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From the Editor

How Different Do Your Schools Look This Year from Last Year?

What changes have you accomplished that will make this school year different from last? In an era of having to doing more with less, what progress have you made?

Forty-eight states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Common Core State Standards. Will there be more of an emphasis on critical-thinking skills and deeper understanding of concepts in your schools?

Thirty-two states and the District of Columbia have been granted waivers from important parts of the No Child Left Behind law. With this freedom from a focus on math and reading testing, and greater control over student achievement, will you be focusing more on science, civics, music and art?

Billions of federal dollars have gone out to schools in the form of competitive grants, at a time when states have far less money to support education. Tied to these dollars are teacher evaluations and the expansion of publicly funded charter schools. Have you moved forward even if your personal views go against these mandates?

A recent study found that one in three young adults with autism had no postsecondary education or employment in the years after graduating from high school. Is your special education staff well versed in transition planning?

Experts and top district leaders say that tying curriculum to technology will unlock a greater return on investment. But without a specific plan in place, even the greatest, latest tools won’t buy you success.  Are you getting the best ROI on your technology purchases?

Last but not least, has safety gone the way of arts, music and civics? Have you and your staff devoted time to review, revise and articulate crisis-response plans?

You can find solutions to many of these issues in what I am calling our “print is not dead” issue—all 100 pages. Of course, all the content in the issue, plus much more, is available at