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Volume  4,   Issue 2        April 2018
Newsletter Editor:  Dr. John E. Holmes
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#NAEACHAT Monthly Twitter Chats - (30 Minute) 

WHO : All Stakeholders in the field of Alternative / Non-Traditional Education
WHAT : A monthly Twitter Chat focused on NAEA's Exemplary Practices
WHERE : On Social Media - Twitter
WHEN : The last Tuesday of each month / 9:00 PM EST / 30 Minute Chat
WHY : To build capacity and awareness
HOW : Twitter
Follow @NAEA_Hope on Twitter and join in using #NAEACHAT
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NAEA Board
Dr. Pam Bruening
Kathleen Chronister
Vice President
Pat Conner
Dr. Ja'net Bishop
Kay Davenport
Past President
Justin DeMartin
Region 1 
Dr. Edward Lowther
Region 2
Dr. Michael Hylen
Region 3
Jacquelyn Whitt
Region 4
Glen Hoffman
Region 5
Coby Davis
Region 6
Sean Hollas
Region 7
Dr. John E. Holmes
Region 8
Valinda Jones
Region 9
Richard K. Thompson
Technology & Branding
Frances Gooden
Advocacy & Research 

Upcoming Conferences and Events
Scholarship Opportunity  
On behalf of the National NAACP, POISE Foundation is pleased to announce the availability of the Agnes Jones Jackson Scholarship and the Hubertus W.V. Willems Scholarship for Male Students for the 2018-2019 school year. The two scholarship applications will open on Monday, February 26, 2018 and close on Friday, May 4, 2018 at 3:00 PM/EST.
Please visit the POISE Foundation website at and click on National NAACP Scholarships for more detailed information.
Submit to the NAEA Newsletter!
Have an article you'd like us to include in the NAEA newsletter? Submit an article to Dr. John E. Holmes, Editor at
using “NAEA News” in the subject line. 
Read a previous issue here
NAEP: Do the Data Show That 'Education Reform' Has Worked—Or That It Hasn't?
April 2018 | EducaionWeek |Marc Tucker
The April 1st Washington Post carried an op-ed by Arne Duncan, President Obama's Secretary of Education titled, "People are saying education reform hasn't worked.  Don't believe them." On April 10, Education Week announced the most recent results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress with the following headline: "Achievement Flattens as Gaps Widen Between High and Low Performers."   I wish also to call to your attention another Education Week headline: "DeVos Calls School Choice-Friendly Fla. A 'Bright Spot' in 'Stagnant NAEP Scores."  In my blog this week, I will parse the claim, counterclaim and counter-counterclaim.
Continue Reading >>>
NAEA Region Map
From the Editor’s (John E. Holmes) Desk
Conference attendees, friends and colleagues:
The 2018 National Alternative Education Association Conference (NAEA) in Dallas, TX, has ended.  We were extremely excited to have so many of you attend this year.
For our returning attendees, you demonstrated your expertise and dedication to continued professional development and in using best practices with the students you serve.  We want to thank those who chose to attend for your first time. NAEA is committed to continuous improvement and growth in responding to your ideas, desires, and needs.
It has been my honor to serve as editor of this publication and as I complete this year, my prayer is that something you read within these pages allow you to go further in your journey towards assisting students and/or their families.
One of the NAEA Board’s goals this year was to prepare the NAEA organization for greater growth. Some changes were made to increase opportunities for face-to-face and virtual support.  I would like to personally invite you to be a part of our growth by submitting articles for publication in our monthly newsletter.  Share your experience with others.
Thank you so much for the work you do every day for students.  Your work does not go unnoticed. Until we meet again,
“Happy reading.”
Government Watchdog Finds Racial Bias in School Discipline 
April 4, 2018 | Eric
a L. Green 
| New York Times
WASHINGTON — Black students continue to be disciplined at school more often and more harshly than their white peers, often for similar infractions, according to a new report by Congress’s nonpartisan watchdog agency, which counters claims fueling the Trump administration’s efforts to re-examine discipline policies of the Obama administration.
The report, issued by the Government Accountability Office on Wednesday, is the first national governmental analysis of discipline policies since the Obama administration issued guidance in 2014 that urged schools to examine the disproportionate rates at which black students were being punished.
Critics of the Obama-era guidance have questioned whether students of color suffer from unfair treatment under school discipline policies. The G.A.O. found that not only have black students across the nation continued to bear the brunt of such policies, but the effects were also felt more widely than previously reported — including by black students in affluent schools.
Additionally, the agency found that school suspensions began to fall the year before the Obama administration urged schools to move away from the overuse of such measures, undermining claims that the guidance forced schools to cut suspensions. While the Obama administration’s aggressive civil rights investigations did reveal that black students were subjected to harsher treatment than their white peers for similar infractions, the G.A.O. found that it did not impose any new mandates on districts to reduce their suspension rates.
The findings are likely to bolster arguments for preserving the 2014 guidance and undercut conservative claims that the guidance has resulted in federal overreach and a decline in school safety.
On Wednesday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos hosted groups of educators and advocates for and against the disciplinary guidance, the 12th set of round tables the department has held in the past year — and the first Ms. DeVos attended in person.
Nina Leuzzi, a prekindergarten teacher at a Boston charter school, said she kept her word to her class of 20, predominantly minority 4-year-olds, in making her case to the secretary for why the guidance should stay. When the children asked her why she was traveling to Washington, she told them it was to keep them safe.
