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States that spend the least on students are growing the fastest
The Atlantic
New projections on student enrollment from the federal government hint at the financial pressure many states will face as their student populations rise considerably in the next decade. The data, released by the National Center on Education Statistics, forecast that the nation's number of public school students from prekindergarten through high school will grow by 7 percent between 2011 and 2022. Leading the charge are states in the Western and Southern parts of the United States.
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Children who are 'held back' may contribute to disruptive middle school environment
Medical News Today
When students repeat a grade, it can spell trouble for their classmates, according to a new Duke University-led study of nearly 80,000 middle-schoolers. In schools with high numbers of grade repeaters, suspensions were more likely to occur across the school community. Discipline problems were also more common among other students, including substance abuse, fighting and classroom disruption. Public debate typically focuses on how retention affects an individual student's academic performance, said lead author Clara Muschkin. So she and her colleagues decided to take a wider view and consider how holding students back may affect the school as a whole.
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Resources to engage girls in STEM learning
eSchool News
STEM education is important — in fact, it is essential to U.S. economic success. Today's K-12 STEM students are tomorrow's college STEM undergraduates and leading STEM innovators in the workforce. Most STEM fields are traditionally male-dominated, and research has found that fostering an interest in STEM learning when students are still young makes those students more likely to pursue STEM majors and STEM careers.
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Common Core field tests gain foothold in states
Education Week
As the U.S. Department of Education continues to give states more assessment flexibility under the No Child Left Behind Act, the number of states that plan to use Common Core-aligned field tests in all, or nearly all, of their schools continues to grow. Recently, Idaho won a waiver from the Education Department to allow all of its schools to field test new Common Core-aligned assessments this spring.
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How do students cope with self-paced blended learning?
eSchool News
A new school year. Students new to middle school from primary school. A new subject with a new pedagogy. How do students cope? Surprisingly well. The learning rates in a vanguard self-paced blended learning course have increased dramatically. Material that took eight to ten lessons when taught in a traditional fashion is now being completed successfully by some students in three to four lessons. The number of students completing the learning at this accelerated pace has also been increasing in recent years as the course and the teachers "mature."
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Invite your students to create, compose and connect
MiddleWeb
Even before technology became embedded in the Common Core State Standards, teachers were being asked to make use of the Internet by having students do writing activities using different tools and modalities. Thoughtful technology integration, however, is no longer about just using a word processor or having students create a slide presentation at the end of a research project.
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Cleaner plate club: Kids eat more fruits, veggies at school
NBC News
Empty plates and half-eaten scraps on thousands of cafeteria trays offer the first tangible evidence that new federal standards on school meals are sprouting healthier eating habits, a new study claims. Based on before-and-after inspections of more than 1,000 trays at four schools in an "urban, low-income" district, students chose 23 percent more fruits and consumed 16 percent more vegetables after the U.S. Department of Agriculture updated its rules in 2012, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health reported.
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4 myths about parent involvement in middle school
MiddleWeb
Five or six different teachers. A labyrinth building. Lockers. New friends. Moving up to middle school can be overwhelming for parents and students alike. But it doesn't have to be. By increasing engagement, parents and their children will become more comfortable with middle school, sending student motivation and performance skyrocketing. Parents often have misconceptions about getting involved in middle school.
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Repair? Refresh? Recycle? Replace?
District Administration Magazine
Just five years ago, Chawanakee USD, a small rural district nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains in northern California, and the North Kansas City School District, a suburban district located just north of Kansas City, Mo., were at the starting lines of the digital revolution. The two districts were about to launch 1-to-1 laptop programs. For Chawanakee, that meant buying new MacBooks for the 280 students in the district's only high school. For North Kansas City, that meant leasing 7-inch HP mini laptops for its 6,000 high school students.
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The classroom as 'battlefield'
Psychology Today
A chilling feature article appeared in the Baltimore Sun on Feb. 16. The focus of the article was on worker's compensation for public employees. The article highlighted the fact that "hundreds of city educators whose violent and traumatic encounters with students have [sought] compensation for mental and physical injuries." Apparently, employees of the public schools are injured more frequently than those working for any other Baltimore city agency with the exception of police department employees. A vivid description is included of brutal attacks resulting in trauma and injury to the victims. During the past school year, there were 873 suspensions for physical attacks on staff.
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The Common Core debate
Connected Principals Blog (commentary)
William Parker, a contributor for Connected Principals Blog, writes: "Lately, a lot of controversy has arisen over the implementation of Common Core standards in U.S. public schools. A recent op-ed by George Will, and a resolution by the Oklahoma Republican Party calling for the end of Common Core demonstrate what a thorny political issue it has become in my own state. At the same time, as I read the arguments against Common Core, it seems like many of those speaking out are failing to grasp the real challenges public schools are facing."
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Virtual Judges Needed for eCYBERMISSION

