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  Mobile version   RSS   Subscribe   Unsubscribe Apr. 13, 2012
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Now on the menu for hungry kids: Supper at school
NPR    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Not long after the start of the school year, Monique Sanders, a teacher at Nathan Hale Elementary School in Manchester, Conn., realized many of her students were going to bed hungry. "It was very bad. I had parents calling me several times a week, asking did I know of any other way that they could get food because they had already gone to a food pantry," Sanders says. "The food pantry only allows you to go twice per month, so if you are running low on your food stamps or you didn't get what you needed and you're not able to feed your family, that's very stressful." In class, says Sanders, that meant stressed-out kids with stomachaches, unable to concentrate, and lots of acting out. More


How the US can find and train more great teachers
The Week via Yahoo News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It's no secret that struggling students need first-rate educators to propel them toward success. But what makes a teacher excel? Consider Laura. When she entered the third grade, she couldn't understand the stories all her friends enjoyed. She was even too embarrassed to read aloud. Why? She could only read at a first grade level. Laura's hardly alone — but that's small comfort. A recent study from the Annie E. Casey Foundation found that one in six children who are not reading proficiently by the third grade do not graduate from high school on time. In other words, Laura's abilities in third grade may very well determine her future. More

Music education in public schools gets a passing grade
NPR    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Numbers — they always look so solid, so reassuring, so — hopeful? The U.S. Department of Education has issued a new report titled "Arts Education In Public Elementary and Secondary Schools," focusing on the years 1999-2000 and 2009-2010. "In the 2009-2010 school year, music education was almost universally available in the nation's public elementary schools, with 94 percent of schools offering instruction that was designated specifically for music," the report states. "Music instruction was available in almost all public secondary schools," with the actual number given at 91 percent. More

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Debate over evolution now allowed in Tennesse schools
The Tennessean via USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A bill that encourages classroom debate over evolution will become law in Tennessee, despite a veto campaign mounted by scientists and civil libertarians who say it will reopen a decades-old controversy over teaching creationism to the state's schoolchildren. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said that he will allow House Bill 368/Senate Bill 893 to become law without his signature, a symbolic move that signals his opposition but allows the measure to be added to the state code. More

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Schools left to figure out gay studies mandate
The Desert Sun    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A landmark law requiring California schools to include contributions of gays and lesbians and people with disabilities in school curriculum technically went into effect in January. But public schools have received little direction on the new law, leaving it up to individual schools and teachers to interpret how to teach it. "Right now, it's very loose and up in the air," said Demitrious Sinor, who teaches history at Desert Hot Springs High School. More

Study: No obituary needed for arts education
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Rumors of the death of arts education in public schools have been greatly exaggerated, new data suggest. Over the past decade, the availability of music and visual-arts instruction — on average — has changed little, and remains high, when compared with a decade ago, according to a major federal report on arts education issued this month. But that's not the whole story. The data offer a complicated — and sometimes conflicting — narrative of the changes in arts access in public schools, with some ups, some downs, and some maintenance of the status quo. More

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Is learning facts a trivial pursuit?
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
If you are an educator, there are some things you can do to help students practice simultaneously enriching their background knowledge and searching effectively for what they need to know. As we help our students engage in a cycle of drawing on what they know and building on that background knowledge as part of the search process, we create people who are much more prepared to make good decisions as they function in the modern world. More

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Using musical notes to teach fractions
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Math teachers know that fractions can be hard for the average third-grader. Teachers at a public school in San Bruno, Calif., just south of San Francisco, are trying something new. They're teaching difficult math concepts through music, and they're getting remarkable results. At Allen Elementary School, a roomful of third-graders sits facing music instructor Endre Balogh, their backs straight, eyes ahead, beating a mouse pad with drumsticks. As Balogh taps a rhythm, the students follow. "What kinds of notes did you play?" Balogh asks. "Jasmine, what do you think?" Jasmine gets it right. "Eighth notes, very good." These students are learning fractions. More

Keeping students' mental health care out of the ER
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
During the 2010-2011 school year, Adeline Seise's son Gabriel, a second-grader, repeatedly disrupted classes at Public School 67 in the Bronx. On Sept. 29, according to a school report, Gabriel told his teacher he was going to beat up a classmate. While the teacher was trying to calm him, Gabriel, who was 10 at the time, spotted the boy and pushed him from behind. The boy whipped Gabriel in the face with a sweater, scratching him under the eye. Gabriel was enraged, and when the teacher tried to stop him, he tripped her. Security guards restrained him and school officials called Emergency Medical Services, which transported Gabriel to St. Barnabas Hospital's emergency room, where he was evaluated by a psychiatrist. More


Students need a “bridge”between concrete activities, where most students understand, to abstract symbolic practice, where many students struggle. Take a look at three packaging options and videos for teachers and students. MORE

What teachers know vs. what education policymakers do — Ravitch
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
This was written by education historian Diane Ravitch for her Bridging Differences blog, "We heard a lot last month about the MetLife Survey of the American Teacher. It showed that teachers across the nation are demoralized and that their job satisfaction has dropped precipitously since 2009. The proportion thinking of leaving teaching has gone from 17 percent to 29 percent, a 70 percent increase in only two years. If this is accurate, it would mean the exit of one million teachers. I hope it is not true." More

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1/5 of third-graders own cellphones
CNET    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Cellphone owners are getting younger and younger. According to a new study, 83 percent of middle schoolers, 39 percent of fifth-graders and 20 percent of third-graders have a mobile device. Stephanie Englander of Bridgewater University conducted the study for the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center. Her research consisted of interviews with 20,766 Massachusetts students, in third through twelfth grades, with the goal of seeing whether readily available technology plays a role in cyberbullying. More

