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FCC steps up efforts to boost schools' online access
MindShift
Amidst all the exciting discussions of how to deepen student learning with digital and online tools is a much less exciting, but equally important, question about how schools pay for the expensive infrastructure like bandwidth, wireless networks and basic internet connections central to new teaching methods. The federal government recognized this need in 1996 when the internet was in its infancy, creating the Universal Service Program for Schools and Libraries, or E-rate, to help schools and libraries connect to the internet. The program funds the connectivity needs of the majority of public schools and libraries.
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What's important in a digital device initiative?
eSchool News
In recent years, many ed-tech advocacy efforts have morphed from emphasizing the need for schools to have ed-tech tools and devices to figuring out exactly which device, or mix of devices, meet students' needs, and how best to manage those devices. But before determining which device or devices students should use, education leaders must first identify what they want students to be able to do with the devices, according to a panel of experts.
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Avoiding Common Core's biggest legal liabilities
THE Journal
Like it or not, massive online examinations are coming to your district. And when they do, it will be for keeps. The reasoning behind that is simple enough: The efficiencies in that delivery model are too large to ignore. But at the same time, so are the risks. There's the risk of large-scale failures compromising controlled testing conditions, sure. But the bigger concerns are about the lack of flexibility to meet local needs, such as accommodating special education students. As these kinds of high-stakes assessments are now central to our collective definition of schooling success, both the positives and negatives of the assessment delivery systems are magnified.
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Study: Some districts to develop own Common Core assessments
District Administration Magazine
Some of the school districts adopting online Common Core assessments to measure academic achievement in 2014-2015 plan to develop their own tests. In a survey released by Enterasys, a company specializing in wireless systems, 42 percent of schools plan to develop their own tests, while 55 percent of schools are likely to work with the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers or the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.
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Using classroom technology to offer real-world experiences
EdTech Magazine
Experience, they say, is the best teacher. And when it comes to introducing technology to students, it's best to quickly get past the theoretical and into the practical. Using the classroom to mimic the real world has long been a tenet of education, especially in primary education, where role-playing is prominent. The Hellerup School, an innovative Danish school, is skipping the controlled environment of typical classrooms and is opting for a very grown-up approach to education. The school gives its students free rein over their use of technology, without artificial constraints, in much the same way adults have access to technology as they see fit.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
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    8 principal leadership tips for the new year (Connected Principals Blog)
House GOP pushes through curbs on No Child Left Behind (The Christian Science Monitor)
Does grouping by ability work? (Daily Record)
New Common Core tests: Worth the price? (The Washington Post)
Are schools meeting their technology goals? (MindShift)

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Despite benefits, recess for many students is restricted
MindShift
Elementary students in the state of New Jersey may soon have cause to rejoice: state legislators are trying to turn 20 minutes of daily recess into law, making outdoor play a mandatory requirement for all students from kindergarten through fifth grade. And according to the bill, recess can't be taken away as punishment for breaking minor rules.
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5 tips for taking advantage of Twitter over the summer
Edutopia (commentary)
Elana Leoni, a director of social media strategy and marketing at Edutopia, writes: "Ahh, summertime — a time to relax and recharge. OK, well not really if you're an educator. In reality, educators are the most dedicated professionals I've met, and despite what the rest of the world may think, we know nobody really has summers off. But before summer officially ends and we start getting bombarded with back-to-school jingles, I thought I'd share some tips on how to make the most out of one of my favorite social networks: Twitter. Educators around the world use Twitter to become connected."
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Dream deferred: Are we leaving black students behind?
The Huffington Post
When Dwight Davis, a black educator from Washington, D.C., thinks about his good teachers, he spouts their names in rapid succession. But when he reflects on the bad ones, their identities fade into a nightmarish blur. It's their actions that haunt him. There was that time one teacher confused him for a special-education student, so she mistakenly told Davis' mother that he would be held back. In fourth grade, Davis auditioned for choir, singing "It's A Small World." The choir teacher — whose name Davis can't recall — started laughing. It was devastating.
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Educators turn to 1-on-1 learning, reading groups
East Valley Tribune
Small groups, one-on-one learning and weekly assessments are on teacher Karen Meyer's agenda in order to make sure every one of her third-grade students passes a required reading test this year. Meyer's students at Chandler's Tarwater Elementary School are some of the thousands across Arizona who must show reading proficiency through the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards or risk being held back in third grade.
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Students encouraged to be leaders for animals this school year
The Humane Society
It's back to school season, and students can make this school year more humane by making fun, school friendly decisions that have a positive impact on animals. "Young people are increasingly at the forefront of the animal welfare movement," said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. "They are learning about the issues, educating their parents and classmates, and making practical decisions that improve the lives of animals."
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Dropout indicators found for 1st grade students
Education Week
As tracking data on students grow ever more extensive, some Maryland educators are finding that the early-warning signs of a student at risk of dropping out may become visible at the very start of their school careers. The affluent and tech-savvy 149,000-student Montgomery County public schools, in a suburb of Washington, is building one of the first early-warning systems in the country that can identify red flags for 75 percent of future dropouts as early as the second semester of 1st grade.
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What's important in a digital device initiative?
eSchool News
In recent years, many ed-tech advocacy efforts have morphed from emphasizing the need for schools to have ed-tech tools and devices to figuring out exactly which device, or mix of devices, meet students' needs and how best to manage those devices.

Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
read more
Should schools still teach cursive?
MindShift
Sophomore Andrew Forbes of Nashville, Tenn., used cursive everyday in elementary school, from third grade through eighth grade. He was required to write out all his papers, worksheets, and notes in the flowing line of slanted script.

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Debating iPads or Chromebooks for 1:1? Why not both?
THE Journal
As more school districts consider 1:1 initiatives, they are faced with the decision of which device to roll out. Chromebooks and iPads are two popular choices, but instead of choosing between them, some innovative school districts are deploying both.

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A closer look at the FCC's ideas for revamping the E-rate
Education Week
Now that the Federal Communications Commission has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking that sets the stage for major changes to the E-rate program, education and technology advocates are sifting through the 175-page document to try to decipher what exactly it will mean for schools and their Web connectivity. President Barack Obama, among others, has called for a reworking the program's priorities and increasing its funding. The notice, on the one hand, doesn't provide definitive answers on how specific E-rate policies will change.
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More NCLB waiver states get federal approval for teacher evaluations
Education Week
The U.S. Department of Education continues to quietly approve — and negotiate over — states' teacher-evaluation systems as part of its No Child Left Behind Act waiver process. Now, 19 states that have received waivers have had their teacher-evaluation systems approved by the Education Department, according to federal officials. This includes states that had their systems approved as part of their initial waiver application, and those for which the systems weren't ready yet and had to go through a second peer-review and approval process.
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Bid to ease testing in lower grades comes with caveat
The Texas Tribune
Despite sharply reducing state testing requirements for Texas high school students, the 83rd Legislature brought only conditional relief from high-stakes exams for students in lower grades, who take a total of 17 state tests before going to high school. For parents and educators who want less time spent on state exams in elementary and middle school classrooms, hopes are pinned on the new legislation, but with a big caveat: it is likely that Texas must first obtain a No Child Left Behind Act waiver from the federal Department of Education.
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Bullying prevention program coming to Salinas elementary school
The Monterey Herald
A child is bullied in the United States every seven minutes, with far-reaching consequences. "School bullying and cyber-bullying are increasingly viewed as an important contributor to youth violence, including homicide and suicide," according to Ambassadors 4 Kids Clubs, an organization dedicated to fighting crimes against children in the U.S. Now, the Monterey County Health Department in California is trying to find out if reducing bullying among young children will help prevent serious youth and gang violence later on.
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Florida releases 2013 school grades for elementary and middle schools
The Huffington Post
The Florida Department of Education released grades for the state's elementary and middle schools, and the outlook doesn't look good for 2013. The number of A-rated schools fell nearly 39 percent this year, according to the Associated Press, while the number of F-rated schools more than doubled. And without a new grade adjustment policy used this year, those drops would have been much worse.
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Service Day 2013: Principals make it happen
NAESP
When John Ruhrah Elementary/Middle School's 675 students return in the fall, they'll notice something different about their playground. The old, broken equipment is gone — and in its place is a gleaming, fresh play set, built by dozens of principals during NAESP's Community Service Day.
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Write for NAESP
NAESP
No one knows a principal's job better than you do. You know the challenges, the rewards, and the successes. Writing for NAESP's publications is a great way to help other principals while discovering fresh insights into your own professional development. This month, Principal's editors are specifically seeking articles on assessments and evaluations (due Aug. 30). Click "More" for submission guidelines and the full editorial calendar.
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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.
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601   Download media kit
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