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More public schools splitting up boys, girls
The Associated Press via USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Robin Gilbert didn't set out to confront gender stereotypes when she split up the boys and girls at her elementary school in rural southwestern Idaho. But that's exactly what happened, with her Middleton Heights Elementary now among dozens of public schools nationwide being targeted by the American Civil Liberties Union in a bitter struggle over whether single-sex learning should be continued. Under pressure, single-sex programs have been dropped at schools from Missouri to Louisiana. More

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More states freed from no child left behind law
The Associated Press via ABC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Obama administration said that two more states, Washington and Wisconsin, will be exempted from many requirements of the federal "No Child Left Behind" education law. The decision brings to 26 the number of states granted waivers as Congress remains at a stalemate regarding an overhaul to former President George W. Bush's signature accomplishment. With more than half of the states now free from many of the law's requirements, there are questions about the future of No Child Left Behind. The 10-year-old federal No Child Left Behind law requires all students to achieve proficient math and reading scores by 2014, a goal that many educators say is impossible. More



Some states tie reading tests to grade promotion
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Fourth grade is when young people stop learning to read and start reading to learn, says Marcus Winters, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. Even so, because less attention is placed on developing reading skills past the third grade, Winters said, students who have not mastered the skill by then struggle to keep up and fall further behind each year. To address that issue, Ohio and North Carolina passed legislation requiring third-graders to pass a reading test before advancing to fourth grade. They join four other states — Arizona, Indiana, Oklahoma and Florida — with similar policies, said Jaryn Emhof of the Foundation for Excellence in Education. Emhof said more states, including Mississippi and New Mexico, are considering similar laws. More

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Poll: Most teachers, but not the public, are aware of Common Core
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Nearly nine out of ten public school teachers are now aware of the Common Core State Standards, and most of them have a "very" or "somewhat" favorable impression, according to new polling data. Meanwhile, the general public is still mostly out of the loop about the new standards. Sixty percent of U.S. voters say they have seen, read, or heard "nothing at all" about the new standards for English/language arts and mathematics in the past six months, a figure unchanged since an early poll in August of 2011. Another 20 percent replied "not much" to the question. More

Study finds that physical education mandates not enough in most states
Medical News Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Children need quality physical education to combat obesity and lead healthy lives. Georgia elementary schools make the grade when it comes to providing that education, but middle and high schools in the state don't even come close, according to a University of Georgia study. A study by UGA kinesiology professor Bryan McCullick examined the mandates for school-based physical education in all 50 United States. The results found only six states mandate the appropriate guidelines — 150 minutes each week — for elementary school physical education. More


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3 things to unlearn about learning
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
"If you're not feeling uncomfortable about the state of education right now, then you're not paying attention to the pressures and challenges of technology," said Will Richardson, a veteran educator author and consultant, at a talk at ISTE 2012. "We need to acknowledge that this is a very interesting moment, and even though in a lot of ways this isn't what we signed up for when we went into teaching ... as educators, it's our job to figure it out." Seeing the balance move from a place of scarcity of information to over-abundance on the Web — and the ability to "carry around the sum of human knowledge on our phones" — Richardson said educators must start thinking of schooling differently. More



Fewer public schools selling sugary drinks
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Fewer elementary school students can buy soda and other sugar-sweetened drinks at school than could a few years ago, according to a new study. Researchers called the trend of fewer vending machines and snack bars selling the beverages "encouraging," with soda drinking being one nutrition issue public health experts have tied to childhood obesity. The Institute of Medicine, an advisory panel to the U.S. government, recommends schools sell only water, 100-percent juice and fat-free or low-fat milk to kids. More

How will student data be used?
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Over the next few months, a handful of states will take early steps to try to solve a problem that's become a by-product of the digital age: navigating the flood of student data. Right now, all sorts of student data are being kept in everything from testing programs and instructional software to grade books and learning management systems. But the data are often trapped in the program and not easily extracted or combined with other data on the same student, creating the educational equivalent of the Hotel California: data can check in any time it likes, but it can never leave. Or be used effectively by teachers. More

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Study: Teacher support for CCSS growing; ongoing professional learning will be key
School Library Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The more teachers know about the Common Core State Standards, the more supportive they are of implementing the standards, including new assessments, according to Sandy Boyd, senior vice president of strategic initiatives for Achieve, the D.C.-based organization that polled teachers about the CCSS. "These findings demonstrate the importance of communicating with educators," said Boyd. "Ongoing professional learning opportunities and support will be key." More

What do emotions have to do with learning?
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When parents and teachers consider how children learn, it's usually the intellectual aspects of the activity they have in mind. Sidney D'Mello would like to change that. The University of Notre Dame psychologist has been studying the role of feelings in learning for close to a decade, and he has concluded that complex learning is almost inevitably "an emotionally charged experience," as he wrote in a paper published in the journal Learning and Instruction earlier this year. During the learning experiments described in his paper, he notes, the participating students reported being in a neutral state only about a quarter of the time. The rest of the time, they were were experiencing lots of feelings: surprise, delight, engagement, confusion, boredom, frustration. More


