Hamilton County, Tenn., schools are using federal grants and other available dollars to invest in mobile devices as the school district prepares for increased technology demands, including online testing. County superintendent Rick Smith wants an iPad or other tablet for each of the district's 42,000 public-school students, a goal the district may reach faster if it rewrites policies to allow students to bring their own devices to school.
Presidents, first ladies and one first daughter (Harry and Bess Truman's daughter, Margaret Truman) recently were portrayed by fifth-graders in teacher Jenni Halley's social studies class at St. Gregory's School in Maryville, Mo. It was part of the annual "living history" program, in which students spent weeks studying the presidency, then made a drawing of the president, first lady or family member they had selected. They then made a presentation to parents, grandparents and younger classmates.
Woodville Elementary School is the oldest school in Leon County, Fla., and teachers use the history of their school, which opened in 1856, to help illustrate both the stability of the community, as well as the many changes that have occurred in the past century and a half. Starting next year, the school will shift to a magnet program focused on history and civics called "Leadership through History, Civics, and Service Learning."
The education system currently discourages the teaching of values and morals, despite the fact that students are growing up as much at school as they are at home, write Katherine Casey and Francesca Kaplan Grossman, both of the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In this commentary, they recommend that educators evaluate their school climate, include "community capstones" in graduation requirements and integrate values education as part of the Common Core State Standards.
A student from Yuba City Unified School District in California says a new grading system, in which teachers are required to submit grades through an online system within seven days, is leaving educators with little time to help students before and after class. During a recent school board meeting, River Valley High School student Sumana Kondle said the system, which applies to sixth- through 12th-grade teachers, has led her biology teacher to opt for more multiple-choice testing. The district's superintendent, Nancy Aaberg, said the grading system is intended to improve communication with parents, and teachers who refuse to meet deadlines could face disciplinary action.