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White House announces $1 billion 'master teacher' program
U.S. News & World Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For years, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has said teachers have to be more respected in the United States. The Obama administration plans to form a corps of "master teachers" who will specialize in science, technology, engineering and math and will receive annual bonuses of up to $20,000. "If America is going to compete for the jobs and industries of tomorrow, we need to make sure our children are getting the best education possible," Obama said in a statement. More


Report: US states' financial woes eroding services
The Associated Press via The Boston Globe    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
U.S. states face long-term budget burdens that are already limiting their ability to pay for basic services such as law enforcement, local schools and transportation, a report said. Aging populations and rising health care costs are inflating Medicaid and pension expenses. At the same time, revenue from sales and gas taxes is shrinking. And grants from the federal government, which provide about a third of state revenue, are likely to shrink, the report said. Those challenges are made worse by a lack of planning by many states and the repeated use of one-time accounting gimmicks to cut costs, the report added. More

Language learning has benefits for children
The Daily Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Does the acronym FLES mean anything to you? It stands for Foreign Language in Elementary Schools, and Dr. Arlene White of Salisbury University's Department of Education Specialties would be beyond delighted if you took an interest in FLES. Since she knows the benefits of early language education, White is passionate about encouraging both parents and school boards to have more students study languages at an early age. What are these benefits? "Studying languages provides unparalleled life advantages," she said. "These begin with brain training. Research shows that studying a second language activates areas of the brain that foster creativity." She also points to other research that shows students do better on standardized tests in English and other subject areas when they study a second language. More

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Professor says teens' social-media lingo hurts writing skills
Orlando Sentinel    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Shelby Hill, a Howard Middle School student from Orlando, sits in a writing camp sharing her ideas about a character she created for a zombie script. Shelby, an eloquent 13-year-old blogger, is an avid user of Facebook, Twitter and other social-media sites. She also considers herself an "out of control" text-message whiz but doesn't think any of that interferes with her formal writing skills. More

'Game-based' learning
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Check out the classroom of the future, Bill Gates' style: Students are grouped according to skill set. One cluster huddles around a computer terminal, playing an educational game or working on a simulator. Another works with a human teacher getting direct instruction, while another gets a digital lesson delivered from their teacher's avatar. This kind of "game-based" learning is one of the priorities of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a nonprofit founded by the Microsoft creator. Last year, the foundation announced it would invest $20 million in a variety of teacher tools, including this and other technologies geared toward changing the way teachers teach and kids learn. More

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High school dropout potential could be determined in middle school
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A report by PBS's "Frontline" examines the work of Johns Hopkins researcher Dr. Robert Balfanz, who suggests there is a key period in middle school that determines whether a student will eventually drop out. Balfanz's team analyzed data from high poverty schools, where at least 40 percent of students qualify for government-subsidized lunch. They identified a series of indicators that can predict how likely a student is to drop out of high school if nothing is done to intervene. More

Substitute teaching undergoes new scrutiny
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The mythology surrounding the substitute teacher is not a pretty one: Paper airplanes, lost learning, bullying. But as schools collect more information about teacher absenteeism and its consequences, districts and schools are exploring ways to professionalize substitute teaching — or experiment with alternative ways of coping with teacher absences. More


Counseling program found to reduce youth violence, improve school engagement
Medical News Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new study by the University of Chicago Crime Lab, in partnership with the Chicago Public Schools and local nonprofits Youth Guidance and World Sport Chicago, provides rigorous scientific evidence that a violence reduction program succeeded in creating a sizable decline in violent crime arrests among youth who participated in group counseling and mentoring. More

Study: Playing several sports keeps kids slimmer
HealthDay News via Doctors Lounge    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Teens who play on three or more sports teams are much less likely to be overweight or obese than their peers who don't play a sport, new research finds. The study also found that high school students who walk or ride a bike to school are less likely to be obese — but not less likely to be overweight — than their bus-riding counterparts. And, the research shows that school physical education programs don't alter the risk of obesity or of being overweight. More

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How does violence in the media impact school bullying?
Medical News Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The case of Kenneth Weishuhn Jr. from South O'Brien High School in Paulina, Iowa, raised serious concerns over the effectiveness of state's 5-year old anti-bullying law, following the 14 year-old's suicide in April this year. It is not always possible for school officials to identify the bullies until it is too late. Douglas Gentile, an Iowa State University associate professor of psychology has conducted a new study published in Psychology of Popular Media Culture, which may offer a new approach for schools to help profiling students who are more likely to commit aggressive acts against other students. More

6 more states, District of Columbia get NCLB waivers
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Six states — Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Oregon and South Carolina — and the District of Columbia are the latest to be approved for waivers from many mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act, the U.S. Department of Education announced. That brings the total of approved applications to 33, including almost all of the 27 applications submitted in the second round of the waiver process, which had a February deadline. Eleven states got waivers in the first go-round, announced in February. More

