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School districts lay off teachers, raise class sizes
CNN Money    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
More children are crowding into classrooms in Modesto, Calif. Parents are paying extra to send their kids to full-day kindergarten in Queen Creek, Ariz. And the school buses stopped rolling in one St. Louis-area school district. These are but a few of the unwelcome changes greeting children as they start the school year. Tight fiscal times are forcing school districts to lay off teachers, enlarge class sizes, cut programs and charge for services that were once free. More

Poll shows many parents believe budget cuts will affect education
The Hill    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
Nearly 1-in-3 parents say the rough economy has forced their schools to cut back on education funding for their children, according to a new Gallup poll. A majority of that 32 percent believe the cuts will harm their child's education. The reaction cut across all income levels. More

Curriculum producers work to reflect new standards
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It was a giant wave: Three-quarters of the states adopted a new set of common academic standards in the past six months. As that wave crests, education groups and publishers are preparing to follow with one of their own — curriculum materials that aim to embody the new standards. An early example comes from the Washington-based advocacy group Common Core, which released free online "maps" of the common standards that are intended to serve as a frame upon which teachers can build curriculum and lesson plans. More

Commentary: Dangerous blind spots in the common-core standards
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The final version of the common-core standards for math and English/language arts, released in June by the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association, contain two educational blind spots that, if ignored, can undermine not only the quality of public education, but also the strength of our democracy. The standards devote insufficient attention to the need for an interdisciplinary curriculum, and represent a contracted view of the "common core" that disregards the role of schools in preparing students for citizenship. More


The littlest redshirts sit out kindergarten
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
After all those attentive early childhood rituals — the flashcards, the Kumon, the Dora the Explorer, the mornings spent in cutting-edge playgrounds — who wouldn't want to give their children a head start when it's finally time to set off for school? In 2008, the most recent year for which census data is available, 17 percent of children were six or older when they entered the kindergarten classroom. Sand tables have been replaced by worksheets to a degree that's surprising even by the standards of a decade ago. Blame it on No Child Left Behind and the race to get children test-ready by third grade: Kindergarten has steadily become, as many educators put it, "the new first grade." What once seemed like an aberration — something that sparked fierce dinner party debates — has come to seem like the norm. But that doesn't make it any easier for parents. More

Commentary: How to give classrooms a mission
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
You read, hear, and even write a lot about "techniques" that are supposed to improve schools and classroom instruction. Professional development books, workshops, and teacher hand-outs at staff meetings are filled with lots of ideas on how to use multiple intelligences, technology, and specific instructional strategies with students that have special needs. The list seems endless. These techniques are obviously important. More

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Teaching the teachers lessons on culture
The Boston Globe    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
One student says an eighth-grade teacher in Roxbury scolded classmates for speaking Spanish among themselves, exclaiming: "You are in America; we speak English here." Another reports that a Jamaica Plain teacher had little to say when a boy pulled off a Muslim girl's head scarf. And in history lessons on the civil rights movement, students say, teachers across the city often overlook the role of Latinos, the largest student group in Boston. The incidents, recounted in recent interviews, reflect what some say is a gap in city teachers' knowledge of students' culture, language, and customs. More

School nutrition: Healthier ingredients,
more education for 2010-11

The Christian Science Monitor    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Schools searching for ways to improve school nutrition are starting to get sneaky. "Replace three-quarters of the fat in baked goods with pureed beans and the kids don't even notice," according to a tip from an awarding-winning elementary school in Idaho. That delicious-smelling breakfast sausage? It's turkey. And that pizza crust that doesn't have a hint of healthy-looking brown in its coloring? Fooled ya' – chances are it's made of nutritious whole grains. Even salads are getting a makeover, with cafeterias gradually increasing the percentage of heartier greens mixed into the crispy iceberg lettuce kids are used to. The School Nutrition Association reports progress as students head back to school. More

States, districts mull how to use $10 billion in jobs aid
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As governors gear up to apply for federal money from the $10 million Education Jobs Fund, states and school districts are wrestling with how they plan to spend the aid the Obama administration said was desperately needed to save what the administration said would be some 160,000 educators' jobs that otherwise would be lost. Some districts will use the money to roll back furloughs and restore jobs slated to be cut for the 2010-11 school year. Others already had factored the money in while making budget decisions that allowed them to forgo layoffs. More


25-school pilot program targets students who miss too much class
NYDailyNews    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
New York City hopes mentors, calls home to parents — and even free backpacks — will help cut the number of students skipping school. A 25-school pilot program will target 5,200 students who missed a month or more of class last year by reaching out to parents, offering student mentors and providing other incentives to show up. Although attendance rates citywide averaged about 91 percent last year, about 20 percent of city students are chronically absent, missing 20 or more days of school. More

Principals Boost Attendance and Test Scores

Principals installing Purifans have reported fewer teacher and student sick days, and higher test scores. As much a 70% lower inhaler use.

Hillsborough, Fla., schools to begin recycling and save money
St. Petersburg Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Children have been learning for years to conserve the planet. But that lesson often ended with a worksheet tossed in a trash can. It was a mixed message that the school district wanted to clear up. In 2007, Hillsborough, Fla., superintendent MaryEllen Elia highlighted conservation as a priority through education and student-led energy patrols. And this year, officials are taking a big step. Recycling bins are coming to Hillsborough classrooms. More

LA's leaders in learning
The Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
At some elementary schools, students improve their test scores year after year. At others, they stagnate or fall behind. Data that go unused could offer insights into why. Five families from across the San Fernando Valley in California set up camp for three nights in 2009, intent on getting a spot for their children in one of the best-regarded schools in Los Angeles. Others hired someone to hold their place in line. This spring, the school in affluent Tarzana, Calif., began using a lottery for applicants from outside the neighborhood. Within hours, more than a dozen children were on the list. More

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Have you seen the new
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
NAESP launched a completely revamped website last week. Have you taken a look yet? The new website is not only better looking and more organized, it is easier to navigate so you can find the resources you need in a snap. We’re ready to help you get your new school year off to a great start. Check it out today.

Mission Voice Project needs your support
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
NAESP urges principals to support the Million Voice Project, a public interest initiative that will ask students in grades 6-12 how they perceive their own education. The project launches on Sept. 13, but schools may register until Dec. 17 to have their students included in the survey. More




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