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Advertising in schools becoming more common
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Financially struggling schools nationwide are increasing the volume of advertising that children see in the halls, at football games and even on their report cards. School administrators say that with a public unwilling to adequately fund K-12 education, they're obligated to find new ways to keep teachers in classrooms. "We know that we can't continue to only look at ways to cut, we also need to be innovative about the assets we have and learn how to bring in more revenue," says Trinette Marquis, a spokeswoman for the 28,000-student Twin Rivers Unified School District in McClellan, Calif. More


Cost of prekindergarten special education is soaring
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
New York City is paying private contractors more than $1 billion this year to operate a little-known special education program for 3- and 4-year-olds, nearly double the amount it paid six years ago. The program serves 25,000 children with physical, learning, developmental and other disabilities. While the number of children in the program has risen slowly in recent years, annual costs have soared to about $40,000 per child, according to an analysis of city education spending by The New York Times. More

Draft standards neglect computer science, coalition says
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The first public draft of common science standards is coming under fire from a coalition that says the document gives short shrift to computer science and its role in the K-12 curriculum. More

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Asking questions while reading out loud improves literacy, new study reveals
Chicago Examiner    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
While reading at all ages has always been seen as important for child growth and development in literacy, now the benefits of asking students questions during reading are becoming even clearer. A new educational study released this week reveals that if a teacher stops to check for comprehension in children during read aloud time, kids have a much higher chance to learn the material and become better readers themselves. More

Kansas headed for another debate over evolution
The Associated Press via The Boston Globe    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Kansas is headed toward another debate over how evolution is taught in its public schools, with a State Board of Education member saying that science standards under development are "very problematic" for describing the theory as a well-established, core scientific concept. From 1999 to 2007, the state had five different sets of science standards for its schools as conservative Republicans gained and lost majorities on the board, which sets the guidelines. The debates attracted international attention — and some ridicule — before the latest standards, which reflect mainstream scientific views about evolution, were adopted five years ago. More

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Improving teachers: Millions spent, but little done to make sure it's working
The Hechinger Report via The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Helping struggling teachers improve has become a big concern — and a big business — across the country, especially as more states, including New York, introduce more rigorous teacher evaluations. The federal government gives local districts more than $1 billion annually for training programs. New York City schools spent close to $100 million last year just on private consultants. Yet even as districts increase accountability for teachers, few are checking on the companies, universities and in-school programs that are supposed to help them get better. More

Why teachers need social media training, not just rules
Spotlight    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Under a new set of social media guidelines issued by the New York City Department of Education, teachers are required to obtain a supervisor's approval before creating a "professional social media presence," which is broadly defined as "any form of online publication or presence that allows interactive communication, including, but not limited to, social networks, blogs, internet websites, internet forums and wikis." More


How can schools better motivate students?
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It might seem like common sense: To achieve better results, students have to be motivated. But what can schools do about this? A new report from the Center on Education Policy aims to answer this question — and it argues that school reform efforts won't succeed unless they address student motivation. "Motivation is a central part of a student's educational experience from preschool onward, but it has received scant attention amid an education reform agenda focused mainly on accountability, standards and tests, teacher quality and school management," explains the report. More

Free laptops for kids, big money for tutors
Minneapolis Star Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Thanks to his daughter's troubled elementary school, Zhengjun Wang will return to China with a pricey souvenir from his family's yearlong stay in Rochester: a computer. Like thousands of other public-school students in Minnesota and across the country, Wang's daughter received the laptop as an inducement to sign up with an online tutoring service. Wang said the free gift was the only factor that influenced his tutoring selection. More

Research finds students short on study savvy
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Students are least likely to choose to test themselves while studying, although it has been shown to be the most effective study strategy, according to researchers here at the Association for Psychological Science conference. "It's a remarkable feature of our educational system that we give students so much stuff to learn and rarely tell them how to go about learning that stuff," said Purdue University psychologist Jeffrey D. Karpicke. More

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The ABCs of beating obesity
New Pittsburgh Courier    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Working parents are already lining up child care plans for the summer. While they're at it, educators say all parents of school-age children should also plan for preventing the dreaded summer slide. "The 'summer slide' is the information and skills children forget during summer break from the end of one school year to the beginning of the next school year," says Carrie Scheiner. More

Teachers taught how to encourage students learning to speak English
The Des Moines Register    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Roughly 150 Des Moines public school teachers spent their first day of summer vacation in a familiar place — the classroom. The educators — all of whom teach kindergarten or first grade — celebrated the end of another academic year with their young charges. But as the demographics of Des Moines change, so do teaching tactics. Their mission? Create classrooms designed to bring English Language Learners out of their shells while boosting oral language development. More

Study: Too much technology for kids is bad for development
Chicago Examiner    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With summer break finally here for students, many kids are looking forward to a relaxing holiday season filled with watching television, surfing the Internet and playing computer games. Yet according to a new study released this week from California State University, parents themselves need to "watch" how much technology their children are using day to day. Spending too much time in front of cell phone, laptop and handheld screens can harm their physical growth in the long run. More


