You are here

From DA

Usually, when the case is made that other countries are somehow doing a better job than the US in education, the argument is based on test scores, but it is unclear what exactly is being evaluated when we compare these scores.

When Deer Creek School District in Edmond, Oklahoma, was asked to participate in a pilot program for Marzano High Reliability Schools, there was an immediate buy-in from Grove Valley Elementary School principal Kelly McCoy.

“We were very excited to see what it could do and if it could make an impact at our school,” McCoy says.

Deer Creek assistant superintendent Diana Jones saw the Marzano HRS model as a way to support student achievement and teacher growth.

Indicative of a rich curriculum, deeper learning occurs when a district successfully empowers students to synthesize and creatively apply knowledge through critical thinking, problem solving and collaboration. While essential to preparing today’s students for colleges and careers, building a culture of deeper learning can be challenging to accomplish at a district level.

In just the last few months, several districts and states have eliminated tests and cut assessment time to make room for instruction and reduce stress.

Superintendents who want to reduce testing time should perform an assessment audit, says Bob Schaeffer, public education director at the National Center for Fair & Open Testing.


Link to main article: States begin shedding standardized tests in K12

Joseph V. Erardi Jr. served as superintendent of Newtown Public Schools in Connecticut from 2014 until his retirement in August. During his tenure, the district implemented NaviGate Prepared as a component of a broad safety and security initiative undertaken in the aftermath of the 2012 tragedy there.

Talk about preparation versus prevention when it comes to a school district’s safety plan. 

When Nita Cochran was district math coordinator for Norman Public Schools in Oklahoma, she was looking to help the district’s elementary school students improve their mathematical foundation. There are nearly 16,000 students in NPS, which is located in Oklahoma’s third-largest city and is also home to the University of Oklahoma. 

Cochran, who is currently math curriculum coordinator for Mustang Public Schools in Oklahoma, launched a pilot program in 2003 with Everyday Mathematics from McGraw-Hill at two of the district’s elementary schools. 

GUIDING LIGHT—Principal Marc Martin greets students at Commodore John Rodgers School, a K8 building in Baltimore. Educators at the school, which has achieved a dramatic turnaround in performance, are now mentoring their counterparts at three of the city’s most troubled schools.

Three chronically underperforming Baltimore City Public Schools are now getting intensive, hands-on guidance from educators at a fourth district school that has achieved a dramatic turnaround.

The new state-of-the-art Asheville Middle School accommodates nearly 800 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders, with room to grow.

An innovative arts program in Connecticut allows students to study art alongside visiting Chinese students and collaborate in ways that allow a deeper appreciation for art from both cultures.

Improving student behavior and reducing discipline referrals is important to Andrew Place, the principal of Riverview Elementary School in Wausau, Wisconsin. Place estimates that for every student behavioral incident and discipline referral he investigates, 15 minutes of instructional time is lost.

Passing the University of Cambridge's Cambridge Primary curriculum culminates with an Advanced International Certificate of Education, recognized by colleges and universities around the world. (Gettyimages.com: chrisdorney).

Florida’s Collier County school district will use the Cambridge Primary curriculum, which was developed by the University of Cambridge, in every one of its 29 elementary schools.

Nearly 315 religions and denominations exist in the U.S. alone. (Gettyimages.com: peterhermesfurian).

The National Council for the Social Studies this past June released new guidelines for teaching religion in schools.

Mold may raise images of sick students and rotting buildings, but in reality, it’s an easy—and most times inexpensive—problem to solve if dealt with quickly and effectively.

Managing leadership transitions is an organizational process with many moving parts, such as mentoring new leaders and engaging new employees throughout recruitment and onboarding.

Pages