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Study: Highly effective principals raise student achievement
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It's indisputable that great teachers lead to successful students, as the presidential candidates have touted, but what about students' connection to their school principals? A study published in Education Next has found that the effect of highly effective principals on student achievement is equivalent to 2-7 months of additional learning each school year, while ineffective principals negatively impact student achievement by a comparable amount. For their study, the authors used a value-added model similar to the one used to measure teacher quality, but applied the calculation to the entire school. More


A view from the inside: ED staff observes the principal's perspective Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Tyra Mariani, the deputy chief of staff for operations and strategy for the U.S. Department of Education, writes: "A week ago, I had the pleasure of shadowing principal Wanda Perez at DC Bilingual Public Charter School. While Wanda admitted she spends more time in meetings than she'd like, we spent the majority of my visit walking the school and observing students and teachers in learning and teaching. I also observed Wanda planning the week's professional development session with New Leaders Resident Principal Daniela. There was so much to talk about — home visits, instructional strategies, assessments and the like — with not enough time." More

Should math and science teachers get special training?
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Excited and inspired about the subjects they teach, math and science educators ideally want their classrooms to dive into real-world challenges. But they're faced with the predictable realities of the school day when designing their curriculum. Each year, students seem to lose interest as the subjects become more difficult and abstract. "And what use is this anyway?" students. Why should they learn it? More

A little science goes a long way: Engaging kids improves math, language scores
ScienceDaily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A Washington State University researcher has found that engaging elementary school students in science for as little as 10 hours a year can lead to improved test scores in math and language arts. Samantha Gizerian, a clinical assistant professor in WSU's Department of Veterinary and Comparative Anatomy, Pharmacology and Physiology, saw improved test scores among fourth-grade students in South Los Angeles after students from the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science gave 10 one-hour presentations on science. More

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Beyond texts and tweets, young people still love to read books
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In what may come as a pleasant surprise to people who fear the Facebook generation has given up on reading — or, at least, reading anything longer than 140 characters — a new report from the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project reveals the prominent role of books, libraries and technology in the lives of young readers, ages 16 to 29. Kathryn Zickuhr, the study's main author, joins NPR's David Greene to discuss the results. More

Ohio 3rd grade reading guarantee law could hold back 10,000 students
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As many as 10,000 students across Ohio could be held back to repeat the third grade under the new "Third Grade Reading Guarantee" law. The intent is simple: all third graders, with the exception of students with disabilities or English-learners, must pass the state's third grade reading exam to continue on to the fourth grade. It's not a tall order for schools with high performing students, but creates a hefty challenge for districts where up to 40 percent of third graders aren't reading at grade level, The Columbus Dispatch reports. More

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A principal's perspective: Preparing to distribute student iPads?
Edutopia (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Yes, let's give students iPads so they can be smarter and learn better. It sounds so easy. The reality is that there are many unknowns, like how do you hand out 800 iPads and keep track of which student has which iPad, and how do you get 800 students to register with iTunes so they can use their iPads on the school system? (The school system: How do you provide enough bandwidth for 800 iPads? That's another challenge entirely!) More

Recess helps students do better in school
Mother Nature Network    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It's a real shame that many schools no longer see the value of recess. To expect young children or even teens to sit quietly for eight hours a day is unrealistic. You can challenge even the most focused adults to do the same and remain productive without some sort of break. It's been shown that a child's brain retains information better when the lesson is coupled with some sort of movement (hence the common recommendation by most experts to limit screen viewing and encourage children to participate in their learning and play). However it's increasingly common for schools to favor desk time over arts and recreation. More


To survive a shooting, students learn to fight back
NPR    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The names Columbine and Virginia Tech have both become tragic shorthand for school shootings in America. In the wake of those shootings, schools have developed a fairly typical lockdown procedure when there's a threat: sound the alarm, call police, lock doors and stay put. The standard school-lockdown plan is intended to minimize chaos so police arriving on the scene don't shoot the wrong people. Students practice following directions, getting into classrooms and essentially, waiting. But some security experts think that response plan is inadequate and may actually be dangerous. A growing number of schools are now adopting controversial training that offers a different type of response — including how to fight back against a gunman. More

Study: Exercise boosts school performance for kids with ADHD
HealthDay News via U.S. News & World Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A few minutes of exercise a day can help children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder do better at school, according to a small new study. The findings suggest that exercise could provide an alternative to drug treatment. While drugs have proven largely effective in treating children with ADHD, many parents and doctors are concerned about the medications' side effects and costs. More

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Study: Teenage smartphone and tablet users at 50 percent    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The number of teenagers using smartphones and tablets has finally been calculated, and the answer may (or may not) surprise you: according to a mobile learning report released today, 50 percent of high schoolers and 40 percent of middle schoolers now use smartphones or tablets on a regular basis. The number marks a dramatic increase from figures calculated in 2007, but may be expected given the massive popularity boom of such devices in the last few years. The numbers were released today in a report funded and issued by Blackboard, Inc. and Project Tomorrow, which examined K-12 students and their steadily increasing use of mobile devices. More

Kids with mental disorders are often the bullies
Psych Central    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
New research suggests children diagnosed with mental health disorders are often the perpetrators of bullying. Bullying has come to the fore in recent years as a type of youth violence defined as repetitive, intentional aggression that involves a disparity of power between the victim and perpetrator. A 2011 nationwide survey found 20 percent of U.S. high school students were bullied during the preceding 12 months. In the new study, researchers discovered children with mental health disorders were three times more likely to be identified as bullies. More


