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Report: Teacher-evaluation policies becoming increasingly 'rigorous'
Education Week
The Washington-based National Council on Teacher Quality released its annual report rounding up states' teacher-evaluation policies, which have become increasingly stringent over the last few years. Notably, this year's "State of the State" report indicates that 35 states and the District of Columbia now require student achievement to be a "significant" or the "most significant" factor in teacher evaluations. In 2011, such requirements only applied in 30 states. In fact, the number of states requiring achievement to be the most significant factor in evaluations has jumped from 4 states to 19 in the last four years.
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What will Common Core assessments cost states?
eSchool News
Many states that once adopted Common Core State Standards are now pressing the pause button on implementation, in light of the cost of CCSS-aligned assessments. State leaders and stakeholders wonder how assessments aligned to the Common Core compare to assessments currently in place, and are trying to decide to what extent cost factors into CCSS adoption. "Common Core has become a political hot potato, despite early broad acceptance," said Russ Whitehurst, the former director of the Institute of Education Sciences within the U.S. Department of Education, and current director of the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution, during an Oct. 30 event.
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Computer science education: The 'why' and 'how'
eSchool News
Calls for more integrated computer science education have increased in recent years as studies show that computer science degrees lead to high-paying jobs that help boost the economy. Computer science, which includes programming and coding, is the highest-paid college degree and jobs in the field are growing at twice the national average, according to Code.org, but fewer than 2.4 percent of college students graduate with computer science degrees.
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Next generation K-12 US science standards and drive toward climate literacy generate synchronicity of ideas
The Geological Society of America via Science Daily
Teaching and learning science in U.S. K-12 schools just got more interesting. Working with the National Research Council, an advisory group of scientists, cutting-edge child education experts, and science teachers have developed the first set of science teaching standards in more than 15 years. This framework for science education offers students and teachers the means to engage with science through more hands-on experiences and includes a section on developing climate literacy, which has not previously been included.
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Common Core ratchets up language demands for English learners
Education Week
No one is a native speaker of academic English. As the formal written and spoken language of classrooms and professional workplaces, academic English often bears little resemblance to the social, everyday language one needs to communicate effectively in most situations. It encompasses precise vocabulary, complex grammatical structures, and sophisticated forms of discourse. For English language learners, acquiring academic language is often the highest hurdle to clear before they can be deemed proficient in English and be able to fully engage in the kind of rich and rigorous content necessary to succeed later in college and a professional work life.
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Talking about numbers, not just counting, builds kids' understanding
KPBS-TV
Using number words in context with young children, instead of just counting with them, might help them understand how numbers apply to the real world, a researcher at UC San Diego reports. David Barner, a language development researcher at UCSD, led a recent study that shows children in Solvenia and Saudi Arabia recognize when there are two of something at higher rates than their international peers. The study links that early recognition to the fact that their languages have noun forms not just for the singular and plural, but also for sets of two.
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Taking Common Core's temperature
EdTech Magazine
It's difficult to find anyone who works in K–12 education who hasn't heard of the Common Core State Standards Initiative. For months, schools have been working to ensure that their networks can handle the online student assessments that the standards require; that there are enough computers for all students to complete the test; that teachers and staff are trained to administer the test; and that their English language arts and mathematics curricula align to the standards.
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'Tolerance' ... What does that mean?
Education Week
What do the words 'troops', 'bully' or 'tolerance' mean to you? These are just three words that have come to be part of our daily language. They are three words in our ever-enlarging vocabulary in which we may not have shared understanding. The irony is, these three words are not even new words entering the English language, rather, they are old words, used in new ways.
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Children with poor motor performance have poor academic skills during first 3 years of school
News-Medical.Net
Children with poor motor performance at the school entry were found to have poorer reading and arithmetic skills than their better performing peers during the first three years of school. However, no relationship was found between cardiovascular fitness and academic skills, according to a new study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    5 common myths about school administration (eSchool News)
More schools choose a 4-day week (District Administration Magazine)
How to create effective homework (MindShift)
Report: 10 percent of students miss too much school (District Administration Magazine)
School nurses' duties expand with changing times (USA Today)

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


4 caution lights for school leaders
Connected Principals Blog (commentary)
Zig Ziglar's "wheel of life" is often referred to by leadership coaches, like Chris Locurto, because it represents a good visual of the competing interests in each of our lives. The thought goes, when the areas of life are held in good balance, the ride is much smoother. When one area of life is off-balance, we experience a flat tire.
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Growing leaders
Scholastic Administrator
If you look at the growing list of demands placed on a school's top administrator, you'd think they have limitless hours in the day. There is student achievement to track, loads of data to analyze, parents to appease, new technology to consider, crises to manage, and teachers to coach and evaluate. So how can they juggle it all? Professional development for principals is a big part of the solution.
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A dozen essential guidelines for educators
Psychology Today (commentary)
To create the schools our children deserve, it's probably not necessary to devise specific policies and practices for every occasion. Rather, these will follow logically from a few core principles that we devise together. Here's a sample list of such principles, intended to start a conversation among educators, parents and the students themselves.
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Warily, schools watch students on the Internet
The New York Times
For years, a school principal's job was to make sure students were not creating a ruckus in the hallways or smoking in the bathroom. Vigilance ended at the schoolhouse gates.