House panel OKs bill to scrap Race to the Top, SIG, i3
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
President Barack Obama's signature education programs would be scrapped under a bill approved this morning by the House Appropriations Committee panel that oversees education spending. The measure would cut about $1.1 billion from the U.S. Department of Education's roughly $68 billion budget, according to an analysis by the Committee for Education Funding, a lobbying coalition. The bill covers fiscal year 2013, which starts on Oct. 1. The Senate Appropriations Committee has already passed a similar measure. More


Survey: Stimulus funds saved education jobs, but states still slow to implement reforms
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act showed promise to assist education, but some of its results have yet to be realized. While education stimulus funds largely saved or created jobs in public education, ongoing state budget deficits have slowed the implementation of reforms tied to federal stimulus money, according to a report by the Center on Education Policy. Still, federal support blunted the recession's effects on K-12 education. More

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South Carolina lawmakers restore state funding for arts, teachers
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
South Carolina lawmakers voted in a special session to override dozens of budget vetoes by the state's governor that cut funding for teachers' pay raises, an arts commission and nonprofit rape crisis centers. Republican Gov. Nikki Haley vetoed $67.5 million of the state's $6.7 billion spending plan for 2012-2013 in a effort to shut down state programs she said "don't work." More


Florida educators concerned higher testing standards for teachers could lead to shortage
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Tables have turned for some Florida educators after the state Department of Education announced they want teachers to earn higher grades on their certification exams. But some, such as Andrew Spar, president of the Volusia Teachers Organization, have argued that the higher testing standards could lead to a shortage of teachers, particularly for science classes. More

Chicago's elementary test scores hit record but up by tiniest margin since 2005
Chicago Sun-Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Chicago's elementary test scores hit a record high during the first year of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's watch but rose by the smallest margin — only 0.9 of a percentage point — since 2005, preliminary data indicated. Numbers crunched by Chicago Public School officials showed the three main education initiatives pushed by Emanuel all saw bigger average gains in the percent of elementary students passing state tests this spring than the system as a whole, with Emanuel's longer day effort leading the pack. More


More DC special education students attending public schools
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The number of D.C. special education students who are sent to private institutions at taxpayer expense because they can't be adequately served in public schools has fallen about 20 percent since early 2011, officials say. The trend has saved money and reduced segregation of kids with disabilities, but has raised concerns that students are being pushed into city schools that aren't equipped to handle their needs. Under federal law, students with disabilities must be educated in the "least restrictive environment" — with as much exposure as possible to the general curriculum and a wide range of peers. But students also have a right to go to a private institution if their needs can't be met in the public schools — which has often been the case in the District's long-troubled special education system. More

Connecticut to replace mastery test with computerized, personalized test in 2 years
The Hartford Courant    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
If all goes as planned, the Connecticut Mastery Test, bubbled in with pencil on paper, will become a relic of the past in two years, replaced by a new, more customized online testing system. By the 2014-2015 school year, state officials hope to retire the mastery test, which is taken by third- through eighth-graders, and its companion, the Connecticut Academic Performance Test, which is taken in 10th grade. More

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School district's new approach to summer learning
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Recently, 2,300 Pittsburgh Public Schools kindergarten through eighth-graders will board a bus and head back to school. Why? Because educators and parents in Pittsburgh, like the rest of the nation, know that without learning opportunities during the summer months, the persistent achievement gap between higher- and lower-income kids will continue to grow. According to the National Summer Learning Association, every year, most youth lose about two months of grade-level equivalency in math skills over the summer. Low-income youth also lose more than two months in reading achievement. More

New Hampshire's Rochester Middle School bullying specialist to be first of kind in district
Fosters Daily Democrat    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The School Board voted unanimously to hire a "student safety and behavior support specialist" to address bullying and harassment at New Hampshire's Rochester Middle School, to be the first ever of its kind in the district, according to Principal Valerie McKenney. McKenney said before the meeting, the position is one she crafted with the district this year after several complaints came forward from the community regarding student behavior issues. More

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Principals urge ESEA reauthorization on Capitol Hill
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
K-8 principal leaders from around the nation have gathered on Capitol Hill this week to demand more support for school leaders as a part of NAESP's National Leaders Conference. Principals contend that Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization can't wait until budget woes are corrected. Over the course of the conference, principals will meet with congressional representatives to call for reauthorization of ESEA and policies that strengthen the capacity of educators. More

5 lessons in leadership training
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
What will it take for all of the nation's principals to get the professional development they need to succeed? A new report from the Wallace Foundation suggests districts review five lessons that could propel them toward the goal of having strong leadership in every school. Read more in the report, "The Making of the Principal." More


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