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Social media: Guidelines for school administrators
District Administration Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Social media tools like Facebook, Myspace, Instagram, Google+ and Flickr are potentially exciting learning and teaching tools that can help teachers and students make connections to ideas, skills and concepts in a 21st century learning environment. However, social media are getting a bad rap in education. Some students use the tools in ways that pit their First Amendment rights against their responsibilities as students in brick-and-mortar schools. More


Enrollment off in big districts, forcing layoffs
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Enrollment in nearly half of the nation's largest school districts has dropped steadily over the last five years, triggering school closings that have destabilized neighborhoods, caused layoffs of essential staff and concerns in many cities that the students who remain are some of the neediest and most difficult to educate. While the losses have been especially steep in long-battered cities like Cleveland and Detroit, enrollment has also fallen significantly in places suffering through the recent economic downturn, like Broward County, Fla., San Bernardino, Calif., and Tucson, according to the latest available data from the Department of Education, analyzed for The New York Times. Urban districts like Philadelphia and Columbus, Ohio, are facing an exodus even as the school-age population has increased. More

History lessons blend content knowledge, literacy
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For years, bands of educators have been trying to free history instruction from the mire of memorization and propel it instead with the kinds of inquiry that drive historians themselves. Now, the Common Core Standards may offer more impetus for districts and schools to adopt that brand of instruction. A study of one such approach suggests that it can yield a triple academic benefit: it can deepen students' content knowledge, help them think like historians and also build their reading comprehension. More

Evolution big issue in Kansas school board races
The Washington Examiner    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
State Board of Education candidates acknowledge they can't escape questions about how Kansas public schools should teach evolution. Educators expect the board to consider new science standards next year. Kansas is working with 25 other states and the National Research Council on proposed common guidelines, and a draft made public in May described evolution as a well-founded, core scientific concept. More

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Can kids be taught persistence?
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In his book "How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character," author Paul Tough makes the case that persistence and grit are the biggest indicators of student success. Being resilient against failure, he says, is the fundamental quality we should be teaching kids, and he gives examples of where that's being done. Dominic Randolph, the headmaster at the elite Riverdale Country School in the Bronx, New York, who believes students don't know how to fail, is one of the sources in Tough's book who has set out on a road to change an "impoverished view" of learning. Rather than producing students adept at "gaming" the system, "we have got to change the educational system to think about different outcomes and different capacities," he says. More

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Study: Principals drop ball on teacher retention
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Policymakers, administrators and advocacy groups have correctly diagnosed a major problem plaguing the teaching profession — high rates of teacher attrition — but have missed the mark in their prescriptions for fixing it, concludes a new report released this morning by the New York City-based TNTP, formerly The New Teacher Project. In essence, it contends, most school leaders fail to identify and encourage the very best teachers to stay in schools. In part, it says, that's because of the K-12 field's tendency to uncouple decisions about retention from discussions of teacher quality. More

Catholic schools see marketing aid enrollment
The Associated Press via The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
After 97 years, Our Lady of Lourdes School was closing – enrollment had dwindled to just 35 children last year at what was once one of the West Coast's biggest Catholic schools. But with a new principal who knocked on doors, offered X Box video game consoles to kids who brought in a friend, and recruited families who lost their bid in a charter school lottery, the East Los Angeles school stayed open — 132 pupils are registered for this fall. Call it educational evangelism. Roman Catholic schools are seeing years of marketing efforts starting to pay off in spite of tough competition from charter schools and the lingering effects of a devastating recession. More


To earn classroom certification, more teaching and less testing
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
New York and up to 25 other states are moving toward changing the way they grant licenses to teachers, de-emphasizing tests and written essays in favor of a more demanding approach that requires aspiring teachers to prove themselves through lesson plans, homework assignments and videotaped instruction sessions. The change is an attempt to ensure that those who become teachers not only know education theories, but also can show the ability to lead classrooms and handle students of differing abilities and needs, often amid limited resources. More

How to build a better teacher
Slate    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The conversation about how to improve American education has taken on an increasingly confrontational tone. The caricature often presented in the press depicts hard-driving, data-obsessed reformers — who believe the solution is getting rid of low-performing teachers — standing off against unions — who don't trust any teaching metric and care more about their jobs than the children they're supposed to be educating. More

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Gaming gains respect
District Administration Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Seven-year-old Chanse, a first grader in Kathleen Gerard's classroom at PS 116 in New York City, is in a "World of Goo." On an iPad, he's using his index finger to pull little black animated "goo balls" around the screen and to connect them in an attempt to build what will end up being a flimsy but balanced bridge made of oily glop. He's building across chasms and cliffs, avoiding windmills and spikes, trying to connect to a pipe that will suck up any goo that he didn't use to score him big points. More

