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How school districts are funding 1-to-1
District Administration Magazine
Before 4,450 MacBook Airs were distributed to students, before teachers were equipped and trained on their own devices, before test scores increased and the dropout rate decreased, the Mooresville Graded School District's digital conversion started with a hard look at finances — one result of which was the elimination of more than 35 teaching positions.
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How much teachers get paid — State by state
The Washington Post
How much do teachers across the United States get paid? Here is data, state by state, collected from the National Center for Education Statistics by Jon Boeckenstedt, associate vice president at DePaul University in Chicago. The data are for 2013 and represent the estimated average annual salary of teachers in public elementary and secondary schools.
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Panel recommends new breed of assessments for science learning
Education Week
Laying out a new vision for science assessments, a panel of the National Research Council proposed that states design testing systems that integrate several key types of science learning, and blend classroom-based assessments with state-level "monitoring" tests and gauges of students' "opportunity to learn." The proposal, detailed in a 256-page report, offers an expert panel's ideas on how testing should change to fully reflect the Next Generation Science Standards adopted by eight states so far. The picture it paints departs markedly from current assessment practice, which tilts heavily toward students' knowledge of science facts, and typically takes place in one large-scale statewide exam each spring.
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Should gifted students get more resources?
The New York Times
In a country that has always been a little uncomfortable with the idea of an educational elite, it's tough to argue for more services for gifted students in public schools, particularly when so many districts are already starved for resources and high-quality programs. But that's what we did on Sunday in the third installment of our editorial series on fixing math and science education, and the touchy subject produced a particularly fervent response.
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Common Core education standards quietly embraced by Catholic schools
The Tampa Tribune
School districts across the country are getting closer to fully ushering in a tougher set of academic standards that are designed to challenge students to think deeper and more critically. But public school teachers and students are not the only ones making the transition to the Common Core State Standards, which have been adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia. So are some Tampa Bay area private schools, including the nearly 50 schools and centers that fall under the umbrella of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saint Petersburg.
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Is education lacking humanity?
eSchool News
Sitting down for an impromptu meeting with one of the country's largest education nonprofits, a small cluster of education reporters and leaders discussed how the upcoming education trend for 2014 won't be some new tablet, but rather a focus on education's lost humanity. Walking through 30-degree weather, bundled against a cold that's turned the country into one giant icicle, it was a warming experience meeting Brian Lewis, the International Society for Technology in Education's CEO. "After this I'm hopping on the train to see my son," Lewis said. "He's a creative type and is going to perform some things from his YouTube channel tonight. He’s inspiring."
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More lenient rules on head lice have some schools jumpy
Los Angeles Times
For years, school nurse Deborah Pontius came to work with nits to pick. On some days in this isolated central Nevada town, she'd actually sift through the hair of students found with live head lice. But something bigger bugged her: the district's policy of sending children home when they were infested with head lice — grayish-white insects that suck blood from the scalp and cause severe itching. Pontius saw stricken students miss weeks of school. A reentry ticket involved painstaking inspections, with parents required to prove that not a single hitchhiker resided on a child's head. Aside from the "ick" factor, she wondered, was there a reason to quarantine the youngsters?
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TRENDING ARTICLES
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Don't make these mistakes with flipped learning (eSchool News)
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Is learning 'visible' to students?
Education Week
Waiting for the next assignment or task, while not knowing what it may be, is very difficult for students. Yet, in some (perhaps...many) classrooms too many students wait at their desks for the next sheet of paper or the next assignment to come their way. Their learning needs take a back seat to the script the teacher is required to stick to ... and in some cases, the teacher holds all of the content.
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5 ways to keep children safe from school shootings
Psychology Today
The shooting at the Arapahoe High School in Colorado, coming on the day before the one-year anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., reminds us that it's always a good time to have a serious conversation with your kids about school safety. These events, while rare, are growing in number, according to research just released by the FBI.
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The role of PBL in making the shift to Common Core
Edutopia
The Common Core has embedded within it some Big Ideas that shift the role of teachers to curriculum designers and managers of an inquiry process. How can project-based learning help with this shift?
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Protecting student privacy in the data age
Detroit Free Press
In Kentucky, parents, educators and policy makers can track how many students from a high school go to college, and once they are there, how many require remedial classes. Massachusetts is one of several states with an early warning indicator system, which flags school officials when students appear to be at risk for dropping out of high school. And in Georgia, teachers can easily access years of test scores, class grades and attendance rates for any student. Student data evangelizers argue that used correctly, data, including student attendance, test scores and demographics, can enrich education. Teachers can better personalize instruction for students, principals can view the academic records of students who move across school districts and parents can determine whether a child is on track for college, to name just a few examples.
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When minority students attend elite private schools
The Atlantic
Many parents of color send their children to exclusive, predominantly-white schools in an attempt to give their kids a "ticket to upward mobility." But these well-resourced institutions can fall short at nurturing minority students emotionally and intellectually.
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Are NCLB waiver states intervening in the right schools?
