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Jarriza Velasquez, a sixth-grade English/language arts and English as a second language teacher at Alex Sanger Elementary School in Dallas ISD, oversees student work. Velasquez was hired from Puerto Rico as part of the district’s ongoing bilingual teacher recruiting efforts.

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.

Michael B. Horn is a distinguished fellow at the Clayton Christensen Institute and an advisor to Intellus Learning. Julia Freeland Fisher is director of education research at the Clayton Christensen Institute.

Amidst the deluge of interventions—and despite noble intentions—we still lack a coherent, causal understanding of the mechanisms that can solve the achievement gap at scale. Unsurprisingly, efforts to close chronic achievement gaps continue to fall flat.

Teaching students to dream high is one thing. Teaching them how to help others fly safely is something left to ambitious districts.

Joseph Renzulli is the director of the Neag Center For Creativity, Gifted Education, and Talent Development at the University of Connecticut.

Applying the pedagogy of gifted education to all classrooms can lead to total school improvement. That is the aim of my work, an enrichment-infusion process called the “schoolwide enrichment model,” or SEM.

“Curricular infusion” simply means that we do not argue with the reality of today’s standards and test-driven approaches to school improvement. Rather, we examine materials and teaching strategies that can make the prescribed curriculum more interesting and enjoyable.

Cleveland City Schools Director Martin Ringstaff saw a personalized learning opportunity in a school trip to Nicaragua.

An engineering project in a Tennessee high school grew into a mission to build an innovative dome to grow fresh food for a Central American orphanage. The adventure inspired Cleveland City Schools Director Martin Ringstaff to spread a personalized, project-based learning approach to more of his students.

"The Importance of Being Little" offers a new vision for preschool and kindergarten instruction.

The Importance of Being Little: What Preschoolers Really Need from Grownups


Children come into the world hardwired to learn in virtually any setting and about any matter. Yet in today’s preschool and kindergarten classrooms, learning has been reduced to scripted lessons and suspect metrics that too often undervalue a child’s intelligence while overtaxing the child’s growing brain.

Forensic psychologist J. Reid Meloy says administrators can take several steps to prevent school shootings.

Since the 1999 Columbine High School massacre, there have been an estimated 262 other school and college shooting incidents. Tragic as they are, each incident reveals another piece to the puzzle of why such events occur and how to prevent them, says forensic psychologist J. Reid Meloy.

How to be a good digital citizen (Click to enlarge)

The rapid spread of 1-to-1, BYOD and online lessons in K12 districts has brought the concept of digital citizenship—the norms of appropriate, responsible technology use—to the forefront for school administrators.

School superintendents and principals should promote, model and establish policies for safe, legal and ethical use of digital technology, as well as responsible social interactions, according to the ISTE Standards for Administrators, released last May.

A first-of-its-kind Connecticut law allows parents to include their child’s paraprofessional in school planning and placement team meetings that create individualized educational programs.

There’s a new purchasing system in town, and it’s saving time, money and stress for folks at the Grinnell-Newburg Community School District in Iowa.

Malika Anderson's takes over Tennessee's Achievement School District, a state-run, turnaround district.

Malika Anderson became superintendent of the Achievement School District in Tennessee this month. She had been the district’s No. 2 official.

The state-run, turnaround district was created in 2010 with a Race to the Top grant. It takes the bottom-performing 5 percent of schools in the state and assigns them to charter operators to help move them to the top 25 percent.

With so much emphasis being placed on testing and accountability, many educators may be missing the single greatest opportunity to drive student outcomes—teacher-created formative assessment with timely, targeted interventions. But can truly personalized learning become a reality when faced with limited classroom time? In this web seminar originally broadcast on October 21, 2015, an administrator from Minnesota’s Edina Public Schools outlined how the district is leveraging powerful assessment solutions to help educators focus their time on what matters most—fueling student growth.

Many of the threats to school districts are events that can happen every day. Bullying, theft, vandalism, harassment and even liability can pose significant challenges for school administrators who want to help keep students and staff members safe. Technology can play a major role in addressing these threats and making campuses safer, but it is important to consider that the effectiveness of virtually any safety technology is reliant upon human factors.

More and more high school graduates are choosing to study STEM-related fields after graduating, thanks to the wealth of career opportunities that require those skills. As such, it’s vital for educators to understand how to integrate STEM into the classroom. But while most teachers are aware of the importance of STEM, strategically integrating it into lesson planning, especially in less-obvious courses, can leave them scratching their heads.

John M. Nelson III served as the Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Services at Chula Vista Elementary School District

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John M. Nelson III served as the Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Services at Chula Vista Elementary School District, located halfway between San Diego and Mexico in San Diego County. In 2010, when the Common Core State Standards were adopted by California, he knew the 30,000-student district needed to help students get comfortable reading and writing about nonfiction texts and using technology for assessments