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Students Get to the Heart of the Matter

When high school students — either college bound or those preparing for state-mandated exit exams — require an academic refresher, teachers are challenged to find time, not to mention the tools, to provide the just-in-time assistance most students need.

Bringing the Outside into the classroom: GIS Makes Connections for Students

In Raleigh, N.C., sixth- through eighth-graders at Martin Middle School learn about neat stuff--Geographic Information Systems. And they're using GIS in the classroom as a tool.

What Parents Do

% of parents who have done the following in recent years:

Class trip or party 57%

Behavior and discipline decisions 7%

Financial input 15%

Curriculum planning 19%

Staff hiring involvement 20%

Source: Public Agenda


Music Programs Missing the Patriotic Beat

Students today are more likely to know the lyrics to pop chart toppers like "Oops! ... I Did it Again" from Britney Spears than "Mary Had a Little Lamb" or even "The Star Spangled Banner." So says a nationwide survey conducted by music educator Marilyn Ward, who completed the research for a doctoral dissertation in music at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Seemingly eight or nine nights for the past several weeks my family and I were caught up in the American Idol phenomena. Thirty-eight million Americans joined us in watching the show's finale. I am encouraged that it is still possible to bring generations together around a wholesome event. In addition to being wildly entertaining, American Idol offers many lessons for educators.

All sorts of kids have talents we have yet to discover The extraordinary drive and talent of the young adults participating in American Idol should remind us of the untapped potential in our students.

Our schools are in the midst of a mass panic not seen since the swine flu epidemic--standardized testing. We are swept up in a wave of "the tests are important," "parents demand accountability," and "they make us do it." This uncritical groupthink will destroy public education unless we wake up, form alliances and tell the public the truth.

Testing at the K-12 level is getting easier — and,many say, better — thanks to the increasingly pervasive presence of computers in classrooms.

Study: Boys Literate in Spite of School

Boys will be boys. Research suggests that boys don't like to read and don't read very well. Two Canadian education professors have shown that earlier studies don't tell the full story.