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No Child Left Behind: Obama, Congress offer differing visions for education's future
International Business Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was expressing a broadly shared sentiment when he referred to the landmark No Child Left Behind education law as "a slow-motion train wreck." Now lawmakers and the Obama administration are engaged in parallel efforts to reshape the way America teaches and tests its students. Duncan was alluding to a particularly onerous provision in the Bush-era law that required schools to demonstrate 100 percent proficiency on math and science tests by 2014 or face heavy penalties. More

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Feds, companies work to close digital divide
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
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According to a recent residential broadband survey, 35 percent of all Americans and 17 million U.S. children live without access to broadband service — and while these statistics are alarming, more companies are pledging assistance and support in an effort to reduce the digital divide. Consumer Broadband Adoption Trends, the survey from high-speed internet access advocacy group Connected Nation, also showed that out of the 17 million U.S. children without broadband, 7.6 million of these are in low-income households. More



5 myths about the Common Core State Standards
Harvard Education Letter    Share    Share
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The Common Core State Standards are one of the most significant initiatives in American education in decades. Yet the swiftness with which they were developed and adopted has left educators uncertain about exactly what they are. A number of myths about the standards have emerged. More

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Fitting in exercise, between math and English
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Five years ago, Richard Reiss, the physical education teacher at Public School 197 in Far Rockaway, Queens, N. Y., went to the principal with a problem: not even the most athletic among his students, most of whom are poor and black or Latino, had enough endurance to run a mile. The once-a-week physical education classes the school offered, far from what was needed to fulfill the minimum requirement set by the state, were not cutting it. More

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Shifting the dialogue for the public at large
KQED    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In Keil Hileman's sixth-grade class, students were digging into their individual dirt piles searching for archeological artifacts, and trying to identify what they found. Did it come from land or sea? What does the shape of the artifact indicate about its origin? Hileman's class was on display in front of millions of online viewers at the Education Nation summit. Hileman has been teaching for 19 years, but his classroom is far from traditional. He teaches museum studies at Monticello Trails Middle School in Shawnee, Kan., and thinks the key to getting his students hooked on arcane historical facts is not the text book — "that's just the diving off point" — but by connecting them to the artifacts associated with those events. More

IQ can rise and fall in adolescence
Medical News Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Intelligence, as measured by Intelligence Quotient, can rise or fall significantly during our teenage years, and these changes are accompanied by changes in brain structure, according to new research published in the journal Nature that suggests the findings may have implications for the way children are tested and streamed at school. More

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Is gaming the new essential literacy?
KQED    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
"When people learn to play video games," said James Paul Gee, "they are learning a new literacy." This is one of the reason kids love playing them: They are learning a new interactive language that grants them access to virtual worlds that are filled with intrigue, engagement and meaningful challenges. And one that feels more congruent with the nature and trajectory of today's world. As our commerce and culture migrates further into this emerging digital ecosystem it becomes more critical that we develop digital literacy, of which video games inhabit a large portion. More


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Different measures of effectiveness shown to be complementary
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Both a value-added teacher-effectiveness measure and a series of scored teacher observations bear a positive relationship to students' future academic achievement, according to a recently published paper in the journal Labour Economics. In plain English, this means that when a teacher scored well on one measure of teaching ability, she also tended to score well on the other measure. That's encouraging news as states and districts go about the difficult task of designing evaluation systems that incorporate both kinds of information. More

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To balance budgets, schools allow ads
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Without ever cracking a book, students in Pennsylvania's Pennsbury School District are learning a new subject this year: marketing. Starting three weeks ago, the 16 elementary, middle and high schools are being adorned with — some say defiled by — advertisements as large as 5 by 10 feet. By month's end, 47 such ads should be in place. Ultimately, 218 are to appear on walls and floors, and shrink-wrapped over lockers, locker-room benches, even cafeteria tables. More

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Report documents charter school growth
The Washington Post (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Six school districts across the country now have at least 30 percent of their public school students enrolled in charter schools — with Washington D.C. at No. 2 on the list. And 18 systems have more than 20 percent of their students attending charters, according to a new report. The growing number of charter school students across the country underscores the popularity among policy makers and school reformers of these institutions as a key lever of school reform. More

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Brain study points to potential treatments for math anxiety
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For some students, an announcement of a math pop quiz can send them into a cold sweat. A new brain-imaging study suggests that the way they deal with that first rush of anxiety can be critical to their actual math performance. The study, published this morning in the journal Cerebral Cortex, is a continuation of work on highly math-anxious people being conducted by Sian L. Beilock, associate psychology professor at the University of Chicago, and doctoral candidate Ian M. Lyons. More

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ESEA draft ramps up role of education research
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
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A slew of quiet changes in the proposed Senate bill to reauthorize federal education law would substantially increase the role of research in federal education programs. The latest version of the bill reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, put forth by U.S. Sens. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, the chairman of the Senate education committee, and Sen. Michael B. Enzi, R-Wyo., the committee's lead Republican, was taken up by the panel after being introduced. More

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Senate saves the potato on school lunch menus
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Senate stood up for the humble white potato and rebuffed an effort by President Barack Obama to limit its consumption by millions of schoolchildren around the country. The administration has proposed limiting the amount of potatoes and other starchy vegetables that can be served in school lunches to one cup per student per week, and banning them from school breakfasts. More

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Teacher aid is 1st piece of Obama's jobs plan to get Senate vote
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Senate Democratic leaders have settled on which piece of President Barack Obama's jobs plan they want to move on first: $35 billion for state and local governments to rehire teachers, police and firefighters. "Our expectation [is] that the first measure will be teachers," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said. More

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Senate education panel debates goals, turnarounds in ESEA bill
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Senate education committee rejected an effort to change assessments and standards for students with disabilities, as it marked up a bill to renew the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It also debated student achievement goals and turnaround options for schools that fall into the bottom 5 percent of student performance. More



California school spending among lowest in the nation
California Watch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Budget shortfalls have pushed California's spending on public schools to a historic low, relative to the rest of the United States, according to a new analysis by the California Budget Project. California ranks 46th in the U.S. in K-12 spending per student. It spent $2,856 less per student in 2010-2011 than did the rest of the nation — a spending gap that is four times wider than it was a decade earlier, when the state lagged behind by $691 per student. More

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Los Angeles school principals to see teachers' effectiveness ratings
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For the first time, Los Angeles school principals will see previously confidential ratings that estimate teachers' effectiveness in raising students' standardized test scores. Los Angeles Unified officials began issuing the ratings privately to about 12,000 math and English teachers last year and plan to issue new ones this month to about 14,000 instructors, including some who teach science and history. 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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Combating obesity: What schools can do
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Leadership for Healthy Communities has released a report outlining policy approaches to reduce obesity rates. Take a look at the report for ideas on how to promote wellness within your school and community. 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.

Feedback about an article? Contact NAESP Liaison Cynthia Rosso at crosso@naesp.org.
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