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Classroom 'crisis': Many teachers have little or no experience
msnbc.com    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
article
As children around the country settle in for the new school year, millions of them are sharing more than desks, sandwiches and sniffles. Chances are good that they are being taught by teachers with little or no experience. The odds that a child will be taught by a new teacher have increased dramatically over the past two decades. In 1987-1988, the most common level of experience among the nation's 3 million K-12 public school teachers was 14 years in the classroom. By 2007-2008, students were most likely to encounter a teacher with just one or two years of experience. Experts attribute the experiential decline to numerous factors, including the widespread retirement of Baby Boomer teachers, added demands due to programs like "No Child Left Behind" and teachers leaving to pursue better-paying opportunities in other fields. More

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No Child Left Behind: 'Revolutionary,' controversial idea
National Public Radio    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
President Barack Obama recently announced big changes to the Bush-era education law. Steve Perry, principal of Capital Preparatory Magnet School in Hartford, Conn., says the law is still a good idea, and it made his teachers pay attention to all students. Author Peg Tyre says the law focused the nation on the achievement gap but turned many schools into "test prep factories." Both speak with guest host Jacki Lyden. More



Study: Students' knowledge of Civil Rights history has deteriorated
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
article
When Julian Bond, the former Georgia lawmaker and civil rights activist, turned to teaching two decades ago, he often quizzed his college students to gauge their awareness of the civil rights movement. He did not want to underestimate their grasp of the topic or talk down to them, he said. "My fears were misplaced," Bond said. No student had heard of George Wallace, the segregationist governor of Alabama, he said. One student guessed that Wallace might have been a CBS newsman. That ignorance by American students of the basic history of the civil rights movement has not changed — in fact, it has worsened, according to a new report by the Southern Poverty Law Center, on whose board Bond sits. The report says that states' academic standards for public schools are one major cause of the problem. More

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'Sesame Street' now brought to you by letters S-T-E-M
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In a bid to give young viewers a leg up in math and science, the producers of Sesame Street want to help the very young think like scientists. It's a response to international rankings that show U.S. kids slipping when it comes to basic math and science knowledge. Research compiled by Georgetown University's Early Learning Project found that Sesame Street helps kids' school-readiness, and that much of the academic advantage lasts into high school. More


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Study: Student test scores should be used to rate teachers in teams
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Standardized tests should rank students by percentile and rate teachers in teams, according to a new policy brief by Derek Neal, an economics professor at the University of Chicago. "I'm very opposed to ever using this [data] to give individual scores for teachers," said Neal. Educational research like Neal's is appearing as standardized tests have become more important to school funding decisions and play a larger role in the evaluation, hiring and firing of teachers. At least 26 states now mandate teacher reviews that take standardized testing into account. More

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How to fix the mess we call middle school
The Washington Post (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Elementary schools and high schools are tough enough to run, but middle schools are a problem unto themselves. Nobody quite knows what to do with students who are of age to be in what we call middle school. What we know about the developmental profile of kids from age 11 to 14 tells us that a traditional academic classroom experience is not the best option. Puzzled educators have experimented for decades with the K-8 model, junior highs, middle schools (different from junior highs because they have earlier grades) and then back to the K-8 model. More

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How do you find good educational apps?
KQED    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Looking for educational applications for your mobile phone, tablet or laptop? There are plenty of apps out there, and a number of stores where you can find and download them. But even if a store has an education category, that doesn't necessarily make it easier to locate quality apps — apps for teaching pre-schoolers the alphabet end up grouped alongside those for studying calculus. So, how do you find the best ones? KQED readers weigh in. More

What schools can do about bullying and cyber bullying
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It's not the kind of letter you would think the secretary of education would get, but Arne Duncan said he gets them all the time."I'm being bullied at school and on the bus, and I'm afraid of telling somebody because they might hear about it and do something bad to me," a girl from Texas wrote in a letter to the Obama administration’s top education official. Such things are happening in schools across the country, and in the wake of the suicide of 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer of Amherst, N.Y., Duncan and other education experts say schools must confront the bullying problem head on, lest they risk more young lives. More

