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Articles: Standards

Stacey McNinch-Curschman, the secondary curriculum director for Visalia USD in California, knew that as her district was ramping up its training efforts around Common Core standards for mathematics in 2013, as well as its own district-level curriculum changes, both administrators and teachers would need to be continually learning and improving themselves.

“If we work effectively as adults and we’re continually learning and continually improving, that’s going to net better results for kids,” says McNinch-Curschman, whose district has more than 27,000 students.

Teachers at Calusa Elementary School in Boca Raton, Florida, are committed to making sure students meet rigorous state standards. Nevertheless, Calusa, which serves about 1,200 students in grades K5, was still struggling to monitor state standards. 

Champaign Unit 4 School District in Illinois wanted to give its teachers a very clear pathway to evolve their math instruction to meet rigorous, Common Core state standards. 

District leaders were very happy with earlier results from McGraw-Hill’s Everyday Mathematics and saw Everyday Mathematics 4, its latest iteration, as an enticing solution, especially in teaching the Common Core state standards, according to Susan Zola, assistant superintendent for achievement, curriculum and instruction. 

Journalism classes at Junction City High School in Kansas—100 miles west of Kansas City—use the short-lived social media app Snapchat to learn long-lived lessons of storytelling.

Education Commission of the States: The state of cursive writing education in the U.S.

Is cursive writing doomed to become a long-lost art? Not if some educators have anything to say about it. After decades of remaining a main component of elementary education, cursive is up for debate under the Common Core standards. 

Fifteen outdoor field trip days are built into the academic year at Plumas USD school district.

Plumas USD, a rural district tucked away in the rugged terrain of northeastern California, uses its own backyard for its “Outdoor Core” K12 curriculum.

Serving Students Who Are Homeless is one of the four books on education DA promotes in this month's Noteworthy Books feature.

DA promotes four books about serving homeless students, inspiring disengaged kids, improving communication skills and studying personalized learning in K12.

Jon Saphier says policy-makers could create regulations that positively affect the levers of influence on what teachers do, such as teacher education and teacher certification.

As founder of Research for Better Teaching— an organization dedicated to improving instruction and leadership— Jon Saphier says underperforming students need to believe that “smart is something you can get.”

High school students in the tiny Magazine School District in Arkansas receive three hours of sex education a year in grades 9 through 12—an approach that Superintendent Brett Bunch acknowledges is inadequate. 

A variety of research indicates that an engaged and motivated student is more likely to be a high-achieving student. But what does student engagement look like in a digital environment? To keep all students motivated—especially those who struggle or are disengaged—educators need to ensure that engagement is built into the DNA of the curriculum. In a digital environment, engaged students experience more personalized learning and are more likely to actively participate in their learning.

In the latest round of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) exam, given to more than 500,000 15-year-olds in 72 nations, students in the U.S. once again scored in the middle of the pack—and below average in math—raising concerns and sending educators looking for answers.

On the first Friday of every school year, the new kindergartners of Utah’s Canyons School District look ahead to the future—far ahead. To mark Kindergarten College-Ready Day, the children make construction-paper mortar boards and march in mock graduation ceremonies.

Principal DeMarcos Holland created “Fantastic Fridays" to interact with K12 students on social media.

Principal DeMarcos Holland, of New Manchester High School in the Douglas County School System in Georgia, has replaced traditional class tardy bells with music, including compositions created by students and teachers. The friendlier sounds have lowered the average number of tardies from between 50 and 60 per day to less than 10.

District plan to try new assessment techniques in 2017.

District leaders in 2017 will focus heavily on adopting new assessment strategies and instructional technology when it comes to classroom instruction, according to a DA survey of K12 leaders.

Leticia Guzman Ingram, named 2016 Colorado State Teacher of the Year, reveals that education in Finland focuses more on critical thinking, and students aren't as quick to get answers from Google.

Leticia Guzman Ingram, teacher at Basalt High School in Colorado and named 2016 Colorado State Teacher of the Year, shares her point of view of the education system in Finland.

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