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Rethinking principal evaluation
Education Week (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In an era of high-stakes testing, more-rigorous federal and state accountability programs, and intense interest among taxpayers and government leaders in school-level performance, the demand for accountability for principals has never been greater. However, narrowing a principal's performance evaluation to student test scores — or any single criterion, especially those for which a principal does not have direct control — is absurd. Yet, that very scenario has been repeated time and again during the past 10 years of adequate yearly progress under the No Child Left Behind law, the current version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. More


Race to the Top-district application deadline extended
U.S. Department of Education    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For districts in states affected by Hurricane Sandy and for which the president has issued a major disaster declaration or an emergency declaration, the new Race to the Top-District deadline is 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, Nov. 7. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has a list of states for which the President has issued a major disaster declaration or an emergency declaration based on the effects of Hurricane Sandy. More

How to uphold online learning standards to quality education
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As the number of K-12 students who take online courses continues to grow — more than two million are currently enrolled — the need to uphold rigorous standards to online education is becoming that much more important. And with criticism leveled at many online schools for poor academic performance, the online education model needs to create a more accurate way to assess the quality of the dozens of programs in the space. More

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Study finds benefits to a 'double dose' of Algebra
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
New research on a Chicago policy that requires some 9th graders to double up on algebra instruction identifies "positive and substantial" longer-run benefits for participants, including improvements to performance on college-entrance exams, high school graduation rates and college-enrollment rates. More

Social learning networks promote student engagement, global awareness
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Think about it ... what do kids want? What do you want? How about the chance to be masters of tasks, have lives with purpose, and have the choice of when, where, and how when it comes to engagement in learning and teaching? The classroom is no longer a physical place. Perhaps it never has been. Learning is experiential and it occurs, usually not on schedule, but 24 hours a day. What does this mean in an age of Common Core Standards and high-stakes testing? More

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Teacher observation: High-tech or low-tech?
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As short, frequent, unannounced classroom visits become more common in American schools, principals have significant choices on how and when to use laptop computers, tablet devices and smartphones as part of this teacher-evaluation technique. Lots of commercial software products are designed to streamline the process of gathering information on classroom observations and giving feedback to teachers, but is technology always the best tool? More

Teachers: Technology changing how students learn
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
There is a widespread belief among teachers that students' constant use of digital technology is hampering their attention spans and ability to persevere in the face of challenging tasks, according to two surveys of teachers. The researchers note that their findings represent the subjective views of teachers and should not be seen as definitive proof that widespread use of computers, phones and video games affects students' capability to focus. Even so, the researchers who performed the studies, as well as scholars who study technology's impact on behavior and the brain, say the studies are significant because of the vantage points of teachers, who spend hours a day observing students. More


Schools must help educators transform 'PD' into personal discovery
District Administration Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Educators pursuing professional development can learn anytime, anywhere, using personalized global classrooms with hand picked "teachers" and "textbooks." You have an open Tuesday night? Take up a live chat with Australian educators about math curriculum. What about a long commute? Listen to a podcast about classroom evaluation. In fact, online resources are so ubiquitous and accessible that we must ask if traditional, school-based PD will go the way of the Walkman and the Laserdisc. More

Middle school: The worst years of our lives
Slate    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Every morning, the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders at Paul Cuffee Middle School in Providence, R.I., join together in what's called a Circle of Power and Respect. In this "CPR," they discuss anything from an upcoming science project to how to get boys to stop purposefully clogging the toilets. Last spring, when a beloved teacher left the school, one classroom used their CPR time to process the change. "He said he's leaving because this is good for his family," a seventh-grade boy reassured his classmates. "It doesn't have anything to do with us." If this kind of frank, organized discussion of feelings sounds odd for middle schoolers, it is. But, experts say, if middle schools can give as much attention to emotions and values as they give to academics, the double focus pays off in surprising ways. More

Childhood bullying can lead to long term health consequences
The Medical News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Childhood bullying can lead to long term health consequences, including general and mental health issues, behavioral problems, eating disorders, smoking, alcohol use and homelessness, a study by the Crime Victims' Institute at Sam Houston State University found. More

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iPads in education: Where's the money coming from?
Macworld    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When San Diego public school officials decided to distribute 26,000 iPads to students this year, they were lucky: They already had a big pile of money. The city's voters had approved a $2 billion bond issue in 2008 — $500 million of which was designated for a five-year "digital transformation program" designed to update the district's curriculum. San Diego schools started distributing inexpensive netbooks to students in 2009; the next year Apple unveiled the iPad. And school officials soon changed direction, believing that tablets were a better educational tool. More

The way teachers are getting school supplies may surprise you    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Each year, American teachers pay $3 billion out of their own pockets on classroom supplies. Yes, $3 billion. Teachers in many parts of the country barely make enough to pay bills, much less have extra money to funnel back into the classroom. But fortunately more people — and politicians — are waking up to this critical economic problem in the classroom. More


