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Education funding drops in more than half of states
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The recession's impact on American education has not yet dissipated, as more than half of states are slashing their education budgets this year. According to a new analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 26 states will spend less per pupil in fiscal year 2013 than the year before, and 35 are still spending at levels lower than before the recession, after adjusting for inflation. The cuts, stemming from the recession in 2007, were relied on heavily rather than a combination of cuts and revenue increases. While states balanced their budgets and saw lessened impact through $100 billion in federal stimulus money for education, the funding dried up at the end of the 2011 fiscal year. More


Study: Academic success in special education not linked to spending
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The amount of money spent by school districts on special education varies greatly around the country, and some districts that spend less than others are getting better academic results from students, according to a study. The study, sponsored by the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Institute, suggests that some districts are overspending on special education, which has become a growing segment of school budgets around the country. If all districts spent the median amount on special education, it would save $10 billion a year, according to the study, which was written by Nathan Levenson, a consultant and former school superintendent. More

Educator cadres formed to support Common Core assessments
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
One of the groups designing tests aligned to the Common Core State Standards has launched a major effort to help state teams of educators understand — and be able to translate for their peers — what the new assessments will entail for classroom instruction. The Educator Leader Cadres, as the initiative is known, is effectively a nod by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers to respond to the concerns of scholars and practitioners. They say that teachers' practices are unlikely to change without widespread understanding of the standards' new academic demands, as well as how those demands will be measured. More

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Can a new building save a failing school?
NPR    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When students and teachers at School 16 in Rochester, N.Y., start the new school year in a newer school building, they'll leave their old building's laundry list of infrastructure problems behind. As teachers finish unloading boxes and setting up their new classrooms, they hope the newer, nicer digs will give students renewed pride in their school. Education experts say the move could also bring a bump to the school's flagging test scores, because better school buildings actually improve academic performance. More

How to launch a successful BYOD program
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As more schools start to integrate their own mobile learning strategies and Bring Your Own Device policies, one school district in a suburb of Houston has managed to come up with what appears to be a successful BYOD program. Katy Independent School District has a student population of 63,000 students and 56 schools — elementary, middle and high schools. There are 83 languages spoken by students in the district and 31 percent of the student population is on free or reduced lunch programs. More

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Back-to-school gadgets: The evolution of classroom tech
Fox News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Students aren't the only ones maturing through the years: Classroom technologies and devices have continued to evolve into some pretty cool and beneficial learning tools. So don't be left with last year's it item — take a look at these new and transformed school gadgets and devices and keep up with the classroom instead. More

Guide aims to help teachers navigate copyright law
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Staying on the right side of copyright laws is one of the many challenges to finding good instructional materials. A new guide aims to help teachers and school librarians navigate those ropes. The American Library Association just released the Complete Copyright for K-12 Librarians and Educators, sparked by a survey that found a dearth of guidance on the topic. With perky cartoon illustrations and a sense of humor, it tries to give teachers the basics about copyright law so they can find and use good online and print resources without drawing the disapproving attention of lawyers. More


Lunch trays got too lean in fight against fat
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Worried that children were losing the war on obesity, New York City began to slim down its school lunch offerings several years ago, replacing fries with baked potato strips and introducing nonfat chocolate milk, whole grain pasta and salad bars, among other tweaks. In the process, the city also cut calories. So much so, city officials now acknowledge, that it often served children fewer calories than required by the federal government. More

Helping teachers manage bad behaviors in the classroom
Savanna Morning News (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Since school is back in session, some parents may find relief now that their child is not home all day. However, teachers are now faced with the issue of managing their student's behavior. Establishing discipline and order in a classroom is a very important skill in teaching. A teacher must be able to create and manage the conditions in which students can and want to learn. More

Ditching private schools
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A study released by the libertarian Cato Institute showed that students are transferring in unexpectedly large numbers from private schools to charter schools, but it framed the shift as a largely negative development. It's true, as the study reported, that such transfers cost states and taxpayers more; unlike private schools, charter schools get most of their funding from state tax dollars. More

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New York bullying episode puts focus on bus monitors
The Associated Press via The Record    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The merciless taunting of a western New York bus monitor, captured in a cellphone video viewed by millions of people, cast a harsh glare on a low-paying, less-than-glamorous job. And it didn't even show the worst of it: physical attacks, jewelry ripped from their bodies, extortion, sexual harassment — bus monitors say all are part of the risk they face every day when they climb aboard buses to try to ensure a safe, sane ride to and from schools. More

Sleep problems linked to need for more special education
WebMD    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Young children who snore or have trouble sleeping through the night are more likely to need special education, a new study shows. Researchers looked at more than 11,000 children in southwest England. They found that breathing problems during sleep, such as snoring or problems such as regularly refusing to go to bed, waking up in the night and having nightmares through age 5 were associated with a greater chance of needing special education at age 8. Overall, breathing problems during sleep were linked to a nearly 40 percent increased risk of needing special education. Children with the worst breathing problems had a 60 percent greater need for special education. More


