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Table of Contents

Dec 2007

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Cover Story


To shrink class sizes in Haverhill (Mass.) Public Schools, members of the Haverhill Public School Committee, the equivalent of a board of education, have been pushing the district's four curriculum supervisors to teach math, English, science and social studies classes in grades 6-12.

The Beaverton School District is the third-largest district in Oregon, encompassing 57 square miles just outside Portland, with 38,000 students and 4,100 staff members in 44 schools.


Think of social networks in schools and you probably think of trouble. MySpace, Facebook, Bebo and the rest seem more of a challenge than an opportunity to districts around the world despite the fact that students are participating in droves outside of school walls. But some new free tools are making it easier to bring social networking into the curriculum, giving schools the ability to help students leverage the connections they make online in safe and effective ways.


If you visit the District of Manatee County in Florida, be ready to hand over your driver's license to have it swiped and checked against a database of sex offenders.

The word dyslexia is rooted in the Greek language and means "difficulty with words." Although dyslexia is known as a problem related to reading, it can also interfere with a student's ability to write, spell and pronounce words correctly. It does not signal a lack of intelligence, talent or effort (famous dyslexics include Thomas Edison, Nelson Rockefeller and Henry Winkler). However, it is defined as a specific learning disability by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).


State Proficiency Standards Vary

According to the authors of "The Proficiency Illusion," a new report from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA), those who care about strengthening U.S. K12 education "should be furious."


New Literacies

The authors hit on a great point in regard to motivating and engaging students ("The New Literacies," October). This has to be a goal of every educator and moving into the 21st Century with technology is a must. My three- and four-year-old children can both access the Internet and log on to PBS to play educational games. They run the mouse like they have been using it for years.

Mark Gruen, principal, Eleva-Strum Central High School and Middle School, Strum, Wis.