Thanks to growing reliance on technology and increasing sophistication on the part of digital miscreants, security issues are uppermost in the minds of many districts. To fend off the worms, viruses and hack attempts that happen every day, many IT managers and superintendents have implemented firewall-based security systems that give them at least some shelter from the storm.
Administrators across the nation have long recognized the need to focus efforts on attracting high quality teachers to their districts, especially those in low-performing, remote and inner-city schools. But after the teacher arrives at the school, then what?
The 2005 Nation's Report Card, a large sample, fifty-state assessment of reading and math achievement among fourth and eighth grade students, provides cause for cautious optimism. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings touts steady gains among American students and says the results demonstrate that schools are on the right track. Math achievement scores rose to the highest level in 15 years for both fourth and eighth grade students. Eighty percent of fourth graders and 69 percent of eighth graders performed at or above the basic level in math, up from 50 percent and 52 percent in 1990.
A few "old school" teachers left the BCLUW School District in Iowa in the past few years, less than enamored with the new accountability piece the district created. The district even held off buying some textbooks.