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New school meals are important for children's health
The Hill    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Our children eat at least half of their daily calories at school. School meals can play an important role in introducing children to healthy food options, encouraging children to make healthier food choices and ensuring proper portion sizes. In 2010, a federal law called the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-free Kids Act set new school meals standards, and children are now seeing more fruits, vegetables and whole grains on their cafeteria trays. Meals also include more low-fat and nonfat dairy products, and less fat and sodium. And portion sizes are based on age groups in elementary, middle and high school. More


Tie a big Blue Ribbon on America's great schools Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
This year marks the 30th anniversary of an American tradition — the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program. The brainchild of the second U.S. secretary of education, Terrel H. Bell, the program honors great American schools — urban, rural, suburban, public, private, charter, magnet and choice schools at the elementary, middle and high school levels — across the country. The 314 schools in the 2012 cohort join a distinguished cadre. Of more than 138,000 schools in the U.S., only 7,110 have been honored with this, the highest award the department confers. More

School curricula face controversial changes via recent bills, legislation
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Over the past couple years, several states attempted — and in some instances, succeeded — in passing legislation that brought controversial changes to school curricula. For instance, under Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal's proposed sweeping new school voucher program, tens of millions of Louisiana taxpayer dollars will be used to offer vouchers to more than half of the state's poor and middle-class public school students. These students can in turn use these vouchers to attend more than 120 private schools, including a number of small, Bible-based learning institutions that boast extreme anti-science and anti-history curricula while championing creationism. More

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Books like 'Hunger Games' make reading cool again
Green Bay Press-Gazette    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
"Harry Potter." "Eragon." "Twilight." "The Hunger Games." Librarians, teachers and parents agree: These are titles that helped "change it all." Reading is cool again. Gillian Dawson, teen services librarian at the Brown County Library in Wisconsin, couldn't be more thrilled. She's been immersed in the young adult world for six years and has taken note of the changing trends. More

A Barbie-like heroine to turn young girls toward engineering
Fast Company    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Engineering is a field dominated by men, despite the fact that girls often do better in math and science classes. With that myth long-dispelled, we can only look at our culture. Girls traditionally play with clothing and dolls, while boys play with weapons and Lego. We're groomed into the roles we choose starting with the toys we're handed as children. More

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Failing public schools: Should they learn from thriving charters?
Take Part    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
What makes a charter school succeed and how exactly can we transfer these ideas to failing public schools? These questions are examined in Roland G. Fryer's widely talked about report, "Learning From the Successes and Failures of Charter Schools." Fryer is the CEO of EdLabs and an economics professor at Harvard University. The report was published as part of The Hamilton Project (the Brookings Institution). The report has been touted for communicating a great way for modeled successful charters to "cross-pollinate" with failing public schools. Critics, however, have said charters are being favored as an education policy over reforms that might be more cohesive with the traditional public school system. More

Is the technology 'ready' for blended learning?
Forbes    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Blended learning and technology are at a crossroads. On the one hand, several schools with blended-learning programs continue to use curricula from one online provider, and although it doesn't give them the customization they may prefer ideally, its simplicity and reliability are worth the tradeoff. On the other hand, increasing numbers of schools are adopting blended-learning models that have each student working with multiple software providers within one subject. This is pushing the industry toward modularity perhaps a bit before it is ready to shift. More


Tips and take-aways from a successful mobile learning program
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Starting small might be the key to success when it comes to deploying a mobile learning initiative, according to two educators whose district has implemented a successful mobile program that now reaches 500 students. "We felt that if it was something that was going to catch on, we wanted to be sure that we started small and that it was as group of people who wanted to work at this," said Kyle Menchhofer, technology director for the St. Marys City Schools district in Ohio. "Starting small was a very strong and successful part of why we are where we are at this time." More

Evaluating teachers based on student test scores hurts children the most
The Washington Times (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Eileen Riley-Hall, author of "Parenting Girls on the Autism Spectrum," writes: "My daughter Caroline is a bright, sweet, inquisitive thirteen year-old. She also has autism. Over the past seven years of school, Caroline has made amazing progress because she always been included in the general education classroom with the help of a 1:1 aide." More

Setting students up for success
Education Next    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
What do a successful teacher and a wealthy grocery-store owner have in common? This sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but the answer is simple. Both are familiar, even if they don't know it, with "technical successes" and "technical failures." Aiming to maximize his sales, our grocer puts staples such as milk, eggs and bread at the back of the store, as his customers may pick up other items while looking for the staples. Placing the staples at the back of the store is a "technical success," while placing them at the front constitutes a "technical failure." In the classroom, a technical success arises when a teacher prepares her students to succeed, and a technical failure exists when she sets them up to fail. More

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Research traces impacts of childhood adversity
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The stress of a spelling bee or a challenging science project can enhance a student's focus and promote learning. But the stress of a dysfunctional or unstable home life can poison a child's cognitive ability for a lifetime, according to new research. While educators and psychologists have said for decades that the effects of poverty interfere with students' academic achievement, new evidence from cognitive and neuroscience is showing exactly how adversity in childhood damages students' long-term learning and health. Those studies show that stress forms the link between childhood adversity and poor academic achievement, but that not all adversity — or all stress — is bad for students. More

Health advocacy group rates public school districts for healthy lunches
The Examiner    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As childhood obesity rates continue to soar, a new report issued by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine finds public school districts in Florida, Maryland, Tennessee and Nebraska rise above federal guidelines to serve healthy school lunches. More


