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  Mobile version   RSS   Subscribe   Unsubscribe   Archive   Media Kit Jun. 19, 2012

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Study: Class size increases should focus on higher grades, smaller classes critical in early years
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Small class sizes are crucial for learning at the younger grades, but may be less important as children mature, according to a new study. The report, called "Smart Class-Size Policies for Lean Times" and released by the Southern Regional Educational Board, comes as state education departments have repeatedly cut costs by increasing class sizes, and when critics are questioning the significance of small classes and the success of liberal education reform policies. More

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Does obesity affect school performance?
Health via CNN    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Obese children and teenagers face a slew of potential health problems as they get older, including an increased risk of diabetes, heart attacks and certain cancers. As if that weren't enough, obesity may harm young people's long-term college and career prospects, too. In recent years, an uneven yet growing body of research has suggested that obesity is associated with poorer academic performance beginning as early as kindergarten. Studies have variously found that obese students — and especially girls — tend to have lower test scores than their slimmer peers, are more likely to be held back a grade and are less likely to go on to college. More



Leader of Common Core initiative steps down
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Those of you who like to follow the ins and outs of Common Core leadership will be interested to know that Gene Wilhoit is stepping down from his post as the executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers. The CCSSO, you probably recall, teamed up with the National Governors Association in 2009 to drive the initiative that produced pledges of support for common standards — and then adoptions of those standards — from most states in the country. More

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No more ditching gym class
Slate (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As written by Dana Goldstein: "In November 2010, I visited Harrison District 2, a low-income, largely Latino school district in Colorado Springs. As part of a plan to evaluate and pay all teachers according to how well they 'grow' student achievement, the district had just rolled out its first-ever testing program in the visual arts, music and physical education — a program that has since become a national model. On the first-grade art exam, students were asked to write a paragraph about a Matisse painting. In second-grade gym class, a pencil and paper test required students to 'Draw a picture of how your hands look while they are catching a ball that is thrown above your head.'" More



Can the flipped classroom benefit low-income students?
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When Portland, Ore., elementary school teacher Sacha Luria decided last fall to try out a new education strategy called "flipping the classroom," she faced a big obstacle. Flipped classrooms use technology — online video instruction, laptops, DVDs of lessons — to reverse what students have traditionally done in class and at home to learn. Listening to lectures becomes the homework assignment so teachers can provide more one-on-one attention in class and students can work at their own pace or with other students. More

Who's bullying who?
The Huffington Post (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Like most five-year-olds, Mason was energetic, outgoing and loved going to school. His mother rarely had to discipline him and his teachers never gave bad reports. That's why when Mason's mother learned that her son was being labeled a "bully" she was confused and concerned. Another student's parents called her to inform her that her Mason was indeed bullying their son, Norman, and others. Unsure of how to handle this accusation, Mason's mom turned to the school for help. More


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The students who pay for school lunch by fingerprint
ZDNet    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
To try and stop students losing or being relieved of their lunch money, some schools offered the option of swipe cards. Now, it's being taken a step further — through the use of biometric technology. More

Even in teens with autism, social training offers gains
Disability Scoop    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It's well-established that early intervention can reap big rewards for kids with autism, but new research indicates that teens with the disorder are also capable of learning social skills and retaining them long-term. The findings come from a study in which researchers tracked teens with high-functioning autism who participated in a 14-week social skills program. In a series of 90-minute weekly sessions, the students were taught to interact in real-world social situations through role-playing and homework assignments like inviting a friend over. More

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Anti-bullying case: Students ordered to hit 6-year-old, police say
NPR    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A kindergarten teacher who allegedly forced students to strike a boy accused of being a bully will lose her job, according to the suburban San Antonio school district where officials say the actions took place. According to reports, as many as 24 students were ordered to strike the boy. The teacher had reportedly been asked by a colleague at Salinas Elementary about the best way to discipline six-year-old Aiden Neely, after "other students had perceived the boy as being a bully," according to the AP. That resulted in the boy being sat down in a chair, to allow students to file past and hit him. More

The teacher you've never met: Inside the world of online learning
The Hechinger Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Teacher Jane Good hurries around her kitchen on a recent morning in this Denver suburb, preparing breakfast in what will serve as her work attire for the day: black exercise pants, a black, long-sleeved running shirt and white slipper booties. "This is one of the perks of being an online teacher," Good says as she flips a fried egg and removes quinoa and poblano peppers from the microwave. Good, 46, is one of 11 full-time teachers in Colorado's three-year-old 21st Century Virtual Academy, an online school of about 750 students that is part of the state's largest school district, the JeffCo Public Schools. More


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Senate Appropriations Committee adds school improvement option
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee approved a spending bill that would make some big changes to the $533 School Improvement Grant program. The measure, which would provide about $68.5 billion for the U.S. Department of Education, would allow add a fifth option to the four highly-controversial choices spelled out in the original regulations for the SIG program. The bill would permit schools to use a "whole school reform model" that has at least as much research to back it up as programs that won a "validation" grant (the middle level) under the federal Investing in Innovation grant competition. More

