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New school menus collide with budget realities
The Associated Press via msnbc.com    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Eating healthy food isn't always cheap, and some conservatives in Congress are concerned that the Obama administration's effort to make school lunches more nutritious is a luxury the nation can't afford. Many schools, especially the poorest ones, agree. They say new rules issued by the Agriculture Department in January will require them to buy pricier foods and more equipment at a time when federal and state budgets are tight and food costs are rising. More

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Retired educators under fire for returning to work
The Associated Press via Daily Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As school districts in Minnesota have allowed retirees to return to work in recent years, some districts say they are getting a deal on quality professionals, while others wonder if the educators are double-dipping by collecting both a salary and a pension. More



Common-core tests to have built-in accommodations
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Many special education teachers spend hours devising shortcuts and homemade solutions to make standardized tests accessible for their students. But that may change with the unveiling of the next generation of tests, the common-core assessments, which have accommodations for students with disabilities built right in. More



Online game fuels students' interest in math
The San Antonio Express-News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The day San Antonio teacher Ann Waring introduced her fourth-graders to Reasoning Mind, an online math program, she was pleasantly surprised to find several of her students still playing online at 9:30 p.m. Since May 10, five classes at Waring's school have been test-driving the program for free, and students say it adds up to a lot of fun. More

Study finds sudden insights key to learning words
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Parents and teachers often use flashcards and picture books to teach young children new words, but a new study suggests that understanding basic words may come from a flash of initial insight more than repetition. The study’s findings suggest that children — and, in fact, all new language learners — can build up concrete vocabulary from interacting with a complex learning environment, not just repeated exposure to words in isolation. More



Why educators must become political animals
Education Week (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
article
Communities can only evolve when leaders are engaged with the political community. Rather than ignoring the political dynamics, educational leaders would be served well by becoming highly skilled political animals in their own right. More

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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.
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Mentoring program focuses on role models for boys
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For children in blighted neighborhoods, going to college can seem an impossible goal, especially when just making it through grade school is a challenge. Rodzae James, 11, knows his neighborhood is rough, but he feels lucky to have a couple of good role models. "I look up to my brother because he was the first boy on my block to go to college," he said. Rodzae also admires his mentor, Justen Boyd, a family advocate at Family Focus Lawndale, who specializes in education and restorative justice, an approach to discipline emphasizing collective ways of solving behavioral problems. More



New round of grants target education innovation
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The federal government is trying to make it easier to apply for one of its grants for innovative ideas to improve education. In 2010, the U.S. Department of Education gave out $650 million to 49 school districts, charter organization, colleges, universities and other nonprofit organizations with entrepreneurial ideas for improving the nation's schools. More

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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.
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Kline's education reform vision: Less federal cash, more school autonomy
Minnesota Public Radio    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
While Congress may seem locked in endless budget battles, lawmakers from both parties are trying to overhaul education laws, including No Child Left Behind. Minnesota Rep. John Kline is in charge of that effort for House Republicans. Kline became the chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee this January. He's spent much of the past few months getting his committee up to speed and talking to school administrators. More



Texas Lawmakers consider class sizes, teacher measures
The Associated Press via Yahoo Finance    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Under bills being considered by Texas state lawmakers to help ease budget strains, school districts could increase elementary school class sizes and move quicker to dismiss teachers. Considered during the regular season but not passed, the ideas resurfaced in the special session. Texas lawmakers are pushing toward a $4 billion cut to schools over the next two years and school districts say they need ways to deal with those losses. More

California bill would ban pay-to-play in K-12 classes, sports
The Associated Press via San Jose Mercury News    Share    Share on
FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
California's K-12 schools have been charging fees for certain classes, sports and clubs, a practice the state Assembly has voted to end. Democratic Assemblyman Ricardo Lara of Bell Gardens said it is unconstitutional to require students to pay for books, lab equipment and art supplies, among other fees. His bill, AB165, passed 50-17 and goes to the Senate. More

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Special education aides put out to bid in Massachusetts
The Boston Globe    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With school budgets swelling year after year, some districts are turning to unconventional methods to pare down costs, including significantly altering the ways they deliver special education services. Under a new proposal, Amesbury, Mass., would outsource the employment of its special education aides to a private company as soon as this fall, initially affecting about 60 staff members. With the school district facing a $1.9 million budget shortfall, and special education comprising 25 percent of its annual operating budget and growing, special education is "one of the major cost drivers we need to look at," said Amesbury Mayor Thatcher Kezer. More

More Colorado schools turning to iPad to improve education
The Denver Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Earlier this year, Manitou Springs Middle School in Colorado found itself with an odd problem: The building had plenty of Internet capacity for the computers it offered students. Yet, the online pipes were clogged every day. It turned out that the hand-held mobile devices carried by half the student body had overloaded the system — and sparked the realization that the kids were more connected than anybody thought. More

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Full-day kindergarten preserved in Philadelphia schools
The Associated Press via Greenfield Daily Reporter    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Philadelphia School District says it will be preserving full-day kindergarten next year despite the district's funding woes. Superintendent Arlene Ackerman said that she had "heard the voices of the community" as well as parents and young people. She also said progress is being made on talks with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority to restore SEPTA passes for nearly 60,000 students. More

Federal court rules New York City can ban schools from churches
FoxNews.com    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A federal appeals court has ruled that New York City can ban churches from using public school facilities for Sunday worship services and does not violate free speech. The 2-1 decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan, N.Y., overturned a lower court ruling that allowed the Bronx Household of Faith to hold services in a public school. An attorney representing the church said they would appeal the ruling. The ruling means that dozens of churches that rent public school buildings in New York City could face eviction by the end of June. More



Last chance to register: 7 Key Steps to Success through Mentoring webinar
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Date: June 7
Time: 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. EDT

Whether you're a seasoned mentor or about to embark on your first experience, this seminar will provide you with the focus needed to establish and sustain a high quality mentorship.
More

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Principals' Buyers Guide — a quick way to find what your school needs
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Have you visited the Principals' Buyers Guide? It's your ticket to a virtual exhibit hall of suppliers and the latest innovations for schools. Head over to the Principals' Buyers Guide and take a look around today! 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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Fischler School: Cause An Effect
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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 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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