You are here

From DA

Though more districts are hiring school resource officers to keep students safe, some argue that schools with SROs have more student arrests than schools without the officers, contributing to the school-to-prison pipeline.

Only 69 percent of high school seniors who took the ACT in 2013 enrolled in a postsecondary institution that fall.

Record numbers of students are taking the ACT exam and expressing an interest in higher education—but scores on both the ACT and SAT are lagging, according to test administrators.

More than 1.84 million 2014 graduates—a record 57 percent of the national graduating class—took the ACT. This is a 3 percent increase from 2013, and an 18 percent increase compared to 2010, according to the ACT’s annual “Condition of College & Career Readiness” report, released in August.

In her book "Building a Better Teacher," Elizabeth Green shows what happens in the classrooms of great teachers

Great teachers are those who have tapped into how we learn at a deeper level, and that, author Elizabeth Green says, is a skill that can be passed on. In her book Building a Better Teacher: How Teaching Works And How To Teach It To Everyone, Green shows what happens in the classrooms of great teachers and how that can be scaled to an entire school or district.

Richard Elmore is the Gregory R. Anrig Professor of Educational Leadership at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

In an age of assessments, every school today knows how it is performing and understands the stakes of failing to meet expectations. Yet vast numbers of schools across the nation have been unable to improve, despite the threats of sanctions or outright closure.

Students from District of Columbia Public Schools learn photography skills to draw attention to changes needed in their community.
Students take photos that are shared with the public through travelling exhibits in galleries, libraries and other public spaces.
“My name is Daniel. I am limited by only what I cannot imagine. I believe that social change and community organizing is important because this kind of change lifts up the voices of the suppressed and helps the powerless be heard. To lift the cover of discrimination, we can come one step closer to making our world a better place. I took photographs that show where and how I live.” —Daniel J., Critical Exposure Youth Internship
“The American flag symbolizes the rights we are granted as citizens and the freedom we have to manifest ideas and expand our knowledge. The bars represent restriction and confinment. Two conflicting ideas. We should not feel like our school system is detaining us and preventing us from flourishing.” —Anaïse, Banneker High School
“We have been talking about healthy foods that we like and foods that we don’t like. We want to talk to people and have meetings to change the lunch policy.”  —Brittanie, Ballou Senior High School

Critical Exposure is a nonprofit after-school program that trains District of Columbia Public Schools students to use photography and advocacy to make real changes in their schools and community.

High school students gain skills in documentary, photography, leadership and advocacy as they critically examine their schools and communities, and document issues that affect their lives. The photos are shared with the public through travelling exhibits in galleries and libraries. They are also shown to public officials as a means of advocating for policy changes in the community.

Social studies teachers are using controversial news events to drive part of the curriculum in today’s classrooms. Above, an educator at last year’s annual conference discusses the importance of primary sources, such as artifacts, diaries and newspapers, to bring history alive in elementary schools.

Studying controversial events can show students how past events and current conflicts are connected. Examining these stories also can foster critical thinking skills and hone the ability to debate. But such discussions can be a minefield for educators trying to navigate touchy topics.

students at Keokuk Community School District in Iowa participate in K-Pride, a program that promotes respect, responsibility and readiness.
Children enrolled in the Whole Child Care Program in the Kenilworth Public Schools in New Jersey, which has been revamped to have smaller class sizes and to have certified teachers work with children in a more structured and age-appropriate program.
High school students from USD 418 in McPherson, Kan., paint for a community service project the district calls “The Big Event,” which is part of their C3 Initiative.

Nearly 50 school districts that are leading the way with innovative and effective new ideas have been named Districts of Distinction, District Administration magazine’s new tri-annual award program. The honorees, which were selected from hundreds of nominations submitted from around the country, are districts of various sizes and demographics that represent 28 states.

An image from  Rourke Educational Media's "Symbols of Freedom."
An image from  Discovery Education's Social Studies Techbook.
Hobsons' Naviance College and Career Readiness Curriculum
Knowledge Matters' Virtual Business—Management Online
Sony Virtuoso Digital  Language Lab Technology by SANS
Middlebury Interactive Language's Chinese Fluency I
¡Avancemos! by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Administrators striving to align instruction with the Common Core have an ever increasing range of curriculum programs from which to choose.

Several new social studies programs focus on keeping students abreast of current and archived news while other materials spotlight America’s history.

Foreign language teachers are cultivating global competence in today's classrooms. Above, educators interact at last year’s conference of the American Council of the Teaching of Foreign Languages.

Foreign language has become a necessity for “global competence”—the ability to use a language beyond the classroom, in the workforce and in social settings. The idea of global competence encompasses sensitivity, respect and understanding of other cultural perspectives.

Students following a project-based, inquiry curriculum aligned with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) outperformed their peers who received traditional instruction, according to a National Science Foundation study released last spring.

The FCC recommends schools have internet access of  at least 100 Mbps per 1,000 users in the short term. The FCC will provide $1 billion per year for  Wi-Fi connections in 2015 and 2016.

High-speed broadband is in and phones are out, according to the recent FCC order to update the federal E-rate program. Administrators will have new funds to expand district Wi-Fi capacity, but will need to make up for lost phone and email subsidies.

District Administration Editorial Director JD Solomon

Dear Reader,

Welcome to the inaugural report on Districts of Distinction, DA’s new program to recognize excellence in education.

Like you, we’ve heard the drumbeat of the doomsayers who contend that public education is somehow broken. And, like you, we know that contention to be untrue. Well, the response to our Districts of Distinction program proves that point.

Superintendent Casey Wardynski says students' social media accounts are review only if the district receives a tip.

Superintendent Casey Wardynski of Huntsville City Schools in Alabama said in September the district has reviewed social media accounts of some 600 students since January to respond to potential threats.

Students are investigated only if school officials receive a tip, he says. The monitoring came to light after the National Security Agency alerted the district to a potential threat a student made against a teacher on Twitter.

Louisiana students will be learning more about the Battle of New Orleans, the final major battle in the War of 1812, this school year.

Students in Louisiana will commemorate the upcoming 200th anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans with a new curriculum created by the education team at the state’s Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism.

In The Power of Teacher Leaders, top educational researchers describe the many ways teachers are leading.

The Power of Teacher Leaders: Their Roles, Influence, and Impact

Routledge Education

In The Power of Teacher Leaders, top educational researchers describe the many ways teachers are leading.

In each chapter, the contributing experts present original research, case studies and programs in practice.

The topics covered include how teachers become leaders, and the effects their leadership has on school communities and student success.