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Labor unions working for their right to influence
NPR    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
VideoBrief In Indiana, the state Senate approved a bill that would limit collective bargaining by teachers' unions. It's the latest in a series of state efforts to rein in union power. Labor is fighting for the right to influence a wide range of workplace issues, beyond wages and benefits. Budget-cutting Republicans say it's time to reduce labor unions' role in workplace decisions. More

People gathered at Ohio Statehouse want a say in things that
affect their lives

Chillicothe Gazette    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Ohio Statehouse parking garage was full well before the hearing. So were the hallways, the atrium and the rotunda. A sea of blue-shirted firefighters and other union members and their supporters filled the statehouse for the hearing on Senate Bill 5, a bill designed to carry out Republican Gov. John Kasich's campaign pledge to "break the back of organized labor in the schools." More

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Beyond unions: 5 new rules for all teachers
TIME (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Given their place as the most powerful public employee union, teachers unions are front and center in the debate going on in Wisconsin. But underneath the high-decibel clashes between tea partiers and public employees unions are some contentious education policy issues reformers, teachers unions, and analysts have debated (and sometimes even collaborated to fix) for years. More

Solving common classroom problems: Sign language lends a hand
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Technology tools and teaching tips are great, but there are many pressing questions to answer: How do you avoid juggling hall passes? How do you know who is grasping factorization and who could use another explanation? How do you know students are listening? How can you encourage students to engage without screaming over one another? By introducing five simple signs in American Sign Language to classrooms, you can eliminate some key daily challenges — with no software needed. More

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Children are coming to school hungry
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
This may be the land of plenty, but many children are going to school hungry, and teachers often give students food to help them make it until lunchtime, according to a national survey of 638 public teachers. Two-thirds of these teachers, grades kindergarten through eighth, say they have students in their classes who regularly come to school hungry because they aren't getting enough to eat at home, and 63 percent of the teachers say the problem increased this past year. More


School's peacemakers are key to its turnaround
The Indianapolis Star    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In many schools, the discipline office is like an assembly line. Students walk in, receive their punishment and walk out. When a disruption occurs, they quickly remove the troublemakers from classrooms so other students can keep learning. More

Your school. Your teachers. Your call.

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Web portal lets students track class triumphs
The Associated Press via The Daily Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Nine-year-old Sebastian Perez is focused on his performance statistics. Like a baseball player checking out a batting average, Sebastian reviews his academic achievements on the Vineland school district's online community portal. "Every day," the fourth-grader said. Giving students access to their grades is the latest application of the software. More

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Effective use of digital tools seen lacking in most technology-rich schools
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Most schools that have integrated laptop computers and other digital devices into learning are not following the paths necessary to maximize the use of technology in ways that will raise student achievement and help save money, a report concludes. More

Pressure for school reform is building
CNN (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Even before Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker began headlining the national news and teachers walked off their jobs and joined protests en masse over Wisconsin's budgetary reform measures, the country had been engaging in a serious dialogue on meaningful education reform. Indeed, both the meaningful education reform and the status quo camps would probably agree, the national mood for the former has never been more on their side. More

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Oklahoma Senate panel OKs changes to teacher firings
The Associated Press via Bloomberg    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A handful of bills making it easier to fire public school teachers and expanding the use of charter schools across the state cleared a Senate panel, despite concerns from some Democrats that the proposals amount to an "assault" on public education. The Senate Education Committee approved a bill endorsed by Oklahoma's new Republican Gov. Mary Fallin that would eliminate the ability of teachers to appeal their firing to a district court, a process referred to as "trial de novo." More


A school topples hurdles to learning
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Under the federal Individuals With Disabilities Education Act and other laws, all children are entitled to free education in an environment that meets their needs. And court rulings in recent years have given parents broad rights to seek government reimbursement for private special education. More

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Study: Boston's eighth graders struggling to master science
The Boston Globe    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
More than half of Boston's eighth-grade students don't have a basic grasp of the science concepts on the national science exams, according to data released by the federal Department of Education. But the city's fourth-graders outperformed peers in other urban districts at basic levels on the science portion of the National Assessment of Educational Progress Trial Urban District Snapshot Report, which was released at the University of Massachusetts Boston. More

Speaking Out: How inclusive is systemic change in education?
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In the March/April issue of Principal, author Felecia Nace proposes in her "Speaking Out" article that educators communicate to their students explanations of systemic instructional changes. "Our charge as educators is to view students as major stakeholders, make them equal partners, and create inclusive environments to that effect," Nace writes. More

Georgia Students Gain With Lexia

Hall County, Georgia, schools scored 38% higher on state testing after using Lexia Reading web-enabled software. Lexia can dramatically improve your students’ reading skills.

Advance rates for NAESP convention end Feb. 28!
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Attend the NAESP 2011 Annual Convention & Exposition for all three days, just on the weekend, or for only one day, but however you slice it, the professional development chance of a lifetime is about to take place, and it's one you won't want to miss. Join us in Tampa, Fla., April 7-10, to learn from your peers and a remarkable roster of the foremost experts on education today — all at one affordable registration fee. Register now and save $60 before the advance rate discount ends Monday, Feb. 28. More




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Fischler School: Cause An Effect
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Bring the World to Your School with Educational Seminars!

Educational Seminars, fully funded by the U.S. Department of State, are short-term international exchanges for U.S. teachers and administrators that focus on sharing best practices and professional development.

Deadline for the Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Thailand educator exchanges: March 28, 2011.

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 or contact us at

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
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