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Nation's principals build playground for Baltimore school
The Baltimore Sun
Every principal can use an extra set of hands, but Mary Donnelly of Baltimore's John Ruhrah Elementary/Middle School never imagined she'd have 80. School leaders from across the country took to the Southeast Baltimore school's yard, building a new playground to replace one whose missing pieces and decrepit structure had become a safety hazard.
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Sales tax holidays go beyond school supplies, clothing in some states
Stateline via The Huffington Post
Many states with back-to-school sales tax "holidays" are expanding them to cover almost any purchase, in addition to the usual kids' clothing, shoes, books and school supplies. As schools and students replace ink and paper with pixels, some states are expanding their holidays to cover sales taxes on low-cost computers and tablets. These electronics are eligible for the tax breaks in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
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Department of Education panel says test consortia need sharper focus on accessibility
Education Week
A technical review panel set up by the U.S. Department of Education is urging both Common Core assessment consortia to pay better attention to ensuring that their tests are accessible to students with disabilities and those whose native language is not English. That is one of the more stern outcomes of the panel's first appraisal of the work so far of PARCC and Smarter Balanced. The review panel, created in March, issued its reports on July 3. You can read them on a special page of the department's website.
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Not your typical summer school: A summer camp fights learning loss using the Common Core
StateImpact Florida
It's summertime and Angela Maxey, principal of Sallye B. Mathis Elementary School, is observing a classroom of 9- and 10-year-olds draw and identify different kinds of triangles. "Remember this is fourth grade — they've just finished third grade, but they're learning fourth grade curriculum," says Maxey. "It's all Common Core." This is not your traditional summer school. The kids in this classroom are part of Duval County Public Schools' Superintendent's Summer Academy. They'll be voluntarily spending their summer here, at Sallye B., learning math and science lessons in the classroom and on field trips — with the explicit goal of preventing summer learning losses.
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  • Refocusing the rhetoric on Common Core
    Education Week
    In small but significant ways, conversation about the common core is being reframed. For the three years I've covered common standards and assessments, people have been talking about how to get slow-moving education systems up to speed quickly enough to do well on the tests in 2015. They've been worrying about preparing teachers and accelerating students for the new expectations. They've been strategizing about how to manage the public-relations problem that could arise when scores on the new tests look worse than those on states' current tests.
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    Supporting English learners in the primary classroom
    2013 Teaching Channel
    Common Core Standards ask students to construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others in math; ask and answer questions about key details in a text; and participate in collaborative conversations about topics and texts. Students are expected to explain their thinking and build on others' talk in conversation. But what if your students don't speak English?
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    Leadership and capacity
    Connected Principals (commentary)
    David Truss, a contributor for Connected Principals, writes: "I said that on a post about Leadership and Management back in October. Two weeks ago, as my school year for the Inquiry Hub was coming to a close, report cards for Coquitlam Open Learning were going out, students were scrambling to get last minute marks to universities for their online courses, and summer school prep was under way, not to mention an onslaught of emails ... I'd have to say that I had one of the busiest weeks of my life. There simply wasn’t enough time in the day!"
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    Common strategies for uncommon achievement
    Center for American Progress
    What does it take to improve a school? What kinds of programs, systems and people need to be in place for educational outcomes to improve overall? These and other questions continue to vex policymakers who — along with researchers, reformers, and advocates — pore over data and case studies looking for tools to transform schools into places where all students achieve. Sadly, there is no silver bullet. But there are features and structures of schools that have shown improvement that can help educational leaders see a path forward.
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    5 leadership questions to finish (and start) the school year with
    Tech&Learning
    In many places, the end of the school year is upon us. Students are eagerly waiting for that final bell to ring, and teachers are busy making those final preparations to finish things out. And while our thoughts may turn to summer vacation, this time of year is ripe for reflection, especially for the school-technology leader.
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    ConnectEd: Digital technology initiative modernizes US schools
    Voxxi
    The United States' image as a digital innovator does not match the level of high-tech educational opportunities offered in its classrooms. Namely, millions of students lack access to the high-speed broadband Internet that supports learning digital technology. Furthermore, less than 20 percent of educators across the country say their school's Internet connection meets their teaching needs.
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    Selling the NCLB Act rewrite to conservatives
    Education Week
    Now that a new version of the No Child Left Behind Act looks headed to the House floor, the bill's sponsors, U.S. Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., and Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Ind., are in full-on member-education mode, meeting with rank-and-file Republicans who may not be familiar with the key pieces of the bill — and may have campaigned on dismantling the U.S. Department of Education, which the bill wouldn't do. A big question going forward is on how the measure will handle school choice. More on that below.
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    ConnectEd: Digital technology initiative modernizes US schools
    Voxxi
    The United States' image as a digital innovator does not match the level of high-tech educational opportunities offered in its classrooms.

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    Are you ready to be a school principal?
    eSchool News
    Modeling excellence, building a team of dedicated educators and instilling a sense of pride throughout the school community are all essential when it comes to establishing and maintaining a successful school culture, according to effective school principals.

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    To improve school climate, examine recess
    Edutopia
    As we look at ways to create environments that allow teaching and learning to thrive, it's time to take a long, hard look at the critical role of recess in our schools.

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    California Board of Education delays vote on science standards
    EdSource Today
    It was a rare moment of harmony in education reform at the California State Board of Education. Everyone, from business leaders to university deans and educators to advocates, praised the new science content standards and urged the State Board to implement them. Board members agreed that the standards are excellent, but delayed the vote to formally implement them until their next meeting in September.
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    TRENDING ARTICLES
    Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

        Should schools still teach cursive? (MindShift)
    PARCC approves test performance-level descriptions by grade, subject (Education Week)
    At retooled summer schools, creativity, not just catch-up (The New York Times)
    The top 10 myths about preschool (Center for American Progress)
    iPads in the classroom: Worth doing right (InformationWeek)

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


    More than 1 million respond to first statewide education survey in Illinois
    Chicago Tribune
    More than 1.1 million students, teachers and parents filled out Illinois' first statewide education survey, offering an unprecedented peek into thousands of classrooms. Responses, which were anonymous, provided details on how teachers teach, children learn and principals lead, with the survey's goal to drive improvements in the state's public schools. Local districts began combing through preliminary results last month, and parents and taxpayers are expected to see the final results in the fall through a website, state officials said.
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    Kansas State Board of Education to consider teacher code of conduct
    Lawrence Journal World
    The Kansas State Board of Education will be asked to review a code of conduct for teachers and administrators, but it remains unclear exactly how that code would be used. Scott Myers, director of teacher education and licensure for the Department of Education, said the code is intended to be "aspirational," and would not have the force or effect of regulation. "It describes what is the expectation for professional conduct," Myers said.
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    Stay informed with NAESP's Conference News Online
    NAESP
    With NAESP's Annual Conference and Expo — BEST PRACTICES FOR BETTER SCHOOLS™ — in full swing, Conference News Online is your place to keep up with convention events and opportunities. Missed something? You'll find blog posts, tweets, photos and articles about select conference events so you can still get the full conference experience. Check it out now!
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    Join conference conversations on Twitter
    NAESP
    Couldn't make it to Baltimore for the NAESP Annual Conference and Expo? Follow @NAESP on Twitter and check out the conference hashtag (#naesp13) to keep up with breaking news from the conference. Join discussions with speakers and attendees on trending topics, including gamification, the Common Core, teacher evaluations and the achievement gap.
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