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Congratulations to the 2010 National Distinguished Principals
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Last week, in tandem with National Principals Month, NAESP recognized 62 elementary and middle school principals at the Association's two-day National Distinguished Principals program in Washington, D.C. Individuals in the NDP class of 2010 exemplify the highest attributes of the elementary and middle-level principalship and demonstrate significant career accomplishments; dedication to education; exemplary leadership; high standards for instruction and student achievement; and lasting contributions to their entire school communities. More

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Obama hosting science fair as part of STEM education push
Education Week (blog)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
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President Obama will yet again host an event at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to advance STEM education, this time with what's being called the White House Science Fair. The event will celebrate the winners of a broad range of student competitions in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Obama is using the bully pulpit to drum up interest and support for STEM education. He's hosted five White House events since October of last year, starting with an evening focused on astronomy that brought teachers, students, and telescopes to the White House lawn. The second was to announce the launch of the president's Educate to Innovate campaign, a public-private initiative to advance STEM education. More



Blending computers into classrooms
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
At P.S. 100 in the Bronx, N.Y., fourth-graders look intently at their laptop computers, watching a cartoon character wearing big sneakers explain prime factors. Wearing headphones, the students listen to and see the multiple-choice questions on their screens and tap in their answers. Suddenly, an instant message from their teacher pops up: "Five more minutes and then we'll review." These children get two hours a day of instruction with the aid of laptops — part of one of the largest experiments in the country to fundamentally change the way students learn in school. In the case of P.S. 100, the "blended learning" approach uses a combination of traditional teaching and a computer-based curriculum. More



Despite image, union leader backs school change
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In "Waiting for Superman," the new education documentary, the union leader Randi Weingarten is portrayed, in the words of Variety, as "a foaming satanic beast." At a two-day education summit hosted by NBC News recently, the lopsided panels often featured Weingarten on one side, facing a murderer's row of charter school founders and urban superintendents. Even Tom Brokaw piled on. It's nothing personal, really. Weingarten happens to be the most visible, powerful leader of unionized teachers, and in that role she personifies what many reformers see as the chief obstacle to lifting dismal schools: unions that protect incompetent teachers. More

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Study challenges mayoral control of schools
Bloomberg News via The Boston Globe    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Mayoral control, advocated by politicians pushing to overhaul underperforming school systems, fails to improve student achievement, according to a two-year study. The research, conducted by the Institute of Education Law and Policy at Rutgers University, looked at improvements in nine education systems where there were changes in how the schools were governed, led by Baltimore, Boston and New York City. The study will provide guidance to New Jersey policy makers as the state prepares to return schools in Paterson, Newark, and Jersey City to local control after as many as 21 years under state operation, the authors said. More



US Court of Appeals finds moment of silence law constitutional
KWQC-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A federal appeals court has ruled Illinois' law requiring a moment of silence in public schools is constitutional because it doesn't specify prayer. In its ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit ruled legislators who supported the bill said the moment of reflection had a secular and practical purpose in settling down students at the start of the school day. More

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School study sees benefits in economic integration
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Low-income students in Montgomery County in Maryland performed better when they attended affluent elementary schools instead of ones with higher concentrations of poverty, according to a new study that suggests economic integration is a powerful but neglected school-reform tool. The debate over reforming public education has focused mostly on improving individual schools through better teaching and expanded accountability efforts. But the study, addresses the potential impact of policies that mix income levels across several schools or an entire district. And it suggests that such policies could be more effective than directing extra resources at higher-poverty schools. More

US found to recruit fewer teachers from top ranks
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Countries with the best-performing school systems largely recruit teachers from the top third of high school and college graduates, while the United States has difficulty attracting its top students to the profession, a new report finds. Singapore, Finland, and South Korea draw 100 percent of their teachers from the top third of the academic pool, write the authors, Byron Auguste, Paul Kihn, and Matt Miller, of the management-consulting firm McKinsey & Co., based in Washington. But only 23 percent of U.S. teachers come from the top third of college graduates — and in high-poverty schools, that rate drops to 14 percent. More

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US schools seek role models for boys
The Globe and Mail (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
There is some debate, given that men earn more and hold more positions of power, as to whether boys are really falling behind. Do you think that in the United States the achievement gap between genders is a legitimate concern? It's absolutely a legitimate concern. In the United States you have, particularly in the inner cities, far too many young men dropping out, far too many of those who have dropped out end up getting locked up. So how we engage them, how we keep them interested in school, how we get them to care about their long term futures is hugely important. These are international issues; it's interesting how similar the problems are and how similar the solutions can be. More

Kids haven't changed; kindergarten has
The Harvard Education Letter    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In the ongoing battle over kindergarten — Has exploratory play been shunted aside for first-grade-style pencil-and-paper work? — one of the nation's oldest voices in child development is weighing in with historic data. The Gesell Institute for Human Development, named for pioneering founder of the Yale Child Study Center, Arnold Gesell, and known worldwide for its popular parenting series Your 1-year-old through Your 10- to 14-year-old, will share the results of an 18-month study at a conference in New Haven, Conn. on Oct. 15. The national study, undertaken to determine how child development in 2010 relates to Gesell's historic observations, used key assessment items identical to those Gesell created as the basis for his developmental "schedules" which were published in 1925, 1940, and after his death by colleagues Louise Bates Ames and Frances Ilg in 1964 and 1979. More

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Florida voters to weigh in on class-size limits
The Gainesville Sun    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Florida voters decided in 2002 to impose limits on the number of students in statewide classrooms. Those restrictions were fully implemented this school year, but voters will again weigh in on class-size limits with Amendment 8 on the November ballot. Approval of the amendment, which needs a 60 percent margin, would relax the state's current class-size restrictions or keep what is in place. Currently, classrooms must have no more than 18 students in grades K-3, 22 in grades 4-8 and 25 in high school. More



NAESP member featured in NBC's Education Nation segment
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left Today show's Matt Lauer interviewed Boston principal Traci Griffith, who discussed the benefits of early childhood education. More

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Let's grow NAESP together
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In a recent survey, NAESP learned that 97 percent of members would recommend membership to colleagues. That's why we are asking each NAESP member to help us grow by reaching out to fellow principals who are not members. With your help as an NAESP ambassador, we can increase awareness about NAESP and its many unique and valuable benefits, and build membership at the same time. More

NAESP 2011: Featured speakers will address creativity and positive thinking
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
You'll be inspired, motivated, and instilled with positive thinking after hearing Sir Ken Robinson, Vernice Armour and Eric Brown speak at the NAESP 2011 Annual Convention & Exposition in Tampa, Fla., April 7-10, 2011. 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 Kevin Craft at kcraft@naesp.org.
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601   Download media kit
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