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The Bill of Rights Institute

Being An American: Exploring The Ideals that Unite Us, Program, $12.95

Some kids dream of being a cowboy one day. Growing up in a competitive family with five brothers, Esperanza Zendejas actually became one. In a culture dominated by men, she learned to stand on her own and up for herself. "There was no such thing as something that was only appropriate for my brothers," she says.

A proposed law in Ohio giving teachers and school staff immunity from lawsuits arising from discipline issues has sparked renewed controversy over how to protect students' rights and still keep teachers in control of their classrooms.

Saturday School a Class Act

Paul Ruiz, a principal partner at The Education Trust, has his own sad but inspiring story. He comes from a family of 15 whose parents emigrated from Mexico. His teachers in San Antonio, Texas, about 40 years ago did not believe he could learn.

Tutoring used to be thought of as a private issue. While many parents nationwide choose to supply tutors for their children, the issue hasn't appeared on schools' radar screens. Until now.

With only two employees trying to keep 100 buildings and 700 acres of property looking spiffy, no one sniped when Portland (Ore.) Public Schools' groundskeeping crew fell behind. The question was more what to do about it.

Lifelong learning. I decided to try it. So, I packed up the car and drove to Palo Alto to participate in the annual Stanford Jazz Residency. This immersive institute welcomes adults and talented teens to spend a week playing, studying and listening to jazz.

Giving Construction Curriculum A Chance

I'm writing this column because I'm embarrassed.

Two recent issues of District Administration have carried columns by Gary Stager that have attacked aspects of the educational proposals/decisions of both presidential candidates.

Mid-Level Managers Being Left Behind

Unless the central office staff starts communicating better with school building principals and teachers, major reform initiatives may never come to fruition, reports a new study released by the Cross City Campaign for Urban School Reform.

The pursuit of learning can be derailed in schools plagued by discipline problems. This is certainly not news to principals and teachers. Research confirms their intuitions about the connection between discipline and achievement. One recent study found that classroom behavior, rather than class size, was a primary factor associated with improved achievement. On the whole, research suggests that improvements in school discipline will create an environment more conducive to academic achievement.

Airing Out Old Concerns

10 Ways to Recognize a Learning Organization

by James Ellsberry, CEO, The Dewitt Institute for Professional Development

The absence of certain characteristics may point the way to professional development needs in a district. You know you're in the presence of a learning organization if:


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