Wisconsin students are studying cafeteria waste as part of a science challenge open to all K-12 schools across the state. The "Lunchroom Leftovers" program includes collecting and dividing food waste into four categories: partially eaten or unpackaged food; packaged and uneaten food; recyclable items; and nonfood trash.
During a recent panel discussion, three Chicago principals talked about why and how they are banning F grades in their schools. Wayne Bevis, principal of the Robert Lindblom Math and Science Academy, says he abandoned the A-F grading scale in favor of a numerical system and has implemented a revision policy for students to resubmit work to show improved skills.
Students should receive vision exams before kindergarten, asserts Kristan Gross, global executive director of the nonprofit Vision Impact Institute. In this commentary, she writes that exams can help identify and address vision problems early, so students can succeed in school.
One North Carolina school district is using mentors, professional development and a connection with a central
office director to retain beginning teachers. Meredith Jones, director of middle grades education, says the extra support is "invaluable" to new teachers.
Failing art or physical education could increase a high-school student's risk of dropping out of school, according to the results of three recently released studies. "If you fail PE, your probability of graduating is a little bit lower than if you failed just algebra, or just English, or just biology," said Jenny Nagaoka, deputy director of the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research, which studied ninth grade.
Students with special needs are learning job skills by working at the fulfillment center for an Indiana school foundation's free school-supply program for teachers. Students work at various tasks, including answering emails and organizing orders, and have developed social and teamwork skills.
The National Institutes of Health has increased by $22.2 million funding for research on Down syndrome, bringing the total research funds for the disorder to $59 million this year. The money will fund research seeking to address co-occurring conditions, from Alzheimer's disease to autism, and studies on Down syndrome itself.
A study has found a correlation between a Wisconsin law that limited collective bargaining and job security for teachers with a rise in math proficiency in the state, according to the conservative nonprofit Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty. Advocates say the law gave school leaders more flexibility to hire more qualified teachers, but Heather DuBois Bourenane from the union-supported Wisconsin Public Education Network
says the study is "a non-peer reviewed opinion piece whose premise flies in the face of other research."
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."
Teacher-evaluation systems, under certain conditions, can improve the teacher workforce, according to a review of six districts by the National Council on Teacher Quality. Kate Walsh, NCTQ's president, said that the evaluation systems reviewed had the support of leadership and there was a commitment to continuous improvement.