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Already financially hurting school districts brace for more cuts ahead
The Associated Press via The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Teenage girls in ponytails and boys in long athletic shorts dash across the gym at Pennsylvania's Abraham Lincoln Middle School, pausing their game of indoor tennis to motion "Y-M-C-A" with their arms as the Village People's song blares from the loudspeaker. It's a scene happening less frequently these days. Budget cuts and teacher layoffs have forced the school to cut some PE classes, reduce library hours and eliminate small literacy classes for problem readers and Spanish for sixth- and seventh-graders. More

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States rewrite education rules, with or without Race to the Top
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Some of the states rejected for federal "Race to the Top" education grants are proceeding to revamp their school systems anyway — in some cases, more ambitiously than states that won. Colorado, for example, is moving forward with a new system tying teacher and principal reviews to student performance. That sort of linkage is central to the Race to the Top program. More



Scholars put civics in same category as literacy, math
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
article
College-ready, career-ready ... and citizenship-ready? Ten papers released by the American Enterprise Institute make the case that civics education is as critical as literacy and mathematics. They also explore what civics education should look like, how teachers can be prepared to create educated citizens, and future challenges and opportunities in the field. Frederick M. Hess, the director of education policy studies at the Washington-based AEI, said the research discusses "how to make teaching and learning and schooling serve the needs of America and the needs of our children today." More

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California schools scrambling to add lessons on LGBT Americans
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
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Many are flummoxed about how to carry out a new law requiring California public schools to teach all students, from kindergartners to 12th-graders, about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. More


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Study: Student progress can be tied to teacher education
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The academic progress of public school students can be traced, in part, to where their teachers went to college, according to new research by the University of Washington Center for Education Data & Research. But the center's director, Dan Goldhaber, cautioned that the study is just a first step toward determining what kind of training — not where the training occurred — best prepares teachers for excellence in the classroom. Even so, it's the kind of information U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan would like every school to have access to, and that's why he recently announced a new program to use federal dollars to pay for similar research. More

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Navigating public school admissions, with a consultant's help
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Armed with tote bags for the handouts awaiting them, thousands of Chicago parents shuffled through display tables adorned with brightly colored posters as they faced the daunting task of selecting schools for their children. For many parents, the school fair, put on by the Neighborhood Parents Network, is their first encounter with the public school system. It is timed to coincide with the opening of the district's admissions process, which ends in December. Many parents hope to place their children in the growing number of charter, magnet and selective-enrollment elementary schools. More

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How to take your school solar
THE Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The summer of 2011 proved to be the busiest of times for school construction of solar energy projects, a growing trend among the nation's school districts to reduce their electricity costs by switching to renewable energy. Thanks to a variety of creative financing options, school districts are discovering that they can install photovoltaic solar panels that turn sunlight directly into electricity and hedge against rising utility rates without spending any scarce capital. More

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Virtual schools offer PD programs for e-teaching
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Because schools of education, with a few exceptions, have been slow to offer programs to develop virtual instructors, many of the nation's leading online schools have, for more than a decade, crafted homegrown online and blended professional development. And with the flexibility offered by the online classroom, instructors who also have face-to-face experience sometimes say the continuous, embedded professional development now in vogue is easier to achieve — be it in collaboration with colleagues, correspondence with advisers or participation in supplemental education — in an online setting. More

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10 ways schools are using social media effectively
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Smartphones might be getting the green light in more schools around the country, but social networking is still getting the yellow in many schools: parents are worried about bullying, teacher-student online relationships are questioned and school security can be compromised all too easily, some critics fear. More

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Districts tackle questions surrounding BYOT policy
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For the small but passionate minority of school districts that are opening doors to student-owned mobile devices, there’s a lot riding on how effective the policy shift turns out to be in improving teaching and learning. And whether a district or school is pushing instructors to use those devices educationally, or just curbing discipline issues by removing consequences for use, experts say making the new policy approach work requires much more than simply lifting a cellphone ban. More

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280,000 nationwide teaching jobs in danger following Senate vote
U.S.News & World Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Senate blocked a part of President Barack Obama's jobs plan that would have provided $30 billion to retain and hire new teachers. The Senate voted 50-50 to bring the bill to the Senate floor — 10 votes shy of the 60 needed to stop a filibuster. The defeated part of the legislation was designed to protect the jobs of some 280,000 K-12 educators who were in danger of being laid off and to hire new teachers, especially those teaching science, technology, engineering and math, according to a White House press release. More

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Senate panel approves bill that rewrites education law
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Legislation rewriting the No Child Left Behind education law finally gained traction, and the Senate Democrat whose committee passed the bill said that progress became possible because lawmakers were irritated by the Obama administration's offering states waivers to the law's key provisions. "Some of us on both sides of the aisle were upset with them coming out with the waiver package that they did, so that spurred us on," Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who heads the Senate education committee, said in an interview. More



California study: Kindergartners may be wrongly identified as English learners
The Santa Cruz Sentinel via San Jose Mercury News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In 2010, more than 1,200 kindergartners in Pajaro Valley, Calif., schools were tested for their skills in English. Nearly all were classified English learners. A new study by UC Berkeley researchers calls the results into question. The state-mandated California English Language Development Test is so challenging, researchers say, that too many California children are being labeled as English learners more because of a lack of maturity than language skills. More

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Missouri repeals law restricting teacher-student Internet and Facebook interaction
The Associated Press via Las Vegas Sun    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
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Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon signed legislation repealing a contentious law that had limited online chats between teachers and students and caused a judge to warn that it infringed on free-speech rights. Nixon's action eliminates a law enacted earlier this year that barred teachers from using websites that allow "exclusive access" with students or former pupils age 18 or younger. The law generated an unexpected backlash, with teachers raising concerns they would be barred from using popular social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter that allow private messages. More

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Parents: Hispanic kids being bullied in law's wake
The Associated Press via Google News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It was just another schoolyard basketball game until a group of Hispanic seventh-graders defeated a group of boys from Alabama. The reaction was immediate, according to the Mexican mother of one of the winners, and rooted in the state's new law on illegal immigration. Spanish-speaking parents say their children are facing more bullying and taunts at school since Alabama's tough crackdown on illegal immigration took effect in September. More

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Free access to PD 360 — Just for members
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
NAESP members now have access to high-quality online professional development — at no cost — thanks to a partnership forged with PD 360, one of the world's largest, most respected sources of on-demand learning for educators. More

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Going Green? Your school could be a Green Ribbon winner
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Beginning this school year, the U.S. Department of Education will recognize and reward Green Ribbon Schools, where staff, students and communities have worked together to produce healthy, energy efficient and sustainable environments. State officials will nominate schools by February. Discover more with this video announcement from Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. More

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