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Curriculum    School Leadership   Federal Advocacy & Policy   In the States   Association News   Buy Books   Contact NAESP


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Elementary school principals called on to 'straddle' early education, K-12
Education Week
As public elementary schools across the country add prekindergarten to their offerings, a need exists to help principals better bridge the world of early-childhood education and traditional elementary school education, contends the National Association of Elementary School Principals. In that spirit, the association has released a guide to help principals "essentially straddle two entirely separate universes — birth to five, and K-12 — each of which has had its own history and infrastructure," writes Executive Director Gail Connelly in the guide's Foreward.
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Police presence powers up in schools
District Administration Magazine
Districts working to prevent mass shootings and other violent campus attacks are hiring more school resource officers to patrol their buildings, particularly at the elementary level. These SROs, elevated from a more passive role, are now an integral part of school safety planning. But their work goes beyond protecting students in the rare event of an active shooter. Despite media attention on school violence, "most schools and SROs are never going to face a violent encounter," says Mo Canady, executive director of the National Association of School Resource Officers.
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Collaborating with students: Invite them to the IEP process
By: Pamela Hill
In the typical special education scenario, the special education team sets the goals for the student receiving an Individual Education Plan. However, at the age of 14 the student reaches the age of transition and begins to collaborate with the special education team to plan goals for his future. The law intends that students can be involved with any transition decisions before age 14, which may include discussion of student goals and accommodations needed to be successful in school. But it is rare that a student attend his own IEP meeting before age 14.
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Report urges revamping student testing
EdSource
With a nod to California, a new report suggests overhauling how school and student success is measured in the United States. The report, by the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education and the National Center for Innovation in Education at the University of Kentucky, recommends alternatives to annual standardized tests. It says there should be far more emphasis on ongoing assessments of students as part of regular classroom instruction. Schools should focus more on "formative assessments," the curriculum-based problems and quizzes that teachers give to students throughout the school year for feedback on how students are doing, in addition to locally developed alternatives to assessments, the report argues.
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Understanding the causes of dyslexia for effective intervention
Edutopia
For most of the 40-plus years the term "dyslexia" has been in existence — and although the diagnosis has long been considered a "learning disability" — it has been based on comparisons with average readers. Simply put, a child could be diagnosed with dyslexia if he or she shows an IQ in the "normal" range but falls at or below the 10th percentile on standardized reading tests. This cut-off has been arbitrary, often varying from district to district and based on Response to Intervention criteria. As a result, a child who falls at the 12th percentile might be considered a poor reader while a child at the 10th percentile would be diagnosed with dyslexia.
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What we talk about when we talk about best practices: Types of curricula
By: Debra Josephson Abrams
In Part 1 of this series on best practices in ESL programs, we looked at the overwhelming research that supports integrated curricula. Today, we will look at two types of integrated curricula: theme-based learning and culture-based curriculum. If you are revising your ESL curriculum or are establishing a new program, or if you are a teacher interested in teaching for a best practices program or a student eager to study in a best practices program, it is clearly advisable to consider a curriculum that is theme-based and/or culture-based.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Building positive school culture: 20 ideas from principals (Connected Principals)
The bare walls theory: Do too many classroom decorations harm learning? (NBC News)
Kids get better grades when they share similarities with teachers (The Atlantic)
Ensuring early reading literacy (District Administration Magazine)
Which are the most educated cities in the US — and why? (By: Archita Datta Majumdar)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


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Report: Teachers better at using technology than digital native students
The Journal
It's time to give up the notion that "digital natives" are more tech savvy than their teachers. According to a recent study of middle school science students and teachers, the teachers tended to have greater technology use. According to lead investigator Shiang-Kwei Wang, an associate professor in instructional technology at the New York Institute of Technology, the purpose of the study was simply to investigate technology experiences inside and outside of school for both groups and to uncover barriers preventing them from using technology in school.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keywords INTERNET.


