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Mar 2004

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Cover Story


If school officials are lucky enough to be able to preview presentation equipment before they purchase it, the evaluations are usually made during a trade show or a brief vendor visit. But with districts investing more money in this equipment, the dynamics of how to choose the best equipment is also changing.

Ramps, rolling tires, stop watches and lots of error-prone calculations used to be the mainstays of teaching physics to students at the Macomb Academy of Arts and Sciences in Armada, Mich. Now, if not for the age of the students, a visitor at the school might think she landed at a company specializing in ergonomics.

It was a sweet outdoor field trip moment turned sour. While relaxing on the edge of a hay wagon, taking in the scene at the farm, science lab teacher Darleen Horton remarked to a fourth grader, "Isn't this nice?" His reply: "It's scary."

A Model Classroom


The recruitment problems facing Columbus (Ohio) Public Schools--namely a shortage of qualified math and science teachers and a lack of minority role models--are a nearly universal challenge. The Columbus solution? Tap into internal resources.

The district's Stepping Up program has allowed classified employees to earn a math or science teaching license with no out-of-pocket costs. In exchange, the employees commit to teaching in the district for four years.

Dropping out of school is a young person's way of "divorcing" the school system. The decision to drop out, like the decision to divorce, doesn't happen in a day. Studies suggest it is the cumulative result of a series of events and circumstances. School, student, family and other non-school factors can come into play. Each student's situation is different, and schools often don't know the details since students are not required to file "divorce papers" before calling it quits.


Mixed Grades for NCLB On Second Anniversary


When I was in seventh grade, I remember excelling in math and liking writing. As I progressed through high school, my ability in math hit a wall around the time of calculus, but my writing skills continued to improve. Today, I have a difficult time cutting the correct angle when installing crown molding, and I use my English skills everyday in my job.


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