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Roadmap to winning an NCLB waiver
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Although Education Secretary Arne Duncan holds the ultimate power in choosing which states get a No Child Left Behind waiver and which don't, a group of outside judges will wield a tremendous amount of influence in deciding states' fates. And now, the very important peer review guidebook is out from the department, which issues instructions to the judges as they evaluate each state's waiver plan. This document outlines (almost) exactly what states have to do to win the judges over and get coveted flexibility under NCLB. More

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One school says no homework — just free reading
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Two years ago in a column on how schools could save money, Jay Mathews suggested replacing elementary school homework with free reading. "Throw away the expensive take-home textbooks, the boring worksheets and the fiendish make-a-log-cabin-out-of-Tootsie-Rolls projects," Mathews wrote. To his surprise, one elementary school principal in Montgomery County, Maryland took his advice, scrapping regular after-school assignments in favor of free reading and other unorthodox requirements. More

Recession upends dreams of aspiring teachers
The Associated Press via Google News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Stay-at-home-mom Cindy DePace was just hitting 30 when she decided to return to the work force by going back to school and becoming a teacher. She loved working with kids, could be home in the summer with her own children and had always heard that someone with an education degree would never have trouble finding a job. Five years later, she has a degree in early childhood education and tens of thousands of dollars in student loans to repay, but no teaching job. Instead, she files records at a law firm in South Carolina's capital. More

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Healthful vending machines are increasing, but do they help?
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Imagine: You're hungry for an afternoon snack, just a little something to hold you over until dinnertime. You head down to the vending machine, drop in your change and walk back to your desk with ... yogurt, some trail mix and a piece of fresh fruit. That's not quite the reality in most workplaces — at least not yet. But more and more vending machine companies are swapping out cookies and candy for granola bars and rice cakes. More

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Bill comes due on Race to Top's varied goals
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Winners of the $4 billion Race to the Top jackpot committed to grand goals in using the federal grants to raise student achievement, as measured by higher test scores, narrowed achievement gaps and increased graduation and college-going rates — all in four years. Now comes the hard part: With the money in hand, the 11 states and the District of Columbia must deliver on those goals, which often involve making leaps in student achievement at a record-setting pace. For most states, that amounts to a long shot. From the U.S. Department of Education's perspective, that may not be a bad thing. More

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No Child Left Behind option meets praise and caution
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
President Barack Obama is offering to free public schools from many of the requirements of a controversial federal education law. But as states consider whether to take him up on it, they're realizing the offer comes with some costs. Obama said he would give states a pass on much of the 2002 No Child Left Behind law — most notably the requirement that students make large annual gains on math and reading tests. He also would waive the requirement that virtually every student be "proficient" in the two subjects by 2014. More

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Coming together to dismantle education reform
TIME (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new consensus is emerging in education politics. But can the center hold? And would reformers even want it to? Bipartisanship is supposed to be a good thing — except for when Republicans and Democrats come together to try to paper over our education problems. More

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In message to students, Obama encourages learning
The Associated Press via CBS News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
President Barack Obama told students in a back-to-school address that they bear responsibility in helping America get back on its feet. "You're young leaders. And whether we fall behind or race ahead as a nation is going to depend in large part on you," he said in an address to high school student at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School that was broadcast live on television and online. He encouraged the students to get an education after high school. He said in tough economic times, the country needs their ideas and passion. More



Survey finds most parents support longer CPS school day idea
Chicago Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A parent-advocacy group whose members have criticized Chicago Public Schools' efforts to offer financial incentives for a lengthened school day found that most respondents to its online survey support a longer day. Raise Your Hand leaders said 68 percent of the 1,222 survey takers, made up of parents and teachers from 230 schools, said they favored a longer day. About 43 percent said they supported a longer school year. More

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Congratulations to the Class of 2011 National Distinguished Principals
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Each year, NAESP celebrates the contributions of 62 outstanding principals from across the country. Read about this year's class, which will be honored in a special program this October in Washington, D.C. More

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Read all about it — and win $5,000 for your school library
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Call on your students and teachers to rev their reading engines for NAESP and Parents magazine's Raise a Reader Contest. Register by Oct. 1 and Parents will award $5,000 to the school that logs the most daily minutes read. 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.
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601   Download media kit
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