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How to read education data without jumping to conclusions
The Atlantic
Education has entered the era of Big Data. The Internet is teeming with stories touting the latest groundbreaking studies on the science of learning and pedagogy. Education journalists are in a race to report these findings as they search for the magic formula that will save America's schools. But while most of this research is methodologically solid, not all of it is ready for immediate deployment in the classroom.
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Does religion have a place in public schools?
By: Archita Datta Majumdar
The place and importance of religion in school has been debated for years, but perhaps has never seen so much drama as in recent times. For a diverse nation like the United States, it is inevitable that there will be a lot of debate over religious sentiments. In schools, these diverse sentiments must be both respected and uniformly treated with the same focus. There are two distinct schools of thought in this debate.
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Where have all the summer reading assignments gone?
eSchool News
Summer: a time in a child's life where they are no longer bound by mandates to attend school or do anything school-related. To do so, in some children's eyes, would be to commit a global faux pas. Those stuck on this idea are in for a rude awakening. Studies have proven that children who do not read during the summer lose much of the valuable knowledge they gained during the school year.
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Flipped learning skyrockets across the nation
eSchool News
Though no learning model is perfect, flipped learning offers educators and students one way to boost engagement and make learning much more interesting and organic. And as more research highlights this learning model's benefits for students and teachers, more educators are motivated to give it a try. Researchers from the Flipped Learning Network and Sophia Learning sought to update 2013 data with new figures to reflect just how quickly and broadly flipped learning is expanding.
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STEM is jambalaya
Edutopia (commentary)
Ainissa Ramirez, a contributor for Edutopia, writes: "Sitting in a restaurant on Frenchmen Street in New Orleans, my senses were gratified. I was taking in jazz and eating a meal after speaking at the National Science Teachers Association's (NSTA) STEM Forum. Midway through my feast, I glanced over to the menu, and was struck by an idea. STEM is jambalaya — it is a melding of ingredients. Now, for those of you who don't know what jambalaya is, imagine a combination of chicken, sausage, rice, shrimp, celery, and spices all mixed together. Separately, these items are just a grocery list, but combined they are a slice of heaven. And, while the ingredients are not inseparable, like a smoothie or tomato soup, each part builds on the next to create something new."
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US students in middle of pack on financial knowhow
The Associated Press
In an increasingly global economy, just 1 in 10 teenagers around the world is able to make some key — but complex — financial decisions, including choosing among various loans or analyzing invoices and pay slips. The picture is no better in the United States, where only 9.4 percent of 15-year-olds were able to answer the most difficult questions on an international test of their financial knowledge and skills. More than 1 in 6 U.S. students did not reach the baseline level of proficiency in financial literacy.
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What makes an 'extreme learner?'
MindShift
When Mollie Cueva-Dabkoski was dissecting a sheep's heart during an eighth-grade science class, she had an epiphany that changed her life. "That heart told the story of anatomy and physiology!" she said. Realizing that science is best communicated through stories, Cueva-Dabkoski, now just 19 years old, went on to explore beetles in China. She's now at Johns Hopkins University, and continues to do research during breaks.
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A view of the future through kindergarten demographics
Pew Research Center
Today's kindergartners offer a glimpse of tomorrow's demographics. A new data analysis by Pew Research Center finds a big increase over the past decade in the number of states where at least one in five public school kindergartners are Latino. There are 17 states where Latino children comprise at least 20 percent of the public school kindergarten population, according to our analysis of 2012 Census Bureau data. By comparison, just eight states had such a composition a decade earlier, in 2000.
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Survey: Parents look to teachers for Internet safety training
THE Journal
Who's responsible for making sure students get an education in online safety? According to four out of five teachers, parents are relying on the schools too much in this regard. A recent survey by security company AVG of 1,800 teachers around the world also found that 38 percent of teachers said they believe parents don't know enough about online safety to be able to teach their own kids. Two-thirds of respondents said that schools should provide better training on using the Internet as an educational tool; only 28 percent reported that they've had formal training. Seventy-seven percent added that Internet safety should show up in the syllabus.
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These graphs show the major teaching inequality that exists in many American classrooms
The Huffington Post
Recently, the Obama administration announced a new plan to make sure low-income students have access to quality teachers. While the No Child Left Behind Act previously mandated that states ensure poor and minority students receive instruction from high-caliber teachers, the mandate was never consistently enforced, and thus low-income children have continued to be taught in classrooms with less experienced and qualified teachers than their affluent peers.
