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Making school lunches healthier doesn't mean kids will eat them
The Atlantic
Los Angeles Unified, the country's second-largest school system, is home to more than 650,000 students, and 42 percent of them are overweight or obese. In 2011, the district decided healthier school lunches were the best way to help them not be. At that point, Los Angeles was already on the julienning edge when it came to fighting childhood obesity through food: It outlawed sodas in schools in 2004, banned selling junk food on campus, and swapped the bulk of its canned and frozen produce for fresh.
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States forge ahead on principal evaluation
Education Week
The number of states that mandate principal evaluations has jumped in recent years, driven by rules tying federal education aid to such policies. But many are still grappling with the best ways to measure principal effectiveness and the extent to which student performance should be included in evaluating principals. Since 2010, at least 36 states have adopted laws requiring principals to undergo regular assessments and increasing the rigor of those reviews, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
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With new standards, can schools find room for creative writing?
The Hechinger Report
For the past few years, the new nationwide Common Core state standards have been slowly rolling out in Florida's schools. Next year, all schools will fully implement the standards, which lay out what students are expected to learn in reading and math in kindergarten through twelfth grade. It's led to big changes for teachers, many of whom are throwing out lesson plans and cherished writing assignments and learning new ways to teach the basics, like multiplication. The Hechinger Report's Jackie Mader visited one rural panhandle elementary school to see how the standards are changing writing instruction.
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5 ways to remember STEM's forgotten 'E'
eSchool News
STEM education — a focus on science, technology, engineering and math — has cemented its place of importance in U.S. schools and in the global economy. And while science and math skills remain at the top of educators' lists, engineering, often called the "forgotten E" in STEM, is equally important in today's world. Students need to know what engineering actually is, experts and stakeholders say. What has traditionally been viewed as a stereotypically dry and numbers-heavy career actually has vast applications in today's workforce. Engineers can specialize in space engineering, special effects, sports, toys and entertainment, and more.
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The 3 questions to ask in any classroom
NPR
It's a frequent complaint in education journalism: Reporters should spend less time at school board meetings and get into a classroom to find out what's really going on. For reporters, though, that's a challenge and a risk, because lots of good journalists don't know what to look for in a busy classroom. How do you know if what you're seeing is "good" or not? After all, reporters aren't professional educators. And they're often under deadline.
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What makes a great school leader?
Edutopia (commentary)
Elena Aguilar, a transformational leadership coach from Oakland, California, writes: "This is the time of year when, for many different reasons, some teachers consider taking positions at other schools. I've received a number of calls from friends and colleagues this spring asking for my advice on this difficult decision. Here's what I always say: It's all about the principal or head of school. Find a site with a great leader and while your struggles might not be over, they'll be significantly reduced. The three qualities I find most indicative of a great school leader are visionary leadership, community builder, and emotional intelligence."
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What schools can learn from summer camps
MindShift
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.
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An alternative approach to preventing bullying
District Administration Magazine (commentary)
In a 2011 National Crime Victimization Survey, close to 1.2 million students reported that someone was hurtful to them at school once a week or more. This rate has not significantly declined since 2005. Of this number, close to 540,000 students say this happens "almost daily." Furthermore, over 700,000 students reported they were "fearful of attack or harm" at school "sometimes" or "most of the time." It's clear: What schools are doing to stop bullying isn't working. And the risks of liability or an agency enforcement action are increasing.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    3 ways to avoid summer 'brain drain' (eSchool News)
Reading experience may change the brains of dyslexic students (The New York Times)
6 shifts in education driven by technology (THE Journal)
The new separate and unequal (U.S. News & World Report)
The do's and don'ts of flipped classrooms (EdTech Magazine)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


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From Apple II to Touchcast, the evolution of computers in the classroom
The Washington Post
Tablet use at schools in the United States is booming, and could be a key component in rethinking classroom education, as Hayley Tsukayama and Michael Alison Chandler reported. The proliferation of tablets maybe the most revolutionary addition of technology in the classroom, but the path was paved with other tools.
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What a teacher-powered school looks like
MindShift
Most public schools are traditionally run by principals and administrators, who defer to policies dictated by the state. But a group of 60 schools across the country is subverting the top-down system, putting teachers in full control of running their schools. It's called the Teacher Powered Schools initiative, led by Education Evolving, and the goal is to seed a movement that will inspire other teachers in schools across the country to realize their potential as leaders.
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Report questions future relevance of formal education
THE Journal
Can formal education remain relevant in the long term? That's one of six critical challenges facing schools identified in a new report examining the impact of technology on education. According to the report — a preliminary edition of the annual Horizon Report introduced this week by the New Media Consortium and the Consortium for School Networking — one of the more complex challenges for education in the face of technological advancement is defining the role that schools will fill in the future as some of the traditional functions of schools are being replicated by other sources.