Students support, but don't always eat, new school lunches
California Watch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In a taste test of new lunch items last year at the Long Beach Unified School District, the "fiesta salad" received a nearly 73 percent approval rating. One student even declared that the dish of pinto beans, cilantro, corn, tomatoes and cayenne pepper was "better than McDonald's." Yet the salad was a flop when the district put it on the menu this year. Long Beach Unified isn't the only district in California dealing with lunchtime trial and error. In an effort to feed kids healthier foods, new federal nutrition standards require schools to offer more fruits and vegetables, regulate calories, and emphasize whole grains, among other changes. More

Evidence of dating violence found among middle school students
San Jose Mercury News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Nearly 1 in 11 high school students have reported experiencing some form of dating violence, according to a national study, and some local officials say they're seeing alarming numbers and evidence of abusive relationships among even younger students. "The youngest I've known of were 11 and 12," said Sheri Dorn, an English teacher at Upland High School who incorporates teaching about dating violence and gender roles in her curriculum. One in 6 seventh-grade students reported being a victim of physical abuse at the hands of a boyfriend or girlfriend, according to a national study conducted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for Blue Shield of California. More

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5 school technologies to watch: Personalized learning is here
Forbes    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The past few years have seen a steady influx of new investment, new companies and new opportunities in education technology. From technologies that live inside the classroom to technologies that inspire learning outside the classroom; from physical devices to mobile applications. School technology decisions are becoming more democratic, and the pervasiveness of Internet-connected devices is helping to lead a revolution. We are reaching a point in time where technology is empowering people toward a path of personalization, and almost every new technology in the education technology space today fills a cog in that wheel. The following are some of the top trends and market innovators leading the charge this coming year — attracting developers and investors along the way. More

Campaign tries to help defuse bullying
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Taunting and aggressive teasing have long been seen as disagreeable rites of adolescence, until a string of suicides by bullied students raised awareness of the destructive consequences. A new campaign by a coalition of organizations is aiming to eliminate, or at least curb, bullying by urging parents to teach their children to face down such behavior. More


Audit: US oversight of charter school funds lax
The Associated Press via ABC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
An audit of the U.S. Department of Education's division overseeing hundreds of millions of dollars in charter school funding has criticized the office for failing to properly monitor how states spend the money. The report by the department's Office of the Inspector General also singled out state education departments in California, Florida and Arizona for lax monitoring of what charter schools do with the funds and whether their expenditures comply with federal regulations. More

Obama makes unexpected push for improved math and science education during final debate
The Hill    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
President Barack Obama brought up the importance of improving math and science education in the U.S. multiple times during the final presidential debate, arguing that it would boost job growth and keep America competitive globally. Obama unexpectedly made education one of his top talking points during the foreign-policy-focused debate and even mentioned it in his closing remarks. The president attempted to illustrate a link between America's strength in math and science education with the country's ability to maintain its spot as a top economic power. More

States must tread cautiously on evaluations of special education teachers
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With school reform efforts combining with federal incentives to encourage more districts and states to change how they evaluate teachers, the Council for Exceptional Children today shared recommendations and views for how to evaluate special education teachers. Federal initiatives including waivers from No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top not only have pressed for new evaluation systems, they push for teacher ratings to include student performance as a unit of measure. More

Report tracks student-data system usage
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Most educators spend less than an hour a year using the city's $80 million student-data system, which transformed access to basic student information, a new study from New York University found. The Achievement Reporting and Innovation System is most useful early in the year as teachers check out incoming students' test scores and administrators create student schedules, said the study by NYU's Research Alliance for New York City Schools. More

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Why Miami-Dade schools won prestigious Broad Prize for urban districts
The Christian Science Monitor    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In Florida's Miami-Dade County Public Schools, schools are slowly but steadily chipping away at the achievement gap, especially for Hispanic and black students. The district, which was awarded the Broad Prize for Urban Education, has increased black and Hispanic graduation rates at a faster rate than other urban districts in the United States; has increased the percentages of Hispanic and black students reaching the highest achievement levels; and has increased the percentages and scores of students participating in college-readiness exams more than other districts. More

North Carolina to outlaw student cyberbullying of teachers
The News & Observer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It will soon be illegal for a student to bully a teacher online in North Carolina, under an expansion of the state's cyberbullying law that goes into effect Dec. 1 and may be the first of its kind in the country. The School Violence Prevention Act of 2012 will make it a misdemeanor for students to post something online "with the intent to intimidate or torment a school employee." It builds on a similar law passed in 2009 that criminalized online bullying of a student or a student's parent or guardian. Legislators say the law is necessary to keep up with the rise of students on social media. More

Call for proposals now open for 2013 conference
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
NAESP's 2013 Best Practices for Better Schools™ National Conference and Expo of the Year is right around the corner. Join other nationally recognized speakers in shaping the professional program by sharing your best practices, expertise, and successes in a concurrent session. Submit a presentation proposal today. More

A day in the life of a principal
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For NAESP's principal shadowing program, Virginia principal Lisa Piehota hosted Assistant Secretary of Education Deb Delisle for a day. Even though their day-to-day work differs, Piehota discovered that their ultimate goal — helping children thrive — is the same. Read her account of the day for her insights on how the Department of Education can support principals everywhere. More


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