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New report examines bullying in elementary schools
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Given that more and more youngsters are self-identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender at younger ages, a new report hopes to shed light on school climate, biased remarks and bullying among elementary school students. Released by the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, "Playground and Prejudice: Elementary School Climate in the United States" examined students' and teachers' experiences with biased remarks and bullying, as well as attitudes about gender expression and family diversity. More


Experts: More schools likely to lose accreditation
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As anxiety over the academic performance of public schools grows, experts say it's likely that more schools and school districts will lose public or private accreditation. "It happens more often than you'd think, but it needs to happen more often than it does," says Mark A. Elgart, president and CEO of AdvancED, a private Atlanta-based accreditation agency that works with about 30,000 schools. In the past five years, the organization has pulled accreditation on four school systems and a dozen private schools, for reasons ranging from poor academic performance to governance to financial fraud. More

Expansion in pre-K programs curtailed in recession
The Associated Press via Fox News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The expansion in public prekindergarten programs has slowed and even been reversed in some states as school districts cope with shrinking budgets. As a result, many 3- and 4-year-olds aren't going to preschool. Kids from low-income families who start kindergarten without first attending a quality education program enter school an estimated 18 months behind their peers. Many never catch up, and research shows they are more likely to need special education services and to drop out. Kids in families with higher incomes also can benefit from early education, research shows. More


Study questions popular explanation for gender gap in math
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new study casts doubt on the popular notion that a gender stereotype — namely, that girls are bad at math — explains why men dominate the higher levels of mathematics achievement and accomplishment. The researchers suggest that evidence is "weak at best" for what's been called the "stereotype threat" explanation. They suggest this comes at a real cost, because focusing interventions on this particular issue leads to neglect of other, and possibly more promising, paths to better gender balance in the math field. More

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Educating immigrant students a challenge in US, elsewhere
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
One out of every five children now enrolled in a U.S. public school speaks a language other than English at home. Many of them were born in other countries. Some have had little or no formal education before coming to the United States, even among those who are the age of American middle or high school students. More

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Study: No link between school junk food sales and middle school kids' weight
WebMD Health News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Junk food sales in schools, long blamed for contributing to childhood obesity, do not make a difference overall in the weight of middle school students, according to a new study. The researchers followed more than 19,000 students from grades five through eight in 1,000 private and public schools. "What we found basically is, there is no relationship between going to a middle school that sells junk food and gaining weight," says researcher Jennifer Van Hook, Ph.D., professor of sociology and demography at Penn State University. More

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The value behind "Value-Added"
The Huffington Post (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Does the current push for "Value Added" measures mean that education has finally figured it out, or is this yet another silver bullet that will fail — and perhaps do more harm than good along the way? More


Tips for making the move to online assessments
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As states move toward implementing online assessments in 2014, a panel of experts agreed that school technology leaders must ensure that districts have the capacity, manpower and foresight to see that the transition is a successful one. Online assessments present a handful of concerns for school technology leaders, said Ray Eernisse, chief information officer for Missouri's Francis Howell School District, and Daniel Honore, director of information services for Wisconsin's Kenosha Unified School District. More

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In schools, self-esteem boosting is losing favor to rigor, finer-tuned praise
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For decades, the prevailing wisdom in education was that high self-esteem would lead to high achievement. The theory led to an avalanche of daily affirmations, awards ceremonies and attendance certificates — but few, if any, academic gains. Now, an increasing number of teachers are weaning themselves from what some call empty praise. Drawing on psychology and brain research, these educators aim to articulate a more precise, and scientific, vocabulary for praise that will push children to work through mistakes and take on more challenging assignments. More

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Designing the 21st century K-12 classroom
The Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It's not enough to take a traditional K-12 classroom and fill it with technology. The smart classroom requires a more methodic approach that factors in the design of the basic shell, the teacher's space, and the students' independent and collaborative work areas. More

Obama education reforms advance as Congress falters
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
President Barack Obama's administration is moving ahead in reforming U.S. education without the help of the Congress, and will soon announce which states can opt out of the national education law known as "No Child Left Behind." Meanwhile, there are two bills currently in Congress to re-authorize the decade-old law that radically changed U.S. public schools. "I don't think either one of those is going to move forward anytime soon," said Education Secretary Arne Duncan. More

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Reports detail Race to Top winners' challenges
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The 12 winners of the federal Race to the Top competition have experienced near-universal challenges in turning their sweeping, multifaceted proposals into reality, among them a limited state capacity to execute fast, dramatic change and deeply rooted teacher-evaluation systems that have proved hard to transform. Reports unveiled by the U.S. Department of Education detail for the first time where the 11 states and the District of Columbia are hitting their targets, and where they're falling short, as they carry out the plans that earned them grants under President Barack Obama's high-profile $4 billion education initiative. More

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State bill aims to kick trans fats out of Colorado schools
The Associated Press via Denver Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Colorado is considering the nation's toughest ban on unhealthy fats in school foods, a ban that could endanger pizza, French fries and other childhood favorites. A bill pending in the state legislature would make margarine, vegetable shortening and other traditional trans fats off limits. The ban would apply to school lunches, school breakfasts, a la carte side items and vending machines. Schools could still serve fried foods, but none made with traditional oils containing artery-clogging trans fats. More

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Parents, union question Chicago's push for longer school day
Chicago Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
While the mayor defended his choice of lengthening the school day to 7 1/2 hours, saying the number was "not arbitrary," the teachers union and a parent group maintained that research does not support such a long day. Parent group Raise Your Hand said a survey that organizers conducted in the fall shows that most parents want a school day of less than 7 1/2 hours. And the group said no other school district in the country has a 7 1/2-hour day systemwide. More

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New York school's strict bathroom policy rewards students for holding it in, outrages parents
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Rewarding young students with stickers for a job well done on school assignments is commonplace, but one New York school is doling out those coveted prizes for another type of good performance: holding it in. Parents of children at Coney Island's PS 90 are up in arms over a new policy that they say will give their kids bladder problems and have children wetting themselves in class. More

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California governor calls for less standardized testing
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
California's Gov. Jerry Brown, who has gone further than any other governor in blasting modern test-based school reform, said he wants to reduce the number of standardized tests students take, give more authority to local school boards and design a system to measure education performance that is less test-centric than the one now in use. More

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NAESP and GLSEN release new toolkit for combating bullying
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Cut the name-calling in your school with "Ready, Set, Respect!," a guide for elementary school teachers on establishing a safe classroom culture. "Ready, Set, Respect!" contains lesson plans on name-calling and bullying, as well as tips on inclusive teaching, intervening in bullying incidents and promoting respectful recess time. Download your free copy today. More

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Recruit JUST ONE new member — and win a prize
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Are you in the drawing yet? Commit to recruiting JUST ONE new NAESP member and you could win one of 5 exciting thank-you premiums. Act now — winners will be selected in February. More






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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.

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