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School schedules get a makeover from coast to coast
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Driven by budget woes, a desire to boost tourism, or a determination help low-performing schools, many states are contemplating changes in the amount of time their students spend in class. Some California school districts may be forced to trim the school calendar to save money. In Alabama and Virginia, the issue is whether a longer summer vacation will bolster the tourism industry. Meanwhile, Michigan wants to add days to the school calendar to help its lowest-performing schools. More


7 habits of highly effective tech-leading principals
THE Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The conventional wisdom in education is that any school reform — be it curriculum, instruction, assessment, or teacher professionalism — is most likely to take hold in schools that have strong leadership. The same holds true for technology. Any educator will tell you the most successful implementation of technology programs takes place in schools where the principal sees him or herself as a technology leader. More

Surprising tips that help kids learn to read
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Parents, do you know how to read? More precisely, do you know how to read to kids? Almost every adult who cares for young children knows that sharing books with them is an important way to promote their reading skills. But research shows that subtle features of the way adults act during story-time make a big difference in children's literacy — and that most grownups aren't using these simple but effective techniques. More


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The dangers of not teaching personal finance to kids
The Washington Post (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
One in 4 Americans has no savings at all. Only 11 percent of individuals with a 401(k) are putting enough money away to meet their retirement needs. Student loan debt has surged above one trillion dollars, surpassing credit card and auto loan debt. These frightening statistics illustrate the consequences of not equipping our students with basic personal finance tools and concepts — and Americans know it. Eighty-two percent of American parents agree that personal finance should be a graduation requirement, and 89 percent of teachers feel the same way. More

Computerized searches help identify non-resident students
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
"Boundary hoppers" — parents who falsify their residency so their children can attend a particular school — can strain already cash-strapped districts. But short of sending the assistant principal to knock on students' doors, how can administrators pinpoint wrongfully enrolled students? A new technology-based solution claims it can help. The online service runs computerized searches to confirm the residency information that parents provide to schools, potentially saving districts time and money, its creator says. More

In defense of school testing
TIME (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The school year is winding down, but one faction within the world of education is ratcheting up: the anti-testing movement. More parents are pulling their kids out of end-of-year math and literacy assessments. More teachers and administrators are speaking up against testing — like the group of school district superintendents in Georgia who are calling on the state legislature to reconsider its test-based accountability system. And a national resolution condemning testing has now attracted the endorsements of more than 300 organizations and 8,500 individuals. More

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For school counselors, technology enhances the human touch
THE Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Soft skill tests, college planners and neuropsych evaluations are some of the traditional tools of the school counseling trade. Because school counselors have multiple goals — supporting and fostering positive personal, social, academic and career development in students — they need a variety of resources at their disposal. So you'd think counselors would embrace technological innovation that supports their students' development. But most seem to pass on opportunities to save time and money and to find new ways to reach out to children, parents and educators by leveraging technology. More

Raising Latino achievement seen as 'demographic imperative'
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
By 2020, 1 in 4 children enrolled in America's K-12 public schools will be Latino. Of those Latino students, more than half will be second-generation Americans, born in the United States to at least one parent who is an immigrant. Another third will be at least third-generation Americans, the children of parents who were also born in this country, according to projections from the Pew Hispanic Center, a Washington-based research organization. The remainder will be immigrants themselves, though they will be part of a diminishing stream of young Latinos moving to the United States from Spanish-speaking countries. More


Study: Self-injury common in grade school
WebMD    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Self-injury is a common emotional disorder among teens and young adults, and now new research confirms that young children also injure themselves on purpose. In one of the first studies ever to assess self-injury rates among children as young as age 7, close to 7 percent of third-grade girls and 8 perecnt of third-grade boys said they had self-injured at some point in their lives. In past studies, self-injury rates have been reported to be as high as 20 percent among high-school-aged teens and almost 40 percent among college students. Self-injury was defined in the new study as cutting, carving, burning, piercing, picking at the skin or hitting oneself to cause pain, but not death. More

Schools go green to save some green
U.S.News & World Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Schools may be closed for summer vacation, but they aren't getting a break from funding cuts. In fact, lawmakers in many state capitals aren't arguing over whether to trim education funding, but how much to cut. Illinois, for instance, cut $161 million in state aid for schools in a 2012-2013 budget approved last week. Oregon's Beaverton School District cut 344 jobs, eliminated elementary school art and technology teachers, and either cut off or decreased funding for several other programs this week in order to compensate for reduced state funding. More

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Teacher hopes students will learn through role-playing video games
The Indianapolis Star    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
While many teachers would say games belong on the playground, the 23-year-old CEO of ClassRealm is aiming to bring games to the classroom. A sixth-grade teacher and passionate gamer, Ben Bertoli wants to bring the world of video role-playing games into the realm of education. As a first-year teacher of math, science and language arts at Danville Middle School, Bertoli was looking for a tool to help motivate students. Having spent his formative years playing Nintendo 64, he recognized that games have the power to stimulate higher performance levels under the guise of having fun — in short, a perfect medium for inspiring student performance. More

