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5 reasons schools still need desktop computers
THE Journal
Desktops aren't dead. Even as schools increasingly implement 1-to-1, bring-your-own-device and other mobile device initiatives, many are choosing to retain at least some desktop computers — and others are even upgrading to swanky, top-of-the-line machines. Keeping at least one desktop computer in each classroom is a common practice, and some schools are keeping their dedicated desktop labs, either for general use or for specialized classes. It seems that some classroom needs are still better served by a desktop computer than by a laptop or tablet.
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Why parents shouldn't help kids with their homework
Today
It may feel tempting — proper even — to help your child with homework, but parents who get involved this way don't improve their kids' test scores or grades, and can hurt their academic achievement, two researchers have found. "We need to do away with the assumption that anything parents do will help. That assumes that parents have all the answers, and parents do not have all the answers," Angel L. Harris, one of the scholars, told TODAY Moms.
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Is cursive handwriting slowly dying out in America?
PBS Newshour
Many elementary schools across the United States have dropped cursive instruction altogether as increased testing, the implementation of Common Core State Standards and computers in the classroom take more time and resources. Forty-five states and the District of Columbia use the Common Core's English Language Arts standards. But a few states (California, Idaho, Kansas, Massachusetts, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee among them) have recently moved to make cursive mandatory.
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Looking for STEM beyond the classroom (and beyond the field trip)
Edutopia
For many teachers, new and experienced alike, a mention of "museum" (or aquarium or science center, etc.) in the same sentence as "school" leads to thoughts of field trips. That's not necessarily bad. The field trip certainly has great potential to support student understanding, as well as foster interest and excitement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, a.k.a. STEM.
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The latest push for competency-based learning
eSchool News
Student-centered learning is at the forefront of many education reforms today, as stakeholders realize that personalizing learning is key to student success. And competency-based learning — the idea that students advance based on concept mastery and not time — or grade-level restraints — is a key part of student-centered learning.
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Beyond grades: Do games have a future as assessment tools?
MindShift
Most tests represent a snapshot of one moment in the trajectory of a student's academic journey, extrapolating what the student has learned overall. There are plenty of ways educators are trying to supplement those tests with more nuanced, formative assessments. With the advent of game-based learning, educators have been investigating how data collected from video game play could provide insight into the way students think as they explore new concepts.
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Physical activity empowers kids to achieve personal bests
Psychology Today
Physical activity is a fundamental building block for psychological and physical well-being throughout a lifespan. Unfortunately, most Americans are sitting more and moving less. This is especially a problem for our children who are being forced to sit still and cram for standardized tests while being deprived of physical activity.
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What are education tests for, anyway?
NPR
Pay attention to this piece. There's going to be a test at the end. Did that trigger scary memories of the 10th grade? Or are you just curious how you'll measure up? If the answer is "C: Either of the above," keep reading. Tests have existed throughout the history of education. Today they're being used more than ever before — but not necessarily as designed. Different types of tests are best for different purposes. Some help students learn better. Some are there to sort individuals. Others help us understand how a whole population is doing.
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How our 1,000-year-old math curriculum cheats America's kids
eSchool News (commentary)
Imagine you had to take an art class in which you were taught how to paint a fence or a wall, but you were never shown the paintings of the great masters, and you weren't even told that such paintings existed. Pretty soon you'd be asking, why study art? That's absurd, of course, but it's surprisingly close to the way we teach children mathematics. In elementary and middle school and even into high school, we hide math's great masterpieces from students' view.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    3 end-of-the-school-year reminders (Connected Principals Blog)
Parental involvement in schools: How much is enough? (By: Brian Stack)
Inventive games that teach kids about empathy and social skills (MindShift)
How playful learning will build future leaders (The Christian Science Monitor)
Dress codes are thorny subject for many schools (The Detroit News)

