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


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More US states leaning on teachers
MoneyWatch
With an increased focus on the performance of the nation's public schools, a growing number of states are scrutinizing the effectiveness of their teachers. Thirty-five states, along with the District of Columbia, now require that student achievement be a significant, or even the most significant factor, in teacher evaluations, according to a new report from the National Council on Teacher Quality, which advocates for teacher reforms. Just four years ago, a mere four states required evidence of student learning to be the most significant factor.
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Leveraging Pinterest for administrators
eSchool News
Pinterest, a social networking site in which users "pin" websites and resources to a virtual pinboard, has grown in popularity among the education community. While the site is especially popular with teachers, school administrators are also using the site with more frequency. School leaders can use Pinterest to help their own teachers grow and build important teaching skills, but they also can use the site to improve their own leadership and practice.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword ADMINISTRATORS.




Administrators must rise above Common Core controversy
District Administration Magazine
As widespread adoption of the Common Core State Standards moves ever closer, the initiative is coming under attack from both the left and right. But school district leaders must ignore the politics and focus on the practical realities of implementation: costs, technology and training, K12 leaders say. "The best thing administrators can be doing is to make sure that students are prepared and are experiencing a course of study that's consistent with these new expectations," says Mitchell Chester, Massachusetts' education commissioner and board chair of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, one of the two Common Core consortiums.
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Ready to learn? The key is listening with intention
MindShift
Listening and observing can be passive activities — in one ear and out the other, as our mothers used to say. Or they can be rich, active, intense experiences that lead to serious learning. The difference lies in our intention: the purpose and awareness with which we approach the occasion. Here's how to make sure your intentions are good. Research on how we learn a second language demonstrates that effective listening involves more than simply hearing the words that float past our ears. Rather, it's an active process of interpreting information and making meaning.
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Common Core's promise collides with IEP realities
Education Week
One of the most promising elements of common academic standards for students with disabilities, say experts in special education, is that they offer explicit connections from one set of skills to another. That is particularly important for students served under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. For years, the law has pushed schools and districts to provide students access to the same academic curriculum available to the general school population. One way to do that, the law says, is through "standards-based" individualized education programs, or IEPs, instead of educational plans that focus mostly on skills that do not connect to a cohesive academic goal.
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LEP student learning struggles: Language or disability assessment
By Beth Crumpler
Limited English proficient students struggle with academic and content-area concepts. When these students have lower proficiency levels and show little to no increase in their English academic abilities, it sets off a red flag to content-area teachers. LEP student struggles within the content area could be a result of not having developed academic English yet, or could be a result of an unidentified disability. ESL teachers must work closely with content-area teachers and educators involved in the student data collection, study and intervention processes to make sure LEP student struggles receive proper review.
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Imagery: A key to understanding math
MindShift
How can teachers help students find the beauty in math? There may be roadblocks already set up in math education — students' disposition toward math anxiety, and pressure to cover material quickly. Or maybe it has something to do with the curse of knowledge — the gap between what experts know and nonexperts don't. It's easy for math professors to see the beauty in math, said New York University neuroscientist Pascal Wallisch, because they already have an obvious connection with it. "They perhaps had the luck to enjoy a positive math experience in school," he said.
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Bullying interventions increase bullying (or do they?)
Psychology Today
November signaled the close of Bullying Prevention Awareness Month. And wouldn't you know, a study about bullying prevention programs went viral. The authors and some news outlets have taken the study to mean that, not only do bullying prevention programs not work, they make bullying WORSE by — their best guess — actually teaching children bullying tactics. If you read the original study, however, you will quickly find that it suggests no such thing.
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3 leadership lessons from the government shutdown
Edutopia (commentary)
It's been a trying time for our government and our country. Decision-making, often unbearably slow, was at a standstill for 16 days. Many waited to return to work, and the economy hung in the balance. Regardless of your political leanings, it is tough to think of our government as being in any type of position to provide lessons in leadership. Yet, as a mentor of mine once shared, "You can often learn more about true leadership from failures than you can from outright successes." And though the realm of politics can be quite different from education, it is amazing (and perhaps a bit frightening) just how many corollaries there are between our two worlds.
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Do you check your school email too much?
Education Week (commentary)
This may seem like a silly subject to write about. It's not focusing on state testing, the Common Core State Standards or flipped communication. However, email does have big implications in education and is about social-emotional growth...not for students but for the adults in the school building. Many teachers and school leaders check their email accounts dozens of times during the day, which sometimes prevents them from fully engaging with students. Yes, there are teachers who are keep an eye on their computer while working with students because they are concerned about missing an important message.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    A teacher perspective: Advice for principals (Edutopia)
Study: Children quick to judge peers with autism (Disability Scoop)
Report: Teacher-evaluation policies becoming increasingly 'rigorous' (Education Week)
4 caution lights for school leaders (Connected Principals Blog)
Talking about numbers, not just counting, builds kids' understanding (KPBS-TV)

