You are here

Articles: Business & Finance

EDUCATION—J. Francis Manning is district superintendent and CEO of Onondaga Cortland Madison Board of Cooperative Educational Services in Syracuse, New York.

In 2013, the Onondaga Cortland Madison Board of Cooperative Educational Services (OCM BOCES) brought hands-on learning to the next level by embedding some of its state-endorsed career and technical education (CTE) programs at local businesses.

"You can’t be afraid of what you don’t know or we’re never going to move forward in education, particularly when it comes to student voice." — Russell Quaglia

If you want to know what motivates students—and teachers and administrators, for that matter—Russell Quaglia says you have to go to the source.

School superintendency is a family business for the Prusators. Todd Prusator leads Community Consolidated School District 231 in a small community 70 miles west of Chicago. His two brothers, Bob and Jeff, also are Illinois superintendents, all within about 30 miles of each other in the northwest corner of the state. 

SEAT BELTS MAKE THEM SIT—New Hanover County Schools in North Carolina is adding seat belts to some buses as part of a state study. Ken Nance, transportation director, says just having students staying put in their seats reduces distractions to bus drivers, two of whom are pictured above.

More districts are adding seat belts to their bus fleets, following the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s 2015 recommendation that “every child on every school bus” needs a seat belt. 

Interest in virtual reality is becoming an increasing reality in public schools as ed-tech companies offer more cost-effective devices.

As we face a new year with a new president, Newsletter Editor Ariana Fine looked back on 2016 to consider the biggest and most influential stories in K12 education. 

Larry Plank is director of K-12 STEM education in Hillsborough County Public Schools (Fla.). Tomeka F. Thompson is the MSP program coordinator in Polk County Public Schools (Fla.).

High-quality instruction in science, math, engineering and technology requires both teaching expertise and content knowledge. Yet, at the elementary school level, many teachers haven’t had specialized education or training in science.

BoardPaq eases management of board of  education agendas and minutes at Ohio district

Prior to summer 2015, the process of putting board meeting agendas in the hands of the board members of Mohawk Local Schools in Sycamore, Ohio, was entirely manual. Administrative Secretary Jackie Messersmith would type up agendas and file them in large binders, which also held agendas and minutes from previous meetings. The binders were then hand-delivered to each board member.

Todd Whitlock, CEO  Standard For Success

It’s no secret teachers are jumping ship in record numbers, and the dwindling numbers of incoming grads don’t even come close to patching the gap as the demand for teachers rises. The Learning Policy Institute reported in 2016 that enrollment in teaching programs is down 35 percent nationwide (and has been for years), and the annual shortfall could grow to 112,000 teachers by 2018 if current trends persist.

Joni Carswell,  President & CEO,  LivingTree

Decades of research shows that family engagement is the number one driver of student success. Engaged families result in lower truancy rates, higher test scores, and higher graduation rates.

A study of teacher attendance in 40 of the nation’s largest districts found 16 percent of teachers were responsible for more than one third of all absences (Gettyimages.com: Mhj)

It’s no surprise that students suffer when their teacher is absent. Substitutes often lack familiarity with the curriculum and class dynamics. What is surprising to learn is how often it happens.

In Monroe County School District in Mississippi, the superintendent is elected. But the board, above, has a working document in place, which means whoever is elected immediately becomes familiar with the district’s past work and future direction—and is ready to lead.

In many school districts today, hiring practices for administrative leaders often consist of “replacement filling”—or, waiting for a position to open up before searching for candidates. But a successful succession often requires more proactive planning.

Here are Hanover Research’s suggestions for a succession model, from the District Management Council’s model.

James Sullivan is a director in the dispute advisory practice at Sikich LLP, and is the former inspector general for the Chicago Board of Education.

Even as school districts try to allocate more resources for the classroom, state and local financial struggles limit available funds and increase the pressure on districts to get more done with less. Still, at a time when financial responsibility should be paramount, misconduct remains far too common.

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.

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.

Pages