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


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Bullies come from all socioeconomic sectors
Psych Central
A new systematic literature review on the association between socioeconomic status and involvement in childhood bullying has led researchers to recommend universal policies to combat bullying. Investigators say the behavior occurs among all socioeconomic sectors and that nearly one-third of all children are involved in bullying. This finding suggests bullying is a significant public health issue which can cause long-lasting health and social problems. The new review, published in the American Journal of Public Health, advises that policymakers should be wary of assuming that bullies are more likely to come from lower socioeconomic backgrounds.
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Charter schools get less money than public schools. Is that a problem?
The Huffington Post
Charter schools receive less funding than traditional public schools on average, according to a new report — but some experts say that the funding gap isn't necessarily unfair, and that the report's methodology masks fundamental differences between charter and public school populations. The report, released Wednesday by the University of Arkansas' Department of Education Reform, found that in 2011, charter schools received $3,059 less per student than traditional public schools.
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Study: Growth in K-12 education sector creates demand for new leaders
Education Week
Growth in the urban education reform movement, characterized largely by an exponential increase in charter schools, will create a need for at least 32,000 senior and mid-level workers over the next decade, according to a report to be released Tuesday by EdFuel. The study, "MAP the GAP," which also looked at transformation in urban education in the 50 largest urban cities where education reform is altering the landscape, found that continued growth outside of the traditional school district model, will create a "talent gap" for noninstructional staff, including for workers who are skilled in business, finance, operations, management, data analytics and communications.
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A link between fidgety boys and a sputtering economy
The New York Times
The behavior gap between rich and poor children, starting at very early ages, is now a well-known piece of social science. Entering kindergarten, high-income children not only know more words and can read better than poorer children but they also have longer attention spans, better-controlled tempers and more sensitivity to other children. All of which makes the comparisons between boys and girls in the same categories fairly striking: The gap in behavioral skills between young girls and boys is even bigger than the gap between rich and poor.
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Big question for edtech: But how do we know what's working?
The Hechinger Report
As more than 900 entrepreneurs and educators converge in San Francisco, some will talk academic standards, literacy and charter schools. Others will bypass weighty sessions at NewSchools Venture Fund summit altogether, preferring to tinker with dozens of new tools and products that promise to "transform teaching and learning." Participants can teach to student avatars in a virtual classroom, check out the Two Bit Circus or attend "Hour of Power," sessions that promise to be "provocative, fun and interactive."
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Millennials have pretty depressing things to say about teachers
The Huffington Post
If American teachers are anywhere near as unimpressive as ambitious Millennials perceive them to be, then the state of public school education is quite depressing. A study by the centrist think tank Third Way reveals that high-achieving undergraduate Millennials don't think much of the teaching profession and would rather choose a different career. According to the study of 400 college students with GPAs of 3.3 or greater, only 35 percent described teachers as "smart," half said the profession had gotten less prestigious over the years, and most described teaching as the top profession for "average" people.
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Health promotion efforts in schools really do improve health
Medical News Today
Can school efforts really persuade kids not to smoke, spur teens to exercise and get little ones to eat more fruits and veggies? Yes, if these efforts are part of a schoolwide program that promotes healthy behaviors on multiple fronts, according to the results of the most comprehensive study on the effects of these programs completed to date.
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The business of: Food services
District Administration Magazine
Students can be picky customers. And when they expect their cafeterias to serve a wide variety of attractive, fresh food, there is great pressure on food services staff to deliver. For some districts, the best way to please students and thereby increase participation is to maintain total control and keep all food service operations in-house. "We run our restaurants as true businesses," says Chad Wilsky, director of food service at Seminole County Schools in Florida. "Our top priority is providing food that our students want to eat."
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TRENDING ARTICLE
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Physical activity empowers kids to achieve personal bests
Psychology Today
Physical activity is a fundamental building block for psychological and physical well-being throughout a lifespan. Unfortunately, most Americans are sitting more and moving less.

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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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Obama's lawless education policy
Heartlander Magazine (commentary)
The Obama administration has once more demonstrated its contempt for representative government and the rule of law, this time through Education Secretary Arne Duncan's decision to pull Washington state's No Child Left Behind waiver. NCLB is the most expansive federal education law. Congress was due to rewrite it in 2007. Despite a Democratic majority through 2010, Congressional leaders ignored the overdue bill, probably because the Obama administration was then using stimulus money to rewrite education policy without Congress.
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Arne Duncan makes sales pitch for waivers, turnarounds, early education in Senate hearing
Education Week
No Child Left Behind waivers are not having a very good week on Capitol Hill. When Secretary of Education Arne Duncan testified before the House education committee Tuesday, he was slammed by both Democrats and Republicans for his approach to overseeing waivers from the NCLB law. And the very next day, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., a member of the Senate committee that deals with education spending, continued to beat the anti-waiver drum when Duncan appeared to defend his budget request on the other side of the Capitol.
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When 'proficient' isn't enough: A California school rises to the Common Core challenge
The Hechinger Report
A large color photograph of an iceberg on display in teacher Angel Chavarin's fourth-grade classroom at Laurel Street Elementary may not be the typical prop for a language arts lesson. But Chavarin is hoping visuals like this largely submerged icy mass will help his students better understand the concept of inferences, which are, in effect, "the tip of the iceberg." Inferences are not an easy concept for young children to grasp, and it may be particularly difficult for the students of Laurel Street, where more than 60 percent of students are English learners.
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Key strategies to modernize E-Rate
NAESP
Principals across the country agree: E-Rate is not meeting schools' technology needs. But the program is being modernized, and NAESP has launched an effort to ensure principals' voices are heard in that process. Over 70 percent of principals report that their districts are not meeting their basic connectivity needs with current E-Rate funding.
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Principal magazine is now digital
NAESP
In case you missed it, Principal now has a digital edition. It provides an interactive, mobile reading experience for members. The new format lets readers easily navigate from article to article, access links to great Web resources, print PDFs, and search the issue.
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