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Poverty and the perception of poverty: How both matter for schooling outcomes
eSchool News
Compensating for students' socio-economic disadvantage is one of the greatest challenges facing teachers, school leaders and education systems as a whole. However, data from PISA show that some countries are much better at this than others. Consider the chart above. The horizontal axis shows the percentage of lower secondary teachers who work in schools where their principal reported that more than 30 percent of students in their school were from disadvantaged homes.
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Deconstructing the confusion surrounding the Common Core State Standards
By: Ryan Clark
Across the country, children, parents and teachers of applicable states are spending their summers dreading the return of the controversial Common Core State Standards Initiative. If recent poll results are any indication, the fervor of last spring's backlash against the standards hasn't died down.
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6 STEM resources to engage women, minorities
eSchool News
Science, technology, engineering and math programs are growing each day, expanding to reach students of all ages as they educate tomorrow's leaders. While education stakeholders and policymakers advocate for more access to these valuable STEM programs, and while programs are plentiful, access isn't always equal. Efforts are underway to ensure that women and minorities have equal access and opportunity when it comes to K-12 STEM education and program participation.
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Could video games measure skills that tests can't capture?
MindShift
Imagine you're playing a computer game that asks you to design a poster for the school fair. You're fiddling with fonts, changing background colors and deciding what activity to feature: Will a basketball toss appeal to more people than a pie bake-off? Then, animal characters — maybe a panda or an ostrich — offer feedback on your design. You can choose whether to hear a compliment or a complaint: "The words are overlapping too much," or, "I like that you put in the dates."
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Inspire thoughtful creative writing through art
Edutopia (commentary)
Denise M. Cassano, a contributor for Edutopia, writes: "A few years ago, I showed my sixth graders The Gulf Stream by Winslow Homer. It's an epic painting of a young black sailor in a small broken boat, surrounded by flailing sharks, huge swells, and a massive storm in the distance. I asked my students the simple question, "What's happening?" The responses ranged from "He's a slave trying to escape" to "He's a fisherman lost at sea." The common theme with the responses, though, was the tone — most students were very concerned for his welfare."
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New insights into how young and developing readers make sense of words
Medical News Today
Skilled readers are often able to make sense of words suffering from "typos" and jumbled up letter orders as long as the beginning and end letters of the words are correct. But a study at the University of Leicester suggests that young developing readers also have a similar understanding of how these outside letters can help make sense of words. The study found that while developing young readers and skilled adult readers had similar difficulty correctly recognizing anagrams that can form another word by switching the order of only the inside letters, both age groups found it equally easy to recognize anagrams when the outside letters also had to be switched around to form another word.
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Transform your classroom into a modern learning space
By: Brian Stack
In schools across America, the floors have just been polished, and fresh paint now adorns many classroom walls. A dedicated team of hardworking custodians who take great pride in their work have spent their summer getting classrooms ready for a new school year. Over the next couple of weeks, an army of more than 3 million educators will begin to transform these newly refurbished blank-canvas classrooms into spaces that are conducive to learning in the 21st century.
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Connecting your own dots for leadership
Connected Principals (commentary)
George Couros, a contributor for Connected Principals blog, writes: "As I looked into moving into 'leadership positions' within my own district, I believed that I did not have the experience to get into a role that I had wanted. The tricky thing is that if you don't have the experience, how do you get the job? 'Leadership' is not about title, but often influence and the ability to help others. There are many administrators who aren't necessarily leaders, and there are many teachers who exemplify the definition. Yet for many, the idea of moving into 'leadership' without the experience, seems insurmountable. The reality is, the experience is already there within your current role, you sometimes have to just connect the dots for others, and more importantly, yourself."
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Postcards from the Common Core classroom (NPR)
Motivation: The overlooked sixth component of reading (Edutopia)
Put down the cupcake: New ban hits school bake sales (The Wall Street Journal)
4 ideas to have a successful first year as principal (Connected Principals)
Why some schools are selling all their iPads (The Atlantic)

