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Articles: Assessment

“Growth mindset” is the increasingly popular learning approach in which K12 leaders affirm their students’—and their staff members’—lifelong capacity to boost intelligence.

Just a few years ago, Title I students in Hoover City Schools were making such modest gains that they stayed in the program year after year.

That all changed once the central Alabama district implemented Istation, an e-learning program that identifies learning gaps and provides engaging interactive lessons and face-to-face teaching strategies to get students back on track.

Implemented in Hoover City in the fall of 2015, it is used in Response to Intervention (RTI) for students in grades 1 through 5 in the district’s four Title I schools.

Without the right intervention tools, it is nearly impossible to turn a struggling reader into a successful reader. But with the right program, combined with effective teaching strategies, extensive gains for struggling readers in comprehension, fluency, and spelling are attainable in any district.

The population of ELL students continues to grow, and achievement gaps between ELL students and other student populations persist in many districts. There are a variety of best practices administrators can employ to address these achievement gaps and meet the needs of ELL students.

Talk about solutions that help educators understand the whole student.

When Wicomico County Public Schools implemented common core state standards six years ago, complaints from parents rolled in regarding challenging homework assignments. 

“Parents did not understand so they couldn’t help their children,” explains Julie Dill, elementary math supervisor for the 15,000-student district on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Then came Everyday Mathematics 4, a comprehensive math program that enables parents to access lessons and watch videos at home to break down the common core language barrier.

Donald Fennoy now leads the School District of Palm Beach County in Florida, the 10th largest district in the U.S.

Donald Fennoy now leads the School District of Palm Beach County in Florida, the 10th largest district in the U.S.

Coaching has surfaced as a key quality improvement strategy for early childhood instruction, according to a recent report by Bellwether Education Partners.

GET YOUR MOTOR RUNNIN’—A typical class at  Tahoma High involves students working on separate machines, including a tire balancer. Instructor Luke Thompson also provides writing assignments. Documenting work, he says, is an industry standard for tasks such as repair orders.

Schools have started fine-tuning their automotive tech programs to make them ideal vehicles for STEM instruction.

Here’s how schools and districts overcome six potential pitfalls after adopting self-paced learning.

Sam Frenzel is a writer for Teach.com based in upstate New York. He covers topics including education policy, teacher welfare and classroom technology.

Many teachers are forced into using technology they are unfamiliar or uncomfortable using. Administrators should do all they can to help teachers overcome this. Here are four keys to supporting and engaging teachers.

the best medicine—A “laughter yoga” session reduces student stress in the West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District in New Jersey. The district has also provided PD to show teachers how to conduct meditation and breathing exercises to ease their own and students’ anxiety.

Across the country, districts are grappling with rising levels of student anxiety attributed to everything from academic pressures to larger social forces. 

Daniel Koretz, one of the nation’s foremost experts on education testing, is the Henry Lee Shattuck professor of education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and author of "The Testing Charade: Pretending to Make Schools Better."

In The Testing Charade: Pretending to Make Schools Better, Daniel Koretz says the pressure to raise achievement test scores often leads to outright cheating.

Source: “States Leading for Equity: Promising Practices Advancing the Equity Commitments,” 2018;  The Council of Chief State School Officers, America’s Promise Alliance  and The Aspen Institute; DAmag.me/ccsso

In 2016, state education leaders, advocates and civil rights leaders gathered together to develop actions to support education equity. A year later, 10 general equity-boosting practices have emerged from across the U.S. 

Most state standards fail to include meaningful requirements for learning about slavery. (GerryImages.com)

Schools fail to adequately teach the history of American slavery, partly because teachers lack the preparation to cover it, according to a recent study from the Southern Poverty Law Center.

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