ICYMI: Most read by educators

Opinion: Using portfolios for assessment

States have new autonomy to design and implement accountability systems for schools under the Every Student Succeeds Act, Brianna Hodges, a Texas educator, writes in this commentary. Hodges outlines the benefits of using digital portfolios for assessment, arguing that portfolios are a better way to measure mastery and see students' learning progress.

Full Story: Education Dive

Analysis considers value of homework

Rather than choose to eliminate homework, schools can take steps to improve the quality of the assignments, according to an analysis of 200 pieces of homework by the Center for American Progress. Data of the examined homework assignments show that on average, most assignments scored low on quality of content and difficulty.

Full Story: Education Week (tiered subscription model)The 74

Study: Students can benefit from arts education

Boosting arts education to elementary- and middle-school students -- primarily students of color from low-income families -- led to improved discipline, compassion and test scores in writing, according to a study released through the Houston Education Research Consortium. However, the study did not find a noticeable difference in students' math and reading scores, school engagement and interest in college.

Full Story: Chalkbeat

District responds to threats with compassion

A student's threatening comments on Facebook set off alarm bells for administrators in an Oregon school district and they launched a threat assessment. As the team followed its assessment, it discovered the root of the student's rage and responded with a solution that was compassionate and effective, putting the student back on track, according to John Van Dreal, director of safety and risk management for the district.

Full Story: National Public Radio

Slavery message to students goes viral

Sixth-grade math teacher Jovan Bradshaw's lesson has gone viral after she posted a photo of her classroom-door-sized message to students about slavery to mark Black History Month. The message, which has been shared on Facebook more than 104,000 times, reads, "Dear Students, they didn't steal slaves. They stole scientists, doctors, architects, teachers, entrepreneurs, astronomers, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, etc., and made them slaves."

Full Story: Yahoo

Audrey Altmann is an editorial assistant at SmartBrief.

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This "most read" feature reflects the most read items in ASCD SmartBrief from the previous week. Sign up for ASCD SmartBrief to get news like this in your inbox, or check out all of SmartBrief’s education newsletters, covering career and technical education, educational leadership, math education and more.