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Articles: Policy & Compliance

An ASCD survey found only a small number of people sensed a strong Common Core opt-out movement. (Click to enlarge_

Millions of students took Common Core tests this spring—and while it was business as usual in many districts, the spreading opt-out movement left some administrators caught between concerned parents and state requirements.

Students at Columbia Public Schools in Missouri have had their social media traffic monitored for the last few years.

Laws in different states provide varied leeway when it comes to monitoring students’ public and private social media activity.

Under an Illinois law that was passed last year, district administrators (after parental notification) can demand a student’s social media passwords if they have “reasonable cause” to believe they will find evidence the student has violated school rules.

The Kansas Coaching Project studies how instructional coaches improve academic outcomes.

Districts in the midst of Common Core implementation are increasingly turning to instructional coaches to help teachers master the new skills needed.

Administrators say these coaches, whose positions were cut in many districts during the recession, are now a valuable investment for time-strapped principals working to ensure schools are transitioning smoothly to the new standards.

NCTM presenter Skip Fennell, who is also a McDaniel College education professor, plays a math game with a teacher from Little River Elementary School in South Riding, Virginia, and a teacher from Mount Airy Elementary School in Maryland.

Teach students math procedures if you want them to solve equations. Instill a deep conceptual understanding of mathematics and get them thinking like mathematicians, and you’ve prepared your students to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Sharon P. Robinson is president and CEO of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

As the U.S. Department of Education combs through the public comments received on its proposed federal regulations for teacher preparation programs, citizens must wait—probably until late summer—to learn the fate of the vast and controversial proposal.

The plan will require states to rate teacher preparation programs based on graduates’ performance—and then tie new teaching students’ eligibility for federal financial aid to those ratings.

Lakota Local School District in Ohio recently increased its communications staff to compete with private and parochial schools.

The era of school choice and open enrollment has driven many district leaders to create innovative programs and to more aggressively publicize their offerings to compete with charters and private schools that have drawn away families and funding.

Here, three districts turned the tide on enrollment with enhanced communication, construction and even recruitment initiatives.

As debate over the Common Core continues to spread in major media outlets, local administrators must address parent and community concerns to keep the focus on student learning.

“The need for parent communication with the Common Core caught many administrators by surprise, because this idea of having standards and revising curriculum isn’t new for district administrators,” says Sandra Alberti, director of field impact at Student Achievement Partners, a nonprofit started by Common Core creators to help educators implement the standards.

Nevada state Sen. Aaron Ford's truancy bill requires students to prove good attendance when applying for a driver's license.

A truancy reduction bill sponsored by Sen. Aaron Ford, D-Las Vegas, became law on Jan. 1, and could keep kids from getting behind the wheel. When a student between 14 and 18 years old applies for a driver’s license, they must now submit a letter from school officials stating that they have met attendance requirements.

Joseph Scherer is executive director of Superintendents’ National Dialogue.

In his groundbreaking work, Magic of Dialogue, social scientist Daniel Yankelovich observed that public judgment is not information stripped of feeling, but dialogue rich in feelings and values.

Furthermore, he notes that we believe we make sound decisions in American society but we are ill-informed in large part because these decisions are based on protracted dialogue rather than factual analysis. What flows from this is that if educators want a voice in public policy they have no alternative but to enter the dialogue.

Common Core supporter Sonja Santelises, a vice president at the Education Trust, says political uncertainty over the standards could destabilize classrooms.

Praised and pilloried at both ends of the political spectrum, the Common Core State Standards—and the years-long effort to establish national benchmarks for student learning—will pass a crucial milestone in 2015, when 11.5 million American schoolchildren finally tackle Common Core-linked math and English tests.

The future of No Child Left Behind and charter schools are among the key K12 issues that the new Republican-controlled Congress expects to tackle in 2015.

Educators and thought leaders offer forecasts for technology, instruction, administration and assessments.

To help our readers navigate the coming year in K12 education, District Administration proudly presents its first-ever Year Ahead edition. In-depth stories on the major trends reshaping classrooms this year feature insights on technology, instruction, administration and assessments. Educators and experts also weigh in on how districts can find funding to support initiatives in all these areas.

Anchor standards to guide educators in teaching the Common Core skills students need in order to prepare for colleges and careers.

A Non-Freaked Out Guide to Teaching the Common Core: Using the 32 Literacy Anchor Standards to Develop College- and Career-Ready Students

Jossey-Bass

Some board members of Pasco County Schools discuss their policy revisions From left to right: Kevin Shibley, executive director for administration; Cynthia Armstrong, member; Alison Crumbley, chairwoman; and Joanne Hurley, member.

Some school employees face getting the short end of the stick as district leaders work to comply with new Affordable Care Act requirements while juggling tight budgets.

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.

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