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Curriculum    School Leadership   Federal Advocacy & Policy   In the States   Association News   Buy Books   Contact NAESP


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Research: Active learning more important than flipping the classroom
THE Journal
Active learning produces the same student learning outcomes in both flipped and nonflipped classrooms, according to new research from Brigham Young University. In the flipped classroom model, students watch video lectures outside of class time and participate in active learning activities during class time. The approach has been growing in popularity, so researchers at BYU decided to test its effectiveness.
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What do you want leaders to do with technology?
Connected Principals (commentary)
George Couros, a contributor for Connected Principals blog, writes: "Recently in a workshop, I asked the group how many people thought Twitter was 'stupid,' to which I had seen several hands raised. I followed up with the question, 'How many of you think it is beneficial to learn from other teachers?' This has 100 percent of hands up in the air. So, if we think that learning from other teachers is beneficial, and we can use Twitter to do that, it seems like a no-brainer."
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Most math curricula found to be out of sync with Common Core
Education Week
The first round of a Consumer Reports-style review for instructional materials paints a dismal picture of the textbook-publishing industry's response to new standards: Seventeen of 20 math series reviewed were judged as failing to live up to claims that they are aligned to the common core. The reviews, released online Wednesday by the nonprofit EdReports.org, were conducted by small groups of teachers and instructional leaders from across the country.
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The power of poetry in primary classrooms
Edutopia
There are many modern poets saying valid and beautiful things about the world, but few people are buying their books. Walk around any book shop and you might struggle to find the typically tiny poetry section. The art of poetry remains something literary, academic and removed from ordinary reading habits. Yet poets go to great lengths to demonstrate that poetry is diverse, accessible and relevant. After all, song and rap lyrics are widely-loved forms of poetry. There is also poetry, as they rightly point out, in text and Twitter feeds.
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Motivation + trust = learning
By: Pamela Hill
The signs of the season tell us that we have surpassed the middle mark of our school year. By now, the goals you set at the beginning of the year are starting to show signs of either being met or needing to be adjusted. You have had time to evaluate your students, and you can plan for how you will spend the time that is left for educational success. At this point of the school year, you really know your students and have built a trust with each of them. You can read your students' body language and their moods.
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Playtime isn't just for preschoolers — Teenagers need it, too
Time
Helicopter parents and teachers, stand down. Kids of all ages need time to learn through play in school. In classrooms across the country, the countdown to summer vacation has begun. The winter doldrums have always taken a toll, but in the era of test-dominated schooling and the controversial Common Core, it seems increasingly that it's not until summer that teenagers have any prospect for having fun any more.
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Rise of the robots: STEM-fueled competitions gaining traction nationwide
EdTech Magazine
There's a robotics movement under way at schools across the country, and it's aimed squarely at developing a passion for STEM education in the kids who need it the most. Building robots is a sport for the mind, and, despite being unorthodox, it's become an officially recognized high school sport in two states, and more states are set to follow. The organization leading this movement — For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology — was founded in 1989 by Dean Kamen, the man behind the Segway. FIRST hosts robotics competitions, in which students create programmable robots to carry out tasks.
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New STEM professional development program targets administrators
eSchool News
With a $500,000 commitment from Chevron, the National Science Teachers Association has launched a new initiative to support school administrators as they work to strengthen teaching and learning in science, technology, engineering and math subjects. The Chevron-supported NSTA Administrators Initiative will include face-to-face professional development opportunities, coupled with a suite of resources developed especially for school and district leaders that will build knowledge and understanding of science and engineering practices, a key component of the Next Generation Science Standards.
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Should we replace textbooks with e-readers?
By: Archita Datta Majumdar
You might think the answer is a resounding "yes" in this digital age, but a recent report from The Washington Post has shown some surprising facts to the contrary. It seems that millennial students — who we think are buried in electronics all the time — are more attracted to the white pages of physical books than we thought. Their main reason? The awareness that they can retain information better when they read print. Still, proponents of e-readers say that the benefits far outweigh the negatives.
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When school leaders empower teachers, better ideas emerge
MindShift
Teachers are increasingly being pushed into new roles as their ability to connect online opens up new opportunities. Educators are finding their own professional development, sharing lesson plans and teaching tips with colleagues around the world, and have often become ambassadors to the public on new approaches to teaching and learning. Easy access to information has empowered many educators to think and teach differently, but often those innovations remain isolated inside classrooms. Without a school leader who trusts his or her teachers, it is difficult to convert pockets of innovation into a school culture of empowered teachers.
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Learning thrives in districts of distinction
District Administration Magazine
