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Table of Contents

May 2003

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Cover Story

--A Minnesota kindergartner doesn't like her teacher's instruction to her, so the girl stabs the teacher with plastic Crayola scissors, cutting a few inches into the teacher's back.

--A second grader in Indiana threatens to hit his teacher with his shoe.

Features

Up from the ground of a television landscape where it seems to be perpetually Easter-judging from the bright greens, yellows, and pastel colors-comes the Voice Trumpet announcing, "Time for Teletubbies! Time for Teletubbies!"

One a recent middle school walk-through, Steve Youngblood was astonished by what he found in the gymnasium. There wasn't a basketball game-or any other competition for that matter-in sight.

Assessment, assessment, assessment. That seems to be the driving force behind many of the curriculum purchase decisions being made in districts across the country, as schools try to meet the requirements set forth by the federal government. The No Child Left Behind act is causing districts to scramble to provide texts that meet the law's research-based requirement (see sidebar) and set in motion the process of assessment and testing that will bring them into compliance with the standards.

--A Minnesota kindergartner doesn't like her teacher's instruction to her, so the girl stabs the teacher with plastic Crayola scissors, cutting a few inches into the teacher's back.

--A second grader in Indiana threatens to hit his teacher with his shoe.

ALPHASMART 3000

AlphaSmart www.alphasmart.com

After two planes flew into the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, some families left New York City for New Jersey. Some of them brought behavior problems to school, according to John Dumford, Keyport Schools superintendent.

Opinion

When an administrator in New England sadly faced the imminent death of a faculty member, he sought help from colleagues by posting a message to the K12Admin online discussion group: "The children know of the illness, but the relative certainty of death is a recent development. I'm looking for any advice from those of you who have had this experience."

Solutions

Forget Hillary Clinton's village. It takes an entire district and its surrounding community to raise a child of model character. That much can be said for Lawrence Township, whose LifeSkills for Building Character initiative has everyone from parents to the police department reinforcing 10 character qualities established by the district as an integral part of the K-12 curriculum.

In general, most superintendents don't like surprises. Too often, they turn out to be school bus breakdowns, discipline problems or erratic school board behavior.

Briefings

Back to School Made Easy

The nation's only online competency-based teachers college was launched in March, in an effort to help teachers meet requirements under No Child Left Behind.

Departments

More than 30 years ago, the magazine was Curriculum Product Review. As it has evolved into a magazine for K-12 leaders, the new product section has reflected this change. The unfortunate side effect was that some curriculum products no longer had a regular place in our magazine. The publication of this section rights that wrong, by giving curriculum topics and products a semi-regular home. We will bring you a special section examining curriculum trends and products quarterly.

As intriguing ideas go, this one sounded great.

Pairing consumer advocate Ralph Nader against former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich to debate education in front of thousands of school board members and administrators promised some fireworks.