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Articles: Professional Development

A growing number of districts now award digital badges to students who demonstrate creativity and critical thinking, and even for noteworthy experiences in after-school programs.

Many states lack well-defined computer science standards; others don’t count computer science courses toward core graduation requirements. And in many districts, computer science courses aren’t reaching enough students.

Academic performance levels at Windsor Locks Middle School.

Five years ago, Windsor Locks Public Schools in northern Connecticut was designated an Alliance District, meaning it was one of the 30 lowest-performing academic districts in the state and needed help.

Jean Fleming brings over 25 years of experience in education to her role at the Northwest Evaluation Association, where she specializes in PD practices and instructional supports.

Building teacher capacity is the best way to make sure students grow. The research on this is unequivocal: No single school-based factor impacts student achievement more than the teacher.

In Districts of Distinction, honored districts from 23 states were chosen for the national recognition program for their innovative and unique twist on traditional programs.

From providing a range of innovative initiatives, including social-emotional learning programs to giving English language learners quality support, 54 school districts have been named among DA’s newest batch of Districts of Distinction this year.

Chicago is the first large urban district in the country to implement Learn.Plan.Succeed. (Gettyimages.com: miteemaus5).

Chicago Public Schools will require a new first-of-its-kind program to ensure all students leave high school with a post-graduation plan.

Marianna King is a sociologist and is the author of the forthcoming book, "School Violence – Crisis and Opportunity.” Her email address is marianna.king@csupueblo.edu.

The great majority of school violence prevention programs do not work. This is demonstrated by bullying continuing at unprecedented rates.

David Krulwich is a principal of the Urban Assembly School for Applied Math and Science, a college preparatory school serving grades 6 through 12 in the Bronx.

David Krulwich, principal of the Urban Assembly School for Applied Math and Science, says new teachers are too often left to fend for themselves, without the benefit of an artisan-apprentice relationship.

Districts faced with hard-to-fill vacancies—in math, science and bilingual education, among other subjects—look for candidates abroad, often with help from recruiting agencies

Peter LaMoreaux is a digital learning strategist who guides teachers in optimizing student learning. He is the instructional technology specialist at Brewster Central School District.

The implementation of digital learning tools is an effective means of maximizing student learning. Operations in this environment also better prepare students for their future endeavors in academia, employment and life. 

Since Houston ISD started using Online Assessment Planning Tool in 2015, web-based assessments there rose from 3 percent to an estimated high of 50 percent by late May 2017. (GettyImages.com).

Making the transformation from traditional to online assessments can cause confusion for many districts, even when it comes to basic definitions.

John Marschhausen is superintendent of the Hilliard City School District in Columbus, Ohio.

Attending a Disney Institute is eye-opening because the lessons are applicable to what we must be doing in our schools.

School system leaders need guidance to advance and achieve technology goals.

Chris Wolk is the principal at Avon Center School in Round Lake Beach, Illinois. He is a regional director for the Illinois Principal Association and a certified principal mentor with the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

Principal preparation programs continue to place more demands on candidates, in some cases requiring a yearlong internship. 

Look for role models. Districts should find preschools that are already teaching STEM, consider what elements make it a strong program, and think about ways they could modify instruction for their own classrooms, says Phil Hampton, network director of VC STEM, an alliance of organizations working to enhance STEM instruction for students of all ages.

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