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Text Version   RSS   Subscribe   Unsubscribe   Archive   Media Kit March 17, 2015

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


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Schools overcoming homeless hurdles
District Administration Magazine
A homeless student in Delaware last year spent about three hours a day riding back and forth to school in taxi cabs — at a cost to the Delmar School District of more than $10,000. The 2,000-student district did not support the arrangement, but it was settled on after school officials, the student and a social worker held "best-interest" meetings mandated by the federal McKinney-Vento Act. The law, among other requirements, gives homeless students who have been relocated outside the district the right to be transported to their home schools.
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Why some schools serve local food and others can't (or won't)
NPR
For many years, if a public school district wanted to serve students apples or milk from local farmers, it could face all kinds of hurdles. Schools were locked into strict contracts with distributors, few of whom saw any reason to start bringing in local products. Those contracts also often precluded schools from working directly with local farmers. But buying local got easier with federal legislation in 2008, and then again in 2010, when the U.S. Department of Agriculture created the Farm to School program to get more healthful food in schools and link smaller U.S. farmers with a steady market of lunch rooms.
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Despite opt-outs, PARCC testing numbers soar
U.S. News & World Report
Despite a growing number of students refusing to take Common Core-aligned exams this spring, a record number of tests are being completed, according to data from one of the two main testing consortia. The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers consortium — which began testing in eight states and the District of Columbia last month — said more than 2 million tests had been completed. Louisiana, Massachusetts and Rhode Island will also be deploying PARCC exams soon. In total, PARCC expects 5 million students will take its exam this year, the consortium said.
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Teaching the Next Generation Science Standards with 'mysteries'
Education Week
In a packed session, a professor who helped lead the development of the Next Generation Science Standards, described the new standards as "a shift from learning about something to figuring out something." Brian J. Reiser, a professor of learning sciences at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., who was introduced as "the godfather of NGSS," offered this example: "NGSS does not ask you to explain photosynthesis, NGSS asks you to explain how a tree gets all its stuff."
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The 5 keys to successful comprehensive assessment in action
Edutopia
Assessment is the key to good instruction. It shows us what students know and allows us to adjust our instruction. Assessment is tied to learning goals and standards, but students must own the assessment process as well, as they must be able to articulate what and how they are being assessed — and its value. But what does this look like in a unit of instruction?
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Sleeping to improve STEM education
The Journal
A new multidisciplinary project from the University of Arizona will encourage elementary students to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and math by involving them in research involving their own sleep patterns. With funding from the National Science Foundation, two researchers have instigated the "Sleep Education Program To Improve STEM Education in Elementary School," otherwise known as the "Z-Factor." Along the way, the project will address a real-world issue, sleep insufficiency, and its health consequences.
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How compatible are Common Core and technology?
The Hechinger Report
Technology is in every room at P.S. 101 in Brooklyn — it's even in the hallways. Scan the QR code with your phone outside of the fourth-grade classroom of co-teachers Vanessa Desiano and Jamie Coccia and a video will pop up of a student giving a history presentation on early explorers. Step inside, and fourth-grade students are working together to discover the themes of chapter 13 in their latest book, "The Birchbark House," and typing what they find on iPads.
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Rural district meets speech language pathologist shortage
eSchool News
In rural southern Mississippi, finding enough qualified speech-language professionals to fully serve a growing population of students with speech and language delays can be problematic. Stone County School District in Wiggins, Miss., employs three speech-language professionals: two fully certified, Master's level speech-language professionals who are responsible for higher-level activities such as full evaluations, reporting and leading IEP meetings, and one speech-language professional with a Bachelor's degree and who can perform a more limited set of therapy activities as regulated by law.
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Instructional coaches ease Common Core transition
District Administration Magazine
Districts in the midst of Common Core implementation are increasingly turning to instructional coaches to help teachers master the new skills needed. Administrators say these coaches, whose positions were cut in many districts during the recession, are now a valuable investment for time-strapped principals working to ensure schools are transitioning smoothly to the new standards.
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Minority children may benefit most from school-day exercise
Medical News Today
Racial/ethnic minority children residing in low-resource areas of Missouri may benefit the most from school-based opportunities for moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, suggests a new study from researchers at Washington University School of Medicine and St Louis Public Schools. As part of their study, researchers measured the MVPA heart rate of urban public elementary school children in Missouri on school days with and school days without PE class by using continuous heart rate monitoring. The heart rate of 81 students (93.8 percent black) in grades 3 and 5 was recorded in 15-second intervals. On the basis of 575 school-day observations, students accumulated 44.4 minutes of MVPA on days with PE and 30.6 MVPA minutes on days without PE.
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When students can't go online
The Atlantic
Tim Berners-Lee, the British scientist credited with the creation of the Internet, insists that access to the World Wide Web should be recognized as a basic human right. Using that logic, if education is, as the UN states, "a passport to human development," then Internet access is a right that should be extended to all schools. In America, that goal has largely been achieved. Currently, 99 percent of America's K-12 public schools and libraries are somehow connected to the web, in large part thanks to the Federal Communications Commission's congressionally mandated "E-Rate" program, which went into effect in 1998.
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Digital learning success is about more than the technology
EdTech Magazine (commentary)
Matt Renwick, an elementary school principal in Wisconsin, writes: "Across the world on Friday, educators celebrated Digital Learning Day by sharing the strategies that have worked in the classroom. Technology’s role in schools includes connecting the informational dots, capturing and reflecting on student artifacts and helping teachers personalize their approaches."
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Why some parents are sitting kids out of tests (NPR)
What educators need to know about the 'cloud' in K-12 (Education World)
Surveillance vs. supervision: Understanding the difference (K-12TechDecisions)
Twitter 101: 5-step guide for social media in education (Edudemic)
Telling or teaching? Knowing when it's right to 'give a fish' (By Pamela Hill)

