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No Child Left Behind bill passes Senate committee, but no end in sight for recasting Bush law
The Huffington Post
A lengthy overhaul of the No Child Left Behind Act passed through a Senate education committee, with senators voting 10-12 along party lines. The "Strengthening America's Schools Act" is an over 1,000-page bill authored by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who chairs the Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee. It rolls back some of the more stringent aspects of the No Child Left Behind Act, but keeps in place the requirement that states set and report performance targets for their students.
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Announcing the Principal Ambassador Fellowship
ED.gov Blog
The Department of Education is proud to announce that the first-ever Principal Ambassador Fellowship has officially launched. The Principal Ambassador Fellowship has been modeled after the Teacher Ambassador Fellowship that the Department has offered since 2008. Duncan unveiled the program to the public on Feb. 28 this year.
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Think tank: Common Science Standards deserve 'C' grade
Education Week
The existing science standards in 12 states and the District of Columbia are "clearly superior" to the Next Generation Science Standards developed by a coalition of states and national organizations, a think tank concludes in a new report. The Thomas B. Fordham Institute gives the standards a middling grade of C, and suggests states are better off looking elsewhere should they wish to overhaul their standards, such as to those in South Carolina or the District of Columbia.
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Empowering learners in the 21st century
ED.gov Blog (commentary)
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan writes: "There is so much need, and so much potential, to bring innovation to the learning of our students. Several events over the past two weeks have left me charged with enthusiasm about what's possible: a real upgrade for the education of all students."
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Urging students to write in the age of Twitter, texting and Facebook
eSchool News
In what could be considered the social media decade, there's often a conundrum in today's classrooms: Students need writing and critical thinking skills more than ever, but with the proliferation of social media, formal writing is quickly going the way of cursive–an antiquated practice from generations past.
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  • States seek flexibility during Common-test transition
    Education Week
    With the debut of common assessments less than two years away, states and districts are worried about the accountability systems that hinge on those tests. A growing chorus of policy groups is urging more flexibility in how states evaluate teachers, label schools and enforce other high-stakes consequences during what's likely to be a messy transition. Position papers from a range of organizations seek to stake out turf on the delicate question of how to postpone or temporarily ease some rules without abandoning accountability, at a time when the new, tougher assessments are projected to send test scores — at least at first — into a nose dive.
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    From teacher to principal: 5 effective tools
    Principal (Commentary)
    The principalship, like the classroom, provides opportunities for learning and growth. While they no longer have their own classrooms, as principals, they can instead influence the entire school community. These habits — confidence, collaboration, influence, involvement and relationships — can help teacher-leaders transition into effective principals.
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    Congress takes on school bullies with help from Hollywood, Kennedy family
    U.S. News & World Report
    Congress said it was ready to restart the fight against school bullies, re-launching its anti-bullying caucus with support from the Kennedy family, a Hollywood filmmaker and leaders of major teacher advocacy groups. Formed in 2012, the main goal of the caucus is to advocate for bills that target bullying, such as the Safe Schools Improvement Act, which would require all schools to create and enforce anti-bullying policies. The bill, still in committee, was endorsed by President Barack Obama last year. But Rep. Mike Honda, D-Calif., who chairs the caucus, says he now believes legislation might not be the best answer.
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    Study: Flu shots at school boost vaccination rates
    HealthDay News via DoctorsLounge
    Offering flu shots at elementary schools could reduce the number of flu cases and deaths among children, a new study suggests. Vaccination is the most effective way to protect children aged 6 months and older against seasonal flu, but vaccination rates among American children are low. Only about 40 percent of children received a 2012-2013 flu vaccine, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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    6 months after Sandy Hook shootings, schools seek secure redesigns
    CNN
    When Alissa Parker first heard there was a shooting at her 6-year-old daughter's school, she immediately thought of the building's security weaknesses and wished she'd spoken up. "Knowing the location of where Emilie's classroom was, if anyone gained access to that building, I knew that my child was very vulnerable," she said. Parker's daughter, Emilie, was among 20 first-graders killed in the December 14 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
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    Study: Junk food bans help schoolkids avoid unhealthy snacks
    HealthDay News via U.S. News & World Report
    Elementary schools are less likely to sell unhealthy snack foods and drinks if school districts or states have rules that limit the sale of such products, a new study finds. However, more than three-quarters of public elementary schools in the United States are located in a state or school district that does not limit the sale of items such as sugary drinks, salty snacks, candy or high-fat milk, according to the research published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.
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    Using a learning management system to meet digital content needs
    eSchool News
    As new learning technologies and digital tools appear in classrooms, educators may become overwhelmed as they try to integrate these ed-tech tools into their lessons. But they might find help in their district's tried-and-true learning management system. The typical learning management system has evolved to manage digital content, and can organize and provide access to that content so that digital resources are delivered in engaging ways, said Gail Palumbo, former director of curriculum and technology in New Jersey's Montgomery Township Schools, during a series of edWeb webinars on learning management systems' potential.
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    Obama pushes faster Internet, more tech funding for schools
    Education Week
    President Barack Obama is calling for an ambitious overhaul of the federal E-rate program, a step that many education and technology advocates have been urging for years to improve what they see as schools' badly out-of-date technological capabilities. The administration intends to ask the Federal Communications Commission to consider rechanneling and increasing funding through the program, which is derived from telecommunications fees, with the goal of giving 99 percent of the nation's schools access to high-speed broadband and wireless Internet within five years.
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    Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword E-RATE.


