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


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Reforming the role of assistant principal to reflect its importance
Education World
A majority of principals have worked their way up from their previous role as the assistant, and those that haven't yet typically desire to move into the role. The principal has the important duty of improving schools and leading the best and brightest teachers, but in order to best do so, the role of the assistant principal must be fixed, says NPR contributor Steve Drummond. Drummond, who previously student taught in a middle school, explains that he thought the assistant principal job was the toughest job in the entire school, if not in education in general.
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iPads in the classroom: The right questions you should ask
Edudemic
The pressure is on to make sure the education of U.S. students is on track with their global peers. Unfortunately, according to a 2015 report by Pew Research Center, that's not the case, particularly in the areas of science and math. It's no wonder, then, that in the quest for educational advancement, teachers want their students to have access to the newest theories, processes and technologies to help the students excel. One of the most popular technologies has been the introduction of tablets, particularly iPads, in the classroom.
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Digital literacy yields test gains, better behavior
District Administration Magazine
Test scores have improved and online bullying incidents have been virtually eliminated at a California school that added weekly digital literacy instruction to its curriculum five years ago. In response to an online bullying incident in 2010, parent Diana Garber and Journey School, a public K-8 charter with 400 students in California's Capistrano USD, created the Cyber Civics curriculum for the middle school grades.
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7 learning zones every classroom must have
Edutopia
There are many elements to consider as you plan for the next school year. You always review critical pieces like standards, curriculum, instructional activities and testing, but you also think about the classroom space and how to arrange desks, set up bulletin boards and organize materials. You can bring these seemingly disconnected components together in a system of seven learning zones. The discovery, news, supplies, community, quiet, teacher and subject area zones will help you establish routines, save time and maintain your sanity from the first through the last days of school.
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Bringing NASA know-how into classrooms
Scholastic Administration Magazine
Five ... 4 ... 3 ... 2 ... 1 ... liftoff! I feel a sense of relief. I realize that my aeronautics training and effective team communication have paid off. After traveling nearly 238,000 miles in our space shuttle, we reach the moon and are ready to continue our operation. While attempting to complete our lunar mission, however, we suddenly experience a major setback. Our plans to return to Earth are dangerously compromised. We need to be able to withstand reentry temperatures up to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit. My team is faced with the daunting task of replacing damaged heat tiles in our shuttle through an extravehicular activity and proceeding with atmospheric reentry.
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Technology holds promise for students with poor vocabulary skills
Education Week
In 1995, the researchers Betty Hart and Todd R. Risley published the results of their groundbreaking study that found 4-year-olds from working-class families and families on welfare had considerably smaller vocabularies than their age-mates from professional families. This difference has been called "the 30-million-word gap." One reason their work has been so influential is that it helped quantify the challenge education systems face when children enter school with vast differences in educational readiness.
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Report: Spending on instructional materials increases for first time in 6 years
THE Journal
Instructional spending by K-12 schools in the United States was up 9 percent in the 2013-2014 school year, according to a new report from MDR, the largest increase in six years. The increase accounted for an additional $964 million spent on all instructional materials over the previous year. "AIM spending saw a significant drop in the years following the 2008 economic downturn," said MDR EdNET Insight and Research Senior Director Kathleen Brantley, in a prepared statement. "Between 2008 and 2013, U.S. public school spending on instructional materials decreased by $2 billion. Increased expenditures for the 2013-2014 year represent the first upturn in many years."
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African-American students in the US get criminalized while white students get treatment
The Huffington Post
When black and white kids act up or display troubling behavior at schools, teachers and administrators often address it with differing responses split along racial lines, new research shows. Black students are more likely to be punished with suspensions, expulsions or referrals to law enforcement, a phenomenon that helps funnel kids into the criminal justice system. Meanwhile, white kids are more likely to be pushed into special education services or receive medical and psychological treatment for their perceived misbehaviors, according to a study in the journal Sociology of Education.
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Should body cameras be used at schools?
EdTech Magazine
Body cameras are changing the way police activity is monitored. But should that same level of oversight be applied to school principals and administrators? Cameras at schools and on school buses have become commonplace, but recording an administrator's everyday conversations with teachers, parents and students is moving into new territory. The 4,300-student Burlington Community School District in Iowa plans to use body cameras at schools, clipped to the ties and lanyards of its principals and administrators.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  Stop Bullying/Help Prevent Suicide

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.
 


