Content

Across the Nation
Spreading Homework Out So Even Parents Have Some
Pay-to-Play Saps Parents' Wallets, Sidelines Students
In Some Schools, iPods Are Required Listening
Varying Standards May Hurt NCLB
Majors for High-Schoolers Aim to Focus Learning
For Schools, Lottery Payoffs Fall Short of Promises

In the States
Whatever Happened to the Class of 2005?
Students Withdraw as Deportation Fears Reach Texas Schools

Other News and Highlights
Write for Principal Leadership
Give Your Feedback on Revised ISLLC Standards


Principal's Poll
Should schools abolish pay-to-play policies for sports and other activities?



Across the Nation

Spreading Homework Out So Even Parents Have Some
The parents of Damion Frye's ninth-grade students are spending their evenings this fall doing something they thought they had left behind long ago: homework. If the parents do not comply, Frye tells them, their child’s grade may suffer. The point, he said, is to keep parents involved in their children's education well into high school. Studies have shown that parental involvement improves the quality of the education a student receives, but teenagers seldom invite that involvement. New York Times, 10/4/07

Connecting with Families
Successful students have families who are involved in their education, although few families are likely to become involved without encouragement. And, as Joyce Epstein reminds us in October's Principal Leadership magazine, effective partnership programs are planned, evaluated, and improved, just as excellent academic programs are.

Principal Leadership Cover

Pay-to-Play Saps Parents' Wallets, Sidelines Students
More than 88,000 southeastern Michigan students paid a cumulative $10 million in fees to play sports this school year—activities that once were considered vital to public school education, provided, if at all, free. The pay-to-play format was a logical outcome for school districts seeking to maintain their academic mission while expenses climbed and revenues ebbed. However, critics say thousands of middle and high school students are victims of a system that shifts costs from schools to families. Detroit News, 10/5/07

Big-Time Fundraising for Today's Schools
A proactive blueprint, Big-Time Fundraising for Today's Schools shows school leaders how to move away from labor-intensive, nickel-and-dime bake sales, and into the world of big-time fundraising by pursuing grants from corporate, nonprofit, federal, and individual donors. Buy your copy today in the Principal's Store.

In Some Schools, iPods Are Required Listening
Even as other students have been told to leave their iPods at home, a school in Hudson County, NJ, has been handing out the portable digital players to help bilingual students with limited English ability sharpen their vocabulary and grammar by singing along to popular songs. The spread of iPods into classrooms comes at a time when many school districts across the country have outlawed the portable players from their buildings—along with cell phones and DVD players—because they pose a distraction, or worse, to students. New York Times,10/9/07

On the Middle View Blog

  • Customer Service. NASSP’s Patti Kinney reminds us it’s the little things that make or break your customer-service reputation.
  • Moving On Up? Assistant principal Michael Waiksnis offers advice from his own experience on how teachers can aspire to administration.
  • Varying Standards May Hurt NCLB
    A new study of state achievement tests offers evidence that the No Child Left Behind Act’s core mission is undermined by wide variations in how states define a passing score. Some congressional leaders and education experts seized on the study, released by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, to support changes to the federal law that would help determine which tests are easier to pass and which are harder. Washington Post, 10/4/07

    Jump-Start Your Students' Civic Engagement at the 2008 NASSP Convention
    We can reinvigorate democracy by giving students the "pre-partisan" tools of reason: logic, clarity of thought, dissent, debate, and civility, says actor Richard Dreyfuss. And what better place to learn how to support and sustain a democratic and civil society than school? Hear Dreyfuss share his passion for civic engagement at the closing general session of the 2008 NASSP Convention.

    Majors for High-Schoolers Aim to Focus Learning
    Drop-out rates are on the rise because, according to surveys of dropouts, classes are "boring" and unrelated to their lives. So, as the new school year progresses, a growing number of schools are trying new approaches, such as topical clusters or majors, to move students from feeling like anonymous drones with an ambiguous destiny to focused learners. However, even as more states and individual schools adopt this "major" approach, critics say high school should be a place for gaining general knowledge and communication skills. Christian Science Monitor, 10/4/07

    For Schools, Lottery Payoffs Fall Short of Promises
    Lotteries have raised billions of dollars, and of the 42 states that have them, 23 earmark all or some of the money for education. For years, those states have heard complaints that not enough of their lottery revenue is used for education. Now, a New York Times examination of lottery documents, as well as interviews with lottery administrators and analysts, finds that lotteries accounted for less than 1% to 5% of the total revenue for K–12 education last year in the states that use this money for schools. New York Times, 10/7/07

    Support the Success in the Middle Act
    The fight for middle level reform is gaining ground! The final touches are being placed on the Senate companion to the Success in the Middle Act (H.R. 3406), but we need your help to keep the momentum strong! Please help us support this important bill, which marks a milestone for middle level education, by contacting your senators and urging them to cosponsor the Success in the Middle Act.

    In the States

    Whatever Happened to the Class of 2005?
    A Washington Post survey of Cardozo High School's Class of 2005 showed that, despite heroic efforts by some teachers and administrators, Cardozo's generally low academic standards led to disappointment in college. Other students said they suffered from the failures of a city public school system that could not keep records straight, classrooms orderly, or hallways safe. Washington Post, 10/7/07

    NASSP Launches Online Assessment
    The NASSP Leadership Skills Assessment is an affordable Web-based tool that you can complete at your own pace. Purchase a pass to begin your NASSP Leadership Skills Assessment and set a course for your own professional development!

    Students Withdraw as Deportation Fears Reach Texas Schools
    Immigrant parents who fear deportation are "on the run" and are withdrawing their children from public schools, said Irving Independent School District Superintendent Jack Singley. Singley estimated that 90 children have withdrawn from school in the past week because of the deportation fears in Irving, TX, where a police program has prompted warnings by the Mexican Consulate. The superintendent hopes their parents will re-enroll them somewhere else. Dallas Morning News, 10/4/07

    Other News and Highlights

    Write for Principal Leadership
    March 2008: Put Time on Your Side
    Share your best practices and tips for making the most of your time, whether by more effective scheduling, multitasking, or shared responsibility.
    Extended deadline: November 19, 2007

    April 2008: Career and Technical Education
    How does career and technical education fit into the curriculum at your school?
    Deadline: December 3, 2007

    May 2008: Keeping Up With Science and Math Reform
    What science or math reforms have been implemented in your school?
    Deadline: January 7, 2008

    In a 2,000 word manuscript, summarize the practical implications of your experiences to share with your peers, and send it to plmag@principals.org. Guidelines are available at www.nassp.org/pl_guidelines.

    Give Your Feedback on Revised ISLLC Standards
    Many states use the ISLLC standards in the licensure of new principals and assistant principals. NASSP has been a leader in revising the standards, and we invite your feedback on the revision in a brief survey. Survey deadline: October 26, 2007.