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Candidates: Where I stand on education
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When voters go to the polls on Nov. 6, they'll choose from among presidential candidates who have very different views on the major issues affecting America, including education. With the election rapidly approaching, eSchool News has pulled together a summary of what each of the two major party candidates — President Barack Obama for the Democratic Party, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for the Republican Party — have said about their plans for K-12 education. More

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At school, overweight children carry a heavy burden
NPR    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
One in 3 children in the United States is overweight or obese. Significant numbers of those young people are grappling with health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Those conditions can be difficult for children to manage in any setting, but they can pose particular challenges for children during the school day. More



Paper decries 'literature deficit' in Common Standards
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new paper takes aim at the emphasis on informational text in the Common Core State Standards, arguing that it will lessen the role of literature in students' studies, harming their readiness for college. The paper urges state policymakers to require secondary-level English/language arts teachers to emphasize the literary-historical standards in the core when designing their curricula, to ensure an adequate focus on major works of literature. Co-authors Sandra Stotsky and Mark Bauerlein also suggest that states consider adding an academic standard of their own that would require students to demonstrate knowledge of such works. More

Where do educational games come from?
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Increasingly, digital games are cropping up everywhere in education. And that's stimulated a flurry of activity leading to the expectation that no longer are learning games only likely to come from traditional education companies, but a wide variety of sources. The expectation-setting stats and statements, at least, are straightforward. More

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Ohio will measure physical education
The Ironton Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Next year's state report cards will feature a new measure for Ohio schools: How their students are doing in physical education. Starting this year, Ohio schools must assess how students score on the state's physical education standards, including whether they know the correct way to exercise, understand how games are played, are active outside of school and play well with others. Results will be posted on school report cards but won't count toward schools' performance ratings. More


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Study highlights benefits of PLCs and continuous PD
Park Rapids Enterprise    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A recently published study about the sustainability of reading efforts highlights the benefits of professional learning communities and continuous professional development. "Sustainability of Professional Development in a Post-Reform Context: A Qualitative Study of Shared Leadership," by Ju Hur and Dr. Jennifer York-Barr, researched the leadership efforts and sustainability of the reform in the three years after a Reading First grant was completed in Minnesota. More

Cyberbullying law protects teachers from students
NBC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Students who do more than bad-mouth teachers, but actually bully them online by posting doctored photos or false information about them, had best not do it in North Carolina. It's now the first state that's made it a crime. While cyberbullying laws, those protecting students from others students' horrid and hurtful behaviors, are becoming more common nationwide, North Carolina's School Violence Protection Law of 2012 throws the book and the blackboard at students who go after teachers and school employees. More

Why kids need schools to change
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The current structure of the school day is obsolete, most would agree. Created during the Industrial Age, the assembly line system we have in place now has little relevance to what we know kids actually need to thrive. Most of us know this, and yet making room for the huge shift in the system that's necessary has been difficult, if not impossible because of fear of the unknown, says educator Madeline Levine, author of Teach Your Children Well. More

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Study: Renaming fruits and vegetables with catchy names convinces kids to eat them
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Renaming fruits and vegetables with catchy, attractive monikers could more easily convince children to eat them, according to a new study. Researchers at Cornell University's Food and Brand Lab tested the likelihood that students at five ethnically and economically diverse schools schools would eat items dubbed "X-Ray Vision Carrots," "Power Punch Broccoli," "Tiny Tasty Tree Tops" and "Silly Dilly Green Beans" over the same foods labeled "Food of the Day." More

Maintaining control of document access in Google apps for education
THE Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The sorry state of public funding in Michigan has got Pete Poggione being as "prudent as possible with every penny" at Mattawan Consolidated School, the 4000-student district where he works as information technology director. That thriftiness included adopting Google Apps for Education about four years ago to eliminate the district's heavy reliance on Microsoft and Novell applications for productivity applications and network management. The network has 2,200 computers — PCs, Macs and more recently Apple iPads — in use by staff and students. More


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Bleak outlook for education spending under sequestration
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As schools face ever-increasing budget dilemmas, education stakeholders are desperately hoping to avoid sequestration, or across-the-board cuts, to domestic spending next year—cuts that could devastate education programs and affect many of the country's neediest students, experts say. To avoid a government shutdown in 2011, Congress passed the Budget Control Act, which increased the national debt ceiling in exchange for a major reduction to federal deficits. Congress set limits to federal spending for 10 years and created a "supercommittee" tasked with creating legislation to reduce the deficit. More

Teachers' unions court GOP
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The strike by public school teachers in Chicago drew national attention to a fierce debate over the future of education and exposed the ruptured relationship between teachers' unions and Democrats like Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Over the past few years, lawmakers who have previously been considered solid supporters of teachers' unions have tangled with them over a national education agenda that includes new performance evaluations based partly on test scores, the overhaul of tenure and the expansion of charter schools. More

Democrats introduce bill to overhaul teacher training
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Democratic Representative Mike Honda, D-Calif., and Senator Jack Reed, D-R.I., have introduced identical bills that would reauthorize and make major changes to federal laws governing teacher preparation, including the reporting requirements, accountability provisions and TEACH grant scholarship program. The legislation has already won an endorsement by American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. Unlike the GREAT Act — the other major federal teacher-preparation proposal floating around — the new bill appears to work mostly within the heavily higher-education dominated teacher-preparation marketplace. More