Continue Reading >>>
It's now harder to become a superintendent in Mississippi. Is that a good thing?
Braces Harris | Feb 15, 2018
Legislative leaders in recent years have attempted to improve the state’s educational outcomes by requiring superintendents to be appointed and raising the standards to serve in the role.
A 2017 law mandates aspiring school chiefs have six years of classroom or administrative experience. Three of those years would have to be spent as a principal in a school with an A or B accountability rating, or in a school that has improved by one letter grade during the candidate’s tenure.
Those requirements seemed straightforward when the lawmakers approved the measure last year.
But an attorney general’s opinion issued to the Kosciusko School Board shows a different interpretation. It concludes that a principal would have to serve in a school that maintained its improved rating for three years.
“To read this subsection as applying to a principal who was in a school that improved from a C rating to a B or A rating and then fell back to a C rating in less than three years would negate the statutory requirement that three of the six years be in a school with an increased accountability rating,” says the attorney general opinion that was issued in June.
Senate Education Chairman Gray Tollison, who authored the legislation outlining the new changes, said that wasn’t the law’s intent but avoided saying the opinion was wrong.
In more challenging districts, he said, those grades might be in flux.
A Senate bill addressing superintendent requirements didn’t survive last month’s committee deadline.
Tollison, however, has raised the possibility of the state Department of Education addressing the issue through regulations.
Rachel Canter, the executive director of Mississippi First, which focuses on education policy, has concerns that the interpretation could become a deterrent for potential school chiefs.
Continue Reading >>>
Supers & Principals - Which would your staff choose in describing your leadership?  Be brave and do an anonymous check!!! 
New study from Stanford University finds that positivity makes kids more successful
Abigail Hess | February 5, 2018
Schools across the country should dust off their "If you believe it, you can achieve it" posters, because scientists from Stanford Universityhave discovered the brain pathway that directly links a positive attitudewith achievement.
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine studied 240 children ages seven to 10 and found that being positive improved their ability to answer math problems, increased their memories and enhanced their problem-solving abilities. They also used MRI brain scans to map the neurological effects of positivity.
The study, published in Psychological Science states, "our study is the first to elucidate the neurocognitive mechanisms by which positive attitude influences learning and academic achievement." Specifically, the research pinpointed the ways in which a positive attitude improved the functions of the hippocampus, the area of the brain responsible for memory.
Lead author Lang Chen said that the impact of positivity was larger than researchers had anticipated.
"Attitude is really important," he told Stanford's Erin Digitale. "Based on our data, the unique contribution of positive attitude to math achievement is as large as the contribution from IQ."
The prevalence of adverse childhood experiences, nationally, by state, and by race or ethnicity
Vanessa Sacks, David Murphy
February 20, 2018
The research brief, “The prevalence of adverse childhood experiences, nationally, by state, and by race/ethnicity,” was updated February 20, 2018. Rounding errors required small corrections to a number of estimates. Additionally, estimates of the number of ACEs by race/ethnicity for the United States were updated in the maps. All changes in the brief are documented below, in the order in which they appear.
None of these changes materially affect the key findings of the report.
View errata
A Deeper Look at the Whole School Approach to Behavior
Classroom management is an essential tool for an effective teacher, but it’s not always easy to do well. Without an orderly classroom it’s hard for teachers with upward of 25 kids in their classrooms to lead effective lessons, help students who are struggling, and perhaps most important, to trust students. That’s why getting behavior under control was Michael Essien’s number one goal when he started as the assistant principal at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Middle School (MLK) in San Francisco.
Essien became an administrator after more than 20 years in Oakland classrooms, where he taught math and special education. He saw firsthand how students responded to project-based learning that was connected to the real world when he became an instructor with the University of California Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program. The program supports students from low-performing or poorly resourced schools in STEM fields through hands-on competitions, summer learning and academic mentoring at school sites throughout the year.
“I saw that kids who are in public school, if they were exposed to certain pedagogy and had certain content, that they can learn regardless of situation,” Essien said. The program doesn’t use lectures. Instead, instructors try to hook kids by posing inquiry-based questions and empowering students to find answers for themselves.
Continue Reading >>> 
David November | March 23, 2018
New York Times columnist David Brooks recently penned an op-ed on the importance of excellent principals.  Among his chief assertions is the notion that great principals are the key driver of school improvement: “…structural change and increasing teacher quality don’t get you very far without a strong principal.”
There’s just one problem.  We don’t have enough great principals, those principals don’t stick around long enough to yield the greatest results, and the most inexperienced principals are often placed in the areas of greatest need:
Research suggests that it takes five to seven years for a principal to have full impact on a school, but most principals burn out and leave in four years or less.
This is not surprising, given the fact that principals are teachers first, and there is a nationwide teacher shortage as many flock from the profession due to structural and financial issues that show little sign of abetting, the recent strikes notwithstanding.  Coupled with the pressures implicit in the instant accountability era, it should be of no shock that there is a dearth of excellent school leadership –even as we know that, along with great teaching, it is the factor that can make the most significant difference.
Brooks is partially correct when he begins his article by stating, “The solutions to the nation’s problems already exist somewhere out in the country; we just do a terrible job of circulating them.”  But the main problem isn’t necessarily that great ideas aren’t circulating – it’s that we don’t have enough quality people who want to spend their lives creatively applying those ideas in schools across the country.
Continue Reading >>>
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