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What's behind the culture of academic dishonesty
KQED    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
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Academic dishonesty, plagiarism and cheating are hardly new. And as the history of the banking industry and baseball demonstrate, cheating scandals aren't just limited to schools. With numerous incidents making headlines in recent months, however, questions are being raised about the validity and the pressures of standardized testing, as well as the security of testing practices. And some are asking if it's time to scrutinize the underlying behaviors and motivation for all this cheating. More

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New tack sought for teacher jobs, school modernization
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Republicans in the U.S. Senate blocked President Barack Obama's jobs plan on Oct. 11, prompting Democratic leaders to begin laying plans to divide the $447 billion package into pieces they hope will be too politically popular to oppose. Among those pieces are expected to be separate bills that would help schools hire more teachers and modernize their facilities, such as investing in high-tech science labs and faster broadband infrastructure. More



Effort to repeal California gay history law fails
The Associated Press via ABC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
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Opponents of a California law requiring that the contributions of gays and lesbians be taught in public schools failed in their attempt to qualify a ballot referendum to repeal the law. The groups wanted to force a vote on Senate Bill 48, the nation's first law requiring that public schools include gay rights milestones and gay and lesbian contributions in social studies lessons. It takes effect in January. More

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Survey: Few schools have comprehensive physical activity programs
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Less than 20 percent of K-12 schools nationwide provide their students with before-, during- and after-school opportunities to engage in physical activity, according to a survey released by the American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. Given the National Association for Sport and Physical Education's recommendation that youths get at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day, AAHPERD believes schools have plenty of room to expand their physical activity programs. More

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Academic value of nonacademics
Education Next    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With school districts struggling to keep their noses above choppy budget waters and voters howling about taxes, should schools really be funding after-school clubs, like swim teams, swing dancing, gay-straight alliances or the jazz band? As it turns out, maybe they should. There's not a straight line between the crochet club and the Ivy League. But a growing body of research says there is a link between afterschool activities and graduating from high school, going to college and becoming a responsible citizen. More

Columbus, Ohio, schools import Singapore method to improve math education
The Columbus Dispatch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
This year, Columbus, Ohio, school districts are using a new math curriculum for kindergarten through second-grade that is influenced by teaching in Singapore — a country that regularly scores at or near the top in international math tests. The U.S. ranked ninth in average scores for eighth-graders and 11th for fourth-graders on the most-recent international exams in 2007. More

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Could a new education law ever please everyone?
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The first comprehensive, bipartisan attempt to overhaul the federal No Child Left Behind Act would change the law's accountability system dramatically, focus attention on so-called dropout factories and support teachers. Yet, already some advocacy groups have voiced concerns—which begs the question: Could an NCLB rewrite ever please everyone? The bill was introduced by Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. More

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Education: Too much testing?
Los Angeles Times (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The high-stakes measurement of student progress through annual standardized tests has, in many classrooms, restricted creativity, innovation and individuality. It has emphasized the skills involved in taking multiple-choice tests over those of researching, analyzing, experimenting and writing, the tools that students are more likely to need to be great thinkers, excellent university students and valued employees. But, by pressuring schools to raise achievement, it also has ensured that more students reach high school able to read books more sophisticated than those by Dr. Seuss — which, sad to say, was a major problem a decade ago — and tackle algebra by ninth-grade. More

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Districts share progress toward 21st century learning
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Incorporating technology to enhance student learning and creating teams of stakeholders to drive innovation in all school endeavors are two of a handful of best practices that educators from across the nation shared during a recent webinar on how to develop engaging learning environments. More

Got water? Schools scramble to provide kids most basic supply
Msnbc.com    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It may not sound like much but there's a new item on the school menu: water. Across the country, administrators are scrambling to comply with a new federal requirement that free drinking water be offered at lunch as part of an ongoing push to improve the health of the nation's 49 million public school children. The solution isn't as simple as pointing kids toward the nearest water fountain. More

