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  Mobile version   RSS   Subscribe   Unsubscribe April 15, 2011
Curriculum   School Leadership   Federal Advocacy & Policy   In the States    Association News    Contact NAESP

Public employees feel the heat in Florida
NPR    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
VideoBrief As in Wisconsin, Ohio and other states, Florida's public employees and their unions are on the defensive. Republican Gov. Rick Scott has proposed a budget that cuts thousands of public jobs and requires workers to contribute part of their salaries to their pensions. More

Successful schools may help keep kids out of trouble
HealthDay News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Students who go to schools that achieve better-than-expected academic results may be less likely to use drugs or alcohol, steal or fight, finds a new study. University of Florida researchers looked at academic achievement scores at 61 inner-city middle schools in Chicago between 2002 and 2005. Seven schools did better than expected and the rates of drug and alcohol use and delinquency by students at those schools were as much as 25 percent lower compared to other schools. The study was published in the journal Prevention Science. More

Teaching environmental education
Medical News Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
An Indiana University study examining the adoption of environmental education by schools in Israel, measured by Green School Certification, found that school change was assisted by community-based grassroots efforts, not just "top-down" school policy. It also found that some types of schools were more likely to adopt the earth-friendly changes than other types. IU Sociologist Oren Pizmony Levy, lead author of the study, said the findings have implications for U.S. schools. More

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Embracing a classical education
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
"Classical" education aims to include instruction on the virtues and a love of truth, goodness and beauty in ordinary lesson plans. Students learn the arts, sciences and literature starting with classical Greek and Roman sources. Wisdom and input from ancient church fathers, Renaissance theologians and even Mozart — whose music is sometimes piped into the classrooms to help students concentrate better — is worked in. More

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Writing relaunched: Teaching with digital tools
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The nature of writing has shifted in recent years. There are very few — if any — jobs these days for which employees produce lengthy handwritten reports. News stories are an integration of words, images, audio and website links. College applications are all online, and some schools are beginning to accept videos in place of essays. A friendly letter is more likely composed on a smartphone than on stationary. So why does writing in school still so often involve a pen, paper and a hardbound print dictionary? More

School coordinator helps foreign-born parents
The Baltimore Sun    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
During the 11 years she has lived in Howard County, Md., former Centennial Lane Elementary School Principal Florence Hu has seen the school district become a magnet for overseas families looking to move to the U.S., so much that she has received email inquiries about the system from parents as far away as South Korea. Yet she says that even parents who come armed with specific information about schools discover stark differences between the American approach to education and that of their own country. Hu came out of retirement to serve as interim coordinator for the school system's Office of International Student and Family Services, which addresses parents' and students' concerns in a county whose school system now reflects the county's changing demographics. More


Spending bill reduces technology, literacy, but has bright spots
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Lawmakers in Congress released the long-awaited details of a long-term spending bill to fund the federal government through September. The bill includes more than $38 billion in cuts. It eliminates a number of education programs and it includes cuts to other education programs. But there are some bright spots for education. Although the bill doesn't restore the money cut from the Striving Readers comprehensive literacy program under the stopgap spending measure, it does leave untouched $189 million in leftover fiscal year 2010 funds, which haven't been distributed yet. More

Better Recess = Better Learning

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To improve education, give states flexibility with federal funding
The Heritage Foundation (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Nearly a half-century ago, Washington took a deep dive into education policy, increasing federal intervention in local schools. The idea at the time was to improve outcomes through compensatory education—spending federal dollars through federal programs—in an attempt to narrow the achievement gap between low- and upper-income children. This intervention began in 1965 with President Lyndon B. Johnson's Elementary and Secondary Education Act, now known as No Child Left Behind. More

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Chicago school bans some lunches brought from home
Chicago Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
To encourage healthful eating, Chicago school doesn't allow kids to bring lunches or certain snacks from home — and some parents, and many students, aren't fans of the policy. More


