Today’s deeper learning proponents urge schools to master rigorous academic content; think critically and solve problems; work collaboratively; communicate effectively; direct one’s own learning; and develop an academic mindset.
The challenge of finding curriculum materials in languages other than English is especially complex for districts embracing a growing trend: dual-language immersion programs, in which native English speakers join English language learners in studying academic subjects in two languages.
With the U.S. Department of Education doling out billions of dollars to promote diversity and to support low-income schools in 2017, administrators across the country are also working to better serve students of all backgrounds, abilities and interests.
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.
The redesigned SAT seeks to expand opportunities for all students to go to college—but its focus on reading comprehension may make the exam more difficult for English-language learners and low-income students.
Districts facing rising English language learner populations and teacher shortages have turned to Puerto Rico for quality bilingual teachers who don’t need a visa to work on the U.S. mainland. Dallas ISD, for example, hired 350 teachers from Puerto Rico for 2015-16.
Despite fewer unaccompanied minors arriving from Central America, many U.S. K12 schools still struggle to adapt to the challenges of educating this diverse set of immigrant students.
During the 2014 fiscal year, the Department of Homeland Security reported that 57,496 unaccompanied minors arrived in the United States. In the first eight months of fiscal year 2015, the number dropped to fewer than 18,000.
Des Moines Public Schools Superintendent Thomas Ahart strives to bring equity, pride and higher achievement to a once-struggling district that is far more diverse than the rest of Iowa. A garden of multicolored poles students have installed outside one low-income school taunt would-be vandals and represents Ahart's belief in the transformative power of education.