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Can school networks keep up with demands?
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
School leaders understand the value technology can bring to the classroom, including new resources, better assessments, and the ability to gauge student comprehension. But school networks must be equipped to support new technologies if educators and students are to realize the full benefits of these changes — and new data suggest they aren’t keeping up. More


Lawmakers: Kids need more calories in their school lunches
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Lawmakers and government officials are again engaged in a food fight, this time with Republican lawmakers hungry to lift new federal limits on the calories of school lunches served to 32 million students. The lawmakers have introduced legislation targeting the "nutrition nannies" at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, contending that their "calorie rationing" is leaving students hungry. More

Common Core drives interest in open education resources
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In Utah, the state department of education is pulling together textbooks aligned to Common Core State Standards made up entirely of open educational resources, or OERs. South Dakota officials have created a repository of open education materials aligned to the common core for teachers. And at the national level, the education organization Achieve has launched a set of rubrics designed to help educators evaluate both the quality of OERs and their alignment to the common standards. More

Importance of cursive writing varies by school
Aberdeen American News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
There are no requirements for schools related to handwriting, particularly cursive writing, and schools in Aberdeen and surrounding areas each have their own ways of working it into the curriculum. So far, 45 states, including South Dakota, have adopted the Common Core standards, which set requirements for skills students must learn. "There are no state or Common Core standards for handwriting," said Aberdeen Public School District Assistant Superintendent Becky Guffin. Students in the Aberdeen Public School District are taught cursive in the third grade, usually. It's up to each individual teacher to decide whether they want to require assignments to be done in cursive. More

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Bandwidth demands rise as schools move to Common Core
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From the outside, experts, advocates and government agencies appear to be placing more than enough attention on schools' growing demand for better Internet connectivity. As one example, promoting and facilitating projects to bring more broadband Web access to schools and libraries has been a major focus of the Federal Communications Commission during the more than three years Julius Genachowski has served as FCC chairman. More

Preventing childhood and adolescent suicide
Medical News Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Suicide in children and adolescents has long been a matter of great concern to modern society, particularly for clinicians who deal with mental health problems of children and adolescents. For instance, in 1910 the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society with Sigmund Freud among the attending experts held a conference, dealing with what was perceived to be a growing epidemic of youth suicide. At the beginning of the 21st century, suicide and suicide attempts by children and adolescents continue to be a major public health problem, and topical research and surveys have clearly highlighted suicide as one of the commonest causes of death among young people. More

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Not your grandparents' vocational school
District Administration Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Manufacturing biodiesel fuel. Building a geodesic-domed greenhouse. Measuring the environmental impact of abandoned industrial canals. Green Energy Academy students first dug trenches for a stone foundation. These might well fit the mission of cutting-edge companies specializing in green technologies, or they could be part of the curriculum at an institution of advanced science and engineering such as MIT or Cal Tech. Instead, all of these projects belong to the everyday learning regime for students at some career technical education public high schools. Formerly called vocational-technical schools, these institutions have long been known for turning out auto mechanics, carpenters and cosmetologists, as well as graduates in dozens of other trades. More

Schools see gains from positive behavior approach
Disability Scoop    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A first-of-its-kind study looking at a widely-used program designed to improve behavior finds that the strategy is proving effective for students with and without disabilities. Researchers at Johns Hopkins compared the experiences of students at 21 schools using the program known as School-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, or SWPBIS, to kids at 16 schools that did not use the program over four years. They found that there were significant improvements in behavior, concentration, social-emotional functioning and pro-social behaviors at schools using the method. More


What will work in new blended learning experiment?
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As the blended learning movement grows in the U.S., schools will need to experiment with what works best in different types of settings. There's still a lot to learn about different types of blended learning models, and a new nonprofit called Silicon Schools will raise and invest $25 million toward that effort. With partial grants from the Bay Area's Fisher family (owners of Gap), and the advice of board members Michael Horn from the Innosight Institute and Salman Khan of the Khan Academy, the nonprofit, which has raised $12 million so far, aims to fund new and innovative approaches in existing blended learning programs with grants to each school. More

