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Survey: Principals prioritize Common Core, but report lack of readiness
Education Week
America's school principals overwhelmingly have put the rollout of the Common Core State Standards at the top of their agenda, but the vast majority also say they are not adequately prepared to manage both the budgeting and the overall shift in instruction that is demanded by the new learning goals in English/language arts and mathematics. Those findings, among others on common core, are captured in a new survey — which queried some 1,000 principals in 14 states — that was released this afternoon by the National Association of Elementary School Principals, or NAESP.
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Parents say school security has increased since Newtown, Conn., massacre
NPR
Most parents of elementary school-age children say their schools boosted security following last year's at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., according to a poll from NPR in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health. The poll was the first since the 1999 Columbine tragedy to ask parents how schools reacted to a mass shooting. It found that 62 percent of parents with children in kindergarten through grade 5 reported increased school security precautions. Fifty-seven percent of those with kids in grades 6-8 saw changes, while that number fell to 41 percent among parents of students in grades 9-12.
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Don't make these mistakes with flipped learning
eClassroom News
From stale practices to no accountability, even flipped learning can fail students. Flipped learning has taken off in classrooms across the country, but what many educators are realizing is that the new toy feeling of videos as homework is wearing off. The reason: You can't re-package stale teaching techniques as something new. To get the most out of flipped learning, the trick is in the design.
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Compliance or engagement: When are students truly engaged in class?
By Erick Herrmann
In the classroom, the importance of student engagement is paramount. If students are not engaged in the tasks at hand, they are not likely learning what we are teaching and what we expect them to learn and be able to do. Given that, what does student engagement look like in the classroom? What does it sound like? What are some tools to keep student engaged in the lesson and tasks at hand? The answers to these questions can be complex, given that we are dealing with human beings.
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Learning cursive is a basic right
The Atlantic
On the back cover of a 1967 album by Robert Pete Williams, beneath a photo of the Mississippi blues musician, appears a signature rendered illegibly in a strained combination of print and script. The lines shake with a careful effort which yields results only a step better than his the X his sharecropper father likely made. Takoma records trumpeted Williams' illiteracy — with the printing of the signature they signaled to the audience the thrill of a hardened criminal life and raw emotion of the primitive musician. But the single line of scrawl is more deeply emblematic of the evils of the segregated society.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword CURSIVE.


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Schools raise test scores, but not abstract reasoning skills
Medical News Today
To evaluate school quality, states require students to take standardized tests; in many cases, passing those tests is necessary to receive a high-school diploma. These high-stakes tests have also been shown to predict students' future educational attainment and adult employment and income. Such tests are designed to measure the knowledge and skills that students have acquired in school — what psychologists call "crystallized intelligence." However, schools whose students have the highest gains on test scores do not produce similar gains in "fluid intelligence" — the ability to analyze abstract problems and think logically — according to a new study from MIT neuroscientists working with education researchers at Harvard University and Brown University.
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6 ways to honor the learning process the classroom
Edutopia (commentary)
Terry Heick, a contributor for Edutopia, writes: "Roughly put, learning is really just a growth in awareness. The transition from not knowing to knowing is part of it, but that's really too simple because it misses all the degrees of knowing and not knowing. One can't ever really, truly understand something any more than a shrub can stay trimmed. There's always growth or decay, changing contexts or conditions. Understanding is the same way. It's fluid."
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US girls perform evenly with boys in math and science, PISA data show
Education Week
Liana Heitin, a contributor for Education Week, writes: "There's still a mountain of PISA data to dig into (with caveats in mind, of course). But one piece I've found particularly compelling is that, in the United States, there was no statistical difference between boys' and girls' scores in either math or science. In many other countries, the 2012 OECD report notes, 'marked gender differences in mathematics performance — in favour of boys — are observed.' Three years ago, American boys outperformed girls in math on PISA; their science scores were similar. "
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Good time: 4 ways to reawaken student engagement
Edutopia (commentary)
Students want to be engaged in class. They really do — but sometimes other things get in the way of their natural instincts. A few changes to how a teacher runs a classroom can make a huge impact on how engaged students will be in that classroom. It's an issue that every teacher has to face, but it can be addressed in some very simple ways. Here are just a few of my strategies for dealing with low levels of student engagement. They've made a major difference in my classes over the years.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    These days, school lunch hours are more like 15 minutes (NPR)
How to get students to love reading (Edudemic)
Passive aggression in the classroom: Student vs. student (Psychology Today)
Don't make these mistakes with flipped learning (eSchool News)
Report: How to grow a farm team for principals (Education Week)