An elementary school writing program, a comprehensive fitness regimen and vigorous college and career preparedness in all grades exemplify innovation. Such initiatives earned honors for 62 school systems in District Administration's tri-annual Districts of Distinction awards program. In the first round of 2015, the honorees were selected among 133 nominations in 21 states. In Pennsylvania, The School District of Lancaster created an academy to engage quiet and uninvolved parents. A weekly series of workshops for families — including those of Spanish, Nepali, French, Arabic and African descent — has become so popular that local agencies, universities and community organizations want to be part of each event.
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Measuring and understanding education advocacy
Brookings
The traditional delivery system for public K-12 education in the U.S. is being disrupted by forces from without (e.g., forms of competition, including charter schools) and from within (e.g., new regulatory requirements, including meaningful teacher evaluation and the Common Core). As in any sizable sector of the economy, challenges to the status quo in education are often met by organized advocacy efforts. Because education in this country is by-and-large a public enterprise, champions of change and defenders of the status quo must turn to elected and appointed officials to advocate for their desired outcome.
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Teachers become healthier when they learn
Science Daily
Several studies have indicated a connection between learning and health. In a recently published study from University West and Linnaeus University the researchers found that the health of school teachers is related to their level of work integrated learning. A random sample of 229 teachers at 20 schools in Västra Götaland responded to a questionnaire which included previously tested measures of health, quality and work integrated learning. The resulting data showed a highly significant statistical correlation between the measures.
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Where have all the teachers gone?
NPR
This is the canary in the coal mine. Several big states have seen alarming drops in enrollment at teacher training programs. The numbers are grim among some of the nation's largest producers of new teachers: In California, enrollment is down 53 percent over the past five years. It's down sharply in New York and Texas as well. In North Carolina, enrollment is down nearly 20 percent in three years. "The erosion is steady. That's a steady downward line on a graph. And there's no sign that it's being turned around," says Bill McDiarmid, the dean of the University of North Carolina School of Education.
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Is the biggest learning disability an emotional one?
The Hechinger Report
Neuropsychologist David Rose spent years helping kids with learning disabilities participate in school by creating digital textbooks with pop-up graphics, text-to-speech, flexible fonts and other customizable features to fit individual needs. The books were so engaging "that traditional books started to look relatively disabled by comparison," says Rose, co-founder and chief education officer of CAST (Center for Applied Technology) outside Boston. Not just textbooks. The crew at CAST felt that traditional lesson plans built around print were leaving too many kids out, frustrating some students while boring others.
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The federal government has a lot of work to do in fixing up Native American schools
The Huffington Post
Numerous schools for Native American students are in abysmal physical condition, and it is the federal government's fault, according to a preliminary report from a congressional watchdog group. A 29-page interim report from the Government Accountability Office released highlights some of the poor structural conditions facing Bureau of Indian Education schools. Personnel issues and inconsistent data collection hinder the government's ability to effectively keep up with BIE-run schools, the report finds.
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A principal makes a case for the Common Core
The Washington Post (commentary)
This is the second in a continuing series of letters between two award-winning school principals, one who likes the Common Core State Standards and the other who doesn't. The debate over the Common Core State Standards has become so polarized that it is hard to get people who disagree to have reasonable conversations about it.
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How to fix a teacher shortage
eSchool News
Minnesota faces a growing shortage of teachers in key specialties, and educators and policymakers are divided over how to attract and retain qualified teachers. Administrators argue that Minnesota's strict licensing requirements and union rules make it difficult to attract and retain highly effective and diverse teachers. Teachers union leaders say that state law already gives schools flexibility and that the rules Minnesota has now ensure students get the best teachers possible.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Hard steps not yet taken: Ending bullying in our schools (Edutopia)
These are the states that suspend students at the highest rates (The Huffington Post)
How does your school use social media to connect with families? (By: Brian Stack)
Why principals matter (The Atlantic)
Are school leaders comfortable with blended learning? (Scholastic Administrator Magazine)

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




President's Perspective: the power of hope
NAESP
NAESP President Mark White writes: "I recently had the opportunity to attend a conference with international principal leaders, and as is often the case at a conference, some of the best discussion took place outside of the formal presentations. I asked principals from Australia, Great Britain, Canada, Ireland, and Scotland about their most burning educational issues."
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Eight Congressional Meetings in Eight Hours
NAESP
Indiana principal Adam Drummond writes: “As a first time attendee of NAESP's National Leaders Conference, the anticipation of meeting with members of Congress brought little sleep as I reviewed key issues, reminded myself of nonverbal body language, and memorized the map of Capitol Hill. Now, as I sit here and reflect on the eight-hour, eight-meeting day I conducted, I can breathe a sigh of relief that I have completed my first advocacy experience with self-defined success thanks to mentoring, preparation, and next steps.”
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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.

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