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Study: More US kids living in high-poverty areas
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Years of economic setbacks have taken their toll on the nation's youngest residents, with another 1.6 million children living in high-poverty neighborhoods, according to one study that shows nearly 8 million children residing in poor areas in 2010. In 2000, 6.3 million children lived in high poverty in the United States, a report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation found. The growth - a 25 percent increase - reverses the trend just a decade ago that saw fewer children living in communities with high poverty rates, according to the nonprofit group. More


States try to fix quirks in teacher evaluations
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Steve Ball, executive principal at the East Literature Magnet School in Nashville, Tenn., arrived at an English class unannounced one day this month and spent 60 minutes taking copious notes as he watched the teacher introduce and explain the concept of irony. "It was a good lesson," Ball said. But under Tennessee's new teacher-evaluation system, which is similar to systems being adopted around the country, Ball said he had to give the teacher a one — the lowest rating on a five-point scale — in 1 of 12 categories: breaking students into groups. More

Looking ahead, preschools add tech to the curriculum
The Boston Globe    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Preschool teacher Denise Nelson doesn't talk much about volcanoes anymore. Or dinosaurs. Instead, she has spent the past six weeks trying to get 20 3- to 5-year-olds in her Head Start classroom to ponder the properties of water. Leaning over water tables, they find out which blocks float and why paper boats sink. And they get a bit wet along the way. On the surface, the switch in topics may not seem significant. But what Nelson is doing represents the beginning of a change in preschool education as more schools introduce science, technology, engineering and math to students so young that many don't even read yet. More

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Students learn differently. So why test them all the same?
The New York Times (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
We teachers have been hearing for years about "differentiated instruction." It makes sense to treat individuals differently, and to adapt communication toward what works for them. Some kids you can joke with, and some you cannot. Some need more explanation, while others need little or none. If you consider students as individuals (and especially if you have a reasonable class size), you can better meet their needs. Considering that, it's remarkable that the impending Core Curriculum fails to differentiate between native-born American students and English language learners. More

Report shows crime at US public schools on decline
The Associated Press via The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Violent crime at the nation's schools is declining, and students and schools are reporting less bullying and gang activity. But new government data reports an increase in cyber bullying and youth suicides. "Cyber bullying issue has really moved to center stage and that's probably the next major challenge that school officials and others will have to address," said Ron Stephens, executive director of the National School Safety Center, a nonprofit advocacy organization. More

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Nudging kids toward healthier lunch room choices
Houston Chronicle (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As written by Bettina Elias Siegel, "At our last Houston Independent School District Food Services Parent Advisory Committee meeting we had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Karen Webber Cullen, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine, about an innovative program she's overseeing to encourage HISD students to make healthier food choices. Using a $175,000 research grant from USDA's Food and Nutrition Service, Cullen is conducting a pilot study in six Houston elementary schools to determine if gentle, low- or no-cost "nudges" can positively influence student food choices in the lunch room. Specifically, students at these six schools are currently receiving prompts to select fruits and vegetables in the cafeteria." More

Viewpoint: Tests don't measure teachers
eSchool News (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
If we really care about the education of young people in poverty, we will stop focusing on test results and pay much more attention to the quality of life students and families endure. The more their parents and the students themselves are employed, the better their housing and transportation, the better their health care and nutrition, the more they learn. More


Nielsen: Tablets replacing TV, teachers and babysitters
AFP Relax News via Yahoo News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Need a way to keep your kids quiet while traveling, entertained at a restaurant or just want to teach them some facts? More and more parents are letting their kids aged 11 and under loose on a tablet device. A new study by market researcher Nielsen has found that adults commonly use tablets to pacify their children while they are out of the house. More than half of adults said their children used a tablet as a form of entertainment while traveling. Two out of five gave their children a tablet to keep them occupied while they were at a restaurant or event. More

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Fed up with menu, students stage lunchroom boycott
The Associated Press via KTRK-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Macaroni and cheese again? Students at a junior high school near Texas' Gulf Coast staged a four-day boycott of cafeteria food to press for more menu choices and healthier alternatives. About 30 students at Austwell-Tivoli Junior High School in Tivoli, Texas, shunned the cafeteria's offerings and brought their lunches from home for four days. They demanded less menu repetition and more choice in what is served, including salads. President of the seventh-grade class Mckenzi Simmons said "boycott" was a vocabulary word in a recent Texas history class, and that students put what they'd learned into action. More

Publicly traded education companies are rare
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
K12 Inc., the nation's largest provider of online pre-collegiate education, was launched in 2000 and went public seven years later after raising about $140 million in revenue. Like other companies, it moved from being privately held to being publicly traded to raise more money quickly, increase brand awareness, and accelerate business goals. The company now works with more than 2,000 U.S. school districts and reported $522.4 million in revenue last fiscal year. "No school district could ever invest what we do and get the productivity we get," said Chief Executive Officer Ronald J. Packard. He said his company invests about $40 million a year in new technology and programs. More

Obama adviser details STEM education plans, draws GOP skepticism
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
President Barack Obama's top science adviser testified the other day on the administration's budgetary plans for STEM education, but encountered some skepticism from the Republican chairman of a key House committee, Rep. Ralph Hall of Texas. Overall, the president's budget request would provide $3 billion for STEM education across the federal government, an increase of 2.6 percent over the current level, said John Holdren, the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, during the Feb. 17 House hearing. More

