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Nearly 900 districts to apply for Race to the Top
The Associated Press via USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Nearly 900 school districts across the nation intend to apply for a slice of close to $400 million in grants that the U.S. Education Department will distribute in support of local initiatives that help close achievement gaps and prepare students for college and a career. The department announced that 893 applicants are slated to participate in the Race to the Top-District competition. "I believe the best ideas come from leaders at the local level," Education Secretary Arne Duncan said. More

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Mainstreaming efforts praised in schools study
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A study said that the New York City Department of Education had done a good job of preparing for significant special education reforms, but it expressed concerns about whether schools had enough money and teachers had enough training to carry out the changes. The reforms are intended to reverse a longstanding practice of segregating special education students in their own classrooms and schools. Beginning this year, all special education students, except those with the most severe needs, may enroll in neighborhood zoned schools. Those schools are being encouraged to move more special education students into regular classroom settings, a process known as mainstreaming. More



Democratic platform hails Common Core, praises teachers
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Democratic Party has released its official platform for 2012, and there's at least one section that might raise eyebrows among education observers. The platform states that President Barack Obama and Democrats in general are intent on providing states and communities with the "flexibility and resources" to improve K-12 education. It then goes on to say: "To that end, the President challenged and encouraged states to raise their standards so students graduate ready for college or career and can succeed in a dynamic global economy. Forty-six states responded, leading groundbreaking reforms that will deliver better education to millions of American students." More

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The social and emotional benefits of being weirdly creative
Edutopia (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
By focusing on the shapes and sounds of Balinese musical instruments, students at Bates Middle School in Annapolis, Md., learn about radius and diameter. Test scores show knowledge retention improving; students say they enjoy learning and feel connected socially. More

'Children Succeed' with character, not test scores
NPR    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A child's success can't be measured in IQ scores, standardized tests or vocabulary quizzes, says author Paul Tough. Success, he argues, is about how young people build character. Tough explores this idea in his new book, "How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character." "For some people, [the] path to college is so easy that they can get out into life and they've never really been challenged," he tells NPR's David Greene. "I think they get into their 20s and 30s and they really feel lost — they feel like they never had those character-building experiences as adolescents, as kids, that really make a difference when they get to adulthood." More


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Students, educators praise new attendance push
The Associated Press via The Salt Lake Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
School day wake-up calls recorded by celebrities. Weekend makeup classes. Contests with laptop computers, private concerts and cars as prizes. Educators across the nation are using creative strategies as another school year gets under way to convince students and parents that regular attendance matters — and not just for grades and achievement. New research suggests missing as little as two weeks of school can put young children behind their peers, burden overworked teachers, cost districts state dollars and undermine mandates to raise standardized test scores. So many public school districts have launched campaigns to reduce all absences, not just those serious enough to warrant a home visit from a truant officer. More

Study finds many US schools are unprepared for another pandemic
Infection Control Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Less than half of U.S. schools address pandemic preparedness in their school plan, and only 40 percent have updated their school plan since the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, according to study published in the September 2012 issue of the American Journal of Infection Control. A team of researchers from Saint Louis University collected and analyzed survey responses from approximately 2,000 school nurses serving primarily elementary, middle and high schools in 26 states to ascertain whether schools were prepared for another pandemic, particularly focusing on infectious disease disasters. More

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Catholic schools feeling squeeze from charters
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The nation's Roman Catholic schools have labored for decades under increasingly adverse economic and demographic conditions, which have undermined their finances and sapped their enrollment. Today, researchers and supporters say those schools face one of their most complex challenges yet: the continued growth of charter schools. Since they first opened two decades ago, charter schools have emerged as competitors to Catholic schools for reasons connected to school systems' missions, their academic models and the populations they serve. More

Digital teaching promises to improve grades
Forbes    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Technology in the classroom is not about putting a computer on everybody's desk anymore. It's about getting the right software so students can absorb the information universities and schools are teaching. Given all the high-tech help available, increasingly students may find it tough to explain why they can't maintain a 4.0 grade point average. More

Potential pitfalls of using race in the K-12 admissions process
District Administration    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The issue of whether race can or should play a role in school admissions has long plagued school districts and the courts. As districts across the country struggle to achieve diversity in a legally permissible way, whether and to what extent race may be used remains a thorny issue. Educators searching for answers encounter a complicated body of law that often leads to more questions than answers. More


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Study explores medical exemptions from school vaccination requirements across states
Medical News Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Findings suggest that schools need to ensure medical exemptions from vaccines are granted only to children who truly need them. In states where such medical exemptions for kindergarten students are easier to get, exemption rates are higher, potentially compromising schoolwide immunity and posing a threat to children and others who truly should not be immunized because of underlying conditions, according to a study published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases. Nationwide in scope, the study found inconsistency among states in standards allowing medical exemptions from school immunization requirements. More

5 technology skills every student should learn
eSchool News (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
What are the most critical technology skills for students to learn? eSchool News recently asked their readers this question, and here's what they had to say. From having the courage to experiment with different technologies to possessing online literacy, readers said being a tech-savvy student in the 21st century is about much more than learning how to use a certain software program or device — it's about being able to adapt to what's constantly changing. More

