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Scientists find learning is not 'hard-wired'
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Neuroscience exploded into the education conversation more than 20 years ago, in step with the evolution of personal computers and the rise of the Internet, and policymakers hoped medical discoveries could likewise help doctors and teachers understand the "hard wiring" of the brain. That conception of how the brain works, exacerbated by the difficulty in translating research from lab to classroom, spawned a generation of neuro-myths and snake-oil pitches—from programs to improve cross-hemisphere brain communication to teaching practices aimed at "auditory" or "visual" learners. More


Bill would help foster youths with school records
The Associated Press via Google News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Federal lawmakers proposed a bill that would give social workers better access to school records in an effort to improve education for foster children. A federal law requires social workers to get a court order to access a foster child's school records, and it was meant to protect the child's privacy. But advocates said the extra red tape has made it extremely difficult for social workers because foster youths change schools frequently as they move between different homes. Some end up taking the same classes over because credits are lost or don't transfer. More

20 things kids should learn about money
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Here are the 20 basic things that young people should learn about financial literacy — as recommended by the President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability. The council, named in January, recently released "Money as You Grow," personal finance lessons for kids — and everyone else who doesn't know how to live financially smart. You can see the entire program here, complete with activities, but following are the 20 basic points that the council says everyone should know, along with the ages at which students should learn them. More

NYC special education schools incorporates sex education in mission
ABC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For Judy Blake, a mother of two sons, both with autism spectrum disorder, it was important for her to have the sex talk with them at an early age, in clear and specific terms. "A parent of a child with special needs doesn't just have to be two steps ahead, but 10 steps ahead," said Blake, author of the book, "Judy's World," which discusses her experience as a mother to two sons with autism. "For many kids, learning about sex requires a lot of repetition about safety, appropriateness, social cues and relationships." Lorraine Merkl, mother of an eighth-grade student at the Aaron Academy, a special education school based in New York City, agrees that sex education must be presented in a gradual, individualistic and repetitive way for many children with intellectual disabilities. More

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How open education is changing the texture of content
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Schools are moving from creamy to chunky — but not in relation to cafeteria peanut butter. The change in texture is happening with content. Instruction that was structured linearly, captured in books that were all-inclusive monoliths with a predetermined progression for a uniform, somewhat "creamy" consistency, is shifting to newer forms of instructional content that are more "chunky," beginning as a scattered landscape of digital pieces that are then assembled to support full courses. The trend, steady and apparently inexorable, is inspired by higher education, driven by financial pressures, propelled by foundations and the federal government, and enabled by technology. More

Middle school students focus of anti-violence effort
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
After studies emerged more than a decade ago showing that the highest rates of physical and sexual assault happen to women ages 16 to 24, programs to prevent abusive relationships have concentrated on high school and college students. Some initiatives have shown promise, but overall statistics remain largely unchanged: the most recent government report stated that nearly one in 10 high school students said they had been physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend. More

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Parents dig deeper to relieve tight public school budgets
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
How much is your child's public school education costing you? We asked that question of New York City parents, and it seems that SchoolBook hit a sore spot. Close to 400 readers answered our online survey, and while the responses came from all five boroughs, the message was nearly uniform: a lot. After five years of cuts to school budgets, parents say they are being pressed to provide more supplies, support and dollars than ever, and many are spending hundreds of dollars, and in some cases, thousands, a year on school-related items. More

School's out — but recycling is forever
The Huffington Post (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The general sense is that kids can be persistent, stubborn and even throw tantrums when they don't get what they want. But when what they want supports a good deed, such as bringing recycling habits into their home, a parent or teacher can't help but feel proud of their actions. That's how the parents and teachers of a group of California kids must have felt when they petitioned Crayola to take back used-up markers for recycling. This kind of initiative comes from commitment to an eco-conscious lifestyle, at a very young age. As adults, we should learn from it. Schools are the ideal environments to teach life-long recycling habits to kids at a crucial moment of their development. More


Snacking on raisins controls hunger, promotes satiety in children
Medical News Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
New research recently announced at the Canadian Nutrition Society annual meeting in Vancouver, B.C., suggests eating raisins as an after-school snack prevents excessive calorie intake and increases satiety — or feeling of fullness — as compared to other commonly consumed snacks. The study, funded by a grant from the California Raisin Marketing Board, was conducted among 26 normal-weight boys and girls ages 8-11 during a three-month timeframe. More

