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Report: How much do public schools spend on teaching?
National Center for Policy Analysis    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
School districts claim that funding cuts would require them to close schools and drastically increase class sizes, but states have little choice: K-12 schools take an average of 36 percent of general funds annually. However, school district budgets can be cut without touching classroom spending, says Michael Barba, a graduate student fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis. School districts very often define spending categories in unexpected ways, making it difficult to distinguish classroom spending from operational costs. More



Survey highlights changing educators opinions on education technology
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new survey reveals evidence of a major shift in educators opinions regarding technology as an educational tool, which might be attributed to the increase in educator and administrator use of education technology tools. According to the latest Speak Up Survey results, more than twice as many educators have a personal smart phone today than in 2008, and there has been a 33 percent increase in the proliferation of teachers who are active Facebook users. There has also been a 50 percent increase of teachers using podcasts and videos as part of their classroom instruction. More



Literacy education: The foundation for all learning
Education Week (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
There is a lot of talk these days about making sure that the United States remains competitive in the 21st century global economy. Government officials and the business community are working on ways to create and maintain jobs in growing industries, and policymakers and others are trying to figure out how to make sure our schools are effectively preparing our students for the jobs of tomorrow. Every teacher and administrator understands that literacy issues are a serious concern. More



Coal curriculum called unfit for fourth-graders
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Three advocacy groups have started a letter-writing campaign asking Scholastic Inc. to stop distributing the fourth-grade curriculum materials that the American Coal Foundation paid the company to develop. The three groups say that Scholastic's "United States of Energy" package gives children a one-sided view of coal, failing to mention its negative effects on the environment and human health. More

Fifth-graders get and give alternative energy lessons
York Daily Record    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Many of Scott Weaver's fifth-graders in his gifted class knew the importance of turning off lights and recycling plastic bottles. But he took it one step further when he decided to teach a unit on alternative energy. Seven of his students presented what they learned about what Weaver calls "the science of the future" on a Glog — or a virtual poster into which you can imbed pictures, videos and text — to another class. More


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Report: To keep schools safe, teachers need to be more visible
Chicago Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The threat of violence is a disruptive force in many Chicago schools, but a new report suggests that schools in even the most crime-ridden neighborhoods can foster safe environments by building strong relationships between teachers and students. A two-year study by the Consortium on Chicago School Research at the University of Chicago found that students from high-crime areas naturally tended to feel less safe on campus than peers in less violent neighborhoods. But supportive relationships inside and outside the classroom can override those fears, giving students a better chance to learn, the study indicated. More

Quality of summer school teachers targeted
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As hundreds of thousands of students soon head off to summer school, several crucial and long-unanswered questions about teacher quality could get a second look: Which teachers get recruited for summer school, and how well does their instruction align to the knowledge and skills children need to master? A hefty body of evidence documents the phenomenon of "summer learning loss," but consensus on the attributes of effective summer intervention, especially when it comes to access to high-quality teaching for students most at risk of falling behind, is only starting to emerge. More

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Bullying & Harassment : What Schools Can Do

The DOE issued guidance to support educators in combating bullying in schools by clarifying when student bullying may violate federal education laws and the schools' responsibility to intervene.
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Can learning really be fun and games?
KQED    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For those wondering what a game-based classroom looks like in a traditional school, take a peek into Ananth Pai's third-grade class in Parkview/Center Point Elementary school in Maplewood, Minn. Using his own money and grants that he applied for, Pai has managed to round up seven laptops, two desktops 11 Nintendo DS's, 18 games for math, reading, vocabulary, geography and 21 digital voice recorders. More



President's committee tackles arts education
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
article
With First Lady Michelle Obama and such celebrities as Sarah Jessica Parker lending support, the president's committee on the Arts and the Humanities issued a report aiming to reverse a decades-long decline in arts education in American elementary and secondary schools. The report is intended to help advocates press for more money, better teaching approaches and a fresh mind-set that doesn't treat arts learning as a frill or an afterthought, readily cut when school budgets grow tight. More

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Illinois Schools Implement Lexia, Improve

