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Government opens competition for new school grants
The Associated Press via CBS News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Hoping to build on state-level reforms aimed at closing the education achievement gap, the Education Department opened its Race to the Top competition to school districts on Sunday, inviting the poorest districts across the country to vie for almost $400 million in grants. Following four months of public comment on a draft proposal, the Education Department unveiled its final criteria for the district-level competition, which will award 15 to 25 grants to districts that have at least 2,000 students and 40 percent or more who qualify for free or reduced-cost lunches — a key poverty indicator. More


Anatomy of a school construction project
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Spending on school construction and renovation has dipped since the economic downturn that began in 2008, and there is some concern among superintendents that school construction funds for projects over the next decade will come with — at the very least — nominal tax increases that must be approved by a majority of voters. That's why officials are determined to keep the public involved and to avoid the kind of top-down approach that could alienate neighbors, parents, school board members and state legislators. More

US should adopt higher standards for science education
Scientific American    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Americans have grown accustomed to bad news about student performance in math and science. On a 2009 study administered by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 15-year-olds in the U.S. placed 23rd in science and 31st in math out of 65 countries. On last year's Nation's Report Card assessments, only one third of eighth graders qualified as proficient in math or science. Those general statistics tell only a piece of the story, however. There are pockets of excellence across the U.S. where student achievement is world-beating. Massachusetts eighth graders outscored their peers from every global region included, except Singapore and Taiwan, on an international science assessment in 2007. Eighth graders from Minnesota, the only other U.S. state tested, did almost as well. More

Character Builders

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Children learn the ABC of Twitter
The Daily Telegraph via Herald Sun    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Long-running ABC program Play School is teaching children who can't even read or write how to use social media. The popular show has tackled space exploration and homosexuality — and now is explaining to toddlers about communicating via Twitter and Facebook. Should Play School be teaching tweeting? In a recent episode, presenter Matt Passmore tweeted, blogged, texted, emailed and checked his "play book" on a cardboard computer. "What can I do while I wait, I know — I will Twitter," Passmore said. "Everyone loves my Twitter." Play School executive producer Jan Strandling said the cyber world was increasingly relevant to preschoolers. Research showed that children as young as one could use smartphones. And preschoolers are becoming so tech-savvy that Play School now has iPhone apps and online games for under-fives, she said. More

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Affording the classroom of the future
THE Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
New technology equipment and tools, state of the art building materials and methods, and experimental teaching practices are all impacting today's K-12 classroom. Districts nationwide are struggling to patch together learning environments that they think represent the future of learning at the elementary, middle school and high school levels. As they adopt campus-wide IT infrastructures, invest in classroom technology, and test out alternatives to traditional learning spaces, the final results of all this innovation remains to be seen. More

15 tips for the new principal
Connected Principals    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
This is the season of new beginnings. Administrators search for novel ways to inspire their staffs and balance exciting initiatives and necessary mandates into a vision that will move a faculty. But for many educators, it is their first taste of the principalship as they receive an endorsement from a school board and superintendent to be a building leader for the first time. More


#Satchat: A great way for administrators to connect
Edutopia (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
#Satchat is a great example of the power of social media to improve education, and the benefit of expanding an educator's Personal Learning Network. The concept started simply one day when we began direct messaging each other on Twitter and tossed around some ideas related to school leadership. In particular, how could ideas be shared and topics discussed pertaining to all things administration? We agreed upon a discussion group that would chat on Saturday mornings and focus on current and future school administrators. More

Back to school: How to measure a good teacher
The Christian Science Monitor    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Back to school: Perhaps the most controversial education reform is how to measure a good teacher. As the trend to overhaul teacher evaluations catches fire, some teachers find that new feedback and mentoring programs can lead to "incredible" results with their students. More

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Math Common Core Standards made easy!
Motivation Math Student Edition contains a mix of selective response and open response items to allow teachers to tailor instruction according to student needs. The student edition incorporates activities in critical thinking and problem solving that require students to reason, use appropriate tools, and communicate results. Available levels: 1-8 MORE

For dyslexic and visually impaired students, a free high-tech solution
MindShift (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Elizabeth is a college freshman who has severe dyslexia that makes it impossible for her to decipher printed materials. Nearly every night for 12 years of school, Elizabeth's mother would sit down and read her daughter's school work to her because that's the only choice they had. But a few months before starting college, Elizabeth discovered an online library called, run by a small nonprofit called Benetech. "My life changed as I entered the world of accessible literature," Elizabeth wrote on Bookshare's blog. More