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School lunch calorie maximums protested by students as House Republicans introduce bill to repeal
USDA Rules    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As the new school year begins, fresh school lunch regulations are in effect to encourage healthy eating. But not everyone's pleased. While students from Wisconsin to Pennsylvania protest their new school meals, lawmakers in D.C. are looking to put it on the books. Reps. Steve King, R-Iowa, and Tim Huelskamp, R-Kansas, have introduced a bill that would repeal the age-aligned calorie maximums imposed by new USDA school lunch guidelines, The Hill's Floor Action blog reports. More

How school stakeholders view the presidential election
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Stakeholders involved in K-12 education plan to vote for President Barack Obama in the Nov. 6 presidential election, 53 percent to 42 percent, according to an informal poll of eSchool News readers. But among those involved in private K-12 schools, the gap between Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, is somewhat smaller: 51 percent to 45 percent. More



Lawmaker: Washington state tax lawsuit is about schools
The Associated Press via The Seattle Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
State Rep. Jamie Pedersen has a message for the Washington state Supreme Court: You've told the Legislature to put more money into education, now give lawmakers the tools they need to make that happen. The court is holding a hearing on a case Pederson says holds the key to whether the Legislature can properly respond to the court's earlier ruling on the inadequacy of Washington state's education spending. More

Republican candidates turn attention to teachers in Texas
The Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The boilerplate for conservatives talking about education usually includes getting more school money into classrooms and out of administration. It usually does not edge into the dangerous ground of teacher salaries. But this year, in the wake of deep cuts in the state's public education budget, some Republican candidates are talking about getting more money into classrooms by raising pay for teachers. More


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Tests for kindergartners on their first days in school: Oregon piloting a system to screen every pupil's readiness
The Oregonian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Students who start kindergarten equipped with certain skills and knowledge are far more likely to be strong readers in grade three and beyond. Key traits include basic counting skills, the ability to follow directions and take turns, and familiarity with letter sounds and simple words. But Oregon has never had a reliable picture of how many 5-year-olds arrive primed to learn and how far behind the others are. That will change next fall, when every entering kindergartner will be screened on letter names and sounds, basic counting and addition, and behaviors that lead to school success, such as paying attention and trying hard. More

New York's teachers start year under heightened scrutiny
The Associated Press via The Washington Examiner    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The new school year brought back-to-school jitters for some New York teachers anticipating the state's new teacher evaluation law, knowing their "grades" at the end of the school year will be partly tied to student progress and test scores. But none showed signs of changing whatever they used that wasn't broke. Perka Kresic said she did not change her goal of keeping students involved. A chemistry and biology teacher in Buffalo, Kresic said she will continue having students make a graph of the electrolytes in human blood, for example, so they are more than letters on a periodic table. More

Tennessee middle schools nix graded homework, extra credit in hopes of improving TCAP scores
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In an effort to improve scores on the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools are scrapping extra credit and graded homework for middle schoolers, WSMV reports. Administrators are hopeful these measures will allow for better confirmation that students have actually mastered the material they are being taught. Under the new system, students will also have the opportunity to retake tests if they do not perform up to par the first time around. More

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Next school crisis for Chicago: Pension fund is running dry
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
One of the most vexing problems for Chicago and its teachers went virtually unmentioned during the strike: The pension fund is about to hit a wall. The Chicago Teachers' Pension Fund has about $10 billion in assets, but is paying out more than $1 billion in benefits a year — much more than it has been taking in. That has forced it to sell investments, worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year, to pay retired teachers. Experts say the fund could collapse within a few years unless something is done. More

Pulling the 'parent trigger' on school reform
U.S. News & World Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
School reform is getting the Hollywood treatment with the premiere of "Won't Back Down," which tells the story of a parent and teacher who join forces to take over a failing public school. While the scenario in the movie is fictitious, the premise is rooted in reality. Parents in Adelanto, Calif., petitioned for control of Desert Trails Elementary School under California's "parent trigger" law, with the aim of converting the school into a charter school by the 2013-2014 school year. The parents continue to fight the school board in court for control of the school. More

Texas school wants to make it easier to spank
ABC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Officials at a Texas high school plan to ask their board tonight to change a policy requiring that spanking punishments be administered only by employees of the same gender as the student to receive the punishment. That proposed request comes on the heels of outcry after a male vice principal in the district administered legal spanking punishments to female students. More


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Florida school focuses on high-tech, eco-friendly
Times-Union    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When students enter Palencia Elementary School they will be stepping into a high-tech, futuristic school focused on environmental sustainability. About 500 kindergarten through fifth-grade students will cross the xeriscaped campus of Florida's St. Johns County’s newest school, which will emphasize a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics curriculum. "We want to make the building a teaching tool," Principal Don Campbell said. More

Middle schools add a team rule: Get a drug test
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As a 12-year-old seventh-grader, Glenn and Kathy Kiederer's older daughter wanted to play sports at Delaware Valley Middle School. She also wanted to join the scrapbooking club. One day she took home a permission slip. It said that to participate in the club or any school sport, she would have to consent to drug testing. "They were asking a 12-year-old to pee in a cup," Kathy Kiederer said. "I have a problem with that. They're violating her right to privacy over scrapbooking? Sports?" More



Calling all aspiring children's authors
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Submit a manuscript now for the National Children's Book of the Year Award Contest, sponsored by the NAESP Foundation. Prospective authors are invited to submit a picture book or chapter book for children ages 3-16 by March 15. Two winning books will be published with Charlesbridge Publishing. Last year's winners are available in the NPRC Bookstore. More

Announcing the Class of 2012 National Distinguished Principals
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
During National Principals Month, NAESP celebrates the contributions of outstanding principals from across the country. Read about this year's class, which will be honored in a special program in Washington, D.C. 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.
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