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Seeking Highly Qualified Principals

WCPSS is seeking the very best in school leadership to guide our staff and students in fulfilling our collective vision. MORE


Awareness is key to success of Common Core Standards
U.S.News & World Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Common Core State Standards are taking root in public schools across the country, impacting more than 42 million K-12 students and 2.7 million teachers — but outside the education sphere, many people have no idea what the standards entail. In fact, 60 percent of registered voters surveyed said they know nothing about the new academic standards, according to a poll released last week by Achieve, an education nonprofit. Teachers are better informed on the standards, with 65 percent saying they know a lot, up from an August 2011 survey where fewer than half of the teachers surveyed said they were well versed on the standards, according to the poll. While only 1,000 registered voters and 500 K-12 teachers were surveyed for the poll, the results are nationally representative, says Chad Colby, communications director at Achieve. More


Bullying in schools greater for students with 'observable' disabilities
Medical News Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Students receiving special-education services for behavioral disorders and those with more obvious disabilities are more likely to be bullied than their general-education counterparts — and are also more likely to bully other students, a new study shows. The findings, published in the Journal of School Psychology, highlight the complexity of bullying's nature and the challenges in addressing the problem, said lead author Susan Swearer, professor of school psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. More

8th-graders and algebra: Making the case for online education
THE Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Schools and districts are increasingly turning to online courses to expand learning opportunities for students, even though the research base supporting their effectiveness has been lacking. A 2009 U.S. Department of Education review found only five studies in K-12 settings with research designs that provided enough evidence to suggest that online instruction yields positive effects. Meanwhile, a number of recent news stories have raised concerns about whether online learning — particularly full-time virtual schools — is fulfilling promises to support students' academic achievement while containing, or even reducing, costs. As a result, many are still asking whether online learning works. More

Kindergarten career test in the works by ACT
The Associated Press via The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new digital tool to test academic and behavioral skills will target students starting in kindergarten. ACT, the organization that developed the ACT college-entrance exam, will start testing the tool in the fall. It will be available to schools starting in 2014.The tool tracks students' career interests, academic performance and progress toward goals. It's designed to follow students from kindergarten through high school. More

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How far has physical education come in the past 20 years?
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In terms of health benefits, how far has physical education progressed over the past 20 years? In honor of the 20th anniversary of the 1991 paper, Physical Education's Role in Public Health, the paper's original authors and a few colleagues looked back in the most recent issue of Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport to see what still needs improvement. In the 1991 paper, the authors encouraged physical educators to "adopt a new role and pursue a public-health goal for physical education." This mainly entailed providing physical activity during phys. ed. class and teaching students how to maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout their lives. More

How to get kids reading and writing over the summer
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The summer reading lists provided by schools and libraries have two purposes: to foster a love of reading and to keep students intellectually engaged over summer. These book lists span genres and styles, from classics to nonfiction and from poetry to paranormal fiction. Given the variety, students can usually find a book that at least sounds interesting to them. Unfortunately most students fall out of the habit of writing during summer vacation unless they are given assignments. Students become better writers through practice, and summer provides an opportunity for them to write without the external pressure of grades and testing. More

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New report on teachers: Culture more important than salary, student demographics
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Education Trust released a new report on keeping good teachers in the classroom. The findings — that culture and work conditions matter a lot — it reminds Maureen Downey of an interview she did years ago with University of Pennsylvania Professor Richard Ingersoll, a national expert on teacher turnover and retention. According to Ingersoll, 40 percent of new teachers nationwide bolt the profession within five years because of the terrible working conditions. To keep teachers, Georgia has to improve the teaching experience, he said. More

Can the burgeoning world of online teacher training improve public education?
The Hechinger Report (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Online teacher training involves much of the workload that traditional in-the-class instruction does: textbook lessons, classroom observations and student teaching. But the challenges of training successful teachers online were made clear to me during a recent online chat, when the professor in a class about "Foundations of Education" course slapped on heavy-duty headphones, peered into her computer screen and asked students what they liked or disliked about her internet course at National University. More


To fight childhood obesity, treat boys and girls differently
Great Lakes Echo    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Programs to curb childhood obesity would be more effective if they were gender-specific, researchers say. Childhood obesity has tripled in the last decades, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. What is worse, Michigan ranks above the national average, with 12 percent of children considered obese. But if overweight and obese are combined, those numbers jump to 26 percent of girls and 35 percent of boys, according to Kids Count, a data center that tracks the status of children by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. More

School's out, but screen-time limits for younger users should remain
The Seattle Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
School is out for the summer, and kids have more free time to play video games, read Facebook posts and surf for the latest viral YouTube video or TV show. Parents may adopt a number of strategies, though, to avoid the conflict that can arise when teens and tweens want to plop down for hours on the couch to plug in and tune out. TV, movies, video and computer games should be limited to no more than one or two hours a day, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, and too much screen time has been linked to obesity, irregular sleep, behavioral problems and less time for active creative pursuits and play. More

High temperatures dangerous for children
Medical News Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Summer is officially here and temperatures across the nation are soaring. Although the heat wave is welcomed by many after a cold winter, the increase in temperature is especially dangerous for children, who are more likely to sustain a heat-injury than adults. Jerold Stirling, chair of the department of pediatrics at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and pediatrician at Loyola University Health System, explained: "Kids bodies don't acclimate to the heat as well as adults. They don't sweat as effectively. They absorb more heat since they have smaller bodies and a higher ratio of surface area to body mass." More

