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Lawmakers want more autism training for teachers
Disability Scoop    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A pair of congressman are pushing for legislation to dramatically enhance training for educators who teach students with autism. A bill introduced in Congress would establish a five-year federal grant program to allow school districts to team with universities and nonprofits to train general education teachers and other school staff to best support students with autism. More

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Report: High turnover for charter school principals
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
By their own numbers, New York City charter schools have a tough time holding onto their principals, with nearly one in five of them heading for the door from one year to the next, according to a report released. The New York City Charter School Center, a nonprofit group that supports charters, composed the report, which is a close-up look at the 136 charter schools that have sprung up across the five boroughs in the last 13 years. More



Common standards publishers' criteria are revised
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
If you are following the Common Core State Standards, you might have heard a little something about a set of "publishers' criteria" that was designed to guide the development of curricular and instructional materials. The criteria caused a bit of a stir when they first came out last summer. Written by the two lead writers of the standards, the guidelines immediately drew fire for wandering into pedagogy, with advice on matters as specific as reading aloud to young students rather than using recordings and as broad as radically cutting back the pre-reading activities that have become so widespread in literacy instruction. More

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NRC to develop framework for new science assessments
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With a first draft of common science standards expected out soon, the National Research Council is gearing up to help states figure out the best way to assess the scientific knowledge and skills to be expected of students. A panel of experts in science, science education, and assessment will develop a report over the next year that provides a conceptual framework for the K-12 assessments and makes recommendations on the steps needed to develop valid, reliable, and fair assessments pegged to the standards. More

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Students create their own 3-D content
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Some tech-savvy school districts are helping students take knowledge and creativity into their own hands by giving them the chance to create their own 3-D content. And many educators say that 3-D is a logical path for today's students, who are accustomed to customizing their technology tools for their own needs. More



New survey: Half of teachers use digital games in class
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
No longer relegated to experimental programs, digital games are becoming much more commonly used in classrooms across the country, according to a survey by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center released. Half of the 505 K-8 teachers surveyed said they use digital games with their students two or more days a week, and 18 percent use them daily. More

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Beyond the teachers' lounge: The emerging connection gap
Edutopia (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As written by Mary Beth Hertz, an elementary computer teacher in Philadelphia: "We often pontificate about the "haves" and the "have-nots" in our schools — the unfair way that schools are funded, the ways in which some of our students are robbed of opportunity while others are awash in it. What we don't reflect on enough is how some educators are connected to the global community, emerging trends and research, and larger conversations around reform and the direction of global education in general — and how so many other educators are simply not tapped into that world. The last few months have opened my eyes to this widening gap between educators who are connected through social media and those who aren't." More

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Movement against standardized testing grows as parents opt out
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With the arrival of spring comes the inevitable wave of standardized tests, as public school students across the country break out their number two pencils and spend hours of class time taking math and literacy assessments. But a growing movement of principals, parents and teachers is rising up against these exams. They claim that placing so much time and emphasis on high-stakes tests robs students of valuable learning time and unfairly tangles teachers' performance evaluations with meaningless test scores. More



Education department offers states feedback on waivers
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The second round of states — 26 plus the District of Columbia — that applied to the U.S. Department of Education for wiggle room from the No Child Left Behind law got feedback on their requests in a round of letters sent April 17. To recap, 11 states have already been approved. More

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Texas lawmakers to assess school discipline programs, look for greater efficiency
The Associated Press via The Republic    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Texas lawmakers will examine one of the most expensive and controversial questions facing school districts: what to do with undisciplined kids. State law requires districts to set up Disciplinary Alternative Education Programs for students from elementary to high school who are removed from their classes for "mandatory or discretionary disciplinary reasons." These programs can be inside the schools or at a different location and some school districts contact private companies to operate them. One thing all the programs share is expense. More

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Music and art may soon join languages on the endangered list at Pennsylvania elementary schools
The Philadelphia Inquirer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Art and music classes in Pennsylvania's elementary schools may be headed down the same road as language instruction — desirable but dispensable, too costly in an era of ever-tightening public education budgets. In Delaware County's blue-collar Upper Darby school district, pressure to allocate more money and more classroom time to core academic subjects could trigger the elimination of elementary school music and art classes, physical-education teachers and librarians this fall. More

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Teacher reviews worry principals in Hawaii
The Associated Press via Hawaii Tribune Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Some principals are worrying about how they will be able to squeeze in new teacher evaluations into their already packed schedules. The Hawaii Department of Education is trying out new teacher evaluations at 18 public schools. Administrators at these schools need as much as three hours per teacher to conduct the comprehensive observation needed to conduct the reviews. The department is preparing to expand the system to 64 more schools in the coming school year. It wants to take the evaluations statewide in the 2013-2014 school year. More

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Social media rules limit New York student-teacher contact
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
New York City public schoolteachers may not contact students through personal pages on websites like Facebook and Twitter, but can communicate via pages set up for classroom use, the city's Education Department said after it released its first list of guidelines governing the use of social media by employees. The guidelines do not ban teachers from using social media and, in fact, recognize that it can offer tremendous educational benefits. Nor do they address cellphones and text messaging between teachers and students, which, according to a review by The New York Times of dozens of Education Department investigations in the past five years, have been more widespread and problematic. More



Elementary students get lessons in anti-bullying
Scotts Valley Patch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Nobody likes a bully. That is the lesson several dozen Brook Knoll Elementary School in California students learned when members of the Scotts Valley High School drama department performed anti-bullying skits for them. The 10 advanced drama students performed four skits: "You're Mean," "You're Stupid," "You're Weird" and "You're Different." "They are here to present to you how to be the best you can be," Brook Knoll Principal Shar Santos told her students. "Being a good friend, refraining from bullying, and just being the very best you can be." More

Utah's Orchard Elementary students jumping to cover the state
Standard-Examiner    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When the students at Orchard Elementary School learned they would be jumping rope enough times to cross the state of Utah, they weren't exactly jumping up and down for joy. Not at first anyway. In order to find a physical activity all of the kids could enjoy with minimal equipment, Orchard Elementary physical education teacher Michelle Christiansen decided to involve the students in a jump rope program during the month of March. That meant jumping enough times to figuratively cross the state of Utah — equivalent to 487 miles, which was nearly a million jumps, according to Christiansen's calculations using one jump as the equivalent to one walking step. More

Smart program teaches students to eat healthy
Hattiesburg American    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Elementary school students in the Hattiesburg Public School District are learning about health in a unique way. The Smart program combines lessons about nutrition, dental hygiene, exercise, hand washing and the importance of drinking water with art. "We're using art to get smart about things," said teacher Diane Ellzey, who was hired by Superintendent James Bacchus to oversee the program. Ellzey has 30 years experience teaching art to school children. More

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Evaluation and measurement: Ideas from Principal
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The May/June issue of Principal explores the best ways to evaluate and measure student, teacher and principal performance. Check out Principal online for all the articles and web extras, including the latest piece in the five-part Unlocking Autism series and a Web exclusive on the Common Core. More

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Get ready for Common Core in math with free webinar
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The NAESP/Solution Tree webinar series kicks off Tuesday, May 8 with "What Principals Need to Know About Teaching and Learning Mathematics," presented by author Timothy Kanold. He'll share how to achieve the vision of the Common Core State Standards in math with focused content, instruction, and assessment. Visit our webinar page for more on this series, and other upcoming sessions from NAESP. More
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