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Political, legal fights over school vouchers' fate
The Associated Press via Google News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Students like Delano Coffy are at the heart of brewing political fights and court battles over whether public dollars should go to school vouchers to help make private schools more affordable. He was failing in his neighborhood public elementary school in Indianapolis until his mother enrolled him in a Roman Catholic school. More

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More educators view cloud computing as energy-saving option
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
An annual survey of different industries, including K-12 and higher education, reveals that attention to energy efficiency and "green" computing is increasing — although barriers such as cost still prevent complete implementation in some cases. The fourth installment of CDW-G's annual Energy Efficient IT Report changes course slightly in order to identify solutions that survey respondents said offer the most potential in energy efficiency, taking into account their cost, support requirements, and technical feasibility. The survey included about 152 respondents from each of several industries: the business/nonprofit sector, the federal government, state and local government, higher education and K-12 education. More



Teaching of STD, pregnancy prevention stalling in schools
MyHealthNewsDaily via Fox News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Schools have made little progress in recent years in teaching students about preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, according to one measure of the teaching of these subjects detailed in a new government report. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at the percentage of middle schools and high schools in a state that teach specific topics related to HIV, STDs and pregnancy prevention in a course that students are required to take. The topics include how HIV and other STDs are diagnosed and treated, how to prevent HIV and other STDs, and the benefits of being sexually abstinent. More

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What kids should know about their own brains
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Neuroscience may seem like an advanced subject of study, perhaps best reserved for college or even graduate school. Two researchers from Temple University in Philadelphia propose that it be taught earlier, however — much earlier. As in first grade. In a study published in this month's issue of the journal Early Education and Development, psychologists Peter Marshall and Christina Comalli began by surveying children aged 4 to 13 to discover what they already knew about the brain. Previous research had found that elementary school pupils typically have a limited understanding of the brain and how it functions, believing it to be something like "a container for storing memories and facts." More

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The homework trap and what to do about it
The Washington Post (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
There are many parents whose major concern is not public policy but what will happen at home tonight. They are not Tiger Moms, but ordinary parents who simply want the best for their children. These parents start out with the full intention of supporting the teachers and their children's schools. Yet, something goes wrong along the way as they and their children fall into a homework trap. The problem starts in elementary school. The notes come home, and the parents get "the call." They meet with the teacher and make plans to make sure everyone is on the same page. Before long, the cast of characters grows. By middle school, there are several teachers, the disciplinarian and the nurse, all fretting over what these children do not do. Their parents feel pressured to oversee their work, as they also feel criticized as if they've done something wrong. More



Parental engagement proves no easy goal
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Few would quarrel with the goal of increasing parents' and families' engagement in education in the name of school improvement. But there's far less consensus on what that engagement should look like — and on how educators and policymakers should be promoting it. Those questions are evident in the federal No Child Left Behind Act, which requires thousands of schools receiving Title I aid to set aside a portion of that money for family-engagement activities. The Obama administration, among others, would like to boost the amount of money devoted to parental outreach in reauthorizing the law, the current version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. More

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MPAA changes 'Bully' rating to PG-13
msnbc    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The filmmaker and studio behind documentary "Bully" won their battle to have the movie's rating lowered, allowing kids as young as 13 years-old to see it. Director Lee Hirsch said he was able to keep a key scene in the anti-bullying film for which he lobbied hard, but he edited out three uses of one certain word to appease the group that rates movies based on language, sex, violence and other content. "I'm just glad that we held strong. I think this is a great resolution," Hirsch told Reuters about his and distributor The Weinstein Co.'s battle with the Motion Picture Association of America's ratings board. More

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Study: Treating dyslexia before kids learn to read
HealthDay News via U.S. News & World Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Treatment for dyslexia can begin even before children start learning to read, a new study suggests. Researchers from Italy found that the learning disability may be linked to problems with children's visual attention. They said their findings could lead to earlier diagnosis and new treatments for those with the condition. "Visual attention deficits are surprisingly way more predictive of future reading disorders than are language abilities at the pre-reading stage," Andrea Facoetti, of the University of Padua, said in a journal news release. More

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The importance of teaching mindfulness
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Think of sitting quietly in a spartan room. There are no TVs, computers, smartphones, books, magazines or music. If you're like most people, this probably sounds like a recipe for boredom. In our culture, we avoid moments of "not-doing" because we don't associate boredom with having any value. And our aversion to boredom and not-doing have been amplified in our hyper-connected age. It's been said that the currency of the Net is attention. As connectivity penetrates the furthest reaches of our lives, all of us, but schools in particular, need to treat attention as a skill to be cultivated. More

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Experts warn against caffeinated energy drinks for young athletes
USA Football    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Athletes often look for a quick boost to gain an edge. Some — including youth players whose bodies can't handle the elevated levels of caffeine — are turning to caffeinated energy drinks to provide a burst prior to practices and games. This is a short-sighted and sometimes dangerous approach, said St. Vincent Sports Performance sports dietician Lindsay Langford. A proper diet and adequate hydration provide young athletes all the energy they need. Caffeinated energy drinks increase heart rate and can lead to an irregular heartbeat, Langford said. More

