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Think carrots, not candy as school snack, group suggests
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Junk food may soon be hard to buy at American public schools as the U.S. government readies new rules requiring healthier foods to be sold beyond the cafeteria - a move most parents support, according to a poll. With childhood obesity rising, the survey found most people agreed the chips, soda and candy bars students buy from vending machines or school stores in addition to breakfast and lunch are not nutritious, and they support a national standard for foods sold at schools. More

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More research needed on treatment, causes of childhood dyslexia
Medical News Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Even though there has considerable progress in the scientific understanding and medical treatments for dyslexia over the past five years, a study published in The Lancet states that a significant amount of research still needs to be conducted in order to completely understand the causes of the disorder and to improve the lives of children affected by it. Usually dyslexia is not diagnosed until after children experience serious difficulties in school, however, at this time it is harder for these children to master new skills. According to the researchers, late diagnosis could prevent children with the disorder from achieving the best outcomes. More



Report: STEM education needs more money, support
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The latest in an annual series of surveys about science, technology, engineering and math education reveals that funding remains a barrier to better STEM integration in schools — and that districts need more K-8 STEM education and better professional development to help produce students who are career- and college-ready. More

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Separate reading exams await elementary teachers
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A handful of states are gradually adopting licensing tests that measure aspiring elementary teachers' ability to master aspects of what's arguably their most important task: teaching students to read. In the most recent example of what appears to be a slow but steady push, Wisconsin became the latest state to adopt a rigorous, stand-alone test of elementary teachers' knowledge of the science of reading. Though such efforts to improve the quality of reading instruction generally have been pushed by a fairly small network of constituents, those proponents say that updating licensing exams is one of the few ways states can ensure that reading-instruction skills are taught in teacher training. More



Coming to terms with 5 new realities
District Administrator    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It's becoming clearer by the minute that, as Web technologies open more and more doors for learners, they also pose more and more challenges to traditional thinking about schools. At the center is figuring how best to prepare students for the vast learning opportunities they have outside of the traditional education system. While the challenges are different for each individual school and district, all will be forced to come to terms with five new realities in the short term. More

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Should teachers and students be Facebook friends?
The Associated Press via Fox News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Should students and teachers ever be friends on Facebook? School districts across the country, including the nation's largest, are weighing that question as they seek to balance the risks of inappropriate contact with the academic benefits of social networking. At least 40 school districts nationwide have approved social media policies. Schools in New York City and Florida have disciplined teachers for Facebook activity, and Missouri legislators recently acquiesced to teachers' objections to a strict statewide policy. More

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Housing costs, zoning and access to high-scoring schools
Brookings    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As the nation grapples with the growing gap between rich and poor and an economy increasingly reliant on formal education, public policies should address housing market regulations that prohibit all but the very affluent from enrolling their children in high-scoring public schools in order to promote individual social mobility and broader economic security. More

Study weighs benefits of organizing recess
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
While an overwhelming number of elementary school principals believe in the power of recess to improve academic achievement and make students more focused in class, most discipline-related problems happen at school when kids cut loose at recess and lunch, according to surveys. One of the solutions, according to a study released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: more, and well-trained, staff on the playground. More

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When technologies collide: Consumer, K-12 and higher education
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Schools have been adopting iPads with lightning speed — more than 1.5 million have already been distributed to students, a mere two years after the original iPad launch. But beyond Apple's influence in education, the high-profile tablet appears to be the poster child for a different trend. Call it the consumerization of education technology. What the iPad's rapid incursion into the classroom masks is that the walls that used to slow new instructional technology's adoption in education are falling. And when walls fall, what's inside can spill out in any one of several directions. More

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New study identifies 'opportunity gap' for students
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Educators have long studied the achievement gap, in which black and Hispanic pupils and low-income students of all races perform at much lower levels than their white, Asian and better-off peers. A new study released by a group that supported efforts to attain for more money for city schools looked at the educational opportunities available to poor and minority students and found the choices lacking. More

What new research on extended school day says
The Washington Post (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Two new studies are flashing warning signs about the move to extend the school day. The Department of Education has made extended learning time a centerpiece of its reform efforts. This could have been a breakthrough moment for our nation's education system, encouraging community partnerships to expand learning in ways that help students succeed and bring new resources into our schools. More

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When everyone gets a trophy, no one wins
The Huffington Post (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
America's "everyone gets a trophy" syndrome has become a national joke. "A" grades, which once conveyed excellence, are now given to 43 percent of all college students, according to a study by grade-inflation gurus Stuart Rojstaczer and Christopher Healy. This is an increase of a staggering 28 percentage points since 1960 and 12 percentage points since 1988. The study also reveals how easy it is to buy college credentials: a scandalous 86 percent of private school students, it turns out, get nothing lower than a "B." More