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No Child Left Behind waivers worry some advocates
National Public Radio    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Obama administration wants states to focus more of their attention on the lowest-performing schools, where large numbers of students are failing state tests year after year. So the Department of Education is inviting all states to apply for waivers from the No Child Left Behind law. The waivers could win relief for schools where a small number of students are falling short of federal requirements. But advocates for minority and special education students worry their students will be ignored. More

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Education policy is a local issue
The Hill (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In an apparent attempt to roll back federal mandates included in the No Child Left Behind law, the Obama administration recently announced that it will issue waivers to states to shield them from proficiency requirements included in the law and provide them with the authority to set their own achievement standards. For those who oppose the burdens placed on our schools by the federal government, the Obama administration's announcement should be considered a win. Unfortunately, as is often the case with federal policy coming out of Washington, all that glitters is not gold. More

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39 applicants lining up for NCLB waivers
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Oct. 12 was the deadline for states to give the U.S. Department of Education a heads-up that they want to apply for a waiver under the No Child Left Behind Act, and 37 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico say they plan to go ahead. These notices of "intent" to apply aren't binding — and would-be applicants can change their minds and decide to apply, or not to apply. But the list, which the department released this morning, gives an early indication of the status of waiver interest across the country. More

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During National School Lunch Week, check out what your kids are eating
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
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Settle down, everyone, and pay attention. This is National School Lunch Week, a time when we pay tribute to the school lunch. We could take this opportunity to disparage the school lunch, but so many other people have done that already, like chef Jamie Oliver and Sarah Wu, whose book "Fed Up With Lunch: The School Lunch Project — How One Anonymous Teacher Survived a Year of School Lunches" arrived. More



Texas schools sue state, saying funding is unfair
The Associated Press via Google News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
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A coalition of more than 150 Texas school districts said it has filed a lawsuit against the state over a school funding system it says is unfair, inefficient and unconstitutional. The coalition represents more than one in 10 Texas districts. It accuses lawmakers of turning a blind eye to the state's troubled school financing system for years and exacerbating the flaws this summer when they slashed public school spending by more than $4 billion to close a massive budget gap. More

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New York puts pressure on New York City schools over English language learners
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
New York City schools are broadly failing to meet the needs of many of their thousands of students who are still learning English, and they must improve or they may face sanctions, state education officials announced. "Clearly the services are poor, and the best indication of that are the student outcomes," John B. King Jr., the state education commissioner, said. As a measure of the problem, he said, in 2010 only 7 percent of the city's English language learners were found to have graduated on time and ready for college and careers. More

Chicago schools slow to embrace longer school days
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
An initiative by the Chicago public schools to expand the school day by 90 minutes is off to a slow start, garnering participation from less than 3 percent of eligible elementary schools so far and eliciting cries of unfair labor practices from the local teachers' union. Just 13 out of 482 of the district's elementary schools have agreed to waive collective bargaining rights and accept monetary incentives offered by the district to expand instruction time this school year as part of what it calls the Longer School Day Pioneer Program. More

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Proposal stirs charter school debate: Choice vs. quality?
Detroit Free Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A legislative proposal to lift the state cap on charter schools would provide parents unprecedented options for K-12 education, but some critics fear it would litter the state with ineffective, profit-minded operators. The legislation, part of a sweeping package wending its way through the Legislature, would make Michigan among the least restrictive states. Other states have lifted caps in recent years as they competed for U.S. education grants. The nine-bill package would allow charters to open in high-achieving districts, where they currently are banned, and remove the cap on the number sponsored by universities, among other changes. More



Share your insights on teacher competence
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The University of Wyoming is conducting a survey on principals' perceptions of incompetent teachers. Share your insights in this short online questionnaire. More

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Going green? Your school could be a Green Ribbon winner
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Beginning this school year, the U.S. Department of Education will recognize and reward Green Ribbon Schools, schools where staff, students, and communities have partnered to produce healthy, energy efficient, and sustainable environments. State officials will nominate schools by February. Discover more with this video announcement from Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. More

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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.

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