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K-12 education funding: Most states at levels lower than pre-recession, cut spending this year
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Most states have cut state funding for schools this year, and a majority of states are funding K-12 education at levels lower than before the recession, after adjusting for inflation. A survey published by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities examined 46 states — where 95 percent of the country's elementary and secondary students reside. Delaware, Idaho, Indiana and Washington were excluded because the way they report funding data makes historical comparisons difficult, the researchers note. More

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Panel examines education technology, personalized learning
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
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Education policy in the United States should change and adapt to digital technologies that make personalized learning a reality. Greater access to high-quality education is much-needed, said Darrell West, a Brookings Institution senior fellow and the panel moderator, during "Educational Technology: Revolutionizing Personalized Learning and Student Assessment." More



In schools, yoga without the spiritual
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
TO "om" or not to "om": For those who teach yoga in schools, that is a question that arises with regularity. The little syllable, often intoned by yoga students at the beginning and end of class, signifies different things to different people. But with its spiritual connotations, it is a potential tripwire for school administrators and parents, along with "namaste" and other Sanskrit words, chanting and hands in the prayer position. More

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Help wanted: Coalition seeks writers for new arts standard
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Ever looked at a set of standards and thought to yourself: Why on Earth did they include that? Or, I can't believe they left out XYZ. A national coalition is looking for a few good men and women to help write a set of "next generation" standards for arts education. Actually, to be more precise, it's trying to recruit 40 content experts, 10 each in dance, music, theater and the visual arts. The deadline is Oct. 27 to apply for one of the spots. More

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Unleashing the scientist in the student
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
"Be careful!" shouted a seventh-grader from Coney Island's Mark Twain Intermediate School 239 for the Gifted and Talented in New York. "Don't grab him by the tail," warned another. "I think he's scared," said a third. The students were gathered around a red-backed salamander deep in the woods on Staten Island. A shiny black squiggle, it was jumping around in the cupped hands of their teacher, Aimee Kemp, who was determined to show them how she could tell it was a male. More


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Middle school girls unlock a room of their own, in miniature
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Swing open the door, and behold a tableau that perfectly captures the tween aesthetic. The polka-dot chandelier. The zebra-print wallpaper. The lime green shag rug that pulls the look together — without being too matchy-matchy, as a pre-tween might have it. But you can't go in because the door doesn't lead to a room. It leads to a locker. At middle schools across the country, metal lockers that were long considered decorated if they had photos of friends or the teen heartthrob of the moment — Shaun Cassidy years ago, Justin Bieber today — have suddenly become the latest frontier in nesting. More

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Report shows minority students suspended at higher rates
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
U.S. public schools suspend black, Hispanic and disabled students at much higher rates than others, according to a new report by a Colorado-based civil rights group. The report by the National Education Policy Center says that frequent suspensions and expulsions should "raise questions about a school's disciplinary policies, discrimination, the quality of its school leadership and the training of its personnel." The report follows several recent studies in which advocacy groups have questioned harsh school disciplinary policies. Most notably, the Council of State Governments, a Kentucky-based research organization, looked at suspension and expulsion rates for Texas public schools and found in July that nearly 6 in 10 students had been suspended or expelled at least once between seventh- and 12th-grade. More

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Why do some people learn faster?
Wired    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The physicist Niels Bohr once defined an expert as "a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field." Bohr's quip summarizes one of the essential lessons of learning, which is that people learn how to get it right by getting it wrong again and again. Education isn't magic. Education is the wisdom wrung from failure. More

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Senators consider codifying Race to the Top in ESEA
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Race may be on for a while longer. Race to the Top, the competitive grant program first created under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, would become an authorized part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or ESEA, under a draft of Senate education leaders' reauthorization proposal circulating around Washington. So far, states have split a total of $4 billion in Race to the Top grants, which further some of the Obama administration's top school reform priorities. More

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Why school reform can't ignore poverty's toll
The Washington Post (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Some school reformers are fond of saying that "great teaching" can overcome the effects of living poverty on children, and that those people who insist that poverty matters are only supporting the status quo. But the bottom line is that pushing school reforms that are obsessed with standardized test scores and do nothing to address the emotional, physical and social needs of needy children are bound to fail. More

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Despite support, prospects are slim for federal bullying law
Minnesota Public Radio    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Despite the high profile of bullying over the past two years — including a White House summit to discuss the issue — prospects for a federal bullying law are dim. It's not for a lack of proposals. At least six bills have been introduced in Congress this year that would boost the federal government's role in bullying prevention. They range from allowing a grant to be used for anti-bullying efforts to enacting federal protections for gay and lesbian students. More

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Flexibility on tutoring pleases districts, worries industry
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Department of Education's plan to grant states broad flexibility under the No Child Left Behind Act will free up as much as $800 million in money school districts now must set aside for tutoring students, but may mark a significant financial blow to an education industry that has grown up around serving low-performing schools. Somewhere in the middle of this policy debate, an estimated 600,000 students nationwide, at least this school year, are taking advantage of free tutoring from providers of their choice because they go to schools that have failed to hit their academic goals under the law for at least two years in a row. More

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Sen. Patty Murray introduces FOCUS class size legislation
EducationNews    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
U.S. Senator Patty Murray, D-Wash., introduced the Facilitating Outstanding Classrooms Using Size Reduction Act of 2011, which Murray says would provide states with the resources they need to reduce class sizes across the early grade levels in order to provide students and teachers with an educational environment that encourages maximum student academic growth. Murray's bill will also put in place evaluation tools to assess the program's effectiveness. More



Teacher ratings linked to tests for 1st time in Delaware
The News Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Delaware Department of Education and the state's largest union representative for teachers have come to an agreement on how to rate teachers for the current school year. For the first time, student test score data will be used as one measure for rating teachers in Delaware. More

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Gov. Jerry Brown blasts data-based school reform
The Washington Post (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
article
California Gov. Jerry Brown wrote a tough indictment of data-based school reform in a message he wrote vetoing a bill that would have changed the state's accountability system for public schools. The legislation, SB547, would have reduced reliance on standardized test scores to evaluate students and schools, but Brown called the legislation "yet another siren song of school reform" and would do nothing to improve the quality of schools. 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. The school that logs the most daily minutes read will win $5,000. More

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Invest in the future: Become a mentor
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Make a difference for a new or aspiring principal. NAESP's National Mentor Program is offering three intensive mentor training sessions this fall. Don't miss this opportunity to give back to the profession — sign up today. 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.
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