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House bill calls for eliminating 43 education programs
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
Forty-three education programs would be scrapped under a bill introduced by Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., the chairman of the House Education and the Workforce subcommittee that oversees K-12 policy. "It's time to trim the fat," Hunter said. "I will introduce legislation that will eliminate — not consolidate, not defund, but eliminate — 43 wasteful K-12 education programs. At a time when approximately one-third of American fourth-graders can't read, we must concentrate on education initiatives that have a track record of putting the needs of students first." More

Sharing musical instruments means sharing germs
Infection Control Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Germs survive for several days in wind instruments including the clarinet, flute and saxophone, according to a pilot study published in the International Journal of Environmental Health Research. The researchers, led by Dr. Stuart Levy of Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, urge proper cleaning of these instruments. More

Boys don't read, except when they do
The Huffington Post (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The 2010 Kid and Family Reading Report found that regardless of race, geography or socioeconomic status, boys were lagging far behind girls in reading outside of school assignments. Only 39 percent of boys rated reading outside of class as important, while 62 percent of girls said it was "extremely or very important." A 2005 National Education Association study found that between 1980 and 2004, the gender gap in reading between boys and girls had grown so wide that the authors determined it had become a "marker of gender identity." More

'Physically active learning' improves test scores, sharpens concentration
Hartford Courant    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The concept is that short bursts of exercise during class can help students stay engaged, enhance concentration and do better on tests. As a result, the Connecticut Department of Education is trying to get the message out and encourage teachers to include these exercise bursts in their classrooms. Physically active learning doesn't mean recess, gym class or activities before or after school. It involves taking a short break in class to move around or incorporating physical activity in a lesson. More

Program helps kids turn off TV, tune in to veggies
MedPage Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A special curriculum that promotes healthy lifestyle choices for children in middle school had long-term sustaining cardiovascular benefits, according to a four-year pilot study of students in Michigan schools. More

Service dogs teach educators about disabilities
NPR    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
VideoBrief Many disabled people say that life without their service animals is unthinkable. And while public institutions are required to admit service animals without question, some public schools claim they cannot handle the disruption of a dog in a busy classroom. Disabled students are hoping new federal guidelines will help them avoid legal battles over their animals. More

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Researchers probe causes of math anxiety
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Math problems make more than a few students — and even teachers — sweat, but new brain research is providing insights into the earliest causes of the anxiety so often associated with mathematics. Experts argue that "math anxiety" can bring about widespread, intergenerational discomfort with the subject, which could lead to anything from fewer students pursuing math and science careers to less public interest in financial markets. More

Playground Supervision Reduces Injuries

Supervisors must provide the highest duty of care to prevent unreasonable risk of injury. Lack of proper supervision is a factor in playground injuries more than 40 percent of the time.

Eighth-grade students learn more through direct instruction
Education next (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Should teachers stand in front of the class and present the material to be learned? Or should learning be more dynamic, with students solving problems, either on their own or under the teacher's guidance? Which approach yields the most student learning? More

Outlines of ESEA's future emerging on Capitol Hill
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Four months after President Barack Obama made education a centerpiece of his State of the Union address, lawmakers charged with reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act are beginning to sketch out their own visions for aspects of the law's renewal. Still, the prospects that Congress will meet the president's goal — a comprehensive, bipartisan reauthorization by the start of the next school year — remain cloudy. More

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.

Illinois House sends school reform bill to governor's desk
Chicago Sun-Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Illinois House overwhelmingly approved and sent to Gov. Quinn a major education reform package that U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan heralded as "truly remarkable." The measure, which passed the House 112-1 with one member voting present, could lengthen the school year and school day in Chicago, give school districts new powers to oust poorly performing teachers and impose new obstacles to teachers strikes. More

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Teacher layoff bill clears Pennsylvania Senate
The Associated Press via The Philadelphia Inquirer    Share    Share on
FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A bill that would make it easier for Pennsylvania public school districts to lay off teachers as a cost-cutting move won the approval of the state Senate, as districts struggle to absorb what could be a substantial loss of state aid in the coming school year. The bill would let districts lay off teachers and other professional employees to control costs. It also would allow districts to lay off teachers without regard to seniority under certain circumstances — for example, if a teacher's two most recent consecutive performance ratings were unsatisfactory. More

Wisconsin could expand school choice
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Gov. Scott Walker wants to bring voucher schools to urban areas beyond Milwaukee and predicts lawmakers will approve that expansion by the end of June. The proposal comes as Walker is proposing cutting public school funding by $841 million over two years, and injects a new campaign issue into attempts to recall nine state senators. More


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Virginia awards grants to college-school district partnerships
The Associated Press via The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Virginia Department of Education is awarding more than $2.7 million in grants to enhance teachers' knowledge of science, technology, engineering and math and their ability to teach the subjects. The department said in a release that 17 partnerships between school divisions and colleges and universities won the awards, part of a competitive math and science partnership grant competition. More

California could cut school year by several weeks
San Jose Mercury News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The calendar says spring, the weather says late winter, but at this time next year, it could be summer vacation for schools. That's if California is forced to patch its budget hole by taking billions of dollars out of education. While plans aren't settled or even proposed, Gov. Jerry Brown and other officials have suggested that without new revenues, California's 180-day school year could be shortened by as much as five weeks in 2011-2012. That's one-seventh of the school year. More

NAESP welcomes new president-elect, board members
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Jillayne Flanders, Marion E. Whitfield and Tanya Patricia Jones will join President-elect Mark Terry as new members of NAESP's Board of Directors. More


Save by renewing your NAESP membership today
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Renew your membership at the current rate now so you can continue receiving high-value benefits and save $20 as an Active member. Dues go up effective July 1. Take action today. More

Support your school's arts program with a Crayola grant
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Strengthen arts education in your school with a 2011 grant to Champion Creatively Alive Children, a national program funded by Crayola and supported by NAESP's National Principals Resource Center. Crayola will award up to 20 grants, which include a $2,500 monetary award and $500 worth of Crayola products. 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 or contact us at

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.

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