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Poor children get biggest literacy boost from preschool
HealthDay News via Bloomberg Businessweek    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Poor children get the most benefit from preschool, but such programs also help children who aren't poor, particularly black youngsters, according to a new study. "Universally available preschool programs are likely to narrow achievement gaps between children who are poor and those who are not poor, and also between racial groups," said study author Daphna Bassok, an assistant professor of education policy at the University of Virginia. Most state preschool programs have income-based eligibility guidelines, but a number of states offer universal access and more states are considering doing so, said Bassok. More

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Who is best qualified to run a school system?
TIME    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
What kind of credentials do you need to run a school district? Especially a really big one? Is a degree in education a better predictor of a superintendent's success than, say, a track record of turning around distressed companies? These are hot questions in the education world right now. On Nov. 10, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg surprised everyone (including the senior leaders of his city's school system) by tapping publishing executive Cathleen Black to be the city's new school chancellor. In doing so, Bloomberg set in motion an arcane deliberation process. More



PBS program connects students with news broadcasters
THE Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The program incorporates a 21st century skills-focused digital curriculum and provides a collaborative online environment for students and mentors. The curriculum includes three units: News Media 101, Constructing News, and Putting it all Together. The collaborative environment allows students to work with their peers and professional journalists on their projects. Eight schools are currently participating in the program. Now program leaders are looking to expand that list to include at-risk populations and increase overall the number of students participating. More

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Principals voice enthusiasm for social networking, though concerns remain
THE Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Research has shown that most school principals in the United States use Web 2.0 technologies and belong to at least one social network. And according to a new report, most also indicated they think social networking has value for education — for staff and, potentially, for students alike. So why did most also say their schools ban the use of social networking on campus? The reasons are many and varied, according to the new report. But not surprisingly (based on past research), privacy and appropriate use of the tools were among the concerns voiced. More



Principal weighs policies
MassLive.com    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Jillayne Flanders, who is the principal of Plains Elementary School in Granby, Mass., was in Washington, D.C. recently. Flanders is on the resolutions committee of the National Association of Elementary School Principals. The committee of nine educators from different parts of the country shapes policy statements out of such thorny issues as standardized tests and the retention and promotion of teachers. More

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US Education Chief Arne Duncan: Detroit Public Schools
'arguably the worst'

Detroit Free Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan dealt the Detroit Public Schools another verbal blow, calling the district "arguably the worst urban school district in the country now." Duncan made the remarks in response to a DPS-related question during a discussion at the American Enterprise Institute Forum in Washington, D.C. The discussion was about the challenges associated with improving cost-effectiveness in K-12 education. When asked his opinion of a DPS proposal to use federal Title I dollars for early childhood education diagnostics, Duncan said he wanted more of those funds spent on early childhood education and added that DPS is a district "where the education provided to those children has been devastatingly bad for far too long." More

Rep. Mike Honda: Redefining the federal role in public education
The Hill (blog)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
One of the challenges confronting education policy makers is staying connected to the grassroots. This is not only important for political purposes, but, most importantly, for policy implementation. We need to do more to address what the President and others have called the Civil Rights issue of our time. Education is not only one of the greatest civil rights issues of our time, but it is also one of the greatest competitiveness issues, making it one of the greatest long-term economic issues, and by extension, one of the greatest national security issues we are faced with today. More



Hawaii Board of Education rejects meal price hikes
The Maui News    Share    Share on
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The Hawaii Board of Education has rejected a proposal to increase the price of public school meals. The board voted 8-2 to oppose the recommendation. Board Chairman Garrett Toguchi noted that this past January the cost of lunch rose from $1.25 to $2.20 and breakfast increased from 35 cents to 95 cents. Under the proposal, lunch would have cost $2.35 and breakfast would have cost $1. More

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Arizona school parents see technology at work in classroom
The Arizona Republic    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Students in Sarah Collins' second-grade class at Kyrene de las Manitas Elementary School in Tempe, Ariz., sat gathered around a Smart Board, jumping up to write the answers to questions. Two students tried different ways of making $1.04, dragging digital dollars and coins. They ended the lesson counting by 10s, with Collins clicking off the numbers on the board. Members of the Kyrene Parent Superintendent Council met to visit eight classrooms and see how students and teachers are using technology. The visit came after Kyrene officials learned that their budget override request to enhance the district's technology lost by 96 votes. Superintendent David Schauer said he attributes the loss to the ballot language, which "says something about allowing the district to exceed its budget limit" and turned voters off. More

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Character program may go statewide in North Carolina
The Charlotte Observer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools' Character Education Program, in North Carolina, is a partnership with parents and the community to help elementary school students understand and act upon basic values. Officials believe it improves school attendance, reduces classroom conflicts and encourages a commitment to helping others. Systemwide, the schools focus on the same character trait each month, but each elementary school can develop its own ways of teaching the concepts. They've done respect, responsibility and honesty so far this year. More

Class sizes grew in New York City despite deal to cut them
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Three years after a landmark agreement to cut class sizes in New York City's public schools, classrooms are swelling across the city, a result of budget cuts and spending decisions that have reduced the teaching force. According to the city's Department of Education, elementary schools this year had the largest increases, with average class sizes growing to 23.7 students per class from 22.9 last year. In middle schools, class sizes climbed to 27 from 26.1; high school class sizes held at about 27. Small classes are increasingly rare. Excluding special education classes, 22.4 percent of elementary and middle school students were in classes of 20 or fewer children two years ago. Now, only 13.7 percent are. More

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Pittsburgh trying new ways of certifying nontraditional teachers
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In Pennsylvania, nearly every public school teacher takes a similar path to certification: A teacher preparation program at a college or university. But for the first time since 2002, the Pennsylvania Board of Education approved an alternative route, this time a year-long residency program to be offered by Pittsburgh Public Schools. Pittsburgh's goal is to increase the diversity of its teaching force, provide an option for second-career teachers and have more candidates for hard-to-fill positions. More



Just In: Leadership expert Douglas Reeves to speak at NAESP 2011
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Douglas Reeves, who has worked with education, business, nonprofit, and government organizations throughout the world, will speak in an added plenary session at the NAESP Annual Convention & Exposition in Tampa, Fla., April 7-10, 2011. Founder of The Leadership and Learning Center, Reeves is the author of more than 20 books and many articles on leadership and organizational effectiveness. He has twice been named to the Harvard University Distinguished Authors Series and the Brock International Laureate for his contributions to education. More

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NAESP Foundation Online Auction underway
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Holiday shopping has never been easier! Get great deals on high quality items through the NAESP Foundation's Online Auction, taking place from now until Dec. 16. Bids all items start at $1 with no reserve. Just visit to purchase wonderful items in time for the holiday season. Please share the link with friends, family, and colleagues. More

Happy Thanksgiving
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, Before the Bell will not be published on Friday, Nov. 26. Before the Bell's normal publication schedule will resume on Tuesday, Nov. 30. Have a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving.
 
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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 Kevin Craft at kcraft@naesp.org.
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