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Anthony Muhammad Featured on NAESP Radio
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In the latest segment of NAESP Radio, Anthony Muhammad discusses the steps principals can take to overcome staff division and develop a school culture that is conducive to learning. Muhammad, who is one of five outstanding plenary sessions speakers scheduled for the NAESP 2011 Annual Convention & Exposition, has conducted extensive research on this subject, and his book, Transforming School Culture: How to End Staff Division, argues that without a healthy school culture, no amount of structural change within a school can produce positive results. Listen to Muhammad's interview on NAESP Radio and save $50 by submitting your Convention registration before Nov. 1. More

Study: Children need time to develop
New Haven Register via Teacher Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
If you're pushing preschoolers to read and write, you might want to reconsider and rewind back to basics, experts said. In a nation "consumed with sooner and faster," including in education, young students are being pushed academically at the expense of developing crucial social and problem-solving skills, Gesell Institute of Human Development Executive Director Marcy Guddemi said, in announcing results of a three-year study. Guddemi, who highlighted the study at a press conference as the institute prepares for its 60th anniversary year, said children are developing at the same rate neurologically as they did when Dr. Arnold Gesell did his pioneering work in the 1940s, yet, they’re being pushed to do everything sooner. More

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How recess helps kindergarteners develop
The Indianapolis Star    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
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Play — in all its various iterations — is an essential component of kindergarten. And though it is sometimes criticized by pennywise critics who question the value of taxpayer-funded classrooms for young children, educators and scholars say play is the language kindergartners know best, making it a great tool for learning. At Indianapolis Public School 61, kindergartners hear stories. They practice writing their letters. They work on their numbers. But they also get time to play. And it is amid the block towers and the playground games that teachers here say some essential learning takes place. More

The payoff from an early education
The News & Observer (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
"Early childhood education has a tremendous impact on the national economic security and the viability of the American dream." These are the words of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — not typically known for speaking on behalf of children's issues. Yet business leaders and economists are becoming some of the best advocates for young children. They know early childhood investments are critical to keeping the United States competitive in a global market. After all, their future workers are today's newborn babies. Building a strong and productive labor force largely depends on how well we baby-proof the economy today. More

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Elementary school students get boost
Gannett Tennessee Newspaper    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
At Tennessee's Mitchell-Neilson Primary School students are getting a daily boost of individualized instruction to help them better comprehend daily classroom lessons. At the beginning of the school year, Principal Robin Newell and six other instructors assessed each of the school's 300 plus students to find out their strengths and weaknesses in a host of subject areas. Teachers took their classes to the gym and, 20 minutes later, were back teaching their normal lessons. "It would have taken the teacher a week to test their entire class, which would have taken time away from their instruction time," Newell said. More



School principals in one Iowa school district take aim at
social promotion

The Des Moines Register    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
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At Iowa's Des Moines middle school students who do poorly in the classroom will have a harder time moving onto the next grade if district leaders move forward with a proposal ending social promotion. Middle school principals in the district have spent the past two years developing a uniform set of expectations for what students need to know to move through middle school and onto high school. The proposal factors in standardized test scores, classroom grades, student attendance and yearly progress in the classroom. More

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Small doses of education can make a big difference for parents
with sick children

The Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
During the last decade, UCLA health experts have helped Head Start coordinators train 45,000 low-income families in 39 states to use basic tools including reference books, digital thermometers and liquid medical dispensers to treat their children and avoid unnecessary visits to doctor's offices and emergency rooms. Now they are expanding to include training sessions at school districts. A Los Angeles-area school district is offering the training, which had previously been confined to Head Start. A UCLA study showed that from 2002 to 2006 the program reduced participants' emergency room visits by 58 percent, doctor's visits by 42 percent and missed school days by 29 percent. More



