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You'd be hard pressed to find a school district that leaves improving test scores, budgeting for new technology or developing the curriculum to chance. But too many schools do exactly that with parental and community involvement, arguably as important to student success as any of those above activities. It takes work, though, to get past the once-a-year bake sale and some fundraising calls to local businesses.
Any which way you slice it, the graduation rate among American high school students is just not cutting it, even given the latest report that claims higher rates than what had been reported.
Two separate reports recently released give varied graduation figures: One claims only half of minority students ever make it out of school with a diploma, which has been reported before, while another one says slightly more than seven in 10 minorities get diplomas.
Going wireless offers a panoply of attractive benefits to school districts. Because you don't have to run cables to every classroom, it's cheaper to deploy a wireless network than an old-fashioned wired network. Wireless makes it more convenient for administrators, teachers and students to connect.
But there's a perilous downside: A wireless network is easier for hackers to break into. Without the proper security measures, going wireless means opening a gaping hole in your computer systems' defenses.
Problem: Parent-teacher conferences at Westside Community Schools in Omaha, Neb., used to offer flavors of vanilla. The parents arrived on the designated night, and teachers opened their grade books to recite the student's records. It was news to parents but history all the same.
Six in 10 U.S. high schools offer at least one Advanced Placement class, and a growing number of students are signing up. College Board president Gaston Caperton speaks of the AP program as "an anchor for increasing rigor in our schools and reducing the achievement gap." Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings calls it a "critical tool" in raising student achievement.