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Text Version   RSS   Subscribe   Unsubscribe   Archive   Media Kit November 07, 2014

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


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Snow days turn digital at more schools
District Administration Magazine
Sledding hills across the country may be a bit quieter this winter as snowstorms no longer mean a break from schoolwork for some students. An increasing number of districts are using e-learning to keep class in session during bad weather and to meet the required number of instruction days without having to add makeups to the calendar. Several forecasts, including the Farmer's Almanac, predict a cold and snowy winter for much of the United States.
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Student self-assessment: Understanding with purpose
By: Pamela Hill
Student assessments drive education. Academics are carefully measured with every student to determine at what level he is learning and if any interventions are needed to assist him for improved learning. If a student demonstrates learning difficulties that persist after a systematic plan of interventions has been used and measured, the student may be referred for special education services. It is at this point that a student is examined in a deeper manner.
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Teachers concerned about Common Core's computer testing
Gallup
After overseeing the introduction of the Common Core curriculum standards in their schools for at least a year, most states must now start assessing student learning in English and math with new standardized online tests. Yet the majority of U.S. public school teachers whom Gallup surveyed believe their own students are not well prepared for these computer-based assessments, given their typing and computer skills.
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4 communication, curation tools for Common Core success
eSchool News
Educators throughout our state, nation, and world are always trying to save time and get better resources in order to provide the best available for their students. There are so many resources available, what's an over-scheduled educator to do? Thankfully, more and more excellent curation websites and tools are becoming known to — or created specifically for — teachers and administrators.
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Study: Smarter Balanced field tests didn't mirror classroom learning
Education Week
High school students who took the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium field test last spring found it far more difficult than younger students did, especially in mathematics, according to a new report. The report released by the consortium includes some interesting "lessons learned" from the field test of 4 million students. The report is based on responses from 19,000 students and 5,000 teachers and administrators. But it includes responses from only 13 of SBAC's 22 member states, and each state created its own survey, so the collected responses can't be seen as representative of the consortium population.
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Key considerations for mainstream teachers of newcomer ELLs
By: Holly Hansen-Thomas
Content-area specialist teachers new to ELLs might experience something of a shock the first time a student who speaks not a word of English is placed in the class. Mainstream teachers should seek out high-quality professional development opportunities that focus on sheltering and differentiating instruction, understanding sociocultural and linguistic concepts, and learning the theoretical foundations of second language acquisition. They should also understand that the following notions must be at the forefront of planning and teaching newcomers.
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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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Just 4 minutes of fun exercise improves learning and behavior in the classroom
Medical News Today
Four minutes of physical activity can improve behavior in the classroom for primary school students, according to new research by Brendon Gurd. A brief, high-intensity interval exercise, or a "FUNterval," for Grade 2 and Grade 4 students reduced off-task behaviors like fidgeting or inattentiveness in the classroom. "While 20 minutes of daily physical activity is required in Ontario primary schools, there is a need for innovative and accessible ways for teachers to meet this requirement," says Dr. Gurd, lead researcher and professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies.
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10 ways to create engaging schools
eSchool News
Technology integration and project-based learning are two of 10 strategies that one district technology director uses to help educators create engaging schools and classrooms that excite and empower students. Ninety-five percent of kindergartners are truly enthusiastic about school, but for some reason, that enthusiasm wanes, and only 37 percent of ninth graders are enthusiastic about school and learning, said Robert Dillon, director of technology and innovation for the Affton School District in St. Louis, during an edWeb Connected Educator Month webinar.
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Features of classroom design to maximize student achievement
SAGE Publication via Science Daily
With so much attention to curriculum and teaching skills to improve student achievement, it may come as a surprise that something as simple as how a classroom looks could actually make a difference in how students learn. A new analysis finds that the design and aesthetics of school buildings and classrooms has surprising power to impact student learning and success.
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Report: Principal turnover takes costly toll on students and districts
Education Week
The high rate of principal turnover is costing school districts dearly, particularly teachers and students in high-poverty systems, according to a new report by the School Leaders Network. The report, "Churn: The High Cost of Principal Turnover," examines the financial toll of principal turnover and calculates what students and districts lose when effective principals leave schools. A quarter of the country's principals quit their schools each year, according to the report, and nearly 50 percent leave in their third year.
