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Text Version   RSS   Subscribe   Unsubscribe   Archive   Media Kit January 13, 2015

Curriculum    School Leadership   Federal Advocacy & Policy   In the States   Association News   Buy Books   Contact NAESP


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Study shows that closing schools due to bad weather doesn't hurt student learning
Star Tribune
Schools that stayed open despite dangerously cold wind chills got their fair share of dings from students and parents. For the record, so did schools that closed. But did either decision hurt student learning? A study published last year by researchers from Harvard University might shed some light on the question. That study, conducted at the behest of the Massachusetts Department of Education, found that keeping schools open during a storm is more detrimental to learning than a school closure.
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Are you considering a 4-day school week in your district?
By: Dr. Sheri Williams
The shift to extended-day, four-day school weeks started in New Mexico in the early 1970s. The New Mexico Legislature approved the change "to deal with the high transportation and electric costs during the energy crisis." Is your district considering moving to a four-day school week and unsure how to proceed? Take some time exploring the benefits and potential pitfalls before proceeding. The decision to move to a shorter week requires careful examination.
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What schools could use instead of standardized tests
NPR
Close your eyes for a minute and daydream about a world without bubble tests. Education Week recently reported that some Republican Senate aides are doing more than dreaming — they're drafting a bill that would eliminate the federal mandate on standardized testing. Annual tests for every child in reading and math in grades 3 through 8, plus one in high school, have been a centerpiece of federal education law since 2002. No Child Left Behind, the current incarnation of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, requires them.
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PARCC prep: A better way to teach compare and contrast
MiddleWeb
Sarah Tantillo, a contributor for MiddleWeb, writes: "In the PARCC literary analysis task, students must closely analyze two literary texts — often focusing on their themes or points of view — and compare and contrast these texts. In previous posts, I've proposed a lesson series to tackle this task and a tool for teaching students how to infer theme, which is a common requirement since Common Core Reading Anchor Standard #2 is 'Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.'"
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Starting the new year: Begin anew by cycling back
By: Pamela Hill
It's a new year once again. Most traditions say to begin anew. Put aside old ideas and behaviors that did not work. In special education, it is important to build upon what has been taught successfully. Do not start with something entirely new, rather cycle back and refresh with students what they know and what they have learned. Celebrate what is strong in memory and practice, while observing students for what needs to be taught again or differently. Then add new learning, but link it to what is known.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keywords PRINCIPALS.


