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Table of Contents

Dec 2005

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Cover Story


This fall, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Laboratory unveiled a prototype of its $100 laptop. The new machine reinvents the omnipresent laptop, not only slashing the price tag but also redesigning it for student use. The target market includes children in third-world countries and the U.S.

From making sure a school is safe to maintaining academic standards to meeting NCLB requirements, urban school principals have to attend to a plethora of issues within the walls of their buildings. But what makes a principal effective? What leadership skills do they need to succeed?

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.



Randomized field trials are not the best or only way to address all important research questions, but they are often described as the "gold standard." This month's column explores why researchers and NCLB express enthusiasm for experimental research designs, why schools may hesitate to participate, and possible win-win solutions.


The Ohio Board of Regents is spearheading a $15 million, five-year project to improve middle school reading and math scores. Called the Middle School Achievement through Technology-Rich Interventions, the project brings together partners in Ohio, California, Kansas and New Mexico to develop games, activities and learning resources for iPods, PDAs, video cameras and other mobile technologies.

Four States Collaborate to Improve Middle School Test Scores



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