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Do schools share too much with parents?
CNN    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
Are schools creating a new breed of helicopter parent? Some teachers want parents to monitor their children's entire education career online with grade-tracking websites or even classroom Twitter feeds. These "student management systems" are becoming commonplace—but they leave some experts wondering, how much parental e-surveillance is too much? More


Districts hire outsider to trim special education costs
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With special education costs on the rise, school districts around the country are scrambling to provide services for students. Some turn to private contractors like Futures Education to analyze and redesign special ed programs. In several districts, the controversial tactic has cut costs — but in others, it's ignited protests from parents, school employees and education activism groups. More

Dozens of schools lack art, music teachers in Florida
Orlando Sentinel    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Students in Frinzetta Boman's kindergarten class gleefully sing the "Good Morning" song, illustrate vocabulary words and dance as they sing their numbers. But they haven't had an art or music class all year. That's because their school, Tangelo Park Elementary in Orange County, Fla., is one of six district elementaries with no art or music teacher. Thirty-two other county elementary schools lack either an art teacher or a music teacher. Some principals point to tight budgets and the need to fund more reading and math positions. More

Common-standards supports for teachers eyed
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Five states that have adopted the Common Core State Standards are beginning work on an initiative to create an open-source "platform" that would help teachers access, download and create resources tied to the common standards, officials from the Council of Chief State School Officers said. CCSSO and the states of New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, North Carolina and Colorado will take the lead in helping design and pilot the platform, with financing promised by the Seattle-based Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York. More

'Play first' lunch gaining ground in one school district
Contra Costa Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Fewer sandwiches tossed half-eaten into garbage cans. Fewer squabbles on the playground. More calm afternoons in the classrooms. These outcomes, some Pleasanton Unified School District in California leaders say, are the results of a lunchtime recess redesign: Letting students play first and eat later. More


Tired of Playground Hassles and Headaches?

Middle school teachers can take heart
Houston Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It's a no-brainer that middle school teachers work in stressful conditions: They deal with high-stakes testing, hormonal teenagers, overbearing parents, budget shortfalls and countless other pressures. University of Houston researchers are set to spend a three-year, $1.6 million federal grant studying how that chronic stress affects the classroom. They suspect it's detrimental to educators' physical and mental health, as well as to student performance. More

Nevada Senators vote to bolster anti-bullying efforts with curriculum
The Associated Press via    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Nevada lawmakers are voting to give anti-bullying efforts some traction with a bill that requires the Department of Education to develop an anti-bullying curriculum to train teachers. SB276 would compel each school district to annually report the number of bullying incidents that resulted in suspensions and the type of bullying, such as cyber-bullying or intimidation. More

Education department rules on for-profit schools created with
investor's help (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A proposed regulation from the Education Department threatens to devastate for-profit career or trade schools, but one thing is even more controversial than the regulation — how it was crafted. Education Department officials were encouraged and advised about the content of the regulation by a man who stood to make millions if it were issued. More

Illinois Schools Implement Lexia, Improve

75% of kindergartners in Des Plaines, IL elementary school had no letter recognition. Lexia Reading software helped bring 88% up to speed by end of 1st grade.

'Incentives' should not be used to advance national curriculum
The Hill (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Department of Education, through its much-ballyhooed Race to the Top program, has taken the first steps toward coercing the states to adopt a set of national education standards known as the Common Core Standards. Unfortunately, anxious to try new ways of improving unsatisfactory public schools, some "conservative" commentators have failed to grasp the coercive nature of what DOE is doing — and how it could ultimately lead to imposition of essentially a national curriculum, in violation of federal law. More

No more pencils, no more books: Technology-driven education in
New Jersey schools

NJ Spotlight    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
To the average adult whose middle school experience included filmstrips, mimeographs and chalk dust, the typical day for sixth-graders at Lawrence Township Intermediate School in New Jersey may seem like something out of a science fiction movie. In one class, students write and edit reports together on an Internet site that lets them collaborate from their individual netbooks. In another, they use push-button remotes to answer math questions. Their teacher immediately sees a chart of who got it right and who didn't. More

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Connecticut anti-bullying law targets cyber-bullying
The Associated Press via The Republican    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Legislation expanding Connecticut's anti-bullying laws to include cruel and taunting text messages and other cyber-bullying activities cleared the state Senate. Proponents said the bill gives local school officials a legal basis to take action against a bully who harasses another student off school grounds using technology. Currently, that's considered a gray area for school administrators because cyber-bullying is not covered under state statute. More

Michigan in running for third round of Race to the Top funds
The Detroit News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Michigan will have a third shot at winning a share of federal education dollars under the latest round of the Race to the Top competitive grant program recently unveiled by the Obama administration. Unlike the first two rounds Michigan failed to win, the new $500 million grant program will focus on early childhood learning, instead of K-12 programs. More


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Judge voids Wisconsin collective bargaining law
The Associated Press via Nation Public Radio    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Wisconsin's law taking away nearly all collective bargaining rights from most public workers was struck down by a circuit court judge but the ruling will not be the final say in the union fight that brought tens of thousands of protesters to the Capitol earlier this year. The Wisconsin Supreme Court has scheduled arguments for June 6 to decide whether it will take the case and Republicans who control the Legislature could also pass the law a second time to avoid the open meeting violations that led to the judge's voiding the law. More

Support your school's arts program with a Crayola grant
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
There's just over a month left to apply for a 2011 Champion Creatively Alive Children grant, a national program funded by Crayola and supported by NAESP's National Principals Resource Center. Crayola will award up to 20 grants, which include a $2,500 monetary award and $500 worth of Crayola products. More


Report to Parents — a member benefit that makes your job easier
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
School days may be dwindling, but there's still time to maintain strong communication with parents. Report to Parents, a newsletter you can download, reproduce and circulate, provides practical information on family-friendly topics that support your school's goals and help children thrive in school. Check out past issues today. More

ASHA's New Practical RTI Book

The classroom-ready book about RTI with tiered activities that focus on enhancing oral language. More.


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Study shows BULLYING reduced 41%

Researchers from University of Illinois at Chicago just released findings from a randomized-control trial in 14 schools in Chicago. Schools using the Positive Action program from 3rd to 5th grade reduced bullying by 41%, violence by 37% and substance use by 31%. Academic effects will be released soon.
Learn more
Fischler School: Cause An Effect
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Bring the World to Your School with Educational Seminars!

Educational Seminars, fully funded by the U.S. Department of State, are short-term international exchanges for U.S. teachers and administrators that focus on sharing best practices and professional development.

Look for program applications for teachers and administrators in late summer/fall 2011. Email edseminars
to be added to our notification list.

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 or contact us at

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
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