You are here

From DA

Monte Vista Elementary students are running in class. And jumping. And stretching. Teachers not only look on, but encourage the behavior. The 3-6 grade teachers are guiding students through targeted exercises and games as part of the Early Sport program, a research-driven fitness program that exemplifies 'new PE.'

After a demonstration of Furl at a professional conference, Jim Wenzloff was so taken with the powerful new online tool, he wrote a Guide to Furl for his district Web site. "Furl allows you to save anything you view on the Web and share it with teachers or students," said the interactive media consultant for Michigan's Macomb Intermediate School District. "And you can use it for so many educational purposes." Indeed, Furl is a hot topic on school-related blogs such as Wenzloff's Visit My Class, yet most educators are not familiar with the term.

Call it state pride. But when the fight between Connecticut (where District Administration is based) and the federal Department of Education started, at least one argument got my attention.

Problem: It sounds like a Nancy Drew novel: The Case of the Missing Books. Except, for the Lee County School District in Fort Myers, Fla., the problem was all too real. During a standard review of costs by the governor's task force, a process that analyzes possible cost savings and procedure improvements in Florida's schools, a startling discovery was made about textbook losses. The task force estimated that from 1997 to 2002, the school system had lost 62,272 books, representing approximately $2 million.

While reports of rising childhood obesity rates have prompted schools to examine what gets served in the cafeteria and in school vending machines, interest in student health has not yet sparked a revolution in what gets served in the classroom. Health education is not identified as a core subject in the No Child Left Behind act; neither does the legislation call for highly qualified health teachers. Only 16 percent of states require student testing on health education topics.


Adobe Acrobat 7.0 Professional, Software, $449

With talk among educators and politicians revealing little likelihood for comprehensive federal reform of the nation's high schools, state governors are vowing to undertake the job themselves to improve student achievement and graduation rates and prepare graduates for college and the workplace.

Boosting Technology and Communication in Big Apple

Security issues continue to be a top concern in New York City's 1,300-plus schools, highlighted by the recent arrest of a high school principal accused of tussling with a police officer stationed in the building.

The heart-breaking stories are on, Web site of SESAME, Stop Educator Sexual Abuse, Misconduct & Exploitation. Often, the victim is the trusting, innocent teacher's pet and the teacher is well-liked by peers and students alike.

For all of the scientific, technological, Olympic and other golden accomplishments that Americans are used to having as a source of national pride, there's one concept that the nation as a whole has not grasped--the importance of learning a second language.

When continuing assaults from viruses, spam, pop-up ads and adware made Internet use almost intolerable in my teacher-son Karl's K-12 school in Massachusetts, the staff changed Web browsers from Internet Explorer to Firefox and the problems decreased significantly. The changeover was quick and easy, thanks to a setup wizard that walked people through the process, and the new browser imported previous settings including passwords and favorite sites.

"We were able to start using Firefox immediately," he says, "and our annoying pop-up ads dropped to zero."

Put on your dunce caps! It's international education comparison season again. I know. I know... Eritrea is kicking our butt in long division. If we don't get tough quickly, all of our best fast-food jobs will be outsourced overseas.