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How GERM is infecting schools around the world
The Washington Post (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Ten years ago — against all odds — Finland was ranked as the world's top education nation. It was strange because in Finland education is seen as a public good accessible to all free of charge without standardized testing or competitive private schools. When you look around the world, you see competition, choice, and measuring of students and teachers as the main means to improve education. This market-based global movement has put many public schools at risk in the United States and many other countries, as well. But not in Finland. More

More than 100 organizations invited to apply for smallest i3 grants
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Department of Education has invited 124 organizations to apply for the smallest — and most popular — of the Investing in Innovation grants, which are intended to scale up promising practices at the district level. This is the first time the department has done a "preapplication" for the "development" grants. Development-grant applicants don't need to meet as high a research threshold as those in the other grant categories — they just need to have "reasonable research-based findings or theories." More


Education department pauses NCLB clock for some states
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Recently, Iowa, which had its request for wiggle room from mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act turned down, got another kind of reprieve from the U.S. Department of Education: the chance to freeze its Annual Measurable Outcomes (goals for student proficiency) under the NCLB law for one year, while it works towards waiver approval. And, the department announced that six other states, Alabama, Alaska, Idaho, Kansas, Maine and West Virginia, can also hit the pause button on their AMOs for the coming school year, while they work on their waiver plans. More

Arizona cyberbullying guidelines expanded
The Arizona Republic    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
School districts in Arizona must teach cyberbullying awareness, monitor online chats and keep tabs on social media in schools starting this week as part of a beefed-up Children's Internet Protection Act. With the school year still a month away for most districts, several school boards have made changes to their decades-old policies and get discounts of as much as 90 percent on their telecommunication bills. More

Iowa gets one-year No Child Left Behind reprieve
Sioux City Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Department of Education will give the state a one-year reprieve from federal testing mandates under the No Child Left Behind law. In a letter dated June 29, U.S. Department of Education Assistant Secretary Deborah Delisle wrote the state deserved the waiver based on the work it has done in adopting career and college-ready standards and its work in closing achievement and graduation gaps, among other reasons. Delisle's letter, however, made clear that Iowa needs to work on its waiver application if it wants permanent relief from No Child Left Behind requirements. More

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US says Georgia 'at high risk' of losing school grant
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Georgia has been warned it could lose $33 million of its $400 million Race to the Top school grant because of proposed changes to its cornerstone project, a new evaluation system for principals and teachers. In a letter sent to the governor, U.S. Department of Education officials said the $33 million dedicated to the new evaluations is "at high risk." They asked the state to address the concerns by Aug. 1 and suggested monthly status reports on its progress. Of 12 states that have been awarded Race to the Top grants, for proposed innovations in schools, only Hawaii had been given such a warning. In Hawaii's case, the federal Education Department threatened to pull all of its money. More

Experts can't explain drop in state's special education numbers
Houston Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Special education students seem to be disappearing in Texas. The Lone Star State diagnosed just 8.8 percent of its public school students as having special needs in 2011, down from 12 percent in 2000. Texas now has the lowest percentage of special education students in the nation — a full 4 percentage points below the U.S. average. Urban giants like the Houston and Dallas school districts identify even fewer children at 7.9 percent and 7.7 percent, respectively. More


Oregon Board of Education OKs teacher evaluations
The Associated Press via The Republic    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The state Board of Education has approved guidelines for how Oregon teachers and administrators will be evaluated. Starting in 2013, multiple measures will be used to evaluate how well individual teachers are doing in three broad areas: professional practice, professional responsibility, and student learning and growth. The evaluations will not be made public and standardized test scores will not be the sole measure of student progress. More

Illinois pressured to push up teacher evaluations
Chicago Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
At 28, Evanston Township High School math teacher Zachary Herrmann is relatively new to the teaching profession, but he faces fundamental changes that could reshape his career — perhaps sooner than later. Illinois this fall will start rolling out a controversial evaluation system that will rate teachers in part on how their students perform — a sea change unpopular with many rank-and-file educators but lauded by others as a way to ensure that the best instructors are in America's schools. More

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Engagement and the Common Core

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How was school today? Check your daily text
The San Diego Union-Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Johnny's classroom to mom's cellphone. A new program in the San Diego school district will use technology to give parents a peek into what's going on in their children's classes. The Parent Connection will deliver to parents daily interactive news broadcasts seen in their child's classrooms. The link will also show parents how their child responded to lessons that are tied to the educational news pieces. More

NAESP Radio explores the burden on America's schools
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In the latest edition of NAESP Radio, vocal education advocate Jamie Vollmer sat down with NAESP Executive Director Gail Connelly to discuss his latest work, a video that explores the ever-increasing burden of expectations on America's schools. More

Write for Principal magazine
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
No one knows a principal's job better than you do. You know the challenges, the rewards, the humor and the successes. How about sharing some of those experiences with your colleagues? Writing for our magazine is a great way to help other principals while giving you fresh insights into your own professional development. This summer, we're looking for articles on teacher and staff development. Click "More" for submission details. More


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