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Population loss, economy drive Midwest school closings
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Midwest has lost more than 2,100 public schools in recent years as school districts hammered by population loss scrambled to shift students and save money. From 2006-07 through 2010-2011, the region saw a net loss of 2,110 K-12 schools, according to a USA Today analysis of U.S. Department of Education data. The rest of the nation had a net gain of 965, largely from growth in the West. The closings — which often see students moved to other buildings in a district — can affect home prices and businesses and often take an emotional toll on residents. More

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Suspensions are higher for disabled students, federal data indicate
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Students with disabilities are almost twice as likely to be suspended from school as nondisabled students, with the highest rates among black children with disabilities. According to a new analysis of Department of Education data, 13 percent of disabled students in K-12 were suspended during the 2009-2010 school year, compared with 7 percent of students without disabilities. Among black children with disabilities, which included those with learning difficulties, the rate was much higher: one out of every four was suspended at least once that school year. More



9 ways the Common Core will change classroom practice
Harvard Education Letter    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In a recent survey, William Schmidt, a University Distinguished Professor of education at Michigan State University, found some good news and bad news for supporters of the Common Core State Standards. The good news was that the vast majority of teachers have read the Standards and nearly all like them. The bad news was that about 80 percent of mathematics teachers said the Standards were "pretty much the same" as their current state standards. Those teachers might want to take a closer look. While the Common Core State Standards share many features and concepts with existing standards, the new standards also represent a substantial departure from current practice in a number of respects. More

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Deep conceptual learning: Creating connections that last
District Administration Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
We are in the midst of a significant transformation in K-12 education as we focus on getting our students ready for success in college and careers and to compete in the global economy. Previously, to prepare for state assessments, we provided teachers with pages upon pages of standards in each subject area. Often, however, there wasn't enough time to cover them all. Moving at such a rapid pace made it easy for students to become surface learners. Through memorization and rote learning, they mastered enough to get by on the next test but didn’t necessarily absorb the information. More

Is it time to reconsider AP classes?
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Advanced Placement courses have long been the standard for high achievement. The classes are modeled on college courses and are meant to represent the difficulty and breadth of material that students are expected to handle when they get to college. For that reason, some colleges give in-coming freshman credits or allow them to pass out of introductory courses if they score a three or above on the AP test (it's scored from one to five). More


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'Watch your language' around children: Generic language helps fuel stereotypes, prejudice
Medical News Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Hearing generic language to describe a category of people, such as "boys have short hair," can lead children to endorse a range of other stereotypes about the category, a study by researchers at New York University and Princeton University has found. Their research, which appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, also points to more effective methods to reduce stereotyping and prejudice. More

Can technology replace teachers?
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Of all the recent budget cuts made by the Eagle County, Colo., school district — the loss of 89 staff jobs through attrition and layoffs, a 1.5 percent across-the-board pay cut, and the introduction of three furlough days — none sparked as much anger or faced the same scrutiny as the decision to cut three foreign language teaching positions and replace them with online instruction. At a spring school board meeting, supporters of the targeted programs in French and German, as well as the affected teachers, railed against the 6,200-student district for replacing face-to-face instructors with a digital option they argued would not be as rich or as meaningful. More

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Study: Fewer US students buy sodas, sports drinks still a problem
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Half as many U.S. adolescents as in 2006 can still buy high-calorie sodas in schools, but other sugary beverages remain easily available onsite, a survey showed. University of Michigan Ann Arbor researchers found the trend in a survey of more than 1,900 public schools, which has grown as the institutions banish sodas from vending machines, school stores and cafeterias. Older students who could buy soda in high school fell to 25 percent in 2011 from 54 percent in 2006, while access by younger middle school students fell to 13 percent from 27 percent, according to the study published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. More

More evidence that sleep enhances memory and learning
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Do you ever feel forgetful and a little sluggish of mind? Do you wish you could pick up new skills more quickly and easily? Here's a tip: You can boost your learning power by beefing up your sleep routine. Researchers at Northwestern University are among the latest to demonstrate that memory and ability for a recently learned skill is enhanced and strengthened by sleep. This is just the latest in a series of recent breakthroughs that are providing us with a deeper understanding of how sleep functions in the brain to support learning and memory. More


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School lunch milk cartons take a hit in new ad campaign
NPR    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Forget the school vending machine fights. An anti-cheese group says that innocent-looking carton of milk on lunch trays is the real culprit for our children's weight woes. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a nonprofit group known for bucking conventional nutrition wisdom, advocates for vegan alternatives to dairy. Earlier this year, it unleashed a campaign against milk-based products, showing people grabbing their excess fat and attributing the weight to cheese. Some folks called the campaign "obnoxious and offensive," but with the latest ad tactic, the group seems to have toned things down a bit. More

