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 Many changes under ESSA will help underserved students better prepare for post-secondary opportunities.

New series of toolkits designed to help administrators meet next-generation high school standards explains many of the ESSA law’s main components—particularly those that relate to educational funding.

The number of children enrolled in schools has risen by about 1.1 million since the recession. (Click to enlarge)

Schools still feel the effects of post-recession budget cuts eight years after the economic crisis reached its zenith. A study by the Center on Budget and Policy Studies showed that 25 states in 2014 were spending less per student than before the recession.

José Vilson’s book, "This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and the Future of Education," examines education reform through personal stories and hard research.

Math teacher José Vilson wants to reclaim the teaching profession from the education theorists and reformers who dictate standards and curriculum, and put it back in the hands of the people who actually work with kids and get results.

 One child in five has had or will have a “seriously debilitating mental disorder,” according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Educators in Virginia’s Fairfax County Public Schools intend to remove the obstacles that prevent students who have severe social anxiety from attending school, a phenomenon known as “school refusal behavior.”

An $84 million renovation that includes a pedestrian walkway and greater security at Fayetteville High School in Arkansas was the only public school to receive prestigious architecture this year.

WHO KNOWS THE ANSWER?—A teacher at Immaculata-La Salle High School in Miami reviews an analysis report with her students to discover concepts they are struggling with to better inform instruction for the rest of the class.

Two decades ago, most student response systems were simple clickers that could only record and display answers to multiple-choice or yes-no questions. But now, many systems let students enter free-form responses to questions. Teachers can see those responses as they are entered, and can provide immediate feedback.

Serious shortages in math, science and special education teachers have been reported in more than 40 states, and more than 30 states are seeing serious shortages for ELL teachers. The biggest shortages are in schools that serve low-income and minority students.

As teaching has evolved with the increase of educational technology, so has the classroom space itself. Many schools are creating more comfortable, coffee shop-like collaborative environments with a new breed of desks, chairs and work tables.

There is an increased demand nationally for dual-language programs in Portuguese, German, French and Mandarin. ( nito100)

Foreign language instruction is moving toward a proficiency-based approach. Today’s students need to develop interpretive, presentational and interpersonal skills, moving beyond conjugating verbs and memorizing vocabulary.

Teacher Ron Hustvedt is selling a smart product.

In his classroom at the Salk STEM Magnet School in Elk River School District in Minnesota, Hustvedt encourages his history students to buy into his brand of inquiry-based learning.

This year’s National Council of the Social Studies Outstanding Teacher of the Year at the middle school level says his students are learning about people, places, viewpoints and character, among other lessons.

Inquiry-based instruction allows teachers to translate the C3 framework for social studies standards into hands-on classroom lessons ( Henrik Jonsson)

Technology is quickly becoming a popular tool in social studies classrooms as teachers find ways to make history come alive for their students, who simultaneously learn about content and improve their technology skills.

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Exciting students about learning is the No. 1 reason schools are experimenting with virtual reality.

It's a rapidly advancing technology the most district expect to use in the near future. 

Other benefits educators have cited?

It reduces the costs of field trips and encourages creativity. 

See the infographic at right—and this related story—for more details.  

Tim Long is superintendent of Jay County Schools in Indiana.

The Jay County Promise program encourages our district’s young people to continue their education beyond high school by providing a 529 college savings plan to each K3 student. Since launching the program, about 70 percent of our kids now start school with their own college savings account.

While robotics is two to three years away from mainstream adoption in K12 education, potential uses are gaining traction for hands-on learning. Many classes and clubs incorporate robotics and programs to help develop critical-thinking and problem-solving skills in students.

Young adults in Fulton County, Georgia, who have learning and developmental disabilities such as cerebral palsy and autism, continue to gain career support from their school district even after they’ve completed high school.

The Learning Independence for Employment (LIFE) program connects students age 18 to 22 with jobs at Atlanta-area employers, such as Georgia State University, Verizon Wireless, Kimberly-Clark Corporation and The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.