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Articles: Policy & Compliance

This third-grade class at Vanderburg Elementary School in Clark County Schools operates on a year-round calendar that’s divided into five tracks. .

Educators have sometimes likened a school year to running a marathon. A balanced calendar may offer more chances to rest and refuel—enabling a strong effort in the next leg of the race.

In seeking to save money while also boosting teacher recruitment and retention, the Pierce City R-VI School District in Missouri switched to a four-day school week this school year.

The time is made up by extending the school day 30 minutes. It increased learning time by 20 hours. “We want to create a culture where our good teachers want to stay,” Superintendent Russ Moreland says.

Teachers say they feel refreshed after their routine three-day weekends—a key reason for doing it, he adds.

Fears of lead-tainted water in U.S. schools surged this year at the same time a report found the nation spends $46 billion less on annual school construction and maintenance than is necessary to ensure safe and healthy facilities.

Students from Project WHAT! (We’re Here and Talking), a program that hires San Francisco teens with incarcerated parents to lead trainings and presentations for school administrators, staff and students.

Research shows that children with an incarcerated parent are less likely to graduate from high school and go on to college. They are also more likely than their peers to have behavioral problems, be held back in the early grades and be placed into special education.

Structured detention: A Flathead High School student, who is on the student newspaper, works during Structured Study. It’s part of a program whereby teachers oversee and communicate individually and in small groups with students to help them succeed in core academic classes.

While detention remains a staple of student discipline across the country, many school leaders are looking at ways to modify the practice, or even replace it, with approaches that may be more effective in actually reducing bad behavior.

A student from Pullman School District 267 in Washington wears electrical sensors on her head for an electroencephalogram (EEG) test that measures and records the electrical activity of her brain.

In what appears to be an average classroom, students from Pullman School District 267 in Washington wear devices that measure their pulse, eye movements and brain waves as a teacher gives a lesson. The lab monitors neurological data to study how learning takes place.

From left to right: Brett Ridgway, Peter Hilts, Jack Bay.

Instead of one superintendent making all decisions, three leaders in Colorado Springs leverage areas of expertise—and save the district money. Peter Hilts, Jack Bay and Brett Ridgway divide roles of chief academic officer, chief of operations and chief financial officer.

Until his retirement, Mel Hawkins was a consultant specializing in leadership development, human resources, and strategic planning. He is the author of Re-Inventing Education, Hope, and the American Dream: The Challenge for Twenty-first Century America.

The federal government, corporate reformers and state governments are engaged in a relentless attack against public schools. And our professional educators have not stepped up to acknowledge the deficiencies in our education process, deficiencies that only they are qualified to address.

Yale lecturer Erika Christakis says kids do too much rote work in kindergarten.

Burdened by demands to show outcomes and achievement, early education classrooms are often reduced to scripted lessons and meaningless craft work that imparts little learning, Yale early childhood education lecturer Erika Christakis says in her book The Importance of Being Little.

American history could be in trouble. Decades of reliance on contentious textbooks and rote memorization have driven students away from the subject, despite its influence on contemporary issues.

Schools in Washington, including Marysville-Pilchuck School District, are required to educate students about the culture and history of the state’s indigenous nations.

Despite recent controversies, most K12 U.S. history textbooks now devote more space to viewpoints outside of the white-European male narrative, historians say.

“The whole approach to historiography has changed,” says Luess Sampson-Lizotte, vice president of humanities & science product development at Pearson. “It is a little broader and more inclusive of multiple perspectives of the American story.”

In Virginia’s Fairfax County Public Schools, students in the gifted program study a local pond ecosystem. The district created a Young Scholars initiative in 2000 to increase the proportion of historically underrepresented students in K8 gifted programs.

Black elementary school students are half as likely as their white peers to be assigned to gifted elementary programs in math and reading—even with comparably high test scores. But the racial gap in giftedness disappears when black students have a black teacher, according to a study.

Washington students will learn about the hardships of reservation life and problems created when people are moved from their established homeland.

All K12 schools in Washington are mandated by a new state law to teach Since Time Immemorial, a curriculum that focuses on the history and culture of the state’s 29 federally recognized Native American tribes.

Old computers may not be trendy, but as school tech budgets shrink or stagnate, many administrators try to squeeze the most life out of their aging devices. Recycling and retrofitting, and hooking up to the cloud, allow districts to delay or even abandon established schedules for buying brand-new equipment.

36 states increased the rigor of their standards since 2013, while five made them less rigorous. (Click to enlarge)

The push to establish national academic benchmarks may have been dealt yet another blow by the Every Student Succeeds Act. Nearly two dozen states began revising the Common Core after the new law reaffirmed their authority to create their own standards.

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