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Although many first- and second-year teachers will put on a brave face for their colleagues and administrators, a glimpse of professional woes can be found by browsing beginning teachers' online message boards.

Madison Metropolitan (Wis.) School District

www.madison.k12.wi.us

Asking questions is one of the most commonly used instructional strategies in K12 classrooms. Researchers have identified effective questioning as a tool for building students' basic and higher-level skills. Here is what is known and what's new about using questions.

In summarizing research on effective schooling, researcher Kathleen Cotton (1999) identified several ways teachers can ask questions to promote learning:

1. Use questions to engage students and monitor their understanding.

2. Structure questions to focus students' attention on key ideas.

This fall, the 45,000 students in the Seattle Public School system will be encouraged to create and publish pictures, videos and other work to their personal Web pages, where they'll even be able to create communities of "friends" online.

Reflecting on "Let 'Em Cheat"

State Standards Are Low and Vary Considerably, New Report Says

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the primary federal entity for collecting, analyzing and reporting education data in the United States and abroad, recently released the findings of a report, "Mapping 2005 State Proficiency Standards onto the NAEP Scales," that speak to the difficulty in comparing No Child Left Behind test score results across states.

With VoIP Technology, Districts Make the Most of Their Phones

Most school districts convert to a Voice Over Internet Protocol system or VoIP-to save costs by routing calls through a data network rather than a phone company's network. But some districts that have already made the conversion don't plan to stop there. Instead, they are looking to add advanced functionalities to make communication even easier.

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