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As 2012 comes to a close, NAESP would like to wish its members, partners, and other industry professionals a safe and happy holiday season. As we reflect on the past year for the industry, we would like to provide the readers of NAESP's Before the Bell, a look at the most accessed articles from the year. Our regular publication will resume next Friday, Jan. 2, 2013.


Texas district embarks on widespread iPad program
The Associated Press via Fox News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From March 2, 2012: A Texas school district is trying to close its digital divide by distributing thousands of Apple tablet computers in a move that could make it the largest iPads program for students in the nation. McAllen Independent School District in the southern part of the state began distributing 6,800 devices — mostly the iPad tablet computers, but also hundreds of iPod Touch devices for its youngest students. More

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School dress codes aren't just for students anymore
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Aug. 3, 2012: When kids in one Kansas school district return to class this fall, they won't be seeing cutoff shorts, pajama pants or flip flops — on teachers. The Wichita School District is just one of a growing number in the nation cracking down on teacher apparel. Jeans are banned in at least one elementary school in New York City. A school district in Phoenix is requiring teachers to cover up tattoos and excessive piercings. And several Arizona schools are strictly defining business casual. More

Study: Highly effective principals raise student achievement
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Oct. 26, 2012: It's indisputable that great teachers lead to successful students, as the presidential candidates have touted, but what about students' connection to their school principals? A study published in Education Next has found that the effect of highly effective principals on student achievement is equivalent to 2-7 months of additional learning each school year, while ineffective principals negatively impact student achievement by a comparable amount. For their study, the authors used a value-added model similar to the one used to measure teacher quality, but applied the calculation to the entire school. More

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Teacher absence as a leading indicator of student achievement
Center for American Progress    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Nov. 9, 2012: On any given school day, up to 40 percent of teachers in New Jersey's Camden City Public Schools are absent from their classrooms. Such a high figure probably would not stand out in parts of the developing world, but it contrasts sharply with the 3 percent national rate of absence for full-time wage and salaried American workers, and the 5.3 percent rate of absence for American teachers overall. Certainly, it isn't unreasonable for Camden residents to expect lower rates of teacher absence, particularly when the district annually spends top dollar — more than $22,000 per pupil — to educate its students. And advocates for students of color, who constitute 99.5 percent of the district's enrollment, could potentially use these new data from the Department of Education to support a civil rights complaint. More

Sunscreen forbidden at schools and camps
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From June 29, 2012: When parents send children to school or camp, they may worry about many things, from bullies to bus accidents. But unauthorized sunscreen use? It turns out that many schools and camps do that worrying for parents, with policies that ban kids from carrying sunscreen without a doctor's note and warn staffers not to dispense it. Such policies are getting new scrutiny, thanks to Jesse Michener, a mother in Tacoma, Wash., who was horrified to see two of her daughters, ages 11 and 9, return from a school field day with severe sunburns. More


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Redshirting: Holding kids back from kindergarten
CBS News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From March 6, 2012: Kindergarten "redshirting" is on the rise. That's the practice of parents holding their children back from kindergarten so they can start school at age 6 — older, bigger, and more mature than their 5-year-old peers. Some research shows that redshirting will give these youngsters an edge in school, and maybe even in life. But is it fair? More

Principals matter: School leaders can drive student learning
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Feb. 7, 2012: Most teachers have long known that they affect the life chances of children. But it took the work of economists to convince the world of public policy to take seriously what is now known as "teacher effectiveness." Now one of those very same economists has turned to another subject that, to most teachers and principals, is similarly self-evident: principals, like teachers, affect the life chances of children, too. More

White House announces $1 billion 'master teacher' program
U.S. News & World Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From July 20, 2012: For years, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has said teachers have to be more respected in the United States. The Obama administration plans to form a corps of "master teachers" who will specialize in science, technology, engineering and math and will receive annual bonuses of up to $20,000. "If America is going to compete for the jobs and industries of tomorrow, we need to make sure our children are getting the best education possible," Obama said in a statement. More


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Study: Principal turnover bodes poorly for schools
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From March 6, 2012: About 20 percent of principals new to a school leave that posting within one or two years, leaving behind a school that generally continues on a downward academic slide after their departure, according to a study released by the RAND Corp. on behalf of New York City-based New Leaders. "The underlying idea is that churn is not good," said Gina Schuyler Ikemoto, an author of the report and the executive director of research and policy development for New Leaders, formerly known as New Leaders for New Schools. The nonprofit group recruits and trains principals to work in urban districts. More

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Under education reform, school principals swamped by teacher evaluations
The Christian Science Monitor    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Feb. 3, 2012: Sharon McNary believes in having tough teacher evaluations. But these days, the Memphis principal finds herself rushing to cram in what amounts to 20 times the number of observations previously required for veteran teachers — including those she knows are excellent — sometimes to the detriment of her other duties. "I don't think there's a principal that would say they don't agree we don't need a more rigorous evaluation system," says McNary, who is president of the Tennessee Principals Association as well as principal at Richland Elementary. More

Principals as instructional leaders
District Administrators    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From May 22, 2012: At some level, principals always have been instructional leaders — but never before has their role been more prominent. First, the accountability movement — No Child Left Behind in particular — thrust principals into the spotlight on academic achievement. Then budget cuts peeled away capacity at both the district and school levels, thinning the ranks of assistant superintendents, curriculum specialists and assistant principals, who shouldered some or most of the load. More


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Official: 10 states to get education waiver
The Associated Press via USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Feb. 10, 2012: President Barack Obama will free 10 states from the strict and sweeping requirements of the No Child Left Behind law, giving leeway to states that promise to improve how they prepare and evaluate students, The Associated Press has learned. The first 10 states to receive the waivers are Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Tennessee. The only state that applied for the flexibility and did not get it, New Mexico, is working with the administration to get approval, a White House official told the AP. More

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Homophobia starts in elementary school
ABC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Jan. 24, 2012: "Playgrounds and Prejudice: Elementary School Climate in the United States," the first study of its kind, reveals that homophobia is pervasive in elementary schools and most teachers do little to intervene. At this age, bullies use words to attack those who are different, but if not curtailed early, warn advocates, verbal teasing turns to violence at the middle school and high school level. More


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Study: Competing pressures put strain on school principals
Ventura County Star    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From Jan. 3, 2012: California principals are facing shrinking budgets and mounting responsibilities to lead teachers and keep schools running — creating competing pressures that may make the job untenable, a study has found. Principals reported working 60 and sometimes 70 hours a week. As budget cuts thinned the ranks of support staff, they juggled roles as teachers, community liaisons, nurses, athletic directors, crisis managers and budget gurus. More

26 states seek relief from education law
The Associated Press via The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
From March 2, 2012: More than half of all states applied by a new deadline to be freed from the most strenuous requirements of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law, the Education Department said. The Obama administration is allowing states that promise to improve how they prepare and evaluate students along with other changes to get a waiver around the law. Recently, 11 states that applied for a waiver under an earlier deadline were given waivers. More

 
 


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 Cynthia Rosso at crosso@naesp.org.
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601   Download media kit
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