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School dress codes aren't just for students anymore
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When kids in one Kansas school district return to class this fall, they won't be seeing cutoff shorts, pajama pants or flip flops — on teachers. The Wichita School District is just one of a growing number in the nation cracking down on teacher apparel. Jeans are banned in at least one elementary school in New York City. A school district in Phoenix is requiring teachers to cover up tattoos and excessive piercings. And several Arizona schools are strictly defining business casual. More


'Irreplaceable' teachers retained poorly, TNTP education report finds
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The high rate of teachers cycling in and out of schools is detrimental to the education profession and worse for students, decades of policy and research asserts. But a new report from an influential advocacy group makes the case for treating teacher turnover differently. The study, called The Irreplaceables, took several years for TNTP to produce, and asserted that a high rate of teachers moving in and out of the profession isn't necessarily bad. More

Will the market embrace publishers' criteria for math standards?
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A big question with the set of "publishers' criteria" recently issued for the Common Core State Standards in mathematics is how the market will respond. To be clear, this is not some official instruction manual adopted by all 45 states (and the District of Columbia) that have embraced the Common Core math standards. Rather, it's guidance provided by the three lead writers of the math standards in collaboration with several national organizations that were given multiple opportunities to provide feedback. More

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Common Core testing online without constant connectivity?
District Administration Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new survey of Louisiana schools reveals a critical issue facing most states nationwide: schools are lacking the technology needed to conduct online testing required by the Common Core State Standards. Although the looming requirement that all testing be conducted online has been discussed, the degree to which states are unprepared has not been known. And only five school systems meet the requirements. More

Utah state school board to discuss cursive, Common Core testing
The Salt Lake Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Utah's top education officials won't exactly ease back into the school year when they meet. Instead, the state school board will tackle contentious topics related to new Common Core standards, including whether to continue teaching cursive in Utah and whether to drop out of the leadership of a group of states developing tests based on the Core. More

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Education cuts favored by Americans include teacher salary freezes, administration cuts, survey says
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As school districts suffer from increasing costs and not enough cash, only 11 percent of Americans are willing to pay more in taxes to fund communities' schools, according to a new report. Instead, almost half (48 percent) said that the best approach to fixing a school-district deficit would be "dramatically changing how it does business," and 26 percent would "change as little as possible and wait for times to get better." But that doesn't mean they don't recognize the school funding problem. Seventy-seven percent said they expect their school districts' financial woes to last beyond the current crisis, according to the survey, commissioned by the right-leaning, Washington, D.C., think tank the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. More

Texting may undermine language, spelling skills
Psych Central News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In a new study, researchers have determined teens that frequently use abbreviated shorthand language — that is, "techspeak" or jargon — perform poorly on grammar tests. Text messaging provides a quick way to send notes to friends and family — but the abbreviated and often phonetic script may hinder language and grammar skills, according to researchers. Tweens who frequently use language adaptations — techspeak — when they text performed poorly on a grammar test, said Drew Cingel, a doctoral candidate in media, technology and society at Northwestern University. More


Avoiding the pitfalls of virtual schooling
District Administration Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Virtual school programs are gaining traction in school districts around the country. According to a report issued in November 2011 by the National Center for Education Statistics, 55 percent of the more than 2,000 school districts surveyed had students in distance education programs during the 2009-2010 school year. The number of students enrolled in individual online courses, meanwhile, multiplied to 1,816,400, compared to fewer than 50,000 a decade earlier. More

What parents and educators want from assessments
Edutopia    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Our national obsession with assessment continues. Despite their rhetoric expressing concern about the role that standardized tests play in our education system, politicians persist in valuing these tests almost exclusively when it comes to accountability — not only for schools, as has been the case since the inception of No Child Left Behind, but for teachers as well, with a national push to include the results of these tests in teacher evaluations. Many education organizations are vocal in their opposition to the emphasis on standardized tests in current policy, believing that they narrow curriculum, cost too much, and are of little use in improving student learning. Critics of these groups counter with the argument that educators are a lazy group that simply doesn't want to be held accountable for their work. More

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5 key roles for 21st century school librarians
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
According to Joyce Valenza, teacher librarian at Springfield Township High School in Pennsylvania and author of School Library Journal's Never Ending Search blog, this is the golden age of librarianship. Co-presenting a session at educational technology leader Alan November's 2012 Building Learning Communities conference with Shannon McClintock Miller, district librarian and technology integration specialist at Van Meter Schools in Iowa, Valenza outlined five areas in which K-12 schools should turn to their librarians to empower learners with valuable 21st century college and career readiness skills. More

Study finds timing of student rewards key to effectiveness
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Reward programs have a long tradition in classrooms — think of gold stars and perfect attendance certificates — but direct-incentive programs have had lackluster effects at improving student achievement. New research on student motivation suggests that the timing and format of several of these high-profile programs may explain some of their inconsistent results. The new findings come in a working paper published this summer by the National Bureau of Economic Research. More


