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Americans' satisfaction with education system increases
Gallup
As students return to school in the U.S., 48 percent of Americans are "completely" or "somewhat satisfied" with the quality of kindergarten through high school education in the country, the highest Gallup has measured since 2004. For the first time since 2007, Americans are now about as likely to say they are satisfied as dissatisfied.
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Back to school without vaccines? Growing concern in some states
NBC News
As kids across the country head back to school, a growing number may walk through the doors without first getting vaccines. All 50 states require vaccinations for children going to public school, but nearly every state allows exemptions. In Vermont, Michigan, Idaho and Oregon more than 5 percent of kindergartners had non-medical exemptions last year, according to the CDC, well above the national average of 1.8 percent. Nationally, rates have been declining for many childhood vaccines.
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Teaching computer science — Without touching a computer
The Hechinger Report
A group of children on a playground, each kid clutching a slip of paper with a number on it, moves along a line drawn in chalk, comparing numbers as they go and sorting themselves into ascending order from one to ten. Another group of children, sitting in a circle, passes pieces of fruit — an apple, an orange — from hand to hand until the color of the fruit they're holding matches the color of the T-shirt they're wearing. It may not look like it, but the children engaged in these exercises are learning computer science. In the first activity, they've turned themselves into a sorting network: a strategy computers use to sort random numbers into order.
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How important is informal learning?
eSchool News
Learning is changing. It is moving from a primarily school-based, formal process to include more informal opportunities. Learning is just as likely to occur among a group of students at a coffee shop or at a museum as it is within a virtual group on a social network. Informal learning, then, is often characterized by its impromptu and unofficial nature, as a new infographic demonstrates.
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Boom-bang homework assignments
Edutopia
Homework is beneficial. Or it's not. Research supports both positions and all the contentious points in between. If you count yourself among the 70 percent of U.S. teachers who assign take-home work, you may find value in the following recommendations for making those assignments more effective, creative and motivational — in other words, with boom-bang academic power.
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A new twist on concentration: Standing while you work
District Administration Magazine
A growing workplace health trend is moving to classrooms: More schools are adding standing desks as a tool to increase alertness and combat childhood obesity. In 2012, more than one-third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "One of the main battles we fight today is technology-induced inactivity — we're able to just sit in front of a screen for most of our waking hours, and as a result people have become very sedentary compared to past decades," says Mark Benden, an associate professor at Texas A&M who researches classroom ergonomics and childhood obesity.
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What it really takes for schools to go digital
Time
President Barack Obama hailed Mooresville, N.C., as a model for the future of public education. But a neighboring district offers a more accurate picture of the challenges most schools face in bridging the tech divide. As a hazy morning sun rises over this rural North Carolina farming community, middle school students settle into their seats and lift their MacBooks, each face illuminated by an electronic glow.
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Doctors: Early school start times unhealthy for students
CNN
If you think school starts too early, you aren't the only one. A new policy statement published by the American Academy of Pediatrics is on the side of groggy students falling asleep at their desks and their parents who are tired of nagging them to get out of bed in the morning. They say that lack of sleep in adolescents causes poor academic performance and poses a serious public health concern. Traffic accidents, depression and obesity can result, with schools that start too early contributing to the problem.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Use BYOD strategies to prepare for BYOA (District Administration Magazine)
US education: How we got where we are today (The Christian Science Monitor)
How the tourism industry dictates when kids in 14 states go back to school (Vox)
PDK/Gallup poll finds rising awareness, majority opposition to Common Core (Education Week)
Helping students start the year with a positive mindset (Edutopia)

