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


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Fair fees? Facing cuts, more schools charge for busing
USA Today
As school districts across the country continue to face budget cuts, the practice of charging parents a fee to let their kids ride the bus is becoming more common. "We've been looking at this trend of more schools charging for transportation since '08," Dan Domenech, executive director of the American Association of School Administrators, said. "Districts that have been dealing with the recession by making cut after cut in programs are left with the unfortunate option of charging to transport kids to schools." Many of these districts with pay-to-ride bus services face allegations that they equate to charging tuition for a supposedly free public education.
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Magnet schools lead the list of top US public schools
By: Archita Datta Majumdar
Despite plenty of criticism in recent years, public schools across the U.S. have proven their mettle. Recently, school data site Niche listed the 100 best public schools from more than 100,000 schools in America. Survey criteria included areas like standard of academics, student culture, teachers, cosmopolitan atmosphere and diversity, along with school resources and facilities. The Niche data came from more than 27 million reviews from 300,000 students and parents.
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Consortium begins Common Core tests in some districts
Education Week
The first Common Core tests designed collaboratively by a group of states are making their debut this month, with 30,000 middle and high school students sitting for exams in mathematics and English/language arts. Millions more students in grades 3-11 will take such tests later in the winter and next spring. After four years of controversy surrounding the federally funded tests from two multistate consortia, the first administration is a small-scale affair.
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Adolescence and homework
Psychology Today
Although often starting in the elementary grades, homework becomes more seriously given and seriously taken in middle school, when early adolescents start having a lot of other growing concerns on their minds and generally become less welcoming of bringing study obligations home. At an age when there is more resistance to work, more school work is assigned.
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6 strategies for working with diverse-needs students
Education Week
Co-teaching is a powerful model for both regular education and special education teachers. This partnership can set the stage for a variety of scenarios that meet the needs of diverse-needs learners in a classroom. However, in many schools, regular education teachers face a roster of students with Individualized Education Programs and don't have the benefit of a co-teacher. Having some strategies to meet the needs of these students can make the process less scary for teachers — and more successful for students.
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4 essential game-based learning questions
eSchool News
You'd have to live under a rock to be unfamiliar with the rise of game-based learning in classrooms across the nation in recent years. Integrating a game into an instructional unit may seem daunting, but four key implementation questions should help educators use games to support teaching and learning and help drive student engagement.
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Moving beyond the textbook
Edutopia
There are a lot of misconceptions around the transition from textbooks into the world of digital content delivery. The biggest mistake schools can make is simply changing out one medium of delivery for another without ever assessing or changing the content or method of delivery. Simply, let's take a 19th century tool and place it on a 21st century device. This is not the way to leverage the power of an iPad or, for that matter, any device you integrate in your classroom.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    8 qualities of leaders who deliver value every day (Entrepreneur)
Education Department puts spotlight on principals' central role (Education Week)
How rural schools paid for students' home Internet to transform learning (MindShift)
Coding classes lead to 21st century skill development (eSchool News)
Protecting data privacy at school and at play (The New York Times)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.




Administrators: Keep balance in your life
Connected Principals (commentary)
Tom Martellone, a contributor for Connected Principals blog, writes: "A little over a year ago, I published a blog post on ASCD Edge about what I termed the 'Administrative Tightrope.' The post focused on the need for balance, and how it is very easy to get swept up in the work as a school administrator. That being said, I also love my work, so working a lot is not an issue, however, from time to time, I feel as though I may be a bit out of balance and then need to 'realign' myself. I do this so that I stay healthy for myself and I also do it so that I keep a healthy perspective about my work."
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A therapist goes to middle school and tries to sit still and focus. She can't. Neither can the kids.
The Washington Post (commentary)
Angela Hanscom, a contributor for The Washington Post, writes: "Except for brief periods of getting up and switching classrooms, I've been sitting for the past 90 excruciating minutes. I look down at my leg and notice it is bouncing. Great, I think to myself, now I'm fidgeting! I'm doing anything I can to pay attention — even contorting my body into awkward positions to keep from daydreaming. It is useless, I checked out about forty-five minutes ago. I'm no longer registering anything the teacher is saying. I look around the room to see how the children a few decades younger than me are doing."