1 in 2 victims of cyberbullying suffer from the distribution of embarrassing photos and videos
Medical News Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Researchers at Bielefeld University have discovered that young people who fall victim to cyberbullying or cyber harassment suffer most when fellow pupils make them objects of ridicule by distributing photographic material. The Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence surveyed 1,881 German children about their experiences with cyberbullying as victims, offenders, or witnesses. About half the survey respondents reported feeling "very" or "severely" distressed by cyberbullying that involves photos. More


5 things not to do during an iPad rollout
THE Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
There's no shortage of iPad rollouts in the K-12 space right now. Used across all grade levels and subject areas the devices are adored for their portability, battery life, connectivity and ability to quickly put mobile technology into students' hands. These implementations typically generate positive reviews from educational users, but iPads also present challenges for the districts that dole them out, for the teachers that incorporate them into the classroom and for the students who use them. More

10 ways to boost your game for back-to-school
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In just a few weeks, school will start again in most schools. For teachers gearing up for the new school year, here are some instructive articles that may help get new ideas flowing — everything from using free online games, free digital media tools, cell phones, Pinterest and Learnist, and creating your own textbooks. More

2nd-round waivers draw mixed review
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The second round of federal waivers from parts of the No Child Left Behind Act gave states an opportunity to spell out bold school improvement and student-achievement activities already underway, a think tank analysis finds. The report, released by the Center for American Progress, in Washington, dug into the batch of applications, submitted in February by 26 states and the District of Columbia. So far, between the two rounds, 32 states and the District have been approved for flexibility. Just one state — Iowa — was turned down. And Vermont dropped out of the process altogether. More

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Special education funding may drop $900 million
Disability Scoop    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The nation's top education official is warning that special education programs across the country will face "devastating" budget cuts next year unless Congress acts. Federal education spending for students with disabilities could be reduced by $900 million next year, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan told a U.S. Senate panel. That could translate to layoffs for over 10,000 teachers, aides and other staff who support the nation's 6.6 million students with special needs, he said. More

Texas studies suggest test design flaw in TAKS
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In 2006, a math pilot program for middle school students in a Dallas-area district returned surprising results. The students' improved grasp of mathematical concepts stunned Walter Stroup, the University of Texas at Austin professor behind the program. But at the end of the year, students' scores had increased only marginally on state standardized TAKS tests, unlike what Stroup had seen in the classroom. A similar dynamic showed up in a comparison of the students' scores on midyear benchmark tests and what they received on their end-of-year exams. Standardized test scores the previous year were better predictors of their scores the next year than the benchmark test they had taken a few months earlier. More


Educators to receive debit cards to purchase classroom incidentals in DeSoto, Miss.
Memphis Commercial Appeal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
DeSoto County, Miss., teachers preparing their classrooms for the start of the 2012-2013 school year are doing so with the knowledge that help is on the way for purchasing instructional materials. As part of the passing of Senate Bill 2761 during the last session of the Mississippi Legislature, non-federally funded educators will be issued procurement, or debit cards, to buy incidentals that in years past required stricter bookkeeping measures. More

Pittsburgh schools push science, technology, engineering and math into lower grades
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Story time and building blocks aren't exactly extinct in the nation's youngest classrooms, but an increasing emphasis toward early science, technology, engineering and math — or STEM — education could mean those early children staples may be paired with a biology or physics lesson. With the world's top-paying jobs increasingly tied to technological, scientific or mathematic innovation — and with American teens ranking 23 in science and 31 in math among 70 developed nations — school districts have been scrambling over the past few years to improve student interest and knowledge of STEM subjects. More

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Ohio will investigate all school attendance records
The Columbus Dispatch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Saying that student attendance-data fraud in Ohio appears to be systemic, the state auditor will take his Columbus schools investigation statewide, including questioning whether the Ohio Department of Education was complicit. State auditors will scrutinize every school district, charter school and the department, said Carrie Bartunek, spokeswoman for state Auditor Dave Yost. More

Cashion Elementary in Oklahoma gets grant for technology
The Oklahoman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Stuck in the middle. That was the situation Cashion Elementary School was in because it wasn't poor enough to get government-funding and its students' test scores were high. The school was desperately in need of new computers, with only 11 working but aging machines and more than 300 students. That's when Principal Lisa Crosslin decided it was time to take action. Crosslin trained through the Phase 1 Leadership program at the K20 Center in Norman. More


Write for Principal magazine
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
No one knows a principal's job better than you do. You know the challenges, the rewards, the humor and the successes. How about sharing some of those experiences with your colleagues? Writing for our magazine is a great way to help other principals while giving you fresh insights into your own professional development. This summer, we're looking for articles on teacher and staff development. Click "More" for submission details. More

NAESP co-publishes book by Yong Zhao
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Yong Zhao, author and thought leader in global education, struck a chord at the 2012 NAESP Annual Conference and Expo when he said, "Children are like popcorn. Some pop early and some pop late." In a new book co-published by NAESP and Corwin, Zhao explores how teachers and principals can nurture students' individuality and creativity. Explore "World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students" for more ideas and inspiration. More


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