To reduce classroom distractions, Miami-Dade schools chief Rudy Crew aims to create completely single-sex, secondary magnet schools by 2007. At the state's only public elementary school with single-gender classes, students in the segregated classes dramatically outscored peers in co-ed classes, but experts question those gains, since the school day was longer and all teachers and students in the single-sex classes were volunteers.
Even though research has found no link between uniforms and school performance, Dallas is mandating all students from prekindergarten through eighth grade wear white polo tops and dark or khaki bottoms this school year. System administrators believe the standardized dress will promote unity, boost test scores and help deter gangs, whose members often wear clothing of a specific color.
Miami-Dade and Broward county have signed multimillion-dollar contracts to expand use of electronic grading software districtwide over the next couple of years. Miami-Dade district technology administrator Debbie Graper says teachers initially reluctant to use the program become hooked once they discover they can input one marking period's data in 30 minutes.
Following the defeat of a school tax issue earlier in the week, Cleveland schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett announced Friday she will step down as soon as a replacement can be found. Chief of Staff Lisa Marie Ruda says her boss is ready for a change after seven years in the job.
Superintendent Rudy Crew is requiring all Miami-Dade high schools to offer at least eight advanced placement courses this year, and is sending letters to high-achieving students encouraging them to take the rigorous classes. Crew plans to expand use of online classes and "itinerant teachers" to overcome staffing obstacles.