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More teachers green in the classroom
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With three years of teaching under her belt, Allison Frieze nearly qualifies as a grizzled veteran. The 28-year-old special education teacher at E.L. Haynes Public Charter School in Washington, D.C., already has more experience than the typical U.S. teacher. She remembers her first year and says no new teacher really wants to relive that. "You have so many pressures on you and you're kind of swimming, trying to keep your head above water with all of the things you have to do," Frieze says. Research suggests that parents this fall are more likely than ever to find that their child's teachers are relatively new to the profession, and possibly very young. More


CoSN examines BYOD safety and security
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new report from the Consortium for School Networking, titled "Safe & Secure? Managing the Risks of Personal Devices," examines today's advancing Bring Your Own initiatives and related safety and security risks facing school districts nationwide. "Apps and mobile devices are being utilized more and more in education, forcing schools to reexamine their mobile device policies," said CoSN CEO Keith Krueger. "These continuous advancements are creating an unprecedented set of safety and security challenges for school leaders, so it's imperative that leaders are prepared and have at their fingertips a set of technical solutions to prevent data breaches and protect personal devices." More

New standards, new scores, new lessons to be learned
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As states begin to assess student progress on the new Common Core Standards, many educators and advocates fear that the scores will be much lower than what we have seen in the past. Kentucky's experience in implementing both the standards and assessments during the 2011-2012 school year could provide some valuable lessons for other states as they tackle these challenges. More

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Literacy is the keystone in the arch of an education
The Hill (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For those that cannot read or write, a local newspaper, medicine bottles, street signs and food packaging all present a struggle that inspires fear, frustration and social immobility, according to Cory Heyman, chief program officer of Room to Read. Illiteracy is not just a problem of the developing world; it is prevalent across the United States. In the District of Columbia, where students recently began the new school year, reading levels for elementary students remain well below average — with 56 percent of the District's fourth graders failing to achieve basic reading levels, according to the 2011 nation's report card. More

New school year: New standards, new fears
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
More than two years after the Common Core State Standards were introduced, we're finally beginning to see more widespread coverage in the mainstream news media. Stories like this one, from Paragould, Ark., and this one, from the Ravena News-Herald in upstate New York, try to bring to the general public a sense of the new academic expectations facing their children. They're pretty typical of what you've been seeing lately. More

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US needs more charter schools — with better rules
Bloomberg (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Of the 50 million U.S. students who returned to public elementary and secondary schools in recent days, more than 2 million did so at charter schools. Just two decades after Minnesota passed the first charter law, about 5,600 of the schools have been established in 41 states and the District of Columbia. Contrary to claims of some teachers unions and education bureaucrats, this is good news. Yet rising enrollments also point out the need for better oversight, particularly when it comes to charters' "authorizers" — the bodies that get state permission to create the schools, draw up their founding contracts (the "charter") and oversee their boards. More

Cameras in the classroom a crusade for parents of special needs kids
ABC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A grassroots movement to put cameras in classrooms, driven by the parents of special needs students, is simmering across the country. It's a personal crusade for many of the parents who say their children have suffered abuse at the hands of teachers and classroom aides with unsatisfying consequences. Parents in states such as Ohio, Texas, Michigan, New Jersey and Tennessee have taken to the Internet to promote their cause with petitions, videos, Facebook pages and letters to the president. Many of their children either cannot speak or have difficulty with verbal communication. More

Study: Children 'too embarrassed' to pick up books
The Telegraph    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Figures show a gradual year-on-year drop in the number of 8- to 16-year-olds choosing to pick up novels outside school. Data published by the National Literacy Trust shows that just 3 in 10 now read every day in their own time compared with 4 in 10 seven years ago. Many children are also turning their backs on other forms of reading, including magazines and websites, it was revealed. The popularity of comics has almost halved since 2005, figures show. Researchers warned that young people were increasingly shunning texts in favor of other activities such as television and games consoles. More


Youths with autism are targets for bullying
Medical News Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
According to a new study published in the American Medical Association's Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 46.3 percent of youths with an autism spectrum disorder have been victims of bullying. This study was part of a pioneering program of research on teens and adults with autism led by Dr. Paul T. Shattuck and assistant professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. As more children are diagnosed with autism, research needs to be done to see what life is like for teens and adults with this condition. Previous research has been limited on this subject. More

Is the flipped classroom a better version of a bad thing?
Voxxi    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The idea of a "flipped classroom," or classrooms where video lectures replace the bulk of teacher-student lectures is becoming more popular, says a report from Education Week. The movement to replace traditional teaching with video instruction was made mainstream by Salman Khan, who created a free online course covering various topics. The crux of the flipped classroom mentality is that students swap homework for classwork — they watch the video lectures at home instead of listening to them at school. This then frees up class time to allow teachers to engage students in activities related to the coursework they watched outside of school. More

Private school vaccine opt-outs rise
The Associated Press via The Boston Globe    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Parents who send their children to private schools in California are much more likely to opt out of immunizations than their public school counterparts, an Associated Press analysis has found, and not even the recent re-emergence of whooping cough has halted the downward trajectory of vaccinations among these students. The state surveys all schools with at least 10 kindergartners to determine how many have all the recommended immunizations. The AP analyzed that data and found the percentage of children in private schools who forego some or all vaccinations is more than two times greater than in public schools. More

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Social exclusion in the playground
Medical News Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Being the last one picked for the team, getting left out of the clique of cool girls, having no one to sit with at lunch. For children, social exclusion can impact everything from emotional well-being to academic achievements. But what does it mean for the kids doing the excluding? Is the cure a one-size-fits-all approach that requires kids to include others, regardless of the situation at hand? Not necessarily, says new research from a professor now at Concordia University. More

