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Report: Most states cannot answer 'basic' questions about early childhood education
THE Journal
The Early Childhood Data Collaborative has released the "2013 State of the States' Early Childhood Data Systems," which finds that most states cannot answer basic questions about the efficacy of early childhood education because the data are housed in multiple systems that are uncoordinated and managed by different governmental agencies. The report is based on the findings of a July 2013 survey of 50 states and the District of Columbia.
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Survey: Students' personal data are at risk
NPR
According to the first survey of how schools gather and use student data, there are no restrictions limiting private vendors use of that information, and most parents have no clue that schools let private companies store personal information about their children.
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Common Core tensions cause union heartburn
Education Week
From the early days of the Common Core State Standards, the two national teachers' unions have been among the initiative's biggest boosters, helping to make the case to the nation's 3.5 million teachers for the tougher expectations and putting significant money into the development of aligned curricula and tools. But in some union quarters, that support is starting to waver — the product of flawed implementation in states, concerns about the fast timeline for new testing tied to the standards, and, in at least one instance, fallout from internal state-union politics.
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This learning style is creating a new digital divide in the US
eSchool News
Education technology can enable achievement for students with a variety of learning styles. But it also creates a problem: For students who don't have access to these forms of technology-enabled learning — bring-your-own-device, for instance — the digital divide grows. Now, as many states across the country begin to support multiple online and blended learning programs, states that still don't support these learning styles are creating an alarming disadvantage for their students.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword LEARNING.


BYOD: A growing trend in the classroom
By Archita Datta Majumdar
The concept of "bring your own device," or BYOD, started in the corporate sector about 10 years ago. Companies started noticing the trend of employees preferring to use their own laptops and phones for work purposes. Their comfort led to better productivity and job satisfaction, and soon it became the norm. Like all good ideas, it did not take long for the BYOD trend to move on and filter into other areas like education. Though the concept has been in experimental use for a while, it has recently seen stupendous growth and has become a strong presence in educational institutions.
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Are you busy, busy, busy?
Connected Principals Blog (commentary)
Busy is the new black. Ask anyone how they are doing and what do response do you get? "Stressed!" "Overwhelmed!" "Can't keep up!" "Tired!" Can you imagine what would happen if you just answered that question with a "Inbox zero, task list completed, actually have time for an extra nap this week..."? It would stop traffic!
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7 strong facts that support school broadband
eSchool News
U.S. public opinion isn't too positive when it comes to technology in the nation's schools. Feb. 4 poll results from the bipartisan Leading Education by Advancing Digital Commission reveal that voters–both parents and nonparents–gave a "C" grade to the state of technology in U.S. schools. "Parents and nonparents prove to be pretty intensely concerned about where classroom technology is in America today," said Joel Benenson, president of the Benenson Strategy Group, which led the survey.
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10 guidelines for stopping cyberbullying
Psychology Today
It's a fact of life in the 21st century that kids are connected to each other 24/7. A generation ago, young people who were bullied in school could count on hours spent at home as a respite from ridicule. Today, kids are ever-connected through texting, instant messaging, and social media sites; sadly, there is little rest for the bully-weary. While many parents consider themselves digital immigrants in their child's native cyber-lands, even a tech-novice can help a young person navigate their way safely through the choppy waters of online aggression.
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Healthy Lunchbox Challenge helps influence healthy eating habits in children
Medical News Today
During the school year, 21 million children receive free or reduced-price lunches, yet less than 10 percent of those children participate in the Department of Agriculture's Summer Food Service Program. This discrepancy places responsibility for food choices during the summer on parents. Previous efforts to improve the healthfulness of foods and beverages provided by parents have resulted in little to no improvement in the amount of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and/or water.
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How opening up classroom doors can push education forward
MindShift
Transparency is not a word often associated with education. For many parents, the time between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. can feel like a mysterious part of their child's life. Questioning students about their school day often results in an unsatisfying answer and not every parent has the time to be in constant communication with their student's teacher. For teachers, transparency can have a distinctly negative connotation. In the political debate, the word is often used in connection to hot button issues like posting teacher salaries and benefits publicly or publishing test scores. And within the school walls, transparency can feel like judgement. Teachers can see principal visits as inspections, not respectful check-ins to offer encouragement and suggestions. No school is the same and dynamics between teaching staff and the administration are different everywhere, but for many teachers the classroom is a sacrosanct, personal space.
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What do Americans want for their schools? Choice, yes. Charters, not so much
The Hechinger Ed
What's a charter school? Or the Common Core? A new poll out today suggests many Americans are unfamiliar with the hottest topics in the education world, and that they'd rather trust their local schools and teachers — not the federal government, their elected officials, or unions — to figure out what's best for kids. Surveys have long found that Americans strongly believe in decentralization and think the schools near their home are doing fine, while schools elsewhere in the country need help. What's surprising in a new survey published by 50CAN, a reform-oriented advocacy group that supports more rigorous teacher evaluations and early education, is the relatively lukewarm response to some of the most favored ideas for improving the school system among education advocates and many elected officials.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    5 reasons schools hate snow days (CNN)
The best and worst states for teacher policy (eSchool News)
Restructuring is most common approach to improving low-performing schools (THE Journal)
Common Core in action: Screencasting in the 4th grade math classroom (Edutopia)
Is kindergarten too young to test? (MindShift)

