The practice of "red-shirting," or voluntarily retaining students, is growing during the transition between middle and high schools, former teacher Jessica Lahey writes in this commentary. Some research about adolescent brain development and increasing academic pressures supports the trend, but questions remain about whether the practice is a good use of public-school resources, she writes. Rather than retention, Lahey suggests the solution may be "in redeveloping curricula to focus more on executive-function skills."
A top priority for teachers and school leaders should be delivering effective feedback to students and staff, elementary-school principal Peter DeWitt writes in this blog post. Providing feedback to students, he writes, goes beyond praise, such as "well done," and includes goal-setting. For teachers, school leaders should focus on providing continuous, quality feedback to help them improve, DeWitt writes.
K-12 schools should collect better data on students' achievements after high school, including whether they enroll in remedial college courses or earn a degree, experts say, who add that the information will help schools prepare students better for college and the workforce. J.B. Schramm, founder and CEO of college-readiness group College Summit, is encouraging states to take the lead in collecting such data.
Some high-school seniors in Michigan are no longer attending classes that are still in session, as part of a long-standing tradition to release them from school earlier than other students. Some teachers say the tradition is causing students to miss valuable learning time, but others disagree. "At this point in time, if we have done our jobs right, we have provided seniors with the building blocks and skills to be their own self-directed learners," said Dan Behm, superintendent of the Forest Hills district.
A National Board Certified Teacher has been selected as president of the California Language Teachers Association. Carol Moir, who describes teaching as her "calling," says she uses unconventional methods to keep students interested in classroom lessons, including honking horns and ringing bells.