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Education secretary urges balanced budget cuts
The Associated Press via NPR    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Services would have to be slashed for more than 1.8 million disadvantaged students and thousands of teachers and aides would lose their jobs when automatic budget cuts kick in, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said. He urged Congress to find an alternative deficit-reduction plan that won't undermine the department's ability to serve students in high-poverty schools and improve schools with high dropout rates. More


Is your district prepared for sequestration?
District Administration Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
On July 23, the U.S. Department of Education released a memo to chief state school officers announcing that major K12 programs will not be subjected to the 8.4 percent across the board sequestration cuts in the middle of the 2012-2013 school year that was originally predicted. The memo read, "Assuming Congress enacts a 2013 appropriations bill that is structured similarly to the pending House or Senate bills — a reasonable assumption based on past practice — there is no reason to believe that a sequestration would affect funding for the 2012-2013 school year." More

Survey respondents doubt Common Core tests will be ready on time
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Two big groups of states are working away to design tests for the Common Standards, but some Washington insiders aren't brimming with optimism that the tests will be ready as promised, or that districts will know how to put them to good use. A new survey from Whiteboard Advisors, a Washington-based consulting group, finds that nearly half of a small group of "insiders" surveyed doubt that the two federally funded assessment consortia will roll the tests out by 2014-2015 as planned. More

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Report questions efficacy of full-time virtual schools
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A report released by university researchers is the latest to question the academic merits of full-time virtual schools run by K12 Inc. — and by extension, the promise of cyber education in general. According to the report, students enrolled in schools run by K12 have lower scores in math and reading on end-of-year exams than students in traditional schools, and parents are pulling their students out in droves. K12 disputes the report's findings, saying they fail to measure student growth over time and are based on flawed research methods. More

Many students now learning while having fun with video games
Star News Online    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Lucas Gillispie sees himself as a ninja. There are no black masks or creeping around dimly lit corners. But there is sabotage. The target? Traditional learning. The weapon? Video games. Gillispie, instructional technology coordinator for Pender County Schools, is the brain behind district curriculum that's centered around video games like World of Warcraft and Minecraft. He introduced what he calls "the gamification of learning" four years ago, and since then, he's seen student success skyrocket. But it's a sneaky success. More

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The milk wars: Should milk be taken off the school lunch menu?
TIME    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The war on milk has shifted fronts. First it was sugar-laden chocolate milk, which parents and school administrators battled in recent years to remove from school lunch menus. Now, it's plain old moo that's under fire. A national doctors group petitioned the U.S. government to remove milk as a required food group from the National School Lunch Program, the federally assisted program that has provided lunch to millions of public school kids since 1946. The doctors' reasoning: milk doesn't help protect kids' bones. More

Rich kid, poor kid: Mixed neighborhoods could save America's schools
The Hechinger Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
During the half century that Theresa Cartwright has lived in the East Lake neighborhood of Atlanta, she has twice seen the area's schools undergo a complete transformation. In the 1960s, black families like her own moved to the neighborhood's Craftsman bungalows and a new public housing project, driving out their white, middle-class neighbors. When she was in second grade, her elementary school was all black. By the time she was in sixth grade, the projects were so violent they had earned the name "Little Vietnam" and her mother refused to let her go to the failing local middle school. Instead, she signed up to be bused to the white, upper-class neighborhood of Buckhead, in North Atlanta, where her mother knew the schools would be better. More


What will the education technology revolution look like?
Fast Company (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
During the past 40 years, accounting for inflation, we have nearly tripled the amount of money we spend per student in public K-12 education. It was roughly $4,000 in 1971, and last year amounted to $11,000 per student. Over that same period time, our students' math and verbal test scores have remained unchanged. More

Annual study finds child education, health improving
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Children's health and education are showing positive signs even in the midst of a dismal economic environment, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation's annual ranking of child well-being. The 23rd-annual Kids Count Data Book represents an overhaul of the Baltimore-based group's historically health-dominated 10 benchmarks. This year the indicators have been expanded to "holistically measure" child well-being, incorporating 16 measures of health, education, economic well-being, and family and community support, according to Laura Speer, an associate director for advocacy reform and data at the foundation. The data from different indicators are not necessarily comparable, however, as they span different comparison years based on the most recent state and federal information available. More

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Cut education now, pay later: 'What does this kind of negligence do to our students?'
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Leila Chakravarty, a seventh-grade math teacher in the Los Angeles public school system, measures the cost of austerity cuts to education not in gym size, class size or even pink slips, but in kids. "There are plenty of days when I know someone needs help, and I simply cannot get the time to talk to him or her one-on-one before the bell rings," said Chakravarty, who noted that she has taught as many as 37 children in a class. "What does this kind of negligence do to our students? You know you're failing them. You know you could do more." Unlike a scaled-back police or fire department, the harm caused by tighter school budgets isn't immediately apparent. More

