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5 tips for expediting the teacher hiring process
District Administration Magazine
It's no secret that having great educators in the classroom is one of the keys to fostering successful students and an effective school — but finding top-tier educators can be difficult, time-consuming and expensive. The hiring process is especially challenging in today's landscape, as most states have made dramatic cuts to education funding since the start of the recession. This reality has forced administrators to do more with less — and also makes expediting and optimizing the hiring process a near necessity for districts.
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Poll shows more students in summer programs
EdSource
Data from a national poll show that a third of families with school-age children had enrolled at least one child in a summer program in 2013. That is an increase from five years earlier when only a quarter of families had enrolled their children in summer programs. Shugoll Research conducted the survey for the Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., that advocates for expanded learning programs. The data were collected this past spring as part of a survey to determine how many households with school-age children had them in after-school programs. A full report on the data will be released in the fall.
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How one designer bridged the gap between play and learning
MindShift
When we talk about playing and learning, we naturally think of children's museums. Most major cities offer some experience like this, where kids are able to get their hands dirty, and — shocking! — learn something at the same time. The museums — at least the good ones — are always both engaging and interactive in a way that's fun for kids, but they're also fun for grown-ups too. As we've been reporting for our series on play next month, it got me wondering: What goes into creating great museum experiences, and how do designers go about them?
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Right and wrong methods for teaching first graders who struggle with math
The Hechinger Report
To help young kids who struggle with math, well-intentioned teachers often turn to nontraditional teaching methods. They use music and movement to involve the whole body. They use hands-on materials such as popsicle sticks to help the students understand tens and hundreds. Or they encourage students to come up with different strategies for solving 7 + 8. One complicated way could be starting with 10 + 10 and then taking 3 away (because 7 is 3 less than 10) and then taking 2 away (because 8 is 2 less than the other 10). After many steps, the right answer emerges. And the students came up with it themselves. Good teaching, right?
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How the Maker Movement is moving into classrooms
Edutopia
The Maker Movement is a unique combination of artistry, circuitry, and old-fashioned craftsmanship. Certainly, learning by doing or "making" has been happening since our ancestors refined the wheel. Don't treat making as a sidebar to an already overtaxed curriculum. As you investigate the principles behind teaching STEAM via making, you'll see sound research from many educators throughout history.
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The education system is failing native American students
The Huffington Post (commentary)
Recently, President Barack Obama made his first visit as president to Indian Country, where he announced plans to revamp the Bureau of Indian Education in an effort to improve the agency's federally funded Native American schools. Acknowledging a "crisis" in Native American education, Obama proposed giving local tribes more control over education so that "you can direct your children's education and reform schools here in Indian Country."
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The problem isn't teacher recruiting; it's retention
THE Journal
Nationally, schools lose between $1 billion and $2.2 billion in attrition costs each year through teachers moving or leaving the profession, according to new research from the Alliance for Excellent Education. Frequently, the shift occurs among teachers moving from poor to non-poor schools, from high-minority to low-minority schools and from urban to suburban schools. The result is a spiral of loss that affects high-poverty schools disproportionately. "The monetary cost of teacher attrition pales in comparison to the loss of human potential associated with hard-to-staff schools that disproportionately serve low-income students and students of color," explained Bob Wise, former governor of West Virginia, who leads the Alliance.
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Does group work ... work?
Education Week
Peter DeWitt, an author, presenter and former K-5 public school principal, writes: "School leaders love to see it during observations. They walk into classrooms and look at the walls to see what kind of student work may be hanging up, and then they look around the room and see tables. Tables, that splendid representation that the teachers lead student centered classrooms. It means group work is happening in the classroom. That important strategy that allows students of varying levels of academic skills working together to further their own learning. After all, as adults we learn from the people we sit with. We learn through conversations, and it helps stretch our thinking."
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Classroom security: What you should (not) do
eSchool News
Safe School Week will be a national observation during the third week in October. One study, "On the Importance of a Safe School and Classroom Climate for Student Achievement in Reading Literacy," reported that variation between classes’ reading achievement could be explained by safety factors — with these factors significantly and positively impacting achievement.
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The online epidemic of cyberbullying
By: Ashley Welter (commentary)
Bullying has been a serious problem in schools and neighborhoods for as long as anyone can remember, and adolescents and teens are at the highest risk for becoming victims of this behavior. In junior high and high school, when kids are between the ages of 13 and 17, they often encounter malicious behavior from other students — either as a victim or an observer. In recent years, a new and even more damaging form of bullying has emerged — cyberbullying. Can you guess where a large portion of cyberbullying takes place? If you said social media, you're absolutely right.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Advice for districts on 'recalibrating' principals' roles in schools (Education Week)
Schools rewiring to close digital gap (USA Today)
The elephant in the language classroom (Edutopia)
How to read education data without jumping to conclusions (The Atlantic)
Where have all the summer reading assignments gone? (eSchool News)

