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Survey finds rising job frustration among principals
Education Week
A new national survey finds that three out of four K-12 public school principals, regardless of the types of schools they work in, believe the job has become "too complex," and about a third say they are likely to go into a different occupation within next five years. The 29th annual MetLife Survey of the American Teacher, based on telephone interviews with 1,000 K-12 public school teachers and 500 principals, tells a story of enduring budget problems in schools and declining morale among both teachers and school leaders.
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Study says states doing a poor job preparing K-12 principals
The Addison Eagle
Up to now, education reform efforts have mostly focused on improving the quality of teachers in the nation's K-12 classrooms. But a new study by the Bush Institute suggests it might be time to cast the spotlight on America's school principals, too. The study, titled Operating in the Dark: What Outdated State Policies and Data Gaps Mean for Effective School Leadership, argues that while school principals have a direct impact on student achievement, most states lack up-to-date, research-based policies to ensure building leaders are being adequately trained or evaluated.
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5 largest states rival or lag nation on NAEP results
Education Week
The nation's largest states largely matched or fell below recent nationwide averages on the National Assessment of Educational Progress in reading, math and science. Several of those states, however, made significant strides over a roughly two-decade period, a study released today says. The first-time examination of NAEP scores from 2009 and 2011 for students in California, Florida, Illinois, New York and Texas reveals that Texas alone beat the national average more than once in any of the three subjects. The Lone Star State did it twice, in 8th grade math and science in 2011.
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Gym class isn't just fun and games anymore
The New York Times
On a recent afternoon, the third-graders in Sharon Patelsky's class reviewed words like "acronym," "clockwise" and "descending," as well as math concepts like greater than, less than and place values. During gym class. Patelsky, the physical education teacher at Everglades Elementary School in West Palm Beach, Fla., instructed the students to count by fours as they touched their elbows to their knees during a warm-up. They added up dots on pairs of dice before sprinting to round mats imprinted with mathematical symbols.
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Cyberbullying law shields teachers from student tormentors
NPR
Ganging up on classmates online can get students suspended. But sometimes teachers are the target of cyberbullying, and in North Carolina, educators have said enough is enough. State officials have now made it a crime to "intimidate or torment" teachers online. Chip Douglas knew something was up with his 10th-grade English class. When he was teaching, sometimes he'd get a strange question and the kids would laugh. It started to make sense when he learned a student had created a fake Twitter account using his name.
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Teachers ditch student desk chairs for yoga balls
The Associated Press via NBC News
Students in Robbi Giuliano's fifth grade class sit on yoga balls as they complete their assignments at Westtown-Thornbury Elementary School in West Chester, Pa. The exercise gear is part a larger effort to modernize schools based on research linking physical activity with better learning, said John Kilbourne, a professor of movement science at Grand View State University in Allendale, Mich.
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Promoting grit, tenacity and perseverance — Critical factors for success in the 21st century
ED.gov Blog (commentary)
How can we best prepare children and adolescents to thrive in the 21st century — an era of rapidly evolving technology and new opportunities to learn, collaborative and global knowledge work, changing workforce needs, and complex economic and national security interests? Our focus on aspects of academic success such as attainment of content knowledge is necessary, however, creating opportunities to engage and develop a much richer set of skills is critical.
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Report suggests broadly expanding federal K-12 education spending
San Jose Mercury News
In a sweeping vision to broaden educational opportunity, a panel of national education leaders has recommended boosting teacher pay and training, widening access to preschool and adding an unprecedented level of federal involvement in schools. Among the reasons cited by the federal advisory commission for its bold proposal: poor achievement and the yawning achievement gap.
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Teacher survey shows record low job satisfaction in 2012
The Huffington Post
As school districts continued to cut budgets, increase class sizes and implement teacher performance evaluations, teachers' job satisfaction plummeted in 2012, reaching an all-time low, according to a survey. "We've seen a continuous decline in teacher satisfaction," said Dana Markow, vice president of youth and education research for pollster Harris Interactive, which conducted the poll for the MetLife Survey of the American Teacher.
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Charter schools' discipline policies face scrutiny
Education Week
As the number of charter schools continues to grow, one facet of their autonomy — the ability to set and enforce independent disciplinary standards — has raised difficult questions about whether those schools are pushing out students who pose behavior or academic challenges and how their policies affect regular public schools. Research on the issue is sparse, and data on expulsions and disciplinary incidents at charter schools paint a nuanced picture nationwide.
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The value of natural play
By Gordon MacIntyre
Children today do not play outside as much as even a generation ago. It is a function of the way society, parenting and, therefore, children are developing. As parents, we worry about the boogeyman syndrome, that if we let our children out of our sight, someone will harm them. We worry about the evil in the world and about the safety of children, and so, albeit with good intentions, we restrict them. We don't let them explore on their own. We structure the majority of their time, too often placing our own rules on them, leading their play. But natural play is nourishment to a child’s soul, and here's why.
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Community Pulse: Do today's children spend too much time indoors?
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Teachers going to class as potential principals
San Antonio Express-News
Noverto Gonzales grew up on San Antonio's South Side, and after college achieved his dream of living in New York City and working in fashion merchandising for major retailers including Saks Fifth Avenue and Macy's in his early 20s. But after a layoff in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and a year in Los Angeles, he returned home to find his next inspiration. He spoke to a former professor's class. The professor told him he should be a teacher.
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Cyberbullying law shields teachers from student tormentors
NPR
Ganging up on classmates online can get students suspended. But sometimes teachers are the target of cyberbullying, and in North Carolina, educators have said enough is enough. State officials have now made it a crime to "intimidate or torment" teachers online. Chip Douglas knew something was up with his 10th-grade English class. When he was teaching, sometimes he'd get a strange question and the kids would laugh. It started to make sense when he learned a student had created a fake Twitter account using his name.

