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Special needs kids staying in traditional schools
The Associated Press via Yahoo News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The high cost of educating students with special needs is disproportionately falling on traditional public schools as other students increasingly opt for alternatives that aren't always readily open to those requiring special education. The issue is particularly acute in districts where enrollment has declined due to demographic changes such as low birth rates and population shifts combined with an influx of charter schools and voucher programs that have siphoned off students. School district officials say all schools that receive public funds should share the cost of special education. More

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Lawmakers weigh boosting school-age vaccines
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As children return to their classrooms, California lawmakers are debating a bill that aims to boost the number of kids who go to school with all of their shots. The move comes as health officials across the USA grapple with the resurgence of once-forgotten infectious diseases, including what could be the biggest epidemic of whooping cough in 50 years. Although all states require children be vaccinated before attending school, each has different policies about exemptions, with some granting waivers only for medical reasons, while others allow kids to opt out based on religious or personal beliefs. More



NSF promotes climate-change education with $19 million in grants
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Efforts to advance climate-change education in schools and communities are getting a boost from a set of six grants awarded this week by the National Science Foundation, totaling nearly $19 million. The grants will support a number of efforts, including a joint project in Maryland and Delaware to help schools deliver effective and regionally relevant instruction in grades 8-12, and pay for work led by the New England Aquarium to enhance climate-change education in zoos, aquariums and other settings. More

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Impacting middle school students: The legacy of Christina-Taylor Green
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With the 10th anniversary of 9/11 come and gone, most middle school-aged youth have no personal recollection of the events of that terrible September morning. Yet, through exposure to the media in the coming weeks, many of these children will see images of and hear about the events of 9/11 and undoubtedly have difficult questions for parents and educators. Thankfully, the legacy of Christina-Taylor Green — who was the service-minded 9-year-old girl born on 9/11 and was killed in January 2011 at Congresswoman Gabby Giffords "Congress on Your Corner" event in Tucson, Ariz. — will help educators to empower youth to take positive action on 9/11 through The 9/12 Generation Project, which is a ten-year national service-learning initiative to teach students about 9/11 through the lessons of citizenship and service of 9/12. More


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Connected education is elementary
Connected Principals (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When we think about connected education, our minds usually bring us to teenagers and older students who create digital portfolios using the latest tools. We often think of how we need to teach these older students about media literacy so they can negotiate their way through research without falling into the trap of using sources that are inaccurate. When educators think of connected education they typically do not think about primary school children, and that is something that needs to change because our students are coming to us computer literate at a very young age. More

Broadband: Huge potential, but access barriers remain
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Broadband internet access is crucial for student learning as online and blended learning expand throughout the country, but obstacles such as digital access and policy roadblocks must be addressed, said panelists during an Internet Innovation webinar on broadband's potential in education. A broadband backbone is invaluable for expanding learning quality and opportunities for students and teachers when it comes to differentiated instruction, content, communication and administrative needs, said David Teeter, director of policy for the International Association for K-12 Online Learning. More

Starting the school year on the right foot
CNN (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
One of the most misunderstood terms in education is "classroom management," which is often seen as a synonym for discipline. Imagine asking the manager of a store to explain his job and he says, "My job is to discipline the customers." And when the same question is posed to the manager of a team, she says, "I discipline the players." Yet, discipline is the prevailing response of most educators when asked about classroom management. Discipline is a reactive action used to stop deviant behavior and has nothing to do with student learning. Classroom management is a means of organizing, structuring and planning events to get things done in the classroom that will lead to student learning. Creating a well-managed classroom is the priority of a teacher the first two weeks of school. More

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Schools make room for religion
The Tennessean via USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
At the beginning of every school year, Hedy Bernstein of Nashville sends her kids to school with a backpack full of school supplies. She also sends a list of Jewish holidays so that teachers know when her children will be absent. For an Orthodox family like Bernstein's, that list includes about a dozen days off for religious reasons. "We don't pick and choose which holidays to observe," she said. "I have to say the schools have been great to work with." Fifty years after the U.S. Supreme Court banned official prayers in public schools, religion remains alive and well on school campuses. That's because the same First Amendment that bars government-sponsored religion also gives students like the Bernsteins the right to freely practice their faith. More

