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News Update



Education funding cuts in this tough economy mean current students may once again tell their grandchildren, “When I was your age, I had to walk to school uphill—both ways.”

For example, a budget shortfall in the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District in Texas means that students living inside a two-mile radius of its 81 campuses will walk or carpool to school.

“We’re not cutting fat,” says Kelli Duram, Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District assistant superintendent for communication. “We’re cutting into bone marrow now.”


Healthier Lunches

Chef Ann Cooper and her Food, Family, Farming Foundation have launched the Lunch Box, a new Web site to help schools transition from serving highly processed meals to offering fresher and healthier options.



The New York State Board of Regents has chosen David Steiner, dean of the Hunter College School of Education at the City University of New York and a leader in teacher preparation, as the state’s new education commissioner.

The 21st Century Skills Maps for Science and Geography, which were released in late June, reveal how integrating the skills of problem solving, communicating and critical thinking into science and geography classes supports teaching and prepares students to become effective and productive citizens.

Each year, the Virginia-based Character Education Partnership names about 10 schools and one district as “National Schools of Character.” Of the four districts so honored since 2006, three are from Missouri.

Coincidence? Hardly. Missouri has become a national leader in school-based character education.

The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) has released the results of its 2009 survey measuring current levels of technology adoption in schools against the organization’s “Vision K20” goals of ideal levels attainable in the next three to five years. The survey found measurable progress in 17 of 20 areas over 2008 but an overall increase of just 1 percent, to 62 percent of the SIIA’s Vision K20 benchmark.

Is a longer school day and school year a ticket to higher achievement? Recent reports on 26 schools throughout Massachusetts and 39 schools in Miami-Dade (Fla.) County Public Schools provide widely different answers.


Crossing the Bay

Anthony Smith has been named the new superintendent of the Oakland Unified School District. He already resides in Oakland, having most recently served as deputy superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District.

A page from the 21st Century Skills Map for Science shows student outcomes and examples.