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Obama budget would invest in pre-K, high school overhaul
Education Week
President Barack Obama's budget unveiled today proposes new money for a big expansion of prekindergarten programs, a new competitive-grant program for high school improvement, a new Race to the Top competition focused on higher education — and level funding for the two formula grants school districts depend on most: Title I grants for disadvantaged students and special education. Overall, the U.S. Department of Education would see a significant funding boost to $71.2 billion for fiscal year 2014 that starts on Oct. 1 in a $3.8 trillion overall federal budget. That's a 4.6 increase over fiscal year 2012, the most recent year before a series of automatic cuts — known as sequestration — took effect.
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School meal standards may help students maintain weight
Los Angeles Times
Researchers have found an association between stricter school meal standards and the weight of students, especially those from low-income families. States that require more nutritious school lunches than the federal government mandated were compared with those that did not, looking at 4,870 eighth-graders in 40 states. And, the researchers reported that students didn't compensate for the stricter standards by buying chips, cookies or other snacks elsewhere at school.
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National science standards likely to raise 'ruckus'
USA Today
Academic standards out Tuesday promise to revive simmering debates about how to teach science in the USA's public schools. In the works for two years, the "next-generation" standards push schools to teach fewer topics, but in a more integrated, coherent way. They prescribe a healthy dose of engineering and ask schools to rely less on rote memorization and more on critical thinking, constructing arguments and building demonstrations.
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Math publishers' criteria aim to guide Common Core materials
Education Week
With educators on the lookout for instructional materials that fit with the content and vision of the Common Core, a new set of "publishers' criteria" aim to influence decisions by both the developers and purchasers of such offerings for high school mathematics. Crafted by the lead writers of the math common core, the 20-page document issued today seeks to "sharpen the alignment question" and make "more clearly visible" whether materials faithfully reflect both the letter and spirit of the math standards adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia.
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New science standards call for teaching climate change and more
Los Angeles Times
The politically touchy topic of climate change will be taught more deeply to students under proposed new national science standards released Tuesday. The Next Generation Science Standards, developed over the last year by California and 25 other states in conjunction with several national scientific organizations, represent the first effort in some 15 years to transform the way science is taught in million of classrooms. The multi-state consortium is proposing that students learn fewer standards more deeply and not merely memorize information but understand how scientists actually investigated and gathered it.
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5 reasons why we need poetry in schools
Edutopia
Elena Aguilar, a transformational leadership coach from Oakland, Calif., writes: "Let me start with this: We need poetry. We really do. Poetry promotes literacy, builds community, and fosters emotional resilience. It can cross boundaries that little else can. April is National Poetry Month. Bring some poetry into your hearts, homes, classrooms and schools. Here are five reasons why we need poetry in our schools."
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How to stimulate curiosity
MindShift
Curiosity is the engine of intellectual achievement — it's what drives us to keep learning, keep trying, keep pushing forward. But how does one generate curiosity, in oneself or others? George Loewenstein, a professor of economics and psychology at Carnegie Mellon University, proposed an answer in a classic 1994 paper, "The Psychology of Curiosity."
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Will typing follow cursive out of the classroom?
The Associated Press via ABC News
The time-honored skill of typing is still helpful, but it's becoming less necessary. And that raises the question: Does typing have a future? In high schools and community colleges where keyboarding classes have been a staple for decades, some fear the courses may go the way of cursive writing lessons in elementary schools. Dallas typing instructor Julie Phillips says predictive keyboards on smartphones and tablet touch screens that guess which words are being typed have taken the skill out of keyboarding. She says fewer students are coming in with keyboarding knowledge.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Racing the iPad in K-12 education (District Administration Magazine)
What's needed for preschool to pay off? Two studies offer insights (The Christian Science Monitor)
Students would do well to learn cursive, advocate says (Los Angeles Times)
School suspensions: Does racial bias feed the school-to-prison pipeline? (The Christian Science Monitor)
Bill Gates: A fairer way to evaluate teachers (The Washington Post)

