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Curriculum    School Leadership   Federal Advocacy & Policy   In the States   Association News   Buy Books   Contact NAESP


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Can the Maker Movement infiltrate mainstream classrooms?
MindShift
At the White House Maker Faire recently, where Obama invited "makers" of all ages to display their creations, the president investigated a robotic giraffe, a red weather balloon and shot a marshmallow cannon made by a student. With so much fanfare and media attention on the event, some educators are hopeful that the idea of tinkering as a way of learning might finally have made it back to the mainstream. But will the same philosophy of discovery and hands-on learning make it into classrooms?
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STEM education growing, but still has room for improvement
By Suzanne Mason
The revival of interest in STEM education started with the national Educate to Innovate campaign in 2009. The campaign is designed to bring American students to competitive ranks with their international counterparts when it comes to the subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Educators, organizations and the federal government have all taken steps to spark interest in both STEM education and careers. Five years later, the revival of STEM education is still in its infant steps, and it still has room to grow in both diversity and innovation.
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What will the classroom and curriculum of the future look like?
eSchool News
It's an interesting question: What will something look like or be able to do 5, 10 or 20 years down the road? Classrooms and curriculum are no different. With education stakeholders calling for reform and a stronger focus on measuring 21st-century skills, classrooms and curricula must change.
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Preparing the K-12 network infrastructure for Common Core and online assessments
eSchool News
Like many school districts across the United States, the Oyster River Cooperative School District in New Hampshire is making the move to Common Core. As part of this move, schools are implementing changes not just in lesson plans and classroom activities, but also in network infrastructure. As the district started transitioning to a version of the Common Core State Standards called the New Hampshire College and Career Ready Standards, it became clear that its previous network infrastructure lacked the capabilities and capacity necessary to support the wireless devices that Common Core's curriculum and assessments require.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword COMMON CORE.


Maximizing PLC time to flip your class
District Administration Magazine
Recently, we have been talking with a number of people about how to best implement flipped learning, and one hurdle mentioned over and over by teachers is that they do not have enough time. Many feel overburdened already and the prospect of significant change in their classroom seems daunting. Asking a teacher — who has papers to grade, kids to meet, parents to call, lesson plans to create and school initiatives to implement — to do one more thing feels like too much.
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District leaders as technology evangelists
EdTech Magazine
In January 2010, Washington's Kent School District expanded its annual Technology Expo to include exhibits by businesses and local institutions. The goal was to more effectively demonstrate why classroom technology matters beyond the classroom doors. "The intent was to go beyond showcasing classroom technologies, to show our families how the skills we're teaching our kids today are being leveraged in the workplace every day," says Thuan Nguyen, chief information and digital strategy officer for the 41-school district southeast of Seattle.
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For rural school districts, where is new tech training available? Online, of course
The Hechinger Report
For teachers in rural areas, technology training for classrooms can be elusive. It's one reason why swarms of teachers, smartphones in hand, crowded around a small table covered in bar coded stickers at the annual International Society for Technology in Education conference, eager to learn. They listened intently on Sunday as Terra Graves, a district technology specialist from Washoe County, N.V., explained how to scan quick response codes for a new massive open online course debuting this August, using Google Hangouts and Google Plus.
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Districts say diversity is a priority, when they have time for it
Education Week
It's not that district leaders think school desegregation is less important since the U.S. Supreme Court stopped race-based student assignments in 2007. It just rarely gets top billing when competing with other district priorities, from shrinking school budgets to enrollment changes to achievement gaps. Good intentions don't have the same impact as legal requirements, even when the federal government tries to support districts' diversity plans, find policy researchers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; the University of Georgia; the University of Southern Mississippi; and Pennsylvania State University.
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Can free play prevent depression and anxiety in kids?
MindShift
Over the past 50-60 years, play time in kids' lives has been drastically cut. School days and years are longer and parents often schedule enrichment activities for their children instead of giving them space to direct their own play. Children are rarely given the freedom to direct their own activities, leading to a persistent rise in children feeling that they have no control over their lives. And, while correlation doesn't prove causation, Dr. Peter Gray, who has been studying play for years, says there's strong evidence that in this case, the decline in play is leading to a rise in depression and acute anxiety among young people.
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Researchers to study how school leaders use data to inform decisions
The Journal
The United States Department of Education has awarded $5 million to three universities to find out how (or whether) school and district leaders use research to inform their decision making. The grant will fund the creation of a new center — dubbed the National Center for Research in Policy and Practice — whose aim is to study how research is currently used in schools and in what circumstances research is used to inform decisions. It will also look to find ways that education-related research "could be made more meaningful for educational leaders through long-term partnerships between researchers and practitioners."
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    School improvement requires more than just a plan (By Thomas Van Soelen)
Exercise helps kids get better grades (TIME)
What does the next-generation school library look like? (Mind Shift)
Report: 6 trends in pushing tech adoption in education (THE Journal)
How an iPad can transform music classes (eClassroom News)