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The push for standards is seeping into arts education
The Hechinger Report
Advocates for arts education are in the midst of a counter offensive. Arguing that post-recession budget cuts and Bush-era testing policies have prompted schools to cut art (in order to spend more time prepping kids for math and reading tests), they've come up with an idea: convince states to adopt new art standards — à la Common Core — to get schools to focus on art again.
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What students can learn from taking financial risks in class
MindShift
It's not unusual for school programs to be cut — even successful and popular ones. Often the program disappears into memory. But sometimes school supporters can rally to keep it going. At Willard Middle School in Berkeley, California, parents and the community mobilized to raise money to keep alive a cooking and gardening program at the school after its budget was cut. But the school didn't stop there — its teachers have tasked students with turning the program into a successful small business, generating revenues to support the program. Students are learning by doing, even when that means making mistakes that cost the program money, all for the purposes of learning.
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5 strategic tips for first-year administrators
Edutopia
Ross Cooper, a contributor for Edutopia, writes: "Once a fourth-grade teacher, I recently began my work as an elementary assistant principal in another district. Based on my research and what I have experienced so far, I'd like to offer five ways for a rookie administrator to successfully navigate his or her new position."
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Does 'dyslexia' disable teachers?
British Psychological Society via Science Daily
Different labels for difficulties with reading have been found to be associated with varying beliefs in how effective teachers believe they can be. Researchers asked a sample of primary school teachers to complete two questionnaires about children who were having difficulty with learning to read. One questionnaire sought to discover how much the teachers believed they could do to help the children. The other questionnaire sought to discover the extent to which the teachers believed that the children's difficulties were 'essential' — that is, how far they marked out the difficulties as having a distinct biological basis.
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Lower fuel prices could mean K-12 tech windfall
THE Journal
One investment firm estimates that schools will experience a $2 billion savings in lower fuel prices for the current fiscal year and could likely spend this "found money" on technology and consumables such as digital content. However, what could turn out to be a boon for some states could have detrimental effects on other states.
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Bullies and their victims may be at higher risk of suicide
HealthDay News
A new analysis of research from around the world suggests that kids involved in bullying are at higher risk of suicidal thoughts and actions. Kids who bullied others and were victims themselves were the most troubled of all, the report found. "Our study highlights the significant impact bullying involvement can have on mental health for some youth," said study lead author Melissa Holt, an assistant professor of counseling psychology at Boston University.
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With today's cloud-based servers, the sky's the limit
EdTech Magazine
When administrators and technicians at Garden City Public Schools in Kansas began considering how to upgrade the district's aging mail server, they knew that their current server was operating on borrowed time. The school district was still running Microsoft Exchange Server 2003. The software giant discontinued support for the product in April 2014, giving administrators all the justification needed to make a change.
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Obama to seek limits on student data mining
Politico
President Barack Obama is expected to call for tough legislation to protect student privacy, adding his voice to a sizzling debate about the best way to bring the benefits of technology into the classroom without exposing students to commercial data mining. Obama is expected to urge Congress to impose a bevy of restrictions on companies that operate websites, apps and cloud-computing services aimed at the K-12 market, according to sources briefed on the announcement.
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Civil rights groups urge Congress to maintain federal role in NCLB overhaul
Education Week
Nearly 20 civil rights groups are urging members of Congress to maintain a robust role for the federal government in education when they reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and to ensure that low-income students, students with disabilities, and others aren't shortchanged when it comes to educational opportunities. Among other things, their wish list for the overhaul of the ESEA includes access to early-childhood education for economically disadvantaged children and those with disabilities, a requirement that states adopt college- and career-ready standards, and maintaining the current testing regimen.
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One of the top states for public schools is ... Wyoming?
The Washington Post
Education Week has come out with its annual state rankings for public education, and topping the list are plenty of the usual suspects, many of them in the Northeast. But also making its debut in the top 10 is a surprise: Wyoming, a state better known for its cowboys than its excellent schools. Wyoming jumped from 23rd in the nation in 2013 to seventh this year, making it the only western state in the top echelon. That doesn't mean Wyoming students, whose overall academic performance is middling to slightly above average, made huge improvements. They didn't.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    What is bullying? Why achieving a clarity of definition is so important for principals (District Administration Magazine)
Why schools should pay more attention to students' grit and self-control (The Huffington Post)
6 education stories to watch in 2015 (NPR)
Out of tragedy, a protective glass for schools (The New York Times)
Can schools cultivate a student's ability to think differently? (MindShift)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


Proposed South Carolina bill would mandate schools teach gun rights with NRA curriculum
Education Week
A bill introduced in the South Carolina House would require that all public elementary, middle, and high schools provide instruction on the Second Amendment for at least three consecutive weeks each school year. The proposed bill would also require that the state "adopt a curriculum developed or recommended by the National Rifle Association or its successor organization." That's not all.
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NAESP calls on new congress to support principals
NAESP
Citing the fact that "a great teacher gets results in a classroom, but only a principal can lead a school to success," NAESP Executive Director Gail Connelly sent a strongly worded message to members of Congress on Jan. 8 urging for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
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Last chance to save on 2015 NAESP Conference
NAESP
Register now for the 2015 Best Practices for Better Schools™ conference in Long Beach, California, June 30 - July 2. It's the premier event for principals and their teams working on student success. Learn from the top experts in education and swap best practices with fellow leaders from around the country. Save today with early bird registration, available through Jan. 20.
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Feedback about an article? Contact NAESP Liaison Meredith Barnett at MBarnett@naesp.org.
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