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School bullying: Overall victimization declines, NCES Reports, Asian students most bullied
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For the most part, the instance of student victimization in schools has fallen since 1995, according to a new report by the National Center for Educational Statistics. But the problem persists. Based on data analyses of information from the School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey administered by the U.S. Department of Justice, the NCES found that there was a drop in the proportion of students reporting criminal victimization at school — to 4.3 percent of students aged 12-18 in 2005, down from 9.5 percent in 1995. Criminal victimizations can range from "serious violent," like sexual assault, to "theft," like attempted and completed pickpocketing. More

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Most states don't make the grade on asthma and allergy school health
PRNewswire via The Sacramento Bee    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For over 7 million children with asthma, and 13 million with food allergy or other severe allergies, going to school is a daily risk affecting how well they can — or can't — manage their diseases. Now for the fourth year, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has released its annual report assessing all 50 states and the District of Columbia on their leadership and progress on school-based policies that address student asthma and allergy health in more than 100,000 elementary, middle and high schools across the U.S. More



Waldorf education in public schools
Harvard Education Letter    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In the quest to fix ailing schools, should we slow down to move faster? Just as the handmade, home-farmed foodie movement is transforming how consumers view processed food, is education's equivalent — Waldorf-style schooling that favors hands-on art and personal exploration while shunning textbooks and technology — just what school reform needs? It sounds counterintuitive for struggling students to spend class time on, say, knitting and drawing. Yet, a small but growing number of public schools are embracing Waldorf methods in hopes of engaging students in ways advocates say traditional approaches do not — and raising test scores along the way. More

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Can everyone be smart at everything?
KQED    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When a student gets a good grade, wins an award or proudly holds up a painting, we all know by now that we're not supposed to say, "Good job!" Praising the achievement rather than the effort will backfire. To a kid, "Good job" means "You're smart" or "You're talented" — the praise goes to inherent, natural-born abilities or intelligence. But that immediate spark of self-pride will turn into deep self-doubt when the child invariably comes across a bigger challenge and doesn't immediately succeed. More

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Washington-area schools confront the 'gifted gap'
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The budding scholars in Alexandria's gifted classes are bright and curious enough to make any teacher beam, but these days they're also an emblem of what the school system calls one of its greatest failures: a lack of diversity among the academic elite. Most of Alexandria's students are black or Hispanic. Most in gifted programs are white. This imbalance in classes tailored to gifted and talented students is echoed across the region and the nation, a source of embarrassment to many educators. More


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National study finds widespread sexual harassment of students in 7th- to 12th-grade
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Nearly half of seventh- to 12th-graders experienced sexual harassment in the last school year, according to a study, with 87 percent of those who have been harassed reporting negative effects such as absenteeism, poor sleep and stomachaches. On its survey of a nationally representative group of 1,965 students, the American Association of University Women, a nonprofit research organization, defined harassment as "unwelcome sexual behavior that takes place in person or electronically." Overall, girls reported being harassed more than boys — 56 percent compared with 40 percent — though it was evenly divided during middle school. More

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Study warns of limited savings from closing schools
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Closing schools doesn't save very much money in the context of an urban district's budget, and selling or leasing surplus school buildings tends to be difficult because they're often old and in struggling neighborhoods, a recent report from a Philadelphia research group says. On the positive side, however, the study finds that students appear to make it through a school closure with minimal effects on their academic progress. More

Principals rebel against 'value-added' evaluation
The Washington Post (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Scores of public school principals in New York are fighting the state's new educator evaluation system, which ties the evaluations and pay of teachers and principals to how well students do on standardized tests. New York has a new law requiring that 20 percent to 40 percent of the evaluations be linked to test scores, despite warnings by assessment experts that there are too many problems with "value-added" methods of determining a teacher's quality. More

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The joys, and frustrations, of snow days in November
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With the start of winter still weeks away, the Millburn School District in New Jersey used the last of its three allotted snow days, with three of its seven schools still without power, Internet or phone service since the snowstorm. In nearby Teaneck, N.J., where schools in the 4,500-student district will remain closed at least through Nov. 10 because of concerns about hazardous road conditions, officials are considering adding days in June. And in Connecticut, where dozens of schools hit hard have been closed all week, the Weston district has already used nine snow days — including four after Tropical Storm Irene delayed the start of classes — and may have to take back days from spring break if snow forces more closings. More

Study: Dyslexia not related to intelligence
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
One's intelligence appears unrelated to the specific brain pattern that causes dyslexia, researchers reported. The findings are important because they suggest that IQ shouldn't be considered by education specialists when diagnosing dyslexia. In fact, doing say may bar some children from receiving special education services to improve reading comprehension. More

