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Schools see financial benefits from green initiatives
THE Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Sixty-three percent of K-12 organizations that have energy efficiency programs in place have experienced at least some savings in IT energy expenditures, according to a new report focusing on IT practices in 2010. Another 22 percent have reduced or flattened out energy use, but increasing energy costs have prevented them from realizing savings. According to the new "2010 Energy Efficient IT Report," released this week by CDW Government, energy efficiency is more important to K-12 IT managers than ever. About three-quarters (74 percent) of all institutions have a program in place or in development to reduce energy consumption in IT. But barriers to more widespread energy efficiency initiatives remain. More

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A narcissistic approach to education reform
The Washington Post (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
There is a form of craziness infecting the world of education reform today. Repeating the same behavior over and over again even if it fails and expecting a different result is nutty. And what too many reformers keep doing is moving ahead without input from teachers and parents. Mayor Michael Bloomberg's appointment of Black is another example of appointment without consultation — and more. More



Taking reading to a new level
The Portland Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When it's time to read at Whitman Elementary School in Portland, Ore., kids don't get to pick their favorite SpongeBob or Scooby Doo book from the rack. Reading time here at this quiet little school in outer Southeast Portland is serious business, and for good reason: There are benchmarks to meet, levels to advance. With one out of three students learning English as a second language at Whitman, Principal Lori Clark makes it a priority to boost literacy not just for those students, but also for every child, through intensive two-hour blocks of reading time each day. More

Detroit takes science education digital
THE Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Detroit Public Schools in Michigan has begun the transition to a digital science curriculum in its middle and high schools based primarily on content from Discovery Education. Following an intensive professional development program over the summer, some 200 teachers entered the new school year prepared to integrate the extensive audiovisual and other digital content offered by the company's services, streaming and Discovery Education Science, into their regular curriculum. More

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Early intro to math seems to improve kids' skills later
HealthDay News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Talking to young children about numbers can boost their success in math once they're in school, researchers say. Children whose parents talked more about numbers were much more likely to understand the cardinal number principle — the size of a set of objects is determined by the last number reached when counting the set, the University of Chicago researchers found. In the study, the investigators recorded in-home interactions between parents and preschoolers and analyzed the link between parents' talk about numbers and their children's subsequent math performance in school. More



NAESP Member refutes Huffington Post editorial
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
I am rarely stirred by an editorial, but the 'The Principal's Dilemma' necessitates a response from a working principal. The author, a teacher by profession, describes a school that in no way resembles the ones that I and my colleagues in Pennsylvania work in everyday. She makes sweeping generalizations about the principalship without citing sources or justifying her arguments. At a time when the United States' education system is receiving attention from federal policymakers, documentary filmmakers, and members of the media, it is imperative to separate fact from fiction and ensure the voices of principals are being heard. More

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Educators focus on pre-kindergarten to promote literacy
Redlands Daily Facts    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With recent budget cutbacks, school readiness at a young age has moved to the forefront as a critical issue. Many districts focus their intervention in middle and high schools because they see students struggling or dropping out. However, some educators say time and money should be focused on creating a stronger foundation so students won't need as much help as they get into their teens. More



Groups eye regulatory relief under NCLB
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
School districts and educators chafing under the mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act are hoping to prod the U.S. Department of Education into giving them a reprieve from the provisions they see as most onerous, as the prospects for an overhaul of the law by Congress anytime soon remain cloudy. The Obama administration and congressional leaders from both parties have long said the law, the current version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, is inflexible and intrusive. School advocates argue that cash-strapped districts shouldn’t expend resources on requirements that will likely be scrapped in the rewrite of the ESEA, which has been pending since 2007. More

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Insiders debate teacher-evaluation approaches
Teacher Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Panelists at a K-12 education forum held in Washington sparred over how teachers' performance should be evaluated; presenting a microcosm of what has become a heated national debate. The forum, hosted by the Atlantic on Nov. 10, was organized around the general principle of strengthening schools and featured a kick-off discussion on "showcasing effective teaching." More



Texas school screens all first-graders for being gifted
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Lubbock Independent School District's new policy of screening all first-graders for being gifted and talented is important to the district but is not a groundbreaking or innovative program, said Kelly Trlica, the district's chief academic officer. "Lots of other school districts do this," Trlica said. An important result of the universal screening of students will be an equitable access to gifted programs for all students, Trlica said. The universal screening also will help the school district identify a higher percentage of potentially gifted students among its student population, she said. More

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Anti-bullying program works, schools say
The Philadelphia Inquirer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Students get involved because a popular, internationally used anti-bullying program had been introduced at the North Penn School District's Pennbrook Middle School in Upper Gwynedd, Penn. The children were being taught that bystanders who witness bullying should help the victim. That's a key principle of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, used by dozens of schools in the Philadelphia area and hundreds throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Many schools say it has made a difference. More

More schools losing their librarians in Delaware
The News Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Marilyn Kulkarni, president of the Delaware School Library Media Association, said she has counted "at least 20, maybe 20 to 25" librarian positions that have been cut recently. Many states, including Delaware, do not specifically fund librarians. The positions usually are covered by general teacher funds assigned to schools based on enrollment, and as budgets tighten, schools have been moving that funding into the classroom. Seaford Superintendent Russ Knorr said staffing decisions are usually based on what will be best to help drive up student test scores. More

Federal education money to offset cuts
The Associated Press via Sun Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Louisiana State Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek told school superintendents that their districts won’t receive an expected infusion of $147 million in federal education money. Instead, The Associated Press learned that Pastorek told the superintendents in a conference call that the Jindal administration wants to use the money to help fill in budget gaps next year and to offset cuts to higher education. West Baton Rouge Parish Schools Superintendent David Corona called the news devastating. Districts had been told how much money they could expect and had already made plans to use it. More

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GOP control brings new life to Indiana education issues
The Associated Press via The Chicago Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Election night victories for Indiana Republicans have paved the way for a major education overhaul that could affect thousands of students, teachers and parents and fundamentally change the way schools work in Indiana. More students could attend a growing number of charter schools. Parents might be able to use public money for private school tuition. Teachers could see tenure rules changed and could earn bigger paychecks if their work in the classroom pays off with student achievement. Lawmakers could shift school funding from shrinking urban and rural districts to growing suburban areas. More



Crayola & NAESP award grants to nurture creativity
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Even with shrinking budgets and narrowed curricula, schools across the country are eager to find ways to infuse creativity into the school day. That is why Crayola and NAESP launched a grant program — Champion Creatively Alive Children — to help educators find and develop promising practices that will provide students with skills in critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. The Champion Creatively Alive Children grants are meant to help educators explore new ways to nurture children's creativity and inspire other educators to do the same. More

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Find great deals on holiday gifts
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Holiday shopping has never been easier! The NAESP Foundation's Holiday Auction offers great deals on high quality items. The live online auction is taking place Nov. 18 to Dec. 16. The preview site goes live Nov. 11 so you can take a "sneak peek" at the many items that will be available. Share the link to the site with friends, family, and colleagues, too. 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 Kevin Craft at kcraft@naesp.org.
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