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Collaborating to make schools more inclusive
Harvard Education Letter    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Bill Henderson has long been a pioneer of inclusion for students with special needs. In 1989, he took the helm of the Patrick O'Hearn Elementary School in Boston and transformed it into one of the first fully inclusive schools in the country, nationally renowned for its diversity and high academic performance. "When I think of inclusion, I am thinking specifically of kids with and without disabilities learning together and from each other. It doesn't have to be 100 percent of the time. It doesn't mean they are doing all the same things all the time, but they belong to the same group. They are in the same general education classroom for kids with a wide range of abilities. They can go out for physical therapy or Braille training, but their class is Room 103 or the second-grade class for kids with and without disabilities." More

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How much does blended learning cost?
THE Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Many public schools are running to implement blended learning out of the belief that it will save them money. In this time of bleak budgets, who can blame them? Schools need to do whatever they can to continue to operate and provide a decent education for their students. State policymakers are similarly attracted to the notion of blended learning. Many eagerly wonder how much blended learning costs so that they can begin to reap some true savings from their education budgets for the other pressing obligations that are bearing down on state governments. And then the question arrives. How much does blended learning cost? More

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In the digital age, welcoming cellphones in the class
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Since early 2001, every school accepting federal funding for discounted Internet access through the government's E-rate program had to do two things — block "harmful" sites and create an Acceptable Use Policy. The mantra of schools back then was pretty simple: Keep it out. The standard approach to this government mandate, the Children's Internet Protection Act, was to build the equivalent of walls, fences, and moats to keep kids from the Web. More



What would big, giant proposed cuts mean for your K-12 program?
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
So if Congress doesn't stop the big, giant across the board cuts to set to hit (almost) every education program under the sun next January, what would that mean for you? The Committee for Education Funding, an uber-lobbying coalition, has taken a stab at answering that question. CEF put out a series of very helpful charts estimating what would happen if the planned cuts, which were put into law under a deal to raise the debt ceiling last August, go through. The cuts, which could be as high as 9.1 percent, are known inside-the-beltway as "sequestration." More

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USDA official pushes new school meal plan
Nebraska Public Radio    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A top official with the U.S. Department of Agriculture is touting new federal guidelines designed to make meals served in schools in Nebraska and nationwide more nutritious. Kevin Concannon, undersecretary for food, nutrition and consumer sciences, says changes taking effect July 1 will increase federal dollars provided for the school meals program. "We see this as a major opportunity, not only to help children have access to nutritious food every day, but it can also — in schools — take some of the pressure off the households and people who may be struggling in this economy," Concannon says. More



14 of 20 largest districts report no bullying, harassment
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Analyzing new data from the federal Education Department, the American Association of University Women has found that 14 of the 20 largest school districts in the nation reported no incidences of bullying or harassment. In particular, the report found that the districts reported no allegations of sexual harassment, no disciplinary actions as a result of bullying or harassment on the basis of sex, or no students who reported being bullied or harassed on the basis of sex. More

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At Texas schools, making do on a shoestring
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
School buses passed by 16-year-old Aubrey Sandifer as he walked home one recent afternoon in this rural town northeast of Austin, Texas. What is a humdrum routine for millions of students around the country — riding to and from school on a yellow bus — has become a thing of the past for Aubrey. Faced with a budget shortfall, the Hutto Independent School District stopped providing bus service to him and other students who live within a two-mile walk of a campus. The move saved the district $25,000. Aubrey, a sophomore at Hutto High School, now spends 20 minutes walking one mile to school in the morning and another 20 minutes on the return trip in the afternoon. More

Release of New York teacher ratings renews debate
California Watch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The New York City Department of Education's release earlier this year of teacher performance ratings has become the latest focal point in the debate about how to measure teaching abilities and whether that information should be public. Education reform advocates say teachers need to be held accountable, while others say the ratings are flawed, misinform the public and unfairly punish teachers. More

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DC-area schools turn to parents for more funding as budgets are squeezed
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The District's Ben W. Murch Elementary School found the cash to save its guidance counselor's job this year. McLean's Kent Gardens Elementary shelled out for a new science curriculum. And Oak View Elementary, in Silver Spring, paid for printer cartridges and after-school buses. Where'd the money come from for all this? Parents. After years of shrinking budgets, Washington area school districts are increasingly turning to moms and dads to pay for core classroom costs, raising questions about whether tapping family pocketbooks is a sustainable or fair way to fill a public funding gap. More



Video personalizes topic of disabilities
Herald Times Reporter    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When Vyky Becker's daughter came home from school in tears a couple of years ago and told her mom about an insensitive comment a fellow student had made about Becker's other daughter who has disabilities, Becker realized the students need more knowledge. The student reportedly said, "Taryn could walk if she wanted to, she just chooses not to," according to Becker. "For me, that was ... an eye-opener. Well, OK, they've gone to school with her but that doesn't mean they really know much about her," Becker said of her daughter, Taryn Benthein, an eighth-grader at Wisconsin's Valders Middle School. More

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The conference is over, but the learning goes on
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
There's plenty to read, watch, and learn online from last month's NAESP Annual Conference and Expo — BEST PRACTICES FOR BETTER SCHOOLS™. Head to Convention News Online for blog posts, articles and photos galleries from the event. Attendees can also check out the E-Learning Center for exclusive videos, presentation slides and handouts. More

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Check out Common Core resources on PD 360
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
This month's online professional development topic for NAESP members is Common Core curriculum. NAESP members get free access to PD 360's wealth of video-based materials and related resources for both individual learning and staff training. More
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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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