Tech spotlight: Cool back-to-school tools
The Des Moines Register    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With the school year getting into full swing, The Des Moines Register asked Des Moines Capitol View Elementary School's head of technology, Jason Lampe, for some Web- and PC-based ideas that can help children get back into learning mode, some of which might surprise you. More

Presidential nominees serve up sharp differences on education
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
During the recently concluded presidential nominating conventions, President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney offered stark choices on K-12 policy while downplaying areas of agreement between their two parties — and the tensions within each party on education issues. In Charlotte, N.C., the Democrats put a relentless focus on Obama's record of making education a federal funding priority. They cited the billions of dollars his administration steered into saving teachers' jobs and broadening college access. More


Duncan recognizes 269 schools as 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools
U.S. Department of Education    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recognized 269 schools as 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools based on their overall academic excellence, or for making progress in improving student academic achievement levels. Duncan was joined by Arlington Public Schools Superintendent Patrick Murphy for the announcement at Arlington Traditional Elementary School in Arlington, Va. The department will honor approximately 219 public and 50 private schools at a recognition ceremony on Nov. 12-13 in Washington, D.C. In its 30-year history, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed this coveted award on nearly 7,000 of America's schools. More

7 more states, Puerto Rico and Bureau of Indian Education request NCLB flexibility
U.S. Department of Education    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Obama Administration has received requests from seven new states, Puerto Rico and the Bureau of Indian Education for flexibility from No Child Left Behind in exchange for state-developed plans to prepare all students for college and career, focus aid on the neediest students, and support effective teaching and leadership. The latest requests, filed by Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Puerto Rico, West Virginia and the Bureau of Indian Education, bring to 44 the number of states that have either requested waivers or already been approved to implement next-generation education reforms that go far beyond No Child Left Behind's rigid, top-down prescriptions. More

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Indiana teacher evaluations law will add to school principals' workloads
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Beginning this school year, Indiana principals' job descriptions will include conducting annual teacher evaluations, under a law passed by state lawmakers last year. Public Law 90 requires that districts conduct annual teacher evaluations that place educators into four performance categories tied to merit pay: highly effective, effective, needs improvement and ineffective. More

Oil, gas boom makes school districts rich but uneasy
The Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
School districts can get rich just as fast as the people in the oil bidness, and the poor-to-rich whiplash can have some weird aftereffects. Texas public schools get about half of their money, on average, from property taxes. And when the property turns out to be sitting on top of the Eagle Ford Shale play, the sudden changes in wealth can produce fiscal temblors in the schools. Some, like the Dilley Independent School District, see an influx of money and get to keep it. Others, like Cotulla ISD, see the money come in but don't get to keep it for very long. More


Teacher grading off to uneven start in New York
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
New York state's first system to grade teachers using students' standardized test scores is turning out to be anything but standardized. More than two years after a new law required a complete overhaul of teacher and principal evaluations, the state Education Department has begun approving dozens of agreements hammered out between local districts and unions. Of the state's roughly 700 school districts, 75 had plans approved. New York City and its teachers union, which accounts for by far the largest portion of the state's educators and students, have not reached a deal. More

Chicago teachers strike for first time in 25 years
The Associated Press via The Boston Globe    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Thousands of teachers walked off the job in Chicago's first schools strike in 25 years, after union leaders announced that months-long negotiations had failed to resolve a contract dispute with school district officials by a midnight deadline. The walkout in the nation's third-largest school district posed a tricky challenge for the city and Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who said he would push to end the strike quickly as officials figure out how to keep nearly 400,000 children safe and occupied. More

Florida schools in session, but teachers absent
NPR    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Schools have been open for a couple of weeks across much of Florida, but not all of the students know who their teachers are yet. There's typically a lot of teacher turnover during the summer break, and schools can't always get vacant teaching positions filled by the time school starts. At DeSoto County High School in southern Florida, math tutor Ronnie Padilla is filling in as the French teacher. There's only one problem: He doesn't speak any French. Across from his classroom, Alma Cendejas — the school's front-desk receptionist — is filling in as the Spanish teacher until the school can find one. More

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Districts cultivate top hires in-house
The Columbus Dispatch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Reynoldsburg school administrators haven't had to look far for principals. This year, three of the five new principals are homegrown, stepping into the job from the classroom. The other two have held other leadership roles in the district. Now, all but one of Reynoldsburg's 14 principals has been promoted from within. Local districts have been growing their own leaders for years, recruiting and encouraging teachers to aspire beyond the classroom. Of the 47 new principals in central Ohio this year, 30 served as a teacher, assistant principal or instructional coach in their district. More

Schools in the middle
Odessa American Online    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
School is back in session and even though ECISD in Odessa, Texas, is configured by the junior high model, one school is already learning what class could be like under a new configuration that is more in line with a middle school model. John B. Hood Junior High has just finished the first week of classes that for the first time did not include ninth-graders. Because ninth-graders have been divided up between Bonham and Nimitz Junior High, Hood has moved to a block schedule with class length being the longest in math and English every other day. Wayne Squiers, principal at Hood, said since Hood has lost its ninth-graders it would not be very difficult to add sixth-graders if the proposed bond is passed and the district moves to the middle school concept. More


Sharing the Dream grant deadline next week
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Apply today for the 2012-2013 Sharing the Dream grant program. The NAESP Foundation, with the and MetLife Foundation, will be awarding 25 elementary and middle schools with $5,000 each to create projects focused on global engagement. Applications are due Sept. 14. More

Announcing the Class of 2012 National Distinguished Principals
NAESP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Each year, NAESP celebrates the contributions of outstanding principals from across the country. Read about this year's class, which will be honored in a special program this October in Washington, D.C. More


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