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10 education technology resources for school administrators
eSchool News
Sometimes it may seem like teachers get to experience all the technology "fun," but there are many education technology resources that school administrators can use to meet the unique challenges they face. For example, many school administrators spend time reviewing and revising handfuls of crucial documents. Administrators also need to be able to communicate with staff anytime, anywhere; appease anxious parents; know learning standards and implementation strategies; and provide 21st-century professional development for staff — not an easy job.
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Healthy kids: White House proposes school ban on ads for junk food
The Christian Science Monitor
Under new rules proposed by the White House, marketing for junk food and sugary drinks will no longer be allowed in schools. New USDA regulations have already ensured that food sold in schools will be far healthier. And starting this fall, food sold outside of regular school lunches — in vending machines or à la carte lines — will also have to adhere to new standards limiting fat, sodium, sugar, and calorie content. But many schools still advertise sugary drinks and other junk foods — particularly on vending machines and scoreboards and gyms — a practice that would be stopped under the rules proposed Tuesday.
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'Early implementers' of Common Core grapple with aligning tests, curriculum
Education Week
If you want a primer on the sink-or-swim implementation issues for the common core, you should read a new cluster of reports. They profile the work of four school districts that jumped into the new standards earlier and more aggressively than most. The collective portrait that emerges from the work of these districts maps the long, slow climb up the peak of putting the Common Core into practice in ways that drive positive change.
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Hope and anxiety: What do teachers think about the Common Core standards?
The Hechinger Report
The more teachers get to know the controversial Common Core State Standards, the more they like them, according to a teacher survey. And even as many states debate whether to stick with the standards, which lay out what students need to know in math and English based on requirements in other countries, the survey suggests that the Common Core is already being taught at most schools in the 45 states that adopted it.
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Taking the temperature on school climate and discipline
Ed.gov Blog
In many schools across America, we begin each day with a morning ritual, the pledge of allegiance. Students stand sleepy-eyed with their hands over their hearts and recite the words that make our country great "with liberty and justice for all." And though we proclaim it every day, the harder declaration is to live it. In my classroom, students start off each school year discussing at length what it means to be a citizen of the United States. We debate, we question, and we make reference to our school creed: Be respectful, Be responsible, Be safe and an Active Learner. Students quickly discover that we cannot begin to learn unless we know how to best support one another throughout the process.
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What makes a change agent?
Edudemic
There are some educators out there that make classroom technology integration look easy. For most of us, it's a daunting task: converting your paper-and-folder, marker-and-poster classroom systems to mobile devices and the cloud. And the ones who dig right in, despite their reservations, to equip their students with the educational technology experiences they need for a 21st century education seem to have an invincible air about them. So what's different about these teachers? What key traits do they have in common that make them stand out as leaders and technology whizzes in their communities?
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The global teacher
Connected Principals Blog (commentary)
George Couros, a contributor for Connected Principals Blog, writes: "I have talked about the notion of 'classroom teacher' vs. 'school teacher' in posts before, and have begun to rethink this notion. Simply put, a "classroom teacher" is someone that focuses on their classroom and students only. Although there can be a huge benefit to their own students, this often leads to weaker relationships with other students. They often see other kids as someone else's issue and will avoid dealing with them. They also keep their practices to themselves and have their classroom door closed, sometimes literally, but most often figuratively."
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Beyond zero tolerance: Achieving a balance in school discipline
Edutopia
Disruptive behavior continues to be one of the most challenging issues that schools face today. Even one seriously incompliant student can threaten teaching and learning for the rest of the class. And though exceedingly rare given the large number of schools throughout our country, incidents of deadly violence shake our confidence in school safety.
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The side of learning disabilities no one considers
Psychology Today (commentary)
Donna Flagg, a contributor for Psychology Today, writes: "It's always about the kids, right? They have a problem, a defect, a deficiency. Something is wrong with them. They're not normal. We must fix them! Special classes, 'accommodations,' and even worse, drugs. But what if none of those things were what these kids really needed? What if I told you that what they really need are adults who don't openly or covertly, wish they were or expect them to be, the same as other kids. Just that, right there, would change everything."
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6 areas that can improve teaching quality
eSchool News
A new policy guide from seven educational groups aims to help state leaders improve teaching quality with examples of models that, through research and actual implementation, have proven successful in states across the country. "Excellent Teachers for Each and Every Child," is broken into six major sections: Recruitment, Preparation, Professional Learning and Development, Evaluation Systems, Equitable Teaching and Learning Conditions and Funding. Each part of the guide presents examples, sample legislation and more.
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For cash-strapped schools, smart ways to spend limited tech dollars
MindShift
For schools looking to spend limited dollars allocated for technology in smart and efficient ways, lessons learned over years of making tough decisions can be helpful. Mark Samberg, who has worked in education for 13 years, first as a K-12 tech director and later as a district level technology director, has some sage advice. Samberg is a research associate for the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, a center at North Carolina State University dedicated to helping figure out what tech solutions work in classrooms and to sharing what its researchers learn with educators.
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Wealthy schools restrain, isolate more students
District Administration Magazine
Disabled students in wealthy, less-diverse districts are twice as likely as their low-income peers to be restrained or placed in isolation in school, according to new research by the University of New Hampshire. Restraint and isolation have been used primarily on students who pose a threat to themselves or others. And few schools resort to these physical solutions: Some 95 percent of districts reported fewer than 10 instances of restraint or seclusion per 100 students with a disability in 2009-2010.
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5 critical student data questions for schools
eSchool News
Student security and data privacy are top concerns for today's students, and now federal guidelines are helping to shed light on the often confusing issue of data security. Speaking at the Common Sense Media Privacy Zone Conference on Feb. 24, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said keeping student data secure and using it for its intended purposes are top priorities.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Experts: Here's how to turn data into achievement (eSchool News)
Study: Adderall doesn't help kids get better grades (The Atlantic)
How can schools develop transformational leaders? (District Administration Magazine)
Survey: Students' personal data are at risk (NPR)
10 guidelines for stopping cyberbullying (Psychology Today)

