Balancing effort and efficiency for yourself and school staff is a major challenge, middle-school principal Matthew Howell writes. He recommends determining return on investment before starting a project to avoid misusing time, making certain tasks are manageable, and prioritizing people and positive interactions over products and processes.
Michael Vuckovich, in his second year as superintendent of Indiana Area School District, has placed emphasis on children's welfare and professional advancement of teachers during his tenure. "Caring does not have to be a weakness. It means giving meaningful feedback," Vuckovich said.
Learning ability ebbs and flows throughout the day, and school leaders should consider modifying start times, class schedules and testing to help improve student achievement, says business and learning author Daniel Pink. He recommends beginning by having high schools start at 9 a.m. and elementary-schoolers do math, science and other analytical work in the morning.
Fourth-grade students in an Ohio school recently completed a project running their own international storefronts as part of their school's newly authorized International Baccalaureate program. The district has moved in recent years to expand the program to elementary and middle schools to diversify the pipeline to the existing high-school program.
Surveys can provide important feedback about student engagement and school climate, but may not be the best metric for ESSA school quality ratings, cautions Phyllis Jordan, editorial director of FutureEd, an independent think tank at Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy. Because of the potential for bias, survey results are best assigned modest weight if they are included in quality assessments, Jordan writes.
Colleges and universities appointed 158 lawyer presidents in the second half of the 2010s, and lawyers may account for more than 10% of higher-education presidents in the 2020s, writes Patricia Salkin, provost of the graduate and professional divisions of New York's Touro College. Lawyers may offer "more sustainable paths in higher education" given recent challenges on college campuses, such as racism, sexual harassment allegations, and admissions scandals, Salkin writes.
Average pay rose by 10.5% in 2017 for presidents at private universities in the US, with salaries of more than 500 presidents averaging $608K, including benefits and bonuses, a Chronicle of Higher Education survey showed. Public university president salaries in 2018 averaged $484,000, up about 10% over the previous year, the results from a separate survey found.
Elementary-school principals in Indiana are part of a growing trend of school leaders engaging with students and families through weekly book read-alouds on social media. ""Some of our kids might not have someone at home to read to them, so I think this is a good platform to provide at least one story a week," said Erica Robinson, principal of Hess Elementary School.
A bill in Kentucky would give superintendents the authority to make school-based decisions such as hiring principals, with those decisions subject to the district board's review and appeal. Under current state law, school councils consisting of an administrator, teachers and parents are responsible for hiring principals.
Fifth-graders at Gearhart Elementary in Oregon and a handful of other West Coast schools have built small boats they hope will sail to Japan through a program coordinated by the Columbia River Maritime Museum. The museum's education director, Nate Sandel, helps students build boats -- one for their own class, another for a class in Japan -- and plan the unmanned voyages, and says the project helps them forge connections in communities around the Pacific.