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In decades past, many children in special education could have been coddled and excused from being pushed mentally and academically.
But now, most people would agree that every child's talents and academic potential should be cultivated and stretched to its highest limit.
A little south of San Diego--just 10 miles from the U.S. border with Mexico--is National City. If the name sounds like one an unimaginative suburban developer might have come up with, that's understandable. But in this case, the name fits the long history and the character of the community.
Wouldn't it be great if researchers discovered the holy grail of school improvement--a single approach that could be readily applied to improve all schools labeled low performing? Don't get your hopes up. After all, even Einstein failed in his efforts to discover an all-inclusive theory that explained everything. Because the definition of "low performing" varies from state to state, and the reasons for low performance vary from school to school, a "unified field theory" in education is unlikely.
Another Month, Another Change
Speaking up hasn't hurt educators lately. The Bush administration is easing restrictions on No Child Left Behind yet again, the fourth change in four months.
This time, the change reduces the number of students a school may test without shirking the law. The issue was atop a pile of complaints from educators, who say the required 95 percent participation rate on math and reading tests to determine adequate yearly progress every year was too strict.
Every month the staff at District Administration aims to create a magazine that makes the jobs of school leaders easier. We do this by offering analysis of K-12 news, expert opinions on pressing issues and successful case studies.