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



How educators can use social media to make their voices heard in budget debates
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With 34 states making yet another wave of budget cuts in K-12 education, school children and their families are increasingly vulnerable as the Great Recession leaves the social safety net in tatters. Soon, even more public school employees will likely join the ranks of the unemployed. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 44 states plus the District of Columbia are eliminating, freezing or cutting their workforces. States and school districts are also mandating time off without pay, increasing insurance co-pays and enacting a host of other stringent cost-cutting measures. More



Public employees rush to retire
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Public employees are retiring at a quickening pace around the U.S., providing a mixed blessing for state and local governments seeking to save money. The retirements mean employers can shelve some planned layoffs. And some of the departing workers, generally more senior and higher paid, are being replaced by lower-paid employees with less-generous retirement benefits, government officials say. But the loss of veterans threatens to erode the quality of public services that make communities attractive, they say. More



'Curriculum' definition raises red flags
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Calls for shared curriculum for the common standards have triggered renewed debates about who decides what students learn, and even about varied meanings of the word "curriculum," adding layers of complexity to the job of translating the broad learning goals into classroom teaching. The most recent calls for common curriculum came from the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the Albert Shanker Institute, a think tank named after the late AFT leader. Many others are working on pieces of that puzzle—an array of instructional resources for states, districts, and teachers. But the calls for "shared" or "common" curricula have sparked particularly heated conversations. More

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Why does US fail in science education?
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A major reason for poor U.S. science test scores is the huge gap between students in affluent and poor school districts, which is often reflected in racial disparities in scores. Jack Buckley, commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics in Washington, D.C., said American student rankings look very different when white and black students' scores are considered separately. More

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Nutrition is elementary in No Kid Hungry
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Every morning, children at hundreds of Los Angeles schools start their day hungry, making it tough to learn much or to get through the morning without a trip to the nurse with headaches or belly pains. That doesn't happen at Rosencrans Elementary School in Compton, Calif., where breakfast is the first subject. At the start of school, children designated from each room come to the Rosencrans cafeteria to get a rolling cooler — filled one with beef sausage on English muffins, milk and apples. More

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Libraries shifting materials from print to digital, educators are seeing the wisdom
THE Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For Hackley School in Tarrytown, N.Y., the decision to make the switch from print to digital library resources came in a flash. In mid-2007, the school's 100-year-old library building burned to the ground after being struck by lightning. No one was injured in the early morning blaze, but the library's extensive reference collection wasn't so fortunate. More

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Investigating the ethics and values of K-12 sports in 2011
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Coaches ranked as the No. 1 positive influence on today's student-athletes, according to a recent report released by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. The report also uncovered some troubling findings regarding young athletes, role models and cheating. More



US education secretary calls for overhaul of No Child Left Behind
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Arne Duncan, speaking in Los Angeles, urges Congress to rewrite the law to measure how much students improve on standardized tests. He also says Los Angeles school management and teachers union leaders should negotiate a new contract that bolsters teacher evaluations. More

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Christie confident state Supreme Court will side with him on education funding
NorthJersey.com    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Gov. Chris Christie said he is confident the administration will be able to convince the New Jersey Supreme Court it doesn't have the money to fully fund the state's school-funding law. "My view is we're going to win in the Supreme Court," Christie said. "The state government can't print money," he said. The governor was responding to a judge's ruling that said the state is not fully funding the school funding law, and the shortfall has caused some schools to fall short of the state constitution's guarantee of a "thorough and efficient" education for all students. More


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Pennsylvania bills to reduce school mandates introduced
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Pennsylvania's Senate education chairs unveiled a package of bills that they say would reduce mandates on school districts and give them flexibility in dealing with the governor's proposed budget cuts. The 18 measures, among other provisions, would change bidding requirements for construction projects, remove a special certification required for hiring school nurses, halt a requirement for professional development for two years and tie teacher furlough decisions to performance instead of seniority. More

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Ohio schools must adjust to less money, Kasich official tells lawmakers
The Columbus Dispatch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Ohio schools are looking at potentially significant funding cuts over the next two years, but Gov. John Kasich's top education adviser told lawmakers that doesn't mean they should have to increase class sizes or head to the ballot for new tax revenue. Robert Sommers, director of the Office of 21st Century Education, testified for more than two hours about the governor's education plans, which include a major expansion of vouchers and charter schools, a new way to evaluate school districts and a new process for parents to take over failing schools. More

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Pre- kindergarten gets results, despite budget woes in Florida
Orlando Sentinel    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
article
Florida youngsters who took part in the state's pre- kindergarten program were more prepared for kindergarten when school started in August than children who did not, recent state figures show. The first graduates of Florida's preschool program also did somewhat better on key third-grade FCAT exams last year than students who were not enrolled, according to data from the Florida Department of Education. Florida's Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten Program has been hit hard by state budget cuts in recent years and criticized by national experts for operating on the cheap. But advocates say it has still managed to improve early learning skills for a growing number of youngsters. More

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81 percent of kindergartners ready to learn in Maryland
The Baltimore Sun    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Nearly a decade after the state pushed to have full-day kindergarten and more high-quality early childhood programs, an annual survey shows that 81 percent of the Maryland's kindergartners have the academic and social skills they will need to be successful in school. The state's Ready to Learn report shows a 32 percentage-point jump in the past decade in the number of children ready when they enter kindergarten. More



The Principals' Buyers Guide — Check it out for your school's needs
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Be ahead of the game by looking for the products, goods and services your school needs in NAESP's Principal' Buyers Guide. It's the ultimate online resource for any principal. More

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2011 NAESP Annual Convention & Exposition is almost here!
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The April 7-10 Convention offers everything you need to become a more effective leader. You'll experience inspirational general session speakers, topical plenary sessions and extended learning workshops covering all facets of leadership, transforming school culture, school teams, and more, as well as new opportunities to network and collaborate with your peers. More

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Deadline for the Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Thailand educator exchanges: March 28, 2011.


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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