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What makes an effective school principal?
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Recent research shows that good principals in K-12 schools can create dramatic improvement, particularly in the lowest performing schools — but the consistency, fairness and value of current principal evaluation practices are questionable. An overview of current research on principal evaluation, introduced at a National Association of Elementary School Principals conference, provides guidance to state and district efforts to evaluate principals more effectively. More

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Review aims to avert cheating on state tests
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
New York State education officials announced that they had begun to review the way they detect and prevent cheating on standardized tests, taking a step to avoid the cheating scandals that have engulfed school systems in other states. New York does not conduct statistical analyses of its high-stakes third- through eighth-grade tests to scour for suspicious results that could signal cheating, like unusual spikes in a school's scores or predictable erasures on multiple-choice questions, officials said. More



Helping children learn to understand numbers: It's all in the way we speak to them
ScienceDaily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Most people know how to count, but the way we master this ability remains something of a puzzle. Numerals were invented only around four to five thousand years ago, meaning it is unlikely that enough time has elapsed for specialized parts of the brain for processing numbers to evolve, which suggests that math is largely a cultural invention. More

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Maryland becomes first state with environmental literacy requirement
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Maryland has become the first state to mandate an environmental literacy requirement for all graduating students. A new policy adopted by the state board of education requires public schools to work lessons about conservation, sustainable growth and studies about the natural world into a variety of subjects. More


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Cheating scandals intensify focus on test pressures
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The cheating scandal that has rocked the 48,000-student Atlanta school system was an egregious, but not entirely unexpected, byproduct of testing accountability pressures, many testing experts say. The reason: As long as test scores are used in any field to make decisions on rewards or punishments, including for schools or educators, a small percentage of people will be willing to bend the rules — or break them. More

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Illinois Schools Implement Lexia, Improve

75% of kindergartners in Des Plaines, IL elementary school had no letter recognition. Lexia Reading software helped bring 88% up to speed by end of 1st grade.
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Classroom sound amplification systems can make a difference in academic performance
THE Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
There are many possible interventions that can occur when a child performs poorly in school, but one that can be easily overlooked is a hearing check. Yet a growing body of research indicates hearing loss — even a minimal amount — can have a dramatic effect on everything from attention and behavior to academic performance. At the same time, data indicates, and experts in the field believe, that the introduction of sound reinforcement and sound amplification systems can help with this problem. More

Statistics show more grandparents caring for grandchildren
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Statistics show that she's one of thousands of grandparents who are becoming more involved, through necessity as well as interest, in their grandchildren's education. Some experts predict grandparents' increasing presence and the challenges they face could change the way schools and districts approach the basics of parent involvement, from enrolling children in school to making educational decisions and volunteering at school. More

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Parents look for best ways to raise bilingual kids
The Associated Press via The Boston Herald    Share    Share on
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One-year-old Alice Di Giovanni asks for "banane," not banana, when she's in the mood for one. She'll bid you farewell with a "ciao." And if she wants more, she says "mas." The Miami toddler is one of an increasing number of Americans living in homes where a language other than English is spoken, and her parents want her to learn as many languages as she can. So her Polish-Canadian mother speaks to her in French, her father in Italian and her Honduran nanny in Spanish. More

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Debt-ceiling bill forces cuts to education spending
eSchool New    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
After weeks of political posturing, the agreement reached by lawmakers to raise the nation's debt ceiling contains some good news for low-income college students — and bad news for other education stakeholders. With just hours left before the national debt bumps against its cap, emergency bipartisan legislation to allow the government to borrow more money faces one final test in the Senate. Expected passage there sends the bill to President Barack Obama, averting a potentially disastrous, first-ever government default and making a down payment toward taming budget deficits. More

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Nearly 2 dozen states have approved cuts to K-12
Education Week (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
At least 23 states have approved cuts to K-12 education for the coming year, reductions that will shrink or eliminate a broad array of school programs and services, particularly those serving the neediest communities, a report says. More



Missouri makes teacher-student Facebook 'friending' illegal
TechNewsDaily via msnbc.com    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Missouri has passed a law making it illegal for state teachers to friend their students on Facebook. Gov. Jay Nixon signed Missouri State Bill 54, which bans students and teachers from communicating and being "friends" on the social networking site. The law was created to prevent inappropriate relationships between children and teachers. More

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Idaho schools have plans for spending that extra $60 million in surplus funds
The Associated Press via The Idaho Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In a school district where buckets are strategically placed under a leaky gymnasium roof, there's no shortage of places to spend the extra money Idaho set aside for public education after the state ended the fiscal year with a budget surplus. More

On the question of when to start kindergarten, there's no easy A
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on
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Leslie Walden's daughter Kennedy will turn 5 in October, which makes her eligible to start kindergarten. But the school year will begin without her. Kennedy is a bright and enthusiastic child, her preschool teacher said — but she wasn't quite mature enough for the private-school kindergarten Walden and her husband had been considering. More

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Emanuel, CPS chief, ministers all push for more school time
Chicago Sun-Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With the first day of school quickly approaching, Mayor Rahm Emanuel held fast to his push for more class time for kids in the upcoming school year, and said he had enlisted 40 ministers to take up the cause. Deriding Chicago's 5-hour, 45-minute school day for traditional public school kids, Emanuel touted the 7 1/2- to 8-hour day he said was typical in the district's charter schools. More

Indiana schools, IPS chiefs disagree on grading districts
Indianapolis Star    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett wants the state to grade Indianapolis Public Schools and other districts with failing schools in an effort to spur systemic changes, but IPS Superintendent Eugene White is firing back, saying district management does not deserve all the blame. In late July, the Indiana Department of Education announced seven of 18 Indiana schools facing potential state takeover did not make enough progress on state tests to avoid intervention. Six of the seven are IPS schools. More

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Registration and housing now open for NAESP's 2012 Conference and Expo
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
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Join elementary and middle-level principals from across the country March 22-24 and learn how to transform your school into a high-performing learning community. Submit a proposal to present a concurrent session or register today! More

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NAESP's best practices library offers innovation, ideas
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
NAESP's new Best Practices for Better Schools™ White Papers series brings you the foremost research-based strategies to strengthen your school — right at your fingertips. Check out the latest series on Early Childhood Education. More
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Fischler School: Cause An Effect
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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 Cynthia Rosso at crosso@naesp.org.
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601   Download media kit
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