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Principal's role vital to academic success
Deseret News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
According to research, principals are the second most important figures at a school, next to teachers, in determining a child's academic success. And since principals are the ones in charge of hiring quality teachers and firing or remediating teachers who are not performing, their role may be even more important at a school than many have thought in the past. More

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Should students advance at their own pace?
KQED    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
What if student learning wasn't based on age, but on proficiency? That might happen soon in Oregon's public schools if Senate Bill 909 unfolds as planned. Oregon governor John Kitzhaber ushered a group of education bills through the legislature in June. One of them, SB 909, created the 15-member Oregon Education Investment Board not only to control the finances of all state-run schools, but also to make sure there are ways for Oregon's kids to progress at a rhythm that works with their academic needs. In other words, students matriculate based on the state's revamped academic standards, not time spent in the classroom. More



Moving toward new K-12 science standards
District Administration    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
By the fall of 2012, the Next Generation of Science Standards will be available for states to adopt. Part 1 of the process, the Framework for K12 Science Education, was released July 19 by the National Research Council, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences. Traditionally, states have developed their own individual standards by extracting components from science benchmarks set forth by organizations such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science. This new process of adopting standards, however, asks states to unite to develop standards that could potentially be adopted nationwide. More

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Majority of states' standards don't mention 9/11
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Ten years after terrorists crashed planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the profound impact on the United States is not hard to see, from heightened domestic-security measures to the U.S. role in conflicts deemed part of a war on terror. What's less obvious is how the attacks have filtered into American classrooms. Some observers and educators suggest the effects on instruction are generally at the margins, that the events of Sept. 11, 2001, in New York City, suburban Washington, and southwest Pennsylvania appear to get little or no attention in most social studies classes. More

US must improve math grade to retain global edge
CNN (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
article
The 7th-grader was struggling with a homework project, creating a PowerPoint presentation on the origins of mathematics. One requirement was to note similarities between Babylonian and Chinese math. I helped him research this question, all the while assuming that his teachers had good reason for its inclusion. But it did make me think about what math skills are being taught and remember my own less-than-stellar math grades. More

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Illinois Schools Implement Lexia, Improve

75% of kindergartners in Des Plaines, IL elementary school had no letter recognition. Lexia Reading software helped bring 88% up to speed by end of 1st grade.
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6 reasons why kids should know how to blog
KQED    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In the digital age, kids need to have an understanding of what it means to be a responsible digital citizen. They need to learn the technical how-to's, as well as a more global comprehension of how to navigate the online world. To that end, Melbourne educator Jenny Luca made a commitment to help her students start blogging and to create ePortfolios. Here are five reasons why, at her school, these skills are now a high priority. More


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Improving teaching and learning when budgets are tight
Phi Delta Kappan via Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Education budgets are imploding at the fiscal seams. A sluggish economy and falling property values are shortchanging public education budgets across the country. At the same time, there are growing expectations for improved student performance, better teachers and closing the achievement gap. Schools and teachers are caught in this double squeeze. Is there a way to meet these demands? Is it reasonable to ask schools to continue to raise student performance and improve teaching with no additional money and in some cases with less? Does the way forward absolutely require more money? More

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States search for answers to cheating scandals
National Public Radio    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Cheating scandals have rocked a number of school districts across the country this year. The publicity is pushing states to look for better ways to detect and prevent tampering with the test results, and some say constant vigilance is required to guard against cheating. What happened in Atlanta is hard to imagine: Dozens of administrators and teachers apparently conspired to change answers on standardized tests. When those tests showed big gains, school leaders took the credit. But they were caught, in part, because Georgia investigators have been looking for signs of tampering for years. More

School breakfast recipe: Sugar, and lots of it
The Tennessean    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In the 1980s, there was a flap over whether federal school lunch guidelines should consider ketchup a vegetable. That idea didn’t pass muster. But don’t worry, kids: Have a funnel cake instead. According to federal guidelines that describe what schools should serve for breakfast, a funnel cake works for two bread servings. Funnel cakes might be rare, but doughnuts, cinnamon rolls and honey buns are common breakfast offerings in Middle Tennessee schools, at a time when nationwide one-third of children ages 2-19 are overweight or obese and first lady Michelle Obama pushes for healthier school meals. More

