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Obama dangles $400 million to spur school change
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Seeking to spur a bold rethinking of the American classroom, the Obama administration will propose divvying up $400 million among local school districts that devise new ways of reaching children, especially students from poor and rural families. The competition will reward districts that move away from the centuries-old model of a teacher standing at the front of a classroom, delivering the same lesson to all students, according to draft regulations released. More

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Schools and students clash over use of technology
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When it comes to using technology in school, the tension between what students and parents want and what schools allow is becoming more apparent — and more divisive. Students want more control over how they use technology in school, but many classrooms are still making it difficult. That's according to the most recent Speak Up 2011 report, "Mapping a Personalized Learning Journey," which reflects the views of more than 416,000 K-12 students, parents and educators nationwide surveyed on how technology can enhance the learning environment. More



Designing Common Core tests for all proving a challenge
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Although more students with disabilities than ever are included in state testing programs, the task of giving these students high-quality assessments in the future that measure how adept they are at mastering the Common Core State Standards seems to have an endless number of hurdles to overcome before students face these new assessments in the 2014-2015 school year. And one of them has less to do with the test than with instruction, said Stephen N. Elliott, a professor of education at Arizona State University. Elliot spoke at a U.S. Department of Education meeting addressing the challenges that remain in preparing new tests that all students are scheduled to take in 2014. More

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Geography for a flat world
District Administration Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Geography isn't what it used to be. Nowadays, that subject is often buried—and therefore inadequately covered—in a social studies curriculum itself under siege because of the extended commitment in schools to reading and math. But geographical knowledge also isn't what it used to be. It's become essential to understanding a brave new world of international economic and political developments, as well as preparing for a host of jobs that did not even exist 20 years ago. More


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Despite downturn, few men sign up to teach
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The economic downturn seems to have worsened an already-vast gap between the numbers of men and women teachers, particularly in the early grades. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2011 Current Population Survey, men make up only 18.3 percent of elementary and middle school teachers and 2.3 percent of preschool and kindergarten instructors — a dip from the 2007 prerecession proportions of 19.1 percent in grades 1 to 8 and 2.7 percent in preschool and kindergarten. The numbers of men and women on high school teaching staffs are more evenly divided but still off parity; 42 percent of high school teachers in 2011 were men, down from 43.1 percent in 2007. More

Is the Internet hurting children?
CNN    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Amid the buzz over the Facebook IPO, the ever-evolving theories about how Twitter is reshaping our communications and speculation about where the next social media-enabled protest or revolution will occur, there is an important question we've largely ignored. What are the real effects of all this on the huge segment of the population most affected by social media themselves: our children and our teens? The explosive growth of social media, smartphones and digital devices is transforming our kids' lives, in school and at home. Research tells us that even the youngest of our children are migrating online, using tablets and smartphones, downloading apps. More

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Creating conditions for Common Core
Education News Colorado (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Teachers will need to behave like students if the Common Core Standards are going to have any impact on student achievement. Teachers will be able to seamlessly incorporate the common core standards into their everyday practice if districts give teachers: differentiated time, plenty of feedback and the opportunity to struggle with the new standards. These three requirements are the same teachers use with their students. And just like students, or other professionals confronted with technical changes in their fields, teachers need to be afforded time and resources to build new capacities. More

Public money finds back door to private schools
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When the Georgia legislature passed a private school scholarship program in 2008, lawmakers promoted it as a way to give poor children the same education choices as the wealthy. The program would be supported by donations to nonprofit scholarship groups, and Georgians who contributed would receive dollar-for-dollar tax credits, up to $2,500 a couple. The intent was that money otherwise due to the Georgia treasury — about $50 million a year — would be used instead to help needy students escape struggling public schools. That was the idea, at least. More

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Education schools' training on standardized tests found lacking in new report
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
These days, it's not enough for teachers to know how to manage a classroom, impart knowledge and deliver lesson plans. In the wake of test-heavy policies like No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top, a teacher's job description now entails data analysis and a grounding in statistics — crucial skills that a new study claims teachers aren't learning in the education colleges that prepare them for the classroom. The study, by the nonprofit, nonpartisan National Council for Teacher Quality, analyzed 180 education schools to see how effectively and coherently they teach prospective teachers the skills associated with using test data to improve student learning. And the results weren't pretty. More

Education group: Schools need 100 Mbps per 1,000 broadband users
Network World    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Schools in the U.S. will need broadband speeds of 100 Mbps per 1,000 students and staff members by the 2014-15 school year in order to meet a growing demand for Web-based instruction and a skyrocketing number of student-owned Web devices, according to a new report by a trade group representing state education agencies. The report, "The Broadband Imperative," recommends schools increase their broadband speeds to 1 Gbps per 1,000 students and staff by 2017-2018. Internal WANs connecting schools within districts should be 1 Gbps by 2014-15 and 10 Gbps by 2017-2018, said the report, released by the State Educational Technology Directors Association. More


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Harassment, bullying and free expression: Guidelines for public schools seek middle ground
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When Sally tells Jimmy that he's going to hell for believing in a false religion, is that Sally exercising her First Amendment right to free expression, or is that Billy getting bullied? A broad coalition of educators and religious groups — from the National Association of Evangelicals to the National School Boards Association — on May 22 endorsed a new pamphlet to help teachers tackle such thorny questions. More