Education Week
In Nevada during the 2011-2012 school year, 86 schools were in "restructuring" under the No Child Left Behind Act — the most aggressive sanction under the federal school accountability law. But after the state got an NCLB waiver, by the 2012-2013 school year, 75 of those schools got relief from the toughest interventions. These are schools that hadn't made adequate yearly progress for six years in a row. For half of the worst NCLB-era schools in 15 states, waivers proved to be an escape hatch, according to a new paper released today from New America Foundation policy analyst Anne Hyslop, who has delivered some of the most comprehensive research yet on the implications of new NCLB waivers.
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Corporate education reform won't solve the problems caused by poverty
Truthout (commentary)
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan hastily walked back his comments recently after dismissing Common Core opponents as "white suburban moms" who had suddenly realized that their kids aren't as bright as they thought. This sparked a furor amongst parents and educators and thrust the Common Core back into the spotlight. Although the controversy over standards-based education is nothing new, it speaks volumes that the outrage doesn't make the evening news until white suburban moms are singled out. If there is something positive to be gleaned from Duncan's tactless comments, it is the public recognition that these federal policies have stratified education along race and class divisions — policies that Duncan presides over and advocates for as Obama's education secretary.
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Republicans back away from Common Core as legislative roadblocks advance
The Washington Post
Even as international studies show American students falling farther behind Asian and European students in math, science and reading scores, a group of Republican governors, mostly in Southern states, are distancing themselves from a set of education standards that most of their colleagues are embracing. The governors find themselves under pressure from opponents of Common Core standards. Those opponents, largely made up of conservative activists, say the standards are a federal power grab aimed at dictating state education policy, which should be the domain of the states.
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Should gifted students get more resources?
The New York Times
In a country that has always been a little uncomfortable with the idea of an educational elite, it's tough to argue for more services for gifted students in public schools, particularly when so many districts are already starved for resources and high-quality programs.

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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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What education lessons can US learn from overseas?
CNN
So what seemed to be the best practices that are applicable? Wendy Kopp, the CEO and co-founder of Teach for All and the founder of Teach for America, writes: "I mean just to go back to the Shanghai example, it was about teachers. It's also about school leaders. And it's about, you know, system leadership. We were blown away by the caliber of the folks who have, over a long time, driven the change. And if you get under the covers, some Shanghai schools are stronger than others."
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A push for teacher accountability meets resistance in New Mexico
The New York Times
On a recent night in this southeastern New Mexico town, Hanna Skandera, the state's education secretary-designate, told a crowd gathered in a school auditorium about her encounter with a veteran teacher. "She looked at me, and she goes, 'You are not as awful as they say,' " Skandera recalled, as laughter rippled through the audience. For Skandera, a 40-year-old transplant from California, it was a rare moment of levity in a tumultuous tenure, during which she has sought to overhaul New Mexico's troubled education system and clashed with teachers, unions and lawmakers in the process.
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North Carolina schools deal with fewer dollars for textbooks
News & Observer
It wasn't long ago that people were worried about students getting injuries from carrying too many textbooks in their backpacks. But now many North Carolina public school students are lucky to have any textbooks to take home. State funding for textbooks has been cut by nearly 80 percent in the past four years, just as the state has been switching to a new curriculum with new textbooks. At the same time, school districts are expected to make the switch to digital textbooks by 2017 even though no money is set aside for computers or other digital devices for every student.
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Number of Texas first-year teachers drops sharply
Dallas Morning News
The number of new teachers in Texas has dropped sharply during the last four years and education observers have identified several reasons for that decline. Texas schools hired fewer than 15,000 first-year teachers last year, down from 25,000 in 2008, the Houston Chronicle reported. According to the Texas Education Agency, the 2011-2012 school year was the first in recent history in which Texas public schools lost more teachers than they gained. The Great Recession and major cuts to education funding passed by the Texas Legislature in 2011 hit many districts hard and contributed to a hiring slowdown. But more experienced educators looking for work also made things harder for new teachers, education officials said.
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Colorado schools face challenges in transition to digital textbooks
The Denver Post
Mesa County, Colo., parent Elizabeth Chiono received letters from some of her son's teachers at the beginning of the school year informing her that he would not get textbooks in history and science classes. The school district instead offers parents a link to online materials, causing the Chionos to have to rush to the school library before tests or to locate another computer whenever the outdated software on their own computer does not allow them to view schoolwork. It's a growing problem that has complicated the family's access to educational resources, but Chiono said other families face much more difficult situations.
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NAESP releases two surveys on the Common Core
NAESP
NAESP released two surveys that examined principals' views of the Common Core State Standards initiative, as well as their preparation and ongoing support for implementation of the higher standards. The surveys, which reflect the views of 1,000 principals in 14 states that have adopted CCSS, reveal that principals overwhelmingly support the CCSS initiative and have a strong willingness to continue to engage deeply in instructional leadership activities as states move forward with the new standards.
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10 tips for effective fundraisers
NAESP
Though principals may have conflicting feelings about fundraising, the vast majority agree that the results are worth the effort. This is especially true with opportunities such as the newly launched fundraising and reading program, Club Connect. To maximize such a program, follow these fundraising tips collected from principals, parents, teachers and fundraising professionals.
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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.
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