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What the US can learn from global education systems
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United States policy makers and educators should look to high-performing global education systems for valuable lessons as they seek to develop systems that improve teacher and school leader effectiveness, according to a new report from the Alliance for Excellent Education and the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education. The report comes in advance of the International Summit on the Teaching Profession, hosted by the U.S. Department of Education and designed to engage countries around the globe in an intensive discussion about promising practices for recruiting, preparing, developing, supporting, retaining, evaluating and compensating world-class teachers. More



Gail Connelly, executive director of the NAESP, on Florida's tough new principal standards
St. Petersburg Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As a part of Senate Bill 736, Florida lawmakers imposed tougher standards on school principal evaluations alongside several changes for teacher contracts. Many observers have said that principals are key to school success, and improving their evaluations could lead to better performance all around. Gail Connelly, executive director of the National Association of Elementary School Principals, gave her perspective on the pending changes during an interview with reporter Jeff Solochek. More

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Summer programs boost achievement during school year
Boston Business Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A report released shows that students immersed in literacy classes during the summer gain ground in reading proficiency. The Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care commissioned the study, which showed that 85 percent of the children who participated in a model program were able to maintain what they had learned over summer break and were prepared for classes in the fall. More

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The search for a new way to test students
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Although the troubles with standardized testing are rare, problems and other glitches happen often enough that they are prompting educators nationwide to reconsider the basic principles of the USA's massive school testing infrastructure, a $1.1 billion system that increasingly steers the ship of public schools. More

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Retention revisited: Can staying back move students forward?
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In a new study, Early Grade Retention and Student Success: Evidence from Los Angeles, released by the Public Policy Institute of California, researchers reassessed the ability of retention to help failing students reach proficiency in math and English. Retention, which is a tactic that involves requiring students to repeat entire grade levels, has been criticized in the past as it has been regarded as ineffective in the long-term and emotionally distressing for students and parents. More

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How does media multitasking make kids feel?
KQED    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The effects of multitasking on the brain and the way we're wired has been the subject of countless studies, radio shows and articles. But a new study soon to be released explores the social and emotional effects of media multitasking on kids. Stanford professor Roy Pea presented some intriguing findings of a survey of more than 3,400 girls age 8 to 12 at the Digital Media & Learning Conference. More

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Bill Gates turns attention toward teacher improvement
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Bill Gates shook up the battle against AIDS in Africa by applying results-oriented business metrics to the effort. Now, he is trying to do the same in the tricky world of evaluating and compensating teachers. The Microsoft Corp. co-founder has moved on from a $2 billion bet on high-school reform—much of it spent on breaking up big, failing high schools to replace them with smaller ones. Now, he is venturing that improving teacher effectiveness is the key to fixing broken schools. More


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Can anyone change No Child Left Behind?
TIME (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Obama Administration is doubling down on its push to overhaul the federal No Child Left Behind Act. On March 16, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan testified before Congress and aggressively urged action to revise the landmark and contentious education law that was passed in 2001. President Barack Obama recently began with a speech at a northern Virginia middle school urging Congress to act and then spent time cutting several radio interviews prodding Capitol Hill even more. More

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New urban playbook: Hand over schools to charter operators
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The financially embattled Detroit school system has announced a controversial plan to turn nearly a third of the district's 141 schools over to charter operators or education-management organizations by next school year. Officials say their only other option is to close dozens of low-performing schools. If the plan to hand 41 schools over to outside managers is approved by the school board, the 73,000-student Detroit district will be borrowing a page from the same playbook that a growing number of large urban districts seem to be using. More

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School district addresses concern over health of young students
Reno Gazette Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The quest for fitness at an early age in recent years is a much-visited topic, and the core of various national initiatives in the United States as statistics about childhood obesity become more startling. There are a pair of programs in Washoe County, Nev., however, that manifest this heightened concern over the health of younger children. The goal is not only to promote an attitude among youth to prioritize fitness, but to also bolster self-esteem and, consequently, better performance in the classroom, said Leslie Shults, a physical education and math teacher at Billinghurst Middle School in Reno, Nev. More

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Parents opt out of standardized tests
CNN    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It's the time of year when elementary school students across the country are taking standardized tests. But, parents of nine students at Park Forest Elementary in State College, Pa., are opting out of the testing for their children. The parents say the testing is too stressful and found a loophole in the state's rules that allowed them to opt out. More

Wisconsin judge temporarily blocks implementation of law curtailing public worker union rights
The Associated Press via The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The monthlong saga over Gov. Scott Walker's plan to drastically curb collective bargaining rights for public workers in Wisconsin took a turn that could force a dramatic rebooting of the entire legislative process. A judge temporarily blocked the law from taking effect, raising the possibility that the Legislature may have to vote again to pass the bill that attracted protests as large as 85,000 people, motivated Senate Democrats to escape to Illinois for three weeks and made Wisconsin the focus of the national fight over union rights. But Walker's spokesman and Republican legislative leaders indicated they would press on with the court battle rather than consider passing the bill again. More

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Businesses push to use state's assessment system in teacher reviews
The Boston Globe    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Business leaders, worried that Massachusetts is falling behind other states in boosting teacher quality, are pushing for teacher evaluations to be based at least 50 percent on their students' Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System scores and other student achievement data — a move strongly opposed by teacher unions. Setting such a standard would put Massachusetts in line with states such as Colorado, Tennessee and Louisiana that have passed legislation in the past year requiring evaluations based on the 50 percent benchmark. More

Evaluation of Washington, DC, teachers is a delicate conversation
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Washington, D.C.'s, new teacher evaluation system is becoming a national model, even as unions and some experts question the wisdom of staking careers on it. And in the moment when school reform meets the teachers expected to carry it out, master educators observe teachers in class — and then have a conference that can end careers. More



Avoid voting delays in April's NAESP board of directors elections
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The 2011 NAESP board of directors election is scheduled for April 11 - May 10. Eligible members (active, institutional active, emeritus and life members) will vote for NAESP's president-elect and directors for Zone 1, Zone 2 and Zone 8. You will need to log in to the NAESP website to access the ballot. If you have never logged in to www.naesp.org, take a moment to do it in advance of the election notification. More

Save by bringing a School Staff Team to the convention
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
NAESP members are eligible to bring two additional staff members from their school at a special team rate or bring a School Staff Team and receive further discounts. To qualify, complete the registration form (Note: Each attendee must work at the same school as the primary registrant). School Team registration is only available by mail or fax. Please see registration form for details. 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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