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5 apps for today's administrators
eSchool News
Leading a school or a school district is, understandably, an important and critical job. Today's school administrators must keep up to date with learning trends, instructional strategies, technology initiatives, and everything in between. The following five apps might help busy administrators manage their workload, identify and organize priorities, and make their days a little less hectic.
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Schools have plenty of complaints about new healthy lunch rules
The Wire
Some public school officials are requesting that Congress and the Department of Agriculture roll back healthy lunch requirements, arguing that students won't be able to adjust to meals that aren't rich in sodium or low on fruits and vegetables. The Associated Press reports that school administrators say students have been able to adjust to some changes pretty easily, like eating whole-grain breads, but that they've been rejecting others, like eating whole-grain anything else.
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Making mistakes is the key to learning
By: Brian Stack
"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again." This phrase, etched into the minds of children for generations, was first popularized in a proverb by British educational writer William Edward Hickson in the late 1800s. It reminds us all how important mistakes are to the learning process. It is up to teachers to allow students to be free to practice and make mistakes and focus their deliberative practice on the things that are going to help them learn. Failure to do so would result in a generation of students who will be scared to raise their hands when they don't know the answer to a question.
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7 challenges to getting the Common Core tests right
EdSource (commentary)
The rollout of the Common Core standards offers California — and most of the nation — an opportunity to address some of the issues that have plagued education reform in the past. Foremost among these issues is the generally poor quality of state assessments of student achievement and a resulting negative effect on instruction. State tests in the No Child Left Behind era tended to be: a) highly procedural, ignoring the conceptual skills in the standards, b) heavily or exclusively multiple-choice, and c) predictable in their coverage of a narrow slice of content in the standards.
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When English proficiency isn't enough
The Atlantic
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 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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Early reports suggest few field-testing snags
Education Week
Field-testing of two multistate online assessments is going more smoothly than many educators had expected, despite technological glitches in the coast-to-coast experiment. And even though the exams, aligned with the Common Core State Standards, are still in the tryout phase, they are proving tougher than the ones students are used to taking.
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The single biggest task facing every successful school leader
Forbes
For every successful school leader, one of their final tasks is also the single biggest. Get it wrong and everything they have worked for is at risk. Get it right and there is a good chance that their vision will be in place long after they have departed the scene. That task is handing over the reins. And for forward-thinking leaders, this is just the culmination of a process that starts as soon as they take up their post. While it may seem premature to start planning for departure so soon, there is no better way for a leader to ensure their legacy lives on.
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In all school subjects girls make higher grades than boys
Medical News Today
According to a new analysis published by the American Psychological Association, despite the stereotype that boys do better in math and science, girls have made higher grades than boys throughout their school years for nearly a century. Based on research from 1914 through 2011 that spanned more than 30 countries, the study found the differences in grades between girls and boys were largest for language courses and smallest for math and science. The female advantage in school performance in math and science did not become apparent until junior or middle school, according to the study, published in the APA journal Psychological Bulletin.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Why principals need to 'get messy,' stop micromanaging instruction, and build capacity (Scholastic Magazine)
By not challenging gifted kids, what do we risk losing? (MindShift)
US schools make progress by limiting access to unhealthy foods (Medical News Today)
5 reasons schools still need desktop computers (THE Journal)
Is cursive handwriting slowly dying out in America? (PBS Newshour)

