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Text Version   RSS   Subscribe   Unsubscribe   Archive   Media Kit July 03, 2015

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Principals' convention to focus on leadership, achievement and culture
Education Week
Hundreds of elementary and middle school principals from across the country will descend on Long Beach, Calif., this week for the National Association of Elementary School Principals' annual convention. This year's convention, under the theme "Best Practices for Better Schools," includes more than 100 sessions on helping principals take on key issues in education today: closing the student achievement gap; improving school culture and climate; leading urban schools; Pre-K-3 school leadership; technology and instructional leadership; and more.
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To test or not to test? That is the growing question
By: Brian Stack
Recently, New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan took a bold step in the debate over whether students can opt out of standardized testing. She vetoed a bill that would have allowed students to do so. Hassan's move comes in the wake of a heated national debate on whether students should have the right to opt out of standardized testing that is used as a measure of accountability for schools. This year, with the implementation of the Common Core, many states moved to new accountability tests.
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The Common Core and digital skills development
Edutopia
The Common Core State Standards is a powerful set of expectations for student learning that has been adopted by districts across the country. One of the phrases associated with this document is college and career readiness. As we prepare students for life beyond the classroom, including digital tools in our instruction and making connections to technology in the real world is absolutely essential. Students of all ages need experience using technology and developing digital skills that can be applied to multiple tasks. If we truly want children to be college and career ready, schools must take thoughtful and strategic action to include technology tools in classroom instruction.
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Making classrooms more playful and fun
MiddleWeb (commentary)
Josh Burker, a contributor for MiddleWeb, writes: "As an educator, I have thought at length about the role that play and fun serve in the modern classroom. By 'classroom' I mean any space where learning happens. The classroom might be in a school with a small or large group of students, a maker space, a library, a community center, a kitchen table or in a workshop you facilitate."
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Educators, advocates see increased importance in US STEM education
Fox News
When it comes to education reform in the United States, science, technology, engineering and mathematics is the term that is usually at the tip of the tongue of every policymaker, teacher or school advocate. For its detractors, STEM is a buzzword for more standardized tests or a de-emphasis on humanities education. For its proponents, STEM signifies an increased dedication to making American schools globally competitive — preparing students for a job market that is becoming increasingly more reliant on science and technology skills.
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Guide shows teachers how to talk with kids about gay marriage
The Huffington Post
The largest American LGBT civil rights organization and the largest teacher's union want to help educators talk to kids about gay marriage. The educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and the National Education Association released a guide for educators to talk with students about marriage equality. The guide was put out the same day that the U.S. Supreme Court declared bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional and said states must recognize same-sex unions. The guide, titled "Who Can Marry Whom? Inclusive Conversations About Marriage," includes sample conversations for teachers to have with students and a checklist for creating an inclusive school environment.
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100 percent is overrated
The Atlantic
At whatever age smart people develop the idea that they are smart, they also tend to develop vulnerability around relinquishing that label. So the difference between telling a kid "You did a great job" and "You are smart" isn't subtle. That is, at least, according to one growing movement in education and parenting that advocates for retirement of "the S word."
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Why maker technology is crucial for students with learning difficulties
eSchool News (commentary)
Chris Elsworthy, a contributor for eSchool News, writes: "I had always been good at building or 'making' with my hands. Whether it was helping my dad with repairs around the house or building model airplanes, I found tremendous focus and inspiration with these types of projects. The classroom was another matter. Throughout my time in school, I struggled greatly with traditional learning methods. My teachers quickly became frustrated with my lack of enthusiasm and focus on my work. Most assumed I was unintelligent or lazy. It wasn't until I was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of sixteen that things began to change."
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Quest for quiet: Considering noise control as an accommodation
By: Pamela Hill
When educators plan Individual Educational Programs for students with learning disabilities, they use several key considerations for possible instructional and test accommodations to help students improve their individualized learning. Educators choose accommodations from areas such as pacing and timing, environment, assignments, scheduling, test adaptations, etc. One area that is not often considered as a possible accommodation is noise control.
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Districts of distinction: Paving new paths to success
District Administration Magazine
From early learning to entrepreneurship to the environment, innovative instruction propels students to meet more rigorous standards and graduate high school better prepared for their next steps in life. The 30 school systems honored in this round of our Districts of Distinction national recognition program have shown courage and creativity in launching initiatives that have narrowed achievement gaps, enhanced professional development and brought greater equity to education.
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What do we do when students don't like school
Connected Principals (commentary)
Kyle Hoopes, a contributor for Connected Principals blog, writes: "I was just recently issued a challenge by a good principal friend of mine, Adam Welcome, to post ideas around specific topics each week. I think it is a wonderful idea. We have the opportunity to reflect each week on important ideas and share each other's thoughts. Last week, Adam posted a great blog on making schools great by addressing the idea of why students may not like coming to school. I've thought about this idea for a week and I have a few thoughts."
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Education groups launch efforts to build 'trusted learning environment'
eSchool News
In today's technology-rich landscape, school systems across the country are tasked with protecting student data and effectively communicating privacy policies and related measures to parents and communities. To address this responsibility while harnessing the benefits of instructional technologies, CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking) has launched a national endeavor alongside lead partners AASA — The School Superintendents Association, ASBO International (the Association of School Business Officials International), and ASCD (the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development).
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What sports teaches kids about bigger roles in life
MindShift
Amy Roegler and her husband Octavio Herrera live with their young kids, Jake and Alyssa, in Los Angeles. So, when it comes to pro baseball, they're all Dodgers fans. And Jake loved balls even as a baby, Octavio says. "We have a picture of him as a 3-month-old with a little Dodger jersey and a glove," Octavio says. "So he was definitely going to be introduced to sports early, and he took to it right away." Today 10-year-old Jake is on his baseball league's All-Star team. Meanwhile his sister, 8-year-old Alyssa, has a passion for gymnastics. She, too, was a natural, her parents say — swinging on the monkey bars at age 2, and practicing the splits on a balance beam today.
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Applying FLIP to professional development
Scholastic Administration Magazine
Flipped learning has become all the buzz in progressive education circles. As it has become more popular, some educators have gone beyond the basics to create dynamic classrooms, while others are confused about what exactly flipped learning is and how to implement it correctly. For flipped learning to be effective, it must have a solid foundation. It's common to talk about the four pillars of flipped learning, concepts created to establish a universal language and reflect the best practices of effective flipped classrooms. Below, we examine these pillars and describe how to best use these methods with your staff.
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Education organizations to Congress: Keep vouchers out of ESEA rewrite
Education Week
The U.S. Senate is slated to start debating a rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. One of the big points of contention to watch? Expanding school choice. And that prospect does not make a coalition of more than 50 organizations — ranging from AASA, the School Superintendents Association to the Texas Freedom Network very happy. Those organizations sent a letter to lawmakers reiterating their opposition to vouchers and Title I portability, which would allow federal money for disadvantaged children to follow students to any school they choose.
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Do we know how to hold teacher preparation programs accountable?
The Washington Post
The U.S. Education Department released a draft set of regulations for colleges of education in what officials say is an effort to ensure that teachers are prepared to do their jobs well. But the draft regulations are controversial with educators and researchers who have written letters repeatedly to Education Secretary Arne Duncan with objections.
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States wrestle with how to get good teachers in all schools
Education Week
Last year, with much fanfare, the Obama administration declared that it would tackle the tricky issue of equitable teacher distribution, calling on states to revise their plans for making sure that high-poverty schools get their fair share of qualified educators. Now most states have answered the call, rewriting plans that initially stemmed from requirements in the No Child Left Behind Act. But it's an open question whether the work that went into these updated plans — some of which are more than 100 pages long and include an eye-glazing level of detail — will actually lead to any real progress.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Report: Addressing poverty gap calls for more flexible approaches (THE Journal)
A look at summer MOOCs for K-12 students (By: Archita Datta Majumdar)
Study: Standing desks strengthen student concentration (District Administration Magazine)
What you thought about minority students and special education is wrong (U.S. News & World Report)
When school's out, millions of kids go hungry (CNN)