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


Apps that challenge kids to solve environmental issues
MindShift
Environmental education for most adults used to mean learning a little bit about recycling and planting some trees on Arbor Day. We didn't delve into ecology as much as we skimmed the surface. But things have gotten more complex since then, and the topic of climate change has brought environmental education to the forefront. At its best, environmental education gets students grappling with big, cross-disciplinary issues like sustainable design and renewable energy. Students think critically about environmental and ecological systems; they diagnose problems, and speculate about (or maybe even create) solutions. And to that end, here are a few games to help students dive in.
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ETS wades into market for teacher-performance exams
Education Week
As interest in licensing exams that measure prospective teachers' classroom skills grows, the venerable test-maker ETS is entering the market with a new option for states. Field-testing began last month for the Princeton, N.J.-based Educational Testing Service's new exam, which purports to measure many of the same competencies as the edTPA, a licensing test seven states have recently adopted and many others are considering.
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Beyond zero tolerance: Achieving a balance in school discipline
Edutopia
Disruptive behavior continues to be one of the most challenging issues that schools face today. Even one seriously incompliant student can threaten teaching and learning for the rest of the class.

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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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Education Department to schools: Protect student data online
The Associated Press
The Education Department encouraged school districts to use more scrutiny to protect student privacy when using online educational services. Online companies provide services such as the collection of school lunch money, portals for homework assignments and sites to watch video demonstrations. Concerns have been raised that private information collected by the companies could be shared publicly or used to market products and services to students or their families.
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US Senate to consider child care and development block grant bill
Education Week
The U.S. Senate is going to take up a bill to revise the Child Care and Development Block Grant program — which hasn't been renewed since 1996. In fact, Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., the majority leader, just announced consideration of the bill on the Senate floor. The politics here are interesting. Early-childhood education has gotten plenty of attention in the past several years, thanks to a lot of action at the state level, plus a big, new $75 billion initiative proposed by President Barack Obama.
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Fed up with zero tolerance in schools, advocates push for change
NPR
In 2010, De'angelo Rollins got into a fight with a bully at his new middle school in Bryan, Texas. His mother, Marjorie Rollins Holman, says her shy son reported the bullying, but the teacher didn't stop it. Then it came to blows. "The boy ended up hitting my son in the face first," Holman says. "My son hit him back, and they got in a little scuffle." That scuffle landed her then-12-year-old son in the principal's office — and in adult criminal court after the school police officer wrote the sixth-grader a ticket.
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Lawmakers push to end 'scream rooms' for punishing students
Fox News
When a high school teen acted up in an Indiana classroom a few years ago, his teachers sent him to an isolated room, where he was left unmonitored for hours. He wasn't allowed to leave, for any reason, and was forced to urinate on the floor. As punishment, he was dragged to that exact same room the following day where he screamed, pleaded and banged on the door for someone to let him out. When no one came, he tried to hang himself.
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6 states don't require schools to provide kindergarten
ThinkProgress
You may think that all students have equal access to kindergarten when they reach age five. Yet six states — Alaska, Idaho, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania — don't have any law requiring school districts to provide any kindergarten at all, according to a report from the New America Education Policy Program. Just 11 states and Washington, D.C. require public schools to provide free, full-day kindergarten by law. The remaining require at least a half day to be provided, but 12 allow districts to require that parents pay for the second half of the day themselves. While data is sparse, estimates indicate that one in four kindergarten-age students aren't in full-day classes, and even those who are may be in districts whose definitions of "full day" are very short.
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NAESP launches National Panel of New Principals
NAESP
Calling all first- and second-year principals! The National Panel of New Principals is the only initiative of its kind that is dedicated to principals in the first or second year of their principalship. By participating, new principals will contribute to a dynamic knowledge base about what it's really like to be a new principal today.
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Digital safety strategies
NAESP
NAESP celebrated by hosting a Digital Learning Day tweetchat to explore an important role that principals play in digital innovation: ensuring that students are safe online. Over 100 educators joined the #digisafety chat, exploring how to guide parents through digital safety issues, develop Acceptable Use Policies, and serve as a tech role model for students and staff.
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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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