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More English language learners, more ELLs with disabilities?
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
By 2030, English language learners are expected to make up 40 percent of America's school population. With some states experiencing a 700 percent growth in the number of English learners in their schools between 1994 and 2005, the department expects the number of English learners with disabilities to increase, too. So how should schools work with a potentially growing number of students learning English who also have a disability? More

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Universal Service reform: What it means for schools
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With broadband service becoming an increasingly essential tool for participating in modern life, federal policy makers are pursuing regulatory reforms that will fundamentally refocus the government's "Universal Service" programs and related regulations to spur more broadband deployment and adoption — a marked departure from the historical primacy of circuit switched voice services. These reforms promise to give community anchor institutions, including schools and libraries, access to a wider variety of affordable broadband service than ever before. More

School's out forever for 'unschoolers'
The Associated Press via Google News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
School's never out for 14-year-old Zoe Bentley. Nor is it ever in. The perky teen from Tucson, Ariz., explores what she likes, when she likes as deeply as she chooses every day of the year. As an "unschooler," Zoe is untethered from the demands of traditional, compulsory education. That means, at the moment, she's checking out the redwoods of California with her family, tinkering with her website and looking forward to making her next video on her favorite subject, exogeology, the study of geology on other planets. More

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Feds loosen rules on cutting special education spending
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
School districts that want to reduce special education spending from one year to the next without restoring what was cut now have the blessing of the U.S. Department of Education. In the past, federal law was interpreted to mean that once a district set its special education budget, it could not be reduced permanently except for very specific reasons. One of those exceptions to the so-called maintenance-of-effort rule were limited to decreased expenses, such as when an experienced, highly paid special education teacher retired or a high-needs student left a district. Cutting the special education budget for other reasons meant a district was running the risk of losing its share of federal funds. More

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Bullying law puts New Jersey schools on spot
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Under a new state law in New Jersey, lunch-line bullies in the East Hanover schools can be reported to the police by their classmates this fall through anonymous tips to the Crimestoppers hot line. In Elizabeth, N.J., children, including kindergartners, will spend six class periods learning, among other things, the difference between telling and tattling. More

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Los Angeles middle schoolers get a lesson in the legal system
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A mock trial focusing on cyberbullying is the culmination of a 10-week series on the legal system for Los Angeles middle school students. Prosecutor Alondra Carrillo stood before a jury with a harrowing tale of social media gone wrong. It was a case of a jilted eighth-grade boy, devastated when his former best friend not only turned down his invitation to a dance, but also laughed at him. He was humiliated, and he told her she would pay for spurning him. And after the boy took his anger to Facebook, the prosecutor told jurors, the girl paid dearly. More

Wisconsin teacher retirements double after cuts to benefits and collective bargaining
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When students return for the first day of school across Wisconsin, many familiar faces will be gone, as teachers chose retirement over coming back in the wake of a new law that forces them to pay more for benefits while taking away most of their collective bargaining rights. Documents obtained show that about twice as many public school teachers decided to hang it up in the first half of this year as in each of the past two full years, part of a mass exit of public employees. More

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New Jersey set to pilot new teacher evaluation systems
The Star-Ledger    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Every child deserves a great teacher. New Jersey — which ranks among the top states in the nation in student achievement — is making great strides in delivering on that promise. Research shows that the effectiveness of the teacher in front of the classroom is the most important in-school factor affecting student learning, and we owe an enormous debt of gratitude to our teachers for our children's success. More



Win $5,000 to promote global awareness at your school
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Apply today for the 2011-2012 Sharing the Dream grant program. The NAESP Foundation, with the MetLife Foundation, will awarding 25 elementary and middle schools with $5,000 each to create projects focused on global engagement. Applications are due September 21. More

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Join the MOVEment — tools from Let's Move in School
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Shake things up in your school this fall with resources from Let's Move in School. Check out videos, monthly webinars, evaluation tools for principals and online toolkits to help boost physical activity in your school community. More

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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 Cynthia Rosso at crosso@naesp.org.
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