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Study: Middle school teachers as savvy as students with tech
EdTech Magazine
Researchers found that science teachers inside and outside the classroom aren't lagging behind the "digital natives" they teach when it comes to using technology. The study comes from the work of five researchers, hailing from the New York Institute of Technology, University of Connecticut and Utah State University. The result of their research, posted on the academic research website Springer in October, should bolster the confidence of teachers who feel intimidated about using technology in the classroom. The team surveyed 1,079 middle school students, 774 from Utah and 305 New York, as well as 24 middle school science teachers from those states, ages 23–56, to discover how they compare in terms of tech experience.
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Should wealthy towns be able to secede from higher-poverty, higher-minority school districts?
The Hechinger Report
For years, Craig Foster, a retired Wall Street executive turned public school activist, has been zipping up and down the Pacific Coast Highway seeking support for a split between Malibu, the mostly wealthy, mostly white city of beachfront bungalows and modernist mansions, and Santa Monica, the equally picturesque but less moneyed city that shares its school district. Foster insists that once Malibu is independent from the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, the city could roll out a K-12 foreign language program, beef up its middle school soccer offerings, and maybe even design an International Baccalaureate track for the city's four schools.
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GOP wave to sap Obama's clout on education
Education Week
After midterm elections that vastly favored Republicans at virtually every level, President Barack Obama has far fewer allies in Congress and in states to champion his federal policy push on such priorities as teacher evaluation and common academic standards at a crucial stage in their implementation. At the state level, for example, the GOP tidal wave means there will be more opponents of the Common Core State Standards in legislatures, and among state chiefs and governors, potentially threatening an initiative the Obama administration has backed with both money and regulatory incentives.
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How education spending influenced the midterms
The Atlantic
One outcome of the midterm elections: Nevada can expect to retain the dubious distinction of having one of the nation's lowest rates of per-pupil funding. A ballot measure that would have levied a new tax on large businesses to benefit public schools failed to garner support, with nearly eight out of 10 Silver State voters opposing it. This was one of many education-focused ballot measures around the country that came before voters.
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Chicago principals to receive training from Northwestern U
THE Journal
Over the next three years, exceptional principals in Chicago Public Schools will receive training and executive coaching as a result of a collaboration between Northwestern University's Center for Nonprofit Management and School of Education and Social Policy. Principals in the program will receive one year of development training and will, in return, commit to staying at CPS for three additional years. "Recent data suggests that principal effectiveness improves over time, peaking and stabilizing in the fourth or fifth year a principal is on the job," according to a Northwestern news release.
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Evaluating Maryland kindergartners has become a one-on-one mission
The Washington Post
Isaac Jackson, 5, walked slowly behind Kendra Sarris, his kindergarten teacher, into the hallway outside Room 19 at Accokeek Academy. The pair then sat at two tiny desks facing a concrete wall. It was testing time. "You're going to listen carefully to the directions and try your best," Sarris told Isaac as he settled into his chair. Then Sarris slowly began reading from the script for the new Kindergarten Readiness Assessment, a comprehensive test that has been expanded in Maryland to include one-on-one interaction and is designed to evaluate students in the areas of language, literacy, math, science, social studies and physical well-being.
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Parents in Florida district fight for their kids to have more recess
The Huffington Post
Despite efforts from a group of parents from Lake County School District in Florida to increase the amount of recess time their kids get at school, the school district will not be requiring schools to give elementary students more than an hour of playtime per week. Parents and grandparents started protesting the fact that the district was not requiring recess in July, according to the Orlando Sentinel. They asked that their young children be given 30 minutes of recess everyday.
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President's perspective: What we do matters
NAESP
NAESP President Mark White writes: "I have a sign that I keep beside my desk that reads, 'What We Do Matters.' It is true for principal leaders today in so many ways. You have chosen to make a difference because you know that what principals do matters for children. Simply put, you are a difference-maker because of your chosen profession, the principalship."
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Download NAESP's new pre-k-3 competencies
NAESP
NAESP has released an updated, principal competency guide on early learning. Developed by a panel of leading practitioners, Leading Pre-K-3 Learning Communities: Competencies for Effective Principal Practice defines new competencies and outlines a practical approach to high-quality early childhood education. The digital edition of the publication is free for download for a limited time.
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