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


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How to integrate tech when it keeps changing
Edutopia
Asking if technology enhances learning is like asking if dogs are playful. Whether we're discussing tech or those furry mouth-breathers, the answer is the same: it depends on the situation. Here's a better line of inquiry: how do you coordinate knowledge, instructional practices, and technologies in order to positively influence academic achievement?
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What do schools risk by going 'full Google'?
MindShift
Kaitlin Morgan says, this year, her school district is going "full Google." Morgan teaches U.S. and world history and advises the yearbook at Woodlake Union High School in California's Central Valley. At Woodlake, "full Google" means a plan to have one Google Chromebook for every two students by the spring, running Google Apps. The Chromebook is a relatively cheap, stripped-down laptop. It's become popular in the education world, with 85 percent of its U.S. sales last year going to the ed market. And the Chromebook is just the beginning. Already, Google Apps for Education claims 30 million active users around the world. The free, Web-based software works on any device and allows teachers and students to use Gmail with their own .edu address.
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Is it time to rename the Common Core?
MarketPlace
Marketing professionals know that the key to improving lousy sales or a bad image is sometimes as simple as a new name or snazzier packaging — "rebranding," as it's known in the biz. But what about an unpopular public policy, like, say, the Common Core? Experts think the Obama-backed education standards for reading, writing and math may be in line for a do-over. Two recent opinion polls showed that public support for the standards, which have been adopted by 43 states and the District of Columbia, is slipping. But just how much can depend on how you talk about it: Use the name, and support drops.
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Leveraging technology to determine school vision
By: Thomas Van Soelen
Many schools struggle in creating and reviewing core documents — e.g., mission, vision, purpose, beliefs, core values) with internal stakeholders. Therefore, when it comes to asking for external stakeholder input, it is deemed nearly impossible. Jeff Homan, principal of The Main Street Academy, a start-up K-8 charter school in College Park, Georgia, leveraged technology as the school revisited its core documents in preparation for both an accreditation visit and a rechartering process with the local school district, both occurring every five years.
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Students' help-seeking strategies offer clues for educators
Education Week
If you need help, raise your hand. It's one of the first lessons of school, but as more students learn in and out of classrooms, in person and online, educators and researchers are starting to take another look at how students learn to ask for help. In a typical classroom, teachers may see some students who raise their hands constantly, while others try to overhear the response to another student's question without ever asking their own.
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Fiscal recovery buoys K-12 budgets as school year opens
Education Week
The modest but steady recovery of state K-12 budgets over the past few years is expected to continue, national experts on education finance say, although to what extent schools and districts will feel a real impact from budget changes for the 2014-2015 school year is an open question. In the current budget year, most state lawmakers have decided to continue reinvesting in public schools through their traditional "foundation" programs, which generate much of the state aid for K-12.
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Common Core: Bobby Jindal says Obama forcing a national curriculum
The Christian Science Monitor
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal charges that the U.S. Department of Education is strong-arming states into accepting base-line standards once viewed as voluntary. Backers say that Common Core is voluntary, because some states declined to adopt it.
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Coppell, Texas, opens first 'net-zero' elementary school in the US
Dallas Magazine
Students at Coppell ISD's newest school, Richard J. Lee Elementary, are guaranteed to get an education experience unlike any other in DFW. That's because the Gold LEED-certified, $21 million campus is the very first "net-zero" energy elementary school in the country. Built from the ground up in just eight months at Ranch Trail and Olympus Boulevard within Billingsley Cos.' Cypress Waters development, the school is officially in the city of Dallas but part of the Coppell ISD.
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A new twist on concentration: Standing while you work
District Administration Magazine
A growing workplace health trend is moving to classrooms: More schools are adding standing desks as a tool to increase alertness and combat childhood obesity.

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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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Seattle school under review for big jump in state test results
The Seattle Times
The state's annual release of test data for its public schools showed the typical ups and downs from the previous year's scores with no significant changes. But one Seattle elementary school's performance has raised a red flag: Beacon Hill International School. Passage rates in math and reading at Beacon Hill increased so much compared with 2013 that they are now under review by the state. The district said it discovered the spike while reviewing preliminary data earlier this month, and asked the state to do the review.
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Los Angeles Unified halts contract for iPads
Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles schools Supt. John Deasy suspended future use of a contract with Apple that was to provide iPads to all students in the nation's second-largest school system amid mounting scrutiny of the $1-billion-plus effort. The suspension comes days after disclosures that the superintendent and his top deputy had especially close ties to executives of Apple, maker of the iPad, and Pearson, the company that is providing the curriculum on the devices. And an internal report that examined the technology effort showed major problems with the process and the implementation.
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Hot topics for the 2014-2015 school year
NAESP
As the summer winds down, big changes for the 2014-2015 school year are heating up. Gear up by reviewing these latest developments on Common Core assessments, nutrition, discipline policies, technology and more.
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Principal professional development provider opportunity
NAESP
With funding from the U.S. Department of Education, Mathematica Policy Research is issuing a request for proposals inviting principal professional development providers to participate in a large-scale impact study. The goal of the evaluation is to determine whether a specific principal professional development program is effective when implemented with fidelity in a large number of districts and elementary schools. The RFP will available online on approximately Sept. 9 here, and will be due Oct. 14.
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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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