A growing number of K-12 educators nationwide are adopting design thinking as a way to teach students how to solve problems, writes journalist Suzi Boss. In this blog post, she writes about an assignment in a Portland, Ore., school in which students were asked to design their own shoes. To start, students questioned the public and experts about shoe design, and then pitched their designs to a panel of experts.
A recent study finds that the most-effective principals can raise students' achievement in one year by as much as two to seven months of learning, while the least-effective principals can lower achievement in similar amounts. The findings, included in the School Leaders Matter study, is based on a look at 7,000 principals in Texas. The study also found that principal turnover is higher at disadvantaged schools -- a potential setback because it takes time for principals to begin to see changes in student achievement.
The success of response to intervention -- a tiered instructional model aimed at providing struggling students with more intensive academic support and reducing erroneous special-education placements -- is yet to be determined, as many districts do not have a system for tracking its effectiveness, according to a survey of state and district special-education directors by researchers at the University of Kentucky. In this blog post, education reporter Christina Samuels highlights these findings presented during a poster session at the Council for Exceptional Children's 2013 Convention & Expo.
Students at Kingston Elementary School in Cherry Hill, N.J., recently gathered on the playground to recognize and celebrate everyone's uniqueness. Students blew bubbles in the air as part of the school's World Autism Awareness Day activities. Students also learned about autism from their teachers and materials provided by the organization Autism Speaks.
Tennessee has selected 704 teachers to be trained as peer coaches to guide their colleagues in professional development for the Common Core State Standards, education reporter Erik Robelen writes in this blog post. "We believe the transition to Common Core will be most effective if our own teachers lead the way," Emily Barton, state assistance commissioner for curriculum and instruction, said in a press release.