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Tired of the same old professional development? Try Edcamps
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As educators gear up for a new school year, they'll be doing some learning of their own in professional development workshops and sessions. Unfortunately, district and school-based professional development is often described as tiresome and irrelevant, but there are alternatives. One of these alternatives that's quickly catching on is an Edcamp "unconference" — the antidote to mandated professional development. More

Can K-12 get what medicine is getting?
District Administration    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Education and medicine have seen significant increases in costs, but limited increases in benefits. Interestingly, computerization has been brought to the "back office" (record keeping, accounting, etc.) in both areas, but the front office, where doctors meet patients and where teachers meet students, has seen precious little computerization. More



Education department gears up to oversee NCLB waivers
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Now that more than half the country is operating with waivers of key mandates of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, the U.S. Department of Education must turn to overseeing a hodgepodge of 34 different state accountability systems and holding states to the promises they made to win the new flexibility. As the school year begins, states are preparing to provide their first evidence that they are implementing their plans as proposed — and are already asking federal officials if they can tweak their proposals. More


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What's a charter school if not a game changer?
NPR    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The charter school movement is now at a crossroads. More than 2 million students will be enrolled in charter schools in the fall — a big number for a movement that's barely 20 years old. The publicly funded, privately run schools have spread so fast, they operate more like a parallel school system in some places. The intention was to create labs for education experimentation. But the quality of charters and their record of success are mixed. Sometimes, the results aren't much different from their public counterparts. Original arguments against the business model have never dissipated, and now there are questions about whether charters are serving their initial purpose. More

Study engages nation's teens for insight into skipping school
Las Vegas Sun    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Playing hooky can negatively impact students' long-term academic success, but few teenagers know it, according to a national report on chronic absenteeism. About 7 million students — 15 percent of all American schoolchildren — miss a month or more of school each year, according to the Get Schooled Foundation. Truant students are less likely to graduate from high school or go to college than their more diligent peers, the nonprofit states in its report, "Skipping to Nowhere." More



Arizona reaches deal over education of English language learners
Reuters via Chicago Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Arizona has agreed to offer targeted reading and writing instruction to tens of thousands of public school students who were wrongly denied services under an English Language Learner program, the Justice Department said. The settlement resolves a complaint filed with the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights and the Department of Justice that students had been incorrectly identified as fluent in English over the past five school years or prematurely moved out of the language assistance program. More

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Denver schools recognized for professional learning communities
KWWL-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A big honor for an area school district: being recognized nationally by an educational training institute and publishing company. Denver is being called a "National Model of a Professional Learning Community at Work," by "Solution Tree." We checked into what this award means, and what Denver is doing differently to create both better teachers and students. A group of four Denver teachers, meeting in a first grade room on Wednesday morning, are part of a "professional learning community" or PLC. It's a new direction in teacher training and development the district's undertaken over the past five years. More

Schools tap local farms for produce
The Columbus Dispatch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A growing number of schools in Ohio are buying broccoli and beef from farms down the road, boosting local economies and teaching children about the value of locally grown food. "Young people have access to fresh, healthy, local food," said Julie Fox, Farm to School Program director at Ohio State University Extension. Meanwhile, farms, school cafeterias and food distributors often improve their bottom lines. "It's really a triple or quadruple win," she said. More

2-year kindergarten begins for children born in fall
Marin Independent Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Angela Kriesler's class at Novato's Loma Verde Elementary will have a lot of birthdays for 5-year-olds to celebrate this fall — 20 of them to be exact. That is because the Novato Unified School District, like districts throughout California, is rolling out a new transitional kindergarten program for 4-year-olds with fall birthdays. Required by a two-year-old state law, the program delays kindergarten for students born between Sept. 2 and Dec. 2 and gives them two years of public schooling before the first grade. The goal is to give younger students a year to learn the basics of school life, such as listening and sitting still, before they are exposed to the academic requirements of kindergarten, Kriesler said. More


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Rural school districts cope with lunchroom changes
Lake News Online    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It is common knowledge that the fresher the food, the more expensive the cost. When new federal guidelines required schools to increase the servings of fruits and vegetables and whole grains, many wondered how they will pay for it. An extra six cents will be reimbursed for the number of meals that meets the new regulations, but the question is whether six cents is enough. Some of the smaller, more rural districts may have a hard time financing the guidelines. More



School defies the odds, becomes model middle school for Oregon
The Oregonian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Though most of its students are poor and many speak English as their second language, Alice Ott Middle School will open as one of the most successful schools in Oregon. In four years, the school in East County's David Douglas School District has increased the share of its students meeting or exceeding state standards from half to 80 percent. Its improvement has been so dramatic that the state last month designated it the sole high-poverty middle school in the state worthy of being called a "model school." More

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September's PD 360 topic: Common Core
NASEP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
High-quality online professional development for your staff is right at your fingertips, thanks to a partnership between NAESP and PD 360. This month, PD360, one of the world's largest, most respected sources of on-demand learning for educators, is featuring segments on the Common Core. It's just for NAESP members, though — click here for more about accessing member-only benefits. More

Sharing the Dream grant deadline approaching
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Apply today for the 2012-2013 Sharing the Dream grant program. The NAESP Foundation, with the MetLife Foundation, will be awarding 25 elementary and middle schools with $5,000 each to create projects focused on global engagement. Applications are due Sept. 14. 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.
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601   Download media kit
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