Teen girls and the persistence of gender stereotypes
The Atlantic
When President Barack Obama called the U.S. women's soccer team to congratulate its players on winning the World Cup, he noted that they had topped their male counterparts in terms of TV viewership — and, "more importantly, inspired a whole new generation of young women" to go out and play. If only it were so easy to open kids’ minds about women leading in other fields. According to a new Harvard study — based on data gathered from focus groups, interviews, and several surveys, including one of roughly 20,000 11-to-18-year-old boys and girls from 59 public and private secondary schools — nearly a quarter of girls preferred male over female political leaders.
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Race to the top: The charge of the elitist parent
By: Brian Stack (commentary)
You see them all the time, but maybe you have never noticed that they are there. I often refer to them as the "elitist parents." Elitist parents firmly believe that their job is to keep their children's resumes so packed that Ivy League schools like Harvard, Yale and Dartmouth will be fighting over the right to make them a part of their school one day. This twisted scenario is like a bad American dream, one that I don't want to have any part of.
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Standing desks at schools: The solution to the childhood obesity epidemic?
The Washington Post
Being told to "sit still" in the classroom may soon be a thing of the past. Schools in a growing number of jurisdictions are experimenting with the once-faddish, now commonplace tool of the modern office dweller: the standing desk. For generations raised on the idea that in order to learn you need to sit down and sit still, standing desks represent a paradigm shift. Researchers who specialize in the ergonomics of learning spaces are now beginning to talk about how these desks will transform classrooms into "activity-permissive environments."
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A song of loneliness, empathy and action
By: Howard Margolis
For at least 100 times over the past several days, I've listened to Vivian Green's rendition of "Oh, Freedom." Her performance was morally powerful, personally humbling, and haunting in a bittersweet way. In its courage and moral power, it offers lessons to those of us concerned about the needs and dignity of children and adults with disabilities.
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Quality of teacher hires improved during the recession, analysis finds
Education Week (commentary)
Stephen Sawchuk, a contributor for Education Week, writes: "Recessions are unquestionably tough on schools and on teachers — I'm thinking of the ridiculous pink-slip situation in California, for starters — but they might have a (thin) silver lining. Teachers hired during recession periods appeared to be somewhat more effective boosting students' math scores than those teachers hired in more secure times, according to a new working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research. Why? Because during recessions, districts got an influx of better-quality applicants for jobs."
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Arne Duncan on accountability in ESEA reauthorization
Education Week
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan may only have eighteen months left in office — but they're critical months when it comes to the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The House and Senate each passed bills that take aim at the Obama administration's K-12 priorities when it comes to teacher evaluation, standards, and more. While the Republican-backed House bill was somewhat of a lost cause, the administration couldn't secure much of its ask-list in the Senate bill — particularly when it came to beefing up accountability — before it passed with big partisan support.
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Pennsylvania law makes cyberbullying of a child a 3rd-degree misdemeanor
Government Technology
The face of a bully has changed over the years. Technology has come to replace the glaring student who pushes others down on the playground or the mean girl who uses word of mouth to spread her gossip. Smartphones and social media have opened an entirely new door for classroom bullies, who are no longer limited to the classroom.
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Mississippi school district fined $7,500 for opening assembly with prayer
The Christian Science Monitor
The opening of a Mississippi school assembly honoring students who scored above 22 on their ACT college admissions has resulted in a $7,500 fine for the school district. A U.S. District Court fined the the Rankin, Miss. school district for inviting the assembly's attendees to join in an opening prayer led by a Methodist minister after a student sued on First Amendment grounds. As Fox News reported, this is not the first time this school district has been found to run afoul of the Constitution. In 2013, a court settlement ordered the district to stop "proselytizing Christianity." The decision came after the same student took the school district and the school's then-principal to court for forcing her to attend a series of assemblies that promoted Christianity.
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How this program hopes to double reading proficiency among low-income students
eSchool News
Of the 60 percent of West Virginia students who come from low-income backgrounds, only a third can read proficiently by the end of third grade. That's according to Charlotte Webb, coordinator of elementary education for the state Department of Education and state leader for the West Virginia Leaders of Literacy: Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, a statewide initiative that seeks to raise the third-grade proficiency rate among Mountain State students who qualify for free or reduced lunch to 66 percent over the next five school years.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    The future of school libraries (Scholastic Administration Magazine)
AYP gets the boot in Every Child Achieves Act (The Journal)
The importance of the teacher supply to education reform (Brookings)
Social-emotional skills on the rise (Education Week)

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




ESEA to move to conference committee
NAESP
July 2015 has turned out to be one of the busiest (and most historic) months on record in the United States Congress in terms of federal education policy. Following years of delay, both the House and the Senate passed bills this month to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The law, also known as No Child Left Behind, has been expired for eight years and continues to hamper educators with heavy regulation that perpetuates a "test and punish" approach to federal accountability. While momentum is strong to renew the law and NAESP is encouraged by the progress to date, the process still has a long way to go before it can be considered a legislative accomplishment in the 114th Congress.
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Encourage student creativity with Report to Parents
NAESP
The arts have been shown to boost students' academic performance, perseverance, self-confidence and more. This month's Report to Parents, "Encourage Your Child's Creativity to Flourish," offers parents strategies for supporting their children's creativity. You can find the latest and past issues in the Report to Parents archives, with both English and Spanish versions available.
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