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From DA

Tests Reveal American Schools Have Long Way to Go

During seventh grade a friend and I created a publication as an alternative to the school newspaper. It was quite a challenge in the days before access to photocopiers, but entertaining our handful of readers made the effort worthwhile.

Promising New Resources For English - Language Learners

Lots of new ELL literacy products have recently emerged to address the more than five million ELL students in public schools. Here are three that have garnered positive feedback.

When Internet service in a Midwestern school district crashed because of e-mail bombs-huge numbers of duplicate messages blitzed to target addresses to overload systems maliciously-the technology coordinator wanted to alert other districts to the growing potential for such assaults. E-mail bombs, also called "denial-of-service attacks," are easy for anyone to launch, and all schools are vulnerable, he says.

The new town of Ladera Ranch sprouted from the hillsides of south Orange County in the late 1990s. It was billed at the first "wired" community in Southern California, laid out to the smallest detail, with plans for schools, parks and a public library. By the fall of 2003, a 25-acre campus housed an elementary and middle school, a public library and a joint-use community park.

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Every few weeks, elementary students in Wilkes County (N.C.) Schools were getting tested on what they read. But the questions weren't all that difficult and students' reading levels weren't as high as administrators hoped they would be.

My career in education began as a high school math teacher. Anyone who has shared that experience knows frustration that arises when students arrive in class unprepared to learn the material you're teaching.

In a recent Web seminar about Data-Driven Decision Making, three experts in the field - Douglas Reeves, CEO and founder of the Center for Performance Assessment; Stephen C. Jones, superintendent of Norfolk (Va.) Public Schools; and Howard Woodard, the chief information officer for the Georgia Department of Education - answered your questions on this topic. Here's a sample of what was covered. (To view the entire presentation, visit

It is a commonly held belief that participation in school sports helps build character. Students can learn everything from teamwork to good sportsmanship from their time on the playing field, the theory goes. A new report from the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement shows that these assumptions might be correct.