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


10 school initiatives that never go away
eSchool News
There's a philosophy in fashion that goes something like this: Keep it; it'll be back in style in another few years. Just like the clothing industry, education has a cyclical nature of its own, mostly around initiatives, leading educators on social media to discuss what they call "initiative fatigue." Initiative fatigue stems from what educators say is a new initiative touted as the savior to whatever education problem plagues you. For example, Common Core for 21st century learning, computer-based testing for better student data and a focus on STEM for global competitiveness.
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Are you a leader or manager?
Connected Principals Blog (commentary)
Most school districts claim to want to move from good to great, become world class, become a 21st century district, or fill in the slogan blank. Getting past the cliches (and the fact that we're 14 years into the 21st century already), effective implementation of these transformations/progressions requires progressive thinking and leadership. Doing things the way you’ve always done them is not going to vault you to a new status; it will maintain your current status. As a matter of fact, maintaining while others around you vault forward, relatively speaking, equates to falling behind.
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Schools use Web tools, and data is seen at risk
The New York Times
Public schools around the country are adopting Web-based services that collect and analyze personal details about students without adequately safeguarding the information from potential misuse by service providers, according to new research. A study by the Center on Law and Information Policy at Fordham Law School in New York, found weaknesses in the protection of student information in the contracts that school districts sign when outsourcing Web-based tasks to service companies.
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Will music make a child smarter?
HealthDay News via WebMD
If Johnny doesn't take to the violin, don't fret. A new study challenges the widely held belief that music lessons can help boost children's intelligence. "More than 80 percent of American adults think that music improves children's grades or intelligence," study author Samuel Mehr, a graduate student in the School of Education at Harvard University, said in a university news release. "Even in the scientific community, there's a general belief that music is important for these extrinsic reasons — but there is very little evidence supporting the idea that music classes enhance children's [mental] development," he noted. In this study, Mehr and his colleagues randomly assigned 4-year-old children to receive instruction in either music or visual arts.
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5 ways schools throw away talented teachers
eSchool News
According to a new report based on thousands of educator responses, schools across the country don't have a pipeline for leadership, discouraging talented teachers from staying in education. The problem: The unending cycle of mediocrity based on last-minute leadership hires for those often unprepared for the challenges facing schools today.
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US House votes to roll back sequestration
Education Week
School districts and early-childhood education programs are one step closer to getting some relief from across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration, which trimmed about 5 percent of federal K-12 spending this school year. The U.S. House of Representatives approved 332-94 a plan that would roll back the majority of the cuts slated to hit most school districts during the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 school years. The agreement, which was written by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., will now proceed to the U.S. Senate.
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10 school initiatives that never go away
eSchool News
There's a philosophy in fashion that goes something like this: Keep it; it'll be back in style in another few years. Just like the clothing industry, education has a cyclical nature of its own, mostly around initiatives, leading educators on social media to discuss what they call "initiative fatigue."

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read more
New Common Core resources for educators
eClassroom News
New resources released this month link Common Core-aligned curriculum with any school system’s assessment data, and what's more, these resources for educators are also 100 percent free. The resources, housed on Activate Instruction, are part of an open platform where educators can browse, search, rate, add, share and organize their favorite Common Core-aligned resources, and put them together in personalized playlists for students.

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The state of the Common Core
Edutopia
Millions of teachers and thousands of districts in 45 states are currently undergoing a sea change in the way that they teach and assess students. The new Common Core Standards for learning have been phased into states and districts since 2010, and the digitized Common Core Assessments are scheduled to deploy in states that have adopted them as early as the 2014-2015 school year.

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Bill for mandatory cameras in Texas special education classes still stuck
By Archita Datta Majumdar
In recent years there have been numerous disturbing incidents that have made both authorities and parents concerned about student safety on campus. At the same time, there has risen a need to protect children from dangers within the campus as well, especially children who cannot verbalize their trauma. Texas has paved the way for an unprecedented action — protecting differently-abled children and aiding in their development by making cameras mandatory in special education classes. The bill, S.B. 1380, easily passed in the state Senate, but has been stuck in a legislative black hole since then. And it's unclear when it will resurface.
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Many fail 3rd-grade reading test in Ohio
The Columbus Dispatch
More than a third of Ohio third-graders failed the state reading test this fall, putting them at risk of being held back if they don't improve their scores. State Superintendent Richard Ross told members of the Ohio Board of Education yesterday that the students will get two more chances to take the test — in the spring and again next summer. "My heart bleeds for those third-graders, but we have to think long term," Ross said. The alternative to retention — passing along illiterate students who get frustrated because they can't read — is worse, he said.
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Florida district plans new online tech school, more K-8s
SunSentinel
The Broward school district proposed a series of sweeping changes to battle declining enrollment and drops in student performance. The changes include the creation of the district's first online technical high school, three new preK-8 schools, and an overhaul of six failing elementaries. The three alternative education centers for students with behavioral problems would also expand services.
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Wisconsin governor signs two bills boosting tech education
St. Paul Pioneer Press
Supporting technical education and encouraging young people to consider careers in manufacturing are an important part of improving Wisconsin's economy, Gov. Scott Walker said Tuesday during a bill-signing appearance in Eau Claire. Walker signed two bills into law that aim to bolster technical education during his visit Tuesday to Chippewa Valley Technical College's Manufacturing Center on the northwest side of Eau Claire.
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Dawn Hochsprung: Reflecting one year later
NAESP
As we mark the one year anniversary of the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., we reflect on the impact that Dawn Hochsprung, the charismatic and passionate principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School, has had on us all. The beauty of this story is who Dawn Hochsprung was and how she continues to inspire.
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Shadowing program highlights school leadership in action
NAESP
In November, 45 Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. principals hosted visitors from the Department of Education for the second annual ED Goes Back to School Principal Shadow Week. The initiative gave principals a rare opportunity to show education officials how policy impacts practice — especially in the arenas of Common Core implementation, professional development for principals and teachers, and performance evaluations.
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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 Meredith Barnett at MBarnett@naesp.org.
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601   Download media kit
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