Low income students' test scores leap 30 percent with smartphone use
Mashable    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Cellphones are banned from many schools — at least from the classroom — because students play games, text friends and do other activities that distract them from learning. But mobile technology for students in a classroom setting isn't always a hindrance to good grades and learning. Qualcomm's Wireless Reach Initiative aims to conquer the digital divide between those who can and can’t afford wireless Internet access. After smartphones were distributed to low income students, standardized test performance drastically increased because students could more easily communicate with their peers and access information throughout the day (and night). More

A little bit of extra sleep pays off big for kids
WebMd    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Twenty-seven minutes. That's how much extra sleep a school-aged child needs per night to be brighter and more productive the following day. According to a new study, kids who slept that extra amount each night were less impulsive, less easily distracted, and less likely to have temper tantrums or cry often and easily. By contrast, losing just shy of an hour's worth of sleep had the opposite effects on behavior and mood. More

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10 important questions to ask before using iPads in class
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When it comes to deciding how or whether to use iPads, schools typically focus on budget issues, apps, networking logistics, check-in and check-out procedures, school and district tech-use policies, hardware precautions and aspects of classroom management. But it's also important to think about instructional use. More

Return-to-work program avoids myths
District Administration Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Which of the two parts of your workers' compensation program costs the most: the medical treatment for work-related injuries or lost wage replacement (or indemnity). Historically, the indemnity payments accounted for most costs, but recently, the steady rise in medical costs has driven your workers' compensation costs. The discussion may be academic in that the two are often interdependent: if employees are under active medical treatment, it is much harder to bring them back to work. This, in turn, causes indemnity costs to continue. While a good safety program will lower the frequency and severity of claims, accidents will occur. How your risk manager responds to the resulting injuries defines the maturity of your risk model. More

Wireless experts: Time to move beyond the device
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
By 2016, 85 percent of all broadband service will be mobile instead of fixed broadband. Last year, there were more smart phones (472 million) than PCs (353 million). These were just some of the eye-opening statistics that kicked off the Wireless Reach Initiative in Washington, D.C. The Wireless Reach Initiative — produced by the Wireless Education Technology Conference and Qualcomm Inc. — is in its third year. More


Got engineers, America? Have your kids study Lego bricks in school
Forbes    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
BrickCon 2012 was still disassembling it's last Lego brick structures in Seattle. 2012 marks the 10th anniversary of BrickCon and the 50th anniversary of the 1962 Seattle World's Fair. This yearly convention is a gathering of Lego brick aficionados from all over the country. But, among the fellowship of the rank and file, these Lego lovers have built a popular movement from coast to coast. Its goal is nothing short of inspiring future generations of engineers in the United States, one Lego brick at a time. More

Obama, Romney have different views on education
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Glance at the two presidential candidates' education plans and you may not immediately see much of a difference. Both want greater scrutiny of teacher effectiveness. Both champion privately run, but publicly funded K-12 charter schools as well as higher academic standards. Both want more high school and college graduates and a more competitive workforce. But scratch beneath the surface and a few key differences emerge. President Barack Obama has given states freedom from the sanctions of the No Child Left Behind education law, while his challenger, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney says he supports the Bush-era law and wants to reinvigorate it. More

EPA releases guidelines for school environmental health programs
Environmental Protection Agency    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Children spend 90 percent of their time indoors and much of that time is spent in school. Unhealthy school environments can affect children's health, attendance, concentration and performance, as well as lead to expensive, time-consuming cleanup and remediation activities. The Environmental Protection Agency has released new guidelines that recommend six steps that states can take to build or enhance a school environmental health program. The guidelines also include a model K-12 school environmental health program as a resource that states can customize and share with schools and school districts to help them establish, or enhance an existing, school environmental health program. More