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7 PD tips for your instructional technology integration plan
eSchool News
The role of instructional technology in the classroom has steadily increased over the past decade. These advances include the use of computers and tablets in classrooms, over 300,000 K-12 students enrolled in fully online programs in the 2012-2013 school year, and the use of new instructional technological tools — including interactive whiteboards, digital light processing projectors and digital cameras.
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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.


Math nerd or bookworm? Many of the same genes shape both abilities
NPR
Many of us tend to align ourselves with either numbers or words. We're either math brains or we're reading brains. In college, my fellow English majors joked about how none of us could long-divide to save our lives, while our friends in engineering groaned about the fact that Lit 101 was a graduation requirement. But it turns out that about half the genes that influence a child's math ability, also seem to influence reading ability, according to the journal Nature Communications.
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Teaching young students the fine art of arguing
The Wall Street Journal
When parents learn that debate training is mandatory for all students at Speyer Legacy School — starting in kindergarten — they typically have one response. "'Oh great, they're going to be arguing more,'" recounted Radley Glasser, the Manhattan private school's debate director. But as any trained debater will tell you: Nothing is that simple. Debate teams have long been staples of high schools and colleges across the country. But over the past decade, educators have been training increasingly younger students, from middle schoolers down to 5-year-olds.
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Education groups back $2 billion Wi-Fi plan
The Hill
A coalition of education groups is backing a proposal at the Federal Communications Commission that would funnel billions of dollars into wireless Internet for schools and libraries. The proposal "is a necessary first step toward providing students with the educational infrastructure they need to excel," 10 education groups said in a letter to FCC commissioners sent.
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Obama asks teachers for help with education policy. What did they tell him?
Education Week
What if you got a chance to sit down with the president of the United States and the secretary of education over lunch and tell them where you think the nation is going wrong — and right — when it comes to K-12 policy? Four teachers — all of whom have spent at least a decade teaching at high-need schools, many in the same communities that they grew up in — got the opportunity to do just that. So what did they tell President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan?
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US Education Department offers tips to districts, states on social media use
Education Week
While most states and districts are either using or planning to use Twitter and Facebook, developing the capacity to use those social media platforms effectively — and to expand their presence on newer platforms — remains a challenge, according to research and related documents recently released by the U.S. Department of Education. In May, the department's Reform Support Network, which works to support states and districts that have won grants as part of the federal Race to the Top program, released the findings of a survey and follow-up research involving 23 states and 11 districts.
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Connecting school spending and student achievement
The Washington Post
In the roiling national debate about the best ways to improve public education, one aspect gets scant attention: the relationship between the tax dollars school systems spend and academic results. In a report, the left-leaning Center for American Progress looks at how much "bang for the buck" taxpayers are getting from public schools. Ulrich Boser, who wrote the report, analyzed budgets of 7,000 school districts across about 40 states — which enroll about about 80 percent of U.S. public school students — and found some surprising results.
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Connecting school spending and student achievement
The Washington Post
In the roiling national debate about the best ways to improve public education, one aspect gets scant attention: the relationship between the tax dollars school systems spend and academic results.

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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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Mandatory summer school for K-2 has local educators talking
The Journal News
A dramatic step by the Middletown, New York, school district to require about 600 young children to attend summer school or be held back has educators and others debating the limits of remediation and the role of testing. Middletown, an urban district of about 7,000 students in Orange County, is forcing the children, who just finished kindergarten, first and second grades, to attend a five-week, Monday-through-Thursday summer program starting July 7.
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Elementary principal designs smart phone app
NWF Daily News
Students at Mary Esther Elementary School in Mary Esther, Florida, will be greeted by something a little different than a bell when it's time to move from one school activity to another. Beginning in August, the students will likely hear a dog barking or a trumpet-sounding to signal lunch, PE or the end of reading time thanks to a scheduling app just released by their principal.
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Catch up on the latest news from Nashville
NAESP
NAESP's 2014 Annual Conference is underway! Visit the Conference News page for the latest updates from Nashville, including session summaries, blog posts, photos and more. Plus, follow the #naesp14 hashtag on Twitter for principals' top takeaways from sessions and speakers.
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Join the world's largest principal book study on Saturday, July 12 at noon
NAESP
Make history with NAESP this summer as we undertake the world's largest principal book study. This discussion will give principals across the country a chance to swap ideas and connect with one another around a common topic: the principles of Dave Burgess's best-seller, "Teach Like a PIRATE." The final chat on Saturday, July 12 at noon will include a live discussion from our Social Media Lounge at the 2014 Annual Conference.
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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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