Reasons why men should be teaching in the classroom, too
The News Journal (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In recent years, education experts have converged on one big idea: teachers matter. Studies show that years of good teaching can set a student on a good path, while years of bad teaching can do the opposite. Yet only a fraction of our teachers are the best and the brightest of their generation. According to a 2010 McKinsey report, nearly half of U.S. teachers come from the bottom third of their class. Here's a simple idea that could dramatically improve the teaching quality: Hire a few good men. More

Lessons learned: How a progressive new school adapts to realities
MindShfit    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When we envision a well-rounded, progressive education for our kids, we think of a vibrant environment that nurtures students’ passions, provides structure for rich and deep learning, a place where kids can get their hands on projects that are meaningful to them. That's the goal at Brightworks, a small, K-12 private school just starting its second year in San Francisco: to reimagine traditional modes of education so that curiosity and creativity hold sway over standardized tests and worksheets. But in the course of creating this space for students' interests, the school has also had to refine some of its original ideas to make room for realities like assessments and how to group students. More


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Just in time for school: Corporal punishment
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In the U.S., corporal punishment in school is legal in 19 states. The laws typically limit the punishment to paddling and and spanking. But you don't hear about kids getting paddled at school very often, and there hasn't been a major corporal punishment case in the U.S. in recent memory. Not so in the U.K., where parliament banned corporal punishment in public schools in the 1980s. By 2003 it was illegal in private schools, too. A case there has some asking whether teachers should be allowed to physically reprimand pupils without fear of prosecution. More

School in August gets low grades
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Early this month, as her cousins in Michigan spent their summer vacation splashing in area lakes, 11-year-old Ryan Duffin sat learning about the Great Lakes in social-studies class at Richview Middle School in Clarksville, Tenn. "I could be enjoying my summer, but I'm stuck in class," Ryan complained. "I hate it." Ryan is one of hundreds of thousands of students whose summer breaks ended early this year as schools from Toppenish, Wash., to Kettering, Ohio, to Harrisburg, Pa., have bucked a long — but waning — tradition of starting classes after Labor Day. More

Cancer survivors, siblings miss more school days
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Years after they were first diagnosed, childhood cancer survivors — along with their brothers and sisters — missed twice as many school days as other kids, according to a new study. Researchers found that childhood cancer survivors and their siblings missed — on average — 10 days of school during the 2009 academic year, while other students in the same school district missed an average of five days. Those findings are concerning, according to the authors, because past research found kids who missed the most school were less likely to achieve academically, graduate high school or go to college than others with better attendance. More

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To survive, a Catholic school retools for a wealthier market
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Catholic schools have been bleeding enrollment and money for years, and many have been forced to close. But some, like St. Stephen of Hungary, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, N.Y., have found a way to thrive — attracting a more affluent clientele by offering services and classes more commonly found in expensive private schools. Selling points include small class sizes and extracurricular activities beginning in the youngest grades. And by often charging far less, these schools have been able to stabilize themselves and even grow. More

Debate grows around charter school closure
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
One of the most vexing questions about charter schools — when low-performing ones should be shut down — is receiving new attention, amid concerns that lax and inconsistent standards for closing them will undermine the public's confidence in the sector. Over the past few years, a growing number of researchers, policymakers and charter school backers have called for removing obstacles to closing academically struggling schools, though many barriers remain. Numerous states have approved laws in recent years that have raised or clarified standards for charter school performance, while also establishing policies to make it easier for charters to open and secure facilities and public funding. More

Media companies, seeing profit slip, push into education
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As another academic year starts, about 500,000 children across the country will find themselves learning subjects like middle school history or high school biology from a new line of digital textbooks. These manuals, branded Techbooks, come with all the Internet frills: video, virtual labs, downloadable content. But the Techbook may be most notable for what it does not have — backing from a traditional educational publisher. Instead it has the support of Discovery, the cable TV company. More