Obama signs executive order enhancing Hispanic education initiative
CNN    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
President Barack Obama signed an executive order that updates and enhances a 1990 presidential initiative intended to boost education for Hispanic students. The expanded White House Initiative on Education Excellence for Hispanics, originally launched by the administration of President George H.W. Bush, seeks to improve educational opportunities for Hispanic students at every level, Obama said in a White House ceremony. He cited alarming statistics for the largest minority group in American schools, such as fewer than half of Hispanic children attend early childhood education programs and more than half drop out of high school. More

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Education will split the Democratic Party
U.S.News & World Report (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
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Throughout an electoral season that is, thankfully, coming to a close, the media remained fixated on a phenomenon that an increasing number of pundits and academics think may render the Republican Party asunder: The rise of the Tea Parties. The story line continues to evolve. On some days, we are told that the Tea Party will expand its influence within the GOP until it has achieved total dominance. On others, we are led to believe that this is a movement "without a head" that spouts up in response to rising deficits and government spending as do mushrooms around a tree after a rainstorm. (Does not one need to be organized in order to dominate anything?) Either way, they tell us, Republican office holders will remain this new movement's primary targets. More



Washington middle school students cook up a healthy lifestyle
Issaquah Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Students typically aren't allowed to eat in class, but Camille Wright's class is always talking about food. During their 50-minute periods, Wright's seventh- and eighth-grade students are learning about nutrition, food safety or cooking up a storm of flour in Maywood Middle School's kitchens in Washington. All of Wright's students have studied and passed the Washington State Department of Health Food Worker exam, and with every passing week they make different recipes, including quesadillas, chocolate chip pumpkin cookies and vegetable stew. More

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Schools dinner program aims to fight childhood hunger in
Washington, DC

The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Washington, D.C., public schools have started serving an early dinner to an estimated 10,000 students, many of whom are now receiving three meals a day from the system as it expand efforts to curb childhood hunger and poor nutrition. Free and reduced-price breakfast and lunch long have been staples in most urban school systems. But the District is going a step further in 99 of its 123 schools and reaching nearly a quarter of its total enrollment. Montgomery and Prince George's Country also offer a third meal of the day in some schools but not on the scale undertaken in the city. The program, which will cost the school system about $5.7 million this year, comes at a time of heightened concern about childhood poverty in the city. More

Panel calls for school reforms to end Connecticut's 'achievement gap'
The News-Times    Share    Share on
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Create a secretary of education that reports directly to the governor. Pull early childhood education away from the state Department of Education and give it a commissioner of its own. Create a longer school day. Those are a sampling of 65 recommendations from the Connecticut Commission on Educational Achievement, a group set up by Gov. M. Jodi Rell in March to narrow what is considered the nation's largest "achievement gap" between students from low-income families and others. "If these recommendations are implemented ... we will significantly close the achievement gap," said Commission Chairman Steven J. Simmons, chairman and CEO of Simmons/Patriot Media in Greenwich. More

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America's Best Idea
by Gail Connelly, Executive Director NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Not long ago, I happened to watch a few episodes of Ken Burns' documentary on America's National Park System. The film bills national parks as America's best idea. We surely owe the preservation of these treasures to visionary thinking and brilliant policymaking. But America's best idea? Not by a long shot. That accolade belongs to America's public education system. In public schools from coast to coast and border to border, principals and teachers steadfastly carry on the critically important work — many see it as a calling — of educating our children to live and work in a world most adults can scarcely imagine. More

Celebrating 35 years of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
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This November, in honor of the 35th anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the U.S. Department of Education and its Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) will host a celebration in Washington, D.C. If you have a personal experience with IDEA, or have witnessed its impact, the Department of Ed hopes to hear from you. As part of the celebration, they are welcoming stories, poetry, photography, art work and video clips from individuals with disabilities, students, teachers, principals, researchers, parents, teacher trainers and others across the country for possible inclusion during the celebration. Submissions will be accepted through Nov. 8, on OSERS' 35th anniversary of IDEA Web site. Submit your idea at www.osep-meeting.org/idea35th/. 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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