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Cheat sheet for the first days of school
Edutopia
For those of us in the field of educating young minds, we often find that summer does two things rather well. First, it helps us remember a time when our first names weren't Mister or Miss for the majority of the day and when we didn't have to break out into a vibrant soliloquy whenever the tenor of a room didn't feel right. Secondly, it abruptly breaks us out of our own routines for how we go about our days. We don't follow the bells or the crowds swooshing past the hallways to their next stations.

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Sunscreen forbidden at schools and camps
USA Today
When parents send children to school or camp, they may worry about many things, from bullies to bus accidents. But unauthorized sunscreen use? It turns out that many schools and camps do that worrying for parents, with policies that ban kids from carrying sunscreen without a doctor's note and warn staffers not to dispense it. Such policies are getting new scrutiny this week, thanks to Jesse Michener, a mother in Tacoma, Wash., who was horrified to see two of her daughters, ages 11 and 9, return from a school field day with severe sunburns.

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As cuts to special education loom, Congress takes break
Disability Scoop
Within days, severe budget cuts are slated to hit nearly every federal program — including special education and other disability supports — and there's no sign of a deal on the horizon. The sweeping automatic spending cuts will take effect March 1 unless Congress acts. For people with disabilities, the across-the-board reductions are expected to touch everything from employment assistance to housing programs, education, mental health initiatives and research dollars. The funding chop is coming under a process known as sequestration, which was triggered in 2011 after Congress failed to reach a budget deal.
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Report: State school funding unfair
Stateline
A recent report commissioned by Congress found that states don't fund education fairly across jurisdictions, need to do a better job intervening in struggling school districts and encouraging better-qualified teachers to enter the profession — and stay. "In far too many communities, in far too many cities, in far too many states, there are inequities," said U.S. Education Secretary Duncan. "This report doesn't just compel us to think and talk, but to act." The report, overseen by a broad commission that includes academics, education advocates, state and federal officials and labor leaders, targets five major areas for improvement: school funding, teacher quality, preschool, resources in high-poverty communities and school governance and accountability.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Students must learn more words, say studies (Education Week)
Improving the effectiveness of our teachers will help student achievement (Center for American Progress)
Schools rethinking perfect attendance awards (KSEE-TV)
Cursive, written word decline as technology takes over (WXIX-TV)
Schools rolling out survey for parents, teachers and students (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