75% of kindergartners in Des Plaines, IL elementary school had no letter recognition. Lexia Reading software helped bring 88% up to speed by end of 1st grade.
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Education hornets' nest: Creating a national K-12 curriculum
The Hill (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Department of Education has, since September of 2010, been financing the work of two testing groups to create a national K-12 curriculum for English and mathematics. But in launching this new initiative, Education Department officials seem to be acting at crosspurposes with existing federal statutes, and, as their initiative becomes better known, it may bring out a multitude of opponents. The new national curriculum is designed to complement a federally-funded national testing system that will test every public school student in America. Left unchallenged, this federal effort will establish for America a new system of national tests, national academic content standards and a national curriculum. More



In praise of principals in hard times
Education Week (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Administrators in Oakland, Calif., must fulfill the same roles and responsibilities as principals across the U.S. However, as urban school leaders, Oakland administrators must also be adept at communicating with families from a range of backgrounds, cultures and religions. More

In Texas schools, a picture's worth 1,000 calories
The Associated Press via Yahoo News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
That's the idea behind a $2 million project being unveiled in the lunchroom of a San Antonio elementary school, where high-tech cameras installed in the cafeteria will begin photographing what foods children pile onto their trays — and later capture what they don't finish eating. Digital imaging analysis of the snapshots will then calculate how many calories each student scarfed down. Local health officials said the program, funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant, is the first of its kind in a U.S. school, and will be so precise that the technology can identify a half-eaten pear left on a lunch tray. More

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Schools make strides despite length of day
Honolulu Star-Advertiser    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In Hawaii the amount of instructional time offered at elementary schools statewide varies widely but there appears to be no correlation between campuses with shorter school days and those meeting annual learning benchmarks, new state data show. Twelve of the 37 schools that offer school days of at least five hours, five minutes on average, the minimum expected to go into effect next school year, did not meet adequate yearly math and reading proficiency goals in 2010 under the No Child Left Behind law, according to statistics compiled by the state Department of Education. More

Pa. House passes expansion of the Educational Improvement Tax Credit program
The Patriot-News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Pennsylvania House has voted 190-7 to expand the state's program that gives tax breaks to companies that contribute to private school scholarship funds or innovative educational programming at public schools. The measure now goes to the Senate for consideration. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Thomas Quigley, R-Montgomery, would increase funding for the Educational Improvement Tax Credit program up to $100 million next year and up to $200 million the following year. Currently, $60 million is allocated to the program. More

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Christie pleads case for school reforms
NorthJersey.com    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The political climate is ripe for bipartisan agreement on education reform, Gov. Chris Christie said at a Washington, D.C., panel discussion. But the outspoken Republican also said "the Democratic Party has failed in representing" children in New Jersey's cities, and teachers unions "are the people to blame for the lack of change." That analysis was derided as "simplistic" by Rep. George Miller, D-Calif. More

Minnesota bill would keep struggling readers in third-grade
Minneapolis Star Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Minnesota will start telling school districts to hold back third-graders who are struggling with reading if a bill that passed the Minnesota House becomes law. The legislation mandates that schools retain students who are not reading at grade-level in third-grade, though parents could authorize that their children advance to fourth-grade by signing a form. More



Principals' Buyers Guide—a quick way to find what your school needs
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Have you visited the Principals' Buyers Guide? It's your ticket to a virtual exhibit hall of suppliers and the latest innovations for schools. Head over to the Guide and take a look around today! More

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You could be an NAESP editorial advisor
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Do you enjoy reading professional publications? Do you have ideas on what principals would like to read in Principal magazine and NAESP's other publications? Do you have a flair for writing? You just might be one of NAESP's next editorial advisors! More


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Study shows BULLYING reduced 41%

Researchers from University of Illinois at Chicago just released findings from a randomized-control trial in 14 schools in Chicago. Schools using the Positive Action program from 3rd to 5th grade reduced bullying by 41%, violence by 37% and substance use by 31%. Academic effects will be released soon.
Learn more
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Bring the World to Your School with Educational Seminars!

Educational Seminars, fully funded by the U.S. Department of State, are short-term international exchanges for U.S. teachers and administrators that focus on sharing best practices and professional development.

Look for program applications for teachers and administrators in late summer/fall 2011. Email edseminars
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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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