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Articles: Equity

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.

KANSAS CITY, Kansas—Superintendent Cynthia Lane learned the cello a few years ago, but not to fulfill some lifelong dream of soloing with the local symphony. The leader of Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools now performs alongside fourth- and fifth-graders in their annual spring strings concert.

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.

The growing and dangerous perception among some that America is a post-racial society is fueling the transition back to separate but equal schools.

A federal judge ruled last spring that the predominantly white city of Gardendale, Alabama, may secede from its more diverse county school district—even though the judge saw racial motivations behind the city’s efforts.

CIOs can play a key role in their district’s efforts to increase parent engagement as part of wider initiatives to advance equity.

Source: State of the States Landscape Report: State-level Policies Supporting Equitable K-12 Computer Science Education.

Syracuse City Schools in New York took a stand in 2015 to protect students from what leaders saw as a prejudice in the college application process.

Vincent Matthews, the new superintendent of San Francisco USD, previously served as state-appointed superintendent of Inglewood USD, as superintendent of San Jose USD and Oakland USD, and as area superintendent for San Diego City Schools.

Vincent Matthews has been named superintendent of San Francisco USD.

MISCALCULATING MR. MIX-UP—Sara Gardner, a preschool instructor at Edward Everett School in Boston Public Schools, has the puppet Mr. Mix-Up purposefully count apples incorrectly so students can explain his mistakes.

When beginning kindergarten, Latino students are three months behind in math literacy when compared to their white peers, says a 2017 study conducted by Child Trends.

Deeper learning doesn’t have to be expensive, says Stephanie Wood-Garnett, vice president of policy to practice at the Alliance for Excellent Education, a national advocacy group for at-risk students.

“Deeper learning is not about buying things, but deeper learning done well could allow us to think more effectively or differently on how to enhance the time we have,” Wood-Garnett says.

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. 

Despite the challenges of making all school learning materials accessible to students, district technology leaders should be as proactive as possible. (GettyImages.com: KOHB)

Districts must provide learning materials that are accessible to all students. The consequences of failing to do so can be significant.

The assessment that prospective principals must take to obtain an administrative license in 18 states may be a barrier to non-whites and urban educators, says a 2017 study.

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.

Across the country, for reasons both political and practical, even districts with substantial numbers of students who don’t yet know English seldom rely on native-language curricular materials.

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