1 tablet per child?
District Administration Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Tablets have come a long way since Apple launched its pioneering Newton MessagePad in 1993, the first Internet-connected flat-screen device pairing a stylus with handwriting-recognition software. Since then, computer hardware companies have been refining and experimenting with the concept of Internet-connected tablet computing devices. The personal digital assistant, convertible laptop/tablets, dual-screen booklet tablets, e-book readers and other designs have been among the many iterations of tablet computers, sometimes known as slates or media tablets. More

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What schools can learn from summer camps
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As warm weather approaches and parents sign up their kids for summer enrichment programs, many may wonder how long the effects of these programs last. Do their benefits persist into the school year, or do they disappear come September? A study led by Stanford University psychologist Paul O'Keefe, released by the journal Motivation and Emotion, offers some heartening news: Students' improvements in attitude and motivation stick around well after summer turns to fall. Over the course of nine months, O’Keefe and his coauthors assessed a group of eighth-, ninth- and tenth-graders three times: once before the end of the school year, once during their summer enrichment program and a final time six months after the end of the program. More



US schools with single-sex classrooms may face ACLU lawsuit
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The American Civil Liberties Union is threatening legal action against as many as a dozen school districts from Maine to Mississippi unless they stop programs the group says illegally segregate boys and girls into single-sex classes and promote stereotypes. The group also was demanding that Florida's Department of Education launch an investigation into widespread single-sex teaching in that state, where 32 schools in 16 districts offer single-gender classes. A spokeswoman for the department said they had not yet received the demand, which is posted on the ACLU's website. More

National conference in Ohio focuses on teachers
The Associated Press via ABC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Educators including the U.S. secretary of education, teacher union leaders and school administrators will focus this week on ways to transform the teaching profession with such targets as better recruiting, preparation and career development, and evaluations based on effectiveness. Leaders at the Labor Management Conference are set to approve a seven-part plan aimed at upgrading teaching and schools to better equip students to compete in increasingly digital and global workplaces — even as many schools across the country have seen tightened budgets and teacher layoffs during a rough economy. More


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Mitt Romney unveils education reform plan heavy on 'parental choice'
The Christian Science Monitor    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Mitt Romney called for an expansion of parental choice in America's school system, pivoting to a subject he has discussed little so far in his presidential campaign. Romney spoke in Washington, taking his message on education to a city that is home not only to his electoral rival — President Barack Obama — but also to one of the nation's important experiments with school vouchers. He criticized Obama for failing to pursue deeper education reforms, saying the president has been "unable to stand up to union bosses, and unwilling to stand up for kids." More

Rules proposed for district Race to Top contest
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
School districts that want a slice of the latest, nearly $400 million in Race to the Top competitive grants will have to put a major focus on helping schools tailor instruction to the needs of individual students — and agree to evaluate school board members and superintendents — under draft regulations released by the U.S. Department of Education. The department anticipates giving out about 15 to 20 four-year grants, of up to $25 million each. Districts will be able to apply for the funds individually, or as part of consortia with other districts, even those in other states. And charter schools — as well as other organizations that are defined as a "local education agency" by their states — can compete, too. More

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ACLU: Half of Florida school districts mislead parents on Social Security number laws
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
About half of Florida's school districts mislead parents into thinking that providing a Social Security number for their children is mandatory, according to a study from the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida. Federal law states students are not required to provide their Social Security numbers to schools, granting the right to education to all children, even those who are undocumented. More

California plans big changes to testing, instruction
The San Diego Union-Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
California has embarked on a course to fundamentally reshape how every student is taught and tested. These new "common core standards" for grades K-12 go into effect in fall 2014 for English Language Arts and math. Revisions to the curriculum and assessments for other subjects, such as science and history, will follow in later years. "It's the biggest change in our careers; in a lifetime in education," said Bob Wells, executive director of the Association of California School Administrators. More


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Strong principals lift foundering schools
Omaha World-Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The education offered at Charlotte's Allenbrook Elementary in Nebraska had fallen down. Allenbrook, an urban school with high levels of poverty, had become too used to poor performance, outside evaluators of the school determined. Low expectations for students were pervasive, according to the district's "Quality Review Report" on the school. The pace of learning was slow, the review said. Lessons relied on repetition, not intellectual challenge. A parent group was nonexistent. Less than one-third of the students could pass both the state math and reading tests. This was the environment the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools decided to turn around in 2009. Allenbrook's principal was removed. In came a new principal with a strong reputation, who brought along a select group of assistants and five quality hand-picked teachers, all choosing to accept the tough assignment. More

Building a bridge to summer with projects
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The month of May can be a tough time for schools. The end of the year brings mixed emotions for students, teachers and parents, as they prepare for transition into the summer months. Keeping the same routines can be reassuring for some, but recasting school in terms of time and space can galvanize students and teachers and launch them into the summer full of energy and inspiration. More



Apply for grant to support arts in your school
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Strengthen arts education in your school with a 2012 Champion Creatively Alive Children grant. Crayola will award up to 20 grants, which include a $2,500 monetary award and $500 worth of Crayola products. The deadline to apply is June 15. More

District-level Race to the Top: Tell NAESP your thoughts
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Department of Education has just announced plans for a new district-level Race to the Top grant initiative. Would this improve your district? Here's your chance to help NAESP make sure the principal's voice is heard. Read NAESP's post on the proposed guidelines for the plan and tell us your thoughts. Plus, check out The Principal's Office Blog for other updates from Capitol Hill and news you can use. More


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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.
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601   Download media kit
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