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Obama to ask for increased eRate aid
eSchool News
President Barack Obama wants to see the nation's classrooms transformed into digital learning centers and he is ready to ask federal regulators to use billions of dollars to pay for the broadband and high-speed internet connections that will be needed to make it happen. During a stop June 6 in Mooresville, N.C., Obama was expected to call on the Federal Communications Commission to use a program that funds internet access in schools and libraries to bring these faster connections to 99 percent of students within five years.
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Food for thought
Principal
For over 16 million American children in households that struggle with hunger, school meals are a primary source of nutrition. These students, whose families hover at or below the poverty line, are the same group of learners most at risk for low academic performance. The hunger gap mirrors the achievement gap — and remedying the former is a key step to improving the latter. But, as more evidence emerges tying nutrition to student performance, educators across the country are revamping nutrition programs, fundamentally rethinking the ways schools feed students' bodies and minds.
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Huckabee urges states to back Common Core
The Washington Times
As conservative opposition to the national K-12 education standards known as Common Core continues to grow, a leading figure in the Republican Party is lending his voice in support of the system. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who ran for his party's presidential nomination in 2008, penned a letter to lawmakers in Oklahoma, urging them to stick by the standards even as Michigan, Indiana and other states have backed away from them.
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Obama ConnectED initiative aims to get classrooms online
The Huffington Post
President Barack Obama imagines a country where teachers know what's happening in their students' brains. He wants "teachers to have an ability to assess learning hour by hour and day by day," a senior White House official said. "That vision ... is really not possible with the connectivity we have today." That's why Obama will speak at a school in Mooresville, N.C., to unveil an initiative that aims to give 99 percent of America's public schools high-speed connectivity over the next five years.
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Leading under pressure
By C. Fredrick Crum (commentary)
Yes, it has been said that when the going gets tough, the tough get going. The question is how do they get going? How do leaders respond when they are under pressure? We are not referring to physical pressure, like that which is exerted on a professional weightlifter. We are referring to pressure — the invisible mental state causing stress. A leader's true colors come out when he or she is under pressure, especially extreme pressure.
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Industry Pulse: How do leaders in your organization typically respond to pressure?
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  • 6 big tech trends in education to follow
    MindShift
    Big data, open content, mobile learning and digital printing are the big themes represented in this year's "NMC Horizon Report: 2013 K-12 Edition." The report is a collaboration between the New Media Consortium, the Consortium for School Networking and the International Society for Technology in Education, pulling together an international group of experts to discuss trends and measure how mainstream emerging ed-tech approaches have become. As with all of its reports, the group makes near, middle, and long-term projections for technology trends, as well as broader observations about the direction of the field and its challenges.
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    The questions that won't go away
    Connected Principals (commentary)
    Dr. Robert Dillon, a contributor for Connected Principals, writes: "At the end of the year, I'm left with a number of questions that I am asking myself, and I long to ask many of you. They are the questions that require courage to truly address. They are the questions that strip away the sound bites, smiles, and confidence that is necessary to lead our schools. They are the questions that take us to the dark places. The dark place where we struggle, often alone, in our quest to transform our schools into places of excellence. These are the questions that I want to keep me up at night. These are the questions that have answers that come in asynchronous ways. Won't you allow the summer to be a safe space to explore the tough questions that need to surround our work?"
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    Why our current obsession with high-stakes testing is wrong
    eSchool News (commentary)
    Dan Domenech, executive director of AASA, writes: "The members of AASA, the school superintendents association, are committed to guaranteeing to every American child a public education that develops his or her achievement in each of the areas that traditionally have been goals of American schools. First and foremost, our schools should promote good citizenship, including the habit and practice of participation in civic life by voting — as well as by contributing to community well-being in voluntary association with fellow citizens. High achievement includes the organizational and collaborative skills needed to participate effectively in our democracy and practice in the nonviolent resolution of conflict."
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    Schools accelerate shift to digital
    District Administration Magazine
    Districts are trading print for digital textbooks, with 22 states making significant digital content policy changes in recent years — altering the definition of a textbook and encouraging flexible funding, says Geoff Fletcher, deputy executive director of the State Educational Technology Directors Association. SETDA recommends districts complete the shift from print to digital within the next five years, and several have successfully started the transition.
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    Study: Kids with ADHD less able to process emotions during sleep
    HealthDay News
    Parts of the brain thought to support consolidation of emotional memories during sleep are less active in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to a new study. This deficit in sleep-related emotional processing may worsen the emotional problems of children with this condition, researchers in Germany report. Children with ADHD have difficulty sustaining attention, and often display hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. The neurobehavioral disorder affects 3 percent to 5 percent of U.S. children, more of them boys than girls.
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    Parents prepay school lunches with mobile app
    THE Journal
    Parents can now prepay their child's school lunch right from their Apple iOS, Android, or Windows Mobile device. Heartland School Solutions has launched MyLunchMoney.com, a mobile app that allows parents to manage school meal expenses using their smartphone or tablet. Parents can prepay meals, view activity and account balances, set spending limits and add funds to their student's account, on a one-time or recurring basis. Payment can be made with credit cards, debit cards or electronic checks.
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    6 technology challenges facing education
    THE Journal
    Despite increasingly widespread adoption of technologies in virtually every aspect of K-12 education, significant challenges are preventing widespread effective implementation. According to researchers, though some of those challenges are systemic and some related to the technologies themselves, teachers and education leaders share in the blame as well.
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    Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword TECHNOLOGY.


