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Articles: Testing

Deborah C. Hoard is the producer and director of Re:Thinking, a new documentary that inspires educators, politicians and the public to reimagine schools.

What if we taught kids how to think, not what to think? That question is the focus of Re:Thinking, a new documentary that inspires educators, politicians and the public to reimagine schools.

I recently heard a friend ask his student a question that captures how parents and teachers should discuss future aspirations. The question was not “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Instead, he asked the boy, “What problems do you want to solve when you grow up?”

Bill Santarsiero is principal of Morris Street Elementary School in Danbury, Connecticut.

Under principal Bill Santarsiero’s leadership, Morris Street Elementary School became one of 30 schools nationwide to earn a National Blue Ribbon from the U.S. Department of Education for closing the achievement gap.

Tracy Epp is the executive vice president and chief operating officer at the National Math and Science Initiative.

Despite billions of federal and local dollars spent every year on PD, far too many teachers say the experience does little to help them support their students.

Educators know that most dyslexic students will need interventions and accommodations throughout school, but best practices continue to evolve as more is learned about this reading disability.

Many states have enacted laws and guidelines spelling out how schools can help students with dyslexia.

Such laws vary by state.

According to understood.org, a website on learning and attention issues founded by 15 nonprofit organizations, they generally address issues such as:


Link to main story: How schools are disrupting dyslexia

Mold growth at California’s Klamath-Trinity Joint USD three years ago was an asset in disguise.

Building a school’s music instruction around more recent artists and hits offers an alternative to a curriculum that’s often based on classical, jazz and marching bands.

ROBOTS MAKE STEM FUN—A St. Vrain Valley high school student takes part in the rigorous STEM program that helps him attain future options, including more relevant job skills once he graduates college, or even high school.

At least five states, including Ohio, Nevada, New York and Texas, offer special endorsements for high school graduates who demonstrate strong achievement in STEM.

In New York, an aggressive opt-out movement—wherein about 60 percent of third- through eighth-graders skipped high-stakes tests—has forced many districts to rethink their assessment methods.

Teachers across the country are creating their own more sophisticated formative assessments and using adaptive learning software to generate real-time information on how each of their students are performing.

In just the last few months, several districts and states have eliminated tests and cut assessment time to make room for instruction and reduce stress.

Superintendents who want to reduce testing time should perform an assessment audit, says Bob Schaeffer, public education director at the National Center for Fair & Open Testing.


Link to main article: States begin shedding standardized tests in K12

Passing the University of Cambridge's Cambridge Primary curriculum culminates with an Advanced International Certificate of Education, recognized by colleges and universities around the world. (Gettyimages.com: chrisdorney).

Florida’s Collier County school district will use the Cambridge Primary curriculum, which was developed by the University of Cambridge, in every one of its 29 elementary schools.

24/7/365?—Some students at Palm Springs USD, above, can take advantage of programs that run before and after school, Saturdays and during the winter and summer breaks to develop a better grasp of the English language and to learn even more about art, dance and science.

Palm Springs USD helps English language learners find success with an extended instructional program that allows students to practice their English skills before or after school, on Saturdays and during breaks.

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