Wichita Falls Independent School District in Texas uses state and local funding to educate students in its prekindergarten program, including Head Start, Waterford UPSTART and a program that has teachers work with families for 18 months before enrolling students in school. "Our work is paying off: This year, for the first time in the last six, we are now above the state average in kindergarten readiness," writes Superintendent Michael Kuhrt.
Ohio is considering changing high-school graduation requirements so students only have to be "competent," rather than "proficient," in Algebra I and English II to receive a diploma. The state superintendent, Paolo DeMaria, proposed the change, which will affect students graduating in 2023 if the plan passes.
There are four Chinese and Spanish immersion programs in a N.C. district with plans just announced for a fifth program. Officials in the district say the programs are popular and help students learn the language and other subjects.
New technology can help advance learning and reduce costs but must be considered along with other forces and trends in higher education, Edward Maloney and Joshua Kim write in this opinion piece. Technologies won't improve learning, boost access or reduce costs on their own, and the ideas and people that support technology matter more than the technologies themselves, Maloney and Kim write.
The transverse tarsal arch, or TTA, is more involved in making the human foot stiff enough to walk upright than previously thought, a study in Nature suggests. The medial longitudinal arch, or MLA, was long thought to provide the bulk of the support, but researchers found that Homo naledi could walk upright despite having a flat MLA because its TTA was more like that of modern humans.
Automotive technology students in Lexington, Mass., helped repair a car destined for Aris Lopez, a veteran of the Coast Guard. The car was donated to the nonprofit Second Chance Cars, and students worked to make sure the vehicle's tires, brakes and electrical system were ready for the road.
Nikolay Middle School in Wisconsin is seeing some improvements in math scores after its district implemented the Core Connections curriculum, which focuses more on collaboration and reasoning instead of memorization. Students work in groups to solve problems, and teachers answer questions by asking their own questions to guide students through their thinking, principal Krista Jones says.
Social media can be a helpful source of ideas and connections for educators but it's important to know how to use it correctly, middle-level teacher Brent Golson writes. In this blog post, Golson outlines the benefits and pitfalls of social media, as well as three steps for success with it.
To create meaningful grades, educators should employ three steps, writes Andrew Ford of the New York City Department of Education. The first step is to determine a clear definition of a grade's intended meaning by considering factors such as how it will be used, he suggests.
Current systems of student testing are geared toward measuring proficiency but do not adequately measure within-year academic growth, says NWEA CEO Chris Minnich. However, some states are transitioning to new approaches that evaluate both academic growth and year-end proficiency while also reducing classroom time spent on testing and providing feedback to teachers before the end of the school year, he writes.
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