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

Before the Bell shifts to twice weekly
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Is your e-mail account crowded with too much to read? Starting today, Before the Bell will appear in your inbox first thing in the morning on Tuesdays and Fridays rather than every day. We know how busy principals are, so instead of frequency and quantity of news we will be focusing on delivering the top stories for pre-K-8 school leaders on a schedule that's considerate of their time. More

Obama defends Race to Top
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
President Barack Obama is forcefully defending Race to the Top, which has come under fire from civil rights groups that worry the competitive nature of the program creates a system of winners and losers that could hinder schools serving poor and minority students. In a speech to the National Urban League, the president said the steps the program encourages states to take, including lifting caps on charter schools and using student data to inform teacher evaluation, are the right ones. He called the initiative "the single most important thing we've done" on education. More

Conflicting research on core standards
National Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Twenty-six states have now adopted the Common Core standards in English language arts and math developed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, and all but two states have expressed interest in following suit. The administration is pressuring states to adopt these standards, pursuant to guidelines laid out in the Education Department's blueprint for reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as a means of ensuring that students graduate "college- and career- ready." But the jury is out on whether these new standards will be superior to existing state standards and/or serve to better inform education policy. More

A Wisconsin school district that takes the isolation out of autism
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Garner Moss has autism and when he was finishing fifth grade, his classmates made a video about him, so the new students he would meet in the bigger middle school would know what to expect. His friend Sef Vankan summed up Garner this way: "He puts a little twist in our lives we don’t usually have without him." People with autism are often socially isolated, but the Madison public schools are nationally known for including children with disabilities in regular classes. Now, as a high school junior, Garner, 17, has added his little twist to many lives. More


Study: Effective principals embrace collective leadership
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
An expansive study devoted to examining the traits of effective school principals has found that high student achievement is linked to "collective leadership:" the combined influence of educators, parents, and others on school decisions. Effective principals encourage others to join in the decision-making process in their schools, said the study, which was commissioned by the New York-based Wallace Foundation and produced by the University of Minnesota's Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement, in St. Paul, and the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. More

Many city schools see principal turnover
Nashua Telegraph    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The longer a principal stays in a position, the better it typically is for the school, Conrad said. "Change takes time in education," Conrad said. "We're working to really fundamentally change our approach, and you can't accomplish that in a year or two." A study released in July by the National Center for Education Statistics focused on the issue of principal mobility. The study found that of the 117,000 school principals who were principals during the 2007-08 school year, 80 percent remained at the same school during the following school year, 6 percent moved to a different school and 12 percent left the profession, mostly due to retirement. The remaining principals could not be reached for the follow-up survey. More

Principals Help Teachers and Students with Asthma Issues

Principals are installing Purifans for teachers or students suffering with serious allergies or Asthma. Schools reported 70% less inhaler use and 61% fewer student sick days.

Senate bill introduced to help principals bridge achievement gap
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Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., introduced a bill on Tuesday, July 27 that creates a grant program to provide principals with professional development and mentoring programs to strengthen their knowledge of early childhood education. The purpose of the bill is to help principals create a seamless continuum of learning experiences from pre-K through grade three by providing a delivery system to train principals how to provide appropriate early learning environments. More

Editorial: The fight over education in Washington
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Congress is unlikely to take up its school financing bill, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, until next year. But teachers unions and other forces of the status quo are already trying to subvert the measure by discrediting President Obama's signature education initiative, the Race to the Top, which requires the states to make reforms in exchange for federal grants. The grant program has focused the country's attention on school reform and has angered the unions, especially by pushing the states to take student performance into account in teacher evaluations. More

First lady urges Congress to act on school meals
The Associated Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
First lady Michelle Obama urged Congress to pass legislation that calls for higher nutritional standards for school meals. In an op-ed essay appearing in The Washington Post, Obama wrote that the Child Nutrition Bill would require more fruits, vegetables and whole grains and less fat and salt in school lunches and breakfasts. And she said it would help eliminate junk food in vending machines. More


Minnesota educators say no to joining the crowd
St. Paul Pioneer Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Minnesota is holding out on adopting the common core standards — at least on math. The state's educators and lawmakers say the national standards are lacking, education should be controlled locally and the time frame for switching to national standards is too short. The U.S. Education Department is offering about $350 million to help develop new tests — but only for states that adopt the national standards by the end of 2011. Minnesotans say the national math standards are no match for current state standards that are clear and rigorous and were developed by local math experts. More