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


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Creating tech-savvier teachers
District Administration Magazine
Decades into the computer revolution, many teachers still lack the training needed to use technology effectively in the classroom, according to a new survey. It's a major problem as schools are investing more in devices and blended learning to improve student achievement, experts say. To realize the full educational benefits of these tech tools, school leaders need to prioritize professional development, says Geoff Fletcher, deputy executive director of SETDA, the State Educational Technology Directors Association.
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4 free Web tools to boost student engagement
Edutopia
When students use tool technologies to create content, their engagement is largely based on how successfully teachers craft the learning assignments, rather than on the technology itself. This is different from what happens with other types of technologies, such as tutor technologies (e.g. software for learning).
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Some schools hiring teachers as revenues increase, others struggle
Stateline
Teachers looking for new jobs for the next school year will find vastly different markets across the states and sometimes across school districts in the same state. Prospects range from dismal to great, even as state revenues recover from the Great Recession and many states invest more money in K-12 education.
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Many bullied teens carry weapons to school, study finds
HealthDay News
Large numbers of U.S. high school students who are bullied take weapons to school, a new study finds. "Victims of bullying who have been threatened, engaged in a fight, injured or had property stolen or damaged are much more likely to carry a gun or knife to school," said study senior investigator Dr. Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York. The researchers analyzed data from more than 15,000 U.S. high school students who took part in a 2011 survey. They found that teens who suffered many types of bullying are up to 31 times more likely to bring weapons such as guns and knives to school than those who have not been bullied.
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The maker movement conquers the classroom
THE Journal
Whether it's a paper airplane or a robot that walks, kids have always wanted to create functional objects with their own two hands. These days, many educators are channeling that natural urge to build with help from the wider "maker movement," which has spawned maker faires and dedicated "maker spaces" in classrooms and media centers around the country. Pam Moran, superintendent of the Albemarle County Public Schools in Virginia, contends that American classrooms of the past regularly fueled this type of creativity, and now is the time to bring back that spirit of innovation.
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Feds issue 6 data, privacy recommendations
eSchool News
A new White House report on privacy and data collection says the mass collection of information is "saving lives" but calls for additional safeguards in how personal information is stored and collected. The report is the result of a three-month review led by White House adviser John Podesta and administration officials. President Barack Obama called for the assessment of so-called "big data" amid pressure over revelations about U.S. spy agencies collecting data on phone records.
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Which NCLB waiver state will be the first to get off high-risk status?
Education Week
Washington state has already lost its flexibility from the No Child Left Behind Act. But three other states — Arizona, Kansas, Oregon — may be able to shed the dreaded "high risk" label soon. All three states had until May 1 to submit a proposal to the U.S. Department of Education addressing the feds' concerns with their waivers. And in all three cases, as in Washington, teacher evaluation was a big piece of the problem. But the trio arguably had an easier lift than the Evergreeen State, since none of them need new legislation to hang onto their waivers.
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South Carolina Senate approves replacing Common Core in 1 year
The Associated Press via The State
The South Carolina Senate unanimously approved a bill that replaces Common Core education standards with those developed in South Carolina by the 2015-2016 school year. The bill, which passed 42-0, is a compromise of legislation that initially sought to repeal the math and reading standards that have been rolled out in classrooms statewide since their adoption by two state boards in 2010. Testing aligned to those standards must start next year, using new tests that assess college and career readiness, or the state will lose its waiver from the all-or-nothing provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind law.
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When English proficiency isn't enough
The Atlantic
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.

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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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Schools seek changes to healthier lunch rules
The Huffington Post
Becky Domokos-Bays of Alexandria City Public Schools has served her students whole-grain pasta 20 times. Each time, she said, they rejected it. Starting next school year, pasta and other grain products in schools will have to be whole-grain rich, or more than half whole grain. That includes rolls, biscuits, pizza crust, tortillas and even grits. The requirement is part of a government effort to make school lunches and breakfasts healthier. Championed by first lady Michelle Obama, the new standards have been phased in over the last two school years, with more changes coming in 2014.
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Principals join president to commend outstanding teachers
NAESP
Principals joined President Barack Obama last week to honor outstanding teachers. In the East Room of the White House, the president welcomed finalists for the 62nd annual 2014 National Teacher of the Year award. NAESP President Nancy Flatt Meador and 2013 Virginia National Distinguished Principal Sherry King joined him for the celebration.
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New principals and instructional leadership: 4 skills to grow
NAESP
NAESP's newly formed National Panel of New Principals aims to explore the struggles and successes of early career principals. Each month, the panel of first- and second-year principals answers a few brief questions about their experiences. Recently, the panel explored the many facets of instructional leadership. Here are a few nuggets.
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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.

Feedback about an article? Contact NAESP Liaison Meredith Barnett at MBarnett@naesp.org.
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