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No Child Left Behind fix is lagging in Congress
The Associated Press via The Seattle Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The long-awaited overhaul of the 9-year-old No Child Left Behind law has begun in the House with the first in a series of targeted bills, but a bipartisan, comprehensive reform of the nation's most important education law appears far from the finish line. Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee, said there's no chance of meeting President Barack Obama's August deadline. More


School librarians targeted in budget crunch
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
How will students learn key information literacy skills, and how will teachers get help with integrating digital resources into their instruction, without a full-time media specialist in their school? That's the question a national school library group has asked the nation's second largest school system as it prepares to cut dozens of school librarians in a high-profile example of a trend that is occurring nationwide. More

How well are schools teaching cyber safety and ethics?
KQED    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A recent survey undertaken by the National Cyber Security Alliance, Microsoft, and Zogby/463, showed that 91 percent of teachers, 92 percent of tech coordinators, and 99 percent of administrators believed responsible online behavior should be taught. The survey examined administrators, teachers and technology coordinators at the K-12 level about their thoughts on the cybersafety practices and curriculum in schools. More

Tennessee Senate OKs bill to ban teaching of homosexuality
The Associated Press via Fox News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A measure that would prohibit the teaching of homosexuality in Tennessee public schools has passed the Senate. Under the proposal approved 19-11, any instruction or materials at a public elementary or middle school will be "limited exclusively to age-appropriate natural human reproduction science." Republican Senate sponsor Stacey Campfield of Knoxville says "homosexuals don't naturally reproduce." More

Time for states to overhaul charter school laws
The Huffington Post (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For many governors, education "reform" means more charter schools, along with private school vouchers. With the governors' support, charter authorizers are receiving record numbers of charter school applications this year. But there is growing evidence of significant problems with states' charter experiments. Data consistently show most charter schools perform the same or worse than host district schools, and many charters rank among states' persistently lowest performing schools. More

Bullying Prevention: Is Empathy the Key?

No school can be a great school unless students feel safe. Neuroscientists, psychologists and educators believe that bullying and other kinds of violence can indeed be reduced by encouraging empathy.

Denver Public Schools seeking fewer, more committed substitute teachers
The Denver Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A surge in the number of people who think they want to be substitute teachers hasn't translated into a ready pool of subs able to jump into a classroom at a moment's notice. So Denver-area school districts in recent years have moved toward creating smaller — but more willing — pools of people who want to teach and can drop everything to do it when a district calls. More

School programs offer healthier lunch choices
The Associated Press via News Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When Lisa Elfrink replaced fried french fries with baked spuds in Missouri's Cape Girardeau School District's cafeterias, it went over about as well with most students as trading pizza for liver and onions. School nutrition programs nationwide are bracing for many menu changes ahead; they just don't know exactly when new federal dietary guidelines will be implemented and just how costly they will be. More

Obama promotes education overhaul, says all schools can improve with the proper incentives
The Associated Press via Chicago Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Trying to make his case for overhauling the nation's education laws, President Barack Obama is highlighting progress at a Tennessee high school as evidence that the proper incentives can help all schools succeed. Graduation rates at the school, which is in a poor, crime-ridden neighborhood, have risen impressively in just three years. 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.

State legislatures notch major K-12 policy changes
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The frenetic legislative season now finished or wrapping up in many states has brought big changes to education policy, some forged through bipartisan compromise, others only after hyperpartisan battles. Republican leaders who swept into office — when the GOP won a majority of governorships and took control of both legislative chambers in 25 states — wasted no time pushing through ambitious and often controversial education agendas. Their hardest-fought victories include the passage of laws that curb teachers' collective bargaining rights and tie educators' tenure, advancement, and pay to their performance, including their ability to improve student test scores. More

Michigan lawmakers seek tenure reforms, say firing bad teachers
too costly

Detroit Free Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Removing an ineffective teacher is such a long, expensive process that many districts won't bother trying. State lawmakers want a face-lift for tenure laws, making it easier to fire bad teachers and harder to gain tenure status. One union survey found it takes an average of nine months to try to fire a bad teacher, but it can take a year or more in many cases and cost huge sums. More

Struggling with 'mutual consent' in Colorado
Education News Colorado    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Denver Public Schools and its teachers union could need help from the courts to settle a dispute over how long veteran teachers who have lost their jobs — those educators with more than three years of experience and satisfactory evaluations — must continue to be paid. The conflict centers on implementation of the "mutual consent" provision of Colorado's landmark educator effectiveness law, otherwise known as Senate Bill 191, signed into law by former Gov. Bill Ritter almost exactly one year ago. Attention to the law has focused largely on its requirement that at least 50 percent of a teacher or principal's performance evaluation be tied to student progress on exams, which doesn’t go into effect for several years. More

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Education cut protests echo through Texas Capitol
Fort Worth Star-Telegram    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Angry parents and educators rallied outside the House and Senate chambers on the second floor of the Texas Capitol to protest $4 billion in proposed education cuts. Chants from the crowd were audible inside the chambers as lawmakers held working sessions in their hectic winddown toward the Legislature's May 30 adjournment. A group of about 75 to 100 protesters assembled just outside the front door of the House chamber, chanting: "We're watching. We vote." More

5 myths about America's schools
The Washington Post (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The end of the school year and the layoffs of tens of thousands of teachers are bringing more attention to reformers' calls to remake public schools. Today's school reform movement conflates the motivations and agendas of politicians seeking reelection, religious figures looking to spread the faith and bureaucrats trying to save a dime. Despite an often earnest desire to help our nation's children, reformers have spread some fundamental misunderstandings about public education. More

Plenty of talk to overhaul New Jersey charter schools, but little agreement
The Star-Ledger    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Assembly Education Committee takes up four bills dealing with the rapid growth of charter schools, the publicly funded but independently operated alternatives Gov. Chris Christie considers essential to his version of school reform. The package is a contradictory bag that will both please and irk supporters and opponents of charters. One expands the kinds of institutions that can authorize charters to operate — only the state can do it now — while another mandates local residents have a say in whether charters should exist in their towns. More


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Los Angeles teachers union seeks to block test of evaluation program
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Even before he officially took over the top job at the Los Angeles school district, John Deasy said one of his top priorities was overhauling teacher evaluations. It appeared the new superintendent was in an ideal position. The school board had voted to reopen teachers' contract negotiations and to use student test scores as part of evaluations, something a growing number of districts around the country had been doing. The mayor was also calling for new educator accountability measures, and national teachers union leaders had begun accepting test data as one measure of educator performance. More

Longer school days could be on the way in Tennessee
The Tennessean    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Kevin Huffman, Tennessee's new education commissioner, says he'd consider longer school days and years as one way the state can toss out antiquated education practices and help students improve more quickly. Charter school students spend 50 percent more time in the classroom than their public school counterparts. Other states passed legislation for students in some schools to get 300 more hours instruction per school year — 19 Massachusetts schools are on the longer schedule, for instance. More

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


Children's book award contest winners selected — next year's competition open
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Mary Jo Amani of Swannanoa, N.C., and Frank McMillan of Corpus Christi, Texas, are winners of the NAESP Foundation's First Annual National Children's Book of the Year Award Contest, both will receive contracts to publish their books. Applications for the 2011 contest are now available. The deadline for entries is Jan. 16. 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.
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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.

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