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  Mobile version   RSS   Subscribe   Unsubscribe Oct. 7, 2011
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Do civil rights laws apply to parochial schools?
National Public Radio    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
The United States Supreme Court hears arguments in a major case testing the rights of teachers in religious schools. At rock bottom, the issue is who is a minister and when, if ever, that individual is exempt from the nation's civil rights laws. Civil rights statutes do provide some exceptions for religious institutions. The laws allow religious organizations to prefer their own believers in hiring, for instance, and they allow churches and other religious organizations to require their employees to adhere to certain religious tenets. More


'Fed Up with Lunch' exposes worst school meals
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
In January of 2010, an elementary school teacher decided to eat school lunch every day for a year and write about it anonymously as Mrs. Q. on her blog, Fed Up With Lunch. She secretly photographed the meals, ate them and then described the taste and texture of heavily processed chicken nuggets, an unusual peanut butter and jelly sandwich that made her sick, mystery meats and reheated vegetables. She developed a following of thousands of people. More

Improved presentation of fruit in schools doubles uptake
Medical News Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Want to double fruit sales in schools? A new Cornell University study shows it is as easy as putting the fruit in a colorful bowl. According to research presented at the American Dietetic Association Conference in San Diego by Brian Wansink, professor at Cornell University, "Moving the fruit increased sales by 104 percent." This is only one of the changes proposed through the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement of the Cornell Center for Behavioral Economics in Child Nutrition Programs. More


Math-class methods multiply in Denver schools
The Denver Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Denver elementary schools use Everyday Mathematics, a curriculum designed to introduce concepts in scenarios that children relate to, such as sharing toys or shopping. But more schools are exercising the use of waivers to choose a math curriculum other than Everyday Mathematics, especially as Denver Public Schools grants more autonomy to schools through innovation status. More

Better data urged to link K-12 and postsecondary
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
If high schools are going to better prepare students for college and careers, experts say they need to track graduates enrolling in higher education, whether they take remedial courses to get up to speed, and whether they earn a degree. At a meeting, politicians from both sides of the aisle, along with educators and nonprofit leaders, discussed the importance of using data to support the college- and career-ready agenda. More

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Overzealous parents can ruin kids' sports
United Press International    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Well-meaning but overzealous parents can ruin team sports for kids — and some who start at age 3 can lose interest by middle school, U.S. researchers say. Sandra Sims of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Education said child athletes have two needs — to have fun and feel worthy. Most children should not commit, or specialize, in one sport until they are age 15. Sims recommends parents let children complete a season in one sport and then evaluate it and talk about exploring other choices. More

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Do school superintendents matter?
The Washington Post (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For the last seven years, Jack Dale and Jerry Weast ran two of the largest, most affluent and highest-performing school systems in the country. Now new people will fill those roles. What can we learn from comparing Dale and Weast? Is there some difference in their leadership that can help us understand their schools and why, or if, superintendents matter? More

8 tools for charter school entrepreneurs
Harvard Education Letter    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Charter school quality varies substantially from state to state, school to school. Nevertheless, the charter approach continues to hold promise as a potent catalyst for innovation, including empowering parents and teachers and catalyzing district school reform. At its core, strategic management for charter schools involves achieving alignment among three core elements: the mission, operations and stakeholder support. More

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The have and have nots in gifted education
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
One of the most contentious issues in public education is "gifted" services and whether there is too little or too much attention placed on academically strong students. When recently visiting the classroom of a Milken Award winner, the teacher noted that he had only 17 students in his "gifted" class while he had 27 in his "regular" class. In his affluent community, there was little difference in the abilities of most of the students in the two classes. In some cases, a point or two on some test kept the kids out of the gifted level. Did it make sense, he asked, to have such a difference in class size? More

Shortage of credentialed online teachers prompts discussions on training
The Denver Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As online education has rocketed ahead, teacher education programs have lagged in efforts to produce instructors well-equipped to tackle the virtual environment, some experts contend. Meanwhile, differences between online teaching and traditional classroom instruction have triggered debate over whether separate, additional training should be required of teachers who venture online. More


