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Lame-duck Congress to face education issues
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When the dust settles from the midterm elections, federal lawmakers — the re-elected and losers alike — will head back to Washington for a lame-duck session with a long to-do list that could have broad implications for education policy over the next year. Congress left town without finishing the U.S. Department of Education's spending bill for fiscal 2011, which officially began Oct. 1. Right now, all programs in the department are being financed at fiscal 2010 levels through a stopgap measure that expires Dec. 3. Lawmakers have several options for resolving the looming budget question, including the fate of Obama administration priorities, in a session that could begin as early as mid-November. More

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US could lose the science/technology edge to China, experts fear
FOX News Network    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
China has swept headlines with its recent space agenda and engineering efforts, including the world's fastest supercomputer and bullet train, the world's largest hydroelectric dam, and plans for a new space station and satellites that may visit Mars. It's a fresh indication of the growing science and technology prowess of the world's most populated country, and experts fear China could soon eclipse the U.S. in the race for tech supremacy. The National Academy of Engineers released a recent report illustrating the dire state of domestic science and technology, which called our inability to keep up with China "a coming storm;" the report is so bleak that it was subtitled, Rapidly Approaching Category 5. More



Oregon schools adopt tougher standards for math, English
The Statesman Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
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Next year, Oregon students will face significantly tougher math and English standards at every grade level, thanks to the Common Core State Standards approved by the State Board of Education. Oregon is one of 41 states to adopt the new standards, which will make it easier to collaborate and compare results across state lines. The new standards take effect in 2014, but teachers will start rolling out new content as soon as next fall. The board unanimously approved the new English standards, which were developed by the same group that worked on Oregon's current standards. More

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Apple puts spotlight on disability offerings in app store
Disability Scoop    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Apple is highlighting a growing number of apps catering to individuals with special needs with a featured special education section in its App Store. The section titled "Special Education" includes 72 applications for the iPhone and 13 applications for the iPad in 10 categories ranging from communication to emotional development and life skills, according to Trudy Muller, an Apple spokeswoman. The special education category is currently showcased as one of four editorial features in the App Store. More



Red ribbons and drug education
Pauls Valley Daily Democrat    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
One veteran law enforcement agent believes drug education is something that should be a regular part of the curriculum in schools and not just done during special times like Red Ribbon Week. That was one the points made this week by Dub Turner, who brought a very serious drug prevention message to Pauls Valley's junior high students in Oklahoma. Local schools brought in different speakers and offered a variety of activities as part of the Red Ribbon campaign, which is the oldest and largest drug prevention campaign in the country. More

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School principals weigh in on 'Waiting for Superman'
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The documentary film, Waiting for Superman, has been generating a lot of buzz since its release in September for its portrayal of problems within U.S. schools and what might be done to solve them. The movie, directed by Oscar winner Davis Guggenheim, An Inconvenient Truth, explores charter schools — public schools operating outside the boundaries of public school systems — competitive lotteries to get into them, and roles played by parents, students, teachers and unions. Reuters asked four real-life principals to watch the film and talk about its themes. Each principal was asked the same questions. More

New student card: Big benefit or Big Brother?
The Boston Globe    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The hope is that the card will open an array of Boston city services to students and reduce their absenteeism; the fear is that the new data it provides to city officials could be abused for less educational purposes. Boston officials plan to launch a pilot program to make it easier for some public school students to use city services by providing them with one card they can use to ride the MBTA, withdraw books from city libraries, play sports, attend after-school programs at community centers, and access meal programs at their schools. The so-called BostONEcard will also be used to take attendance and may eventually serve as a debit card, among other potential uses. The city will evaluate the program at the end of the academic year and consider expanding it next year to all Boston Public School students in middle school and high school. More



US Department of Education sends letter on bullying
Headline News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Department of Education has issued a letter to thousands of schools, colleges, and universities nationwide urging educators to ensure that they are complying with their responsibilities to prevent harassment and combat bullying in schools. The 10-page letter, sent to educators with the opening "Dear Colleague," is a product of a year-long review of the federal statutes and case law covering sexual, racial and other forms of harassment, according to officials. It outlines the legal obligations of educators to protect students from various forms of harassment. According to officials, issuing the letter took on new urgency in light of the string of high-profile cases in which students have committed suicide after enduring bullying by classmates. More

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How's it going, Education?
National Journal (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As a GOP wave election takes shape, several dozen Republican candidates, like Senate hopeful Sharron Angle in Nevada, are reviving talk of doing away with the Education Department. More experienced GOP lawmakers like Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., want to scale back the department's involvement in schools, particularly on standards and curriculum. Yet President Obama thinks education is an area ripe for new policy on which Republicans and Democrats can agree, according to his exclusive interview with National Journal on Oct. 19. Meanwhile, the Education Department has developed its own brand of innovation, starting with its rollout of economic stimulus funds and continuing with Race to the Top grants and advocacy for the "EduJobs" bill. More

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High court seen snubbing religious-expression cases
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. reached his fifth anniversary on the U.S. Supreme Court in late September, observers took note of the court's rightward shift during his tenure in a number of areas, including corporate spending on federal elections and the ways school districts may consider race in assigning students. But at least one conservative constituency largely is still waiting for its day in the high court. Over the past two years alone, self-described religious-liberty groups on the right have asked the justices to hear appeals in some half-dozen cases involving religious expression in the public schools. In each case, the Supreme Court has refused. The cases recently denied review have involved such subjects as religious music at public school holiday performances, students' distribution of religious-themed items to their classmates, Christian-themed responses to classroom assignments, and religious messages in speeches at graduation ceremonies. More



Federal money supports Hawaii's Extended Learning Opportunities
The Associated Press via The Maui News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
More than $5 million in federal stimulus funds will be used to support Extended Learning Opportunities for students at Hawaii public schools that haven't met adequate yearly progress. Extended Learning Opportunities add instructional time to the school day and add classes during Saturdays, semester breaks and summers. The governor's office announced that the instruction will focus on English, math and science. More

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Fifth-grader suspended for toy gun at school
The Kansas City Star    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A Sunday game with a spring-powered toy gun has earned a Shawnee Mission fifth-grader more than three months at home. Alyssa Cornish has been suspended until January after she admitted that she and several other children were playing with the gun on the playground of Santa Fe Trail Elementary School in Kansas, which she has attended since pre-K. The Shawnee Mission School District's policy, which is modeled on Kansas state law, includes a prohibition against any weapon that can expel a projectile. That policy applies to the entire week, not just weekdays while school is in session. Neal said it also applies to pellet and BB guns or a toy that looks like a real weapon. 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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Give back to the profession, become a mentor
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It is often stated that leadership is defined as two functions: providing direction and exercising influence. These are functions implemented in very different ways by principals who serve in diverse school communities with unique strengths, needs, and populations. Principals establish relationships and build consensus in focused ways aligned with the culture and operational requirements of their building to reach positive results. It is an awesome task being completed by outstanding leaders throughout the country! The NAESP Mentor Program brings together these leaders to explore the skills needed to mentor and coach those new to the profession. How new administrators perceive their job and how they begin to practice and strengthen their skills are critical to their success. More
 
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