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K-12 funding to stay flat — for now
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
After Democratic leaders failed to enact a giant spending bill that would have included a modest boost for education, the U.S. Senate has agreed to pass a temporary measure that would freeze spending at current levels for most of the federal government, including the U.S. Department of Education, until March 4. That means a new Congress, in which Republicans control the majority in the House and have a greater margin in the Senate, will get to decide on final spending levels for fiscal year 2011, which started back on Oct. 1. More

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Most Americans balk at federal control of public school nutrition
The FINANCIAL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
President Obama signed into law a measure that, for the first time, gives the federal government the authority to regulate all foods at schools, including what's in vending machines. But most Americans would rather see that authority in someone else's hands. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 23 percent of adults say the federal government should set nutritional standards for public schools. Thirty-one percent would rather see parent-teacher groups do it. Seventeen percent feel state governments should have that responsibility, while just as many — 17 percent — think it should be up to local governments. Another 12 percent are not sure. More



Online safety added to curriculum: District schools to try i-SAFE program
Peninsula Clarion    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
This spring some students in the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District in Alaska will get the opportunity to pilot a program on Internet safety education. The i-SAFE program provides age-appropriate K-12 curriculum and accompanying classroom and community activities to educate students on subjects like cyber bullying, personal safety online and intellectual property rights when it comes to plagiarism or illegally downloading media. More

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Doing it differently: Teaching vocabulary
Edutopia    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Copying definitions from the dictionary we would probably all agree is not an effective way to learn vocabulary. Passive learning hardly ever is. It's just often the way we learned, and teachers, can sometimes fall back on using these ways when teaching rather than taking a good look at student data, the latest research, and then trying something new. More



Principals seen as influence on both students and teachers
The Journal Sentinel    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A good principal can move things a long way toward vibrant achievement among students. A bad or (more commonly) mediocre principal can stall efforts to get the most possible growth out of students and the most effective performance out of teachers. Creating a garden can be delicate, complex and demanding. A lot can be learned through training. Some people just seem to have green thumbs. Wise choices of who should be in charge of the garden are important. That means you can't talk about improving the effectiveness of teachers without talking about improving the effectiveness of principals. Teachers need a good environment to thrive, and that environment — call it school culture — starts with the principal. More

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Bill Gates and Randi Weingarten
Newsweek    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Our schools are lagging behind the rest of the world. Why is that? How did we fall so far behind? Bill Gates: Well, it's the big issue. A lot of other countries have put effort into their school systems. So part of it is the competition is better. The Chinese, who have a 10th of our wealth, are running a great education system. There are some things we can learn from other systems. They have a longer school day in most countries, and a longer school year in most countries. And some of them have elements of their personnel system that are worth learning from. More

A box? Or a spaceship? What makes kids creative
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When art teacher Kandy Dea recently assigned fourth-graders in her Walnut, Iowa, classroom to create a board game to play with a friend, she was shocked by one little boy's response: He froze. While his classmates let their imaginations run wild making up colorful characters and fantasy worlds, the little boy said repeatedly, "I can't think of anything," Dea says. Although she reassured him that nothing he did would be judged "wrong," he tried to copy another student's game, then asked if he could make a work sheet instead. More



Senate OKs America COMPETES bill as session nears end
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With the 111th Congress rapidly coming to a close, the Senate approved legislation that seeks in part to improve education in the STEM fields — science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The action was something of a surprise, as some analysts had feared the Senate might not pass the measure this year. The bill to reauthorize the America COMPETES Act now goes back to the House, which had approved its own version last spring. The Senate approved the bill by unanimous consent. More

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$16 million shortfall could force elimination of 150 principals, assistants in Indiana
The Indianapolis Star    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
About 150 administrators at Indianapolis Public Schools have been placed on notice that they could lose their jobs next year as the district grapples with an estimated $16 million shortfall in its general fund. Teachers will be next on the list. The district distributed letters to principals, vice-principals and deans stating their contracts might not be renewed next school year due to the anticipated shortfall. About 200 teachers will receive the same notification by the end of March. More

Louisiana elementary students will be taking class outside
The Times-Picayune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Students at Honey Island Elementary in Slidell, La., may want to continue wearing an extra layer of clothing. One can imagine it might get a bit nippy in the school's new outdoor classroom. With some help from the St. Tammany Parish School Board, the Honey Island PTA, faculty, parents and even grandparents, a gazebo was built as part of the school Beautification Committee's three-year "Phases of Green" plan. Soon, students will use the 312-square-foot outdoor classroom as a place to hold science class, build a garden and/or set up a new weather station. More

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California's public schools are being asked to do more even
as funding is cut

The Los Angeles Times (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Two court cases put California's public schools on notice. In one, the court ruled that schools no longer could ignore the state's requirements for physical education; a survey had found that fully half the schools in the state were providing fewer hours of gym instruction than the law requires in an effort to save money or to devote more hours in the day to teaching. In the other case, the state reached an out-of-court settlement in which it pledged that its schools would stop charging parents for basic supplies, and would provide parents with a way to challenge what they believe to be illegal fees. More

Lawmaker pushes for advertising on school buses
The Associated Press via Victoria Advocate    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A Kentucky lawmaker is pushing a proposal that would allow school districts to sell advertising space on the sides of buses. State Rep. Brad Montell, R-Shelbyville, said he intends to file a bill when the Legislature convenes to allow the ads as long as they don't interfere with reflecting material or warning equipment and are placed below the bottom of the windows on the section of bus between the front and back wheels. He said his proposal will bar advertisements promoting alcohol, tobacco or politics on buses. Most states don't allow exterior advertising on school buses, but a handful, including Colorado, Tennessee and Texas, have had good results. More

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California schools must offer water with lunch
The Associated Press via The Press Democrat    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Beginning in January, all schools in California must provide free, fresh water where students eat lunch. What, you mean they don't already? No, says Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, who sponsored the bill that will go into law Jan. 1. The bill, SB 1413, imposes no penalty for noncompliance by the July 2011 deadline and offers no state funding for schools to install modern "hydration stations." Districts can opt out of the new regulations if they can prove it's a financial hardship. More



Grants, Opportunities, & Resources
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Learn about upcoming grant deadlines and information about free resources that can be useful to your school. More

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Just in time for the new year: Schools Across America 2011 Calendar
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
This beautiful calendar from Lifetouch contains pictures of historic schoolhouses from across the country. It also lists all the important school dates that occur throughout the year, making it the perfect gift for an educator in your life. More

'Tis the season... For jobs
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
There are more job opportunities for you now, and even more coming, on NAESP's online Career Center. More
 
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