Four states -- Georgia, Kansas, South Carolina and Hawaii -- have indicated their interest in being part of an innovative assessment pilot for the Every Student Succeeds Act. Up to seven states can join the pilot, which would allow them to try various tests in a few districts before taking them statewide.
To bridge the gap between the "digital participation divide," schools need to use a systems-level approach to teach educators, students and parents useful digital citizenship skills, write Future Ready teacher Matt Hiefield and program and policy development specialist Vanessa Monterosa. In this commentary, they suggest districts develop policies about how to use technology and that they integrate conversations about digital citizenship and participation in the curriculum.
Today's teachers need to have a personal relationship with students to help them excel academically, says Detroit school teacher Felecia Branch. "We wear a lot of different hats and a lot of different roles and I think that's not understood enough," she says.
A new Texas law -- the Community Safety Education Act -- will require all high-school students to take a class on how to interact with police during traffic stops. Students also will be shown a 16-minute video.
The justices of Vermont's Supreme Court recently held a session in the gym of a local high school to give students a first-hand look at how the court operates. Students listened as cases were argued, and justices held a question-and-answer session with students afterward.
Educators Jamie Schleifer and Mindy Andrus started a business selling coffee to teachers at their Nebraska school to help students with special needs gain job skills and have more social interactions throughout the campus. Students in the program have gained confidence and are more engaged in their schooling, the teachers say.
Some teachers are integrating lessons in computer science across the curriculum, according to Pat Yongpradit, chief academic officer for Code.org. At a private school in Massachusetts, English teacher Peter Nilsson has students use coding to analyze texts, including news articles, speeches and rap lyrics.
Educators are tapping real-world experiences to teach science, technology, engineering and math lessons. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association offers curricula and resources to teach students about flight, while iFly offers indoor skydiving experiences to students learning about velocity, force and motion.
Icelandic, Iceland's official language and the tongue spoken by the Vikings, is facing challenges as the island nation becomes less isolated, writes Ragnar Jonasson, an author from Iceland. In this commentary, Jonasson highlights how tourism is transforming Iceland's economy and ponders what it means if English becomes more commonly used.
The testing opt-out movement appears to be picking up steam, with 1 in 5 New York state students opting out of standardized exams over the past four years, according to Oren Pizmony-Levy, assistant professor Columbia University's Teachers College. In this commentary, he suggests that students and families might opt out less if they were included in the decision-making process and if testing policies were more transparent.