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Curriculum    School Leadership   Federal Advocacy & Policy   In the States   Association News   Buy Books   Contact NAESP


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State education funding lags behind pre-recession levels
U.S. News & World Report
Despite incremental increases in state support for K-12 education, funding levels still trail those before the Great Recession in 2007, according to a report released Thursday by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Overall, 30 of the 47 states analyzed are providing less per-pupil funding for K-12 schools this school year than they did before the recession. In 14 of the states, funding has been cut by more than 10 percent, the report says. In addition to the slow recovery of funding, at least 20 states cut their support for K-12 education compared to last year, the report found.
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Chain reaction: Concern about Ebola nurse's flight prompts school closings in two states
The Washington Post
Now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is busy tracking 132 passengers who traveled on a Frontier Airlines flight with Amber Vinson, the second healthcare worker who tested positive for Ebola after caring for Duncan, who died earlier this month. The nurse went from Cleveland back to Dallas with a low-grade fever. And the next day, the plane took five more trips before Frontier Airlines was notified late about Vinson. Many are now concerned about exposure. A flight crew is on paid leave. Schools in Ohio and Texas have shut down. Students who were on the flight have been asked to stay home. At least one person has put himself in isolation.
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Ensuring early reading literacy
District Administration Magazine
A reading interventionist might be a district’s best friend. Lake Orion Community Schools in Michigan broke new ground two years ago with its Kindergarten Reading Early Intervention Program. The unique initiative pairs full-time reading interventionists with teachers in Lake Orion's 24 kindergarten classrooms to boost the early literacy of the district's youngest students. "Our educators are encouraged to think outside of the box to enhance student achievement," Superintendent Marion Ginopolis says.
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Providing feedback to English learners: Why, when and how
By: Erick Herrmann
The question of how much and what type of feedback for students is sometimes unknown or doubted. "Good job!" "Excellent Work!" "Way to go!" All of these phrases are commonly heard in schools. Yet these empty phrases do not provide students with the information they need to reflect upon what they have done well, what their strengths are, the errors they have committed and what they need to do to improve.
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Studying with quizzes helps make sure the material sticks
MindShift
Roddy Roediger is a psychology professor at Washington University in St. Louis and runs the school's Memory Lab. He's been obsessed with studying how and why people remember things for four decades. About 20 years ago, Roediger was running an experiment on how images help people remember. He separated his subjects into three groups and asked each group to try to memorize 60 pictures. The first group just studied the pictures for 20 minutes. The second studied them for most of that time, but was asked to recall the pictures once during the session. But Roediger tested the third group on the pictures three times over the 20 minutes.
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Kids get better grades when they share similarities with teachers
The Atlantic
The teacher-student relationship impacts every aspect of the educational experience. When students don't feel safe, respected, or truly known by their teacher, they are less likely to invest and engage in their education. Conversely, when teachers feel distanced from or distrusted by their students, it's nearly impossible to muster the enthusiasm to walk into the classroom each day, let alone instill motivation or investment in our students.
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Competency education: Frequently asked parent questions
Connected Principals (commentary)
Brian Stack, a contributor for Connected Principals blog, writes: "I have worked for a school district and a high school that made the transition from a traditional to a competency based grading and reporting system about five years ago. As one of the early adopters of what has now become a national educational reform movement, my fellow administrators and I often get inquiries from colleagues around the nation who are looking for advice as they make a similar transition in their own school or district."
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How should professional development change?
Edutopia
Teachers in the United States have long known that there is a traditional "disconnect" between what teachers were expected to do and how the teachers were expected to learn how to do it. Teachers attend professional development sessions of all kinds, but unfailingly will acknowledge that the real development of teacher skills for most teachers in the U.S. is "on the job" or "learning by doing." Job-imbedded professional development through teacher collaboration is becoming a more significant factor in more and more school systems worldwide.
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How far is too far for kids to run?
The Atlantic
For out-of-shape kids, inadequate physical activity — a leading risk factor for mortality across all ages, according to the World Health Organization — can have lasting ramifications for future health. All over the world, researchers are finding significant annual declines in cardiovascular fitness among adolescents. As a whole, today's youth are spending less time than generations past on stick ball, tag, and other types of free play and exercise, such as walking or bicycling, and more time with computers and smartphones. As a result, after-school activities such as organized sports now provide the majority of physical activity for growing children.
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Which are the most educated cities in the US — and why?
By: Archita Datta Majumdar
As education policies are being reviewed across the country, a recent survey shows us the most educated cities in the U.S. and their not-so-fortunate counterparts. It presents a clear picture of which states and schools districts have been more focused and whose efforts have paid off. The final picture depicts Ann Arbor, home of University of Michigan, to be the winner. The survey has acted as a wake-up call for many cities and school districts.
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Easy steps to OER creation
eSchool News
Open educational resources offer educators a chance to align learning materials to students' needs–and teachers can create their own OER through a surprisingly straightforward process, using materials they likely have in abundance in their classrooms. OER are commonly considered resources that are freely shared and able to be modified and redistributed. Educators can use OER in small bits to supplement textbooks or other learning resources, or they can use OER to replace traditional textbooks and revamp classroom instruction.
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As apprentices in classroom, teachers learn what works
The New York Times
Monica DeSantiago wondered how in the world she would get the students to respect her. It was the beginning of her yearlong apprenticeship as a math teacher at Berkley Maynard Academy, a charter school in this diverse city east of San Francisco. The petite, soft-spoken DeSantiago, 23, had heard the incoming sixth graders were a rowdy bunch. She watched closely as Pamela Saberton, a teacher with seven years' experience in city public schools and DeSantiago's mentor for the year, strolled the room. Saberton rarely raised her voice, but kept up a constant patter as she recited what the students were doing, as in, "Keion is sitting quietly," or "Reevan is working on her math problems."
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Robotics enters K-12 classrooms
eSchool News
The lesser-known elements of STEM are enjoying the limelight right now, with computer science and coding moving to the top of educators' priority lists. Robotics, too, is following suit—the subject is quickly catching on in schools across the nation as programming emerges as a way to introduce project-based learning, problem solving, and critical thinking into classrooms. When students have fun participating in STEM subjects in the early grades, that enthusiasm remains, and keeps students engaged as the subjects get tougher in high school and college.
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Schools pave their way to the cloud
EdTech Magazine
A teachable moment has arrived. As schools continue to struggle with funding shortages, cloud computing services can drive cost savings and enhanced capabilities often not available onsite. Research from the Current Analysis advisory firm shows that, compared with other industries, educational organizations are twice as likely to adopt public-cloud solutions. Although the trend is clear, technology advocates still must document and explain how cloud-driven savings and efficiencies translate into improved teaching and learning in the classroom.
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How would some experts design K-12 accountability from scratch?
Education Week
There's been a lot of attention lately on tests. State and district leaders say they want to cut out the ones that are redundant and unhelpful. And former President Bill Clinton (and both teachers unions) had advocated for testing only in certain grade spans, not every year. Now Linda Darling-Hammond, a Stanford professor often identified with the progressive wing of the Democratic party, and others, including Gene Wilhoit, the former executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers, have come out with a proposal that envisions a new approach to accountability and testing.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    How to cultivate a bully-free community (Edutopia)
How do teachers kill the joy of reading for students? (Slate (commentary))
Teaching math to people who think they hate it (The Atlantic (commentary))
Who is responsible for IEP goals? (By: Pamela Hill)
Children with dyslexia can succeed in school (The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.




