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Why teacher bashing is dangerous
The Washington Post (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
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Far too many people are bashing teachers and public schools. The attacks are coming from different places for different reasons, and we need to pay attention to the differences. The parent who's angry at the public school system because it's not successfully educating his/her children is not the same as the billionaire with no education experience, who couldn't survive in a classroom for two days, but who has made privatizing education policy a hobby, and who has the resources to do so because the country's financial and tax systems serve the rich. More

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California releases nation's first state-approved K-12 environmental curriculum
The Miami Herald via Contra Costa Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
At Searles Elementary School in Union City, Calif., fifth-grade students recently shared what they learned during a pilot run of the nation's first state-approved K-12 environmental curriculum. The California Environmental Protection Agency, which developed the material, released it to school districts statewide. More

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Report: Blended learning could hit or miss
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Blended learning has the ability to transform education, according to a new report — but if certain guidelines and practices aren't ensured, blended learning could become just another add-on to an archaic system on its way out, the report warns. The report, titled "The Rise of K-12 Blended Learning," by Michael B. Horn, co-founder and executive director of education at the Innosight Institute, and Heather Clayton Staker, a senior research fellow for education practice at the institute, describes how blended learning can affect education, but why it also could fall short of its potential. More



Common-assessment consortia expand plans
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Two groups of states that are designing assessments for the new set of common academic standards have expanded their plans to provide instructional materials and professional development to help teachers make the transition to the new learning goals. The common-assessment consortia, which include all but five states, won $330 million in Race to the Top money last September to design new tests for the common standards. The U.S. Department of Education later awarded an additional $15.8 million to each consortium, aimed at helping states shift from their current standards and tests to the new ones. More

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Obama says his 2012 budget will 'walk the walk' on reducing US deficit
Bloomberg    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
President Barack Obama said the $3.7 trillion 2012 budget that he sent to Congress would cut scores of government programs to provide more funding for top priorities such as improving the U.S. education system. "The only way we can make these investments in the future is if our government starts living within our means," Obama said, outlining key parts of the budget, his third since taking office, while visiting a school near Baltimore. More

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House GOP looks to slash education spending
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
House Republican leaders put out a bill that would slice and dice education funding far below current levels and far below what President Barack Obama wanted in his never-enacted fiscal year 2011 budget request. The measure, which would continue federal funding for rest of the fiscal year, takes aim at some programs that were previously considered untouchable, including special education spending and Pell Grants to help low-and-moderate income students pay for college. Overall it would cut $4.9 billion from the U.S. Department of Education's fiscal year 2010 budget of $63.7 billion. More

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School districts bracing for end of stimulus funds
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Two years after Congress approved the government's largest one-time investment in public schools, school districts are not expecting a repeat of the $100 billion investment nationwide. Despite worries about a future without it, as the act nears its anniversary, many believe the money has saved jobs and spurred some changes. More



Club for boys makes staying after school fun
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette    Share    Share on
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Four years ago, South Allegheny Elementary in Pennsylvania founded an after-school club for girls in sixth grade called Girl Talk, which gives the girls a chance to bond in a social setting after school. The club sponsored a variety of activities and became such a hit with the girls that it left the boys in sixth grade wondering why they didn't have a similar club. This year, the boys got their wish with the founding of Gladiator Guys. More

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Special education programs, private placements, under assault
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Across the country, states working on their budgets for the coming fiscal year are finding it difficult to make ends meet. And the once-sacred pool of money for special education programs is no longer invulnerable. Specific programs and spending overall are at risk. More

Gov. John Kitzhaber launches sweeping overhaul of Oregon schools
The Oregonian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Gov. John Kitzhaber launched a reform effort to consolidate control over half of the state budget and all levels of Oregon education in a single board that he would chair. Kitzhaber proposed Oregon Education Investment Board would oversee education for Oregonians from preschool through college as one system and allocate money on the basis of education performance goals rather than enrollment, dramatically changing the system's structure and incentives. More

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Education reformer Michelle Rhee says Florida is on the right track
WTSP-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As chancellor of Washington, D.C., schools Michelle Rhee fired more than 250 teachers, closed 21 under-enrolled schools and clashed with unions. In the end, student test scores and graduation rates improved, and now Rhee is advising governors and mayors on education reform. She's the nation's emerging education reformer and Michelle Rhee is described as controversial, polarizing and bold. More



A Principal's Minute With Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
VideoBrief NAESP Executive Director, Gail Connelly asked U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to share his thoughts on how schools can achieve and sustain high quality education for all children without guaranteed adequate funding to fulfill mandates required as a result of any changes to the law. More

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Free virtual conference on the Common Core to launch Feb. 22
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Common Core authors and experts will offer guidance and tips for classroom implementation of the new State Standards at a free virtual conference, beginning Feb. 22. The four-day conference will include a range of virtual panels, presentations and interactive demonstrations for teachers, administrators, and parents from key authors and architects of the new principles. Educators will hear about the goals, background design, and structure of the standards, as well as the long- and short-term implications for implementation from now until 2014. More

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NAESP annual convention offers special groups rates — register your staff and save!
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As a NAESP member, you will receive a special team rate if you bring two or more staff members to the April 7-9 Annual Convention & Exposition. Team registration is only available by mail or fax. Please send us your completed registration form as soon as possible to get these special rates. For more information on registering a team, contact NAESP Registration at 866-229-2386. 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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