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Santorum would 'eliminate' No Child Left Behind Act
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Rick Santorum is still regretting his vote in favor of the No Child Left Behind Act. In tonight's CNN debate in Arizona — which hosts a primary, along with Michigan, on Tuesday — the former Pennsylvania senator was hammered again for voting for NCLB in 2001. He's neck-and-neck with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who also charged Santorum with a fiscal conservative foul: voting to expand funding for the U.S. Department of Education. More

'Don't say gay' bill troubles Tennessee school counselors
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Inside a middle school bathroom, the boy didn't know what to make of his classmate's roaming eyes. So he went to see the school counselor. Was the boy who glanced at him gay, he wondered. And if he didn't turn away, did that make him gay? The counselor, who asked not to be named while sharing a real-life example — both to protect the identity of the student and to candidly discuss the full implications of the situation — answered the boy's questions as best she could. Her goal, she said, was simply to help the student feel comfortable and safe when going to the bathroom. More


Bill would block South Carolina education standards
The Associated Press via Aiken Standard    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Opponents of national education standards asked senators Thursday to block implementation of the math and reading curriculum in South Carolina, while educators around the state argued against putting the breaks on already-approved standards they believe will benefit students. Sen. Mike Fair's proposal would block standards known as Common Core, which South Carolina's education board adopted in July 2010, following approval by the Education Oversight Committee. Full implementation is set for 2014. District administrators testified that teachers already are being trained on the new standards. More

Many heard on overhaul of Connecticut public education system
The Associated Press via The Middletown Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Proposals that would boost state grants to local school districts while requiring them to pay some charter school costs for the first time drew wide-ranging comments at a hearing overhauling the public education system. The proposals, expected to be the centerpiece of this year's General Assembly session, include $128 million for new programs that range from state intervention in failing districts to creating a rating system to judge the quality of early childhood education services. More


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Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative lauded in education report
The Birmingham News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Alabama Math, Science and Technology Initiative is so successful that students in AMSTI schools had gains on math tests equal to 28 days of extra schooling after just one year, a report released by the U.S. Department of Education shows. AMSTI was selected for one of the largest math and science studies in 2006, in part because the program had received so many accolades across the country and internationally, said Steve Ricks, director of AMSTI for the state Department of Education. More


California schools on an iPad mission
San Jose Mercury News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For students in Gina Ball's algebra class at Adams Middle School in Redondo Beach, taking quizzes on work sheets has suddenly become a thing of the past — now they just use the iPad. At Pacific Elementary School in Manhattan Beach, Calif., fourth-graders in Paula Noda's class no longer write essays about an annual trip to a mission in Orange County — now they put together an iPad video, complete with theme music, sound effects and panning. More

Texas lawmakers debate restoring funds to public schools
Houston Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Texas is rebounding from a severe recession with significant job growth, higher than expected tax revenues and a rosier forecast that should influence state leaders to resist more public school budget cuts next year, some Democratic lawmakers said. But Republican leaders, mindful of Gov. Rick Perry's opposition to a special session to address school funding, counter that economic optimism could turn sour. They prefer to use any budget surpluses to pay for un-funded Medicaid expenses and unexpected costs, such as the $183 million to battle last summer's wild fires. More

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Gov. Christie's proposal would add more than $300 million to New Jersey education budget
The Star-Ledger    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Gov. Chris Christie threw money behind his promise to support education in New Jersey, proposing in his budget address an increase of $108 million for higher education and a nearly $213 million more for K-12 school districts. Christie called higher education the "key to advancement" and proposed increasing both the amount the state provides for financial assistance to students and the funding it gives to colleges and universities. More

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Maryland schools moving from zero-tolerance discipline policies
The Baltimore Sun    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
State school board members still don't know her name, but a Dorchester County girl who was denied access to an education for a year is the pivotal figure in their push to abandon long-held zero-tolerance discipline policies across Maryland. The 15-year-old's suspension for fighting drew little attention at the time. But it so angered board members that they launched a statewide review of discipline policies. More

DC education officials developing plan to administer assessment test on kindergarten students
The Associated Press via The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
District of Columbia officials are developing a plan to begin assessment testing on kindergarten students. Assistant superintendent of early childhood education Annette Bridges tells The Washington Examiner that the plans are in the preliminary stages and are subject to change as the Office of the State Superintendent for Educators moves forward. Bridges says the test would focus on things like physical and motor development, scientific thinking and some math concepts. More

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NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In one month, the NAESP Annual Conference and Expo — BEST PRACTICES FOR BETTER SCHOOLS™ — will be kicking off in Seattle. Don't miss it. With engaging speakers, an exciting location, and ample opportunities for learning and networking, it's the most enriching national conference for K-8 principals. Register today, and make your housing reservations before Feb. 28 to save. More


Deadline March 1 for Children's Book Award
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Calling all aspiring authors. Submit a picture or chapter book written for children ages 3-16 for the National Children's Book Award Contest. Judging will be based on content, originality, and age-appropriateness, and winners will receive a contract with Charlesbridge Publishing. Click here to read Frequently Asked Questions. More
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