Study: Kids likelier to take ADHD drugs in school year
USA Today
After a decade of education reform, U.S. public schools are refocused on basic academics and the needs of low-income and minority students. Could that transformation be leading more kids to take medication to pay attention in class? A new study finds that children are about 30 percent more likely to take a stimulant like Ritalin for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder during the school year than in the summer.
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Next-generation accountability systems
Center for American Progress
Over the past six years, there has been a significant shift in education. States recognized that students were not being taught at levels that adequately prepared them for college and careers and stepped up to develop and implement more rigorous standards. As part of this transition, states have also committed to better supports for educators to adapt to the new standards, better assessments to measure student learning, and better accountability systems to understand where schools are struggling and how to help them improve.
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Push to limit federal test mandates gains steam
Education Week
For more than a decade, teachers, administrators, students and even parents have criticized the No Child Left Behind Act — and, now, the Obama administration's waivers under that law — for giving too much weight to standardized testing and forcing students to take too many exams. That critique hasn't gotten very far in Washington. But there are signs that the movement to limit the number of federally mandated tests students take may be gaining momentum — and it could pick up more steam as the Obama administration draws to a close and the 2016 presidential election begins in earnest.
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Ensuring early reading literacy
District Administration Magazine
A reading interventionist might be a district's best friend. Lake Orion Community Schools in Michigan broke new ground two years ago with its Kindergarten Reading Early Intervention Program.

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Maximizing PLC time to flip your class
District Administration Magazine
Recently, we have been talking with a number of people about how to best implement flipped learning, and one hurdle mentioned over and over by teachers is that they do not have enough time.

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5 apps for today's administrators
eSchool News
Leading a school or a school district is, understandably, an important and critical job. Today's school administrators must keep up to date with learning trends, instructional strategies, technology initiatives, and everything in between.

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State and district leaders vow to reduce testing, stick with yearly assessments
Education Week
State school chiefs and leaders from big-city districts committed to reviewing the array of assessments students take in schools and eliminating redundant tests, but they also made clear that they will not back away from annual standardized testing. At a conference call this afternoon, representatives from the Council of Chief State School Officers and the Council of the Great City Schools acknowledged widespread concerns about the frequency and quality of tests being administered in public schools, and said they will take steps to ensure the tests used are in students' best interests.
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2014 National Distinguished Principals honored today in Washington, DC
NAESP
This week, NAESP welcomed the 2014 Class of National Distinguished Principals to Washington, D.C., for a two-day awards program that will celebrate their outstanding contributions to their school communities. Established in 1984, the program honors principals from both public and private schools and schools from the United States Departments of Defense Office of Educational Activity and the United States Department of State Office of Overseas Schools for their exemplary achievements. Meet the 2014 class of NDPs and congratulate the honoree from your state.
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NAESP releases competencies for effective pre-K-3 principal leadership
NAESP
NAESP's updated, practical guide, Leading Pre-K-3 Learning Communities: Competencies for Effective Principal Practice, represents a new vision for school leadership. By applying the latest research and knowledge on child development and early childhood education, these standards set expectations for effective principal practice. The standards were launched on Thursday, Oct. 16, at Washington, D.C.'s National Press Club.
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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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