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


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Why recognizing emotions is a school leadership necessity
Education Week (commentary)
Successful school leaders are keenly aware of the feelings, communication patterns, and attitudes among teachers and other staff members that influence school climate. If the traditional approach to running schools and districts has emphasized supervisory tasks and duties, our work has shown us that it's time for school leaders to put a priority on awareness of their schools' emotional climates. Not only will this help with their professional effectiveness, but it can make a positive difference in their relationships with other educators, parents, students, and community members.
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Harm can continue even after bullying stops
USA Today
Intervening early to stop bullying is important because the health effects — including anxiety, depression and impaired self-worth — can persist even after bullying stops, a study shows. The study examines "how the effects of bullying can compound over time or snowball" by focusing on students' past and present bullying experiences, says Laura Bogart, a social psychologist at Boston Children's Hospital and lead author of the study. It is in the March issue of Pediatrics and published online.
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NEA criticizes 'botched' Common Core implementation
Education Week
The nation's largest teachers' union said that states and districts in too many places have "botched" the implementation of the Common Core standards, reports my colleague Steve Sawchuk over at Teacher Beat. NEA still supports Common Core, but thinks teachers must be given more time to learn to work with the standards and more professional development.
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Study: With many K-12 districts shrinking, mergers offer cost saving option
Greensburg Daily News
Many of Indiana's small, mostly rural public school corporations are shrinking but are adjacent to similar-sized districts, making consolidation a viable option to cut costs, says a Ball State University study. "School Corporation Size and the Cost of Education," a policy brief from Ball State's Center for Business and Educational Research, argues that the long-term viability of Indiana's smallest K-12 school corporations depends on mergers and consolidation as a tool to reduce overhead and management expenses. The white paper does not address of consolidation of individual schools, which involves various complexities, including transportation of students.
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Scrutiny in California for software in schools
The New York Times
A leading California lawmaker plans to introduce state legislation that would shore up privacy and security protections for the personal information of students in elementary through high school, a move that could alter business practices across the nearly $8 billion education technology software industry. The bill would prohibit education-related websites, online services and mobile apps for kindergartners through 12th graders from compiling, using or sharing the personal information of those students in California for any reason other than what the school intended or for product maintenance.
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Are you busy, busy, busy?
Connected Principals Blog (commentary)
Busy is the new black. Ask anyone how they are doing and what do response do you get? "Stressed!" "Overwhelmed!" "Can't keep up!" "Tired!" Can you imagine what would happen if you just answered that question with a "Inbox zero, task list completed, actually have time for an extra nap this week..."? It would stop traffic!

