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Lawmakers warn of special education cuts
Disability Scoop    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Some 12,000 special education teachers and aides could lose their jobs in the coming months unless Congress acts to stop impending cuts, according to a new report from Congressional Democrats. The warning is the latest from lawmakers on the impact likely to be felt from a series of automatic federal spending reductions expected to take effect Jan. 2 under a process known as sequestration. The cuts — totaling more than $100 billion — were triggered after lawmakers failed to reach a budget deal last year. The White House estimates that special education alone would lose more than $1 billion under the plan, which calls for most federal programs to be slashed by at least 8.2 percent. More

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Principals say evaluating teachers changes roles
The Associated Press via Chicago Sun-Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Principals in a small southwest Indiana school district are finding that their jobs have changed since they began evaluating teachers' performance under a new state law. Bloomfield Junior-Senior High School Principal David Dean said he is spending much more time in the classroom, watching teachers interact with kids. "Our responsibility will certainly be readjusted because, and this is a good thing, because the majority of our time will be spent on instruction and in the classroom and dealing with student achievement," Dean told The Herald-Times. More



Are you tech-ready for the Common Core?
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
School districts are raising concerns about their ability to be technologically ready to give Common Core State Standards assessments to students online in two years. Administrators say they remain uncertain about the types of devices to buy, the bandwidth they need and the funding available for technology improvements. An initial round of data collection launched to determine technology gaps for schools preparing for the Common Core online assessments has so far had limited participation from districts and many states. And state and national education groups are detecting a rising level of anxiety among school and district leaders regarding the technology they feel is necessary to implement online testing by the 2014-2015 deadline. More

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Why learning should be messy
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Can creativity be taught? Absolutely. The real question is: "How do we teach it?" In school, instead of crossing subjects and classes, we teach them in a very rigid manner. Very rarely do you witness math and science teachers or English and history teachers collaborating with each other. Sticking in your silo, shell and expertise is comfortable. Well, it's time to crack that shell. It's time to abolish silos and subjects. Joichi Ito, director of the MIT Media Lab, said that rather than interdisciplinary education, which merges two or more disciplines, we need anti-disciplinary education, a term coined by Sandy Pentland, head of the lab's Human Dynamics group. More

Framework for social studies standards to be released
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A draft framework for common social studies standards is set to be released on Nov. 17. As we reported to you more than a year ago, social studies specialists have been working with state department of education officials and others to create standards in that subject. The document they've produced — which they're referring to alternately as a "draft framework" and "draft standards" — is scheduled to be released for public review at the National Council for the Social Studies' annual meeting in Seattle. More


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School lighting upgrades save money
ED.gov Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
America's schools spend more than $8 billion each year on energy — more than is spent on textbooks and computers combined. About 26 percent of electricity consumed by a typical school is for lighting alone. Often, even more is spent to compensate for the heat generated by outdated lighting fixtures. These expenditures on utilities could be redirected toward ensuring the general good condition, health, safety and educational adequacy of school buildings, particularly for those in greatest disrepair. If your school hasn't updated its lighting in the past five years, a lighting retrofit could present an opportunity to reduce the amount of energy you use for lighting by 30 to 50 percent and for cooling by 10 to 20 percent. More

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What to look for in PBL
District Administration Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Project-based learning looks different, and may seem messier, than traditional instruction. Administrators visiting PBL classrooms shouldn't expect to see orderly rows of students moving through the curriculum together. Instead, they're likely to find small teams of students working on investigations of open-ended questions. Students should be able to explain what they're doing and how activities relate to the project goals. More

Apple sees schools buoying tablet lead with iPad in class
Bloomberg    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Julie Garcia handed Apple Inc. iPads to students in her seventh-grade pre-algebra class on a recent morning before showing the pupils how to use the tablet to graph data, hunt for correlations and record how-to videos. A math instructor at Innovation Middle School, Garcia is one of the first to use some of the more than 25,000 iPads the San Diego Unified School District bought from Apple this year. "It's the cool factor," Garcia said as she looks over the room of students tapping energetically on tablets. "They are super motivated." More


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Study: Education, income level of parent correlated to child's brain development
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A recent study presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscientists found a correlation between a parent's income and education level and the development of certain areas of their child's brain that relate to learning, memory and stress processing. The study analyzed the brain images of subjects whose parents had between eight and 21 years of education and incomes that ranged from below poverty level to over $140,000 for a family of four. The study was led by Kimberly Noble, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Columbia, in conjunction with Elizabeth Sowell, a professor of pediatrics at USC. More

