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Children in carpools often go without booster seats
WebMD Health News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Parents often skip using booster seats when carpooling with pre-schoolers or young school-age children, increasing the risk of serious injury in a crash, a new study shows. "I think it's a complex issue of convenience, expectations and peer pressure," says researcher Michelle Macy, M.D., a pediatrician at the University of Michigan. Macy and her co-authors of the study say theirs is the first study to explore issues related to carpooling and booster seat use among parents of 4- to 8-year-olds. More


Arne Duncan: Pay great teachers $150,000
Politico    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Education Secretary Arne Duncan said that the starting salaries of teachers should double, up to $65,000 a year, and that excellent teachers should be able to make up to $150,000. "I've been very radical on this. I think that young teachers, we should double their salaries [to] $60,000, $65,000. I think that great teachers should be able to make $130,000, $140,000, $150,000 — pick a number," said Duncan on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." More

Indiana creationism teaching bill moves forward in state Senate
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Indiana legislators are moving forward on a bill that would allow creationism to be taught alongside other theories in the state's public school system. The Senate Education Committee voted 8-2 to present the bill to the full Senate, the Associated Press reports. Creationism, a theory with origins in the Bible's Book of Genesis, suggests that divine power created man, animal and all earthly matters. The idea is an opposing view to the science-based theory of evolution. More


Texas Board of Education OKs new math standards but only allows them if students get new books
The Associated Press via The Republic    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Texas Board of Education gave preliminary approval to new math standards for schools statewide, but moved to block implementation unless the Legislature provides funding for books to help students cope with tougher curriculums. The board passed the measure 13-0 with two members absent. The rules still must be formally approved during its next meeting in April. They could, however, potentially put pressure on state lawmakers to approve funding for new books and other key classroom materials before Texas can demand its students learn more. More

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Supper: After-school programs' newest activity
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
At some schools and community centers across the country, baked chicken, steamed broccoli, apple slices, whole-wheat rolls and milk are on the menu — but not just at lunch. While breakfast and lunch programs have long been a common part of the school day, all states now have the opportunity to serve students free after-school suppers, too, with the money for the meals coming from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. More

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10 big ideas to improve your schools
Scholastic    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The ideas are old and new, controversial and common sense. If you want to improve your district — and who doesn't? — there's no one formula to try or any set of ideas that you should ignore. Long derided for not changing their format since agriculture set its calendars, and criticized for stubbornly clinging to the sit-and-get method of learning, schools are now at the epicenter of change. Green schools no longer seem radical, but practical, for staff, students, the environment and the bottom line. The idea that paying attention to the emotional needs of students isn't just the work of the kind-hearted is now seen as a proven way to improve the learning environment — and test scores — for all students. More

Good kindergarten attention skills predict later work-oriented behavior
Medical News Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Attentiveness in kindergarten accurately predicts the development of "work-oriented" skills in school children, according to a new study published by Dr. Linda Pagani, a professor and researcher at the University of Montreal and CHU Sainte-Justine. Elementary school teachers made observations of attention skills in over a thousand kindergarten children. Then, from first- to sixth-grade, homeroom teachers rated how well the children worked both autonomously and with fellow classmates, their levels of self-control and self-confidence, and their ability to follow directions and rules. More

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Study: Colored labels help cafeteria-goers eat healthier
Time    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Remember the grade-school game "Red Light, Green Light?" You had to run across the playground until someone said "red light," and then you had to freeze, unable to move again until you heard "green light." Nice idea, thought some researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, could the same go-stop training manipulate the way people eat? More


Teachers: Budgets block classroom technology access
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Despite advances in digital learning tools and efforts to close the education-technology access gap, school budgets remain one of the biggest barriers to classroom technology access, according to a national PBS LearningMedia survey of pre-K-12 teachers. Although ed-tech advocates campaign for technology's seamless integration into instruction, only 22 percent of teachers surveyed said they have the "right" level of technology in their classrooms. More

What does your school know about you?
KQED    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In the information age, data will follow us from the time we first walk into kindergarten to well past retirement. As data is used to guide us in making all kinds of decisions, from what we consume to what health plan we follow, it's also becoming a powerful tool in education. As more schools and colleges use algorithms to determine a student's path, the Amazon- and Netflix-style practice of data mining will soon be the norm in how schools and students operate. But that might not be such a bad thing. More