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Hosted VoIP: A better call?
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As school districts replace their antiquated phone systems, a growing number of districts are choosing hosted or "managed," voice-over-IP service. Besides being easier to manage, hosted VoIP service also enables schools to leverage federal eRate discounts more effectively, its supporters say. Unlike premise-based VoIP service, hosted VoIP is a cloud-based solution that delivers telephone service over the internet. The customer has no call-routing equipment or software to house, manage or maintain on site. Many school districts have welcomed the hassle-free nature of hosted VoIP phone service — and many have found that it's more cost-effective as well, because it's often eligible for Priority One eRate funding. More

Focus on standardized tests may be pushing some teachers to cheat
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
This year, some three dozen California teachers from 23 schools and 21 districts have been accused of cheating on standardized achievement tests. In the worst alleged cases, teachers are accused of changing incorrect responses or filling in missing ones after students returned answer booklets. Many accused teachers have denied doing anything wrong. But documents and interviews suggest that an increasing focus on test scores has created an atmosphere of such intimidation that the idea teachers would cheat has become plausible. More

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New Census measure finds fed programs lower child poverty
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Federal social programs are keeping nearly 2 million American children out of poverty, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's first new poverty calculation measure in more than four decades. The Census Bureau released its new poverty measure, intended to supplement the official count used by the education field for everything from achievement research to setting eligibility for education programs like the Head Start preschool program and Title I school grants for disadvantaged students. More

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Feds press Alabama schools for attendance data
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As litigation over Alabama's tough new immigration law continues, federal civil rights authorities have ramped up pressure on the state's public schools to show they are not violating federal law by denying students access to schooling because of their immigration status. Saying Alabama's immigration law "may chill or discourage student participation" in public education, Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez — who is the head of the civil rights division for the U.S. Department of Justice — ordered 39 school districts in the state to submit detailed enrollment data to his office, including information about students who have withdrawn from school since the current academic year began. More

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In Tennessee, following the rules for evaluations off a cliff
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Last year, when Tennessee was named one of the first two states to win a federal Race to The Top grant, worth $501 million, there was great joy all around. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who has the job of implementing President Barack Obama's signature education program, praised Tennessee officials for having "the courage, capacity and commitment to turn their ideas into practices that can improve outcomes for students." Gov. Bill Haslam, a Republican, called his state "the focal point of education reform in the nation." Tennessee's new motto is "First to the Top." More

West Virginia aiming to protect LGBT students from bullies
The Associated Press via Google News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A proposed anti-bullying policy for West Virginia schools acknowledges for the first time that sexual orientation and gender identity are common reasons for harassment. Had it been in place when Michael White was in middle school, it might have spared him the worst years of his life. More

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Michigan education chief blasts anti-bullying bill as 'a joke'
Detroit Free Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Michigan State Superintendent Mike Flanagan blasted anti-bullying legislation that passed the Senate, saying it's "a joke" now that new language was added that appears to allow bullying on religious and moral grounds. The bill, which came under attack even from the father whose son the bill was named after, would require school districts to adopt anti-bullying policies. But the bill also has language that says requirements don't "prohibit a statement of a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction of a school employee, school volunteer, pupil, or a pupil's parent or guardian." More

Washington, D.C., educators rated 'effective' can still lose jobs
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In 11 years as a counselor at Malcolm X Elementary in Southeast Washington, D.C., Jacqueline Sutton mediated disputes, visited students' homes, alerted authorities to possible child abuse and kept food in her office for kids who came to school weeping sometimes because they were so hungry. Two years in a row, she received "effective" ratings on evaluations designed to identify high-performing educators and remove weak ones. But Sutton is now unemployed — despite twice meeting or exceeding standards the district says are more rigorous than ever. More

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Exclusive online course: Bullying 101 for School Principals
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Maintaining a safe, nurturing school environment for students is every school leader's top priority. To help you do that, the NAESP Foundation has partnered with Hazelden Publishing to give NAESP members access to an exclusive, low-cost online course, Bullying 101 for School Principals: What Principals Should Know and Be Able to Do. Register today and put a stop to bullying at your school. More

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New award program honors assistant principals
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The NAESP Foundation, along with the Pearson Foundation, has launched the Outstanding Assistant Principals Award to celebrate superb assistant principals and their vital contributions to schools. Winners will be chosen through NAESP state affiliates. Click here for details on eligibility and applying. More

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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 Cynthia Rosso at crosso@naesp.org.
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601   Download media kit
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