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More states allowing armed school staff
District Administration Magazine
More states are allowing schools to have armed staff to defend students against active shooters, nearly a year and a half after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Connecticut. In 2013, 21 states strengthened gun laws to require trigger-locking devices and background checks for private sales, says Laura Cutilletta, senior staff attorney at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. At the same time, the National Rifle Association made a public push to allow more security guards or staff members to carry guns in schools, after 40 to 60 hours of firearms training.
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Minority students don't only get less experienced teachers, they also get less effective ones
The Huffington Post
It's already known that low-income students of color generally have less experienced teachers, but a new study from the Center for American Progress reveals they have less effective teachers, too. The Center For American Progress report analyzed the evaluation scores of teachers in low-income and affluent districts in both Massachusetts and Louisiana. Throughout the past few years, states have been incentivized to adopt new teacher evaluation systems through Race To The Top funding. The teacher evaluations in Massachusetts and Louisiana — two states that are unique in making evaluation scores public — rate teachers based on measures like student scores on standardized tests and effectiveness during classroom observation sessions.
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Museums step up as resource for new science standards
Education Week
As a small but growing number of states adopt the Next Generation Science Standards, science museums and centers are positioning themselves as a key resource for helping teachers adapt to the vision for instruction reflected in the new guidelines. Some educators say that professional-development sessions held at museums — unlike those at conference centers, universities or districts — give teachers immediate access to the kinds of hands-on activities that the common science standards call for. In addition, such institutions often bring a wealth of expertise on both content and pedagogy, employing a mix of scientists and professional educators.
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Research on children and math: Underestimated and unchallenged
New York Times (commentary)
In the most recent Program for International Student Assessment, commonly known as PISA, students in the United States ranked 26th out of 34 countries in mathematics. On the surface, it would seem that we’re a nation of math dullards; simply no good at the subject. But a spate of new research suggests that we may be underestimating our students, especially the youngest ones, in terms of their ability to think about numbers.
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7 guidelines for building a STEAM program
EdTech Magazine
As the STEAM movement grows, more and more schools are integrating the arts into their STEM curricula. But the transition can be tricky. Teachers have to shift to problem-based learning, for instance, and principals must carve out time for staff members to collaborate. "It takes a year of transitioning to the STEAM mindset and getting your staff to really gel as a team, to learn to talk to each other," says STEAM consultant Georgette Yakman. Yakman recommends starting small and seeking out community support.
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Common Core's challenges and opportunities
eSchool News (commentary)
It is an exciting time in education. We have an opportunity to ensure that all students develop the skills and understanding necessary to succeed in a highly literate world. While this has been a goal of educators for many years, there is now a unifying approach to making sure that the expectations for students are not dependent upon their zip code. By addressing the need for change and reflecting the best of international standards, Common Core finally offers us a chance to get it right.
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Schools use student data to find signs of trouble, help struggling kids
MindShift
At Miami Carol City Senior High in Florida, a handful of teachers, administrators and coaches are gathered around a heavy wooden table in a conference room dubbed the "War Room," looking through packets of information about several students. There are others at the table, too: analysts from the group Talent Development Secondary, which monitors student data; City Year, a nonprofit that provides mentors; and Communities in Schools, which connects kids with health care and social services.
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Librarians' evolving digital roles
eSchool News
As schools increasingly incorporate digital technologies and strategies in classrooms, school libraries are changing, too, becoming hubs of communication, research, and technology-enabled teaching and learning. Today's school librarians work vigilantly to support both students in teachers when it comes to technology and digital content use, according to School Libraries in the Digital Age, a new report from EdNET Insight, published by MDR.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Confusing math homework? Don't blame the Common Core (The Atlantic)
7 tips for dealing with challenging students (Connected Principals Blog)
Study: No link between school spending, student achievement (CBS DC)
The importance of grit in a positive school culture (By: Brian Stack)
New twists on making up snow days (District Administration Magazine)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


