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Mediate, Not Litigate

Trying mediation before litigation to resolve a dispute is a popular, cost-saving concept among administrators and other leaders. They have discovered the benefits of effective mediation outweigh the adversarial effects of litigation.

WEB DESIGN Like The Pros

MACROMEDIA Software, $199/single user, $2,000- $3,000/site license

By now, everyone knows about the new education bill and its testing requirements. Or do you?

Superintendents share the secrets to solving three key pre-K program pitfalls: working with private providers, funding and a shortage of classroom space

Chicago loves its basketball, but that's not why former pro player Arne Duncan got his job.

Nor is the reason his age. Thirty-seven is old for an athlete, but when it comes to running the third-largest school system in the country, it seems young.

Sustaining Excellence

In a technology-equipped, Internet-connected science lab at Elk Grove High School in Illinois, the amoeba squirming beneath the lens of a student microscope is projected onto a screen for the entire class to observe.

Meanwhile, in the distance learning room, a human physiology class teleconferences with a heart surgeon from an area hospital, while other students chat with peers from far-away places like Australia, Japan and Bulgaria.


The progress in this Hamilton City, Ohio, district led to kudos from President Bush

When Janet Baker was growing up in Hamilton, Ohio, her mother told her the president had sent her a letter stating he wanted little Janet to work hard and do her homework because he might need her help in Washington, D.C., someday. Well, it took about 45 years, but her mother's white lie has come true.

Do you remember what it was like to be a teacher reporting back to work? First, you received the principal's "dreaded letter" in late July, indicating fall was near and that great plans were in place for another exciting school year. After recovering from the shock, you resurrected the old lesson plan book and started thinking about the new year.

For a new teacher, starting a school year is a strange mix of excitement, anticipation, and-to be perfectly honest-even panic and terror. In my first year, I was told I would be given some of the most difficult students in the school to "try a fresh approach where other teachers had failed." I spent the weekend wondering if I could really fulfill those expectations. How well I remember the anxiety of the days before meeting my first classes, when I imagined the worst and believed that accepting that job might have been a dreadful mistake.

We ran a dramatic cover in June with the words "We're Broke" over the captions of three school district administrators and the amount of shortfalls from their upcoming budgets.