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26 states seek relief from education law
The Associated Press via Idaho Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
More than half of all states applied by this week's new deadline to be freed from the most strenuous requirements of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law, the Education Department said Wednesday. The Obama administration is allowing states that promise to improve how they prepare and evaluate students along with other changes to get a waiver around the law. Recently, 11 states that applied for a waiver under an earlier deadline were given waivers. More

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School carpool lanes are a danger zone
Cars.com (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As written by : "Driving through my daughters' school carpool lane twice a day, I'm shocked to see the disregard parents have for their children's safety while under the perceived safety net of the school zone. Parents allow their kids to unbuckle their seat belts and hang their bodies out of the car windows to wave to their friends, stand up in the sunroof to greet their buddies, climb into the cargo space to wave at the cars behind them and get into the front seat — remaining unbuckled — to chat with Mom or Dad." More



Using computers to teach US students Spanish
Fox News Latino    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Learning Spanish is becoming more important for Americans every day, so the pilot launch of an interactive learning program in schools is being carried out to create a new model for introducing the United States' second-most-spoken language into the country's educational system. E.L. Haynes Public Charter School in Washington has been the first to employ the new program that enables students to study Spanish on their own computers using specialized software. The fact is that Washington's large Hispanic presence makes it increasingly necessary to adjust public-school education to the needs of each student. More

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Putting student writing center stage
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
"A prince! And can someone with a quiet hand tell me what our main character the prince's name is?" Dozens of tiny arms shoot into the air. Peter McNerney, who is moderating the performance, chooses one. He leans in and waits encouragingly for the kindergartner to whisper an answer. "Chicken Breath?" McNerney confirms softly. Then, in a booming voice to the 100 other 5- and 6-year-olds sitting on the gym floor, "Yes, that's it! His name is Chicken Breath!" Uproarious laughter fills the room. More

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Reading, writing, tweeting
Chicago Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When Ed Knight wants to find out what his 6-year-old did in school, he can scroll the Twitter feed on his iPhone for clues to start a conversation with his quiet son, who sometimes holds back when recounting details of his day. That's because Evan and others in first-grade teacher Jodi Conrad's class use Twitter to send out a weekly newsletter, update the days' activities and give parents reminders about upcoming programs. More

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Video becoming a key tool in teacher training, evaluation
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As teacher training and evaluation take a front seat in the nation's education reform agenda, a growing number of schools are integrating video into the process. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Measures of Effective Teaching Project notes that once-a-year teacher evaluations are not enough to help teachers improve, and that multiple observations by trained professionals should be combined with other methods such as student test scores and classroom surveys. Preliminary results from the two-year study were posted in early January. Part of the project involves recording teachers and having their lessons scored by professionals. Teachers are able to watch their own instruction and can identify what concepts seem particularly difficult for students to grasp and at which points during the instruction they "lose" students. More

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How young is too young for gifted and talented programs?
Slate (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Over on her parenting blog, Janice D'Arcy posted on the Maryland State Board of Education's new "gifted and talented" guidelines, which suggest that teachers begin to identify advanced children as early as pre-kindergarten. While supporters of the measure say that the policy would only encourage passive monitoring at the earliest ages, many other educators worry about the unfair exclusion of disadvantaged minorities and late-bloomers. More

Johns Hopkins partnership aims to help education industry
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Johns Hopkins University School of Education and the Education Industry Association, a trade group, are partnering to develop curriculum, research and business-development programs around education entrepreneurship. The goal is to help prepare the next generation of business leaders in education and improve the relationship between the public and private sectors, leaders of the two entities said. More

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Research finds bullies and victims 3 times more likely to have suicidal thoughts by age 11
Daily News & Analysis    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Children involved in bullying — as both a victim and a bully — are three times more likely to have suicidal thoughts by the time they reach 11-years-old, according to research from the University of Warwick. In a paper published in the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the researchers found children who are both victims and bullies, are at highly increased risk of considering suicide, or have planned and engaged in suicidal or self-harming behaviour by 11-12 years of age. These increased odds were not explained by other factors family circumstances or pre-existing emotional problems. More

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Language development predicted in children
Medical News Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
We depend on a barrage of standardized tests to assess everything from aptitude to intelligence. But do they provide an accurate forecast when it comes to something as complex as language? A study by Diane Pesco, an assistant professor in Concordia's Department of Education, and co-author Daniela O'Neill, published earlier this year in the Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research, shows that the Language Use Inventory does. More

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Obama chides governors for education cuts
CNN    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
President Barack Obama told U.S. governors attending a luncheon that they are cutting too much funding for education and need to make reforms while continuing to invest in the future of America's students. While acknowledging the tough economic climate for state governments, Obama cited the need to prioritize the long-range significance of a strong education system. More

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House panel gives partisan approval to ESEA bills
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
On a partisan vote, the House Education and the Workforce Committee gave its stamp of approval to GOP-backed legislation reauthorizing portions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. A pair of bills, both of which were introduced by U.S. Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., the chairman of the committee, would scale back the federal role in education and give states much more running room when it comes to K-12 policy, a 180-degree pivot from the current version of the law, the decade-old No Child Left Behind Act. The measures passed on a party-line vote of 23-16. More

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Will business boost school reform?
The Wall Street Journal (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Elected officials from both parties are so fed up with the status quo of failing schools that they're challenging the entrenched power of teachers unions. More

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Washington House passes teacher evaluation bill
The Associated Press via The Seattle Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Washington state Legislature approved a bill that uses improvement in student test scores as a factor in hiring, firing and tenure decisions for teachers. The measure passed on an 82-16 bipartisan vote. The Senate already had passed the bill, so it now goes to the governor for her signature. Under the bill, starting in the 2015-2016 school year, evaluation results would be used as a factor in human resource decisions. Senate Bill 5895 also sets some new guidelines for principals, including a requirement to use teacher feedback in principal evaluations. More

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Texas district embarks on widespread iPad program
The Associated Press via Fox News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A Texas school district is trying to close its digital divide by distributing thousands of Apple tablet computers in a move that could make it the largest iPads program for students in the nation. McAllen Independent School District in the southern part of the state began distributing 6,800 devices — mostly the iPad tablet computers, but also hundreds of iPod Touch devices for its youngest students. More

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Florida bill could make gym class optional in public schools
Yahoo News (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Sweating it out during gym class might be a thing of the past for Florida students. If passed, Florida House Bill 4057 would allow districts to determine whether or not to include gym for students in grades 6-8, based on their own budgetary needs and their student population. The bill would also revoke 150 minutes of mandatory gym classes for schools that serve a sixth-grade population that also includes elementary grade levels. More



NAESP elections open March 26
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
This spring, eligible NAESP members will elect a new president-elect as well as directors for Zones 5, 7 and 9. Only Active, Institutional Active, Emeritus and Lifetime members are eligible to vote. Voting will open Monday, March 26, and will close Tuesday, April 24, and electronic ballots will be available through our website — but members will need to log in for access. See the Tips for Logging In page, Voter FAQs, or the election page for more information. More

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Check out classroom evaluation resources on PD 360
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
This month's online professional development topic for NAESP members is evaluation of classroom instruction. NAESP members get free access to PD 360's wealth of video-based materials and related resources for both individual learning and staff training. Start learning today. More
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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.
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