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New Obama initiative stresses equal access to good teachers
The Huffington Post
The Obama administration will announce plans to enforce a long-ignored federal mandate: a decade-old requirement that states give students of all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds equal access to good teachers. The new initiative, called "Excellent Educators for All," aims to bring states into compliance with a teacher equity mandate in the No Child Left Behind Act, the George W. Bush-era law that requires states to reward and punish schools based on standardized test scores.
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Hunger groups get creative while US schools out for summer
Reuters
Hunger relief workers are getting creative at keeping small bellies full when U.S. schools — along with their free or reduced-price meals — close for summer. An old logging camp in Oregon, a book mobile in Kentucky, and a karate studio in Delaware are just some of the unusual venues being used to gather low-income rural or suburban kids and hand out the food they need to get by until school cafeterias re-open in September. George Lunski distributes about 700 meals a week to kids along a 40-mile (64-kilometer) route near Newark, Delaware. His stop-off points include the leasing offices of a low-income housing development, a riverfront park, a karate studio and the driveway of a nonprofit organization.
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5 gaming dynamics that truly engage students
eSchool News
Gaming. It's more than a buzzword in today's schools, but it still sometimes carries a stigma — is gaming really an effective way for students to learn? The answer, according to computer science teacher Douglas Kiang: Games are powerful motivators. "As teachers, we need to learn how games do what they do, and how we make that into productive learning by using those game dynamics to accomplish our purpose," Kiang said during an in-demand ISTE 2014 session.
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Putting the world in their hands: Augmented reality in the classroom
MindShift
When many of today's teachers who grew up in Generation X are asked to reflect on traditional learning objects from their classrooms of the 1980's and 1990's, they think of paper, pencils, chalkboards, and textbooks. When they're shown a series of pictures of those classroom's from the '70s, '80s and '90s, and asked to describe them, they use adjectives like "utilitarian, boring and two-dimensional." The classrooms in which Millennials and Generation Z learn are a world apart from those of Baby Boomers and Generation X. In 2014, using augmented reality as a launching pad into discovery is becoming more common.
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What we don't know about summer school
NPR
It's a warning echoed in countless teen movies — "If you don't pass this class, you'll go to summer school!" Kids for generations have been threatened with the elusive summer school: fail this test, miss this day and kiss your vacation goodbye. This summer is no exception, with districts around the country pulling students in for all sorts of programs. But surprisingly, it's really hard to get a head count — either nationally or at the district level — of how many kids are going to summer school. So as the July heat kicks in, we started wondering about the whole idea. What, exactly, is summer school? How much does it cost? And, the biggest question, does it work? In a nutshell, we have no idea.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword SUMMER SCHOOL.


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The elephant in the language classroom
Edutopia (commentary)
Peter Smith, a contributor for Edutopia, writes: "At an impressionable age, I was sent to a boarding school run by ex-servicemen on strict Victorian principles and the rules of cricket. Corporal punishment and bullying were rife, but the cane was a lesser threat if you were a good cricketer and got good exam grades. You could also reduce the bullying hazard by conforming to accepted behaviors such as Elvis Presley impersonations and participation in the swapping of James Bond literature."
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Advice for districts on 'recalibrating' principals' roles in schools
Education Week
You're not mistaken. There have been a lot of reports in the last few weeks focusing on principals and the tools, training, resources, and supports they need to successfully do their jobs. That's a good thing, since principals, as a group, have received significantly less attention than teachers even though they set the tone, climate and culture in schools, and the quality of their leadership has been shown to impact student achievement.
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Schools rewiring to close digital gap
USA Today
The thousands of miles of wiring frantically being strung throughout America's schools this summer may look like everyday Internet cables. They're actually lifelines of high-speed learning. They are part of a more than $2 billion nationwide investment to close the gap between public school haves and have-nots, both of which are increasingly dependent on high-speed Internet to teach students. The bandwidth gap has become the new equality measurement plaguing schools, education experts warn. Stu Johnson, executive director of Connect Ohio, which advocates and monitors Internet accessibility in schools, says school technology will determine school success.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Explicit instruction works best for struggling math students (U.S. News & World Report)
Games in the classroom: What the research says (MindShift)
Should principals be treated like CEOs? (The Atlantic)
STEM education growing, but still has room for improvement (By Suzanne Mason)
The major disadvantage facing black students, even in kindergarten (The Huffington Post)