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




Teachers will give up tenure — for the right price
Bloomberg Businessweek
The debate over teacher tenure, now fiercely under way in New York, California, and North Carolina and surely coming soon to a state near you, is usually framed in terms of education. Tenure advocates insist it's a benefit that offsets relatively low wages and is necessary for better teaching; critics say it keeps too many ineffective teachers in their jobs and hinders reform. But there's another way to look at it: If tenure is a benefit, like medical or dental, then it's worth actual money. Taking it away is big pay cut.
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10 ways to tell you're a tech-savvy educator
eSchool News
Technology is a necessary part of formal and informal learning today. After all, students will need tech skills as they move into college and the workforce. Using tech in the classroom today will help students develop and build those essential tech skills so that they can compete on a global scale. And often, today's educators and administrators learn much of their tech skills from students, who are tech experts in their own right. Tech-savvy teachers take the tech skills gleaned from students and use them for academic and instructional purposes.
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Smart energy technology saves money
District Administration Magazine
With new, smarter building technology to control energy use, school leaders can reduce their carbon footprint and use the money saved to fund projects that may have suffered from budget cuts. U.S. schools spend more on energy than they do "on computers and textbooks combined," according to a past report by Energy Star. "As much as 30 percent of a district's total energy is used inefficiently or unnecessarily," the report states.
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Feds clarify obligations to kids with autism
Disability Scoop
In what advocates are calling a major win, federal officials are for the first time telling states that Medicaid coverage must include treatments like applied behavior analysis for children with autism. Medicaid programs nationwide must offer "medically necessary diagnostic and treatment services" to kids with autism, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services told states in a bulletin this month. That includes everything from speech and occupational therapy to personal care services and medical equipment, the agency said.
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Obama's 'My Brother's Keeper' effort expands to urban districts
Education Week
Sixty of the nation's big-city school districts have signed on to President Barack Obama's effort to improve educational outcomes for boys of color — a $200 million initiative known as My Brother's Keeper. The president will be joined by dozens of district leaders, mayors, athletes and business leaders as he announces the expansion of the initiative on Monday at a school in Washington. He first announced the $200 million effort in February.
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Poll shows more students in summer programs
EdSource
Data released from a national poll show that a third of families with school-age children had enrolled at least one child in a summer program in 2013. That is an increase from five years earlier when only a quarter of families had enrolled their children in summer programs.

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7 steps to authentic learning
eSchool News
Why authentic learning? There are so many reasons to choose from, some of the most important being: providing deep purpose for learning, empowering students, providing differentiation and choice options in learning, connecting students to others locally and globally, and allowing opportunities to develop empathy, creativity and innovation skills.

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Can 12 minutes of exercise make a difference for students?
Psych Central
A new study shows that 12 minutes of exercise can improve attention and reading comprehension in low-income adolescents.

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How much do kids learn in summer school? The answer's not always clear
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Thousands of children have spent much of this summer in St. Louis-area classrooms taking enrichment classes or trying to catch up in reading or math. What's unclear is just how much they've learned. Like education departments in most states, neither the Missouri nor the Illinois education departments collect data to see whether they're getting a good return on their summer school investment. Assessment data provided by more than a dozen districts in the area paint very different pictures about how much students learn by the end of summer school. And there are gaps in what even districts themselves know.
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Combined kindergarten a big teaching experiment
Detroit Free Press
Nevaeh Dukes, 6, sat with a tiny laptop, pressing keys as colorful shapes moved across the screen. To her left, three boys were sprawled stomach-down on a rug as they worked with a teacher. In the distance, children were working on laptops or writing on pieces of paper, some quietly sitting alone off by themselves and others squirming or even dancing in their seats. A couple of kids walked around. "I like it a lot because it's fun," Nevaeh said, "and I've got three teachers." And nearly 100 classmates.
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Watch Principals' Perspective TV
NAESP
At the 2014 Annual Conference, NAESP announced a new partnership with ITN Productions to create an in-depth news program exploring the impact of education reforms. Anchored from ABC Television's headquarters in New York City, The Principals' Perspective will tell stories from the heart of America's classrooms.
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2014 Conference explores technology, pre-K and much more
NAESP
NAESP's 2014 Annual Conference and Expo took place July 10-12, bringing over 1,800 school leaders to Nashville to learn, network and engage with leading voices in education. The conference featured keynote presentations from best-selling authors Robert Fulghum and Susan Cain, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, and DonorsChoose.org founder Charles Best.
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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 Meredith Barnett at MBarnett@naesp.org.
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