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Table of Contents

Oct 2003

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Cover Story

He called her Sunshine. But it was more of a hope than a true reflection of the high school senior's life. "I had never seen this kid smile," says Principal Don B. Austin.

Features

Dressing up like scarecrows in the fall and donning leprechaun hats and jackets in March is all the rage in some kindergarten classes in Indiana. It's hard to tell these students are learning the beginnings of complex math, but it's easy to see they are having fun doing it.

Dressing up like scarecrows in the fall and donning leprechaun hats and jackets in March is all the rage in some kindergarten classes in Indiana. It's hard to tell these students are learning the beginnings of complex math, but it's easy to see they are having fun doing it.

While the pint-sized children giggle with delight in their costumes at Fox Hill Elementary School in Indianapolis, they are learning the core basics of algebraic thinking.

With two scarecrows, they figure out how many hats the two scarecrows would wear. And with five

Dressing up like scarecrows in the fall and donning leprechaun hats and jackets in March is all the rage in some kindergarten classes in Indiana. It's hard to tell these students are learning the beginnings of complex math, but it's easy to see they are having fun doing it.

While the pint-sized children giggle with delight in their costumes at Fox Hill Elementary School in Indianapolis, they are learning the core basics of algebraic thinking.

With two scarecrows, they figure out how many hats the two scarecrows would wear. And with five

He called her Sunshine. But it was more of a hope than a true reflection of the high school senior's life. "I had never seen this kid smile," says Principal Don B. Austin.

Solutions

Student teams pull together to investigate a community health enigma--and make curricular connections in the process

When Irene Runnels landed a school Suburban in the mud on the banks of the Red River, her boss responded with a grin and shrug of his shoulders.

Algebra is a gateway to better math scores on standardized tests, higher math courses, and college attendance. Several studies have now established these benefits. Yet in districts or states that do not require algebra for graduation from high school, many students never study it, including a disproportionate number of poor and minority children. They will be at a disadvantage when the new SAT is administered in March 2005: the math section will cover not only Algebra I and Geometry but some concepts from Algebra II.

Leading 42 districts through major changes calls for unusual abilities

Understanding the educational landscape is what Rudy Castruita does best. Now serving his 10th year at the top of the San Diego County Office of Education, his particular talent suits the gargantuan dimensions that come with his job.

Briefings

Golden StateMaking Strides

California schools appear to be making progress toward federal goals for student proficiency in English and math.

A new report by the state Department of Education shows 55 percent of all schools meet adequate yearly progress targets as outlined in the No Child Left Behind Act, compared to 32 percent last year.

Results based on California's 2003 Standardized Testing and Reporting program reveal significant increases, mostly in lower grades, in the percentages of students meeting or exceeding proficiency levels.