Feds back off on easing special education funding restriction
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Department of Education this month took back an offer it made to school districts last summer that would have let them cut special education spending permanently, with only a one-time penalty, and for reasons other than existing exemptions in federal disability education law. The federal "maintenance of effort" clause has been built into special education spending rules to buffer students with disabilities from changes in services triggered by the ups and downs of public spending and politics. Under that clause, states and districts must increase spending or keep it level from year to year. Violating the rules can lead to the loss of federal dollars awarded to states under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. More


Study points to drop in per-pupil spending for pre-K
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Enrollment in state-funded preschool programs has more than doubled over the last decade — ticking upward even through the recession years — but an accompanying slide in per-child spending in many states is threatening the quality of early-childhood programs designed to serve poor children, according to a new national report. In 2010-2011, 26 of the 39 states with public prekindergarten programs, which serve mostly low-income 4-year-olds, cut funding for an overall decline of $60 million from the previous year. It's the second straight year that overall investment in state preschool programs has fallen, according to the National Institute for Early Education Research. More

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Deal reached on evaluating Hawaii school principals in part by student academic performance
The Associated Press via The Republic    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A deal has been reached with the Hawaii Government Employees Association for principals at 61 schools to be evaluated in part by student academic performance starting next school year. Under the deal reached Tuesday, all principals will be rated on the new system in the 2013-2014 school year. The evaluations are meant to fulfill requirements of a 2004 law mandating performance contracts for principals. More


Longer CPS school day plan cut by 30 minutes
Chicago Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
By shaving 30 minutes from his controversial call for a 7 1/2-hour elementary school day, Mayor Rahm Emanuel gave a nod to growing opposition to his plan while fulfilling a campaign pledge to lengthen one of the shortest school days in the nation. Emanuel said a seven-hour day for Chicago elementary school students can still accomplish the goals he has set for Chicago Public Schools. More

School workers object to proposed benefit changes
The Associated Press via Bloomberg Businessweek    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Hundreds of active and retired teachers and other school employees crowded into a Senate hearing to voice concerns that proposed changes to their retirement benefits would unfairly push more costs onto them and even drive some out of education. The Senate Appropriations Retirement Subcommittee is considering a bill under which all school employees would continue to pay at least 3 percent of salary toward retiree health care. They also would have to contribute anywhere from 1 percent to 5 percent of their salaries to keep their pensions above the contributions they're already making, up to 8 percent. More

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Merit pay for teachers in Indiana school districts raise questions
The Hechinger Report via The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
If your child's teacher seems a little bit on edge this year, it might not be your imagination. Education reforms now going into effect in Indiana, and similar ones sweeping the nation, are targeting something many Americans consider to be strictly off-limits: their paychecks. The laws passed in 2011 and being implemented over the next two or three years were partly based on the principle of merit pay. Under Indiana's new law, the state will ask that test performance of students be factored into pay raises for the first time. That is a major shift away from the rigid pay tables in most school districts that awarded raises primarily based on a teacher's years of experience and the academic degrees they earned. More


Release of NYC teachers' rankings prompts lawmakers to weigh limiting access
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Ever since New York City's Education Department released 18,000 public-school teachers' performance rankings, generating news coverage about the lowest and highest scorers, there has been talk in Albany of preventing a repeat. Increasingly, lawmakers say they are open to the idea of changing state law to allow parents to see the evaluations of their own children's teachers but to block the general public from having access to those reports. With the Legislature preparing to go into session next week, the question of how much privacy teachers are granted could soon be resolved. More

Trans fats ban limps out of Colorado Senate
Education News Colorado    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A bill that would ban trans fats in most foods served at schools squeaked out of the Senate on an 18-17 vote. The much amended, re-amended and delayed bill is opposed by many school districts, and lobbyists hope to have it killed in the House, hopefully by having it assigned to the House Agriculture Committee. Critics argue that the bill would be financial burden on districts, particularly small ones, and that it's unnecessary because some districts already have removed trans fats from their menus and because pending U.S. Department of Agriculture rules call for reduction of trans fats in school meals. More

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Texas district sees more student engagement with iPad program
San Antonio Express-News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Most students stay as far from school as possible during Spring Break. So when McAllen Memorial High School Principal Rosie Larson saw a group of them huddled against the school building, tented in blankets against the unseasonable cold, she did a double take.With a sense of triumph, Larson realized they were seeking Wi-Fi for their new school-provided iPads. The tablets, distributed across grade levels to students and teachers, give access to technology that does not exist for most homes in a district with a 67-percent poverty rate. More

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3 Maryland school workers split Mega Millions win
The Associated Press via Google News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Some lottery players might fantasize about resigning from the rat race in a spectacular way if they win. An anonymous trio of Maryland educators who will split a share of the record $656 million Mega Millions jackpot say they're staying on the job for the children. Maryland lottery officials said Tuesday that the state's winning ticket was held by two women and a man calling themselves "The Three Amigos." They are a special education teacher, an elementary school teacher and a school administrator who all worked multiple jobs to make ends meet. More

NAESP elections now open
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
This spring, eligible NAESP members will elect a new president-elect as well as directors for Zones 5, 7 and 9. Voting closes Tuesday, April 24. Electronic ballots are available through our website — click here to vote now or see our election page for candidate information and tips for logging in to the NAESP website. More


Address bullying at your school
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Prepare to talk with your school community about "Bully," the controversial new documentary, with resources from NAESP. Visit the Bullying Prevention Resource Page for tools to combat bullying, including articles, books, videos, a downloadable bookmark and handouts. More
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