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Curriculum    School Leadership   Federal Advocacy & Policy   In the States   Association News   Buy Books   Contact NAESP


Let Kids Fly with ZipKrooz™


ZipKrooz™ brings zip line-like adventure to the playground in an exciting, inclusive and safe way!


Mathematical Olympiads for Elementary and Middle Schools

Math Problem solving contests for teams of up to 35 students in grades 4 through 8.

 





Common Core testing takeaways
District Administration Magazine
How can districts use the Common Core-aligned assessments to improve education if the results won't be available until later this fall, after the current school year is well underway? That's the question district administrators have been asking themselves for months, ever since millions of American students took the first round of Common Core-aligned assessments earlier this year.
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Report: States lack consistent standards for literacy teacher preparation
THE Journal
Only 18 states require elementary teacher candidates to complete specific courses in literacy education, according to a report from the International Literacy Association. The report, "Preliminary Report on Teacher Preparation for Literacy Instruction," is the first of a two-part report by the association's Teacher Preparation Task Force, which is examining the education and practical training of teachers in the United States and the requirements set out by the state departments of education. Although the results are preliminary and the task force is conducting further investigation, the report reveals a lack of coursework and practical requirements for preservice teachers in many states.
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Google survey shows parents value computer science, but barriers remain
Education Week
Principals and superintendents underestimate how much support there is among parents for teaching K-12 computer science, according to a recent Gallup survey, commissioned by tech-giant Google. The survey looked at a nationally representative sample of about 1,700 middle and high school students, 1,700 parents, and 1,000 teachers contacted via telephone last year for the report. Gallup also collected responses online from about 9,700 K-12 principals and 1,900 district superintendents (though these two groups were not nationally representative).
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Report: More than half of students struggle with reading
eSchool News
Nearly half of minority students and students from low-income families enter the fifth grade without basic reading skills, according to a new report urging Congress to focus on students' literacy development beginning in early childhood. Noting that 60 percent of both fourth- and eighth-graders currently struggle with reading, the report from the Alliance for Excellent Education notes that Congress should put an emphasis on students' literacy development from the early years and up through grade twelve as it works to rewrite the No Child Left Behind Act.
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Why pushing kids to learn too much too soon is counterproductive
The Washington Post (commentary)
Given the nationwide push to teach children more and more complex concepts at earlier and earlier ages, you'd think that there surely must be an extensive scientific literature to support these efforts. Not only does no such data exist, but an emerging body of research indicates that attempts to accelerate intellectual development are in fact counterproductive. Recently, a lead editorial in one of the most prestigious scientific journals in the world, Science, questioned why middle school children were being taught college and even graduate-school-level cell biology concepts when their developing minds were not yet ready to receive this complex information.
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Washington, DC area minority-owned business is the first American company to be awarded foreign publishing code in China
Science Weekly Magazine
Bethesda, MD- On September 21, 2010 representatives of CAM Publishing Group, Inc., led by company President, Dr. Claude A. Mayberry, Jr., will host a meeting with a leadership delegation of the Chinese publishing company, Hebei Reading Media Co., Ltd (P.R. China). The delegation will be visiting the United States of America for what has become a ground-breaking event that will expand the realm of possibilities for global publishing, education, and economic growth.
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Promoted by Science Weekly Magazine


Online course teaches kids to program while having fun
Fox News
With technology skills becoming as important as readin', ritin' and 'rithmetic in today's digital world, many parents want to ensure that their children develop the right skills for the future. But many don't know where to begin and how to make learning tech skills fun for their kids. A new online course, "Server design 1," is using one of the most popular video games ever — Minecraft, which has more than 100 million registered users and has been a hit among younger players — to teach code to children between 8 and 14. The course teaches kids how to create a Minecraft world that they develop and design themselves using Java code.
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More than reading: Integrating art into your curriculum
By: Debra Josephson Abrams
Overwhelming evidence undergirds the need for integrated curriculum based in multiple intelligences and learning styles. However, too often, curricula rely instead on artificially compartmentalized courses — usually categorized as reading-writing and listening-speaking, with grammar awkwardly given its own class. What, then, can a teacher do to integrate compartmentalized classes with positive, purposeful activities while fulfilling the requirements of the curriculum?
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Technology lets students 'flip' the field trip
The Hechinger Report
Last spring, crowds of teenagers were let loose in Raleigh's North Carolina Museum of Art. No tour guides, no shushing teachers, just kids following their curiosity through the galleries. As they roamed, they used smartphones and tablets to upload images of the artworks into personalized, virtual exhibits they would later display to their fellow students. It was a field trip with a tech-y twist: For weeks leading up to the museum visit, these same kids had explored these same works of art on a social-media website, where they also posted sketches, ideas and peer critiques in preparation for their own art projects.
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Are grants for principal training making a difference in Chicago schools?
Inside Philanthropy (commentary)
Alyssa Ochs, a contributor for Inside Philanthropy, writes: "Last fall, we touched on a funder that's made public school principal training its mission in Chicago. The Chicago Public Education Fund was created by a group of civic and corporate leaders as a philanthropic venture fund in 2000. Its Principal Fellowship has been getting a lot of attention around Chicago, as it focuses on retaining strong principals rather than kicking ineffective ones to the curb. Studies have shown that very few local principals (only about 40 percent) stick with the job after five years, which is unfortunate, because that's about the time that they start becoming more effective."
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  Stop Bullying/Help Prevent Suicide

Learn more about these new online training programs to help improve the climate and culture in your schools. Based on the movie, Contest, Stand Up Say No to Bullying teaches students how to handle conflict and bullying. Signs Matter helps teachers and administrators identify students who may be contemplating suicide. You can help save lives.
 