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Administrators share favorite apps, tools for the job
eSchool News
On any given day, school administrators must juggle a variety of responsibilities, support staff, and respond to last-minute issues or emergencies.

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11 tips on teaching Common Core critical vocabulary
Edutopia
Teaching vocabulary within the Common Core State Standards is an essential component of standards-based curriculum alignment.

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How administrators collaborate and connect
eSchool News
Ed-tech leaders gathered for a Connected Educator Month webinar to explore what it means to be a connected administrator; how connected administrators empower teachers, students, and parents; and how a few simple actions can lead to a more connected and positive school culture. Moderated by Tom Daccord, director of EdTechTeacher, a professional learning organization, panelists included: Eric Sheninger, principal at New Milford High School in New Jersey, Patrick Larkin, assistant superintendent for learning in the Burlington Public Schools in Massachusetts, and Carl Hooker, director for instructional technology in the Eanes Independent School District in Texas.
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Gains in teacher quality
Education Next
The quality of the teacher workforce in the United States is of considerable concern to education stakeholders and policymakers. Numerous studies show that student academic success depends in no small part on access to high-quality teachers. Many pundits point to the fact that in the United States, teachers tend not to be drawn from the top of the academic-performance distribution, as is the case in countries with higher student achievement, such as Finland, Korea and Singapore. And the evidence on the importance of teacher academic proficiency generally suggests that effectiveness in raising student test scores is associated with strong cognitive skills as measured by SAT or licensure test scores, or the competitiveness of the college from which teachers graduate.
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Warily, schools watch students on the Internet
The New York Times
For years, a school principal's job was to make sure students were not creating a ruckus in the hallways or smoking in the bathroom. Vigilance ended at the schoolhouse gates. Now, as students complain, taunt and sometimes cry out for help on social media, educators have more opportunities to monitor students around the clock. And some schools are turning to technology to help them. Several companies offer services to filter and glean what students do on school networks; a few now offer automated tools to comb through off-campus postings for signs of danger. For school officials, this raises new questions about whether they should — or legally can — discipline children for their online outbursts.
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What schools can do to help boys succeed
Time
Being a boy can be a serious liability in today's classroom. As a group, boys are noisy, rowdy and hard to manage. Many are messy, disorganized and won't sit still. Young male rambunctiousness, according to a recent study, leads teachers to underestimate their intellectual and academic abilities. "Girl behavior is the gold standard in schools," says psychologist Michael Thompson. "Boys are treated like defective girls."
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The mind of a middle schooler: How brains learn
Edutopia
Heather Wolpert-Gawron, a middle school teacher, writes: "In my last post, I began a celebration of brains and made the argument as to why teachers need to brush up on their knowledge of brains in order to reach that all-too-allusive 'tween noggin. During this, my second of three posts in this series, I'll bring up a few key terms you should know in your own neurologic education. Then, we'll follow a history-related fact as it enters the brain of an average middle schooler, weaving its way towards the blessed long-term memory."
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Study: State defections from Common Core testing consortia won't greatly affect costs
The Washington Post
When Florida decided to withdraw from a consortium of states that is writing tests for the new Common Core academic standards in math and reading, it sent a ripple of concern through the remaining states. Florida's departure from the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers came after two other states, Oklahoma and Georgia, decided to stay loosely connected to the consortium but not participate in its tests.
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Colorado school allows teachers, staff members to carry concealed handguns
The Huffington Post
A school in rural Colorado is implementing a new safety plan allowing the school's teachers and staff members to carry concealed handguns. The plan is in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting last year in Newtown, Conn. where 20 children and six adults were shot dead. Briggsdale School superintendent Rick Mondt told 9News that the school has been considering new safety plans in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, as well as the fact that Briggsdale is about a 20 minute drive for police responding to a call at the school. Mondt also said less than 25 percent of the school's total teachers plan to conceal and carry a firearm on school grounds.
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Boost bus safety: Tips for parents
NAESP
When students ride the bus, they must follow specific rules to avoid dangerous situations. Get your school's families on board with bus safety with this month's issue of Report to Parents, "Boost Bus Safety." Encourage families to review these general bus safety principles. Report to Parents is NAESP's a family-friendly bulletin that you can post on your school website, forward to your teachers or parents, or distribute at your next school event.
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Why playtime matters
NAESP
Play is one of the primary approaches to learning available to young students. Yet despite its importance for cognitive, social-emotional, and physical growth, play has largely been pushed out of kindergarten classrooms and is currently vanishing from preschool classrooms as well. What can principals do to support play in early education? Here are five suggestions.
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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.

Feedback about an article? Contact NAESP Liaison Meredith Barnett at MBarnett@naesp.org.
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601   Download media kit
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