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From DA

It's a never-ending question between school boards and superintendents: Who has authority over what issues and how can both sides coexist peacefully and effectively?

Research shows that students achieve more when schools recognize and respect languages other than "standard written English." So, why have educators been slow in adopting corresponding practices?

Conflict is inevitable. So, when you think about keeping your schools safe, consider communication.

Images of students fleeing deadly shooting sprees in 1998-99 in Colorado and Arkansas set a new tone in classrooms nationwide.

It's an age-old tradition, something that has been around since the beginning of modern man. Some experts say it is the core of any violence prevention or safety technique around.

It's talking.

Take a troubled urban school district with almost two dozen non-performing schools, impoverished students and racial imbalance and what do you get? A recipe for educational disaster?

What is insane? In Niagara Falls, N.Y., residents are used to crazy behavior. Besides the disconcerting monthly suicides, there are the stunts. People have walked tightropes over Niagara Falls, gone over in barrels, big plastic balls, kayaks, even jet skis.

But to Niagara Superintendent of Schools Carmen A. Granto, insane is something else. It is doing the same thing over and over and expecting the results to differ. It is sending home the same report card, quarter after quarter, and expecting parents to get more out of it than they do.

Long, long ago, in some mythical classroom of the lost world, if you wanted to know how well a student was learning, you'd just ask the teacher. Teachers then not only had eyes in the back of their heads, but powerful eyes all around that could read the body language of 30 students at once, zero in on one child's scrawl while evaluating another's doodles, and see which kids added with their fingers and which read with their lips.

The National Science Foundation has arguably done more to improve K-12 science, mathematics and technology education in the United States than any other sponsoring agency. Starting decades ago, the NSF funded the development of large-scale programs that transformed the curriculum from didactic content presentations to laboratory-centered student inquiry. The programs were created through comprehensive research and development processes, were piloted and field tested extensively with diverse student populations, and published commercially for wide-scale implementation.

On the front seat of a New Orleans taxi was a television the cabbie managed to watch while driving. The TV was tuned to an infomercial for a miracle home food dehydrator. The show demonstrated all of the ways in which this amazing technology would revolutionize your life. The host actually made the following claim, "You can save hundreds of dollars per year on jerky alone!" I thought to myself, "How much money would you need to spend on jerky before you could save hundreds of dollars?

I was sitting in my 12th grade physics class, carving my initials into the top of my desk. It wasn't that I believed physics to be irrelevant; to the contrary, though I knew little about physics, I concluded that it had to be important. After all, you had to take lots of other science classes before you earned the right to take physics, and if you were college bound, your guidance counselor was sure to push you to take it.

05/2002

This letter was supposed to update you on the education of my 5-year-old, Ethan. I introduced you to Ethan in November when I chronicled the decision my wife and I made to send him to a Montessori school and delay kindergarten for a year.

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