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Big study links good teachers to lasting gain
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Elementary- and middle-school teachers who help raise their students' standardized-test scores seem to have a wide-ranging, lasting positive effect on those students' lives beyond academics, including lower teenage-pregnancy rates and greater college matriculation and adult earnings, according to a new study that tracked 2.5 million students over 20 years. More


Education law's promise falls short after 10 years
The Associated Press via The Boston Globe    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The No Child Left Behind education law was cast as a symbol of possibility, offering the promise of improved schools for the nation's poor and minority children and better prepared students in a competitive world. Yet after a decade on the books, President George W. Bush's most hyped domestic accomplishment has become a symbol to many of federal overreach and Congress' inability to fix something that's clearly flawed. The law forced schools to confront the uncomfortable reality that many kids simply weren't learning, but it's primarily known for its emphasis on standardized tests and the labeling of thousands of schools as "failures." More

Steering girls to science and tech careers
KQED    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For Ebony Green, a career as a scientist might have seemed unlikely. The stereotypical outcome for girls like Ebony, an eighth-grader at Frick Middle School in a rough part of East Oakland, Calif., isn't necessarily a high-paying job in science, math, engineering or technology. In fact, 40 percent of Oakland Unified School District students drop out. Still, despite her surroundings and the legacy of her race, gender, family background and income bracket, Ebony sees a different future for herself. She wants to be a pediatrician, or maybe a vet, and she's starting to take steps to get there. More


Worries mount over lack of physical education in schools
The Kansas City Star    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With public schools cutting back on spending for physical education, some members of Congress want to intervene worried that the nation's schools are churning out too many fat kids. The cutbacks are happening across the country. More

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Report: Updated teacher observations key to improvement
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The old-fashioned practice of rating instructors by watching them teach is tricky, labor-intensive, potentially costly and subjective — but perhaps the best way to help them improve, according to a study released by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The findings highlight the importance of teacher observations, but also pinpoint why they frequently don't work. The old way — observing a teacher once a year, or once every five years in some cases — is insufficient. And the observers, typically the school principal, frequently don't know what to look for anyway. More

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No, the school nurse is not in
National Public Radio    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
VideoBrief More than half of American public schools don't have a full-time nurse, and the situation is getting worse as school systems further cut budgets. This year, 51 were laid off in Philadelphia's public schools, 20 in a Houston suburb, 15 in San Diego and dozens more in other school systems nationwide. Other schools have reduced their school nurse staffing. More


Digital learning addresses challenges in K-12 education
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Alliance for Excellent Education recently released a new brief called "The Digital Learning Imperative: How Technology and Teaching Meet Today's Educational Challenges," as a follow up to similar report issued nearly two years ago. The group and its founder, former gov. Bob Wise, are also partners with former gov. Jeb Bush and his Foundation for Excellence in education, with the two teaming up to launch the Digital Learning Now initiative in the fall of 2010, an initiative aimed at getting states to pass policies more friendly to digital learning, but that some critics have alleged has ulterior commercial motives. More

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Students of online schools are lagging
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The number of students in virtual schools run by educational management organizations rose sharply, according to a new report, and far fewer of them are proving proficient on standardized tests compared with their peers in other privately managed charter schools and in traditional public schools. About 116,000 students were educated in 93 virtual schools — those where instruction is entirely or mainly provided over the Internet — run by private management companies in the 2010-2011 school year, up 43 percent from the previous year, according to the report. More

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Survey: Children diet to keep off pounds and ward off bullying
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A recent survey of 1,500 of children between ages 7 and 18 revealed that young teens diet and worry about their weight. About 44 percent of children between the ages of 11 and 13 say they've been bullied because of their weight, and more than 40 percent of kids younger than 10 admitted they were concerned about packing on the pounds, with nearly one-fourth reporting having been on a diet in the last year, according to the Press Association. More


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Technology gets tough on bullies
THE Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Classroom behavior doesn't seem to get much media attention until bullying results in serious injury, a student suicide or the prosecution of a child as an adult on a murder charge. At that point, forces beyond the school district take over and what is already an educator’s worst nightmare can turn into public outrage. Schools are finding that technology can be an important element in making their behavior programs more proactive from an administrative and an instructional perspective. Applications that streamline data collection and analysis and that engage students in positive social interactions can turn the tide in a school's anti-bullying efforts. More

House ESEA draft would rein in federal accountability rules
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
House Republicans released two draft bills that would significantly scale back the federal role in K-12 schools and go further than any other proposal yet to dismantle the accountability tenets at the heart of the decade-old No Child Left Behind Act. The measures, put forth by U.S. Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, take some of the same steps as a bipartisan Senate rewrite of NCLB — and the Obama administration's own vision for rewriting the law. More

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GOP hopefuls favor scaled-back K-12 federal role
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Though education has played second fiddle so far to other domestic issues in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, the narrowing field includes GOP candidates with compatible views on scaling back the federal role in K-12, but big contrasts in policy specifics and experience. More

Arizona withholds school funding over ethnic studies class
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Tucson's Mexican American studies program remains in violation of state law, Arizona's public schools chief ruled, ordering that millions in state funding be withheld from the school district until the program is dismantled or brought into compliance. John Huppenthal, the state superintendent of public instruction, said the Tucson Unified School District program was in violation of a new state law prohibiting ethnic studies classes that are deemed to be divisive. More

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Latino student struggles challenge Connecticut reformers
The Associated Press via ABC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As a parent liaison in a school district with a fast-growing Hispanic majority, Ana Lozada navigates a deep cultural divide: Parents think teachers are racist. Teachers doubt parents' commitment. And in many cases, one side speaks only English and the other only knows Spanish. The disconnect helps explain the struggles of public schools in Windham, a district in rural eastern Connecticut that ranks near the bottom in a state known better for high-performing schools in the tony suburbs of New York City. More

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School cuts also threaten culture sites
The Texas Tribune via The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As Texas schools whittle their budgets in response to the state's multibillion dollar education cuts, they are eyeing every expenditure, from athletics to busing and even field trips. Museums, symphonies and other cultural institutions, already suffering from the economic downturn, may be an unexpected casualty of state budget cuts, said Bruce H. Esterline, vice president for grants of the Meadows Foundation. His organization, which supports philanthropic efforts statewide in areas like education and health, has seen an increase in the number of grant proposals from cultural arts groups that cited reduced revenue from school activities this year. More

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More Chicago Public Schools schools adopt longer day
Chicago Sun-Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Chicago Public Schools more than quadruples the number of schools that will stretch their day for kids to 7 1/2 hours — a number officials say so far feels "on target" but some challenge as too long. Forty schools — including 38 charters and for the first time some high schools — will join 11 others that are blazing the trail for next year's promised systemwide conversion to a longer school day. More

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New Hampshire lawmakers pass law allowing parental objections to curriculum
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Tea Party dominated New Hampshire Legislature overrode the governor's veto to enact a new law allowing parents to object to any part of the school curriculum. The state House voted 255-112 and Senate 17-5 to enact H.B. 542, which will allow parents to request an alternative school curriculum for any subject to which they register an objection. More

January's PD 360 topic: Differentiated instruction
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
NAESP members now have access to high-quality online professional development — at no cost — thanks to a partnership forged with PD 360, one of the world's largest, most respected sources of on-demand learning for educators. More

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Pinpoint the products you need with the Principals' Buyers Guide
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Tired of scouring the internet for education resources without finding relevant results? Those days are over with the Principals' Buyers Guide — the ultimate marketplace from NAESP. Browse through specific categories or search by keyword for the products and services your school needs. More






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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.

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