Kindergarten in the computer
Slate    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The notion of online education for the Crayola set can strike adults as absurd. But for kids, even little ones, it's the idea ignoring computers all day that sounds crazy. After all, if you ask a third grader to list his favorite things, "doing stuff on the computer" will rank high, probably somewhere between race cars and string cheese. What most people envision when they think of online education — a college or high school student sitting at a computer all day at home, perhaps with minimal parental guidance — isn't viable for the vast majority of families with young kids. More

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Root of teachers' stress? It's the students
The News-Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
There is paperwork, testing, little time and plenty of new mandates being handed to teachers, but some of the stress they feel within the classroom also comes from students. "The majority of teachers I know go home and worry about this student or that student," said Debbie Fite, a sixth-grade reading teacher at Three Oaks Middle School in San Carlos Park, Fla., who has spent 17 years teaching in Lee County. Some of that stress over a student is connected to how that student will handle their tests. More

Why teachers quit — and why we can't fire our way to excellence
The Washington Post (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In the last few weeks, two major reports on teacher turnover and retention have been released. One was rolled out with extensive media coverage, and has been the subject of much discussion among policymakers and education commentators. The other was written by me, along with Teachers College doctoral student Clare Buckley. There are some important similarities between the two new reports. Both surveyed teachers in large urban districts about their plans to stay in their current schools or to depart either for other schools, other districts or other careers. Both also sought to understand the features of teachers' work on the job that were influential in their plans to stay or leave. More


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Advocates raise concerns on looming 'sequester' cuts
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Education advocates and the Obama administration are anxiously eyeing a series of across-the-board cuts set to hit a broad swath of federal domestic and military spending programs early next year, unless a sharply divided Congress can agree on a long-term plan to put the nation’s fiscal house in order. Most education lobbyists expect such a deal will prove elusive in the months leading up to the November elections, making the prospect of looming cuts in education and other programs a potentially volatile issue in the congressional and presidential campaigns. Congress then might have to scramble to reach an agreement on averting the cuts in a lame-duck session right after the elections. More

Feds' new anti-bullying campaign targets parents
The Associated Press via eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Parents are urged to teach their kids to speak up if they witness school bullying in new ads that target an issue that top Obama administration officials vow to make a national priority. A long-term campaign featuring television, print and online ads was unveiled Aug. 6 and will start running in October. The campaign is a joint effort by the Ad Council, a nonprofit that distributes public service announcements, and the Free to Be Foundation, a group that includes entertainers Marlo Thomas, Alan Alda and Mel Brooks. More

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Legislative-control fights up ante on K-12 policy
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The fate and scope of state education policy changes passed in the last two years may well hinge on a few hotly contested — and precariously balanced — legislatures this fall, in an election cycle that will see 44 states with lawmakers going before the voters. In states such as Iowa and Wisconsin, where statehouse control is split between Republicans and Democrats, the stakes are immediate and concrete: a chance to extend, or scale back, dramatic changes in areas such as collective bargaining, school choice and teacher accountability enacted after the GOP wave that swept over states in 2010. More

A running start for ELLs
District Administration Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
One in 4 students under the age of six comes from an immigrant family in which at least one parent does not speak English, says Maki Park, early education policy analyst for the Migration Policy Institute. Traditionally, states such as Nevada, California, New Mexico, Arizona and Texas have served the vast majority of English language learner students, although the surging growth of this demographic — now 5.5 million students — can be seen nationwide in new "gateway" states, including South Carolina, Indiana, Arkansas and Virginia, which are attracting more immigrant families. It is almost inevitable that every teacher across the nation will encounter an ELL student during his or her career if it hasn't happened already. More

Gov. Christie signs bill overhauling job guarantees for teachers
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It will be harder for public-school teachers in New Jersey to get tenure and easier to fire bad ones under legislation signed by Gov. Chris Christie that overhauls the state's century-old tenure law. The new law suggests how much the landscape has changed on revising education, and on tenure, long among the most contentious issues for teachers' unions and legislators. More


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Rockwood, Mo., students reach out to peers with autism
St. Louis Post-Dispatch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Making life better can be easy, just by reaching out to others who may be a little different. Three soon-to-be sixth-graders in the Rockwood School District in Missouri are trying to do that through the REACH program they created this year. REACH stands for the Road to Embrace Autism with Care and Heart. It's being used in Uthoff Valley and Kellison elementary schools to help students there understand and learn more about kids with disorders such as autism. More

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Announcing the Class of 2012 National Distinguished Principals
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Each year, NAESP celebrates the contributions of outstanding principals from across the country. Read about this year's class, which will be honored in a special program this October in Washington, D.C. More

Win $5,000 to promote global awareness at your school
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Apply today for the 2012-2013 Sharing the Dream grant program. The NAESP Foundation, with the MetLife Foundation, will be awarding 25 elementary and middle schools with $5,000 each to create projects focused on global engagement. Applications are due Sept. 14. More

 
 


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.
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