Winners and losers with open education resources
THE Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As bleak budgets induce more schools to embrace blended learning, free and open online resources can make the economics of blended learning enticing. One specific set of these materials, open educational resources (online teaching and learning resources that are available for everyone to use under a set of licenses) can be a huge boon to students, but a bane to textbook publishers. More


Kids don't eat less when serving themselves
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Allowing preschoolers to help themselves to food is thought to teach kids healthy eating habits like portion control, but a new study finds that children eat just as much at self-served meals as they do when food is plated for them. The result "demonstrates the need for adults to make sure they sit and eat with children and help to support children to recognize their hunger and fullness," said Samantha Ramsay, an assistant professor of Foods and Nutrition at the University of Idaho, who was not involved in the research. Ramsay added, the findings don't mean that children should not serve themselves at mealtimes. More

Teachers: PLCs more helpful than standardized tests when making instructional decisions
Minnetonka Patch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It's no secret that standardized testing has become a lightning rod in discussions about school accountability. Results from a pending study of Hopkins, Minn.'s secondary education system show that teachers are split on how well state testing can be used to make instructional decisions. In a survey conducted at the end of March, half of the junior high teachers surveyed agreed that state tests can be used to make instructional decisions. For a point of comparison, 81 percent of teachers said they agreed that professional learning communities helped them find the most effective instructional strategies. More

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Obama pushes Congress to help states hire teachers
The Associated Press via Yahoo News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
President Barack Obama wants Congress to help states rehire teachers and act on a key part of last year's jobs bill. He says the last thing the U.S. needs is to have fewer teachers in our schools. Obama says in his radio and Internet address that many states have been squeezed by the economic recession and have been forced to lay off teachers — about 250,000 across the nation. More

GAO report questions whether bullying laws protect all students
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new Government Accountability Office report about bullying recommends additional action by the U.S. Department of Education and the attorney general, and says more study is needed to determine whether existing laws go far enough in protecting all students from bullying at school. The GAO report was done at the request of Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa and chairman of the Senate education committee, and committee members Robert Casey, D-Penn., Al Franken, D-Minn., and and Mark Kirk, R-Ill. More


Delaware House passes social media privacy bill
The Associated Press via Bloomberg Businessweek    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Delaware House passed a bill prohibiting public and private schools in Delaware from requiring that students or applicants for enrollment provide their social networking login information. With little debate, House members voted unanimously for the bill. It also prohibits schools and universities from requesting that a student or applicant log onto a social networking site so that school officials can access the site profile or account. More

Oregon school district weighs late starts to allow teacher collaboration
The Oregonian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Oregon's Beaverton School District's budget overshadowed a discussion recently about starting school late to allow for teacher collaboration, but it's still on the table. The hot-button topic drew no opposition, only principals and teachers who spoke about the benefits of collaboration. The system, in which teachers meet for a set amount of time weekly to go over student data, approaches to instruction and ways to reach struggling students, is already in place at more than a dozen of the district's schools. More

Detroit public schools to revise anti-bullying policy to meet new standards
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Detroit Public Schools district is in the last stages of updating its anti-bullying policy to comply with the standards of a new state law and plans to submit its new rules to Lansing next week. June 6 was the deadline for Michigan school districts and charter schools to adopt policies that meet the guidelines of Matt's Safe School Law, passed by the state legislature in December. Schools must submit the documents to the state Department of Education by July 6. More

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Educators take the initiative on reform, collaboration
The Daytona Beach News-Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Educators in Bunnell, Fla., are developing an excellent resource for professional development: their colleagues. At a time when teacher performance is under scrutiny nationwide, teachers and other school employees at Bunnell Elementary have seized the initiative and created their own grass-roots program to share knowledge and improve their skills. They didn't wait for a mandate from Tallahassee or Washington, D.C. — they saw an opportunity for increased collaboration, and they're making the most of it. More


Deadline Friday for arts education grant
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 Friday, June 15. More

See what's new at The Principals' Office blog
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Stop in the Principals' Office for the latest from NAESP, updates from Capitol Hill, and news you can use to strengthen your school leadership. See something you like? Leave us a comment, or tell us on Twitter. More

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Technology Transforming Education

istation, an internet-based reading intervention and assessment program, provides computer-adaptive assessment and online differentiated reading instruction for teachers across the country. With systematic and direct instruction, istation helps to close the achievement gaps of reading achievement. Real-time reporting saves teachers valuable instructional time and assists in making informed decisions. MORE

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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.

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