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  Mobile version   RSS   Subscribe   Unsubscribe   Archive   Media Kit Jul. 17, 2012

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Back to school already? Debate continues over year-round benefits
The Associated Press via The Christian Science Monitor    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
By the time summer's over, many families can't wait for school to start. Working parents have struggled to find camps or babysitting, kids are bored and teachers fret over "summer slide" — the academic losses that research shows hits kids from poor families hardest. Year-round schooling might seem like the antidote, and in some parts of the country, schools with just a few weeks off are not uncommon. In Raleigh, N.C. and other parts of Wake County, for instance, this week was the first week of school for 26,000 students on a year-round calendar. More


Asthma keeps kids from sleep and school
Medical News Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Asthma is responsible for 10.5 million missed school days each year in the United States, and is also one the leading contributors to illness and missed sleep in urban children, according to researchers. The study, published in Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, found that children, especially Latino children, who missed sleep because of asthma were frequently absent from school, visited the emergency room more often and experienced limitation in sports. More

Federal aid for literacy programs makes comeback
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Department of Education sent word that it's inviting applicants for a slice of $29 million in aid to support childhood literacy and free book distribution efforts, with at least half the money designated to support "high-quality" school library projects. The money comes from the new Innovative Approaches to Literacy Program. And yet, in some sense, this program is not really all that new. More

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Virtual foreign exchange program will give students global skills
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Today's students need to prepare for a globalized world, business leaders often say — but sending students abroad is usually too expensive for cash-strapped schools or parents. One Michigan school district is taking a unique approach to this challenge by establishing a virtual foreign exchange program so that students can take classes from teachers in other countries. More

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Larger class sizes, education cuts harm children's chance to learn
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When Shania started third grade at P.S. 148 last fall, she was thrilled to be back at the Queens, N.Y., public school. An outgoing 8-year-old, she said she was happy to be among her friends again, and she had loved her class the previous year. Her second-grade teacher would take the time to explain tricky topics like addition and subtraction one-on-one. She had even been named "student of the month." But since 2007, as the economy has tanked and expenses for public schools have risen, New York City has made principals cut budgets by 13.7 percent. When budgets are cut, teachers are fired and others aren't replaced — including at P.S. 148, which has lost at least $600,000 and eight teachers since 2010. When teachers are lost, class sizes balloon. Shania had 31 classmates this past school year, compared to 20 the year before. More

Who is steering your school's bus?
AllThingsPLC    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In education, it is a mistake to move forward with substantive change without a group to guide the process. Too often, schools rely upon preexisting "leadership teams" to guide the cultural change necessary to operate as a PLC. Members of these preexisting teams have been selected around old paradigms and ways of thinking that are anathema to the real work of PLCs. Even worse, principals sometimes go it alone in attempting to change the culture of their schools, or they only involve staff in ways that appear to be symbolic rather than substantive. More


Study: Parents are an 'untapped resource' to push STEM
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Sometimes a little effort can go a long way. A new study suggests that a fairly simple intervention with parents can translate into their teenage children getting more STEM education. The field experiment involved sending parents two glossy brochures and the link to a website, all highlighting the value of studying STEM subjects. The result? Students from those families, on average, took nearly one semester more of science and mathematics in the last two years of high school, compared with a control group of families not exposed to this intervention. More

Walking to school, sports tied to teen weight
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Teens who play a couple of team sports and walk or bike to school are less likely to be overweight or obese, says a new study. Researchers found that of more than 1,700 teens, those who played on at least two sports teams per year were 22 percent less likely to be overweight or obese than those who did not. Those who walked or biked to school four to five times per week were 33 percent less likely to have weight problems. The findings, however, can't prove those activities prevented the weight problems, or whether something else could explain the link. Overall, the connection shouldn't come as a surprise to most people, said Dr. William Stratbucker, a pediatrician at the Helen DeVos Children's Hospital Healthy Weight Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan. More

