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Obama says too much testing makes education boring
The Associated Press via Google News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
President Barack Obama said that students should take fewer standardized tests and school performance should be measured in other ways than just exam results. Too much testing makes education boring for kids, he said. Obama, who is pushing a rewrite of the nation's education law that would ease some of its rigid measurement tools, said policymakers should find a test that "everybody agrees makes sense" and administer it in less pressure-packed atmospheres, potentially every few years instead of annually. More

Cheating on the hard work of school reform
Time (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Cheating in school became education topic number one, except this time it wasn't students cheating on tests — it was adults cheating for them. As part of a series, USA Today published an article strongly suggesting that teachers or administrators goosed student test score gains at an elementary and middle school in Washington, D.C. Since it was a school former D.C. chancellor Michelle Rhee had singled out for praise, the news created yet another battleground for Rhee combatants. The distraction is too bad because the focus on cheating offers — pardon the cliché — a teachable moment for parents and policymakers. More

Federal officials seek to reshape regional education labs
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Department of Education is set to launch a redesign of the nation's regional educational laboratories — right in the teeth of a budget fight to determine their future. The network of 10 geographically distributed labs, originally authorized in 1964, is one of the longest-running federal education research programs. The Institute of Education Sciences, the department's research arm, was expected to open bids for a new round of five-year contracts for the labs last week but ongoing Congressional budget debates have rendered the timing of the competition less certain. More

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Colorado schools are beginning to write off cursive handwriting
The Denver Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Twenty-three second-graders file into Virginia Edwards' technology classroom at Grant Ranch School, take a seat at their iMacs, pull on headphones and launch a program whose graphics and audio prompts teach them crucial keyboarding skills. Gradually, the staccato tapping of their fingers will supplant the graceful curves of what once stood as an academic rite of passage: Cursive handwriting. In an increasingly paperless world, and with ever-greater student performance demands in core subjects, state standards have gone silent on cursive. More

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Students learn about town's history through map making
The Boston Globe    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Third-graders in Needham, Mass., explored the geography and history of the town by making their own hand drawn maps that are currently being displayed around town, thanks to the Needham 300 Committee and a grant from the Needham Education Foundation. A program called Magic of Maps allowed the students to meet with a professional cartographer, who taught them about map making. More

The importance of teaching both behavior and academic skills
to children

Medical News Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
Despite popular belief, a new study published in the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions finds that students who have poor behavior in the classroom do not always have poor grades. Researchers from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, followed 350 students in seven at-risk schools over a 5-year period. They assessed both teacher perceptions of student behavior and academic achievement, as well as actual performance. More


Paperless classrooms closer to reality
The St. Petersburg Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Rebecca Sullivan's fifth-grade class has gone paperless or nearly so. For every little face, there is a little laptop. And for every little laptop, there is a slew of lessons, quizzes and games for students to complete digitally. Sullivan got the idea to completely wire her 22-pupil Bear Creek Elementary class last year, inspired by the Florida Pinellas County School District's move to a new real-time student information system accessible by all students, teachers and parents. More

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How and why: Student-centered learning environments
Edutopia (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Education in our middle schools and high schools these days is rapidly changing. The old notion of a classroom where the students are sitting quietly and neatly in their seats, while the teacher is up front pouring pearls of wisdom and knowledge into their brains is absurd. Reality in the 21st century is quite a different story. Students seem to know that once a teacher stands up in front of the room and starts "teaching," not only is their life going to get very boring very quickly, the end result will be that there will be more quizzes and tests to fail and more opportunities to end up feeling dumber and dumber. More

Education aid caught in budget debate crossfire
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As Congress faces an April 8 deadline to come up with a spending bill for the rest of the federal fiscal year, education advocates, states, and school districts remain anxious about what — and how much — may end up being cut from K-12 aid in any final deal. Congressional GOP leaders and the Obama administration have shown sharply contrasting views on education spending throughout the current budget drama, which so far has resulted in six stopgap spending measures and billions of dollars in cuts, including $750 million from the U.S. Department of Education's discretionary budget. More

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US House reinstates DC school voucher program
The Associated Press via Yahoo News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. House of Representatives voted to reinstate school vouchers for District of Columbia students, reviving the only program that uses federal tax dollars to subsidize private-school tuition. The bill introduced by Republican House Speaker John Boehner would provide up to $12,000 a year for needy students to attend private schools of their choice. It was approved 225-195, largely along party lines. Democrats opposed it as an inappropriate use of federal funds and an unwelcome intrusion into local affairs. More

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Districts divide on Race to Top, but share goals
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A pair of Ohio school districts, a short drive down Interstate 70 from each other, share similar goals. Each wants to improve student achievement by strengthening curriculum and instruction and giving teachers and principals the tools to make it happen. But the Huber Heights and Brookville school systems diverge in their approach to meeting those targets in one important respect: One of them elected to take part in the federal Race to the Top initiative, while the other did not. The experiences of the two districts, located outside Dayton, reflect the challenges that school systems in Ohio and other winning Race to the Top states are likely to face in the years ahead. More


Partnerships lead to more after-school programs
The Salt Lake Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As a single father whose wife passed away in 2008, Neptali Soto finds the YMCA Community Family Center in Taylorsville, Utah, invaluable. He drops his two children off at the center, next to their school, early each morning before his workday begins and picks them up late each afternoon after it ends. At the center, they can read, do homework, play and participate in activities such as cooking and college planning. More

Minnesota GOP passes sweeping education overhaul
Minneapolis Star Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Republican legislators in the Minnesota House passed a sweeping education bill that challenges core principles of how the state funds schools and treats teachers. The bill would increase the state's per-pupil funding levels while nixing integration money destined for the Twin Cities and freezing special education spending. It also is packed with a host of controversial policy changes that Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton wanted stripped from the bill, setting up a near-certain veto. More

Georgia Students Gain With Lexia

Hall County, Georgia, schools scored 38% higher on state testing after using Lexia Reading web-enabled software. Lexia can dramatically improve your students’ reading skills.

Proposed Pennsylvania law would give local school boards more freedom to award charters
The Philadelphia Inquirer    Share    Share
on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Legislation introduced in the Pennsylvania Senate would give school districts more freedom to convert public schools to charters and set up a new state oversight board. The proposal would also tighten ethics and financial oversight regulations for charter school management. The bill, introduced by Sen. Jeffrey Piccola, R-Dauphin, Education Committee chairman, is among education-related legislation introduced since January by Republicans seeking to use their control of both legislative houses and the governorship to further an agenda that seeks to expand alternatives to regular public schools. More

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NAESP's Annual Convention and Exposition kicks off next week!
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
NAESP's Annual Convention and Exposition kicks off next week! Be sure to be there for some great networking and the chance to learn from the experts. You can register ahead or on-site and attend the whole event or just one day. More


Are you making the most of your NAESP membership?
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Don't forget that through your membership, you have access to voluntary insurance programs, including discounted life, personal, health, sickness and accident insurance plans. Administered by Forrest T. Jones & Company, these optional benefits include a wide variety of affordable insurance plans from top-rated carriers as well as other valuable programs. More




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Bring the World to Your School with Educational Seminars!

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

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