Study: Pay attention in preschool, graduate from college
HealthDay News via Doctors Lounge    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Preschool children who can pay attention and focus on a particular task are 50 percent more likely to graduate from college, according to new research. Certain social and behavioral skills, such as being able to concentrate and follow directions, may be even more important than children's academic abilities, the Oregon State University study suggests. Fortunately, like typical school subjects, these critical behavioral skills can be taught. More


Romney's VP pick of Paul Ryan puts spending debate in the spotlight
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Gov. Mitt Romney announced that he's tapping Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., for vice president, a move that puts the debate over how best to put the nation's fiscal house in order front-and-center in the presidential campaign. Ryan's controversial budget blueprint, which has been passed by the GOP-controlled House of Representatives, would seek big cuts to discretionary spending (which includes most education programs). In fact, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said the budget could have "disastrous consequences for America's children." The Obama campaign has already blasted the pick, citing the potential impact of the Ryan budget on education spending. More

Weight gain slower where school-food laws are strong
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Regulating the foods and beverages sold outside of federal meal programs at schools may help curb the child obesity epidemic, suggests a U.S. study released. Researchers found that fifth-graders in states with strong "competitive food laws" packed on fewer pounds than did kids in states with no such legislation. "I definitely see this as encouraging evidence that the laws can have a positive impact," said Daniel R. Taber of the University of Illinois at Chicago, who worked on the study. "But we need to recognize that it is not going to influence all students." Childhood obesity has soared in recent decades. In 2008, more than a third of U.S. youths were either overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More

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Some states resisting Obama administration education reform requirements
The Hechinger Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Obama administration announced it had released a total of 33 states from some No Child Left Behind requirements with the approval of Nevada's application for a waiver from the law. "While well intentioned, the law's rigid, top-down prescriptions for reform have proved burdensome for many states," a statement from the U.S. Department of Education said. But some states seem to be feeling the same way about the Obama administration's own prescriptions for reform. More

Kentucky follows Colorado's lead in creating nonprofit partner
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Even though the fiscal status of the 50 states appears to be stabilizing and even improving in some cases, you can't blame officials for still being skittish about tax bases and their ability to fund what they want with respect to education. As part of an effort to get around this political and policy problem, the Kentucky Board of Education on Aug. 9 told staff to continue developing the "Fund for Transforming Education in Kentucky." More


Massachusetts moves on ELL-training for regular teachers
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Under pressure from federal civil rights officials to improve schooling for English language learners, education leaders in Massachusetts are forging ahead with major changes that will require intensive training for thousands of academic-content teachers with ELLs in their classrooms. Massachusetts — more accustomed to being lauded for its student-achievement results than criticized — is overhauling its programs for the state's growing population of English learners. After a civil rights investigation last year, U.S. Department of Justice officials determined those programs to be inadequate. The probe found that as many as 45,000 teachers in districts across the state had not received specialized training to effectively work with English language learners. More

'Blended' courses hit Ohio schools this fall
The Columbus Dispatch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Westerville, Ohio, school officials spent the summer testing an online health class they're offering at all three high schools this fall. Officials knew it was a hit when students in the pilot course started sharing the entry code with other students so they could take the class, too. It illustrated what educators are discovering about today's tech-savvy youth: They want to learn online. More students will get a chance to do just that when school resumes over the next few weeks. Several central Ohio districts are combining classroom instruction with online lessons. Through "blended learning," students will absorb concepts through videos or online programs and will follow up with teachers to get a deeper understanding of the material. More

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Ketchup Kids' principal feeding hearts, lives
CBN News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Earlier this year, CBN News introduced you to an extraordinary elementary school principal who is helping her students with more than just their education. Nine out of 10 students at Whitney Elementary School in Las Vegas are either homeless, or in danger of being homeless. But their principal is keeping these families housed, fed, and clothed, thanks to donations that pour in from across the world — without an ounce of help from the government. More

Kansas City Public Schools teachers explore students' reality
The Kansas City Star    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The school bus full of teachers lumbered onto 27th Street from Prospect Avenue. "Keep an eye out for children you see along the way," they’d been told at the start of their police-led tour of Kansas City neighborhoods. "They're going to be in your classrooms Monday." There were several of their possible students, sweeping into view, looking comfortable in a mean afternoon sun. Teenagers with smiles and cellphones, hanging out on the corner. More


NAESP announces State Affiliate Membership Awards winners
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
NAESP is pleased to recognize and reward the accomplishments and hard work of members, volunteers, and staff of the state affiliates for membership retention and recruitment. More

Write for Principal magazine
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
No one knows a principal's job better than you do. You know the challenges, the rewards, the humor and the successes. How about sharing some of those experiences with your colleagues? Writing for our magazine is a great way to help other principals while giving you fresh insights into your own professional development. This summer, we're looking for articles on teacher and staff development. More


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