Polls reveal nuanced views on K-12
Education Week
Two high-profile public-opinion polls offer contrasting snapshots on the public's support for Common Core standards and mandatory standardized testing — intertwined issues that are arguably among the most divisive in K-12 public education. Often released within days of each other, the education survey by Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup — now in its 47th year — and the one conducted since 2007 by Education Next, a journal from the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, deliver new data that fuel debate and reflection on topics ranging from teacher quality to school funding.
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It's time to ask how E-rate will impact learning outcomes
eSchool News (commentary)
E-rate, officially known as the Schools and Libraries Program of the Universal Service Fund, was created to provide schools and libraries with an affordable way to obtain telecommunications, internet access and internet-related services. In the beginning, E-rate focused principally on telephone service, which was the most basic and universal way individuals communicated 20 years ago. While the focus on communication has remained, technology has changed radically throughout the past two decades. During this period, E-rate adapted by broadening the range of eligible services to include mobile phones, pagers, voicemail, email, school websites and basic collaboration tools.
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Back to school: 4 tools to keep students' devices charged all day
EdTech Magazine
Students across the country are beginning to return to school, and they'll need to keep their smartphones and tablets charged throughout the day. With the implementation of district-wide initiatives such as bring your own device and one-to-one, devices have become a vital part of the average school day — and they need to be charged. But not every school is equipped to give each student a dedicated plug.
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Too much fast food linked to poor school performance
Youth Health Magazine
A study has found an association between the amount of fast food that children eat and how well they do in school over the course of several years. Researchers found that the higher the frequency of fast-food consumption in fifth grade, the worse children performed on math, reading and science tests in eighth grade. Katy Purtell, assistant professor of human sciences at Ohio State University and her colleagues wanted to determine whether fast-food consumption affects how well a child does in school. They analyzed data from 11,740 students who were part of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort and who were kindergarteners in the 1998-1999 school year.
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Why young kids need less class time — and more play time — at school
The Washington Post (commentary)
It seems counter-intuitive to think that less classroom time and more outdoor play would lead to a better education for kids. But longer time on task doesn't equate to better results, only greater burnout. For years, educators have tried different unsuccessful strategies — more testing, more instruction — to reverse these trends. The answer, however, is not more class time. It's more play. Other countries have figured this out. In Finland, for example, students take a 15-minute break for outdoor play after every 45 minutes of classroom time. In East Asia, most primary schools give their students a 10-minute break after 40 minutes or so of instruction.
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Helping students with mental-health issues return to school
Education Week (commentary)
As we prepare this August for the start of another academic year, it's important to acknowledge an often invisible, seldom-talked-about population of students: young people who are recovering from mental-health disorders and are transitioning back to school after a time away. Mental-health challenges in young people are common, and they create major barriers to learning. But as is true with adults suffering from such problems, the young can and do recover — even those with serious challenges. As educators, we can provide critical support in their recovery and help them as they work to integrate back into classes and get on with learning and with life.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  Pilot Program: World Cultures Curriculum

All Around This World,
an experiential global music and world cultures program for kids, seeks elementary schools to pilot its “Explore Everywhere” classroom curriculum in '15-'16. Participating schools recevie full scholarship to Africa and Latin America series (up to 20 weeks each). Teacher training videos/webinars included. FUN! Intrigued? Click here.
 




Poll finds most back healthy school meals
The New York Times
A majority of Americans support providing schoolchildren with healthy meals that consist of more fruits and vegetables and fewer foods high in calories and sodium, according to a national poll by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. Legislation signed in 2010 by President Barack Obama required schools to update their nutritional standards for the first time in 15 years. The law was championed by Michelle Obama, the first lady, as part of her "Let's Move" campaign. According to the poll, 86 percent of Americans support the nutritional standards required by the law.
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Report: Department of Education won't punish New York for high opt-outs
Education Week
A week after the New York state education department reported that 20 percent of students in grades 3-8 opted out of statewide reading and math tests last year, it looks like we finally have an answer as to whether they'll feel the wrath of the U.S. Department of Education. Federal law requires each school to test at least 95 percent of its students or else the district or state could face sanctions, some as severe as losing Title I money for low-income students. That requirement must be met for all students in a school, as well as for subgroups of students, such as those living in poverty or from racial-minority groups.
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Are traumatized students disabled? A debate straight outta Compton, Calif.
NPR
An unprecedented, class action lawsuit brought against one Southern California school district and its top officials could have a big impact on schools across the country. Recently in Los Angeles, a U.S. District Court judge will preside over the first hearing in the suit against the Compton Unified School District. To understand the complaint, you need to understand Compton. The city, located just south of L.A., has long had a violent reputation. Last year, its murder rate was more than five times the national average. Now, a handful of students say they've been traumatized by life in Compton and that the schools there have failed to give them the help they deserve.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Raising autism awareness on the school bus (School Transportation News)
How much homework is too much? (The Christian Science Monitor)
5 facts about America's students (Pew Research Center)
Rookie principals' group sheds light on early-career challenges (Education Week)
5 tips to kick start the school year (Edutopia)

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


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Level-up your instructional leadership
NAESP
There are speakers. There are presenters. And then there is Todd Whitaker. Todd brings the thunder (thunderous applause) wherever he presents. His session with Annette Breaux at NAESP's recent conference in Long Beach was no exception. The "Ten-Minute Inservice" session focused on building teacher effectiveness. For those who were not lucky enough to squeeze into Todd and Annette's PACKED session, I offer you several of my take-aways based on what they shared.
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NAESP Career Center offers job-hunting tools
NAESP
The NAESP Career Center, supported by Job Target, is the only dedicated national job bank for principals in public and private elementary and middle schools. Peruse job listings, post your resume, browse a wealth of career resources and even schedule a session with a career coach.
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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.

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