Schools looking to blend project-based learning with a competency-based approach should rethink how they teach writes Caroline Messenger, director of curriculum at Naugatuck Public Schools in Connecticut. In this commentary, she writes that schools will have to change the curriculum and grading system.
School leaders can ensure that project-based learning is a success by being transparent about their own doubts and fear and showing students how to innovate, educator and principal Michael Niehoff writes in this commentary. He also suggests that leaders begin each school year with a design challenge for students.
Several Kentucky middle schools are trying to build positive values in students through the new "Anti-Virus" program. The pilot program will teach students about seven "protection shields" including ambition, responsibility, hard work, emotions, restraint, common sense and generosity.
Lawsuits have been filed in Michigan and California arguing that literacy is a constitutional right because other rights, such as voting, depend on it. The suits come after a federal judge in Michigan ruled this summer that states have no constitutional obligation to make sure children can read and write.
School districts should embrace learning management systems for elementary schools to help develop young students' technology skills and prepare them for blended learning, writes Schoology's Kara Gann. Gann offers three ways districts would benefit from an LMS, including parental engagement and student independence, plus teacher collaboration and personalized learning.
Teachers, parents and students in Puerto Rico are bracing for the school year as a $300 million budget shortfall and school consolidations further complicate the ongoing recovery effort. Puerto Rico has closed 266 public schools and implemented an online management system to help organize chaotic enrollment, but teachers say they worry that confusion and lack of money will hinder their efforts to lead classrooms.
Education leaders should borrow a page from LeBron James' education playbook, which challenges traditional approaches to school reform, writes Julia Freeland Fisher of the Clayton Christensen Institute. Previous reforms emphasized academic standards, but James' school will focus on dismantling the poverty barriers that tend to impede student achievement, Fisher writes in this commentary.
A report from Ithaka S+R and Northern Virginia Community College shows that community-college students struggle with commitments outside of school and define success in terms of skill mastery, not in completion rates. Researchers say the next phase of their study will focus on how libraries can become resources to help students by providing additional services.
Spelman College has expanded its admissions policy to accept transgender student applicants in the 2018-19 academic year. Some students, faculty and alumni have criticized the move, but Beverly Guy-Sheftall, founding director of the Women's Research and Resource Center at the historically black women's college in Atlanta, says initiatives will be needed to ensure a smooth transition.
Montana State University will begin constructing its science and health building on its Billings campus after the university's foundation raised $5 million. The construction project also will receive $10 million from the state, which approved the funding in 2013.