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Are you ready to be a school principal?
eSchool News
Modeling excellence, building a team of dedicated educators and instilling a sense of pride throughout the school community are all essential when it comes to establishing and maintaining a successful school culture, according to effective school principals. "In my experience, it's about people who are community builders...[who] have high expectations of themselves but also of others, where they believe that excellence is the standard," said Jimmy Casas, principal of Iowa's Bettendorf High School in the Bettendorf Community School District, during an edWeb webinar about how school administrators can prepare themselves to be effective school leaders.
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Duncan expected to tap Emma Vadehra as new chief of staff
The Huffington Post
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will likely soon tap a new chief of staff, sources say. Sources close to the administration, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly, told The Huffington Post that Joanne Weiss, Duncan's longtime right-hand woman, will depart the U.S. Education Department this summer, likely in July. She is expected to be replaced by Emma Vadehra, who works as the chief of staff for a charter school management organization known as Uncommon Schools, the sources said.
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The path to protecting humanities and social sciences
Education Week
A new report recommends that the nation take 12 key steps to ensure that humanities and social sciences maintain an important place in American classrooms. "The Heart of the Matter," issued today by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, grew from a congressional request for guidance on how to protect the central role of those disciplines during an era that has ramped up the focus on the state-tested subjects of English/language arts and math, and on the hard sciences.
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Will new tests measure any valuable skills?
MindShift
After more than ten years of national education policies like No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top, the words accountability and assessment have become synonymous at many public schools with high-stakes testing. The two government programs have attached consequences and rewards to standardized test scores, leading many educators to believe they have to teach to the test. But, as the well-known argument goes, teaching prescribed math and reading content doesn't help students build the skills like creativity, problem-solving and adaptability they need to adapt in the world outside of school.
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From the principal's office: Call for skepticism and caution when using test scores in teacher evaluations
Tech & Learning (commentary)
North Carolina took the plunge this year and started using test scores as part of teacher and principal evaluations. The state has even invented a "new" kind of test, called a "Measure of Student Learning" in order to make sure there is plenty of test data to go around. What is particularly telling is how "carefully" the state crafted the term "Measures of Student Learning." It's as if somehow, not calling it a test, makes it not a test.
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  • Survey: People want schools to help prevent childhood obesity
    Los Angeles Times
    Ninety percent of Americans said schools should take a role in combating obesity — a surprising cut away from the idea that being overweight is a personal choice. That doesn't meant people don't see that they need to take action as well for themselves and their families, according to the results of a Field Research poll released.
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    More school districts end ban on cellphones and embrace BYOD
    EdTech Magazine
    As recently as the 2012–2013 school year, schools in the Thomaston-Upson School System in Georgia banned the use of cell phones on school grounds. But in the new 2013–2014 school year, students will be free to use their phones in the classroom as the school district softens its ban, reports the Thomaston Times. "We realize it is more us getting comfortable with them using the devices than it is them getting used to using the devices," said Dr. Larry Derico, director of curriculum and instruction for Thomaston-Upson.
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    TRENDING ARTICLES
    Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

        Debating iPads or Chromebooks for 1:1? Why not both? (THE Journal)
    Gates Foundation looking to make nice with teachers (The Seattle Times)
    No Child Left Behind bill passes Senate committee, but no end in sight for recasting Bush law (The Huffington Post)
    Announcing the Principal Ambassador Fellowship (ED.gov Blog)
    From teacher to principal: 5 effective tools (Principal)

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


    Black-white education gap is worsened by unresponsive state policymakers, study shows
    Phys.org
    State policymakers' attention to teacher quality — an issue education research shows is essential to improving schooling outcomes for racial minority students — is highly responsive to low graduation rates among white students, but not to low graduation rates among black students, according to a Baylor University study. The findings are evidence that "the persisting achievement gap between white and black students has distinctively political foundations," the researchers wrote.
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    Report: The 4 pillars of the flipped classroom
    THE Journal
    Though all classrooms are different, there are four critical elements that successful flipped classrooms have in common, according to a new report developed by the Flipped Learning Network, George Mason University, and Pearson's Center for Educator Effectiveness. The report, "A Review of Flipped Learning," is designed to guide teachers and administrators through the concepts of flipped classrooms and provide definitions and examples of flipped learning in action. Among those concepts are four "pillars" that are required to support effective flipped learning.
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    Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword FLIPPED CLASSROOM.


