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Text Version   RSS   Subscribe   Unsubscribe   Archive   Media Kit November 04, 2014

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


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States backtrack on student tracking technology
The Pew Charitable Trusts
Do you know where your student is? At school? On the bus? Paying for lunch in the cafeteria? Principals in thousands of the nation's schools know the answer because radio frequency chips are embedded in students' ID cards, or their schools are equipped with biometric scanners that can identify portions of a student's fingerprint, the iris of an eye or a vein in a palm. Such technologies have become increasingly common in schools, which use them to take attendance, alert parents where their children get off the school bus or speed up lunch lines.
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Teachers favor Common Core, not the testing
Gallup
The large majority of U.S. public school teachers, 76 percent, react positively to the primary goal of the Common Core — to have all states use the same set of academic standards for reading, writing and math in grades K-12. However, this positivity fades when the topic turns to using computerized tests to measure student performance (27 percent) and linking those test scores to teacher evaluations (9 percent).
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Too many kids quit science because they don't think they're smart
The Atlantic
For most students, science, math, engineering and technology subjects are not intuitive or easy. Learning in general — and STEM in particular — requires repeated trial and error, and a student's lack of confidence can sometimes stand in her own way. And although teachers and parents may think they are doing otherwise, these adults inadvertently help kids make up their minds early on that they're not natural scientists or "math people," which leads them to pursue other subjects instead.
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Common Core math can be a mystery, and parents are going to school to understand it
The Washington Post
Jennifer Craig stared at her daughter's fifth-grade math homework. It was a three-digit multiplication problem, and it seemed simple enough. But her 10-year-old was supposed to solve it by drawing a chart, breaking apart numbers, multiplying, adding and maybe more. "I'm lost," said Craig, a 31-year-old stay at home mother of three. And that's how she found herself in her daughter's classroom Monday night, sitting alongside other parents in child-size chairs and listening as teacher Alyshia Thomas explained new math strategies.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keywords COMMON CORE.


To teach facts, start with feelings
Edutopia
Recently, we heard from a teacher who decided to create a more dynamic approach to his history class ... by teaching it backward, starting with the present day. "Here's the world around you and how it feels to live in it. What happened over the last 20 years to get where we are? What happened in the decade before that?" Unsurprisingly, he met resistance from parents, who thought his approach was crazy.
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The value of connecting the dots to create 'real learning'
MindShift
While leading problem-solving and creativity workshops for a company called Synectics in the 1970s, former schoolteacher Peter Bergson had a revelation. "I realized learning is a creative process — you are creating understanding," he said. "The Synectics process was remedial, helping middle-aged businessmen develop thinking patterns that are natural to young people but get schooled out of them. What the Synectics process was doing was what the school process should have been doing — helping people develop their innate abilities to create and collaborate."
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Three lessons from the science of how to teach writing (The Hechinger Report)
Common Core revolt goes local (POLITICO)
5 ways to prevent K-12 school violence (The Huffington Post)
Holidays vs. standards: Which curriculum rules your school? (By: Thomas Van Soelen)
Why I'm a principal, not a statistic (Home Room)

