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Curriculum    School Leadership   Federal Advocacy & Policy   In the States   Association News   Buy Books   Contact NAESP


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The future of school libraries
Scholastic Administration Magazine
School libraries. They're no longer simply places that children visit once a week to pull dusty books from shelves. In some schools across the country, libraries have become valuable assets that act as technology centers, makerspaces, and vibrant hubs for literacy instruction. But in cash-strapped districts, many school libraries are shortchanged. They operate without a certified librarian on staff — if they exist at all.
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The importance of the teacher supply to education reform
Brookings
Many contemporary education reform efforts attempt to leverage teacher evaluation policy to improve teacher quality, by making the evaluation process more rigorous or by tying results more directly to student learning outcomes, for example. By increasing the demand for high-quality teaching and teachers, these reforms have had some success. However, insufficient attention to the supply of teachers may be preventing many teacher quality and evaluation reforms from realizing their full potential.
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Social-emotional skills on the rise
Education Week
If you've felt like the term "social-emotional learning" is gaining more buzz among educators recently, you wouldn't be wrong, according to a new study for Education Week. The study, which was released by the publication's research arm, found a steady increase in the number of educators who said social-emotional learning is very important to student achievement.
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This game could improve behavior — and achievement
eSchool News
Can playing a game help students — especially those with disabilities or special needs — improve their behavior, learn empathy, and increase academic performance? The founder of gaming monolith Electronic Arts thinks so, and he's not alone. "A game allows so much opportunity for playful and creative repetition in a way that deepens the learning of these skills," said Janice Toben, an educational consultant and co-founder of the Institute for SEL.
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Boosting K-12 agriculture education and its relation to STEM
Education World
Agriculture isn't always at the top of the list when it comes to talking about STEM education for grades K-12 but a recent paper published by the AGree Food and Agriculture policy center, directly links the two in perfect harmony. "While applauding renewed interest in attracting young people to careers in science and technology, known as STEM disciplines, the paper also suggests that U.S. competitiveness would be well-served by linking food and Ag education to STEM programs,” according to Farm Futures.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  Bias-Busting Formative Assessment Framework
American Reading Company’s IRLA is a game changing diagnostic reading assessment that promotes a standards-based environment in which the students are the agents of their own progress. The IRLA provides data that changes the daily behaviors of all stakeholders.
 


Like Minecraft? Try these 7 engaging world builders, too
eSchool News
With the popular explosion of Minecraft among middle schoolers and beyond, it's worth noting that it isn't the only open world virtual environment with educational value. Nor is it always the most ideal game for teaching every concept, leading other games to pick up the slack. As a result, inspired educators and students are taking notice and branching out.
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Accelerate learning with creative teaching techniques
By Susan Kahn
Just as a famous chef buys the best quality organic foods to prepare a culinary delight, an expert learning specialist combines the best educational and brain research with creative teaching techniques to accelerate learning. Dr. Jean Piaget advocated using concrete, simple words to ensure comprehension. These words should be easily understood through seeing and touching. A baseball might be shown within a player's glove on a baseball field to teach the word baseball or the "B" sound.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  Stop Bullying/Help Prevent Suicide

Learn more about these new online training programs to help improve the climate and culture in your schools. Based on the movie, Contest, Stand Up Say No to Bullying teaches students how to handle conflict and bullying. Signs Matter helps teachers and administrators identify students who may be contemplating suicide. You can help save lives.
 