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IES to seed new methods for studying schools
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It can be tough to translate evidence into action in education research. A principal or superintendent might sift through academic journals or vendors' pamphlets for an effective reading program, but even a seal of approval from the federal What Works Clearinghouse is no guarantee that what helped students in one district will be successful with another. To better inform that knowledge base, the Institute of Education Sciences is crafting a new research program, called "continuous improvement research in education," to go beyond "what works" and add more context to education findings. More

School choice: A subject both candidates support
NPR    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The right to choose the school you want your child to attend has been the subject of court battles and bitter political debates. Still, both President Barack Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney have made school choice a cornerstone of their efforts to reform public education. Romney says he wants to give every student trapped in a failing school the chance to attend a better school. He supports private-school vouchers in states where they're allowed, but his main focus is on creating more public-school choices. Romney says he'll make sure the billions of dollars the federal government spends on low-income kids goes to the schools parents choose. More


Obama administration approves Idaho's request for NCLB flexibility
U.S. Department of Education    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Obama administration approved Idaho's request for flexibility from No Child Left Behind in exchange for state-developed plans to prepare all students for college and career, focus aid on the neediest students, and support effective teaching and leadership. With the addition of Idaho, 34 states and the District of Columbia have now joined in a nationwide, bipartisan movement toward next-generation education reforms that go far beyond No Child Left Behind's rigid, top-down prescriptions. More

Seeking aid, school districts change teacher evaluations
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In an exercise evoking a corporate motivation seminar, a group of public school teachers and principals clustered around posters scrawled with the titles of Beatles songs. Their assignment: choose the one that captured their feelings about a new performance evaluation system being piloted in their district. More

Pittsburgh schools phase in new standards, including tougher math for 5th grade
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Fifth-grader Kassidy McKown does lots of things after her sixth-grade sister, Riley. But in math class, Kassidy is getting the first shot. Kassidy and her classmates at Pittsburgh Concord K-5 in Carrick just finished a unit on data and graphs that her sister's classmates at South Brook Middle won't tackle until later this school year. Kassidy, who enjoys finding the mean and range, is proud of her accomplishments. "It makes me feel bigger," she said. This school year, Pittsburgh Public Schools teachers are expected to teach — and fifth-graders expected to learn — both fifth- and much of sixth-grade math as the district makes changes to make way for the K-12 Common Core State Standards. More

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Florida officials defend racial and ethnic learning goals
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When the Florida Board of Education voted to set different goals for student achievement in reading and math by race and ethnicity, among other guidelines, the move was widely criticized as discriminatory and harmful to blacks and Hispanics. But the state, which has been required to categorize achievement by racial, ethnic and other groups to the federal government for more than 10 years, intends to stand by its new strategic plan. Education officials say the targets, set for 2018, have been largely misunderstood. The end goal, they say, is that all students will be reading and doing math at grade level by 2023; the six-year goal is an interim step. More

Some California schools ban popular snack, Flamin' Hot Cheetos
Fox News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Several Pasadena, Calif., schools have banned the popular snack, Flamin' Hot Cheetos, from the schools, KTLA reported. School officials said the snack doesn't have enough nutritional value — each bag has about 26 grams of fat and one-fourth the daily recommended sodium intake. Older students at Pasadena Unified School District have already been depleted of their choices of candy and junk food. Andrew Jackson Elementary School in Pasadena said any student who brings the snack to school will have the item confiscated. More

National Distinguished Principals recognized today in Washington, DC
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
NAESP's National Distinguished Principals program honors outstanding elementary and middle-level administrators from across the country. This week, 60 extraordinary school leaders are being recognized in a celebration in Washington, D.C. Read more about this year's honorees. More

Magazine archives open for National Principals Month
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In honor of National Principals Month, NAESP has opened the 2011-2012 archives of "Principal" magazine. NAESP members always have access to the archives, but in October, any educator can peruse the pages of the award-winning magazine. Don't miss stories from the "Unlocking Autism" series, the entire issue devoted to best classroom practices, strategies from the most dynamic voices in education, and more. More


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