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7 iPad alternatives for schools
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With their interactive touch screens, easy portability and quick boot-up time, tablets are increasingly becoming schools' classroom computers of choice. And while many schools have invested in Apple's revolutionary iPad, which started the whole tablet computing craze, a number of other suitable options have emerged to give school leaders more choices. With so many options at varying price points and with different educational capabilities, choosing the right tablet can be overwhelming. Besides the new Microsoft and Google devices, here are seven other iPad alternatives to consider — three of which were designed specifically for schools. More

Study: Children internalize stereotypes about abilities
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Have you ever heard a girl say she hates math because she's "no good" at it? I've heard it plenty of times, even from my own daughter who actually has an aptitude for the subject. Research has shown that children believe their ability to do certain things depends on how much natural ability they have for the task. These so-called "entity theories" can affect their performance. And now a recent study from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign that involved 4- to 7-year-olds suggests that children can adopt these beliefs from information they hear about their gender or certain social groups. More

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Romney's record on education includes successes, failures
The Washington Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Mitt Romney kept academic standards high, pushed for more charter schools and took other steps during his time as Massachusetts governor to keep the state in the top tier of student performance — but he stumbled in his efforts to institute merit pay for teachers, revamp the tenure system and other aims. Critics contend that the presumptive Republican nominee for president gave great speeches and PowerPoint presentations outlining his goals, but in a state dominated by Democrats and with an education establishment closely tied to labor unions, he failed to build the political partnerships necessary to advance major legislation. More

24 applicants chosen to pursue federal innovation grants
THE Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Up to 124 local education agencies and related entities will be going after their share of a $60 million pot made available by the United States Department of Education to fund innovative practices intended to improve student achievement. These "pre-applicants" participated in a winnowing process developed by the federal government to improve the process by which school districts, education nonprofits and other organizations vie for funds in the 2012 Investing in Innovation program. More


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Rick Scott says Florida may be testing students too much
The Associated Press via Tampa Bay Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Gov. Rick Scott said that schools might be doing too much of a good thing when it comes to student testing and that he is talking with state education officials, school superintendents and teachers about possibly changing the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. The governor addressed a conference of newspaper editors from five Southern states and said that Florida received more parent complaints this year than in past years, especially about the FCAT. The state received 800 calls after the release of the FCAT writing scores earlier this year. More

Texas won't adopt Common Science Standards soon
The Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
New nationally developed common science standards may be on the horizon, but it is not likely that they will make their way into Texas classrooms soon. Make that a "zero percent chance," said Barbara Cargill, the Republican chairwoman of the State Board of Education. The Next Generation Science Standards — produced by the National Research Council, the National Science Teachers Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science — are designed to chart a common science curriculum for students in kindergarten through high school, in every state. The standards are expected to be complete early next year. More

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School lunches missing the mark for nutrition standards
North County Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It's lunchtime at McKinley Elementary School in San Diego, and the kitchen is filled with the aroma of chicken teriyaki and hamburgers. But there are no pots or cooking utensils in sight. An industrial four-burner stove sits idle. Three workers bustle from the refrigerator, oven and food-warming box, preparing racks of reheated frozen foods. As students line up, the staff sets out trays of burgers, bean-and-cheese burritos and chicken stir-fry with rice. Like many school districts in the state, the San Diego Unified School District doesn't have the equipment or staff to cook fresh meals from scratch. It does its best with limited federal funding. After accounting for labor and overhead, the district has about $1 left to spend on each lunch, so it relies heavily on processed foods. More


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Kansas young teen's program rewards acts of kindness
The Kansas City Star    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Students at a Kansas middle school are being rewarded for acts of kindness under a program started by an eighth-grader with just one demand — that she remain anonymous. Nothing doing, Mary Krieger: A neighbor tipped off the Lawrence Journal-World, and now everyone knows you gave up a birthday celebration to provide the seed money for West Middle School's Kindness Counts program. More

Role reversal: Houston district's PD initiative helps teachers learn
CultureMap Houston    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Teachers teach and students learn. But to help teachers be better at the essential work that they do, sometimes those roles have to be reversed. Turning teachers into students is part of Houston Independent School District's Effective Teacher Initiative. The district developed a new appraisal and development program to inspire classroom teachers to grow, develop and increase student learning. More



Gail Connelly named chair of Learning First Alliance
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
NAESP Executive Director Gail Connelly has been named 2012-2013 chair of the Learning First Alliance Board of Directors. The Learning First Alliance is a partnership of 16 leading education associations, including NAESP, with more than 10 million members. LFA is dedicated to improving student learning in America's public schools. More

NAESP co-publishes book by Yong Zhao
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Yong Zhao, author and thought leader in global education, struck a chord at the 2012 NAESP Annual Conference and Expo when he said, "Children are like popcorn. Some pop early and some pop late." In a new book co-published by NAESP and Corwin, Zhao explores how teachers and principals can nurture students' individuality and creativity. Explore "World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students" for more ideas and inspiration. More

 
 


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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 Cynthia Rosso at crosso@naesp.org.
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