Students who were held back in fourth or eighth grade were 5 percentage points more likely to drop out of school in Louisiana and 10 percentage points more likely to drop out in New York City, according to recent studies. Paco Martorell, a professor at the University of California at Davis who studied the New York City policy said, "The takeaway from this would be that, at a minimum, we should be retaining fewer middle school students."
Fourth-graders at a California school are taking a leading role in helping their school recycle trash and reduce landfill waste. After lessons on the importance of recycling, students now take turns working during lunch shifts to teach younger students how to sort waste into recycling, composting and trash containers.
English-language learners wrote and published a book in English and Spanish about their immigration to the US. The fourth-graders, who are in a bilingual magnet program, launched their book at their town's main library, and copies will be in circulation at five library branches.
Michigan high-school principal Dan Holden says he's excited that his staff and faculty want to take "ownership" of the school and its improvement efforts. Holden, a former athletic director, says he'll seek to build on the professional learning communities that already have been established at his school.
One Illinois school superintendent is encouraging statewide action to stem a growing teacher shortage in the state. Unit 5 Superintendent Mark Daniel says in the meantime the district will focus on "grow your own" programs to encourage students to become teachers and partner with local colleges to create a pipeline of new educators.
Almost all of the delayed A-F ratings for Mississippi schools have been approved by the state board of education. The rest of the ratings will be considered in November and a task force will continue to evaluate the state's rating system, education officials say.
Fifth-grade teacher Pete Barnes in this blog post shares how he maintains his enthusiasm for his 22-year teaching career. He describes how he took on challenging projects -- such as bringing a constellation project to school -- and tapped into his passions by participating in teacher-travel opportunities.
The US Education Department has released a guide intended to help parents better understand the changes made under the Every Student Succeeds Act. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos says the "Dear Parent" letter will make it easier for parents to understand the law and how it is being implemented.
A Colorado middle school is one of two schools in the state teaching students how to fly drones. As part of the Flight and Space class, students are learning about federal regulations and other aeronautical information as they conduct missions in the cafeteria with their drones.
Neeli Bendapudi, president of the University of Louisville in Kentucky, says new leaders can't "wave a magic wand" and make changes, but they must set the tone and lead by example. She says she will seek to create "a culture of transparency, accountability" and make sure people don't forget about the institution's mission.
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