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Principals' job reviews getting a fresh look
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
While policymakers have engaged in pointed discussions about teacher performance reviews, the conversation around evaluating principals has been less vociferous. The balance, however, is slowly starting to shift. Two groups representing elementary and secondary principals announced a joint plan to help states and districts create principal-evaluation tools that will provide trustworthy feedback and opportunities for professional development. More

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How to make STEM education a success
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
What makes science programs at specialized science, technology, engineering and math schools better than ordinary programs? A new report identifies key factors that contribute to effective STEM education, and it recommends that science instruction receive the same level of priority as math and reading. More



Putting the iPad to work in elementary classrooms
THE Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Camilla Gagliolo got the first inkling there could be some real use for iPads in the classroom when she tried them out initially with students who had learning disabilities. Today, the instructional technology coordinator with Arlington, Va., Public Schools said she thinks the iPad is emerging as a tool that can greatly enhance educational technology after what she believes has been a lull in the field's progress. More



New Jersey introduces 9/11 teaching curriculum
United Press International    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
New Jersey educators said they have created a curriculum for teaching about Sept. 11, 2011, terrorism in time for the attacks' 10th anniversary. The K-12 curriculum is titled, "Learning from the Challenges of Our Times: Global Security, Terrorism and 9/11 in the Classroom," and includes lesson plans on such topics as "Impact of Hateful Words," for elementary students to "What is Terrorism?" for middle school children and "Reaction to and from the Muslim and Arab Communities" for high school students. More


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Agriculture deputy secretary highlights school meal improvements to national school nutrition advocates
United States Department of Agriculture    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan highlighted the importance of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act and announced the findings of USDA's first Farm to School report during the 2011 School Nutrition Association national convention. Merrigan delivered remarks to thousands of school nutrition professionals at the three-day event which provided an opportunity to discuss the Obama administration's efforts to improve the health and nutrition of meals served through the National School Lunch and Breakfast programs. More

Study: Key early skills essential for later math learning
Medical News Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
article
Psychologists at the University of Missouri have identified the beginning of first-grade math skills that teachers and parents should target to effectively improve children's later math learning. A long-term psychology study indicates that beginning first-graders that understand numbers, the quantities those numbers represent, and low-level arithmetic will have better success in learning mathematics through the end of fifth-grade, and other studies suggest throughout the rest of their lives. More

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Illinois Schools Implement Lexia, Improve

75% of kindergartners in Des Plaines, IL elementary school had no letter recognition. Lexia Reading software helped bring 88% up to speed by end of 1st grade.
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Flawed policy on testing drives schools to cheat
CNN (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The recent disclosure of test altering practices across Atlanta's public school system has turned the spotlight on a national crisis. Instances of grade changing and test tampering have also been reported across the country in cities such as Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia and Washington. These revelations shake the very framework of civil rights initiatives dating back to Brown v. Board of Education. The needed focus on closing the achievement gap for the poor and students of color is giving way to reliance on test scores and metrics that often have little bearing on educational achievement. More

Educators prepare for march in Washington, DC, hoping for a lasting movement
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
After months of planning the "Save Our Schools March And National Call to Action," educators will take to the streets in Washington, D.C., to protest what they call the generally misguided direction of education policy. The campaign has a broad social media presence and is easily identifiable by its logo: A yellow school crossing sign emblazoned with its call of alarm, "SOS." More



Education funding flexibility bill clears House committee
Education Week (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
article
State and district officials would get broad leeway to shift federal dollars now aimed at particular populations — such as children in poverty — to other programs, under a measure approved by the House Education and the Workforce Committee. Republicans say the measure, part of a move to begin reauthorizing the ESEA piecemeal, would make it easier for districts and states to direct federal money to where it is needed most, which they see as a must in tough economic times. More

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Right to Recess Campaign

Despite mounting evidence that kids benefit both physically and academically when they get the exercise they need, schools are cutting back on recess. Here's why....
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Schools chiefs see path to proposing their own accountability systems
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Some state education chiefs say that if Congress does not overhaul No Child Left Behind, the main federal law governing public education, by the fall, they may be allowed to propose their own accountability systems as an alternative. These education chiefs said this week that Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and his aides have signaled that they may grant a waiver on a crucial provision in the law, a requirement that all children be proficient in English and math by 2014, a goal widely seen as unrealistic. More



California approves 'Parent Trigger' law for schools
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The California Board of Education set out a clear road map to allow parents unparalleled rights to force major changes at low-performing schools. The board approved regulations clarifying the "Parent Trigger" law — the first in the nation to give parents the right to petition for new staff, management and programs at their children's schools. Organizations representing parents, teachers, school districts and other parties overcame sharp differences to reach consensus on such contentious issues as how to draw up petitions, verify parent signatures and ensure public disclosure about the petition process. More

41 Colorado school districts line up for evaluation pilot program
The Denver Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Colorado school districts have overwhelmed the state Department of Education with their interest in participating in a state pilot program this fall for evaluating new teachers and principals. "We thought we would be lucky to get 10 districts who were interested," said Ulcca Joshi Hansen, the department's associate director of educator effectiveness. But by the end of June — the deadline for school districts to apply — 41 districts had asked to be part of the pilot program that will test a state-developed evaluation system. More

Outside experts put Chicago schools under microscope
Chicago Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
article
A panel of education experts from across the country will delve deep into Chicago's public school system over the next two months, looking for weak links and hoping to offer the district's new leadership team advice on how to improve teaching and learning. Tasked by new schools chief Jean-Claude Brizard and Chief Education Officer Noemi Donoso to determine how best to deploy teachers and resources, the panel has already begun meeting. It's expected to have recommendations at the beginning of the school year. More

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Innovation schools catch on in Massachusetts
The Boston Globe    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A growing number of school districts from Boston to western Massachusetts are embracing a new kind of school to pursue educational innovations and compete more aggressively with charter schools. About a dozen "innovation schools" are expected to open this fall, while another dozen should arrive a year later. The movement follows the launch of the state's first three innovation schools this past school year. More

New Massachusetts school food rules ban sweet snacks
The Associated Press via The Boston Globe    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Sugary sodas and sweet snacks are out along with potato chips and other vending machine cuisine under Massachusetts' new school nutrition standards approved. The rules, approved unanimously by the state Public Health Council, ban foods with artificial sweeteners, trans fats and caffeine from schools' a la carte lines, vending machines, stores, events and fundraisers. They also ban fried foods and limit the amount of fat, sodium and sugar that can be in school foods. More



Crayola grant: Deadline today
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Strengthen arts education in your school with a 2011 grant to Champion Creatively Alive Children, a national program funded by Crayola and supported by NAESP's National Principals Resource Center. Crayola will award up to 20 grants, which include a $2,500 monetary award and $500 worth of Crayola products. More

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Call for proposals now open for 2012 conference
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Submit a proposal to present a concurrent session at NAESP's 2012 conference March 22-24 in Seattle. More


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Study shows BULLYING reduced 41%

Researchers from University of Illinois at Chicago just released findings from a randomized-control trial in 14 schools in Chicago. Schools using the Positive Action program from 3rd to 5th grade reduced bullying by 41%, violence by 37% and substance use by 31%. Academic effects will be released soon.
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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 Cynthia Rosso at crosso@naesp.org.
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601   Download media kit
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