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Obama administration targets 'disparate impact' of discipline
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Federal officials are getting the word out that addressing racial disparities in school discipline is a high priority, and they plan to use "disparate-impact analysis" in enforcing school discipline cases — a legal course of action that some civil rights lawyers contend was neglected under the administration of President George W. Bush. "Regrettably, students of color are receiving different and harsher disciplinary punishments than whites for the same or similar infractions, and they are disproportionately impacted by zero-tolerance policies — a fact that only serves to exacerbate already deeply entrenched disparities in many communities," Thomas E. Perez, the assistant attorney general for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Justice, recently said at a conference on school discipline and civil rights, according to a transcript of his speech. More

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Panel says education schools overlook developmental science
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Education programs should more explicitly train teacher candidates in the rudiments of developmental science, and need policy support from states and the federal government to do so, asserts a report released by a panel convened by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. "There's just been an explosion of knowledge in development science over the last 10 to 14 years," said Robert Pianta, dean of the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville. "We know so much more about 4-year-olds' capacity in math, or the skills progression that leads to confident literacy, or the way making material relevant engages an adolescent." Mr. Pianta co-chaired the panel, commissioned by the Washington-based NCATE, which accredits about half of the nation's education schools. It included experts in teacher education, developmental science and early childhood. More



Superintendent shuffles school leadership to regain staff harmony
St. Petersburg Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
article
Karen Marler's downfall as Lacoochee Elementary School principal in Florida all started with a recommendation that the district employee relations office check out "tension" between the school's instructional coaches and its psychologist. What supervisor Elizabeth Kuhn discovered during her visit was the appearance of a staff divided and a principal unwilling or unable to mend the rift. That's a potentially big problem for a school like Lacoochee, which serves as a community focal point and whose principal as a result holds a key community leadership role. More

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Alaska school program brings peace to playground
The Associated Press via Olean Times Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Playground Peacemakers stand out at Denali Elementary School in Alsaska. But it's not just because of the bright orange vests the cadre of 32 fifth- and sixth-graders wear while on duty. What makes Peacemakers special is how they conduct themselves while interacting, playing and keeping the peace among younger students during recess. Denali principal Tim Doran is a strong supporter of the Peacemakers program. More



US Department of Education awards anti-bullying grants
Bay Area Reporter (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Department of Education announced the awarding of $38.8 million in grants to 11 states from a new Safe and Supportive School program. The timing comes just days after a media blitz about the suicides of five teenagers, at least four of whom were bullied for being gay or being perceived as gay, and one whose privacy was allegedly invaded. But anybody who knows Washington knows grants weren't made in reaction to the recent news. More

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California sees most whooping cough cases since 1955
The Associated Press via The Fresno Bee    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
More than 5,270 cases of whooping cough have been reported in California's growing epidemic, which has killed nine infants this year. A report from the California Department of Public Health found that the highly contagious illness hasn't infected this many in the state since 1955, when 4,949 cases were reported for the entire year. Whooping cough is a cyclical illness that peaks in the number of infections every five years. Symptoms are similar to the common cold, making it a challenge to diagnose. Next fall, 7th- through 12th grade students in California will be required to receive a whooping cough booster shot before starting school under a state law, health officials said. More

Statewide property tax seen as possible fix to school
finance system in Texas

Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With yet another legal challenge to Texas' school finance system lurking, some key senators say it is time the state finds a lasting fix for the broken system. Their proposed solution: asking voters to approve a constitutional amendment to authorize a statewide property tax that would replace much of the local school property tax. Senate Finance Chairman Steve Ogden, R-Bryan, said he knows that just mentioning a possible statewide property tax will stir up emotions. More

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In Baltimore, proof that school reform can be collaborative and effective
The Washington Post (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
article
Michelle A. Rhee vs. Randi Weingarten. Heroic schools reformer vs. obstructionist union boss. In much of the media and the public mind, the national debate over education has been oversimplified into a grudge match between those two strong-willed women. It's not the whole story, and it's self-defeating to think it is. That black-and-white caricature about the choices in education — recently highlighted in the celebrated documentary, Waiting for Superman, and on Oprah Winfrey's television show — confuses and undermines the discussion of how to fix urban schools. More

LAUSD to use fingerprint scans for school lunches
Daily News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Los Angeles Unified officials hope a new plan allowing students to purchase school meals with a simple press of a finger will save money, speed up long cafeteria lines and reduce the headaches caused by forgotten lunch money. But the controversial finger scan ID system has faced opposition from parents and civil liberties groups worried about student privacy. LAUSD officials said the fingerprint program will be one of several options given to all schools, which over the next 18 months will switch to cashless food sale systems. More

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North Carolina school board ditches new assignment plan
The Associated Press via The Sun News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Wake County school board in North Carolina, which voted to ditch a student assignment plan meant to replace one based on diversity, will still move toward community-based schools, says the board member who split from the coalition supporting the new plan. But the board's plan must abide by a policy that guarantees, among other things, a base school assignment within proximity to a student's home, said Debra Goldman, the board's vice chair and one of the Republicans who voted earlier to drop an assignment plan based on diversity. More

School spending is hot issue in Ohio governor's race
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Education may not be the top issue in the Ohio gubernatorial race — by virtually all accounts, that spot goes to jobs — but it's attracting considerable attention, with an emphasis on spending for schools. Gov. Ted Strickland, a Democrat seeking election to a second term, led the way in promoting an ambitious plan to revamp the state's K-12 education system, including with a school finance approach that he calls an "evidence-based model." He has said the new model, adopted last year, would over time dramatically raise the state's share of funding for education. More

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Florida schools trying to cope with class size chaos
WFTV-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
School districts are taking or preparing to take such drastic steps as increasing taxes, moving administrators and librarians into classrooms and busing students to other schools to meet Florida's class-size limits, which might be loosened by an amendment that's on the Nov. 2 ballot. Some are recalling laid off teachers, hiring lower-paid "associate teachers," encouraging students to take more online virtual courses, and putting kids from two grade levels in a single classroom. Class-size reduction advocates including teachers unions and Republican legislative leaders blame each other for compliance measures that are causing chaos, both sides agree. More



Assessment tools for principals
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Wallace Foundation and Big Thought, a Dallas, Texas-based nonprofit are developing a free virtual resource library and Web-based training protocol to help principals assess the quality of arts education at their schools. Quality instruction is essential if arts education is to fulfill its potential in helping children develop seeing and hearing skills along with habits of creativity and persistence. Participate in this important project by sharing your insights on the topic. Complete their brief survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NAESP by Friday, Oct. 15. More

Can schools take another funding hit?
NAESP (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
article
Congressional Republicans have released A Pledge to America, which is their policy agenda for running the country should one or both bodies of Congress switch to a Republican-led majority. While education policy is not specifically included in the broad agenda, the policy does include pledges for spending that would impact federal education aid. More

Next Tuesday's issue
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
On Tuesday, Oct. 12, Before the Bell will be published in the afternoon. Have a safe and enjoyable Columbus Day weekend.

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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 Kevin Craft at kcraft@naesp.org.
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601   Download media kit
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