State leaders: Here's how we're going digital
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
There's been much recent talk about schools going all-digital — from Arne Duncan's call to action to the backlash from educators — but implementing digital resources is no easy task. During a recent stakeholder forum, however, leaders and experts came together to address how to make this shift into a reality. The forum, Advancing Education in the Digital Age, was part of the State Educational Technology Directors Association 2012 Leadership Summit and highlighted SETDA’s recent report on the shift to digital instruction. More

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Schools look to boost use of computers, other gadgets without breaking the budget
The Desert Sun    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Marisa Perezchica circles her classroom, classical music softly streaming from her iPad, as her sixth-graders take a practice test on their own iPads. Students work out factoring problems on paper or on their tablets before typing in the answers. Perezchica stops at several desks, answering questions or explaining concepts. In another corner, a student who has finished the practice test has moved ahead to the next concept and is watching an animation explaining how to solve a simple algebraic equation. More



Debates push fate of education policies to fore
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As the two presidential campaigns continue to sharpen how they would approach the federal role in education if victorious, advisers to President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney have made it clear that the fate of waivers under the No Child Left Behind Act may be decided by the November election. During two debates featuring education advisers to the rival campaigns, surrogates for Romney emphasized that the waiver flexibility granted by the U.S. Department of Education to 34 states and the District of Columbia would — at a minimum — be reviewed and could even be revoked if their candidate wins. More


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Texas schools head to trial over school finance
The Associated Press via The Seattle Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Texas lawmakers cut $5.4 billion from public schools nearly 18 months ago, and now districts are headed to court to argue that the resulting system is so inefficient and unfair that it violates the state constitution. Simply restoring funding to levels prior to the 2011 legislative session won't be enough to fix the fundamentally flawed way Texas funds its schools, lawyers for the districts say. They point out that the cuts have come even as the state requires schools to prepare students for standardized tests that are getting more difficult, and amid a statewide boom in the number of low-income students that are especially costly to educate. More

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Florida's race-based goals for students spark debate
The Orlando Sentinel    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Florida Board of Education looked prepared to vote — without discussion or debate — when board member John Padget pointed out a passage on page 169 of the board's agenda book. "I just asked my fellow board members if we are happy with the signal this sends?" he said. The board went on to adopt the item Padget had highlighted: reading and math goals for students that varied by race, among other categories. More

Cash incentives for Colorado students a study in progress
The Denver Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
There's a reward waiting for Moises Banuelos if he passes the standardized tests in three Advanced Placement classes he's taking this semester at Denver's Abraham Lincoln High School: $100 for each qualifying score. "It shows that hard work pays off," said Banuelos, 16, who hopes to receive the money from a program channeled through the Colorado Legacy Foundation. "If you really study your butt off and get a good turn out, it should be recognized with an incentive." As educators continue to debate the effectiveness — or even the propriety — of using financial rewards to boost academic achievement, Colorado has moved forward, and the National Math and Science Initiative-backed program soon will operate in 30 schools. More


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Boulder Valley, Colo., to use new model to teach teachers about technology
Boulder Daily Camera    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Boulder Valley School District has three people assigned to help teachers at 55 schools figure out how to integrate technology into their classrooms. Looking for a better way to use limited resources, a committee of teachers, principals and community members spent a year developing a vision and researching programs in school districts nationwide. The group settled on a model in which small groups of teachers will receive extensive training and then serve as mentors to other teachers in their schools. "It's a good new direction," said Boulder Valley Educational Technology Manager Kelly Sain, who worked with a similar model in two other school districts. More

Schools' students stack up competition
St. Louis Post-Dispatch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A stack of cups is helping students in the Wentzville School District in Wisconsin stay physically and mentally fit. Several elementary schools in the district have organized clubs for speed stacking, a national competitive cup stacking sport. Speed stackers work to stack 12 cups into various formations in as little time as possible. The quirky activity started in Colorado and has morphed into a national phenomenon. More



Secretary of Education congratulates principals
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Sixty outstanding elementary and middle school principals from across the nation and abroad have been named 2012 National Distinguished Principals. Last week, these exemplary school leaders were honored with a two-day celebration in Washington, D.C., including an awards program with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. More

Build student leadership with resources from NAESP
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Strengthen your school's student council and celebrate the contributions of student leaders with resources from the National Principals Resource Center. It's your one-stop shop for student council advisor and member handbooks, pins, recognition medallions and kits for student leadership. More

 
 


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 Cynthia Rosso at crosso@naesp.org.
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601   Download media kit
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