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Articles: Teaching & Learning

Oak Ridge Schools Superintendent Bruce Borchers has partnered with local businesses to create a multifaceted STEM program.

Oak Ridge Schools Superintendent Bruce Borchers has worked with his board and administrators, and partnered with local businesses, to create a multifaceted program to bolster STEM education. His city was founded by the U.S. government in 1943 as a secret production site for the Manhattan Project and is steeped in technology to this day.

Lisa Gonzales is superintendent of the Portola Valley School District and vice president of Legislative Action for the Association of California School Administrators. Charles Young is associate superintendent for the Palo Alto Unified School District.

At the core of powerful coaching relationships is the most important quality of effective performance and interactions: High emotional intelligence quotient, or EQ. To increase one’s EQ, coaching needs to focus on four domains: self-awareness, social awareness, self-management and relationship management.

Teachers participate in an EdCamp session, where the PD agenda is not determined until they arrive.

If today’s students are expected to direct their own learning, teachers have to be prepared to do the same. That’s the philosophy behind Edcamp, an international network of free, one-day “unconferences” where agendas and sessions aren’t determined until educators arrive in the morning and suggest topics.

Houston ISD’s new Arabic language immersion school will join the district’s Spanish and Mandarin programs.

Next fall, Houston ISD students will be the first in the nation with the opportunity to immerse themselves in the Arabic language.

In November, the Houston board of education unanimously voted to open the Arabic Language Immersion Magnet School in fall 2015, with two pre-K and two kindergarten classes. A new grade level will be added each year as students progress through grade 5.

When it comes to instruction, new learning standards like the Common Core and technology will get the most attention in 2015. (Click to enlarge chart)

Exciting advancements are on the horizon for classrooms in 2015. While they sound technical, the biggest changes aren’t going to be driven by an app, a computer program or a new kind of tablet—they will come from new theories about how to engage both students and teachers in the classroom.

The California-Arizona border, showing green amid brown desert, taken by elementary students in Hempstead ISD in Texas.
A view of the Sacramento Valley in California from the International Space Station, taken by students in the U.S. and Turkey.
An image of Nagano, Japan, requested by students in the U.S., Poland and Australia.

In November, middle school students from around the globe had the chance to take photos of Earth from the International Space Station. Sally Ride EarthKAM is a program meant to spark student interest in STEM subjects through photographing the earth from space.

Superintendent Arthur W. Tate of Iowa’s Davenport public schools has launched several programs to keep at-risk students from dropping out.

Superintendent Arthur W. Tate of Iowa’s Davenport public schools took over a 27-school district with nearly 16,000 students that had recorded the state’s highest urban dropout rate. The rate has been decreasing steadily, thanks to several programs Tate launched to keep at-risk students in school.

Students at Charles County Public Schools in Maryland are now exposed to computer science curriculum starting in kindergarten.

In 2020, there will be 1.4 million computing jobs available in the United States and only 400,000 computer science students in the education pipeline.

But the number of students may slowly be increasing, as 25 states now count computer science courses toward high school graduation requirements, compared to 11 states in 2013.

Scott McLeod is the author of the popular “Dangerously Irrelevant” blog.

A photo on Scott McLeod’s popular “Dangerously Irrelevant” blog carries the caption, “We’re so busy doing 20th century teaching, we don’t have time to initiate 21st century learning.” McLeod, an associate professor of educational leadership, is concerned that an education system that doesn’t embrace technology won't prepare students to compete in the knowledge-based economy.

Volunteers from the social networking company Tagged help set up classrooms in Thurgood Marshall High School in San Francisco this fall.

Most San Francisco students live a car ride away from Silicon Valley’s tech giants, but will never set foot inside any of those fabled corporate campuses. A new philanthropy initiative is pairing some of these companies with city schools to inspire students to pursue college and career pathways that may lead right back to some of those high-tech HQs.

The Common Core is presenting a new challenge—and offering little guidance—to special education teachers working to keep their students on pace with their peers.

As baby boomers retire and school enrollment steadily increases, more districts are searching internationally to find candidates for difficult-to-fill math and science positions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that districts will need to hire nearly half a million teachers by the end of the decade.

Karner Blue Education Center's indoor playground gives students movement breaks and time to work on motor skills, particularly for long Minnesota winters when students are stuck indoors.
Students can access common-space areas for alternative learning spaces and movement breaks.

In September, the Karner Blue Education Center opened its brand new doors to some 100 K8 special education students in the Northeast Metro 916 Intermediate School District in Minnesota.

Charles Young is the associate superintendent for the Palo Alto Unified School District. Lisa Gonzales is the superintendent of the Portola Valley School District.

Truly effective leaders blend elements of coaching with their leadership skills to build trust and maximize the power of social interactions. But when it comes to working with other administrators to hone their skills, the need to coach a coach takes on a greater level of importance.

Timothy Purnell is superintendent and Timothy Teehan is academic achievement officer for Somerville Public Schools.

Massachusetts has led the nation with the top National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores for the fifth consecutive time on fourth- and eighth-grade reading and mathematics assessments.

While we realize that unknown variables are part of the equation, it was this statistical preeminence that led us to send a team from Somerville Public Schools in New Jersey to the Northbridge School District in Massachusetts to investigate instructional practices.