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



States have no database for playground injuries
The Associated Press via New England Cable News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
If there's a major disease outbreak at an Oklahoma public school, state agencies have a mechanism in place to help limit its spread. When a student brings a gun to school and it's found, such incidents have to be reported to state and federal agencies. But if a child goes to a hospital after being injured on a school playground, information about the incident often goes no further than the district level. That's because there's no requirement that such data be reported to the state Department of Education or other state entity. A doctor who chairs the state Department of Health's Injury Prevention Service advisory council and a playground safety expert leads an institute devoted to promoting playground safety said the lack of a reporting requirement is an oversight and that information about such injuries could prove useful to school administrators. More

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STAMPER not STEM for public education reform
Seattle Post Intelligencer (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
S.T.E.M. is one of the acronyms du jour in the current public education debate. It stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, which represent, some argue, the four areas that act as the foundation for America maintaining its preeminent position as world leaders in innovation and technological advancement. Some education reformers believe that these four disciplines are taking a hit in our public education system and explain the decline in achievement test scores among U.S. students compared to their peers worldwide. Given these concerns, it seems perfectly reasonable that these four subjects should be a primary focus of public education reform in America. In place of S.T.E.M., there have been recommendations that we broaden our focus onto S.T.A.M.P.E.R which stands for Science, Technology, Arts, Mathematics, Physical, Emotions, and Reason. More



Science grows on learning a second language
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Recent studies on how language learning occurs are beginning to chip away at some long-held notions about second-language acquisition and point to potential learning benefits for students who speak more than one language. "We have this national psyche that we're not good at languages," said Marty Abbott, the director of education for the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages in Alexandria, Va. "Its still perceived as something only smart people can do, and it's not true; we all learned our first language and we can learn a second one." New National Science Foundation-funded collaborations among educators, cognitive and neuroscientists, psychologists, and linguists have started to find the evidence to back that assertion up. For example, researchers long thought the window for learning a new language shrinks rapidly after age 7 and closes almost entirely after puberty. More

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At Sugarland Elementary, language lessons are key to all learning
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
At Sugarland Elementary School in Sterling, Va., fourth-graders watched as their teacher pointed to an illuminated smart board in the darkened classroom. Together, they recited their lesson objective: "The students will be able to discover artifacts that were used by the original Virginians!" In the center of each cluster of desks was a plastic container filled with sand that the students would sift through to mimic an archaeological dig for Native American artifacts. But first, their teacher wanted to hear them talk a bit more about some of the important words in the lesson's objective. Hands shot up across the room. More



Long Island, NY middle school offers diversity course
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Fifteen eighth graders at Jericho Middle School in New York, were considering a fictional case of stereotyping by hair color the other day, or how a boy came to be prejudiced against people with green hair, or "greenies." From there, they extrapolated to the stereotypes in their own lives: dumb football players, Asian math whizzes, boring bankers. This year, Jericho, a high-performing district, is offering an unusual elective for its middle-school students that channels the soul-searching and team-building activities of a diversity workshop into a yearlong class for credit. The course, which focuses on diversity, "will have you actively thinking about everything from food through language in a way you may never have before as we learn about what unites and divides all of us, and why," a description said. More

Survey outlines district education-technology priorities
Education Week (blog)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new survey released by the National School Boards Association found that the biggest challenge for district-level education-technology leaders was "helping teachers effectively use technology." That answer received almost 50 percent of the votes from the more than 200 education-technology administrators who were surveyed. That may explain why the top two areas where schools have invested federal funds, according to the survey results, are in classroom devices and hardware and professional development for teachers and staff. More

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SEED program taking root in Millburn, NJ
Millburn-Short Hills    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In New Jersey it is the hope of some Millburn administrators and teachers that the seeds of inclusive classrooms are being sown. Glenwood School Principal David Jasin, Millburn Middle School teacher Maribeth Cassels and Millburn High School teacher Gina Santianna were trained in the national SEED program this summer. SEED, which stands for Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity, is a staff development program aimed at the production and development of a more gender-fair, multicultural and equitable school curriculum. More



Stay on top of midterm elections
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
On Nov. 2, Americans will head to the polls to vote. The entire U.S. House of Representatives, approximately one-third of the U.S. Senate, and roughly two-thirds of state governors are running in this important election. It's no secret that this election might result in one or both chambers of Congress switching party leadership. Both the House and the Senate are currently controlled by a Democratic majority (255-178 with two vacancies, and 57-41 with two Independents, respectively). Of the two chambers, it appears that the House is more likely to switch to a Republican-led majority, which could have consequences for education funding and programs. More

Court: No teacher speech rights on curriculum
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Teachers have no First Amendment free-speech protection for curricular decisions they make in the classroom, a federal appeals court ruled last week. "Only the school board has ultimate responsibility for what goes on in the classroom, legitimately giving it a say over what teachers may (or may not) teach in the classroom," the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, in Cincinnati, said in its opinion. More

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Stimulus-aid bonanza draws heat on campaign trail
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — the economic-stimulus law that included some $100 billion for public education — is taking a beating on the campaign trail this midterm election season. Although many Democrats contend the economic outlook would have been even bleaker without the measure and say it played a crucial role in preventing education-related layoffs, Republicans critical of the law say it did little to steady the still-stumbling economy. More



California unable to determine if charter schools are meeting students' nutritional needs
The Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In California a state audit to determine whether public charter school students are receiving nutritional meals on campus could not be fully completed because government databases are not reliable or detailed enough, officials said. Although the report found that many California charter schools provide meals to their students, state auditor Elaine Howle said it was not possible to determine how many of the students were eligible for or participating in subsidized lunch and breakfast programs. More

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Budget creativity and community support keep schools in Massachusetts elite
Patch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Last winter things looked bleak for the Wellesley Public Schools in Massachusetts. Without an override, which was not being considered given the economic and political mood, cuts were looming in programs, positions and technology. Elementary band was to be ended and 25 positions were to be eliminated or reduced. Then federal stimulus money arrived and aid from the state wasn't cut at the level anticipated. But more money alone is not what bailed out Wellesley's schools. A long history of town support for public education and moves by Superintendent Bella T. Wong and the School Committee allowed a top-tiered system to stay competitive. One of those moves, eliminating the book budget, would not have been possible in a town where parental and community support wasn't ready to step in and fill the void. More

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Let's bring civic education to the front burner
Edutopia (opinion)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The importance of education cannot be overstated. Without a good education, one cannot get a good job, earn a good living, and provide for oneself and one's family. Education is the key to individual prosperity. And education is important to our economy. We have been hearing a lot recently about concerns that our education system is falling behind, particularly in math and science, hindering our competitiveness in the global market. The message is clear: If we don't improve our educational system, our economy will fall apart (again). But we have been hearing a lot less about the civic mission of our schools — and the importance of education for our democracy. More



Dynamic, visionary volunteer leaders sought
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
If you're interested in serving on the NAESP Board of Directors and taking the opportunity to help the Association fulfill its goals for principals across the nation, there are four positions to be filled in 2011: president-elect and directors for Zones 1, 2, and 8. Members of the NAESP Board of Directors make policy that supports Association efforts to influence federal policy initiatives on behalf of principals and to impact the education of millions of children. The board also leads the Association in advocating for the profession and the value of public schools. More

NAESP Convention: Early Bird rates end Oct. 31
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The NAESP 2011 Annual Convention is an opportunity for elementary and middle-level principals to share knowledge, engage in professional development and learn from a dynamic group of speakers who will be discussing education's most forward-looking and innovative ideas. Submit your registration by Oct. 31 and save $50 off the advance registration rate and $110 off the late registration rate. More

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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.

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