Ed tech empowers students to 'change the world'
District Administration Magazine
Students in coming years will create their own educational content, 3-D printing will become mainstream, and wearable technology will put more demand on school Wi-Fi networks, according to a study released in June by the New Media Consortium and the Consortium for School Networking.
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Improving reading by playing with words: 4 classroom activities
Education Week (commentary)
This morning at the International Literacy Association conference here, renowned reading expert Timothy Rasinski shared some of his favorite ways for developing students' foundational reading skills — many of which involve word play. "I'm going to talk about the most important part of reading," began Rasinski, a professor of literacy education at Kent State University. "Well, actually, it's not; it's the least important part. ... The most important part, we agree, is comprehension. But to get there, you have to be able to decode words, sound them out, and spell them."
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Obesity season? Kids' health habits take summer break
CBS News
With the warm weather and extra free time away from the classroom, you might assume that kids spend a lot more time running around outdoors over summer vacation. But that assumption would be wrong. When school's out, kids are actually more likely to engage in obesity-related behaviors such as watching more television, consuming more sugar and eating fewer vegetables, and their exercise levels barely budge, according to a study from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. The findings are published in the Journal of School Health.
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Should teacher tests receive a failing grade?
By: Brian Stack
As our nation continues to look for ways to hold our schools accountable for student learning through student tests, we have also turned to raising the bar for teacher tests. Elizabeth Harris, a writer for The New York Times, examined the issue in a recent story. Harris reports that after two years with new tests called Praxis Core, minority teaching candidates have struggled, creating a question of bias with these new exams. But bias in teacher tests is nothing new.
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AYP gets the boot in Every Child Achieves Act
The Journal
The potential successor to No Child Left Behind — the Every Child Achieves Act — passed in the United States Senate recently in a bipartisan vote of 81-17. This bill is a proposed replacement for the current version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which funds public education in this country.
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Feds: Most states failing to meet special education obligations
Disability Scoop
Federal officials indicate that less than half of states are meeting their obligations under special education law. The U.S. Department of Education says that just 19 states qualified for the "meets requirements" designation for the 2013-2014 school year. The rest of states were classified as "needs assistance" or "needs intervention." Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Education Department must evaluate states annually on their efforts to implement special education programs. The ratings carry significant weight. If a state fails to meet requirements for two or more years, the Department of Education must take enforcement action, which can include a corrective action plan or withholding funds, among other steps.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keywords SPECIAL EDUCATION.


Senate approves a bill to revamp 'No Child Left Behind'
The New York Times
For the first time in 14 years, the Senate approved a revised version of No Child Left Behind, the signature Bush-era education law that ushered in an era of broadly reviled, high-stakes standardized testing. But the passage of the bill on a vote of 81-17, coming just a week after the House narrowly passed its own version, sets up a showdown between the two chambers, and leaves the fate of a final measure in doubt. Both bills return some key power to local governments but differ over the role of the federal government and funding allocations.
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How Clinton, Sanders, O'Malley answer union's questions about education
The Washington Post
Putting the politics of the endorsement aside for the moment, here is how Hillary Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley answered AFT questions in questionnaires submitted before the endorsement and before both the House and Senate had passed their own versions of a rewritten No Child Left Behind bill.
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Federal report slams state's program for students with behavioral disabilities
Education World
A newly released report from the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division revealed its findings from an investigation into Georgia's program for students with behavioral disabilities, the Georgia Network for Educational and Therapeutic Support. The report said GNETS was responsible for "illegal segregation" of students with special needs in "inferior facilities." GNETS is comprised of 24 different schools and was started in 1972 with the best intentions to help Georgia's children afflicted by emotional and behavioral disturbance.
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Homeless students get new attention in school accountability plans
EdSource
School districts must spell out how they will help the state's 310,000 homeless students and make goals for their progress under a new law that may be the first of its kind nationwide. Gov. Jerry Brown approved the change to California's accountability system last month when he signed the catch-all "trailer bill" that enacts the state budget details into law, but also includes issues not addressed in other bills.
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States in holding pattern on ELL waiver request
Education Week
The U.S. Department of Education may have given Florida unprecedented flexibility when it comes to English-language learners and accountability, but so far, other states haven't been able to get similar leeway, even though they have tried. Federal officials last year agreed to Florida's request to give its ELL students two years in a U.S. school before factoring their scores on annual English/language arts and mathematics tests into school grades under the No Child Left Behind Act.
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Connecting to improve
NAESP
NAESP Conference blogger Jason Bengs writes: “Dan Butler reminded attendees in his session 'From the Ground Up: Connecting to Build a Culture of Improvement' that our goal everyday should be to 'Make it better.' No matter how good or bad the situation in your school, there is always room to improve. He focused on enhancing student achievement, enhancing public relations, and fostering a culture of improvement. This can all be accomplished using data centers, instructional coaches, and social media."
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Principals groups applaud Senate passage of ESEA bill
NAESP
Statement from the American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA), the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP): “Our three organizations, representing the nation's nearly 100,000 principals, applaud the Senate for its passage of the bipartisan Every Child Achieves Act (S. 1177), which includes many of our recommendations to provide principals with necessary support, training, and resources to help students and teachers achieve their greatest potential.”
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Does class size matter in education? (By: Archita Datta Majumdar )
A principal's reflection on a year at the Education Department (Brookings (commentary) )
What do students need to know to be 'proficient' in reading and math? It depends on where they live. (The Washington Post )
How to build a bridge from pre-kindergarten to third grade (EdSource )

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


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.

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