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The new separate and unequal
U.S. News & World Report
Sixty years ago, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that segregating schools was unconstitutional because "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal," the nation was searching for its moral compass. Despite the historic ruling, decades would pass before integration took root in Southern states, which rebelled furiously against federal policies regarding race. Yet today, while not legally sanctioned, more U.S. students are in segregated schools than a few decades ago. And experts say that these schools now are still as inherently unequal as their legally sanctioned predecessors.
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National landscape fragments as states plan Common Core testing
Education Week
Only a few years ago, the ambitious initiative to use shared assessments to gauge learning based on the new Common Core standards had enlisted 45 states and the District of Columbia. Today, the testing landscape looks much more fragmented, with only 27 of them still planning to use those tests in 2014-2015, and the rest opting for other assessments or undecided, an Education Week analysis shows.
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Schools adding computer coding to curriculum
Boston Herald
Students as young as kindergartners are learning computer programming as Massachusetts schools join a growing national movement to prepare students for 21st century jobs. Once considered an extracurricular activity for geeks, coding increasingly is being seen as both an essential life skill and a potential pathway toward becoming the next Mark Zuckerberg.
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Arts education in schools and museums: What's out there?
Education Week
Two arts education reports released last week highlight the variability in how schools and informal-learning environments address the arts across the country. South Arts, a nonprofit arts organization that works with nine Southern states, surveyed 4,400 K-12 principals about the status of arts education in their schools. The study found that, as in the rest of the nation, schools in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee were more likely to offer music classes (80 percent) and visual art classes (71 percent) than theater (22 percent) and dance (14 percent).
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For frustrated gifted kids, a world of online opportunities
MindShift
When parents find they have a two-year-old who can read, or a five-year-old who wakes up talking about square roots, the task of ensuring that these exceptionally bright children get the educational nourishment they need is unchartered territory. The path can be frustrating for the kids, and worry-inducing for the parents. But the ongoing boom in online learning opportunities has been a great benefit for many gifted youth because the offerings can cater to a student's ability rather than age.
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The do's and don'ts of flipped classrooms
EdTech Magazine
"What's the best use of your face-to-face class time?" That question came from Jon Bergmann, the flipped-classroom pioneer. Bergmann argues that time is best spent not lecturing students but walking them through concepts that they absorb outside of class. The concept of the flipped classroom, swapping homework with lecturing time, isn't new. Teachers have been experimenting with alternative learning models for years. Recently, EdTechTeacher hosted a webinar on what does and doesn't work in flipped classrooms.
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Free and easy ways to connect with your staff and parents
Connected Principals Blog (commentary)
There are a variety of ways that teachers and administrators can communicate with their class, staff and parents. Effective communication is vital to a schools success. Not just the typical teacher to parents way, but also from the campus to the families. Good communication can prevent misperceptions and mismatched expectations, encourage parent involvement and foster a team approach to caring for your students. Families should feel welcomed, informed and as involved as possible.
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How can teachers inspire learning? By empowering students
eSchool News
How can today's teachers inspire their students? Where does true engagement in learning come from — and how can technology play a role? These questions were the focus of a unique professional development event held in Dallas, during which attendees heard from an all-star lineup of educators.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    5 qualities of a tech-savvy administrator (eSchool News)
Safety planning: How to prepare for the worst (District Administration Magazine)
Why boys fail (and what you can do) (Scholastic Magazine)
More school districts rethink zero-tolerance policies (NPR)
Report: US children read, but not well or often (Reuters)