Time for higher pay? Teachers are more likely to work 2nd jobs
Take Part    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
After the school day ends, many teachers are heading to second jobs to make ends meet. According to a new study from the National Center for Education Statistics, the sad truth is that teachers are more likely than non-teachers to work multiple jobs. The report provides a variety of reasons why educators, who on average make $56,039 per year, might need to seek a supplementary income. More

Experts say a community approach is needed to tackle bullying
WATE-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Bullying, experts say, is happening more often and sometimes the bullying can be so severe it leads to violence and sometimes suicide. Recently two cases have brought attention to the issue of bullying. Now, experts say it's not just the school's responsibility to stop bullying; the community has to step up. More

What 4 more years means for education
EdNewsColorado    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
President Barack Obama's recent victory gives him a chance to build on the education policies he has pushed since 2009 and ensures that the federal government's role in education will not diminish over the next four years. In his victory speech, he promised to expand "access to the best schools and best teachers" and spoke broadly about hope for America's future, particularly for children, but did not offer specific policy ideas. More

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In first postelection speech, Duncan talks NCLB waivers
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has been relatively quiet since his boss won re-election on Tuesday. But he broke his silence tonight, in his first speech since the elections to the Education Trust's national conference. During what was planned as a relatively brief speech — which wasn't on his public schedule — he was expected to talk tonight about his commitment to implementing the No Child Left Behind waivers. And, he was expected to reaffirm his support of the waivers' goal that at-risk students should be expected to make faster progress toward academic goals. More

Viewpoint: The election has compromised education reform
TIME (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The 2012 presidential election sidestepped the issue of school reform. Neither candidate spent much time laying out, let alone talking up, an education policy agenda. But around the country, there were ballot referendums and state and local races with big implications for schools. Teachers' unions had a good night, but so did charter schools. In other words, Nov. 6 left the country with an education mandate as unclear as the electoral mandate overall. Still, what happened in various states will influence what happens in Washington during President Barack Obama's second term. More


Poor Texas school districts tax at higher rate, but collect less money causing inequality
The Associated Press via The Republic    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The poorest school districts in Texas tax at a rate that is nearly 8 percent higher than the state's wealthiest districts but receive 35 percent less in per student funding, potentially contributing to lower standardized tests scores and higher dropout rates, an expert testified during a much-watched school finance case. More

Kansas Board of Education will debate role of cursive handwriting on curriculums
The Kansas City Star    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Should children born into a world of computers, iPads, smartphones and e-cards have to learn old-fashioned cursive handwriting? The State Board of Education will explore the topic during its regular monthly meeting in Topeka, Kan. Walt Chappell, a state board member from Wichita, said he requested information from Kansas Department of Education officials on the teaching of cursive handwriting because he wants to know how or even whether it's still taught in Kansas schools. More

Oklahoma education secretary hears complaints of overtesting from parents and students
Tulsa World    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Oklahoma children are being so overtested that they are losing critical learning time in the classroom, parents told state Education Secretary Phyllis Hudecki. "I agree. We're testing too many things," Hudecki said. "I don't know exactly how it snowballed the way it has." Hudecki appeared at a meeting of the Tulsa Parent Legislative Action Committee in Jenks to answer questions and listen to parents' concerns. As a member of Gov. Mary Fallin's cabinet, she said she would take their ideas back to the governor. More

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Pittsburgh school standards will require a major curriculum overhaul
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Common Core State Standards, which are being phased in at schools across the country, are going to require major shifts in the math and English language arts curricula in Pittsburgh Public Schools. The changes are so significant that the reading level now required in 10th grade will be required of eighth-graders. Sixth-grade math already this year was moved down to fifth-grade. More

A 'devastating' lack of resources
Chicago Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Growing homelessness and child poverty are fueling truancy in the earliest grades across Illinois, but efforts to fight the problem are often thwarted by dwindling resources and weaknesses in state law, school administrators say. The Illinois State Board of Education this year is giving school districts $12 million in grants under the Truants' Alternative and Optional Education Program, compared with $20 million in 2009. "The state chops and chops — it is devastating," said Bobbi Mattingly, superintendent of Regional Office of Education No. 11 in central Illinois, where two "overworked and underpaid" attendance specialists, plus one working part time, handle roughly 200 truancy cases across seven counties in grades K-8. More

An after-school program teaches manners, etiquette
The Baltimore Sun    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When students in the Howard County, Md., after-school program Can-Teen say "please" and "thank you," they scarcely sound as if they were once nagged or scolded into doing so. Instead, their expressions of gratitude appear to be just that, and they understand why such expressions are warranted. Sound strange for a group of more than a dozen teens? Not according to Taurean Washington, the youth director for the Can-Teen program, a county recreation and parks program that teaches leadership skills and etiquette. More

November's PD 360 topic: STEM
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Feeling inspired by the STEM issue of Principal magazine? Learn more on how to implement STEM strategies at your school with this month's video segments from PD 360. NAESP members can access these high-quality professional development segments — at no cost — thanks to a partnership with PD 360, one of the world's largest, most respected sources of on-demand learning for educators. More

Call for proposals now open for 2013 conference
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
NAESP's 2013 Best Practices for Better Schools™ National Conference and Expo of the Year is right around the corner. Join other nationally recognized speakers in shaping the professional program by sharing your best practices, expertise and successes in a concurrent session. Submit a presentation proposal today. More


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