Adolescent girls more likely to be depressed than boys
Medical News Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In the past year, the percentage of girls aged 12 and 15 years who experienced a major depressive episode has tripled, according to a report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The report, based on combined data from the 2008 to 2010 SAMHSA National Survey on Drug Use and Health, also revealed that each year, an average of 1.4 million adolescent girls aged between 12 to 17 years suffers from a major depressive episode. Girls' risk for depression is three times higher than that of their male counterparts. More

Want increased student achievement using iPads?
District Administration Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Apple reports that 1.5 million iPads are used in K-12. Given that there are approximately 55 million students in K-12, the iPad has penetrated K-12 faster than any other computing technology. And the tech tsunami doesn't seem to be slowing down. We have seen this type of excitement before with desktops and then again with laptops, although their rates of growth in K-12 were slower. Each time the expectations for what the computing device would do for education were sky high, and each time there was disappointment. More

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Lessons in leadership development and support
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
While there is little disagreement about the need to place highly qualified principals in our schools, districts often do not have solid plans for getting the right people for the job and supporting them effectively. The recently released Wallace Foundation Perspective, The Making of the Principal: Five Lessons in Leadership Training, is particularly timely for those who understand the importance of effective school leadership as a core component for school improvement. The Perspective outlines five key lessons that will help state and district leaders get strong leaders where they are needed most. More

$21.5 million in grants awarded to 43 states to cover fees charged to low-income students for taking AP tests
U.S. Department of Education    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Department of Education announced the award of more than $21.5 million in grants to 43 states to cover all or part of the fees charged to low-income students for taking Advanced Placement tests. Based on the anticipated number of test-takers and other factors, the grants under the Advanced Placement Test Fee Program are expected to be sufficient to pay up to $38 per Advanced Placement exam for as many as three exams per student. More

Biden draws education contrasts in speech to teachers
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In an appearance before the American Federation of Teachers conference in Detroit, Vice President Joe Biden told attendees to look at Republicans' spending plans to see how much Republicans value education. "Don't tell me you value education and don't invest in it," he said during his remarks, launching into a litany of spending on education he said the Republicans in Congress had voted down. "The reason they make all these cuts ..." is so they can afford tax cuts on the richest Americans, Biden said. "We believe you rebuild a country from the middle out. They think it has to come from the top down. More


Time to stock up on school supplies: States announce sales tax holidays
Forbes    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It's that time of year again. Despite evidence that state sales tax holidays actually cost taxpayers money, many states have renewed their temporary reprieve on state sales tax collections for certain back-to-school and hurricane preparedness items. Politically, sales tax holidays are "feel good" legislative acts: they sound good for voters and it is an important election year. More

Cuomo vetoes bill on placement of special education students
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo vetoed a bill requiring public school officials to take into account the "home life and family background" of special education students when placing them in schools, a measure that would have given religious parents more power to demand that the public pay for private education. In a message accompanying the veto, Cuomo, a Democrat, said the bill would have created "an overly broad and ambiguous mandate" to send more students to private schools, burdening taxpayers with "incalculable significant additional costs." More

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Teacher effectiveness focus of new Kentucky panel
The Associated Press via The Washington Examiner    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Five Kentucky teachers told a newly formed advisory panel that student achievement should be part of teacher evaluations in the future, but factors besides test scores should be part of that equation. The teachers said evaluations should take into account students' individual progress, not just their scores on standardized tests. "I think it's more about how much you've moved them, not about where you end up at," Buffy Sexton, a middle school science teacher in Jefferson County, told about 50 people attending the debut meeting of the Prichard Committee's Team on Teacher Effectiveness. Sexton was joined by four of her colleagues, all from Jefferson and Fayette counties. More

How a California school uses iPads to support its PE programs
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The pressures of being a physical education teacher in today's public school environment are mounting. We're being asked to strike a balance between government physical fitness mandates for America's children and extreme budget cuts. Like many other public schools, we at Eastlake Middle School in Chula Vista, Calif., are struggling to walk that tightrope with fewer and fewer supports and are continuously searching for tools that help us achieve that goal. More


Are you a connected educator?
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
This week marks the start of Connected Educator Month, celebrating the power of online communities to transform teaching and learning. More than 60 national education organizations (including NAESP), communities and companies have joined forces to sponsor a slew of online activities, from forums to webinars to contests. More

NAESP to Congress: Stop playing ESEA politics
NAESP via Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As Congress prepares to take its summer recess, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act falls victim to politics and is shelved — for the fifth year. NAESP Executive Director Gail Connelly suggests ESEA recommendations in an Education Week blog post. More


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