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Pushing past mediocrity in the classroom
Los Angeles Time (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Teacher wars are raging across the nation. One side blasts the "bad" teachers, waving around student test-score data and demanding accountability. On the other side are teachers: Defensive, closing the doors to their classrooms — and to the promise of improving their practice. How do we halt the teacher-bashing, as President Barack Obama urged in his State of the Union address, and still improve the quality of teaching? The answer is to radically change the evaluation conversation. A focus on watching teachers work — on how they actually interact with students — is long overdue. More

Study: As Obama touts Common Core, the state standards spread slowly across US
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Amy Bednarz, an English as a second language teacher in a Massachusetts elementary school, is confused. She doesn't know exactly what to teach. For years, she'd been told that the state standardized tests were a make-or-break aspect of her teaching and should drive her instruction. Then came the professional development meetings this summer where she was told to teach the Common Core State Standards, a new set of academic benchmarks now being adopted by the majority of U.S. states. She got a worksheet, a binder and little guidance. More

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States weaken tenure rights for teachers
The Associated Press via USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
America's public school teachers are seeing their generations-old tenure protections weakened as states seek flexibility to fire teachers who aren't performing. A few states have essentially nullified tenure protections altogether, according to an analysis being released Wednesday by the National Council on Teacher Quality. The changes are occurring as states replace virtually automatic "satisfactory" teacher evaluations with those linked to teacher performance and base teacher layoffs on performance instead of seniority. Politically powerful teachers' unions are fighting back, arguing the changes lower morale, deny teachers due process and unfairly target older teachers. More

Why urban, educated parents are turning to DIY education
Newsweek    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In the beginning, your kids need you — a lot. They're attached to your hip, all the time. It might be a month. It might be five years. Then suddenly you are expected to send them off to school for seven hours a day, where they'll have to cope with life in ways they never had to before. You no longer control what they learn, or how, or with whom. Unless you decide, like an emerging population of parents in cities across the country, to forgo that age-old rite of passage entirely. More

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Uggs banned at Pennsylvania school to deter cellphone smugglers
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Uggs may be ugly in some fashionistas' eyes, but should they be banned? Yes, according to a Pennsylvania school principal who says the ubiquitous fur-lined, comfy boots and their imitators have become the hiding place of choice for cellphones and other gadgets that aren't supposed to be brought to class. The ban takes effect at Pottsdown Middle School outside Philadelphia, where the principal, Gail M. Cooper, announced the rule in a letter to parents. The ban applies to boots that do not fit tightly around the calf or ankle, such as open-top Uggs. More

Report: Wyoming teachers not well prepared
The Associated Press via The Washington Examiner    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Wyoming has been spending a lot of time and effort on improving its public school system. However, a national organization that seeks better instructors in the classroom isn't impressed so far. The Washington, D.C.-based National Council on Teacher Quality says Wyoming does a poor job of providing its classrooms with effective, well-prepared teachers. The organization did a detailed analysis of how the state prepares, licenses and evaluates teachers as well as other factors. It gives the state a "D" grade overall. More

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Ruling: Arizona school voucher program is constitutional
The Associated Press via Arizona Capitol Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new court ruling says Arizona's school voucher program for students with disabilities is constitutional. The ruling rejects arguments by opponents of the program that it violates state constitutional prohibitions on using public money to support religious or private schools. Judge Maria del Mar Verdin of Maricopa County Superior Court agreed with school-choice advocates who support the program that it is constitutional because it gives discretion to parents on how to spend the money. More

Oklahoma tax dollars at center of school voucher debate
The Oklahoman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Vouchers that use public school funding for private school tuition (proponents prefer the term scholarships) are at the center of a growing conflict in Oklahoma between parents, the state and schools. More

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Michigan schools face kindergarten funding changes
Chicago Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Updated state rules mean that public schools in Michigan must offer all-day kindergarten to receive full funding for each kindergarten pupil starting in September. The rules were approved last year by the Legislature and the state updated school districts about the half- and full-day options, as well as the financial consequences, The Detroit News reported. Districts still may offer half-day programs but will lose half of their per-pupil funding for each student, the newspaper reported. Most districts get an average of $7,810 in state aid for each child and are struggling to make up for other cuts. More

JUST ONE drawing closes today
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It's your last day to enter. Commit to recruiting JUST ONE new NAESP member and you could win one of 5 exciting thank-you premiums. Don't miss out. More

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Create a high-performing PLC with new book from NAESP
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The latest title in the Essentials for Principals Series, "The School Leader's Guide to Professional Learning Communities at Work™," guides principals in how to create and sustain a high-performing professional learning community. Published by NAESP and Solution Tree, the book was written by Richard DuFour and Rebecca DuFour, who challenge principals not to ask, "Will I make a difference?" but instead, "What difference will I make?" More






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