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Homophobia starts in elementary school
ABC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
"Playgrounds and Prejudice: Elementary School Climate in the United States," the first study of its kind, reveals that homophobia is pervasive in elementary schools and most teachers do little to intervene. At this age, bullies use words to attack those who are different, but if not curtailed early, warn advocates, verbal teasing turns to violence at the middle school and high school level. More

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Study: Early education for poor kids yields long-term benefits
Arizona Daily Star    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Poor children who get high-quality day care as early as infancy reap long-lasting benefits, including a better chance at a college degree and steady employment, according to a University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill study that followed participants from birth to age 30. The latest findings, published in the journal Developmental Psychology, are from one of the longest-running child-care studies in the U.S. More



Summit to make a case for teaching handwriting
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Handwriting still has a place in the digital age, its proponents say, and they hoped that what they billed as a "summit" on the subject would spotlight their case for the enduring value of handwriting in the learning process. The Washington conference was designed to draw together research from psychology, occupational therapy, education and neuroscience to demonstrate handwriting's role in students' physical and cognitive development, states' learning standards and the classroom. More

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STEM education gets boost from new round of grants
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Efforts to improve STEM education are getting a boost from several recent announcements, including grants from the National Science Foundation and the Gates Foundation to drive research and development, as well as a new initiative that will send a lucky batch of science teachers down to Costa Rica for an eco-expedition. More

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Special educators borrow from brain studies
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In a corner of a classroom at the Ivymount School in Maryland, a frustrated seventh-grader tells himself to take a deep breath. Slowly, without distracting his classmates, he calms down. This exercise is among many strategies derived from brain-science research that educators at this private school are using with students with disabilities. In this case, the technique is being taught to students with Asperger syndrome, for whom self-control in a moment of frustration can be elusive. More

Petty differences mask consensus on teachers
The New York Times (Commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Popular culture has surely produced no more satiric a view of that great scourge of public progress, the Apathetic Teacher, than last year's bluntly titled comedy "Bad Teacher." In the film, Cameron Diaz plays Elizabeth Halsey, a junior high school teacher so incompetent that she shows movies all day and steals the answers to a state-administered exam. Perhaps you watched the movie wondering whether it had been subsidized by a political action committee aimed at dismantling the teachers' union. More

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Performance assessment making a comeback in schools
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Performance assessment is what teachers do every day when they grade students' projects and assignments, but often this work is not part of the high-stakes system that determines whether students are ready to graduate — or whether schools as a whole are making progress. More

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How the Finnish school system outshines US education
PhysOrg.com    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Educational philosophy in Finland is strikingly different than in the United States, but the students there outperform U.S. learners. The Finnish school system might sound like a restless American schoolchild's daydream: school hours cut in half, little homework, no standardized tests, 50-minute recess and free lunch. But the Finns' unconventional approach to education has vaulted Finland to the upper echelon of countries in overall academic performance, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. More

Sharing a screen, if not a classroom
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In a hushed first-grade classroom at Public School 55 in the South Bronx, Edward Muñoz was sounding out tricky words with his tutor. Together they plowed through a book about a birthday barbecue, tackling the words "party" and "presents." Exchanges like theirs take place every day in classrooms around the country. But Edward’s tutor was not in the classroom. New software for the tutoring of beginning readers has allowed volunteers to meet students online from a distance. More

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Study: Educational apps for young children growing rapidly
The Hechinger Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Long connected to schools by offering discounted computers and other equipment to students and teachers, Apple seems to be getting even more intertwined with education — in and out of the classroom. The tech giant announced its entry into the textbook market — and this at a time when a day doesn't seem to go by without a new story about schools buying up batches of iPads. More

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Are you an old school or a bold school?
District Administrator    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As we welcome in 2012, let's do a quick recap of the new state of the world of education, shall we? Reality No. 1: It's clearer than ever that the Web has fundamentally undermined the main premise upon which our schools and systems were built — namely, the assumption that access to teachers and information is scarce. That assumption grows less valid each day as more of our students come online through faster and more mobile connections. More



Government seeks help to stop teacher-led cheating
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Obama administration is creating a manual showing how schools can fight teacher-led cheating on standardized tests, asking educators to help stomp out "testing irregularities." The move comes 10 months after a USA Today investigation found high erasure rates on standardized tests in many District of Columbia public schools, and six months after Georgia's governor released findings of a major investigation that found widespread cheating in Atlanta public schools. The U.S. Department of Education says it will host a symposium on cheating and publish "best practices" recommendations on how to prevent, detect and respond to cheating in schools. More

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In Race to the Top, the dirty work is left to those on the bottom
The New York Times (Commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Even if you think the Obama administration's signature education program, Race to the Top, will not help a single child in America learn more, you have to admire its bureaucratic magnificence. First, it has had a major effect — reaching into most public schools in America — while costing the Obama administration next to nothing. The Education Department will spend about $5 billion on the program, and even if you're thinking, hey, I could use $5 billion, consider this: New York won the largest federal grant, $700 million over the next four years. In that time, roughly $230 billion will be spent on public education in the state. By adding just one-third of one percent to state coffers, the feds get to implement their version of education reform. More

Many, many choices
National Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Hundreds of organizations across the country — city officials, associations, schools of all stripes and think tanks — will hold events celebrating school choice. The goal behind School Choice Week is to highlight the many different ways that school choice can be implemented, from school vouchers to online schools to home schooling to tax-friendly scholarships to charter schools. Not every idea will take root in every community, but the organizers hope the broader message that school choice is possible and effective will get through. More



Fate of $75 million Hawaii schools grant still uncertain
The Associated Press via Hawaii Tribune Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The fate of Hawaii's $75 million Race to the Top grant remains uncertain after teachers turned down a proposed contract that would have removed a major stumbling block in delivering on promised reforms. Members of the Hawaii State Teachers Association voted 2-1 against the deal that would have included moving toward a performance-based compensation system. If the contract was ratified, a labor dispute against the state would have been dropped and negotiations could have started on reforms promised by the state in winning the federal money. More

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California's Death Valley students face loss of lifeline
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
California has pulled funding for school transportation for the rest of this fiscal year and may eliminate it entirely next year. In Death Valley, Calif., where some students have a two-hour round trip, the cut is "catastrophic." More

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Utah lawmakers look to improve education
The Spectrum    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Democratic state lawmakers are entering this year's legislative session with a package of bills they say will raise Utah from the bottom of national public education rankings. Democratic supporters say the collection of bills, known as the Best Schools Initiative, would increase per-pupil funding, make teachers more prepared and accountable, reduce class sizes and help students move on to higher education. More

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Recruit JUST ONE new member — and win a prize
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Time is running out to enter the drawing. Commit to recruiting JUST ONE new NAESP member and you could win one of 5 exciting thank-you premiums. Act now — winners will be selected in February. More

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Tap into differentiated instruction resources on PD 360
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
NAESP members get free access to video-based materials and related resources from PD 360, perfect for individual learning and staff training alike. This month's featured online professional development topics are differentiated instruction and response to intervention. Start learning today. 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.
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601   Download media kit
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