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


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The high cost of principal turnover
Marketplace
Heather Wolpert-Gawron has been teaching for eleven years at Jefferson Middle School in San Gabriel, Calif. During that time, she says, the school has had about ten principals. "We had many years where the morale was low," she says. "We just kind of felt abandoned." Some of those principals left on their own. Some were removed. According to a new report from the nonprofit School Leaders Network, half of new principals quit in their third year on the job.
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The 3 most common practices in school turnaround efforts
THE Journal
The use of data to personalize instruction and increasing technology access for teachers or the use of computer instruction are two of the most common practices adopted by low-performing schools in a turnaround situation. A third common practice is the use of ongoing professional development that involves teachers working together or facilitation by school leaders. These three approaches are tried out by more than 96 percent of schools that have received federal School Improvement Grants, according to a research project that is specifically studying the improvement practices adopted by low-performing schools.
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Intervention programs target students with dyslexia
USA Today
While listening to a dyslexia interventionist specialist this spring, Tracie Luttrell started to see the faces of students who were struggling in her elementary school — faces of past students who never really thrived but ones Luttrell knew were intelligent. It was a light bulb moment for the educator. "I knew right then there was something we could do for these students," said Luttrell, principal at Flippin Elementary School.
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Think kids don't have compassion?
Education Week
Compassion, integrity and empathy are more than just words. They are traits that everyone should embody ... but we know that does not always happen. Unfortunately, we do not hear enough about these traits in our youth. As some of us get older, it gets easier to remark that kids have changed. It's a rite of passage for us, because we heard the same thing from older people when we were young.
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Study: Teacher hiring should be more scientific
The Associated Press via KOMO-TV
School districts may be able to hire teachers who do a better job in the classroom if they change the way they screen job applicants, a new study has found. Recruiters should carefully read recommendation letters, give more weight to a teacher's ability to keep calm in class and don't let personal connections overrule scientific evidence, the University of Washington's Center for Education Data & Research concluded. The study had access to lots of private information, including letters of recommendation and scoring rubrics used to assess candidates before the interview process.
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4 critical decisions when making wireless infrastructure changes
eSchool News
Wireless systems in K-12 institutions have likely been in place for several years now, prior to the large influx of personal devices and district owned devices, and we are beginning to see the ever-growing need for expanding wireless capacity. There are many options that need to be considered.
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States slashing education spending
24/7 Wall St.
State-level K-12 education spending has fallen dramatically in many states since 2008. In that time, 29 states cut per pupil spending, shifting the burden of financing education to local school districts and, in many instances, forcing schools to cut costs and even teachers. Based on the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities 2014 report, "Most States Funding Schools Less Than Before the Recession," 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 14 states with at least 10 percent declines in state general education funding between fiscal year 2008 and fiscal year 2015. In Oklahoma, per pupil spending fell by nearly 24 percent, the largest decline nationwide. These are the states slashing school spending.
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States are prioritizing prisons over education, budgets show
The Huffington Post
If state budget trends reflect the country's policy priorities, then the U.S. currently values prisoners over children, a new report suggests. A report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows that the growth of state spending on prisons in recent years has far outpaced the growth of spending on education. After adjusting for inflation, state general fund spending on prison-related expenses increased over 140 percent between 1986 and 2013. During the same period, state spending on K-12 education increased only 69 percent, while higher education saw an increase of less than six percent.
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These are the states with the most students for every teacher
The Huffington Post
There are substantially more students per every teacher in California than there are in Vermont. New data released this week from the National Center for Education Statistics shows how student-teacher ratio varied by state in the 2012-2013 school year. On average, there were 16 students per every public school teacher in the country that year.
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Rural schools: State funding system 'absolutely broke'
Green Bay Press Gazette
As difficult as state funding cuts are for public school districts in Wisconsin's largest cities, they are doubly painful in small rural communities. That was the message Thursday from school administrators in those smaller communities as well as their boosters, who gathered for a panel discussion on challenges facing public schools in the state. Rural school districts struggle more from state funding cuts, participants said, because they have smaller budgets and less flexibility than their big-city counterparts.
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School branding chat highlights
NAESP
One key theme of NAESP's October 28 school branding tweetchat: it's up to principals to shape their schools' stories online. Or, as Houston principal Sanee Bell put it: "If not you, then who? If not now, then when?" Bell and dozens of principals from around the country gathered on Twitter for the discussion, which was sponsored by NAESP and the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association. Here are the chat's highlights.
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Guidelines for Ebola and enterovirus D68
NAESP
The United States has been experiencing a nationwide outbreak of enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) associated with severe respiratory illness especially harmful to children. At the same time, you and your community may also have questions about the Ebola virus. To address both public health concerns, the U.S. Department of Education and other federal health partners have amassed these resources to share.
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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.
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