2 top things teachers want from their principal
Connected Principals (commentary)
Larry Fliegelman, a contributor for Connected Principals blog, writes: "In early 2012, I wrote a blog post called '7 Top Things Teachers Want From Their Principal.' At the first faculty meeting in August 2011, I asked every staff member to answer, on a notecard, the question, ‘What do you need from your principal?'"
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Schools take a creative approach to mobile security
EdTech Magazine
Sometimes, school districts need to seek out inexpensive management tools because their budget covers only the bare necessities. That's certainly true of Battle Ground Public Schools in Battle Ground, Wash., where Network Support Technician Michael Clark uses Cisco Meraki's mobile device management software to support roughly 2,400 tablets. Clark says Meraki MDM lets the Battle Ground IT department assign and revoke applications from the app stores of the major platforms, reset PIN codes and remotely wipe lost or stolen tablets as long as they are registered on the district's network.
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How standing desks can help students focus in the classroom
MindShift
The rise of the standing desk may appear to be a response to the modern, eat-at-your-desk, hunched-over worker chained to her computer, but history paints a different picture: Hemingway, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson all stood while they worked. Donald Rumsfeld had a standing desk, and so did Charles Dickens. Workplaces are moving toward more standing desks, but schools have been slower to catch on for a variety of reasons, including cost, convenience, and perhaps the assumption that "sit down and pay attention" is the best way to learn.
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Classroom technology can make learning more dangerous, and that's a good thing
The Hechinger Report (commentary)
Steve Jobs once called the personal computer "a bicycle for our minds," a tool that helps us go farther with the same amount of energy. But for many teachers, it has been a bumpy ride. Educators have long held new technology at arm's length, and probably for good reason: For more than a century, they have looked on as reformers pushed a series of mostly ill-fated technical innovations, each touted as the Next Big Thing. The latest movement to add more technology into classrooms is repeating the same mistakes, focusing on how tech can help teachers by churning out more data about students, saving time and raising test scores.
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From iPads to life skills, physical education teachers inspire activity
Winona Daily News
Every Friday, Winona State University's McCown Gym in Minnesota gets a major makeover. The regulation-size equipment disappears, and colorful cones, balls, obstacles, hula hoops, and bean bags take their place. About 100 area homeschoolers gather into age groups, and WSU education students take to the floor to put their teaching theory into practice. They're there as part of WSU's homeschool P.E. program, a weekly learning lab where elementary education majors teach — and learn — alongside physical education majors.
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Education-focused campaign spending crosses party lines
Education Week
The argument that teachers' unions support Democratic candidates and education advocacy organizations support Republican candidates is too easy (and maybe even lazy), especially during election season. Have teachers' unions historically been a big, powerful, cash-flush ally of Democrats? Yes. Do education organizations like StudentsFirst and Stand for Children support policies, like school choice and teacher evaluation and compensation models based on student test scores? Yes. Do those policies widely appeal to Republicans? Yes.
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Bullying of students with disabilities addressed in guidance to America's schools
U.S. Department of Education
As part of National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, the U.S. Education Department's Office for Civil Rights issued guidance to schools reminding them that bullying is wrong and must not be tolerated — including against America's 6.5 million students with disabilities. The Department issued guidance in the form of a letter to educators detailing public schools' responsibilities under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of Americans with Disabilities Act regarding the bullying of students with disabilities. If a student with a disability is being bullied, federal law requires schools to take immediate and appropriate action to investigate the issue and, as necessary, take steps to stop the bullying and prevent it from recurring.
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These are the states where kids have the best opportunities in education
The Huffington Post
While more students are graduating from high school and college, the number of young students enrolled in preschool in recent years has stagnated. A new index from the nonprofit groups Opportunity Nation and Measure of America looks at the level of opportunity afforded to citizens around the country in the areas of education, jobs and local economy, community health and civic life. The index ranks the best areas for educational opportunity, based on on-time high school graduation rates, the percentage of adults with an associate's degree or higher — and on preschool enrollment rates. And while the report found that levels of opportunity in America have improved overall since 2011, that accomplishment has not been the case for getting kids enrolled in preschool.
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Louisiana, do your homework: Student absenteeism, not Ebola, is the real epidemic
The Hechinger Report (commentary)
As a preventative measure to protect against the spread of Ebola, the Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education made new emergency changes to the state's governing handbook. However, there is no emergency — just an Ebola scare, which the board simply contributed to by making changes to sound policy. There is currently no epidemic of the Ebola virus in the U.S., where three cases have been reported, with one fatality. The best preventative measure schools can take to avert an outbreak of a communicable disease is to effectively teach about viruses.
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The revolving schoolhouse door: Principal turnover in Denver, investigated
Chalkbeat Colorado
When Exaviah Watson was a freshman in high school, her principal was focused on college prep. She took ACT classes and went on college tours and was getting excited about heading to college herself. But that was four years and three principals ago. When that principal left, after just two years, the college focus "just stopped," she said. Exaviah left the school the year after, departing for a different school nearby that has been plagued by similar turnover issues. Her experience with principal turnover — and the resulting upheaval in her education — is not exceptional in Denver.
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Requirements keep young immigrants out of Long Island, NY, classrooms
The New York Times
Before dawn breaks and the morning light spills onto his bedroom floor, Carlos Garcia Lobo bounces out of bed, his eyes alight with anticipation, and asks his mother if he can go to school. Each time, she replies to her 8-year-old son: Not yet. Four months after fleeing Honduras with a 15-year-old cousin, Carlos has reached what his family said seemed like an impassable frontier. Like dozens of the roughly 2,500 unaccompanied immigrant children who have been released to relatives or other sponsors on Long Island so far this year, Carlos has been unable to register for school.
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California rivals clash on vision for K-12 leadership
Education Week
The race between incumbent California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and challenger Marshall Tuck for the state's top schools spot centers largely on one policy debate: Is the state with the nation's biggest K-12 enrollment reinventing its public schools the right way and through the right power brokers? The officially nonpartisan contest is between two self-declared Democrats, and Torlakson and Tuck represent divisions within the Democratic Party over the right labor protections for teachers, the political power of teachers' unions, and the proper relationship between more money for schools and certain forms of accountability.
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Learn school branding basics in Oct. 28 tweetchat
NAESP
NAESP has teamed up with the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association (TEPSA) for a National Principals Month tweetchat on a very hot topic: school branding. Join the "Social Media and School Branding" chat on Tuesday, Oct. 28 at 8 p.m. Eastern for a discussion on the ins and outs of school branding — from logos to mottos to messaging.
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Announcing the 2014-2015 Champion Creatively Alive Children grant winners
NAESP
Crayola and NAESP are proud to help principals support arts-infused education through the Champion Creatively Alive Children grant program. NAESP and Crayola have awarded 20 NAESP members with grants valued at $3,500 to help principals implement and document innovative arts education projects and share best practices with fellow educators. Read about the winning schools here.
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