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From DA

A recent Department of Education study found that the $1 billion Reading First program did not have statistically significant impacts on student reading comprehension test scores in grades 1-3. Also, an estimated 63 percent of prison inmates can’t read. See a pattern here? Quick, bring in the new e-book readers from Amazon and Sony. Don’t scoff so quickly—there is evidence that e-books are engaging to children.


eBeam Edge

Interactive Whiteboard System

Hardware, $899.95

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 14.2 million computers were in schools across the country in 2005-2006, a ratio of one for every four students and more than 20 times the number in schools in 1984-1985. Along with the tremendous opportunities for student learning afforded by this trend comes the risk of distraction and inappropriate use of computers and the Internet by students. Classroom management software was developed to address these concerns and to help teachers maximize the instructive capabilities of classroom computers.

It was June 1979 when I became a reporter for my hometown newspaper in Alabama. From the time I was a kid following my grandfather around cotton fields and talking politics with the farmers, it was all I had wanted to be.

Disney's Planet Challenge, a project-based environmental competition for students in grades 4-6, is expanding nationwide. Disney started the program in 1994 in partnership with the California Department of Education, and it has been so successful in that state and in Florida that the company has decided to open it to schools from all 50 states. Students in the program come up with a project-anything from recycling electronics to protecting a local habitat-and manage it from start to finish.

Arne Duncan announced at the 2009 Governors Education Symposium in June that $350 million of the Race to the Top fund will go to states to help them offset the costs involved in creating new assessments based on the national standards being developed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

In a letter to Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell in June, Arne Duncan warned that the state may jeopardize its chances of receiving additional stimulus money, particularly through the Race to the Top fund, if it uses its present stimulus funding only to make up for cuts to education in the state budget. Rendell had sought a statement from Duncan on the matter.

Dozens of notification systems are on the market. Here are some of the fully hosted online services designed specifically for K12 education.


Since its 2004 founding, MyeAcademy has provided college-bound students with instruction to improve their scores on the SAT Reasoning test. With more than 80 percent of its students improving their SAT scores by 200 to 450 points, MyeAcademy leaders knew their teaching methods were working. As a next step, they wanted to make their instruction available to more students, across a wider geographical area, and with even more effectiveness.

Giddings, Texas, is a small town located in the middle of a very large and rural state. “We’re pretty much an agricultural, oil and gas type community,” says Michael S. Kuhrt, superintendent of the 1,900-student school district.

Fascinating Health Care Concepts

Crossing the Bay

Anthony Smith has been named the new superintendent of the Oakland Unified School District. He already resides in Oakland, having most recently served as deputy superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District.

Staying Put

Is a longer school day and school year a ticket to higher achievement? Recent reports on 26 schools throughout Massachusetts and 39 schools in Miami-Dade (Fla.) County Public Schools provide widely different answers.