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DA Daily

Primed to teach

Hiring and retaining talented teachers can be a challenge in any district. But finding recent teaching college graduates who are ready to excel in the classroom their very first year can be even more difficult.

Common Core testing takeaways

Given the lack of concrete data, savvy administrators are analyzing their districts’ experiences with the assessments to improve the testing process and communications next year.

Teacher shortage at ‘crisis’ levels

Many classrooms will remain without a permanent teacher this fall, as the teacher shortage becomes more severe in some states. Major enrollment drops in teacher prep programs signal worsening conditions in the coming years.

A substitute’s saga

When Elizabeth Rose’s teaching job was cut, she was presented with two options: leave the profession or substitute in a different Manhattan public high school each week. Rather than give in, Rose—who’s also a musician, writer and actor—took on the substitute challenge. It was “a temptation no storyteller could resist,” she says.

Play patrol: School sports get smarter

Many districts are getting better at dealing with injuries, but there’s still room for improvement: While 70 percent of public high schools have access to an athletic trainer in some capacity—double the amount reported in 1994—only 37 percent of public high schools have a full-time athletic trainer.

Portrait of a Leader: Striving for urban school equity

Des Moines Public Schools Superintendent Thomas Ahart strives to bring equity, pride and higher achievement to a once-struggling district that is far more diverse than the rest of Iowa. A garden of multicolored poles students have installed outside one low-income school taunt would-be vandals and represents Ahart's belief in the transformative power of education.