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    National reform group's review blasts teacher preparation programs
    The Denver Post
    A national reform group's review of teacher-preparation programs across the country released labeled them "an industry of mediocrity" that produces teachers with classroom management and content skills ill-equipped for the challenges of today's diverse student bodies. The National Council on Teacher Quality found that the "vast majority" of teacher-prep programs don't give aspiring teachers good value for their time and money. Based on its four-star rating system, less than 10 percent of the programs reviewed scored three stars or higher.
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    How we created an app for our district — and why you should, too
    eSchool News (commentary)
    Steve Young, chief technology officer at Judson Independent School District, writes: "We've all heard the news and seen the numbers. Mobile technology is everywhere, connecting billions of people through smart phones, apps and tablets — and the industry is growing exponentially. The education sector is mirroring this trend, with tablets replacing textbooks and smart phones appearing in the backpacks of students as early as elementary school."
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    Study: Teacher pensions are squeezing school funding across the United States
    Deseret News
    If something doesn't change fast, many public school districts around the country will soon be paying enormous chunks of their per-pupil funding to cover the pension and health care benefits of retired teachers, according to a new study by the Washington, D.C.-based Thomas B. Fordham Institute. The first of three case studies was released this month, focusing on the School District of Philadelphia. Subsequent studies will soon be released on the Milwaukee Public Schools and Cleveland Metropolitan School District.
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    Report: The 4 pillars of the flipped classroom
    THE Journal
    Though all classrooms are different, there are four critical elements that successful flipped classrooms have in common, according to a new report developed by the Flipped Learning Network, George Mason University, and Pearson's Center for Educator Effectiveness.

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    Students can learn by explaining, studies say
    Education Week
    Children are quick to ask "why?" and "how?" when it comes to new things, but research suggests elementary and preschool students learn more when teachers turn the questions back on them.

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    As standardized testing grows, parents opt out
    The Washington Post
    A decade into the school accountability movement, pockets of resistance to standardized testing are sprouting up around the country, with parents and students opting out of the high-stakes tests used to evaluate schools and teachers.

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    House committee passes partisan NCLB renewal bill
    Education Week
    Another markup of the Elementary and Secondary Education, another totally predictable partisan vote. The Senate education committee passed an ESEA bill with just Democratic support. This time, it was the House Education panel's turn to consider a bill to revise the No Child Left Behind Act. Everyone agrees the law is in desperate need of a makeover, but partisan divisions continue to get in the way. And today's debate on the bill, which was written by Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., the chairman of the committee, was no exception.
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    White House issues new school safety guidelines
    Education Week
    The Obama administration released comprehensive emergency guidelines for school districts (as well as some others customized to the needs of colleges and universities and houses of worship) that are meant to help school emergency planners create new plans, or revise existing plans, for how to respond in an array of crisis situations. The guides are the first of their kind to be jointly written by four federal agencies — the U.S. departments of Education, Homeland Security, Justice, and Health and Human Services.
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    Education chief lets states delay use of tests in decisions about teachers' jobs
    The New York Times
    Acknowledging that the nation's educators face large challenges in preparing students for more rigorous academic standards and tests, Arne Duncan, the secretary of education, told state education officials that they could postpone making career decisions about teachers based on performance evaluations tied to new tests. Duncan wrote in a letter to state education officers that they could delay using teacher evaluations that incorporate test results for "personnel determinations" by another year, until 2016-2017. The postponement was in response to growing complaints from teachers' unions and school administrators that they were being held accountable for results on tests before they had time to adjust to new curriculum standards.
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    Duncan discusses influence of teacher voice on new flexibility decision
    ED.gov Blog
    Secretary Arne Duncan announced that ED is offering states flexibility around high stakes personnel decisions and double testing — a decision greatly influenced by educators' voices. His decision addresses two areas. First, states will be able to ask for an extra year beyond current plans for teacher evaluation systems before data from new assessments impacts personnel decisions for educators. Second, during next school year, some schools will field test new assessments. ED will work with states to avoid double-testing students.
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    LAUSD spending $30 million to buy 30,000 iPads for students
    San Jose Mercury News
    The Los Angeles Unified board approved a $30 million contract to buy iPads for 30,000 students, the first phase in an ambitious plan to equip every pupil with a tablet computer within the next 14 months. The deal is a huge win for Apple, as the district expects to continue with the same vendor as it acquires the technology that can support the new Common Core curriculum launching in 2014, as well as a new online state testing system.
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    Creativity grant application due today
    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 today, June 21.
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    Book your housing for the NAESP conference
    NAESP
    Next month, NAESP's 2013 conference in Baltimore will be kicking off. Don't miss it! For this summer's event, July 11-13, we've lined up the rock stars of the education world like Freeman Hrabowski, Adam Sáenz, Michael Fullan, Eric Jensen, Todd Whitaker, Justin Baeder and more! There'll be 100-plus hot topic sessions, stimulating networking, fun community events and a special Teacher Day to inspire your teacher leader team. Be sure to make your housing arrangements now!
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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 Meredith Barnett at MBarnett@naesp.org.
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