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


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Teachers and parents: Join the fight for a fair and open Internet
Edutopia (commentary)
An epic battle for a fair and open Internet is taking shape this summer, and the outcome could negatively impact our students and schools. If we lose this, the ease of sharing and accessing online information that we have come to expect will be a thing of the past. It's time for students, parents, and educators to join in this fight to save net neutrality, and we have until Sept. 10 to let our voices be heard.
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The major disadvantage facing black students, even in kindergarten
The Huffington Post
Sixty years after the Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education integrated the nation's classrooms, black and white students still largely attend different schools, even during their earliest years. A recent analysis from liberal think tank Economic Policy Institute outlines the severe segregation that exists among kindergarten classrooms. The analysis, which used data from the National Center for Education Statistics' Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 2010-2011, looked at kindergarten classrooms through the lenses of race and income.
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The return of the one-room schoolhouse
NPR
Even if your grandpa didn't walk uphill to school both ways, or have to break the ice on the bucket before fetching a drink with the dipper, you probably have iconic images in your mind of the one-room schoolhouse. It's a storied piece of America's past dating back to the Colonial era. But in most of America, the idea of students of all ages learning in a single classroom, with a single teacher, has long been as dated as the donkey cart. Urbanization, the advent of the school bus, and the quest to standardize and upgrade education spelled doom for the one-room school in the last century.
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Proposal to rate leadership programs has principals' groups 'concerned'
Education Week
Senate Democrats have put forth a draft reauthorization bill for the Higher Education Act — and two national principals groups are generally pleased with some of the changes. In a joint letter to Sen. Tom Harkin, NAESP and NASSP praised a proposed competitive grant program to recruit and support principals in high-need schools. But the groups raised concern about a grant program that would allow states to rate principal preparation programs using value-added measures.
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Nutrition group lobbies against healthier school meals it sought, citing cost
The New York Times
When the Obama administration in 2012 announced long-awaited changes to require more fruits and vegetables and less sugar and salt in government-subsidized school meals, no group celebrated more than the School Nutrition Association. The group had anticipated the changes for three years, and it was enthusiastic in thanking President Obama and his wife for their efforts to "expand children's access to healthy school meals." Two years later, the association has done an about-face and is leading a lobbying campaign to allow schools to opt out of the very rules it helped to create, saying that the regulations that have gone into effect are "overly prescriptive" and too costly for schools that are trying to replace hamburgers and fries with healthier alternatives.
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US states greet new fiscal year with more spending, school funding
Reuters
Days before most U.S. states' new fiscal year begins, 40 states have passed budgets that boost spending and dedicate extra funding primarily for education, according to a brief by the National Association of State Budget Officers. But in many states spending increases and tax cuts are not as dramatic as their governors proposed this winter, due to softer-than-expected revenue, NASBO found. Typically, governors suggest budgets in January that legislatures use as starting points to negotiate.
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US states greet new fiscal year with more spending, school funding
Reuters
Days before most U.S. states' new fiscal year begins, 40 states have passed budgets that boost spending and dedicate extra funding primarily for education, according to a brief by the National Association of State Budget Officers.

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Can 12 minutes of exercise make a difference for students?
Psych Central
A new study shows that 12 minutes of exercise can improve attention and reading comprehension in low-income adolescents. Researchers at Dartmouth College say these findings suggest that schools serving low-income students should work brief bouts of exercise into their daily schedules. The study, published in Frontiers in Psychology, compared low-income adolescents with their high-income peers.

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7 steps to authentic learning
eSchool News
Why authentic learning? There are so many reasons to choose from, some of the most important being: providing deep purpose for learning, empowering students, providing differentiation and choice options in learning, connecting students to others locally and globally, and allowing opportunities to develop empathy, creativity and innovation skills.

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LAUSD shifts gears on technology for students
Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles school district officials have allowed a group of high schools to choose from among six different laptop computers for their students — a marked contrast to last year's decision to give every pupil an iPad. Contracts that will come under final review by the Board of Education on Tuesday would authorize the purchase of one of six devices for each of the 27 high schools at a cost not to exceed $40 million.
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How better supervision might mean better principals
StateImpact
A national foundation thinks school principals have more to learn. The Wallace Foundation believes that the people who supervise principals spend too much time making sure they follow rules and procedures — and not enough time mentoring them. So Wallace is launching a $30 million dollar, five-year national experiment to test whether students benefit from principals who get more coaching.
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Countdown to Nashville: Less than a week
NAESP
The 2014 NAESP Annual Conference is just around the corner! From July 10-12, Nashville will be the hotspot for K-8 principals to meet colleagues, share ideas, and discover new ideas and strategies. Already registered? Explore the conference website to plan your experience. Not registered yet? There's still time — don't let this premiere event for school leaders happen without you.
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Don't miss Denim and Dancing
NAESP
Join the NAESP Foundation on Wednesday, July 9 at Denim and Dancing in Nashville, Tennessee. It's a star-studded evening of live music and fun aboard the General Jackson Showboat. Come in your favorite pair of jeans and experience great food and drink, a photo booth and much 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 Meredith Barnett at MBarnett@naesp.org.
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601   Download media kit
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