It's a great irony--the shortage of scientifically based research on how to improve student achievement in science--but school districts aren't laughing. Under No Child Left Behind, students must be tested in science at least once in each grade span (3-5, 6-9 and 10-12) during the 2007-2008 school year. In preparation, states must have science standards in place by the beginning of the 2005-2006 school year. By the end of that school year, science classes must be taught by highly qualified teachers.
Wouldn't it be great if researchers discovered the holy grail of school improvement--a single approach that could be readily applied to improve all schools labeled low performing? Don't get your hopes up. After all, even Einstein failed in his efforts to discover an all-inclusive theory that explained everything. Because the definition of "low performing" varies from state to state, and the reasons for low performance vary from school to school, a "unified field theory" in education is unlikely.
Want a quick way to get to your desktop? Press and hold the Windows key (to the left of your spacebar) and then press the letter D. Your open programs and documents are automatically minimized and your desktop magically appears. ("Solitaire? No, I wasn't playing solitaire. I was just sitting here looking at my pretty desktop.") To maximize all of those recently minimized programs and documents [after your principal/students/children/ spouse leaves the room], just press the Windows key, the shift key, and the letter M at the same time.
A little south of San Diego--just 10 miles from the U.S. border with Mexico--is National City. If the name sounds like one an unimaginative suburban developer might have come up with, that's understandable. But in this case, the name fits the long history and the character of the community.