rose 22 percent between 2003-2004 and 2008-2009, from $45.6 billion to $55.6 billion. During that period, classroom spending declined from 59 percent to 57.8 percent, according to the study. More



Report to parents — the rewards of reading
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
You know how important it is to read to your children. Children whose families read with them do better in school. And the bonds that you make with your children when you read with them help them feel loved, comforted, and secure. Like most families, you want to read with your children, but somehow days can go by without you sitting down with them and opening a book. More

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NAESP conference sessions speakers — learn from the best
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It's inspirational, informational, and interactive. Keynote Sessions, five Plenary Sessions, all scheduled so everyone can attend anchor a program that also allows you to customize your schedule to include your choice of Extended Learning Sessions for in-depth learning, interactive Knowledge Networks, and 50 plus Concurrent Sessions to round out your experience. More

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Before the Bell is a benefit of your membership in the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). For information about other member benefits, visit www.naesp.org or contact us at naesp@naesp.org.

Before the Bell is a digest of the most important news selected for NAESP from thousands of sources by the editors of MultiBriefs, an independent organization that also manages and sells advertising. The presence of such advertising does not endorse, or imply endorsement of, any products or services by NAESP. Neither NAESP nor Multiview is liable for the use of or reliance on any information contained in this briefing.

Feedback about an article? Contact NAESP Liaison Cynthia Rosso at crosso@naesp.org.
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