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Kids, parents are embracing the walking school bus
The Associated Press via The Huffington Post
As a group of children walked home together from school in Providence, they held hands and played the "I Spy" guessing game. When they reached a busy intersection, an adult accompanying them prodded, "What's the rule?" "Behind the line!" they said in unison, as they stepped back from the edge of the curb and waited for the walk signal. Shortly after, the group stopped in front of 8-year-old Jaiden Guzman's house. He said goodbye to his friends and raced to his front door. His mother waved and the rest of the walking school bus continued on its way.
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The business of: E-payments
District Administration Magazine
A step for districts going paperless is to stop accepting cash or paper checks from parents. Many school systems have had vendors set up secure online portals where parents can pay for AP courses, lunches and field trips, among other items. "It is about creating a consumer experience for parents," says Douglas Solomon, the senior vice president for FACTS Management Company, a tuition payment solutions provider. "This is how they manage so many other areas of their lives and they think it is terrific they can do it with their schools, too."
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If no one is looking at your Twitter account, it could be for a couple of reasons
Connected Principals Blog (commentary)
Most organizations or schools feel that jumping on the social media bandwagon is something that they should do because it is becoming the norm for others. If you think that Twitter is just about tweeting, you are missing a huge cultural shift that is happening. Too many people use Twitter as a "one-way" communication. They simply use it to deliver messages with no engagement at all. This might work if you are a huge celebrity, otherwise you are spending time doing something that is really going to do nothing but take up your time. If you are just sending information out, with no interaction, you are becoming the new "spam."
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Unlikely allies uniting to fight school changes
The New York Times
She is a fan of MSNBC, supports abortion rights and increased government spending in schools, and believes unions should have the right to strike. He watches Fox News, opposes abortion and is a fiscal conservative who voted three years ago to strip teachers unions of collective bargaining rights. Yet Emily Mitchell, a wiry, 4-foot-9-inch Democrat and first-grade teacher at David Youree Elementary School here, sees State Representative Rick Womick, a 6-foot-2-inch conservative Republican, as an important ally. Their common cause: battling new high-stakes standardized tests and some other hot-button policies in public education.
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FCC focusing E-rate on broadband, but older tech may suffer
EdTech Magazine
The Federal Communications Commission hopes to modernize its E-rate subsidy program for schools and libraries by giving a boost to broadband coverage. However, that shift would come at the expense of subsidies for older technologies, such as analog Internet connections. Thousands of schools and libraries depend on federal funding from E-rate (officially called the universal service Schools and Libraries Program). The program provides these institutions with telecommunications discounts of up to 90 percent in an effort to help close the technology gap. But changes are afoot concerning how that money is spent.
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TRENDING ARTICLE
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What makes a great school leader?
Edutopia (commentary)
Elena Aguilar, a transformational leadership coach from Oakland, California, writes: "This is the time of year when, for many different reasons, some teachers consider taking positions at other schools. I've received a number of calls from friends and colleagues this spring asking for my advice on this difficult decision."

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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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Tenure rules linked to teacher evaluations in more states
NBC News
A growing number of states are using controversial teacher evaluations to determine which teachers earn and hold onto tenure, says a report by the Education Commission of the States. Sixteen states have now mandated that the results of the evaluations be used in making tenure decisions, a jump from 10 states in 2011. And three states — Florida, North Carolina and Kansas — have voted to eliminate tenure altogether.
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Academic progress in Boston's schools in jeopardy, report finds
Education Week
Dysfunction and discord in Boston's public schools pose serious threats to what has mostly been a steady and sustained record of academic progress in the 55,000-student district, concludes a new external review commissioned by the school system. The district "lacks a well-articulated" set of strategies for improving student achievement, Michael D. Casserly, the executive director of the Council of the Great City Schools, writes in a memo outlining areas of concern, as well as strengths, in the Boston district.
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2014 NAESP conference is gearing up
NAESP
There's no other event like the NAESP National Conference and Expo, July 10-12 in Nashville, Tennessee. Only here can you make the contacts, share the ideas, and discover the solutions that will inform your entire school year. Don't let it happen without you! Register today.
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Webinar: Teacher evaluation and coaching
NAESP
Join NAESP on Wednesday, May 28, from 4 to 5 p.m. (Eastern) for "Providing Support to Principals to Improve Teacher Evaluation: A Coaching Model." This webinar will explore how two Delaware principals used coaching to turn teacher evaluation into a supportive process for improving instruction. Participants will come away with strategies to support teachers and maximize their professional development opportunities.
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