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How dissecting a pencil can ignite curiosity and wonderment
MindShift
Can the act of making or designing something help kids feel like they have agency over the objects and systems in their lives? That's the main question a group of researchers at Project Zero, a research group out of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, are tackling alongside classroom-based teachers in Oakland, California. In an evolving process, researchers are testing out activities they've designed to help students to look more closely, explain more deeply and take on opportunities to change things they see around them.
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Sensory rooms gaining in popularity
Disability Scoop
In the dimly lit room, Tiara Santos lounged on the beanbag chair, stared at the bubble tubes and played with glow-in-the-dark toys, and then slowly, the demeanor of the girl with autism began to transform. "Before we came in here, she was hard to control," said Tiara's teacher, Danielle Galambos, about the 12-year-old. "Here, she feels safe. She is quieter, more relaxed." Tiara was in a sensory room at the Felician School for Exceptional Children in Lodi, N.J., which was designed to stimulate neglected physiology in students with disabilities. In Tiara's case, it brought on a smile, as well as some calm.
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4 ways technology can make your music lessons sing
THE Journal
Integrating technology into the music classroom can be a real challenge. For one thing, students don't have desks, so any device with a keyboard presents a logistical problem. Nevertheless, the potential payoff is big. By introducing virtual instruments and digital composition, teachers are empowering students to innovate in ways that were unimaginable 10 or 20 years ago, and are making their classes more engaging and interactive.
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The common misconception that leaves many girls with ADHD untreated
The Huffington Post
According to a new survey, 50 percent of mothers of daughters diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder thought their child's behavior was part of "normal" adolescent development and struggles before they eventually sought help. The nationally representative survey of 1,883 people was conducted by Edelman Berland and fielded by Harris Interactive. Researchers looked at tween girls with ADHD ages 8 to 14, as well as mothers, adult women with ADHD, teachers and healthcare professionals, in order to examine the awareness around girls with ADHD.
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What does Congress's budget squabble mean for education?
Education Week
If you've been paying attention to Congress this week, you've probably noticed lawmakers feverishly trying to come to an agreement about how to avert a government shut-down, which could occur Dec. 11 when the current stop-gap measure that's financing the U.S. Department of Education is set to expire. Readers of Politics K-12 know this fiscal scramble all too well. Because of across-the-aisle and intraparty bickering, it's been years since Congress funded the government under the normal appropriations process by passing 12 separate agency funding bills. And this year proved no different.
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To fight obesity, the USDA is getting locally grown veggies into cafeterias
ThinkProgress
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced the rollout of $5 million in grants that will fund programs aimed at connecting cafeterias with local farmers and increasing children's access to healthy foods. During this grant cycle, more than 80 projects in 42 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands will start or continue their efforts to foster healthy eating habits among school children
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Is the US focusing too much on STEM?
The Atlantic
In late October, Alaska Airlines pledged a $1 million donation to a science and engineering program to educate up to 650 Alaska native middle schoolers. "Our goal is to make sure that as many students as possible who want to attend this program have the opportunity," said Marilyn Romano, an Alaska Airlines executive. When asked what benefit the airline receives by making this donation, spokesman Tim Thompson said that stronger communities make for a better "potential employee base" for all of Alaska — and, presumably, Alaska Airlines — further down the line.
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Register for Advanced Mentor Training in January
NAESP
The NAESP National Mentor Training and Certification Program is designed to engage retired and experienced principals to give back to their profession by supporting new, newly assigned, or even experienced principals through mentoring. Register now for the new NAESP-McREL Advanced Mentor Training this January.
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Winter wellness guide
NAESP
With flu season approaching, student wellness is likely at the forefront of educators' minds. These resources on hot health topics can help you, your teachers, and parents boost students' wellness and keep them ready to learn.
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