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K12 educators, lawmakers divided over graduation tests

Jessica Terrell
February, 2017
In the last two years, Multiple states, including California and Arizona, have dropped or suspended exit exams in high schools.

Efforts to implement new high school graduation exams in Ohio and New Jersey are faltering, as some educators grow more concerned about the number of students struggling to meet the strict requirements. 

Getting literal about media literacy in K12

Steven Wyman-Blackburn
February, 2017
“The solution is always ‘Google it.’ And that’s what happens. I have a problem with ‘Google it.’” —Kenneth Eastwood, superintendent, Middletown City School District in New York, referring to media literacy as the solution in schools

The issue of fake news drew national attention during the 2016 presidential campaign, when fabricated stories were widely accepted as genuine. According to recent research, the problem extends to K12 classrooms, where students have trouble judging the credibility of online information.

More schools teaching students how to respond to police

Matt Zalaznick
January, 2017
DEFUSE A PROBLEM—Miami Assistant Public Defender Tammy Gray, standing at right, teaches local students about their rights when detained by police officers and how to behave to prevent encounters from escalating.

Try to stay calm. Don’t start cursing. Keep your hands off the cops. But know that you have rights—like remaining silent and taking note of witnesses. Such knowledge can prevent police interactions from escalating out of control when teenagers get pulled over or otherwise encounter law enforcement.

Marijuana legalization and its impact on schools

Jessica Terrell
January, 2017
Since Colorado legalized recreational marijuana in 2012, K12 students face suspension before expulsion when found in possession of the drug. (GettyImages.com: Traffic_Analyzer)

Superintendents in states that passed referendums legalizing marijuana in November are pressing for more clear legal guidance on how to best address issues like drug possession. They also say more research is needed on the possible impacts of marijuana legalization on K12 academic achievement. 

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