For schools -- including those in Washington, D.C. -- that are teaching lessons based on the Common Core State Standards, there are just weeks to go until students take exams aligned with the standards. However, some educators -- including middle-school English/language arts teacher Dowan McNair-Lee -- are feeling frazzled and concerned that students are not placing a high priority on their scores, which do not factor into their grades.
A recent nationwide survey finds that principals and teachers increasingly are considering digital tools -- including social networks -- as part of professional-development efforts. One of the greatest areas of growth was in webinars -- used by 63% of principals today, up from 26% in 2008 -- according to the Speak Up 2012 survey. The survey also found, however, that educators were divided over whether teachers' use of technology should factor into their evaluations.
Schools need to have comprehensive plans to tackle bullying, especially cyberbullying, education consultant Nicole Yetter writes in this commentary. Yetter offers several ideas to curb bullying ranging from surveying students about the extent of bullying and cyberbullying to offering students ways to report bullying instantly and anonymously through technology. "Cultivating a positive school climate starts and stops with adults," she writes.
Misconceptions about cyberbullying lead it to go unreported more frequently than traditional bullying, according to a recent study by the University of British Columbia in Canada. Researchers who studied incidents of bullying among students in Vancouver, British Columbia, found that the majority of students who participated in cyberbullying viewed it as a "harmless joke". The perception of cyberbullying as less harmful than traditional bullying was linked to lower reports, the study found.
Missouri's education commissioner will not reconsider a state takeover of St. Louis public schools set to begin Friday, although a separate lawsuit on the matter will be heard today. Commentator and former Los Angeles teacher Walt Gardner, in an opinion piece, cautions that "no state has ever been able to convert low-performing schools into high-performing ones."