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5 common myths about school administration
eSchool News
It's not always teachers who face criticism in the U.S. Many school administrators say that misconceptions about their career motivations and the position in general still exist today — and many myths have survived for decades.

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How much teachers get paid — State by state
The Washington Post
How much do teachers across the United States get paid? Here is data, state by state, collected from the National Center for Education Statistics by Jon Boeckenstedt, associate vice president at DePaul University in Chicago.

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Blended learning models taking hold in California schools
District Administration Magazine
Blended learning is becoming entrenched in California schools, but elementary schools and high schools are taking different approaches when integrating learning technology. Elementary schools are using the "station rotation" model, in which students in small groups may spend 20 minutes in a reading center, followed by 20 minutes at a computer using an online learning program, and an additional 20 minutes of small group instruction with the teacher. Elementary schools throughout the country are now adding the online component to the rotating classroom models that have been used for decades, says Heather Staker, a senior education research fellow at the Clayton Christensen Institute, a nonprofit dedicated in part to researching and promoting blended learning.
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Meaningful work kept students in school: Guest opinion
The Oregonian (commentary)
Joanne Yatvin, a contributor for The Oregonian, writes: "Reading the Oregonian articles about the epidemic of student absenteeism in Oregon's schools, especially at the middle school level, and the strategies being used to combat it, I couldn't help thinking of the old saying, 'You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.' And, I couldn't help adding my own: When the water tastes good, the horse will drink it. As the principal of a small rural middle school from 1988 to 1997 I remember that student absences were not a problem. I have no way of substantiating that claim except by referring skeptics to teachers who were with me."
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Ohio House approves 4 more calamity days for schools
Springfield News-Sun
After a spirited debate, the Ohio House passed a bill waiving up to four extra calamity days for Ohio students, but requiring teachers to do professional development work on the third and fourth of those days. The bill will be considered next by the Ohio Senate. The vast majority of local school districts have already exceeded the state limit of five calamity days allowed without triggering makeup days. If the House bill becomes law, schools would still have to make up any calamity days beyond the ninth day. They would have the option of making up days by adding a half-hour to each school day, knocking off a day for each five hours of elementary instruction or 5.5 hours of secondary instruction.
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Wyoming Senate committee passes bill allowing teachers to carry firearms in schools
Casper Star-Tribune
The state Senate Education Committee approved a bill that would allow teachers to carry firearms in Wyoming schools. Senate File 109 would allow school districts to decide whether they want teachers to be armed. If they do, the districts would create rules and training policies. SF109 is similar to House Bill 111, which would also allow school districts to decide whether they want guns in schools, except HB111 allows all school employees, including volunteers, to carry. SF109 now heads to the Senate floor for debate.
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Students find meaning in Common Core curriculum
The Detroit News
Evidence. That's what high school students in Ashley Painter's class were searching for. But this was no biology lab or criminology course. Painter, a teacher at Rochester High School, was leading second-hour Exploring Literature and her students were searching for "textual evidence" — proof they understood what they were reading and what author Kate Chopin was inferring in "The Story of an Hour." "You need to find the evidence," Painter told 30 high school students as they studied a short story about a woman who feels elation at her newfound independence upon hearing her husband is dead. "There is no right or wrong answer. You need to show your understanding."
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Principals to launch NAESP's advocacy agenda on Capitol Hill
NAESP
Nearly 200 principals will meet with their members of Congress to discuss federal education policies, such as the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and the early childhood legislation that will expand pre-kindergarten programs, while attending NAESP's National Leaders Conference, Feb. 23-25 in Arlington, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
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Early learning walkthroughs
NAESP
Oral language provides the foundation for students to read and write — but many of America's students enter kindergarten with language delays or deficits. To address the achievement gap, principals need to be aware of the importance of language experiences in early learning classrooms. Teachers of young children should provide child-focused learning environments that build language skills. Use this walkthrough template to support teachers as they establish language-rich early learning environments.
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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 Meredith Barnett at MBarnett@naesp.org.
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