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Graphic material found in online library for elementary students
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Kelly and Mike Neill say they were shocked when their 7-year-old son came home from school, rattling off graphic details about a murder. They grew angry when they learned that those details came from a story he read from myOn, a new virtual library offered by Hillsborough County, Fla., schools. The Neills used their son's identification number to log on and, with a few clicks, they were staring at photos of murder scenes and autopsies. There were stories about urban legends and witchcraft — all available to their first-grader. More



FCC and the US DOE team up to invigorate digital learning
District Administrator    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
While both the Federal Communications Commission and the U.S. Department of Education have released separate plans regarding the use of technology in education — the National Broadband Plan and the National Education Technology Plan, respectively — the two entities have teamed up to create a new commission to comprehensively transition U.S. schools into the digital era. The Leading Education by Advancing Digital Commission was created in March and will be led by key stakeholders in education to create an outline for schools for how they can implement technology and find funding. More

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What's the payoff for $4.6 billion in School Improvement Grants?
The Hechinger Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
After two years, the federal program providing billions of dollars to help states and districts close or remake some of their worst-performing schools remains an ambitious work in progress, with roughly 1,200 turnaround efforts under way but still no verdict on its effectiveness. The School Improvement Grant program, supercharged by a $3 billion windfall under the federal economic-stimulus program in 2009, has jump-started aggressive moves by states and districts. More



CPS principals plan for longer school day, budget constraints
Chicago Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Changes to the length of next year's school day, a continuing budget deficit and ongoing teacher contract talks are providing a challenge for Chicago Public Schools principals as they prepare for next fall, several school leaders said. CPS principals have not yet been told by the district how much money they'll be getting for their schools in the coming year. At one time, school administrators received tentative budget allocations for the following school year in March. But principals said that hasn't been the case for about four years, with some blaming turnover at the top (CPS has had four chiefs in as many years). More

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Report: States' waivers weak on extended learning time
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Most of the dozen states that have already gotten wiggle room from the No Child Left Behind Act don't have very good plans in place when it comes to a key piece of the U.S. Department of Education's requirements for turning around low-performing schools: extending learning time, according to a report out by the Center for American Progress. More

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California Assembly bill would punish those who bully online
The Associated Press via San Jose Mercury News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
California lawmakers trying to keep up with evolving trends in online bullying passed a bill that would give schools broader authority to punish students who harass their classmates on social networking sites. AB1732 would allow schools to suspend or expel students who create online profiles impersonating classmates or set up "burn pages" filled with material intended to harm others. More

Proposed Alabama school budget contains cuts
The Associated Press via Desert News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
An Alabama Senate committee approved an education budget that reduces funding for public schools and universities, cuts teaching jobs and enlarges class sizes for the 2012-2013 school year. The budget, approved unanimously by the Senate Finance and Taxation-Education Committee, is a redesigned version of the budget that Gov. Robert Bentley recommended to the Legislature in February. More

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School districts turn to iPads to cut textbook costs
Chicago Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Judy Schnecke used to volunteer at New Trier High School's bookstore to get a 10 percent discount on her children's textbooks. Now, school officials say, technology may help do away with costly textbooks — and school bookstores. New Trier hopes to save money for parents by using more electronic textbooks and capitalizing on an agreement between Apple and some publishers to offer many titles for $14.99. For parents like Schnecke, who one year paid $1,000 for text books when two daughters were in school, the savings could be significant. Elementary and high school districts across the Chicago area are already tinkering with iPads in class. More

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Making impact on kids' lives is top reward
The Arizona Republic    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It's a phrase often used to describe teachers: unsung heroes. But working in education is not for the faint of heart. The hours can be long and the challenges numerous. Still, the personal fulfillment and satisfaction that come with the job can make it the most satisfying of careers, educators say. Success and fulfillment as a teacher are often based on the educator's passion for his or her work, along with high expectations for students and a desire to help them succeed, says Art Lebowitz, principal at the Arizona State University Preparatory Academy. More

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Breakfast moves to class
New Haven Independent    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In the first month of a new experiment inside a Dixwell school in Connecticut, the number of kids eating breakfast shot up by 75 percent — a swift change that officials hope will help students learn math and read books. The eating took place at Wexler/Grant School, which serves 378 kids in grades pre-K to 8 at 55 Foote St. The school, which is in the first year of a turnaround effort designed to boost failing test scores and improve the school climate, is now home to the experiment in childhood nutrition. More



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

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Register for free webinars on Common Core
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Get ready to implement the Common Core standards at your school with new, free one-hour webinars from NAESP. In "Dialogues on the Common Core," held Monday, April 23 from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., a national expert on the standards and a principal preparing his school for them will offer their tips and tricks. Sign up now, and keep an eye out for future webinars from NAESP. More
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Before the Bell is a benefit of your membership in the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). For information about other member benefits, visit www.naesp.org or contact us at naesp@naesp.org.

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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