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Probing Science in Fairfax County

Defensive Action with Bulletproof Backpacks

New clothes? Check. Notebooks and binders? Check. Bulletproof backpack? Check ... ?

Jack Hoke knows a good thing when he sees it. When it comes to hiring principals for his district schools, Hoke, the superintendent of Alexander County (N.C.) Schools, has hit upon a sure bet: Look for graduates of the North Carolina Principals Fellows Program (PFP).

Are you familiar with the Pacific Northwest tree octopus? Most likely not. Good thing there is a Web site on the Internet to tell you all about it!

By 2030, almost half the population in the United States will speak a language other than English, meaning the number of English Language Learners (ELLs) in schools nationwide will also increase. And critics of the federal No Child Left Behind law say that federal requirements of ELLs hurt school districts.

AS THE MAGAZINE OF EDUCATION LEADERSHIP for top-level decision makers in K12 education, District Administration reaches key executives in virtually every school district in the United States, including superintendents, business officers, technology managers, curriculum directors, library/ media center directors and funding administrators. Certainly no one is better qualified to comment on current district spending than the readers of this magazine.

The Mexico Academy and Central School District is located in the center of New York state, on the shore of Lake Ontario, and includes three elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. The current district Web site was designed in 2005.

Although many first- and second-year teachers will put on a brave face for their colleagues and administrators, a glimpse of professional woes can be found by browsing beginning teachers' online message boards.

Madison Metropolitan (Wis.) School District

www.madison.k12.wi.us

Asking questions is one of the most commonly used instructional strategies in K12 classrooms. Researchers have identified effective questioning as a tool for building students' basic and higher-level skills. Here is what is known and what's new about using questions.

In summarizing research on effective schooling, researcher Kathleen Cotton (1999) identified several ways teachers can ask questions to promote learning:

1. Use questions to engage students and monitor their understanding.

2. Structure questions to focus students' attention on key ideas.

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