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    States seek flexibility during Common-test transition
    Education Week
    With the debut of common assessments less than two years away, states and districts are worried about the accountability systems that hinge on those tests.

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    The great handwriting debate
    The Huffington Post
    Rob Furman, an elementary principal, author and national presenter, writes: "There has been a great deal of discussion around the topic of teaching cursive handwriting in the 21st century."

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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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    92 Dallas ISD schools among hundreds excused from Texas class-size limits
    The Dallas Morning News
    Hundreds of elementary schools in North Texas and across the state enlarged their classes this school year to offset the Legislature's big funding cuts. And it may never be possible to tell whether it hurt student achievement. The state excused 1,480 elementary campuses from the 22-pupil class size limit in kindergarten through fourth grade, with the vast majority getting a waiver because of "financial hardship." That's about a third of the state's elementary schools.
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    California budget deal overhauls four-decade-old school funding model
    The Oakland Tribune
    Seven months after his tax initiative refueled funding for California's beleaguered public schools, Gov. Jerry Brown has orchestrated what's being billed as a major overhaul of how the state funds K-12 education. The deal, scheduled for a vote as part of the state's 2013-2014 budget plan, gives districts more control over their own spending and props up schools that teach the most disadvantaged kids.
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    Valuing physics over P.E., Colorado schools test novel pay scale
    Reuters
    A wealthy school district in Colorado is launching a radical experiment that sets a different pay scale for each category of educator, ensuring that even the best third-grade teacher would never earn as much as a veteran high-school math teacher. The new system, which takes effect next month for all 3,300 educators in suburban Douglas County, Colo., has sparked fury and resentment among some teachers and some parents. But it has also drawn interest from superintendents around the nation.
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    TRENDING ARTICLES
    Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

        Common Core online practice tests unveiled (Education Week)
    Sandy Hook Elementary School: 6 months later (District Administration Magazine)
    To get students invested, involve them in decisions big and small (MindShift)
    Students can learn by explaining, studies say (Education Week)
    No Child Left Behind: Pass or fail? (The Hill)

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


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    Report: Obamacare pushing Indiana schools to cut hours of coaches, bus drivers, cafeteria workers
    The Huffington Post
    Some school basketball teams may lose out on practice time because of Obamacare. Schools throughout much of Indiana are cutting the hours of coaches, teachers aides, bus drivers, cafeteria workers and other support staff in an attempt to avoid having to offer them health insurance under the 2010 Affordable Care Act, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports. Under the law, also known as Obamacare, employers with more than 50 workers will be required to provide coverage for all official full-time employees. Some employers plan to try and skirt the law by pushing full-time employees into part-time work.
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    California to spend more to educate poor, non-English speakers
    Reuters
    Public schools in California would receive significantly more money to educate students from disadvantaged backgrounds under a deal announced that would dramatically reshape public school funding in the nation's most populous state. The deal, part of a broader agreement on the state's budget, also gives local school districts more control over how they spend the $55.3 billion that the state expects to allocate for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1.
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    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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    Don't miss Jeans and Jerseys at the 2013 NAESP Conference
    NAESP
    Join NAESP for Jeans and Jerseys, a star-studded bash to kick off the 2013 NAESP Conference. On Wednesday, July 10 at 7:30 p.m., the Center Club in Baltimore will come to life with music, food, drinks, a silent auction and a book signing with bestselling author James Patterson. Proceeds from the event will support NAESP's student leadership programs. Visit the conference website for more information about the event, along with other exciting preconference festivities.
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