Students in Maggie McHugh's classes at the La Crosse Design Institute middle school in Wisconsin learn math concepts by applying them to the real world. McHugh, a finalist for the 2019 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, has had her students remodel a basement, build a zipline and design mugs -- all in the name of project-based learning.
California high-school principal Dolores Rodriquez says she sees challenges as opportunities and not obstacles. Rodriquez, who has served as a teacher and assistant principal, says success is never achieved alone but found when "surrounded by hardworking, supportive people."
The Tennessee state Board of Education has given preliminary approval to new rules around the state's new education savings account program, but wants clearer guidelines on what constitutes academic progress by students receiving vouchers. State law requires voucher students to take state tests, but is unclear about whether federal test results should also be used to measure schools' success.
Moscow Middle School in Idaho is working toward complete adoption of a mastery-based system, including a change from letter grades to a 1-through-4 grading scale. The school is also placing a greater emphasis on social and emotional learning through exercises such as technology discussions, says Principal Bill Holman.
Leaders in rural school districts face challenges meeting a requirement under the Every Student Succeeds Act that they use evidence-based interventions to turn around struggling schools. Some state governments and organizations are working on ways to meet the needs of rural districts, but challenges of cost and access remain.
Penn State University uses several incentives -- including offering certifications, advising and financial bonuses -- to get faculty involved in online professional development. In this commentary, Shawna Cassick, senior program associate & faculty adviser, Penn State World Campus Faculty Development, outlines the program and how it has improved teaching and retention.
College and university leaders engaged in strategic planning should give committees boundaries and a clear goal, but resist micromanaging the process, writes Texas Tech University dean David Perlmutter. They should ensure the plan is inclusive of all points of view and save the process of working out contradictions for the final draft, he recommends in this commentary.
New Minnesota school district superintendent Scott Hall says he will encourage faculty and staff to focus on the social and emotional growth of each student as well as academics. Hall, who began his career 13 years ago as a social studies teacher, says that "positively influencing students and staff was a motivating factor," in his choice to enter education.
California education leaders say they will revise a proposed ethnic studies curriculum and put it back before the state board of education for approval next year. Critics say the curriculum, developed by a 20-member committee of teachers and experts, was biased and omitted some ethnic groups.
Family, finances and health issues may all be good reasons to retire from an academic position, or they may be what keeps a leader in a job, writes Matt Reed, vice president for learning at Brookdale Community College. Knowing when to depart or when to stay is key to both leaving a good legacy and continuing a satisfying career, Reed asserts in this blog post.
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