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Duncan, Obama headed for confrontation in Congress on education
policy, funding

Bloomberg    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
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President Barack Obama, who has adopted such traditionally Republican principles as charter schools and teacher merit pay, will meet resistance in a divided Congress over spending and the reach of government in the classroom. He will showcase his argument for an education overhaul in his State of the Union address, Education Secretary Arne Duncan says. Obama wants to replace President George W. Bush's "No Child Left Behind" law, which required student testing and demanded that schools show "adequate yearly progress," with his own plan for tracking of student progress and training teachers. More

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Choice advocates see hope in new Congress
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
School choice advocates have high hopes that their issues — particularly a move to pump new life into the federal school voucher program for the District of Columbia — may be back on the table, now that Republicans are in control of the U.S. House of Representatives and enjoy a bolstered minority in the U.S. Senate. But given the conservative fiscal climate, it's less likely that Republicans will move to create a new federal voucher program to help low-income students in struggling public schools transfer to a private school. The GOP campaigned on reining in spending and eliminating programs, not creating new ones. More



PreK-12 dominates growth in e-learning
THE Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Driven in part by rapid growth in online education, by 2015, preK-12 academic institutions in the United States will spend $4.9 billion on "self-paced" electronic learning products and services, according to a new report released by research firm Ambient Insight. That represents a compound annual growth rate of 16.8 percent from 2010 spending levels, outpacing every other segment, including higher education and health care. More

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If education were a business...
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A controversial new study published by the Center for American Progress analyzes K-12 school districts based on their productivity: The academic achievement a district produces relative to its education spending. CAP researchers call their new index for evaluating school systems "educational productivity," and according to the study, low efficiency costs the nation's school systems as much as $175 billion a year in unproductive spending. The report was blasted by many critics who argued that the success of a school system cannot be measured like that of a business. More

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Efforts to extend school day, year rekindle debate
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Many educators in the Washington area and across the nation are pushing for a seemingly simple solution to lagging student performance: Keep students in school longer. Some officials want a longer school day; others, a shorter summer break. The common argument is that more time in class would probably result in more teaching, more learning and, eventually, more-skilled graduates better able to cope in an increasingly competitive world. More

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Schools hold 'No Name Calling Week'
WHBQ-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
No Name Calling Week, a week aimed at ending bullying and name-calling, is being celebrated in K-12 schools across the nation. The eighth annual No Name Calling Week will be observed throughout this week from Jan. 24-28. More



Can Obama, Congress meet minds to revamp No Child Left Behind?
The Christian Science Monitor    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
President Obama campaigned on bringing common-sense changes to the federal role in K-12 education. But even with a Democratic-controlled Congress, efforts toward a long overdue revision of No Child Left Behind made little headway. NCLB's goals are widely praised: Improve education and close the gaps in opportunity and achievement faced by low-income and minority students. But the law's methods have proven unpopular. More

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Securing America's competitiveness through education
The Hill    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Although most still consider the United States the world's lone superpower, the visit from President Hu Jintao underscored China's growing role on the world stage and, just as important, magnified China's status as the United States' top economic rival. But there's already one place where China is already beating the U.S.: The classroom. A study comparing educational outcomes of students in the 34 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries ranked U.S. teenagers in the middle of the pack in science and in the bottom third in math. More

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New Mexico's governor raises bar for schools, boosts classroom cash
The Santa Fe New Mexican    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Republican Gov. Susana Martinez proposed to improve New Mexico's public schools by grading them and providing financial incentives for the state's best teachers. Martinez said schools should be assigned grades, such as A, B, C, D or F, to reflect their performance. Martinez wants to cut spending on school administration and shift it to classrooms. She said the state must end the practice of allowing failing students to advance to the next grade, and New Mexico also must reward its best teachers. Currently, the state has a teacher pay scale that is mostly based on an educator's years of service and academic credentials. More

Parents and students learn side by side in Washington, DC, school
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Sharica A. Bond says she spends a lot of time at her son Damairee's school in part because of his urging. The 4-year-old is excited when she visits his classroom, and he tells her at home, "You have to go back to school." Damairee's school, Moten at Wilkinson Elementary School in Washington, D.C., makes it convenient for parents to be a regular daily presence. The school hosts a family-literacy program that places parents for a couple of hours each week in classrooms, learning side by side with their children. The program also offers separate parenting classes and preparation to earn a General Educational Development certificate for several hours each day. More

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New school data reveal worrisome trends
The Chicago Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As a group, Illinois' public school children are fewer in number, increasingly poor, more diverse and more likely than in recent years to spend the entire school year at the same building, according to new data. Nearly half of the state's 2.1 million public school children came from families who were considered low-income during the last school year, as the recession nudged more families toward poverty. About 45.4 percent qualified for a free or discounted school meal, the highest rate in decades. At the same time, student mobility — a measure of how many times students transfer schools during the academic year — slipped last year in what school officials and demographers say could be another symptom of the economic downturn. More

Flexibility eyed for any future 'i3' contest
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Although the prospect of a new Investing in Innovation competition is up in the air, the U.S. Department of Education wants to build more flexibility into the next generation of its innovation contests, particularly when it comes to how much money applicants must secure from the private sector. Of all the requirements for last year's "i3" competition, the 20 percent private-sector match drew some of the biggest complaints and presented some of the tallest hurdles for applicants. In proposed regulations that would apply to any future competition, the department signaled that it would aim to offer more leeway in that requirement. More

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Public education system in Virginia ranks fourth in US
Gov Monitor    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Governor Bob McDonnell commented on Virginia's public education system's fourth place ranking in the Quality Counts report. The rankings are based on four critical areas: The chance for success, K-12 achievement, school finance, and policies related to transitions and alignment. Since taking office, McDonnell has worked to implement education reform initiatives to expand opportunities for students, passing an ambitious "Opportunity to Learn" legislative agenda during the 2010 General Assembly Session and continuing the efforts this year with proposals to implement a pilot performance pay program and expand access to nonpublic schools for disadvantaged children. More



BOOK REVIEW: Leading School Change: 9 Strategies to Bring Everybody on Board, by Todd Whitaker
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Each time I read a book written by Todd Whitaker, I find valuable tools in the pages. Often, I am able to immediately apply the ideas in my school. Leading School Change compartmentalizes management advice into nine valuable strategies for facing changes. More

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2011 NAESP Annual Convention & Exposition — Something for Everyone!
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The April 7-10 Convention offers everything you need to become a more effective leader. You'll experience inspirational general session speakers, topical plenary sessions, and extended learning workshops covering all facets of leadership, transforming school culture, school teams, and more, as well as new opportunities to network and collaborate with your peers. 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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