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DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION LAUNCHED THE FIRST-EVER X-FACTOR Student Achievement Awards last spring, with the exclusive sponsorship of AutoSkill International Inc., a company that creates intervention software solutions to help close the proficiency gap in K12 schools.
Asking questions is one of the most commonly used instructional strategies in K12 classrooms. Researchers have identified effective questioning as a tool for building students' basic and higher-level skills. Here is what is known and what's new about using questions.
In summarizing research on effective schooling, researcher Kathleen Cotton (1999) identified several ways teachers can ask questions to promote learning:
1. Use questions to engage students and monitor their understanding.
2. Structure questions to focus students' attention on key ideas.
Dr. Beverly L. Hall's goal when she became the superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools in 1999 was to transform the struggling K12 school system into one of the nation's leading urban districts. Hall targeted the youngest students first, implementing a standards-based curriculum at the elementary school level. In 2003, 75 percent of fourth-graders met or exceeded the state standard for reading, and 67 percent met or exceeded the state standard for math, up from 47 percent and 43 percent respectively in 2000.
In June, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in the cases Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 and Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education that race may not be used as a criterion for desegregating schools. Experts fear that the decisions will make long-established busing programs, magnet schools, charter schools and other initiatives aimed at increasing student diversity and educational opportunity unconstitutional.