Schumer: Help bring Greek yogurt to schools
The Associated Press via Bloomberg Businessweek    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Sen. Charles Schumer asked federal officials to make it more affordable for public schools to serve Greek yogurt, saying it would expose more students to the high-protein food and boost an already-booming business in New York. Schumer sent a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack asking that he modify the federal school lunch program to incorporate Greek yogurt as a high-protein meat alternative. Current school nutritional standards treat Greek yogurt the same as traditional yogurt, despite the higher protein content and cost of Greek yogurt, Schumer said. He said a change in standards would make it easier for schools to purchase smaller, less costly servings of Greek yogurt. More

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US mayors back parents seizing control of schools
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Hundreds of mayors from across the United States this weekend called for new laws letting parents seize control of low-performing public schools and fire the teachers, oust the administrators or turn the schools over to private management. The U.S. Conference of Mayors, meeting in Orlando, Florida, unanimously endorsed "parent trigger" laws aimed at bypassing elected school boards and giving parents at the worst public schools the opportunity to band together and force immediate change. More



Districts experiment with 'weighted' funding
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Before this school year, creating a budget for schools in the Boston school district would regularly expose a tangle of competing interests. The district had multiple ways of funding its schools. Some schools were allocated staff members based on student counts; other schools, which had been granted some budget autonomy, were given a pot of money based on enrollment. In tough budget years, cuts were made across the board — except in some schools, which couldn't operate with those reductions and ended up having money restored. Years of such adjustments created wide funding disparities among schools. More


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Public school alternatives gather steam in states
Stateline    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
About mid-way through Alabama's legislative session this spring, Gov. Robert Bentley and top state education officials hit the road to visit charter schools in New Orleans, where a majority of public schools have been converted over to the charter model. The city is seen as a national laboratory for the publicly funded independent schools, which are exempt from many of the laws governing traditional public schools. The Alabama contingent was looking at the system in light of legislation before Alabama lawmakers that would legalize charter schools in Bentley's state. "I learned that Louisiana is about 15 years ahead of us," he told The Birmingham News. More

Kentucky panel to examine middle school sports
The Associated Press via The Palm Beach Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A state panel has been tasked with studying the lack of regulations on middle school sports and making recommendations before the next General Assembly. The move comes after Kentucky High School Athletic Association director Julian Tackett suggested that not having "minimum requirements" for health and safety could put students at risk. The KHSAA oversees high school athletics, but there's no panel that oversees safety, coach education and play regulations for middle school athletes. More

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How much does preschool matter?
Michigan Radio    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Preschool matters a lot. Particularly for low income kids. In Michigan, low income students with one year of preschool were found to do better in school than other low income kids, and positive effects of that early education were seen all the way through 12th grade. Those results are from a 14-year study of 500 Michigan children. The study is part of a recent evaluation of the state Great Start Readiness Program. Laurie Linscott runs the lab preschool at Michigan State University. She says the results of the study didn't surprise her. More

Reading, Pa.: Poorest US city loses pre-kindergarten, 170 teachers
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Eighth-grader Selena Karner lined up in her Reading, Pa., middle school auditorium last week to receive an award for language arts. But during what would normally be a joyous moment for her teachers, educators were crying in the audience. Many were absent. Teachers were less than joyous for the awards ceremony because 110 of them received pink slips earlier that day, placing them on unpaid leave until further notice. In addition, they learned 60 retiring teachers would not be replaced. The schools of America's poorest city had run out of cash and cleaving 13 percent of the teachers from the payroll was just the beginning. More


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MPS Summer Academies fend off summer backslide
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Summer school isn't just about playing catch-up anymore. Milwaukee Public Schools will launch "Summer Academies," programs designed to give students a preview of their fall coursework. "Our goal is to position youngsters for success," Superintendent Gregory Thornton said. Thornton envisions free summer education as an optional "third semester" offering both remedial and advanced classes. Summer courses include an elementary program, a grade eight promotional program, a high school credit recovery option, leadership development programs and programs for special education students. More

Gwinnett County Schools teachers work for free during summer months to help Georgia students read
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A group of teachers at Benefield Elementary School in Lawrenceville, Ga. are offering free reading classes to students this summer. Led by teacher Karon Stocks, more than 40 teachers are volunteering three hours once a week during the summer months to keep kids' minds sharp, helping them review what they learned during the academic year. Around 100 families have already shown up for the classes in the three weeks the teachers have been operating. More

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Last chance to apply for arts education grant
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Strengthen the arts 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 has been extended to Friday, June 22. More

Smarter Balanced webinar today
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Today, Joe Willhoft, executive director of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, will present a NAESP Common Core webinar from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. EST. Webinar participants will gain an overview of the Smarter Balanced assessment system design, timeline, and progress to date. Smarter Balanced is a state-led consortium developing next-generation assessments aligned to the Common Core in English language arts/literacy and mathematics. More


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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.
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