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Teaching evaluation systems — Making education more effective
By: Archita Datta Majumdar
Training and education are the foundations for teachers' careers in their initial years. Their success and effective contribution to future generations happen only through a process of continuous improvement, which is through upgrades to their knowledge, enhanced teaching aids and objective feedback for their performance. Teaching cannot be static, and it is teachers who have to understand, accept and imbibe the change around them to incorporate the same in the way they teach. This adds to their experience and marks the efficacy of their methods, which are correctly scanned in the teaching evaluation systems.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Class size matters a lot, research shows (The Washington Post)
The Common Core is tough on kids with special needs (The Atlantic)
Online learning softens impact of snow days (District Administration Magazine)
Taking the temperature on school climate and discipline (Ed.gov Blog)
The side of learning disabilities no one considers (Psychology Today)

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


Why schools deny that bullying causes suicide
Psychology Today (commentary)
Izzy Kalman, the author and creator of the website Bullies2Buddies.com, writes: "I recently gave a presentation to a group of parents in a school where two weeks earlier a 15-year-old girl who had been cyberbullied committed suicide. Every one of these suicides breaks my heart because I know how easily they could have been prevented had the kids been taught properly how to handle being bullied."
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Why this bilingual education ban should have been repealed long ago
CNN (commentary)
In the mid-1990s, conditions were right for California to build the multilingual economy of the future. A slumping economy needed a boost. A remarkably multilingual population — including millions of Spanish speakers — was already in place. Bilingual education programs — pioneered and developed in Miami over the prior three decades — were already being established in school districts from San Diego to San Francisco. But in 1998, with globalization knocking ever more loudly on its door, Californians voted instead to pass a ballot measure known as Proposition 227 that imposed wide-reaching restrictions on bilingual education, effectively banning it.
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Children who are 'held back' may contribute to disruptive middle school environment
Medical News Today
When students repeat a grade, it can spell trouble for their classmates, according to a new Duke University-led study of nearly 80,000 middle-schoolers. In schools with high numbers of grade repeaters, suspensions were more likely to occur across the school community.

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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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Obama's 2015 budget: More early education funds, new Race to the Top
U.S. News & World Report
It's no coincidence that President Barack Obama chose to announce his budget for fiscal year 2015 at a local elementary school, according to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. The budget proposal requests a roughly 2 percent — or $1.3 billion — increase in discretionary appropriations for the Department of Education, including significant asks for new and existing programs to combat inequities in American education, expand early childhood education and strengthen support for teachers.
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Obama to propose Race to the Top for educational equity
Education Week
The Obama administration wants to focus the next round of the Race to the Top program on bolstering educational equity for disadvantaged students, according to sources. The administration's fiscal year 2015 budget proposal seeks a $300 million iteration of the administration's signature Race to the Top program aimed at enticing schools to close the achievement gap. It's unclear if the money would go to districts, states, or some combination.
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2015 education budget: What you need to know
ED.gov Blog
President Barack Obama's 2015 budget request reflects his belief not only that education is a top priority, but that America's public schools offer the clearest path to the middle class. Investing in education now will make us more competitive in the global economy tomorrow, and will help ensure equity of opportunity for every child. The administration's request for about $69 billion in discretionary appropriations represents an increase of nearly 2 percent over the previous year and slightly more than the 2012 discretionary level for education before the sequester.
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Ohio boy suspended for pointing finger like a gun. 'Zero tolerance' run amok?
The Christian Science Monitor
The suspension of an Ohio fifth-grader who formed his hand into the shape of a gun and pointed his finger "execution-style" at a classmate is fueling the debate over whether school administrators under pressure to keep schools safe are punishing students excessively for imaginative play. Officials at Devonshire Alternative Elementary School defended their decision to suspend 10-year-old Nathan Entingh, whose hand they designated as a "level 2 lookalike gun." Gun play at the school had become a problem, they said, and students and parents had been warned against it.
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Wendy Davis on education: 'We Texans have a different way of doing things'
The Huffington Post
Fresh from winning the Democratic nomination in the Texas governor's race, state Sen. Wendy Davis outlined her education platform at the SXSWedu conference, drawing a stark contrast with her Republican opponent, Attorney General Greg Abbott. "I've laid out a detailed platform ... I've been talking about it already to a great extent," Davis told reporters. "Greg Abbott in contrast to that is still defending indefensible cuts to our public school system. With his words he says that education is a priority, but with his actions he shows that it's not." Abbott's campaign could not immediately be reached for comment.
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Principals speak out at 2014 National Leaders Conference
NAESP
NAESP's annual National Leaders Conference, brings nearly 200 principals from across the country together to Washington, D.C., to engage with top education thought leaders and lawmakers. A key highlight of the conference, held Sunday, Feb. 23 to Tuesday, Feb. 25, was the launch of NAESP's 2014 advocacy agenda.
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NAESP election opens March 15
NAESP
This spring, eligible NAESP members will elect a new president-elect as well as directors for Zones 1, 2 and 8. Candidates were selected by the NAESP Nominating Committee on Jan. 24, 2014. The election will take place March 15 through April 15. Electronic ballots will be available on the NAESP website.
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