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The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a collaborative effort between the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governors Association (NGA) that is developing core K12 standards in English-language arts and math. The current patchwork of state standards makes it difficult, if not impossible, to evaluate student performance across states and countries. Dissatisfaction with this situation is a major factor driving the effort to develop common, internationally benchmarked standards.

For retired teacher Georgette Charlton, heading back to school wasn’t a difficult decision: “A person never really leaves education if you’re a true educator. It’s always there.” Across the nation, schools increasingly are tapping into a vast resource pool—retired educators.


WindStreet Energy

Green Card Series, Fund-raising program

Books & Materials, $25-$29 for each card

An increasing number of K12 districts are beginning to install digital signs—for displaying announcements, weather conditions, welcome messages, event information and more—in their lobbies, hallways, libraries or cafeterias. Digital signage can also play an important role as part of an emergency notification system, as administrators can immediately display crisis response information on every connected monitor throughout a school building or district.

Serving over 19,000 students in 30 schools, the Beaufort County School District is located in one of South Carolina’s fastest-growing counties.



Since it opened in 2006, the Chicago Virtual charter School has become an educational lifeline for students who were not thriving in traditional schools.

CK-12 Foundation ( has created a tool for producing and distributing textbooks online and is at the forefront of an "open source" movement to issue K12 textbooks for free. Currently this nonprofit organization has more than a dozen titles, including six available through California's new Digital Textbook Initiative.

Harrisburg School District Superintendent Gerald Kohn believes technology can help his students compete in the world.

With more than 9,000 employees and 63,000 students, the Mobile County, Alabama, public school district has extensive needs for communications, both internally and externally. Increasingly, administrators in the district turn to video as the best medium for sharing information among teachers, students and parents.

Sometimes credit recovery programs, like the students they are designed to help, need help themselves. That’s the case in the New York City schools where, according to The New York Times, students in some schools have eased through programs apparently without making any academic progress.

Welcome to our “Ninth Annual Salary Survey,” always one of our readers’ most popular features. Along with graphs illustrating the 2008-2009 salary numbers for various administrative positions, in “Administrator Roles Shift with the Times” we feature new, specialized positions that are indicators of key changes going on within districts. As the DA editors know well from speaking with readers on a regular basis, a title in one school district can mean something completely different in another district.


Eating Up School Lunch

I loved the recent article about districts serving healthier and more environmentally friendly meals (“The New School Lunch,” June/July 2009). As a rural school district in Colorado, Garfield Re-2 is leading the way in our state, with many similar initiatives. In fact, Andrea Martin, a New York-based chef, will be in our schools this year working with our kitchen managers and kitchen staff, training them on safety and nutrition, and working on new recipes. We will also have salad bars in all of our schools for the first time this year.