Migraine in kids linked to poor school performance
Medical News Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Children with migraine have an increased risk of performing below average in school than kids who do not have these types of headaches. The finding, published in the journal Neurology, came from a study of 5,671 kids from Brazil, ages 5 to 12, which showed that those with migraine were 30 percent more likely to have below average marks in school compared to students who did not suffer from headaches. More

School libraries changing with move to digital resources
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As schools across the nation move from printed textbooks to digital materials and digital learning environments, school libraries are adapting to keep pace — and new advancements are changing the very definition of school libraries and library media specialists. Many of today's students do not know what a card catalog is, and challenges lie not in locating information about various topics, but in narrowing it down and determining whether resources are trustworthy or not. More

Education issues underscore election stakes at all levels
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Education policy and funding — from common standards and college access to the prospect of "doomsday" budget cuts — have been a steady theme in this year's presidential campaign, even as more specific K-12 debates lighted the political landscape in various states. And with the strategic balance in Congress in play, along with the makeup of 44 state legislatures and the fate of numerous education-related ballot measures, the Nov. 6 elections could have a lasting impact on the direction of precollegiate policy. More

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New Jersey district adds incident reporting tool to comply with anti-bullying law
THE Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A New Jersey school district has deployed a new Web-based incident reporting platform to comply with requirements of the state's anti-bullying law, which was enacted last year. The Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act, which was signed into law on Jan. 5, 2011, created "standards and procedures for preventing, reporting, investigating and responding to incidents of harassment, intimidation, and bullying of students that occur on school grounds and off school grounds under specified circumstances." More

Texas lawmakers discuss school discipline methods
The Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
At a joint hearing of the Senate Committees on Criminal Justice and Education, lawmakers discussed ways to save money and improve the quality of school discipline practices, including giving more discretion to teachers, law enforcement and judges when it comes to dealing with disciplinary violations. The meeting came a day after a report by the nonprofit Texas Appleseed suggested that the current focus on "exclusionary discipline," including suspension, expulsion and sending youths to juvenile justice programs, is expensive and ineffective. More


5 states pursue second round of Race to the Top early learning challenge
THE Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
According to the United States Department of Education, all five eligible states have stepped forward to participate in the second round of applications for the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge, which provides funding for reforms in state early learning programs. Those states include Wisconsin, Oregon, New Mexico, Illinois and Colorado. More

Scott Walker, Wisconsin governor, cannot dictate public education policies, judge rules law unconstitutional
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Statues that give the Wisconsin governor power to approve or block new education policies is unconstitutional, a Madison judge ruled Tuesday. The decision overturns — only as it applies to the state's Department of Public Instruction — a law enacted last May that gives the governor authority to kill rules proposed by state agencies. The legislation was passed as part of a special legislative session on jobs that Republican Gov. Scott Walker called last year. More

Study: Homeless students in Minneapolis score lower in math, reading tests
Minnesota Public Radio    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Of the many academic risk factors that students face, homelessness may be one of the worst according to a study. Researchers looked at Minneapolis public school students over a six-year span and found that homelessness and high mobility had a greater effect on grades than other poverty-based measure. Even the most basic elements of school like homework and studying can be tough to sort out for homeless students, or those considered highly mobile because they move more than three times in a year. More

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Texas schools begin tracking students with computer chips in ID cards
NBC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Privacy's last stand is taking place not far from The Alamo in Texas right now, to hear some people tell it. Two schools in San Antonio have begun tracking students using radio-enabled computer chips embedded in their ID cards, allowing administrators to know the precise whereabouts of their charges on campus — be it in class, in the bathroom, in a stairwell or AWOL — all while sitting at a computer. The stated purpose of the so-called RFID ID cards is simple: Because state aid is based on attendance, and the chips help schools count kids, tracking equals funding. The district also says the technology makes kids safer. More

Apprentice program to train new Seattle teachers
The Seattle Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Some teachers in Seattle will soon be trained like medical residents, with substantial on-the-job training under the supervision of a trained mentor. Four organizations, including the Seattle teachers union, are together designing the new program, which will start next summer. More

Principals help teachers soar
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In her October ED's Perspective column, NAESP Executive Director Gail Connelly explores how great principals are star staff developers. "In today's talks about measuring educators’ performance, we can't ignore the importance of school leaders as they work diligently to help teachers sharpen their skills, deepen their knowledge, and reach more students," writes Connelly. More

Phonics and fluency: Tactics for teaching reading
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
One of the most fundamental skills a child must learn in school is how to read. But, in a new book from NAESP and Solution Tree, authors Patricia M. Cunningham and James W. Cunningham argue that sometimes we take for granted how complex teaching and learning reading are. Their book, "What Principals Need to Know About Teaching and Learning Reading," offers research-based recommendations to help you bolster your school's reading program. Dive in today by picking up a copy in the National Principals Resource Center, where NAESP members always receive a discounted price. More


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