Obama creating African-American education office
The Associated Press via The Seattle Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
President Barack Obama is creating a new office to bolster education of African-American students. The White House says the office will coordinate the work of communities and federal agencies to ensure that African-American youngsters are better prepared for high school, college and career. More


Lawmakers explore impact of automatic cuts on education
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A set of sweeping, across-the-board trigger cuts set to go into effect in January would be "devastating" to education programs, particularly if Congress decides to spare only defense programs while allowing K-12 cuts to go through, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Democratic lawmakers said at a hearing today. Right now, domestic spending programs — like education‐and defense programs are supposed to share the pain of the trigger cuts equally, with all programs facing a cut of up about 7.8 percent on Jan. 2, according to the Congressional Budget Office. More

More states and DC receive NCLB waivers; Vermont, Alabama, Nebraska reject them
CNN    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The White House announced that it would grant seven additional waivers from restrictive provisions of the No Child Left Behind law. Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Oregon, South Carolina and Washington, D.C. will receive the newest flexibility waivers, according to a U.S. Department of Education press release. To date, 32 states and D.C. have received waivers. The NCLB law, also known as the Elementary and Secondary School Act, has many sections, and through these waivers, federal officials are allowing states to set their own standards for parts of the law. The waivers aren't an automatic reprieve from all aspects of NCLB. More

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Maryland schools alter discipline policies to cut down on suspensions, expulsions
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Maryland education officials have approved changes to the state's discipline policy that are meant to cut back on suspensions and expulsions. The State Board of Education approved the new regulations. The changes come amid a national debate about whether too many students are suspended or expelled for offenses that could be handled in other ways. Zero-tolerance discipline policies with automatic consequences will be banned under the regulations. Schools will now be required to adopt a rehabilitative approach to discipline, and suspensions and expulsions are referred to as a last result. More


CPS to hire 477 teachers for longer school day
Chicago Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Removing a major hurdle in the contentious contract talks with the teachers union, Chicago Public Schools agreed to hire nearly 500 teachers so students can put in a longer school day without extending the workday for most teachers. Both sides claimed victory, as Mayor Rahm Emanuel was able to keep his plan for a longer day intact and the union was able to add teachers while holding the line on how long they work. But the two sides warned that several sticking points have yet to be resolved in the contract dispute, and the union said agreement does not eliminate the threat of a strike. More

Teachers' attorney says evaluations can include test scores this year
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In a potentially groundbreaking decision, Los Angeles teachers and administrators agreed with the school district for the first time to use student test scores as part of performance reviews beginning this school year. But an attorney for United Teachers Los Angeles later said the commitment he made during a court hearing was contingent on whether the union and L.A. Unified School District could successfully negotiate an agreement on exactly how such scores would be used in the teacher evaluations. More

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School supply drive helps even field for needy children
Rock Hill Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Principal Jennifer Bolin of Cotton Belt Elementary School in York, S.C., says a current school supply drive helps put needy children on a more even field with their peers at school. All four York County school districts and Chester County schools have launched annual drives to collect school supplies for needy children. The drives are the product of a partnership between the school districts, The Herald and its sister community newspapers — the Fort Mill Times, the Lake Wylie Pilot and the Enquirer-Herald in York and Clover. More

Middle school students learn that vegetables are edible and good
Loveland Reporter-Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Fort Collins, Colo., resident Ann Schmidt browsed the vegetables at the Youth Farmers Market until she came upon the purslane. "This is a weed, isn't it?" Schmidt said, adding that she just removed the same plant from her yard. "It's edible, and it's good for you," said 13-year-old Allie Wilson about the leafy vegetable high in vitamins and Omega-3 fatty acids. Allie is one of four interns with the High Plains Environmental Center tasked with growing produce and selling what's grown, plus traded and purchased items, at a summer farmers market. More


New webinar: Technology and the Common Core
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
On Thursday, Aug. 9, join NAESP for a free webinar on using technology to support Common Core teaching and learning. Lynn Nolan of the International Society for Technology in Education and principal Betsy Goeltz will examine the intersections between technology and Common Core planning, instructional strategies and assessment. Visit NAESP's webinar page for more upcoming presentations, including a series on school improvement. More

New and improved
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Things look a little different at Take a peek at our revamped website, which offers a wealth of easy-to-find resources and the latest information to help you advance your career. While you're there, update your profile in Principal 2 Principal, our new e-community that connects you with principals across the country to share best practices. More


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