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


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6 ways to modernize teacher-preparation programs
eSchool News
As the U.S. education system shifts to accommodate a digital world in which 21st century skills are the norm, and not the exception, many stakeholders say teacher-preparation programs must evolve to fulfill student learning expectations. "Teacher-preparation programs must evolve to ensure that teacher candidates have a deep understanding of pedagogy and curriculum to personalize learning, utilize data and assessments effectively, and incorporate digital learning as an integral part of their instructional strategies," said the Alliance for Excellent Education report, "Expert Perspectives: Future of Teacher Preparation in the Digital Age."
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Online forums a 'mixed bag' for depressed youth
Reuters
Troubled kids can find helpful support on the Internet. They can also find encouragement to hurt themselves and avoid professional help, suggests a new look at past studies. Researchers said Internet forums and other online resources may be both good and bad influences when it comes to self-harm and suicidal thoughts among depressed young people.
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Administrators must rise above Common Core controversy
District Administration Magazine
As widespread adoption of the Common Core State Standards moves ever closer, the initiative is coming under attack from both the left and right. But school district leaders must ignore the politics and focus on the practical realities of implementation: costs, technology and training, K12 leaders say.

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Teamwork in schools: What administrators should know
eSchool News
Administrators are tasked with an ever-growing list of responsibilities in their schools and districts. Central to ensuring smooth operations? Teamwork. When school administrators, teachers, and staff members work together collaboratively, school operations and initiative are more efficient.

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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. Making the critical words second nature to our students will enhance achievement on assessments and will be useful in college and career.

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School districts using mobile apps to reach on-the-go parents
The Washington Post
Schools' lines of communication have multiplied over the years, from backpack fliers and home visits to robo-calls and Web sites, group emails and text messages. Then they added Facebook and Twitter accounts. Now, mobile apps are being designed to streamline some of the chatter and put it at arm's reach for a generation of parents accustomed to having smartphones at the ready.
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Tracking student discipline
Education Week
Schools have data for everything, and there are companies that are standing in line willing to "help" schools create databases that offer one stop shopping for everything they need. inBloom is one such company. The databases that are being offered to schools contain test scores, progress monitoring scores, attendance rates, family information, IEP and 504 information, as well as discipline issues. There are schools and state education departments that are obsessed with data. They think that numbers tell us everything, when in reality numbers only tell a small part of the story.
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Education reforms, Obamacare destabilize state budgets
Deseret News
In March 2009, President Barack Obama gave governors $53.6 billion from the “State Fiscal Stabilization Fund” contained in the federal stimulus package. The money was to be used in exchange for the adoption of four federal K-12 education reforms. These reforms constitute a massive new education entitlement program similar to Obamacare, and a dismantling of local control over education. Governors were directed to spend the funds "quickly" in order to bolster the economy. This directive has allowed the federal government to remake K-12 education in three years time without public knowledge, without using our representative form of government and without vetting the ongoing costs to states.
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Frustrated school principals: State job-performance scores don't add up
Newsday
Frustrated school principals say their new state job-performance scores don't add up. Much of the controversy about evaluations in New York State revolves around those given to more than 126,000 public school teachers. But many of the 3,200 principals rated also have complaints about what they see as unequal and inconsistent treatment of their profession. A statewide summary of principals' job ratings from the state Department of Education was released last month for the first time.
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Massachusetts to take over 4 struggling schools, including 2 in Boston
The Boston Globe
Alarmed by chronically low MCAS scores, Massachusetts education officials announced they will take over four schools, including two in Boston, in an attempt to rejuvenate academic programs and put students on a path to success. The state is pursuing the takeovers after the four schools failed to orchestrate a rapid turnaround over the past three years, despite immense resources to get the job done with millions of dollars in federal school-improvement funds and broad powers to replace their teachers, extend the school day, and make other changes with little union interference.
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Colorado is asking taxpayers for $1 billion to help schools
The New York Times
In one poor school district in Colorado's San Luis Valley, students take classes in a bus garage, using plastic sheeting to keep the diesel fumes at bay. In another, there is no more money to tutor young immigrants struggling to read. And just south of Denver, a district where one in four kindergartners is homeless has cut 10 staff positions and is bracing for another cull. For decades, schools like these have struggled to keep pace with their bigger and wealthier neighbors. On Tuesday, Colorado will try to address those problems with one of the most ambitious and sweeping education overhauls in the country, asking voters to approve a $1 billion tax increase in exchange for more school funding and an educator's wish-list of measures.
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The power of pre-K
NAESP
Move over kindergarten — pre-K has emerged as the base of vital early learning. But integrating a pre-K program into a school offers myriad challenging for principals, including issues with professional development, program integration, curriculum alignment and seamless education. Here's how one Michigan school developed a unified, pre-K-3 umbrella approach to support its early learners.
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Club Connect brings new support to schools
NAESP
Principals nationwide are signing up their schools to participate in Club Connect, NAESP's exclusive new partnership with United Way. Club Connect raises funds for your school, education programs in your community and resources for principals through the NAESP Foundation. Since the program's introduction at NAESP's national conference in August, schools in seven states are launching fall campaigns and more are requesting implementation kits each day.
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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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