New Jersey governor sends Legislature bills to revamp education system
The Philadelphia Inquirer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Gov. Chris Christie has sent the Legislature a package of seven bills that could fundamentally change New Jersey's educational system, altering the way teachers are paid, evaluated and fired. "The public is tired of paying $25 billion for a system that has 104,000 kids in 200 failing schools," said Christie, who is looking for legislators to sponsor his bills. "I'm not going to continue to permit a king's ransom be paid for failure." More

Colorado committee to unveil complex definition of 'effective educator'
The Denver Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
After 13 months of meetings, a council tasked with narrowing the definition of an effective educator to one for the entire state of Colorado is presenting the definition to the State Board of Education. It is not a simple definition, though. It consists of six quality standards, including showing knowledge of the content they teach, demonstrating leadership and taking responsibility for student growth. More

Illinois Schools Implement Lexia, Improve

75% of kindergartners in Des Plaines, IL elementary school had no letter recognition. Lexia Reading software helped bring 88% up to speed by end of 1st grade.

Oklahoma bill expands reasons teachers can be fired
The Associated Press via Bloomberg Businessweek    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
School teachers in Oklahoma could be fired for a host of new reasons under a bill that cleared a House committee, raising concerns of opponents who contend educators are on the front line of a Republican assault on public education. Meanwhile, Republican Gov. Mary Fallin signed into law a bill that eliminates a teacher's ability to appeal their dismissal to a district judge, a procedure known as trial de novo. More

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Governor gives Ohio schools more snow days
The Associated Press via The Washington Examiner    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Gov. John Kasich has given Ohio schools more snow days, a move that he jokes will mean "more sled-riding." Kasich signed a bill providing schools with five calamity days per year, up from three. The measure applies to the current school year. He says the legislation reflects that student safety is a priority. More

Illinois teachers, lawmakers draw up reforms
Chicago Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
Ambitious education reforms on the table could change how Illinois schoolteachers earn tenure and hold onto their jobs amid tough financial times, with seniority for the first time mattering less than performance. The proposed changes would upend the way teachers long have been treated when financially strapped districts cut staff. Rather than simply laying off the newest teachers first, educators would consider a teacher's specialty, performance and ability, with years of service playing the role of tie-breaker. More


Before school ends, time to make the matzo
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The children filed out of yellow school buses and descended the stairs to the basement of a Jewish community center in Queens, N.Y., where they put on plastic aprons and paper chef hats in preparation for a lesson on how to make matzo. But the trip was not really about baking. It was a dose of religious education, offered free to public school students — during school hours, outside their school's buildings — under a long-running program known as "released time." Established some 70 years ago in school districts nationwide, the program allows children to leave public school early one day a week for religious instruction. It has survived constitutional challenges and dwindling enrollment. More

Support the NAESP Foundation's online auction
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The first online auction of the new year is now taking place, with proceeds contributing to the NAESP Foundation's work to advance excellence, innovation and equity in schools by endowing leadership and learning for principals. Running through April 21, the auction allows you the opportunity to bid on items such as jewelry, purses, sports memorabilia and vacation packages for as little as $1. More

Improve Student Achievement and Comprehension!

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Recognize your remarkable students with Student Aspiration awards
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Dream! Reach! Succeed! Student Aspiration awards enable you to recognize and honor students who serve as role models — based on their effort, citizenship and success at home, at school and in their communities. Eight colorful recognition pins that highlight conditions of the human spirit that make a difference — belonging, heroes, sense of accomplishment, fun and excitement, curiosity and creativity, spirit of adventure, leadership and responsibility, and confidence to take action — as well as certificates, are available individually or as a set. More




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Study shows BULLYING reduced 41%

Researchers from University of Illinois at Chicago just released findings from a randomized-control trial in 14 schools in Chicago. Schools using the Positive Action program from 3rd to 5th grade reduced bullying by 41%, violence by 37% and substance use by 31%. Academic effects will be released soon.
Learn more
Fischler School: Cause An Effect
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Bring the World to Your School with Educational Seminars!

Educational Seminars, fully funded by the U.S. Department of State, are short-term international exchanges for U.S. teachers and administrators that focus on sharing best practices and professional development.

Look for program applications for teachers and administrators in late summer/fall 2011. Email edseminars
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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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