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8 key considerations for acceptable use policies
eSchool News
With digital technologies taking hold in classrooms across the nation, school technology leaders know they must change acceptable use policies to keep students and school networks safe, while also giving learners flexibility and access to important digital resources. The Consortium for School Networking has refreshed its acceptable use policy guide in an effort to help technology leaders craft policies that reflect the emergence and permanence of digital technologies in students' hands, in classrooms, and in teachers' toolboxes.
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App-for-all: Should every school build its own mobile app?
EdTech Magazine
Life's annoyances and inefficiencies often inspire innovation. Just ask Jordan Riggs, co-founder of SchoolInfoApp, a company that helps schools create custom mobile apps to engage with their communities. "My wife and I have six kids that literally play every sport and do every activity possible with their school, and we just went looking to see how we could work with the school to create a mobile app where we can keep up with everything, and we didn't find it," Riggs says.
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Computers can't replace real teachers
CNN (commentary)
Wendy Kopp is CEO of Teach for All, a global network of independent organizations dedicated to expanding educational opportunity, and founder and board chairwoman of Teach for America, a national corps of recent college graduates who commit two years to teach in high-needs schools. She says: "Tech visionary Steve Jobs understood better than anyone the impulse to believe that technology can solve our most complex societal problems. 'Unfortunately it just ain't so,' he said. 'We need to attack these things at the root, which is people and how much freedom we give people. ... I wish it was as simple as giving it over to the computer.' That's certainly true when it comes to education, particularly in impoverished communities."
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Report: School 'discipline gap' explodes as 1 in 4 black students suspended
The Huffington Post
For years, education advocates have highlighted the dire importance of closing the achievement gap of academic performance between students of different ethnic and socioeconomic groups. Now, another group of advocates is drawing attention to the discipline gap of unequal punishments to different groups of students. The Center for Civil Rights Remedies at the University of California, Los Angeles Civil Rights Project, released two reports on Monday that show the increasing gap between suspension rates of black and white students. One million — or 1 in 9 — middle school and high school students were suspended in 2009-2010, including 24 percent of black students and 7.1 percent of white students.
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Should teachers count off when students don't show work?
StateImpact Indiana
A group of Indianapolis parents leading a statehouse push to withdraw Indiana from the Common Core say they wouldn't have known Indiana's academic standards had changed if not for the math homework. "You wait to get the math papers and you wonder what they're going to do this week because it's just bizarre," says Suzanne Sherby. "I definitely think the older kids learned in a much more traditional way, and the little kids just aren't. It's not part of the curriculum."
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What teachers need and reformers ignore: Time to collaborate
The Washington Post (commentary)
One of the primary things that teachers value but that school reformers have given short shrift is time to collaborate. Here, Stanford University Professor Linda Darling-Hammond, an expert on teaching and teacher education, writes about why this is so important to the profession. Darling-Hammond writes: "Whether educational transformation occurs has everything to do with how policymakers and practitioners approach reform. Ironically, old style factory-model thinking could undercut richer student learning if we follow traditional patterns of education reform implementation."
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School lunch can be a teachable moment
The Washington Post
Thanks partly to the efforts of first lady Michelle Obama, most school districts are trying to make school lunches more nutritious and less fattening. But there is more to lunch than food, and many schools are missing opportunities for teachable moments. If you are older than 50, you may remember when students had enough time at lunch to go home and eat with their mothers. These days, mother is most likely at work, and lunch is a school activity (as is breakfast for many low-income children).
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2014 education budget: What's the bottom line?
ED.gov Blog (commentary)
As Education Secretary Arne Duncan often says, budgets aren't just numbers in a ledger — they are a reflection of our values. President Barack Obama's 2014 budget proposal demonstrates his belief in education as the engine that will keep America competitive in a global innovation economy and grow a thriving middle class.