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




Obama seeks more federal money for education
USA Today
President Barack Obama said the nation's schools are improving, but need more federal money to keep pace. "The challenge that we face is that this is a monumental task and it requires resources," Obama told reporters at the White House. The president spoke briefly after meeting with a group of superintendents, board members, and educators from some of the nation's largest school districts.
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Advocates, states take a bite out of school nutrition law
U.S. News & World Report
The days of mystery meat and soda-dispensing vending machines may be gone, but that doesn't mean that the new era of school meals and snacks hasn't come without its own challenges. Nutrition guidelines for schools, which have gradually gone into effect since Congress passed the Michelle Obama-backed Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act in 2010, can be logistically and financially difficult for already strapped district budgets.
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New York City elementary school eliminates homework
The Huffington Post
A public elementary school in New York City has stopped giving its students homework, DNAinfo reports. P.S. 116 Principal Jane Hsu wrote a letter to parents last month detailing the decision, explaining that after more than a year of analyzing studies, the school had concluded that students' after-school time would be better spent on activities like reading at their own pace and playing rather than working on class assignments. Hsu's letter says that many studies indicate that there is no connection between homework and academic success. Indeed, there are some studies that show that the link between homework and success is dubious at the primary school level.
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2015 NAESP election results are in
NAESP
The NAESP Election Audit Board met on Friday, March 13, to certify the ballot count as received from the independent electronic voting provider for the election. The results have been posted on NAESP's website, listing the winners of each office. We appreciate the commitment of all the candidates for office and congratulate those who will serve on the NAESP Board of Directors, effective July 1.
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Leveraging social media in the elementary classroom
NAESP
Principal Debbie Marsh writes: "At South Elementary School in Mooresville, North Carolina, we used the 100th day of school last year to explore technological advances. In our school's media center, we erected a technology museum highlighting the evolution of everyday items that enable us to communicate electronically, listen to music, watch movies and play games. Exhibits examined the progression from manual typewriters to laptops, rotary phones to smart phones, 16 mm. projectors to interactive whiteboards, and vinyl record players to iPods."
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