Theater programs on the decline in nation's public schools
The Times-Picayune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Although some public schools in the New Orleans area continue to offer theater arts programs, they are on the decline nationwide, according to a study by the U.S. Department of Education. The research, conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics, showed a a 16 percent drop in such programs in public elementary schools over the past 10 years and a 3 percent drop in secondary schools. More

Yearbook maker goes online to help revive industry
The Associated Press via The Republic    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
An Indianapolis-based producer of school yearbooks is turning to an online product in hopes of boosting sales and shoring up the industry that has struggled in a digital era. The new venture from Herff Jones is called Stitch and provides a platform for schools to create an online version of a yearbook. "This is a huge leap forward for yearbooks, and there's nothing else out there like it," Kim Green, a journalism adviser at Columbus North High School who has tested Stitch, told the Indianapolis Business Journal. More

How educators are using Learnist
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Learnist, as many have already pointed out, works much like Pinterest — a way to catalog online resources on a topic and share them with the user's social network. And like Pinterest, it looks like a digital bulletin board with pictures and messages, and connects with Facebook accounts. In fact, the site's "learning boards" look quite a bit like Facebook's timeline feature, and Facebook membership is required to use Learnist at this point. In its current closed beta form, Learnist, launched by Grockit, is still very much in its infancy, but some curious teachers have already jumped on the wagon. Time will tell whether educators will stick with Pinterest, or migrate to Learnist because of its association with Grockit, which already has a large and loyal following as a social learning tool. More

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All but 3 states reject 'pink slime' in school lunches
The Christian Science Monitor    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The nation's school districts are turning up their noses at "pink slime," the beef product that caused a public uproar earlier this year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the vast majority of states participating in its National School Lunch Program have opted to order ground beef that doesn't contain the product known as lean finely textured beef. Only three states — Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota — chose to order beef that may contain the filler. More

Romney hones pitch on education policy
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As the governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007, Mitt Romney championed aggressive education policies later embraced by the Obama administration and by other states. But for most of his second run at the Republican presidential nomination, voters have heard little about his education record in Massachusetts or initiatives that Romney was largely unable to sell to that state's Democratic-controlled legislature. Instead, in a high-profile speech on education, Romney spoke at length about school choice, pushing a bold — but administratively tricky — plan to let disadvantaged students and those in special education take their federal aid to any campus, including a private school. More

New tests put states on hot seat as scores plunge
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As states begin to demand more rigor on their high-stakes tests — and the tests evolve to incorporate revised academic standards — many officials are gambling that an initial wave of lower scores will give way to greater student achievement in the future. Changes to statewide tests and subsequent plummeting scores sparked controversy and emergency action in Florida last month, and similar shock waves have been felt as Kentucky, Michigan, Texas and Virginia remake their testing regimes. More


Oklahoma professor discovers new way to battle childhood obesity with education
The Oklahoma Daily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
An Oklahoma University professor is taking a fresh look at the nationwide struggle against childhood obesity. Paul Branscum, health and exercise science professor, conducted a study that may lead to a new, focused approach for youth nutrition education based on the factors that influence children's food and snack choices. Branscum surveyed 167 fourth- and fifth-grade students in Cincinnati to find out what the students' diets consisted of during the school day. He asked the students to record their snack consumption over a 24-hour period. Branscum said he selected this age group because it is the age students begin to gain more control of what they eat. More

Illinois offers lessons in teaching English as a second language
The Washington Post (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The news that minority babies make up a majority of all births in the United States should be a wake-up call. This shift to a majority-minority population has been taking place for years, while the way minorities are educated in our public schools has stayed the same. It's time to think about next-generation America — a young, unprecedentedly diverse group with different needs, and strengths, from generations past. Immigrant youths and the children of immigrants are one of the lowest-performing groups in U.S. public schools. But they will account for virtually all growth in the workforce over the next 40 years, the Brookings Institution has estimated, based on census data. More

Michigan Senate passes final piece of state budget
The Associated Press via The Boston Globe    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Michigan Senate approved an increase in funding for state universities, community colleges and public schools, passing the final piece of the state budget for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1. The House passed the education budget deal on Friday and the rest of the $48.2 billion budget was passed last week by both chambers. The whole package now goes to Gov. Rick Snyder for his signature. More

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Missoula schools encourage healthier meals with kale chips
Missoulian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When Rhiannon Cox bit into a crunchy green leaf in the Lowell Elementary cafeteria in Montana, she smiled. The kale chip tasted like popcorn. "I can save this for on top of spaghetti," the kindergartner said, dreaming of the kale and tomato sauce concoction she planned to eat for dinner. Rhiannon is excited to eat kale chips in school lunches next year, and she’s not the only one. Lowell Elementary students sampled the healthy snack, and many of them agreed they would like to see it in the lunch line. More


Deadline next week for arts education grant
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Strengthen arts education in your school with a 2012 Champion Creatively Alive Children grant. Crayola will award up to 20 grants, which include a $2,500 monetary award and $500 worth of Crayola products. The deadline to apply is June 15. More

Enrich your school improvement strategy with PD 360
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
This month's PD 360 online professional development topic for NAESP members is school improvement. NAESP members get free access to PD 360's wealth of video-based materials and related resources for both individual learning and staff training. Start learning now. More

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