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Professional Opinion

Tim Markley is superintendent at New Hanover County Schools in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Our growing district faced numerous facility challenges in the fall of 2013. The only way to address these needs was with a $160 million school bond—the largest in our district’s history. What made this campaign different for us was the extensive use of social media and a very coordinated information campaign.

Kate Walsh is president of the National Council on Teacher Quality.

Are teacher prep programs giving out A’s and honors distinctions too easily?

Sharon P. Robinson is president and CEO of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

As the U.S. Department of Education combs through the public comments received on its proposed federal regulations for teacher preparation programs, citizens must wait—probably until late summer—to learn the fate of the vast and controversial proposal.

The plan will require states to rate teacher preparation programs based on graduates’ performance—and then tie new teaching students’ eligibility for federal financial aid to those ratings.

Andre D. Spencer is superintendent of the Harrison School District Two in Colorado Springs, Colo.

With the national trend of institutional achievement being measured by the number of graduates who go on to the next level of college or career, Harrison School District Two in Colorado collaborates with the community on a pioneering student success program.

Pamela Roggeman, a high school English teacher for 17 years, is now the academic dean for the College of Education at University of Phoenix.

As it does for many families, local school district quality played a primary role in our real estate choice.

But open-enrollment demanded research. My spouse and I have 35 years of teaching experience between us, so we devised a plan. On one day we scheduled five interviews with five principals from five schools. One essential question drove our discussions: What is your teacher turnover rate?

As the author of more than 100 journal articles and multiple books, neuroscientist Martha S. Burns is a leading expert on how children learn.

While home environment, access to books, and social and economic factors all play a part in children’s literacy development, brain differences also play a crucial role.

R.J. Gravel (@rjgravel) is the director of instructional technology for Johnsburg School District 12, in Johnsburg, IL.

As more school leaders adopt cloud-based technology to support educator and student achievement, the need for efficient processes to run student and teacher accounts increases.

In the past, printed instructional materials would be received, sorted, labeled and distributed to classrooms. Materials traveled from the office to the teacher, then from the educator to the student. But for cloud-based materials, the distribution process looks quite different.

Nancy Willard is director of Embrace Civility in the Digital Age and author of several books on bullying.

When we talk about bullying, what do we mean? Unfortunately, the answer is far from clear.

Educators are taught one definition, while most state statutes have yet another definition. Worse, surveys are based on a variety of definitions.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Department of Education, and Health Resources and Services Administration partnered with bullying experts to develop a uniform definition of bullying. In January 2014, the new definition was:

Lisa Gonzales is superintendent of the Portola Valley School District and vice president of Legislative Action for the Association of California School Administrators. Charles Young is associate superintendent for the Palo Alto Unified School District.

At the core of powerful coaching relationships is the most important quality of effective performance and interactions: High emotional intelligence quotient, or EQ. To increase one’s EQ, coaching needs to focus on four domains: self-awareness, social awareness, self-management and relationship management.

Joseph Scherer is executive director of Superintendents’ National Dialogue.

In his groundbreaking work, Magic of Dialogue, social scientist Daniel Yankelovich observed that public judgment is not information stripped of feeling, but dialogue rich in feelings and values.

Furthermore, he notes that we believe we make sound decisions in American society but we are ill-informed in large part because these decisions are based on protracted dialogue rather than factual analysis. What flows from this is that if educators want a voice in public policy they have no alternative but to enter the dialogue.

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