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6 shifts in education driven by technology
THE Journal
Six critical shifts are happening in education right now that are being driven, at least in part, by technology. According to preliminary findings from an upcoming report, these changes affect everything from the role of the teacher to a rethinking of how schools themselves work. The findings are part of a preliminary report introduced this week by the New Media Consortium and the Consortium for School Networking. Each year, NMC releases an annual Horizon Report, detailing new and impending developments affecting K-12 education in the United States — including emerging trends, technology drivers and barriers to adoption.
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30 apps for educators and students
eSchool News
By now, apps have cemented their place as valuable resources for students, teachers and administrators. But these apps go deeper, helping educators transform teaching and learning while promoting essential skills such as critical thinking and collaboration. "There's no one app that's better than all the others," said Michelle Luhtala, head librarian at New Canaan High School in Connecticut, while presenting a list of 50 apps that educators and students might find useful.
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Getting rid of local schools would make student bodies more diverse
The Atlantic (commentary)
Neighborhood public schools are outdated. They were designed to keep children close to parents, especially when many had mothers who spent their days at home. But today, almost two-thirds of American kids don't have a stay-at-home parent — most moms and dads work long distances from their children's schools, creating long commutes, missed days at work, and fewer opportunities to attend school events or PTA meetings.
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Teachers need to follow their own rules
Edutopia (commentary)
Dr. Richard Curwin, the director of graduate program in behavior disorder at David Yellin College, writes: "Many behavior problems that teachers face in their classrooms come from students who quickly see whether or not their teachers value appropriate behavior. The most disruptive students are often the ones who best intuitively understand when teachers are hypocritical as they try to enforce rules that they obviously don't follow themselves."
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Study: School nurses save money
Reuters
A Massachusetts program that put full-time registered nurses in schools more than paid for itself by averting medical costs and lost work for parents and teachers, according to a new study. Many school districts have cut or reduced the hours of school nurses in recent years, and nationwide less than half of public schools have a full-time nurse, the authors of the report note. They say their results warrant "careful consideration" from districts that are thinking of making such cuts in an effort to save money.
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Low-income children benefit from program to reduce behavior problems, boost math, reading
Medical News Today
A program aimed at reducing behavior problems in order to boost academic achievement has improved performance in math and reading among low-income kindergartners and first graders, according to a study by researchers at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Their findings, which appear in the Journal of Educational Psychology, point to the value of well-designed interventions to improve education, the study's authors say.
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Michelle Obama promotes success of arts education in helping turn around failing schools
The Associated Press via U.S. News & World Report
Delivering a forceful argument on the role of the arts in education, Michelle Obama said that it isn't something to be introduced in schools after student test scores go up but is a critical element of achieving those higher test scores in the first place. The lawyer-turned-first lady argued her case while opening the first White House student talent show, featuring spirited song and dance routines by students whose schools had performed so poorly they were chosen for a new federal arts education program.
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State lawmakers throttle back on 'parent trigger'
Education Week
Interest in the controversial school choice option known as the parent trigger has declined sharply among state lawmakers this year, even as legislators in a number of states forge ahead on tax-credit scholarships and other school choice alternatives. In 2010, California became the first state to pass a law allowing parents to spark a transformation of a low-performing school. In addition, Connecticut, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio and Texas have passed some version of that option, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
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Start school after Labor Day? Maryland task force says yes.
The Washington Post
A Maryland task force has recommended that the state's public schools delay opening until after Labor Day, a proposal that seeks to extend summer vacation for a week or more in many areas. The state task force, which has been meeting since September, voted 11 to 4 to embrace a later start date statewide, officials said. The idea — which many in the tourism industry support and many educators oppose — still has a long way to go to have any effect on school calendars in Maryland's 24 school systems. It is expected to be included in a report the task force gives to Gov. Martin O'Malley and the General Assembly by late June. It could then become part of legislation offered in next year’s legislative session.
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30 apps for educators and students
eSchool News
By now, apps have cemented their place as valuable resources for students, teachers and administrators. But these apps go deeper, helping educators transform teaching and learning while promoting essential skills such as critical thinking and collaboration.

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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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In Florida, Common Core transforms science, social studies and even gym
The Hechinger Report
It makes sense that Florida's new K-12 math and language arts standards based on Common Core will mean changes for those classes. But science, social studies — even gym classes — will also change when every grade starts using the standards this fall. At Tampa's Monroe Middle School, near MacDill Air Force base, science coach Janet Steuart said the standards are bringing changes to her classes too.
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California mayor sparks outrage by telling bullying victims to 'grow a pair'
The Associated Press via Fox News
A Central California mayor's remarks that bullying victims should toughen up and defend themselves has sparked anger among some city officials and gay rights advocates. At a recent City Council meeting, Porterville Mayor Cameron Hamilton said he opposes bullying but thinks it is too often blamed for the world's problems. Hamilton said some people need to "grow a pair." The mayor was responding to a student program proposing safe zones around town with signs directing children to places where they could seek refuge from bullies.
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Rethinking recess
NAESP
Recess is a great time for students to take in the sunshine and fresh air, and enjoy well-deserved free time. It also provides an opportunity for teachers and students to socialize and form positive relationships. In the latest issue of NAESP's Communicator, a Virginia principal shares how a structured recess program can help accomplish that.
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Register for upcoming mentor training in Nashville, Tenn.
NAESP
Being a principal is a tough job, especially with today's increasing demands on school leaders. Mentoring can provide crucial support to new principals. The NAESP National Mentor Program is designed to engage retired and experienced principals to give back to their profession by supporting new, newly assigned, or even experienced principals through mentoring. Ready to dive in? The next mentor training session is this July in Nashville, Tennesssee.
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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.

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