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Bill Gates: A fairer way to evaluate teachers
The Washington Post (commentary)
Tom Brady may be the best quarterback in football, but he is also infamously, hilariously slow. YouTube videos of his 40-yard dash have gotten many thousands of hits from sports fans looking for a good laugh.

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Survey finds rising job frustration among principals
Education Week
A new national survey finds that three out of four K-12 public school principals, regardless of the types of schools they work in, believe the job has become "too complex," and about a third say they are likely to go into a different occupation within next five years.

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Obama administration 2014 budget prioritizes key education investments to provide opportunities for all Americans
U.S. Department of Education
The Obama administration continued to prioritize education in the 2014 budget by proposing key investments in education that would strengthen the middle class, grow the economy and provide opportunities for success to all Americans — especially our nation's most vulnerable children.
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5 ways No Child Left Behind waivers help state education reform
Center for American Progress (commentary)
Over the past year the U.S. Department of Education has approved requests from 34 states to waive certain impractical requirements from the latest reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, known as the No Child Left Behind Act, or NCLB. The current law hinders states' actions as they work hard to fulfill the main goal of No Child Left Behind: ensuring that all students have the opportunity to obtain a high-quality education and reach proficiency on challenging academic standards. But many students, especially the nation's most disadvantaged, continue to receive low-quality education.
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2014 education budget: What's the bottom line?
ED.gov Blog (commentary)
As Education Secretary Arne Duncan often says, budgets aren’t just numbers in a ledger — they are a reflection of our values. President Barack Obama's 2014 budget proposal, released today, demonstrates his belief in education as the engine that will keep America competitive in a global innovation economy and grow a thriving middle class. The proposal builds on momentum for reform and protects the most vulnerable. Nowhere is this more true than in the president's historic proposal to make high-quality preschool available to all 4-year-olds.
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Opposition to national Common Core grows in Ohio
StateImpact Ohio
Michelle Maitino volunteers at her daughters' school. She checks their homework, volunteers in in the library, and keeps in touch with their teachers. But until recently, she didn't know that a new, national set of standards called the Common Core was coming to her daughters' Catholic school. "It's a whole new curriculum but no one even knows about it," Maitino said, who found out for sure only after she set up a personal meeting with the school's principal.
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For Pittsburgh teachers, iPads keeping students charged
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
When mentoring a student from Pittsburgh Sterrett 6-8 in Point Breeze, Mark Campbell, Pittsburgh Public Schools chief information officer, asked him a question: How did he use personal computers? "He said, 'PCs are for old people.' "The comment, Mr. Campbell said, "prompted me to rethink the approach to devices in the classroom." About a year ago, Campbell brought to the school board his idea of what to do in a district where about half of its 8,890 student computers were at least 8 years old and too slow for basic classroom needs.
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Tablets are transforming learning in many Minneapolis-area classrooms
StarTribune
In schools across the Minneapolis-area, iPads and other tablets are evolving from exciting novelties into established teaching tools. The "one-to-one" student-tablet teaching model is enhancing learning from elementary to high schools in districts that include Bloomington, Minnetonka and Eden Prairie. In some cases, they're even saving schools money. Bloomington's Oak Grove Elementary School launched its tablet pilot program in March. Every student in one of two fourth-grade classrooms received a Samsung touch-screen tablet with an attachable keyboard.
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Apply now for NAESP's Dissertation Competition
NAESP
Here's your chance to share your dissertation research and win up to $1000. NAESP is offering the first Elementary School Dissertation Competition, open to doctoral students who have completed and successfully defended their dissertation between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012. But hurry — the deadline for competition applications is April 30.
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Kudos to assistant principals
NAESP
Join NAESP as we celebrate the contributions of assistant principals during National Assistant Principals Week, April 8-12. To honor assistant principals who are doing a superb job in their roles, the National Outstanding Assistant Principal Award Program calls attention to the fundamental importance of the assistant principal. NAESP will share their successes and best practices in a practical document for other principals to use.
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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.

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