Literacy program to launch in North Dakota
Fargo Forum    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
North Dakota children who are struggling with reading will soon get extra help thanks to a first-of-a-kind program in the state. This fall, three districts are launching a literacy program modeled after the Minnesota Reading Corps, which has shown successful results. Tutors will spend 20 to 30 minutes a day reading with students who have average reading scores. More

Concern over students switching schools
The Boston Globe    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As state education officials push school districts to overhaul the lowest-achieving schools, they are focusing on a long-overlooked issue they say could be a key in raising performance — the frequency that students switch schools. New statewide data appear to show a strong correlation between schools with weak academic performance and those with large influxes and exoduses of students. More

Iowa education leaders adopt national standards
Des Moines Register    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Iowa Board of Education adopted the national standards in place of the Iowa Core Curriculum in those subjects. Most Iowa teachers still follow academic standards set in their own districts because the state blueprint won't become mandatory for a few years. High schools must use the Iowa Core Curriculum by 2012. Middle schools and elementary schools will follow in 2014. Schools will follow the same timeline for national standards, known as the Common Core. More

Bring the World to Your School!

Fully funded by the U.S. Department of State,  Educational Seminars are short-term, international exchanges for U.S. teachers and administrators focusing on professional development and sharing of best practices.

New school ratings erase failure, inflate success
The Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Texas Projection Measure, which credits schools for students who fail state tests but are projected to pass in the future, has sent the ratings soaring in the past two years — to the point where many distrust them. Playing defense, Robert Scott and the district officials rattled off a shotgun blast of related and unrelated school data, some relevant and some not. More than one speaker admonished that the measure was "about the children." More

North Dakota's education standards being evaluated
Bismarck Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
North Dakota will take a measured approach to proposed national common core standards. A committee is evaluating the state's education reading and math standards, comparing them to the common standards. The state's decision to adopt the common standards will depend in part on the committee's evaluation. Based on a Thomas B. Fordham Institute report, North Dakota rated a D in English and language arts standards, compared to a B+ for the common core standards; and a C in math standards compared to an A- for the common core standards. More

Ritter challenges schools to reduce child hunger
Greeley Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Colorado Governor Bill Ritter issued a School Breakfast Challenge, a new initiative to increase the number of students who participate in a free and reduced-price breakfast program in schools. Ritter told school executives that he wants to increase participation by 15,000 students statewide this fall in the program. The program will provide staff and educators to schools to help them overcome any barriers to the program. The three schools with the highest percentage increase in participation will receive cash prizes. More

When 81% passing suddenly becomes 18%
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As the plummeting scores sunk in, principals planned strategy and contemplated the unraveling of other achievements, which they were suddenly informed were illusory. In New York City, where test scores are the cornerstone of school accountability, the new numbers, principals feared, could mean the end of their A grades from the Department of Education; a rise in negative teacher performance reviews, which are based partly on state tests; and substandard principal performance reviews. More

Funding available to support arts education
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Crayola, in partnership with NAESP's National Principals Resource Center, will award up to 20 schools with mini-grants valued at $3,000 to help strengthen their arts education programs. The mini-grant program, "Champion Creatively-Alive Children," will fund each project with a $2,500 monetary grant and $500 worth of Crayola products. More

Implement Internet Safety Education

Easy to use, comprehensive, flexible, and free online safety education resources available for your elementary school. Request a kit at

Grant opportunity for community engagement
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Could your school use $5,000 for a community engagement project? The NAESP Foundation, funded by MetLife Foundation, has launched the Sharing the Dream grant opportunity. Apply today for funding to implement a community engagement program at your school. Projects may vary, but must include a global component. More
Join authors JoAnne Schudt Caldwell & Lauren Leslie at the Effective Intervention Using Data from the Qualitative Reading Inventory (QRI-5) Institute held in Chicago, IL, October 29 - 30, 2010 or in Orlando, FL, December 10-11, 2010. This two-day training will help teachers and literacy coaches learn how to administer the QRI-5 and how to use that data to plan for effective reading intervention with hands-on strategies and activities. Learn More.
Hands-On Equations®
Hands-On Equations demystifies the learning of algebra. Provide your students in grades 3 - 9 with a strong intuitive and kinesthetic foundation for algebra. Sign up for a free introductory webinar. See a video of Eric, age 8, solving above equation. Making Algebra Child’s Play workshops scheduled nationwide.
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