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Study: Standardized testing costs states $1.7 billion a year
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Standardized-testing regimens cost states some $1.7 billion a year overall, or a quarter of 1 percent of total K-12 spending in the United States, according to a new report on assessment finances. The report released calculates that the test spending by 44 states and the District of Columbia amounted to $65 per student on average in grades 3-9 based on the most recent test-cost data the researchers could gather. More


Study: US kids are getting enough sleep
Reuters via NBC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
While parents may sometimes despair of their children getting enough shut-eye, especially with age-old stalling tactics of another story or another glass of water, children in the United States do appear to be getting the recommended amount of sleep. According to a U.S. study published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, there has been concern that U.S. children are getting too little sleep, with insufficient sleep tied to issues ranging from behavior problems to heart health risks. More

New literacy research infuses Common Core
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The truism that students "learn to read, then read to learn," has spawned a slew of early-reading interventions and laws. But the Common Core State Standards offer a very different view of literacy, in which fluency and comprehension skills evolve together throughout every grade and subject in a student's academic life, from the first time a toddler gums a board book to the moment a medical student reads data from a brain scan. More

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The power of academic parent-teacher teams
Edutopia    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
This time of year, many people are reflecting on what is truly important in life and all they have to be grateful for. The most common item of the top of these lists: Family. For those of us fortunate enough to be born into families that knew how to best encourage us, particularly in our academic endeavors, family support almost goes without saying. But in some families, parents who would like to help their children succeed don't know how best to do so. As educators, we can help families develop the skills needed to support their children in school and beyond. One model for doing so: Academic parent-teacher teams. More

Study: Homework doesn't always mean better grades
WDIV-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Researchers from the University of Virginia looked at transcripts and data for more than 18,000 10th-grade students nationwide. Their findings show more homework assignments didn't translate into better grades. According to the Daily Mail newspaper, the study found homework doesn't necessarily help children to get better grades, but may help them get better standardized test scores. More

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Why the private sector needs to invest in public school teachers
Forbes (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Twenty-five percent of Americans that start high school fail to graduate — and that leads to an unemployment rate for high school dropouts that is 3.5 percentage points higher than for college grads. As it happens, U.S. college graduation rates aren't impressive, either — at 40 percent, the U.S. rate is below the global average. More

Being gay at school remains difficult for teachers
The Guardian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When Jonathan became a teacher, he wanted to be open about his sexuality, but in a school where casual use of the word "gay" as a put-down was common, he wasn't sure if it was a good idea. "I went through a bit of a dilemma ... how could I be a role model for kids who were finding it difficult to come out, if I wasn't brave enough to come out in the classroom myself?" he says. About a year into his time at the school, a group of female pupils asked if he was gay and he said "yes." More

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MCI Wins 2012
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New coalition targets achievement gap in schools
Star Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
An influential collection of metro-area organizations goes public with a new attempt to focus the spending of millions intended to erase the achievement gap in inner-city schools. The Generation Next partnership will focus first on fostering research-based strategies for closing racial and economic achievement gaps in Minneapolis and St. Paul, both district and charter schools. More

How a small bet on technology could have a big payoff in learning
EdSource (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Charles Taylor Kerchner writes: Let me start by saying that I am not a technologist. I don't lust after the new; I bought my first smartphone just last week. And I don't for a moment think that tablets are going to replace teachers or that there is a software-driven fix for all the problems ailing California's public schools. And, yes, teachers need a raise. Why, then, advocate an investment in education technology? More


Great teacher evaluation shouldn't be good luck
CNN (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Marisol Castillo writes: In the nine years I've been in the classroom — at three different urban schools — I've consistently experienced evaluations that have allowed me to grow as an educator. I'm a better teacher because of that, and my students have benefited. All teachers should be so lucky as to experience high-quality evaluation. More

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DOE Secretary addresses passionate leaders at Blue Ribbon Ceremony Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Presenting himself "first and foremost" as a parent of two public elementary school-aged children, Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan expressed deep gratitude to more than 700 principals and teachers from the 314 National Blue Ribbon Schools who were recently recognized at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. More


DOE announces 61 applications as finalists for $400 million Race to the Top-District competition
U.S. Department of Education    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Department of Education announced that 61 applications have been selected as finalists for the Race to the Top-District competition. The 2012 RTTT-D program will provide close to $400 million to support locally developed plans to personalize and deepen student learning, directly improve student achievement and educator effectiveness, close achievement gaps and prepare every student for success in college and careers. More

Our school districts must not tolerate cyber bullies
The Desert Sun (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Students in California public schools have the inalienable right to attend classes on school campuses that are safe, secure and peaceful. A new state law designed to give school districts guidance on how to prevent bullying through social media aims to fulfill that promise. Palm Springs Unified and Desert Sands Unified have begun to refine their rules to comply. Stopping bullies — especially "cyber bullies" — is an important mission for our schools. More

Survey: School web filtering can impede learning
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
More and more students are bringing personal mobile devices to school, but a new survey from the American Association of School Librarians finds that Internet filtering often prevents students from taking advantage of learning's social potential. School librarians report that web filtering programs have had varied effects in their schools and on school library programs. More

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Grant helps Indiana 5th-graders exercise bodies and minds
Journal & Courier    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
VideoBriefAs they sit as their desks, students in Sara Wright's fifth-grade class are actually getting quite the workout. That's because Wright, a Wea Ridge Elementary teacher in Lafayette, Ind., recently swapped out her classroom desk chairs with exercise balls. The child-sized orbs have gone over well with students who say they're now able to pay better attention in class all while maintaining better posture. More

Proposals for 2013 conference due Dec. 14
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

Invest in the future: Become a mentor
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Being a principal is a tough job, especially with today's increasing demands on school leaders. Mentoring can provide crucial support to new principals. The NAESP National Mentor Program is designed to engage experienced principals to give back to their profession by supporting new or newly assigned principals through mentoring. Ready to begin your mentoring journey? The next training session is this January in Phoenix. More


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