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



Bipartisan group backs common school curriculum
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
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A bipartisan group of educators and business and labor leaders announces their support for a common curriculum that states could adopt for public schools across the nation. The proposal, if it gains traction, would go beyond the common academic standards in English and mathematics that about 40 states adopted last year, by providing specific guidelines for schools and teachers about what should be taught in each grade. More



Officials reduce education budgets, challenge teachers' job security
Bloomberg    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
U.S. public-school teachers are facing the biggest challenge to their job security in more than half a century as politicians target seniority rules that make the last hired the first fired when jobs are cut. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a Democrat, and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an independent, are among officials pushing for changes in laws in coming months to let them fire underperforming teachers. As budget cuts threaten the jobs of thousands of school employees, officials are demanding the right to keep the most talented, even if they're the least experienced. More



Making science elementary
The Boston Globe    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
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Elementary schools in Boston and nationwide, are struggling to figure out how to schedule enough science instruction in a six-hour school day packed with reading, math and writing lessons. At the elementary-school level, science often takes a back seat to subjects tied to federal and state accountability measures, despite a renewed national focus and a new science graduation requirement in Massachusetts. More

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Global learning scales up
District Administration    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Becoming more global is a familiar refrain for many a school administrator or curriculum developer wrestling with delivering 21st century skills. Over the past decade, districts have expanded their foreign language programs, added Mandarin Chinese to the mix and in some cases launched language immersion classes in their elementary schools. More

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Survey: Districts lack STEM funding, professional development
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Though STEM educators highly value technology's presence and potential in the classroom, they cited a lack of funding and professional development for teachers as two major roadblocks in creating 21st century classrooms in their districts, according to a new survey from research and consulting firm Interactive Educational Systems Design. More

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Counting calories
The Gazette    Share    Share on
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The lunch menu at Rolling Terrace Elementary School in Takoma Park, Md., featured either a whole grain soft taco with corn or a hot dog with baked beans. It also included another ingredient: Calorie counts of each item. Maryland lawmakers are considering legislation that would require all public schools, beginning next year, to publish on their lunch menus the number of calories in each product. More

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School budget advice from the nation's top education official
Contra Costa Times via San Jose Mercury News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said governors from across the nation have sought his advice as they try to make difficult funding reductions in schools. To help out what he called "one of the largest new crops of incoming governors," Duncan sent a letter and two documents to states, outlining flexible spending options and "Smart Ideas to Increase Educational Productivity and Student Achievement." More



Senate democrats' new budget plan would restore education funding
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Senate democrats countered the House Republicans' budget cutting with a proposal that would increase funding for Title I, restore money for the Striving Readers program, and extend Race to the Top. The measure introduced by U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, would fund the federal government, including the U.S. Department of Education, through the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. Overall, it would cut about $51 billion below what President Barack Obama wanted for fiscal year 2011. More

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New school reform empowers parents, but so does 'No Child'
Chicago Sun-Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Just as the nation is looking toward Wisconsin to discern the future of collective bargaining in that state and beyond, so the eyes of the nation are fixed on Compton, Calif., where the future of parents' will in their child's education is playing out. At issue is the "parent trigger" law, a recent bit of California state legislation that gives parents the power to to force their kids' school to take drastic action if the school is classified as low-performing and fails to meet federal academic standards for three consecutive years. More



Oklahoma Legislature may eliminate state Board of Education as it exists today
The Oklahoman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Oklahoma would be in a class by itself if lawmakers approve a plan to remove the six appointed members of the state Education Board and replace them with statewide officials. Senate Bill 435 would eliminate the appointed positions and replace them with the governor, attorney general and secretary of state. Every state in the nation but two — Minnesota and Wisconsin — have governing boards that oversee their education departments and often regulate local school districts. More


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Gov. Christie wants to grade the teachers
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A task force created by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie proposed a teacher evaluation system based on a combination of test scores, personal observation and school-wide performance. The system would help set teacher compensation and award tenure. The report also suggested methods for rating principals, grading them on student test scores and their ability to retain good teachers while purging bad ones. More

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New York teacher layoffs would raise class sizes still more
The Associated Press via The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to take more than 6,000 teachers off the payroll to help balance a strained budget, some parent advocates are questioning what the layoffs will do to New York public school class sizes. The proposed cuts, combined with attrition over the last two years, would take roughly one in eight teachers out of the city's public schools and could swell classes to an average of 24 to 29 kids, depending on grade level — far outstripping the national public school average. More

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Texans duel over millions in school funding
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As Texas schools scrounge for cash to buy supplies and threaten to lay off teachers, $830 million in education funding earmarked for the state is sitting at the federal Department of Education. The money, part of the stimulus package passed last year by Congress to help U.S. schools, is trapped by an increasingly hostile battle between the state's Republican and democratic politicians over how to use it — to the dismay of school districts facing an almost $10 billion shortfall in state aid. More



Upcoming application deadline for ASCA Honor Council Excellence Award
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For more than 20 years, the American Student Council Association (ASCA) has recognized student councils across the nation for making a difference in their schools and communities. The ASCA Honor Council Excellence Award recognizes student councils for outstanding participation in the following areas: community service, student leadership, citizenship and school spirit. All schools that complete an application receive a certificate, and participating schools will be announced on the NAESP website. Applications must be postmarked by March 21! More

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Concussions don't only happen to athletes on the playing field
CDC    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
That's why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and NAESP, as well as several other distinguished organizations encourage school professionals to use new the "Heads Up to Schools: Know Your Concussion ABCs" materials. CDC created this flexible set of materials to help school professionals identify and respond to concussions in an array of school settings. For tips on how to use these materials, and to order or download these free, easy-to-use, materials, visit the CDC online. More

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Last chance to save on annual convention hotel reservations!
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Joining our nationwide network of elementary and middle-level principals at the 2011 NAESP Annual Convention in Tampa, Fla.? Make sure you have a place to stay! The last day to make new lodging reservations through our website at the special discounted Convention rate is March 10. After March 10, you will need to contact the hotels directly. 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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