DA Daily

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Districts of Distinction: Schools build for an energy-efficient future

A state sales tax passed in 2009 gave the Des Moines Independent Community School District $27 million a year to launch its buildings into the 21st century. That dependable revenue stream has supported a flood of innovative school renovations focused on energy efficiency and environmental stewardship.

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Districts of Distinction: A stop to voc-ed teacher turnover

A professional development initiative created by a voc-ed program comprising three California districts is being replicated statewide because it keeps teachers in the job—and lets students learn from some of the best agents of local industry and business.

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Districts of Distinction: Credit recovery boosts graduation rate

When S. Dallas Dance became superintendent of Baltimore County Public Schools in 2012, the district’s graduation rate stood at nearly 84 percent, four points above the national average. But that encouraging number masked the disparity between schools with graduation rates above 95 percent and as low as 70 percent.

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Districts of Distinction: A revolution in K12 service learning

Beekeeping and raising chickens are among the projects that Maplewood Richmond Heights School District students relish. The district, which covers less than three square miles outside of St. Louis’ inner city, has brought service learning—and student achievement—to new heights.

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Districts of Distinction honors K12 innovation

Nearly 50 school districts that are leading the way with innovative and effective new ideas have been named Districts of Distinction, District Administration magazine’s new tri-annual award program. The honorees, which were selected from hundreds of nominations submitted from around the country, are districts of various sizes and demographics that represent 28 states.

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Do you need a residency program for your next group of teachers?

Teacher preparation programs have been criticized for not providing educators with sufficient classroom skills. But residency programs are now pairing theory with hands-on experience to give teacher candidates the skills needed to improve student achievement.

LGBT kids of color are more likely to be disciplined in school, study shows

Two issue briefs released this week demonstrate how issues surrounding school discipline uniquely impact LGBTQ and gender non-conforming youth of color. They face persistent and frequent harassment and bias-based bullying from peers and school staff as well as increased surveillance and policing, according to the Crossroads Collaborative/Gay Straight Alliance Network study.

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Stop warehousing students in content-free 'classes'

The primary duty of schools is to teach. Yet at high schools throughout California, students are assigned to “classes” with no instruction, in which they're warehoused, assigned chores or even sent home for a period or two. The latter is, in effect, school-sanctioned truancy.

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Statewide incident standard is necessary for Pennsylvania schools

District-by-district reporting procedures are not uniform, due to the use of different student information systems. An incident at one school which mandates police involvement may not even require parental notification in another district. When allocating millions of dollars to cashed-strapped districts, a useful and uniform incident policy should be followed.

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Judge orders state to help Los Angeles' school system fix problems

California education officials were ordered by a judge to immediately help the Los Angeles USD resolve continuing class-scheduling problems at Jefferson High School that have left some students unable to attend courses they need to graduate.

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