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How inspections would embarrass schools
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
If we rid ourselves of standardized tests to rate public schools, what would we have instead? The most likely alternative is the inspectorate used in England. Scholars such as Richard Rothstein of the Economic Policy Institute say school visits by well-trained inspectors would reveal more about what needs fixing than test-score averages. Would teachers, parents, voters and taxpayers support such a system? Some D.C. schools are getting a taste of this approach. A report should generate second thoughts about letting independent experts roam our schools and report what they see and hear. The inspections are a good idea, but schools should know that the results can be embarrassing, as they were in the District. More

More than half of states now have NCLB waivers
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act remains stalled in Congress, but the Obama administration continues to push ahead with big changes to the accountability system at its core, with more than half the states now having been approved for waivers from major mandates of the law. The U.S. Department of Education so far has granted conditional waivers to 26 states from mandates such as the 2013-2014 deadline for bringing all students to proficiency on state tests and the NCLB law's teacher-quality requirements. In exchange, states have promised to adopt college- and career-readiness standards, measure teacher effectiveness in part by student outcomes and set alternative goals for student achievement. More


Split among House Republicans over how deeply to cut may delay farm bill
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The first major overhaul of the nation's nutrition and farm program is in jeopardy because of a split in the ranks of House Republicans over the degree of spending cuts, pitting conservatives who want deeper cuts against moderates and Democrats who think the bill goes far enough at a time of weak economic growth. After a late-night drafting session, the House Agriculture Committee easily approved a farm bill but House Republican leaders, fearing a divisive and messy intraparty floor fight, may want to hold off a floor vote until after the November elections to avoid being portrayed by conservatives as big government spenders who approved $969 billion in outlays over 10 years, and by liberals as the party that wants to virtually gut school lunch and food stamp programs. More

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Michigan students sue school district for violating their 'right to read'
The Christian Science Monitor    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Students are suing the state of Michigan and their Detroit-area school district for violating their "right to read." Students are suing the state of Michigan and their Detroit-area school district for violating their "right to read." Two-thirds of fourth-graders and three-quarters of seventh-graders in the Highland Park school district are not proficient on state reading tests; 90 percent of 12th-graders fail the reading portion of the final state test administered in high school, according to the complaint. Nearly 100 percent of the district's students are African-American. More


Schools lack technology to advance in Louisiana
The News Star    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A survey of Louisiana schools shows most are lacking the technology and facilities needed to conduct on-line testing that's to be part of a new Common Core Curriculum to be implemented in the 2014-2015 school year. The Department of Education asked school systems around the state to report the numbers of computers available to students, their operating speed, the type of Internet connections and bandwidth available and where to computers were located, such as in classrooms or computer laboratories. More

Memphis, Tenn., teachers learning new ways to teach
The Commercial Appeal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Tennessee's elementary and middle school math classes will sound more like philosophy, even debate practice, starting this fall. Under the new Common Core standards being adopted locally and nationally, students in third through eighth grades will be encouraged to work problems in ways that make sense to them. More

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Stirring up scientific inquiry
The De Pere Journal via Green Bay Press Gazette    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The sounds of laughter and revving engines mean the De Pere summer school class is achieving what it set out to do — make science and engineering accessible and fun for local middle schoolers. This is the aim of Gateway to Engineering Academy, a new summer school course that was offered at De Pere High School for local students in grades six to eight. The class encourages the exploration into science, technology, engineering and mathematics — or STEM fields. The program is sponsored by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Education Foundation. More


NAESP Radio: The burden on America's schools
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In the latest edition of NAESP Radio, vocal education advocate Jamie Vollmer sat down with NAESP Executive Director Gail Connelly to discuss his latest work, a video that explores the ever-increasing burden of expectations on America's schools. Listen now. More

Principals gather for National Leaders Conference
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
School may be out for the summer, but the principals attending next week's National Leaders Conference will be hard at work. From July 18-20, NAESP and state affiliate leaders from across the country will be gathering in Washington, D.C., to attend the annual event, which brings principals together to meet with lawmakers and champion the "Power of the Principal." Over the course of the National Leaders Conference, principals will meet with congressional representatives to call for reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and policies that strengthen the capacity of educators. More


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