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    Education reform bills pour out of Congress
    The Hill
    Members of the House and Senate introduced several education-related bills, including a Senate proposal to reauthorize and amend the No Child Left Behind Act. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who sponsored that bill with other Democrats, said the goal of the bill is to codify some of the flexibilities that the Department of Education has given to states as they try to meet NCLB standards. "We ask for a system of shared responsibility with States and school districts," Harkin said of his bill, S. 1094. "I believe that we are entering an era in which the federal government can work in partnership with States to improve our nation's schools, while continuing to provide a backstop to avoid returning to old ways."
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    Bill to alter Bush-era education law gives states more room
    The New York Times
    Renewing the effort to revise No Child Left Behind, the signature Bush-era federal education law, Sen. Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa, introduced a new version that he said would "replace the failed tenets" of the law. Less than two years after Congress last tried to update the law, which governs public schools that receive federal money to support the country's most disadvantaged students, Harkin, chairman of the Senate education committee, opened what is likely to be a fierce debate over the proper role of the federal government in public education.
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    6 big tech trends in education to follow
    MindShift
    Big data, open content, mobile learning and digital printing are the big themes represented in this year's "NMC Horizon Report: 2013 K-12 Edition."

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    read more
    10 keys to a successful school iPad program
    eSchool News
    It seems that every school is considering purchasing iPads these days, and Apple has reported that iPad sales to schools are currently outpacing MacBook sales by a very large margin.

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    States pull back from Common Core
    U.S. News & World Report
    Lawmakers in some states hope to halt the transition to the Common Core State Standards, even as school districts across the country are rolling them out.

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    GOP bill on schools would set fewer rules
    The New York Times
    Signaling a preference for a much smaller role for the federal government in public schooling, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., is introducing legislation to revise No Child Left Behind, the Bush-era education law. Coming two days after Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and chairman of the Senate education committee, released a 1,150-page education bill, the bill by Alexander, who is the ranking Republican on the committee, will compete with it.
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    Administration honors US Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools and District Sustainability Awardees
    U.S. Department of Education
    White House CEQ Chair Nancy Sutley, EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe and Deputy Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Janey Thornton joined U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and U.S. Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter to congratulate the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools and District Sustainability Awardees on their achievements at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. At the event, sixty-four schools were honored for their exemplary efforts to reduce environmental impact and costs, promote better health, and ensure effective environmental education, including STEM, green careers and civics. In addition, 14 districts were honored for the first-ever District Sustainability Award.
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    Teacher pension funds hit district budgets, Fordham report says
    The Huffington Post
    School districts across the country are so hobbled by the recession that they've increased class sizes, closed buildings and scaled back pre-kindergarten programs. Some have closed for summer a month early. Despite an economic recovery, the worst days are yet to come, according to a new report. Unfunded liabilities from teacher pensions have been eating away at school district budgets. And because of the looming retirement of baby boomer teachers, the pension liabilities are projected to grow exponentially, according to a report from the right-leaning Thomas B. Fordham Foundation.
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    Some states shoring up spending on pre-K
    Stateline
    President Barack Obama is calling for a $75 billion investment over 10 years in high-quality pre-kindergarten programs. While Congress studies his proposal, governors and state lawmakers are forging ahead with their own ideas. In West Virginia, Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has proposed requiring every county to offer full-day pre-K for 4-year-olds within three years. In Alabama, GOP Gov. Robert Bentley has proposed increased funding to expand voluntary pre-kindergarten programs.
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    Kentucky moves to adopt Common Core science standards
    Education Week
    The state board of education in Kentucky voted unanimously to provisionally adopt the Next Generation Science Standards. The action comes several weeks after Rhode Island became the first state to adopt. Both Kentucky and Rhode Island are part of the coalition of 26 "lead state partners" that teamed up with several national organizations to craft the science standards.
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    Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

        Study shows graphic novels add value to K-12 student learning (The Independent Voter Network)
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    So bake sales are taboo? Try selling hand sanitizer (The New York Times)
    7 amazingly easy video ideas for capturing and keeping students' attention (THE Journal)
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    Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.




    Apply for grant to support arts in your school
    NAESP
    Strengthen arts education in your school with a 2013 Champion Creatively Alive Children grant. Crayola will award up to 20 grants, which include a $2,500 monetary award and $1000 worth of Crayola products. The deadline to apply is June 21.
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    Explore open educational resources, reading strategies in upcoming webinars
    NAESP
    Mark your calendar for two free webinars next week. On Wednesday, June 19, join NAESP for "Using Open Educational Resources to Empower Collaborative Learning Communities." In this webinar, three educators will share best practices for leveraging free, open-licensed resources. On Thursday, June 20, join presenters Patricia Cunningham and James Cunningham for "What Principals Need to Know About Teaching and Learning Reading." Visit NAESP's webinar page to sign up or find information on more upcoming presentations.
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