9 useful lists for educators
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As part of Connected Educator Month, social media-savvy teachers and education professionals are using Twitter, blogs, and publications to get information out as quickly and easily as possible, and are using lists in many ways. Browsing CEM's Twitter, #CE12, the editors at eSchool News have highlighted some of the most popular lists Tweeted, as well as some that may be most helpful to our readers. From educator-recommended apps designed for specific subsets of 21st century literacies to 14 of the best ed-tech Tweeters, and from the best CEM speaker quotes to the 10 technology commandments for connected learners, these lists are classroom-tested and educator-approved. More


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Obama says plan will save teachers' jobs
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
President Barack Obama again urged Congress to pass his jobs bill Saturday, this time with an emphasis on teachers. "Since 2009, we've lost more than 300,000 education jobs, in part because of budget cuts at the state and local level," Obama said during his weekly radio address. In the 11 months since Obama proposed his jobs bill, congressional Republicans have said the plan would be ineffective while adding to the national debt. Obama said Republicans are pushing a budget that would cut education while giving tax breaks to the wealthy when the USA faces intense global competition for high-skill jobs. More

Education aid emerging as campaign issue
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan's selection as the Republican vice-presidential candidate could spark a national debate about the future of education spending, an issue that's gotten short shrift in the presidential campaign so far. As the two national party conventions approach, Democrats are already charging that the Wisconsin lawmaker's controversial budget blueprint, which presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney has largely endorsed, would scale back college financial aid and slash other funding for education. More

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LAUSD, teachers union spar over voluntary evaluation system
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Los Angeles schools chief John Deasy expressed disappointment over a robo-call sent by the teachers union, urging members not to participate in the district's voluntary performance review system that for the first time includes student test scores in evaluations. In a recorded back-to-school message sent Monday evening to 38,000 teachers and healthcare professionals, Warren Fletcher, president of United Teachers Los Angeles, told members they should reject efforts by the Los Angeles Unified School District to find one volunteer at each school to participate in the program. More

Maryland county installs bus cameras
THE Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Students in Frederick County, Md., who attend Frederick County Public Schools will be protected by the installation of security cameras that will watch loading and unloading of students as well as keep an eye on dangerous drivers who pass school buses illegally. The cameras are part of a five-year deal between the county and Xerox through the company's CrossSafe program. More

Chicago teachers take contract case to school
The Associated Press via Yahoo News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Chicago Teachers Union has begun informational pickets at several elementary schools to call attention to ongoing contract talks. Teachers, paraprofessionals and clinicians began picketing at six year-round schools where students have returned from summer break. The union says it's still trying to reach an agreement on wages, health benefits and job security. The union and Board of Education already agreed on one big issue — hiring more teachers to help the district manage a longer school day rather than asking existing teachers to work more hours. More


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San Antonio schools touting health and fitness
San Antonio Express-News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
While San Antonio has notoriously made lists for being one of the country's fattest cities, its school districts have found ways to seek a culture change through more emphasis on health and fitness programs. The U.S. Department of Education also recognized the area's need and potential, awarding Bexar County's three largest school districts collectively $4.1 million in grants over the last three years to boost efforts to make students, district employees and their families more healthy. Most school districts recently have implemented new programs that incorporate popular fitness trends such as rock climbing and Zumba dance classes. Administrators have asked students in diet and nutrition classes to track their meal and exercise habits using pedometers and personal journals. More

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Grants, opportunities and free resources
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Check out the August edition of Communicator for upcoming grant deadlines and information about handy resources for your school. Plus, if you're an NAESP member, peruse this issue's Report to Parents, NAESP's ready-to-print handouts on timely parenting topics. More

Considering a career move? Check the Career Center for opportunities
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The revitalized NAESP Career Center, supported by Job Target, is the only dedicated national job bank for principals in public and private elementary and middle schools. With more jobs and powerful career coaching tools, the Career Center is your go-to resource for finding and landing your perfect position. 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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