Studies spotlight charters designed for integration
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Nearly six decades after Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that ushered in an era of efforts to integrate public schools, charter school advocates and researchers are shining a light on a number of those independent public schools that are integrated by design. More

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Cultivating respect: Safe schools for all
The Huffington Post (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
June kicks off PFLAG's 40th anniversary year. Forty years ago, a schoolteacher from Queens, N.Y., stood up for her gay son after seeing him harassed and bullied because of his sexual orientation. One mom stood up and now, 40 years later, tens of thousands of people are standing up in communities all over the country and taking a stand against bullying. For too many of our children, attending school can be a frightening experience. As parents, families, friends and allies we need to do something to make schools safer for all students. More


Why daydreaming isn't a waste of time
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Parents and teachers expend a lot of energy getting kids to pay attention, concentrate and focus on the task in front of them. What adults don't do, according to University of Southern California education professor Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, is teach children the value of the more diffuse mental activity that characterizes our inner lives: daydreaming, remembering, reflecting. Yet this kind of introspection is crucial to our mental health, to our relationships, and to our emotional and moral development. And it promotes the skill parents and teachers care so much about: the capacity to focus on the world outside our heads. More

Districts gear up for Race to Top scramble
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Leaders of some large-city school districts say they are prepared to jump into the competition for nearly $400 million in new Race to the Top grants from the U.S. Department of Education. But the head of a coalition of rural districts said that while the money would be welcomed, it may require too much effort from small district staffs to apply for and to administer. Draft regulations for the rewards would require districts to put a major focus on helping schools tailor instruction to the needs of individual students. More

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Louisiana's bold bid to privatize schools
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Louisiana is embarking on the nation's boldest experiment in privatizing public education, with the state preparing to shift tens of millions in tax dollars out of the public schools to pay private industry, businesses owners and church pastors to educate children. Starting this fall, thousands of poor and middle-class kids will get vouchers covering the full cost of tuition at more than 120 private schools across Louisiana, including small, Bible-based church schools. More


Common Core math in North Carolina would keep elementary students from taking middle school courses
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Under new education reforms adopted by North Carolina, gifted elementary school students will no longer be able to take middle school courses formerly available to them. In an effort to phase in a set of national education reforms knows as the Common Core — an educational initiative that seeks to improve American education through unified and rigorous teaching across state lines — North Carolina has voted to install a more difficult curriculum for the 2012-2013 academic year. More

Public school in rural Idaho touts patriotic focus
The Associated Press via ABC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
At North Valley Academy in the heart of Idaho's dairy country, a typical school day might seem like an over-the-top Fourth of July celebration elsewhere. The public charter school in Gooding touts itself as a "patriotic" choice for parents, with a focus on individual freedoms and free market capitalism. "We teach something about patriotism every single day," said principal Cheri Vitek. "Every day in their classroom (students are) singing 'proud to be an American' and if they're not singing 'proud to be an American,' they're singing another song about America." True enough. On this day, neat rows of students wearing their red, white and blue uniforms belted out "God bless the USA" in the school cafeteria. More

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Inspiring elementary schooler with cerebral palsy runs amazing 400-meter race
Yahoo    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The young man who refuses to be beaten by his own limitations is Matt W. (last name unknown), who attends Worthington Colonial Hills Elementary School in Ohio. Like most elementary schools in America, Colonial Hills has a once-a-year track and field day, and like most kids, Matt was clearly eager to take part. However, unlike most of his peers, Matt suffers from spastic cerebral palsy, a debilitating condition that limits his ability to undergo rigorous physical exercise of any kind. Incredibly, despite knowing those limitations, Matt decided to run the 400-meter event on the school's 200-meter track. More


This week: 2 free webinars on hot topics for principals
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Hone your school leadership skills this week with two webinars from NAESP. First, the NAESP/Solution Tree series concludes today with Essentials for Principals: Data-Based Decision Making. Presented by author Edie L. Holcomb, this webinar will delve into the principal's role in data use and how it can spark school-wide improvement. Second, join Lynn M. Scott, leadership development guru, on Thursday for Enhancing Principals' Skills through Sustainable Mentoring Programs. Discover how school leaders and district administrators can make a strong case for establishing a vibrant mentoring program. Check our webinar page for details and registration. More

Gauge your Common Core expertise with new checklist
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Principal leadership is critical in the transition to the Common Core State Standards. NAESP has developed a Common Core checklist to help you determine what bodies of knowledge you'll need as you prepare to lead your school to using the new standards. See where you stand, and check out NAESP's resources for rounding out your Common Core know-how. More

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