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


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Are great teachers born or made?
The Atlantic
One of the best teachers in Elizabeth Green's new book, "Building a Better Teacher," uses an analogy to convey the intricacy and difficulty of her craft. "Every single time I get on a plane," she says, "I'm really glad that the plane is not being flown by someone who just always loved planes ... But that's what we do in this country. We take people who are committed to children, and we say ... work on it, figure it out." This is just one of many comparisons that teachers make in Green's book. They also liken their profession to surgery, general medicine, nursing, professional athletics and even chamber music.
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50 apps for the new school year
eSchool News
As some schools welcome students back and as others gear up to do the same after Labor Day, teachers and librarians have a chance to become familiar with apps that will help their productivity and increase the resources they're able to share with students. In many cases, apps intended for personal use help educators stay organized, manage expenses and tasks that are associated with school, and more. And when students use a wide variety of apps, their knowledge increases, as do the skills they'll use in college and the workforce.
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Survey says: 2.3 million tablets in US K-12 schools
EdSurge
Getting exact numbers for device adoption is an imprecise science. But according to Education Market Research, there are "approximately 13.2 million computing devices in K-12 schools, composed mainly of desktops (4.7 million), laptops (3.9 million), and tablets (2.3 million)." Chromebooks, it finds, "appears" to have surpassed the 1 million mark. And tablet spending is expected to increase by 8.6 percent during the 2014-2015 school year.
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In school shootings, 'he just snapped' is a myth, psychologist says
Education Week
It's become a cliché after school shootings: As the public searches for an explanation for the attack, news outlets quote family members or witnesses who say the shooter "just snapped." But "he just snapped" is a myth, Anders Goranson, a psychologist and threat-assessment specialist, said in a lecture here at annual meeting of the American Psychological Association Thursday. The path to a violent mass attack often starts with a relatable frustration that grows through cultivation and study by the attacker, he said. And attackers usually experience "leakage" before they act, giving indications that they are planning to do something, he said.
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The danger of back to school
Psychology Today
Imagine a job in which your work every day is micromanaged by your boss. You are told exactly what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. You are required to stay in your seat until your boss says you can move. Each piece of your work is evaluated and compared, every day, with the work done by your fellow employees. You are rarely trusted to make your own decisions. Research on employment shows that this is not only the most tedious employment situation, but also the most stressful. Micromanagement drives people crazy. Kids are people, and they respond just as adults do to micromanagement, to severe restrictions on their freedom, and to constant, unsolicited evaluation.
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Fifty years later, revamped 'Freedom Schools,' still help struggling students
The Hechinger Report
When Alana Johnson starts fifth grade at Higgins Middle School in McComb, Mississippi, on Monday, she may have a leg-up on 10-year-olds who had the summer off. That's because she spent her days in a modern-day version of Freedom School, an academic enrichment program originally created in the civil rights era to teach history and literacy with the goal of empowering African-Americans. And it was all her idea, according to her mother, Kosheya Johnson. "I wasn't even going to enroll her this year, but she loved it so much last year that she asked me about it and she was adamant," Johnson said.
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School building rebounds
District Administration Magazine
Safety, flexibility and energy efficiency are the forces driving new school construction as administrations create buildings to rival college facilities to prepare students for the technology-driven world they will find in college and the workforce. More districts are creating flexible classrooms and labs that give schools options to revamp learning spaces as curriculum and enrollment change, architects say. Administrators also are designing energy-efficient schools to lower utility, maintenance and other operating costs, says Blake Dunn of CADM Architecture, Inc., an Arkansas-based firm that specializes in educational projects.
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School meal programs extend their reach
Education Week
America's understanding of the scale and effects of hunger has grown since President Lyndon B. Johnson established and strengthened many of the country's food assistance programs 50 years ago. Today, that understanding has made its way into schools, which feed students through creative approaches, like breakfast in the classroom and serve as many as three meals a day to their poorest students.
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50 apps for the new school year
eSchool News
As some schools welcome students back and as others gear up to do the same after Labor Day, teachers and librarians have a chance to become familiar with apps that will help their productivity and increase the resources they're able to share with students.

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Maximizing PLC time to flip your class
District Administration Magazine
Recently, we have been talking with a number of people about how to best implement flipped learning, and one hurdle mentioned over and over by teachers is that they do not have enough time.

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5 apps for today's administrators
eSchool News
Leading a school or a school district is, understandably, an important and critical job. Today's school administrators must keep up to date with learning trends, instructional strategies, technology initiatives, and everything in between.

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Federal government says Virginia schools restrained, isolated students
Reuters
The U.S. Department of Education has concluded that two Virginia public schools denied the right of education to emotionally disabled students after discovering teachers had frequently secluded and restrained them. The department wrote in a July 29 letter of findings that it had entered an accord with the two public schools in Prince William County, PACE East and PACE West, to correct the problems. The schools are for students with serious emotional and behavioral problems. The department's investigation followed a complaint filed in 2012.
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Register for upcoming mentor training in Alexandria, Virginia
NAESP
Being a principal is a tough job, especially with today's increasing demands on school leaders. Mentoring can provide crucial support to new principals. The NAESP National Mentor Program is designed to engage retired and experienced principals to give back to their profession by supporting new, newly assigned, or even experienced principals through mentoring. Ready to dive in? The next mentor training session is Oct. 2-4 in Alexandria, Virginia.
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Back to school strategies: Supporting parent volunteers
NAESP
A survey of more than 1,000 educators and parents found that parents and teachers overwhelmingly believe volunteering is an important ingredient in school success. However, gaps in expectations and obstacles in communication can leave teachers unsupported and parents feeling left out. Here are five ways principals can help parents and teachers work together to build a stronger school community.
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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 Meredith Barnett at MBarnett@naesp.org.
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