The Morning Bell by NEA

Utah District Launches “Drink Pink” Campaign To Boost Students’ Calcium Consumption.
The Salt Lake Tribune (10/14, Winters) reports that Utah’s Jordan school district has launched a “Drink Pink” campaign encouraging middle and high school girls “to ditch the soda and pick up something pink — strawberry milk.” The effort is aimed at boosting “girls’ consumption of calcium,” so “every girl in seventh through 12th grades will receive a free bottle of strawberry milk during lunch one day this week.” The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey shows that “on average, girls age 12 to 19 consume only 60 percent of their daily calcium needs,” while “boys consume 83 percent.” Patrice Isabella, the nutrition coordinator for the Utah Department of Health’s physical activity, nutrition and obesity program, said that she would rather “see kids drinking milk without the sugary strawberry or chocolate flavors,” but she added, “If strawberry milk is replacing soda, then I’m all for it.” Isabella also praised Jordan’s “Drink Prink” campaign, calling it “clever” and “catchy.”


What are the 7 key methods used by virtually all effective teachers?… Read the rest

The Morning Bell by NEA

Kansas Students’ Reading, Math Scores Improved “Drastically” Over Decade.
The Kansas City Star (10/12, Bormann, Sullinger) reported that state test results released Tuesday by the Kansas Board of Education show that “reading and math scores have improved drastically in the last decade.” Moreover, the test results “showed scores continued to improve even as proficiency standards increased.” However, the scores also showed that “many students need more help. Of the 1,380 public schools that took the state assessment test in the spring, 81 percent of the schools made adequate yearly progress, compared with about 87 percent last year.” State officials attribute the drop to an increase in performance targets from five to eight percent.

Free Online Financial Literacy Module Targets High School Students.
The San Francisco Chronicle (10/12) on “a new interactive online module” aimed at teaching high school students financial literacy skills. “Burning Money” the free module “created by the financial literacy group FoolProof” is made up of “45- to 60-minute lessons…designed for high school teachers to use in computer labs.” Already more than “1,000 high schools across the country are using FoolProof.”

New York State Poised To Ease Schools’ Extra Help Requirements.… Read the rest

The Morning Bell by NEA

Course Enrollment Among Illinois High School Students At Record High.
The Chicago Tribune (10/4, Malone) reports that the number of Illinois high school students enrolling in college courses is at an all-time high this year. High schools throughout the state “are ramping up the number of dual-credit classes as a way to challenge teens and give them a taste of college.” These classes are offered “at a discount, or even for free, and potentially shave a semester’s worth of tuition.” Between 2004 and 2008, “the number of dual-credit classes offered by community colleges grew 71 percent” in Illinois, the Tribune adds. Data from the state’s Community College Board show that “English 101 was by far the most popular community college dual-credit course, with more than 9,000 students enrolled.”


A step-by-step guide to designing effective differentiated lessons. In Differentiation Rick Wormeli takes middle and high school teachers from the blank page to a fully-crafted lesson and demonstrates how to weave differentiation into all subject areas.… Read the rest

The Morning Bell by NEA

Facebook Founder To Donate $100 Million To New Jersey District.
The New York Times (9/23, A27, Perez-Pena) reports that Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg will donate $100 million to Newark, New Jersey public schools. “In conjunction with the huge gift,” Gov. Chris Christie (R) has agreed to “cede some control of the state-run system to Mayor Cory A. Booker…officials said” yesterday. While Zuckerberg “has no particular connection to Newark,” he met Booker at a conference this summer “and began a continuing conversation about the mayor’s plans for the city, according to people familiar with their relationship.” Booker, the Times adds, “has been traveling the country…proselytizing and raising money for Newark.”

The North Jersey Media Group (9/23, Margolin, Giambusso) reports that under Booker’s authority, the Newark “school system will embark on a massive program of educational change long opposed by the state teachers union. It will include an expansion of charter schools, new achievement standards and methods for judging which schools and teachers are effective,” according to sources.… Read the rest

The Morning Bell by NEA

Obama Announces New STEM Education Initiative.
The AP (9/17) reports that in line with efforts to promote science, technology, engineering and math education, President Obama “announced Thursday a nonprofit organization called Change the Equation.” According to the AP, the new initiative is “designed to bring successful, privately funded programs to 100 schools and communities that are most in need. … Former astronaut Sally Ride and current and former executives from Intel, Xerox, Time Warner Cable and Eastman Kodak founded the nonprofit organization.”

CNN (9/16) added that Change the Equation “has $5 million in funding for its first year of operation, according to information provided by the White House.” According to CNN, “The goals of Change the Equation are to improve teaching in STEM subjects, inspire student learning in those subjects and achieve a national commitment to improve education in them, according to the White House. … ‘The cost of inaction is immeasurable,’ Obama said, citing the lost participation of children who never get encouraged or exposed to education in STEM subjects.”


How can you get your middle & high school students to want to read?… Read the rest

Welcome Back Happy Hour

Where: Trinity and the Pope
649 Mattison Ave., Asbury Park

When: Friday –September 24, 2010

Cost: $5.00 – Includes Happy Hour Food and 1 Drink Ticket

(Tickets purchased at the door will be $10.00)

Tickets will be distributed at Trinity and the Pope until 4:30pm.

To purchase your ticket, please see:

APMS – Lynn Librizzi
Bradley – Maureen Casey
TMS – Regina Jagoo
Barack – Annette Rios
APHS – Mia Jones- Cazeau
Alt. MS/HS – Don Cleaves
BOE – Gena Proctor
Maint. – John Kostecki
ITC – Mike Amadruto
Annex – Melanie Pelosi

For more information visit our… Read the rest

Serious Pension Reforms on the Horizon

To: Executive Committee

County Presidents

Local Presidents

All Staff

All NJEA Consultants

From: Barbara Keshishian, President

Vince Giordano, Executive Director

By now you have likely heard that earlier today Governor Christie unveiled a list of proposed pension and benefits changes that he wants the Legislature to consider this fall. Details of the proposals are still very sketchy and so far no legislation has been proposed or introduced. While the details are critical, it is clear that this is a serious attack on the pensions and benefits of public employees, including NJEA members. We are not waiting for actual legislation to begin organizing against this attack on our members.

NJEA is gathering more information about the proposals, and is consulting with attorneys regarding possible legal action should the state attempt to make any illegal changes to the pensions or benefits of our members. That process is ongoing.

While pursuing every legal avenue available to protect our members’ interests, we will also mount a concerted organizing and political campaign.… Read the rest

The Morning Bell by NEA

Education Department Rejects Texas’ $830 Million School Funding Request.
The AP (9/10, Castro) reports that “the US Department of Education has rejected Texas’ application for $830 million in federal money for schools and asked the state to resubmit its request without conditions.” Texas’ initial application included “a line…that said Texas’ constitution and laws supersede any assurances made by the governor in the application.” Officials in the state said the line was added because they believed the funding requirement that Texas “ensure schools will be funded at a certain level for the next three years” was not in line wit the state constitution.

Texas’ American Statesman (9/10, Alexander) reports that on Thursday Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) Chief of Staff Ray Sullivan said “that the state is keeping its options open, including potential legal action, to ensure that money will eventually come to Texas schools.” The American Statesman notes that “Texas is the only state whose governor must assure that state education spending will hold steady for the next three years.… Read the rest