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




Texas district sees boost in elementary reading after rolling out iPads
eSchool News
Third-grader Alexis Rivera flipped through a book about the sun on his iPad with headphone buds in both ears. As he glanced at Spanish-language text at the bottom of each page, an app read aloud the English words at the top. Rivera, an English as a Second Language student, has 20 books downloaded on the tablet device. Instructors at Bonham Elementary and other campuses in the McAllen, Texas, school district see the technology as a tool to boost reading rates among younger students and say they've already seen a difference in the first months since the tablets were introduced.
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At 1 California school district, teachers help teachers get better
The Hechinger Report
Jandella Faulkner crouches beside a table of busy third-graders in Jennifer Larsen's class at Edison Elementary School in Torrance, Calif. The students have pencils in hand, outlines spread around them, and a story about penguins and otters in progress. Faulkner stands to call across the room: "Loving how this group is already talking, Ms. Larsen." Then she swoops down on another table of young authors.
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Arizona bill would let teachers carry guns at schools
The Arizona Republic
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne held a news conference to formally announce legislation to allow teachers to carry guns at school. Horne and Rep. David Stevens, R-Sierra Vista, filed House Bill 2656. It is based on a proposal Horne made shortly after the school massacre in Newtown, Conn. The bill proposes to allow a school district or charter school governing board to designate one or more school staff members to carry a firearm on a school campus. Designated individuals would have to go through an annual three-day training program coordinated by the Attorney General's Office and Department of Public Safety.
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School funding plan draft goes public
EdNews Colorado
A massive rewrite of Colorado's school funding formula is getting closer to hitting legislators' desks, setting up lengthy debates and possibly leading to a voter decision later this year on a major tax increase for K-12 schools. The proposal developed by Sen. Mike Johnston, D-Denver, is intended to make the state's school funding system more equitable by directing money to schools with the greatest needs and more adequate by increasing the amount of funding.
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New math plan: 6th grade sets pace
The Ridgefield Press
The conventional practice of grouping students early on by mathematics ability raises questions that probably do not have perfect solutions: What about students who take longer to warm up to math? What are the best metrics for ability? What about students who will work to the level of students around them? The Connecticut state math curriculum continues the grouping practice, but would change the way it's done in Ridgefield, Conn. Teachers enthusiastic about the new plan spent about an hour and a half ensuring skeptical school board members that it was an improvement.
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Survey checks students, teachers on 5Essentials
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch
It's test time in the Granite City School District in Illinois, but this time there are no wrong answers. Between now and March 31, all teachers and students in sixth to 12th grades will answer questions in a 15-minute computer survey designed to pinpoint the weak and strong points at their school. The online Illinois 5Essentials Survey is mandated by the Illinois Department of Education and is designed to test the strength of effective leadership, collaborative teachers, involved families, supportive environment and instruction in the district. The survey results will appear on the state's report card for the district.
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Free webinar: Strategies for cultivating a supportive school culture
NAESP
It's a principal's first task: keeping students physically and emotionally safe. Learn more about creating a welcoming, supportive school environment with Creating Physical and Emotional Security in Schools, a webinar from NAESP and Solution Tree. On Tuesday, Feb. 26, renowned speaker, coach and former principal Ken Williams will demonstrate how you and your teachers can nurture supportive relationships with your students. He'll also share tips for developing conflict management strategies, preventing bullying, and establishing high expectations for students and staff.
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Recognize student excellence with the President's Education Awards
NAESP
Celebrate achievement in your school with the President's Education Awards Program. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, in partnership with NAESP and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, PEAP offers a way for principals to recognize and honor students' dedication to learning. Each award includes an embossed certificate signed by President Barack Obama, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and you. Click "READ MORE" to order and read FAQs.
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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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