The supplies kids really need for school
The Washington Post (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It's that time of year once more, when purveyors of school supplies begin their campaign to entice school-age children — or more precisely, their parents — to stock up on all manner of academic paraphernalia. Three popular 30-second spots from mega-retailer Target recently began filling the airwaves, harbingers of the back-to-school buying frenzy. But with the return of the back-to-school commercial genre comes a reminder that we'd do well — in our individual homes as well as in our culture at large — to take a harder look at what our children really need as they re-enter the schoolyard gates this fall. More

Education policies, funding at stake in 2012 election
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When voters go to the polls to choose the nation's next president in November, they'll be making a choice that has important implications for schooling in the next four years. eSchool News asked a pair of political scientists to analyze the education philosophies of the two major party candidates, and what these will mean for both students and educators — and here's what they had to say. More

As Obama is nominated, Duncan speech finesses touchy issues
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
On the night President Barack Obama's name was formally placed in nomination for re-election, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan used his high-profile Democratic convention speech to tout the president's work to avert teacher layoffs and revamp student loans. But the education secretary steered clear of mentioning charter schools expansion, teacher evaluation and aggressive school turnaround — policies at the heart of the Obama administration's agenda during Duncan's tenure as secretary. More

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Ryan supports prayer in schools if states agree
The Associated Press via Yahoo News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan said that he supports prayer in public schools. The Wisconsin congressman addressed the issue during a brief stop inside a Republican volunteer center in Provo, Utah. He was in the state to attend a fundraiser. Asked by a volunteer whether he supported giving states the right to allow "prayer or pledge" in schools, Ryan said he did. "That's a constitutional issue of the states, moral responsibility of parents, education," Ryan continued. More

Mayor Bloomberg announces new text message service
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Mayor Michael Bloomberg opened schools for the last full year under his control, announcing a new text messaging service to deliver schools information. Bloomberg encouraged people to sign up for the new service by texting nycschools to 877877. The third-term mayor, who made education a priority from the start and won control of the schools in 2002, still has a lot of unfinished business in the school system. One of his biggest tasks this year will be negotiating a new teacher-evaluation system, which must be done by mid-January or the state will dock funding from the city. More


Oregon's stronger K-12 financial literacy standards still aren't ideal
The Oregonian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Oregon will try to shift that dynamic back in the other direction somewhat. That's when beefed-up standards for financial literacy take effect in public schools. They require, among other things, kindergartners to be introduced to forms of money and high schoolers to learn about insurance, consumer protections and the inherent cost of credit. That said, the Oregon Board of Education won't require students to pass tests on economics or household budgeting to earn a diploma. More

Chicago teachers union increases pressure as strike deadline looms
Reuters via Chicago Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Chicago Teachers Union, which has vowed to strike next week without a new contract, filed unfair labor practice charges against the Chicago school system, ratcheting up pressure on Mayor Rahm Emanuel to make concessions as a key deadline looms. The union also said it would not extend the strike deadline if no contract agreement is reached with the city. More

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District paying special attention to new students
Wisconsin State Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
New students and their families are getting more attention from school and community leaders in Madison, Wis., who say more effort should be devoted to easing their transition into a new school and neighborhood. Data show that the later students enter the district, the less likely they are to graduate on time and score well on state tests. More

Schools try united front to end bullying
Battle Creek Enquirer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It was at the most unlikely of places and the most unexpected of times that Battle Creek's Jeanine Flowers' past came to confront her. It came on a recent sunny afternoon Flowers, 46, spent visiting garage sales with a friend. At one of the sales, Flowers recognized the homeowner as an old high school classmate. The homeowner approached and said Flowers had bullied her, and she'd carried that pain with her nearly three decades. "I was kind of shocked," Flowers said. "I was hurt that I did something to her. I couldn't believe she'd carried it all these years. I hadn't thought about this person in years. "Bullying," she added, "sometimes you don't know what it does to people." More


Turn evidence into action with webinar next week
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
You know what they say about the "best laid plans." Make sure your school improvement plans are logical and achievable with Turning Evidence into Action: Solutions, Actions, and Implementation, the fourth webinar in NAESP's school improvement series. On Sept. 11 from 4-5 p.m. EDT, presenters Scott Bauer and David Brazer will discuss the fundamentals of action planning, implementation strategies, consequence analysis and project evaluation. Visit NAESP's webinar page to sign up or find information on other upcoming presentations. More

NAESP to hold briefing on principal evaluation
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Principals are the primary catalysts for school improvement. Creating better evaluation systems for principals has emerged as a cornerstone of education reform, and NAESP and the National Association of Secondary School Principals have been working on a framework for effective principal evaluation. On Sept.13, leading researchers will present key elements of this framework. More


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