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


A physical education teacher battles tight budgets and childhood obesity
NPR
First rule of Brinton Elementary School in Mesa, Arizona, run club: Keep those legs moving. Second rule of run club: Have fun. For 13-year-old Kaprice Faraci and her sister, Kassidy, inspiration to keep moving struck one after school afternoon in the third grade. Video games and TV bored the twins. They were outside when they spotted a small pack of children chugging down their street. "We saw some girls running around the school in the neighborhood and we were like, 'Hey, we wanna do that!'" Kaprice says. She's wearing a pink tank top with the words "Yeah I run like a girl, try to keep up!"
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A gold medal mindset
NAESP
NAESP Conference blogger Sandra A. Trach writes: "Childhood obesity is rampant and excessive sitting is hurting students. Shannon Miller is seeking to change this epidemic through her inspiring life as a famous athlete, entrepreneur and parent. She offered a powerful message for principals about being a leader of physical activity and wellness, and focusing on the whole child."
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Erik Wahl: The art of vision for educators
NAESP
NAESP Conference blogger Catherine Beck writes: "#NAESP15 was in for a treat with the Opening General Session led by Erik Wahl. Graffiti artist, speed painter, motivational speaker and bestselling author Erik Wahl's 'The Art of Vision for Educators' left us gasping with wonder as we watched him create amazing paintings in sync with powerful music in under three minutes. He challenged us with the question, 'At what point do we lose confidence in our artistic abilities? Where is the space of creativity and innovation for children in learning?'"
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