NEA likes Senate GOP's bill to overhaul NCLB
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Count the National Education Association as a fan (for the most part) of the No Child Left Behind Act renewal bill put forth in September by U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., a former Secretary of Education who has often clashed with the union. The NEA sent a letter to Alexander telling him how much it likes his take on how best to renew the NCLB law (the current version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act). More

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Obama names diva Shakira to Hispanic education commission    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Finally, an advisory commission that can compete on Dancing With the Stars. President Barack Obama has appointed Colombian-born pop sensation Shakira to his Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. Known as an accomplished collaborator — her artistic accomplices include Beyonce and Wyclef Jean — she will now be set to work making sweet educational policy music with the likes of Montgomery County Councilwoman Nancy Navarro and Arizona local school district superintendent Kent Scribner. More

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Investing in technology: The public relations problem
KQED    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Recently, the Department of Education introduced its Digital Promise, an initiative to invest in "breakthrough technologies" aimed at transforming the way teachers teach and students learn. Though the message from the top about the importance of leveraging technology seems to be clear, it's a different story on a local level. A recent SIIA study indicates a decline in what had been steady progress toward schools and universities building technology and e-learning into their frameworks. Karen Billings, vice president for Education for the Software & Information Industry Association, links this change in part to the economic climate. More


Education accountability advisors need more time to devise evaluation system in Wyoming
Star-Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A group of educators and business and state agency representatives needs more time to flesh out a system for evaluating Wyoming schools. The advisory committee to lawmakers tasked with drafting legislation for the evaluation system discussed how the performance of Wyoming students should be measured based on legislation signed this year. The committee supported a system that emphasizes college and career readiness and student achievement growth. More

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Massachusetts aims to test its youngest students
The Boston Globe    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Massachusetts is developing plans to assess students as soon as they enter kindergarten to gauge how prepared they are for school, part of a proposal to overhaul early education after a decade that saw basic literacy skills for elementary-age children across the state barely improve at all. But unlike the MCAS exams given to students in the upper grades, kindergartners — who are not expected to know how to read or write — would not be filling in bubble sheets or answering essay questions. Instead, teachers would measure students’ early knowledge of literacy and math by carefully observing and questioning them during classroom activities, meticulously documenting their performance against a set of state standards and including samples of their work. They will also take note of students' social, cognitive, emotional and physical development. More

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Report: Zero-tolerance policies pushing up school suspensions
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The National Education Policy Center finds that districts, including L.A. Unified, have increasingly suspended minority students, mostly for nonviolent offenses, over the last decade. In the decade since school districts instituted "zero tolerance" discipline policies, administrators have increasingly suspended minority students, predominantly for nonviolent offenses, according to a report released. The National Education Policy Center found that suspensions across the country are increasing for offenses such as dress code and cellphone violations. Researchers expressed concerns that the overuse of suspensions could lead to dropouts and even incarceration. More

School layoffs about to fall heaviest on the poorest and most struggling
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The pink slips have gone out, and if no deal is reached, 716 of New York City's lowest-paid workers — school aides, parent coordinators and other members of school support staffs — will lose their jobs, the latest victims of budget cuts to the public schools. Nearly 350 schools will be affected, in a scattered pattern, according to a list of layoffs by school, which was obtained and analyzed by The New York Times. More

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Troubling questions about online education in Colorado
Education News Colorado    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Colorado taxpayers will spend $100 million this year on online schools that are largely failing their elementary and high school students, state education records and interviews with school officials show. The money includes millions in tax dollars that are going to K-12 online schools for students who are no longer there. The result: While online students fall further behind academically, their counterparts in the state's traditional public schools are suffering too — because those schools must absorb former online students while the virtual schools and their parent companies get to keep the state funding. More


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. Parents will award $5,000 to the school that logs the most daily minutes read. 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 month in Washington, D.C. More






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