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


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5 tips for keeping your school iPads safe (and not cracked)
Edudemic
If you run a school that utilizes 1:1 technology tablets, you have no doubt had to deal with a few bumps and bruises. Especially if those tablets end up going home with students. Here are some tips for reducing tablet loss in your program.
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Study: Middle schoolers who text a lot are more likely to have sex
The Huffington Post
Middle school students who send hundreds of text messages a day are also engaging in more sex than their disconnected peers, according to a new study. Researchers from the University of Southern California outlined the correlation between middle school students' texting and sexual habits. According to the study's co-authors, students who text a lot are more likely to have reported engaging in sexual activity; those who have received sexts, which are defined as sexually explicit text messages or photos, are also more likely to have reported having sex. The study's findings were based on a survey of more than 1,300 anonymous Los Angeles middle school students, who ranged from ages 10 – 15.
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Report card: Students self-assess their technology skills, state rankings on digital learning and more
EdTech Magazine
In 2010, the Digital Learning Council developed the 10 Elements of High Quality Digital Learning, a framework of state-level policies and actions "designed to advance the meaningful and thoughtful integration of technology into K–12 public education." The elements address everything from student access and advancement to quality content and instruction, assessment and accountability, and delivery. Digital Learning Now's annual report card measures how states are faring in their efforts to align policies on digital learning to the 10 elements. Just two states — Florida and Utah — earned an "A" grade in 2013; 14 were given an "F."
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Bullying online leads to offline fear at school
Medical News Today
Cyberbullying creates fear among students about being victimized at school, a recent study by Sam Houston State University found. While traditional bullying still creates the most fear among students, cyberbullying is a significant factor for fear of victimization at school among students who have experienced bullying or disorder, such as the presence of gangs. The fear from cyberbullying is most prominent in minority populations. "It cannot be overstated — online victimization has offline consequences, and those consequences may have a number of negative effects for students, including fear of victimization," said Ryan Randa, Assistant Professor at Sam Houston State University, College of Criminal Justice.
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Arne Duncan unveils 50-state teacher-equity strategy
Education Week
The U.S. Department of Education detailed its long-awaited "50-state" strategy for putting some teeth into a requirement of the 12-year-old No Child Left Behind Act that has gone largely unenforced up until now: ensuring that poor and minority students get access to as many great teachers as their more advantaged peers. States will be required to submit new plans to address teacher distribution by April of 2015, or just a few months before the department likely will begin to consider states' requests to renew their waivers from the NCLB law. This isn't the first time that the feds have asked states to outline their plans on teacher distribution, but the results so far haven't exactly been a stunning success.
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US Department of Education extends NCLB waivers for 6 states
Education Week
Six states so far will get to keep their waivers from many of the mandates of the outdated No Child Left Behind Act through the end of the upcoming school year, the U.S. Department of Education announced. The states are: Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Nevada, South Dakota and Virginia. In order to keep their flexibilty — and control over a big portion of federal money for disadvantaged students — states were expected to address major concerns cited by the Education Department in monitoring reports, which gauged how waiver implementation is proceeding.
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Schools rewiring to close digital gap
USA Today
The thousands of miles of wiring frantically being strung throughout America's schools this summer may look like everyday Internet cables. They're actually lifelines of high-speed learning.

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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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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.

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In Mississippi, food gap widens during summer
The Hechinger Report
Each summer, millions of Mississippi's children rely on the federal Summer Food Service Program to provide up to two nutritious meals a day. It's a small solution to a larger problem in Mississippi, where many of the most rural parts of the state lack access to healthy foods. Jackie Mader reports on the challenges and efforts to provide food to the state's most vulnerable children. The town of Rolling Fork is nestled off Highway 61, 11 miles east of the Mississippi River. It's the home of blues singer Muddy Waters, and the site of a Civil War battle.
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Under pressure, the District school system gets more aggressive about selling itself
The Washington Post
The District's traditional public school system is sending principals out to knock on doors in a campaign to sell itself to city families, an aggressive move to boost enrollment and maintain market share after years of ceding ground to charter schools. The move is a sign of the tremendous pressure on the District's traditional public schools. Charter schools, which appeared less than two decades ago, now enroll nearly half the city's public school students, and they continue to gain popularity. It is a trend that many believe threatens the long-term survival of the traditional school system.
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2014 NAESP Annual Conference kicks off this week
NAESP
The 2014 NAESP Annual Conference starts Wednesday! From July 10-12, Nashville will be the hotspot for K-8 principals to meet colleagues, share ideas, and discover new ideas and strategies. Keep up with the latest updates from the conference by checking the conference website, following the hashtag #naesp14 on Twitter, and joining NAESP's Leading Learning Communities group on edWeb.
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Stop by the Social Media Lounge
NAESP
Heading to the 2014 NAESP Annual Conference in Nashville? Don't miss the Social Media Lounge! The Social Media Lounge, which debuted at the 2013 NAESP conference in Baltimore, will offer sessions for fledgling tweeters and social media sages alike. Each day of the conference, principal social media ambassadors will host informal sessions designed to help school leaders boost their technology know-how.
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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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