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."
Some residents of Marion County, Fla., are calling for the resignation of school board member Nancy Stacy over comments she posted on Facebook defending Bill Cosby and criticizing his female accusers. Stacy also posted comments supporting Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and mocking those who opposed his confirmation.
A brief supporting a lawsuit by former for-profit Corinthian Colleges students against US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos over alleged fraudulent practices has been filed by the attorneys general of California and seven other states. The lawsuit argues that the department has "unlawfully withheld" student-loan reimbursements.
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.
A group of 45 Maine sixth-graders recently learned about how ancient civilizations prepared food by building an earthen cob oven -- using clay, straw, sand and water -- and cooking pizza. A social studies teacher collaborated with a science and math teacher on the cross-curricular lesson with students working in groups to handle tasks including construction, baking, art and communications.
Educators can use technology to improve learning and prepare students for careers, writes Matt Prusiecki, superintendent of an Indiana school district. In this commentary, he offers three key strategies, including by using personal hot spots, making classroom spaces more innovative and introducing virtual portfolios for students to showcase their work.
Gains in population health and innovation have resulted from a multilateral approach to problem-solving, writes Bill Gates, Microsoft co-founder and co-chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In this commentary, he makes the case for multilateralism and criticizes a recent trend in the US and in Europe toward nationalism.
Career and technical education programs at some high schools are integrating courses in robotics, unmanned aviation technology and mechatronics to help prepare students for in-demand jobs in these fields. A Maryland high school offers a four-year Aerospace Engineering & Aviation Technology program and is constructing an indoor space for students to practice operating drones.
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.
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