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School lunch: Any chicken in those 'food-like nubbins'?
NPR
For weeks, Monica Eng, host of a podcast called Chew the Fat, asked the Chicago public schools to reveal what goes into their chicken nuggets, or as she calls them, food-like nubbins. She's been asking the Chicago public schools for weeks to reveal what goes into their chicken nuggets, or as she calls them, food-like nubbins. When the school district said that information wasn't available from their food contractors, the station went to the Illinois attorney general's office and filed a Freedom of Information Act request — all to get a chicken nuggets recipe, not information on government wiretaps.
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Why are black students being paddled more in the public schools?
The Hechinger Report
Students in Lexington, Miss., quickly learn that even minor transgressions can bring down the weight of the paddle. Seventh grader Steven Burns recounts getting smacked with it for wearing the wrong color shirt; Jacoby Blue, 12, for failing to finish her homework on time; and Curtis Hill, 16, for defiantly throwing a crumpled piece of paper in the trash can. In Holmes County, where 99 percent of the public school children are black, students say corporal punishment traditionally starts at daycare and Head Start centers, where teachers rap preschool-age students lightly with rulers and pencils, cautioning: "Just wait until you get to big school."
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The power of performance assessments
Edutopia
Education is, of course, about so much more than filling minds with facts and figures. Teachers everywhere know that education is about developing minds for all kinds of future experiences: college, careers that will evolve over time, and community and civic life. So how can we know if we are developing minds — and citizens — for the future? The right kinds of assessment tell us far more than whether or not students are gaining knowledge.
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What principals can (and should!) learn from Kliff Kingsbury
Connected Principals Blog (commentary)
Amber Teamann, a contributor for Connected Principals Blog, writes: "Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury is a fan favorite, partly because he’s a former-player-turned-coach, but also partly because he bears a striking resemblance to Ryan Gosling. He also holds the distinction of being the first coach in Big 12 history to start his career at 7-0. With an impressive track record of grooming athletes in his previous positions, notably Houston Cougars quarterback Case Keenum, and then there was, what was his name? Oh yes, the Texas A&M Heisman winner, Johnny Manziel, Kingsbury's first season at Texas Tech led to a palpable air of 'swag' in West Texas."
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With time running out, Arne Duncan discusses his lengthy to-do list
Education Week
In the waning years of the Obama administration, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan sees several important and difficult priorities ahead of him, he told Education Week in a wide-ranging 30-minute interview. Chief among them: The transition to new standards and tests, the debut of new teacher evaluations tied to test scores, and the costly drive to expand preschool. That's "a lot of change in a short amount of time — none of it easy," he said in an April 11 interview in his Washington office.
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US Department of Education announces awards to Alabama and California to continue efforts to turn around lowest-performing schools
U.S. Department of Education
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that Alabama and California will receive more than $64 million to continue efforts to turn around their persistently lowest-achieving schools through new awards from the Department's School Improvement Grants program. Both Alabama and California will use these funds to make awards to a new cohort of their lowest-performing schools.
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Schools use student data to find signs of trouble, help struggling kids
MindShift
At Miami Carol City Senior High in Florida, a handful of teachers, administrators and coaches are gathered around a heavy wooden table in a conference room dubbed the "War Room," looking through packets of information about several students.

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5 common myths about school administration
eSchool News
It's not always teachers who face criticism in the U.S. Many school administrators say that misconceptions about their career motivations and the position in general still exist today — and many myths have survived for decades.

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How much teachers get paid — State by state
The Washington Post
How much do teachers across the United States get paid? Here is data, state by state, collected from the National Center for Education Statistics by Jon Boeckenstedt, associate vice president at DePaul University in Chicago.

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Register for EdWeek webinar on principal evaluation
NAESP
Join NAESP and Education Week for an April 24 webinar on principal evaluation and leadership. Presenters Gail Connelly, executive director of NAESP, and Matthew Clifford of the American Institutes for Research will draw on the recommendations presented in the report "Rethinking Principal Evaluation" to explore how states and districts can partner to build principals' leadership.
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More time is needed to get Common Core right
NAESP
Last week, the Learning First Alliance (LFA) issued a statement in support of providing more time and resources for Common Core State Standards implementation before assessing progress with high-stakes testing. LFA is a partnership of leading education organizations, and in its statement, the group calls for a transition period "that respects the time good implementation requires."
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