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Text Version   RSS   Subscribe   Unsubscribe   Archive   Media Kit July 24, 2015

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


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How the big new education law could cut testing time
NPR
Both houses of Congress have now passed versions of the bill that would update the largest federal education law, known as No Child Left Behind, for the first time since 2001. They are big, meaty and complicated, and now they have to be reconciled into one messy Dagwood sandwich of a bill to go to the president. There's one slice in the pile that hasn't been widely discussed. The Senate version of the bill contains several amendments aimed at addressing one of the hottest issues in education: standardized testing. "This bill would ... reduce the burden of testing on classroom time," Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in his official statement about the Senate bill.
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ELL writing skills: Why they matter
By: Douglas Magrath
Even the most basic English language learners need to be exposed to the written code of the target language. Writing is a survival skill in both the school and the community, but writing does not develop naturally. Teachers need to encourage writing behaviors that lead to proficiency. These positive behaviors include using pre-writing strategies, considering the audience, outlining and getting the ideas down on paper, paying attention to meaning and multiple drafting and revising.
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Story pirates theatre troupe expands repertoire to take up common core
Education Week
Can an educational sketch-theater group known for teaching kids the art of storytelling thrive in the age of the Common Core State Standards and rigorous accountability expectations? The nonprofit Story Pirates appears to be making it work.
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Are interactive books in the future for learning?
Education World
As classrooms become digitalized, the Hechinger Report looks at the current place — and future — of "transmedia" books, or hybrid books that are meant to be both read and watched. "Welcome to the Brave New World of reading, the clickable, interactive future of books. Just as digital technology is transforming our work, our social lives and our family ties, it's transforming the slow, solitary act of reading. Think beyond paper vs. pixels — this cuts to the very core of what it means to read a book," the article said.
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Why geography should make a comeback in K-12
Education World
Geography used to be a subject that was taught throughout the nation, but somewhere along the line it got put on the back burner. Now, in California, educators are finding ways to bring the subject back and their methods may be of interest to parents and teachers beyond the West Coast.
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What Google's virtual field trips look like in the classroom
eSchool News
Last spring, Hector Camacho guided his high school economics class on comprehensive tours of the New York Stock Exchange, Federal Reserve banks, and the Treasury Building. Students swept their eyes up countless Neoclassical columns before heading inside for a detailed look — all without leaving the library of their Mountain View, California school.
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An under-appreciated way of teaching kids to think rationally
The Washington Post (commentary)
Philosophy is often thought of as a subject suitable for college students. We don't generally think that third graders would do well having to write a paper about the epistemological basis for David Hume's naturalism, but, in fact, there are methods of teaching philosophy to very young students that can help them learn to think for themselves in ways that other subjects don't.
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FAME's Demise: Lessons from a failed charter school
Nonprofit Quarterly
Alameda County's FAME School (Families of Alameda for Multicultural/Multilingual Education Public Charter) closed its doors for the last time. The decision of the Alameda County Office of Education to deny the school's request to renew its charter, a decision that was upheld when FAME then sued for a reversal in state court, brings FAME's 15-year educational experiment and its management's learning experience to an end. While FAME will not be teaching students when a new school year begins this fall, there are lessons here to be learned, lessons that policy makers and those responsible for chartering and overseeing charter schools can learn.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keywords CHARTER SCHOOL.


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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.
 


Former teacher's EdTech conference gets attendees collaborating
Education World
The EdTech Collaborative Summit is in its third year and is continuing its efforts to get teachers and EdTech tools and companies in the same room. The conference was developed by Eileen Murphy, CEO and founder of ThinkCERCA, and she's using her past as a teacher in Chicago Public Schools to bring a teacher perspective into EdTech as she feels the two both work in education but rarely collaborate.
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Education groups urge Congress to finish the job on No Child Left Behind
The Washington Post
Ten national education groups recently urged Congress to move quickly to finalize revisions to No Child Left Behind, the nation's main federal education law. "Parents, students and educators have lived with No Child Left Behind for 14 years — more than a child's entire K-12 experience. What better way to begin the new school year than with the passage of a new law," the groups — including teachers unions and associations representing principals, superintendents and parents — wrote in a letter to GOP and Democratic leaders.
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As Senate passes ESEA bill, focus shifts to compromise
Education News
The U.S. Senate has passed an update to the much-criticized No Child Left Behind education with a vote of 81-17. The bill cleared a week after the House barely passed its version of the rewrite of the 2002 law. This win was one that Republican supporters had worked months to achieve. Maggie Severns and Kimberly Hefling, writing for Politico, say it is now time for the two chambers and the Obama administration to negotiate a bill that will be acceptable to the President and House Republicans. The House GOP members passed their bill without any Democratic support and under the threat of having it vetoed.
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White House 'Connect Home' pilot program brings Internet to low-income children
iSchoolGuide
The White House announced recently a broad initiative that will bring high-speed Internet access to over 275,000 low-income families nationwide. The Obama administration said the pilot program will be launched in 27 cities, including Boston, New York, and Seattle, and Oklahoma's Choctaw Tribal Nation. The effort will initially connect almost 200,000 kids to the Internet.
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Going beyond buzzwords of education
Education World
As prospective candidates begin to gear up for the impending 2016 presidential candidate and policymakers debate re-writing No Child Left Behind, the same education "buzzwords" get repeated when explaining what's going on. According to Molly Knefel of Fair.org, buzzwords do a disservice to those involved and interested in learning more because they only cover a portion of the issues at hand.
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5 states pass citizenship test requirement
District Administration
More states adopted legislation this term requiring high school students to pass a U.S. citizenship test in order to graduate, according to a June report from the Education Commission of the States. Since January, 19 states introduced legislation based on the Civics Education Initiative, a project from the nonprofit Joe Foss Institute with a goal of requiring all high school students to pass a 100-question test on basic history and civic facts prior to graduation.
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Chicago schools stand to lose hundreds of special education positions
Chicago Tribune
Hundreds of teachers and support staff assigned to students with disabilities could be laid off by Chicago Public Schools as the district cuts $200 million to deal with a massive budget deficit. The district says it can save about $42 million by modifying services for the roughly 50,000 special needs students it serves.
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NCLB rewrite could provide funding for states to audit standardized tests
Education World
Now that both the Senate and House have passed their own versions of a No Child Left Behind rewrite, they must work together to develop one comprehensive piece of legislation for presidential approval. In the meantime, many questions are being raised concerning just what the new legislation could mean for the future of standardized testing in America's classrooms.
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As PARCC sheds states, is the Common Core test toast or tougher than it looks?
Education Week
Andrew Ujifusa writes: "If you're a fan of federally funded tests aligned to the Common Core State Standards, you've reached for the sad trombone several times this year. (Womp, womp.) That's particularly true if you're a fan of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers exam."
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Principal leadership: Changing the culture on school discipline
NAESP
Students’ behaviors are learned, and each one serves a purpose — getting a teacher’s attention, for instance, or expressing emotions. Managing those not-so-positive behaviors can be quite a challenge — but it also presents educators with a golden opportunity to teach students positive, pro-social, problem-solving actions.
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Rigor and developmental science: Focusing on the sweet spot
NAESP
Academic rigor is upheld widely in education, as is developmental science. But how often do we see the two converge, and what potential does that convergence hold in pre-K-3 education? According to Dr. William Teale, who is the Director of the University of Illinois at Chicago Center for Literacy, it is fairly easy but less effective to implement either academic rigor or developmentally-appropriate instruction on its own. The more challenging but effective road to higher achievement in early grade literacy is to implement a strategy that integrates both approaches.
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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.
 


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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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