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From DA

Mathematics & Science

Teachers as Learners And Leaders

The latest science and mathematics education standards call for teachers to be treated as professionals-respected for their expertise, allowed to exercise their judgment and given opportunities for peer collaboration. But are administrators facilitating these goals? One section of a new report funded by the National Science Foundation, the 2000 National Survey of Science and Mathematics Education, examines the realities related to teacher professionalism.

In a few short years, the Frontier School District in Red Rocks, Okla., has more than doubled the percentage of its students pursuing a college education. Not coincidentally, at the same time the rural district has nurtured a commitment to learning and achievement among all of its students.

Gail Anderson Uilkema knew when she took her job as superintendent of the 2,600-student Piedmont (Calif.) School District in 1987 that this job would different from those she held previously.

For one, her son began in kindergarten that same year, giving her a wonderful perspective of how children, and parents, how well the district does its job.

Up until now, the explosive development of integrated multimedia on the Web for K-12 teaching, learning and administrative applications tragically made the Internet even less accessible to disabled students and staff. Barriers for people with hearing, visual and physical disabilities include screen features that cannot be perceived by colorblind users, rapidly changing displays that are difficult for dyslexic individuals to understand, and mouse sevices that may not be usable with certain physical disabilities.

The foreign language steering committee at Chartiers Valley School District in suburban Pittsburgh has a lot to talk about. In fact, to describe a typical monthly meeting agenda as ambitious would be an understatement.

She was a gentle girl-taller than other fifth-graders at Winston Churchill Elementary School in Schaumburg, Ill., and incredibly shy and withdrawn.

Worst of all, Sandra couldn't read a word.

At the official unveiling the kids had snacks and apple juice to celebrate. Toasts were proposed. One student suggested a toast to the artist. Another proposed thanking the school volunteers. Then one boy raised his glass, "To Cesar Chavez!"

HyperStudio and Microsoft PowerPoint 2002

Apink starfish on a bright blue background on a computer screen introduces a special creation from a bunch of third-graders in Tennessee.

"Animals in the Coral Reef" is spelled out colorfully on another screen and written as if a child innocently scribbled it.

This is the beginning of a HyperStudio project that third-graders in Laura Peacock's class in Memphis' Orleans Elementary School created last year.

Aliterate citizen has command of a large and expressive vocabulary. Schools "do vocabulary" presumably in the hopes of creating thoughtful thinkers and articulate communicators.

Vocabulary is developed by immersion in a social culture rich in stories, songs and other people to converse with. Despite the intuitive and scientific evidence of this truth, schools still insist on drilling new words into kids.

Groundwork for the recently approved education bill started simply enough. Educators, business people, parents, and community leaders in Hamilton, Ohio, met last March.

Superintendent Ann Moore didn't think she was doing anything wrong. Her Huntsville (Ala.) City School District needed $9.6 million more per year to maintain a variety of enrichment programs, including one for gifted students. She opted to appeal directly to the taxpayers, the ultimate arbitrators.