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Teacher Quality
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Urban Ed. & Rural Ed.

GENERAL RESOURCES


Articles

Look Out Harry Potter! -- Book Banning Heats Up
J.K. Rowlings best-selling Harry Potter childrens book series topped the most frequently banned books last year. The sorcerer may head up the list again, for the second year in a row, if the shift in censorship cases continues to focus on books about fantasy. This week, National Library Week, Education World examines the issue of book banning. Included: Resources for establishing procedures in your school system to handle challenges to popular books.

Governing America's Schools: Changing the Rules
The growing demand for organizational reform (evidenced by an increasing demand for charter schools, magnet schools, and school choice), the increase in home schooling, and the recent incidences of school takeovers by state and local governments indicate that many schools would benefit from changes in governance. A recently released report examines how school governance affects student learning. What does the report reveal about the governance of your school? Included: Two organizational models for effectively educating young people that spell out specific responsibilities for the state, school district, and individual schools.



Reviews
Center for Education Reform
The Center for Education Reform (CER) is an independent, national, non-profit advocacy organization providing support and guidance to individuals nationwide who are working to bring fundamental reforms to their schools. (Grades: K-12)

Rethinking Schools Online
Rethinking Schools is an activist education publication, with articles written by and for teachers, parents, and students. It addresses classroom practices, educational theory, and key policy issues such as vouchers and marketplace-oriented reforms, funding equity, and school-to-work programs. (Grades: K-12)



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Parents for Public Schools
As public school parents and as voting citizens Parents for Public Schools provides an important link between the public schools and the communities to which they are accountable.

National Commission on Teaching & America's Future
This site features reports and recommendations for school reform in the United States.

The Annenberg Institute for School Reform
This site features a number of good publications on a range of school reform topics.

Improving Our Schools Library
A collection of resources in support of public education and addressing school reform issues.

ASSESSMENT & TESTING


Sections

Assessment
This section of the Counseling Community contains information on college, career, and mental health assessments.

Assessment
This page in the IEP section of the Special Education Community offers information about various measures used in developing students IEPs.

Assessment
This page in the Preservice Educators Community looks at the subject of assessment from the perspective of education students.

Assessment & Early Intervention
This page in the Early Childhood Community provides resources to help educators to assess students for early intervention services for disabilities or "at-risk" home situations.



Articles

Report Cards: Do They Make the Grade?
Is the traditional A-B-C-D-F report card meeting the grade? Is a skills checklist a better way to go in this age of standards and accountability? Does a narrative report card help settle debate over what letter grades actually mean? This week, Education World explores the pluses and minuses of a variety of report card formats.

Court Rules Pupils' Grading Classmates' Work Violates Federal Law
As schools settle into routines for the new school year, a court ruling is throwing a kink into the age-old tradition of pupils' grading their classmates' work. A federal court ruled this summer that the practice violates the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Schools that continue to allow the practice risk losing federal funds. Might this new law also impact the way teachers display student work in the classroom? Included: Alternatives to the practice of students' grading other students' work.

Cautions Issued About High-Stakes Tests
With the growing use of high-stakes tests, the American Educational Research Association is recommending that school district leaders and policy makers take a close look at the organization's guidelines before linking school reform to test scores. The guidelines are AERA's effort to prevent such tests from harming students.

Do Schools Give 'Equal Grades for Equal Work'?
When is a B really an A? When you live in a school district with high academic standards and tough grading policies, according to some Connecticut parents who want their kids to get more A's. Those parents blame the school district's high standards for their students' low grades! Included: An Education World poll of school administrators across the country.

What Do Tests Test? --- A Commentary by Howard Gardner
Howard Gardner, the John H. and Elisabeth A. Hobbs professor in cognition and education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the "father" of multiple intelligences theory, weighs in on the issue of high-stakes testing in this commentary. "We must proceed cautiously before we place students' minds and hearts at risk with tests of dubious quality whose meaning can be over-interpreted and whose consequences can be devastating," writes Gardner.

Creating Rubrics: Tools You Can Use
"But I worked all night on that report! How could you give me a D?" Rubrics provide teachers with an objective method for evaluating skills that don't lend themselves to objective assessment methods and they help answer the age-old question, "What did I do to deserve *this* grade?" Learn how rubrics can guide your students and support your assessments. Included: Three online tools for creating rubrics.

How Important Should One Test Be?
Education World continues its series on high-stakes testing today. What do the experts, national teacher organizations, and presidential candidates have to say about these tests?

Some Teachers, Students, Parents Say No to Tests!
Today, Education World's "Are High-Stakes Tests the Answer?" series continues as we examine the backlash against high-stakes testing. Across the nation, a growing number of parents, teachers, students, and organizations are questioning the tests' merits.

High-Stakes Tests Punishing Some Students?
Can high-stakes tests cure what ails education? Today, Education World explores the issue of high-stakes testing. We examine whether the tests hurt some students, especially English-learning, low-income, and learning-disabled students.

Teachers Learn from Looking Together at Student Work
School reformers say the way to improve education and accountability is by improving the way teachers and students look at student work. Today, Education World examines two collaborative approaches that teachers are using to look at student work. Included: Tips for looking at student work.

Should Standardized Tests Determine Who Is Held Back?
High-stakes testing in Louisiana will affect about one-third of the fourth- and eighth-grade students. Those students flunked math and reading tests in March and may be kept back this year unless they attend summer school and pass a second test in July.

Student Report Cards: Do They Earn an A -- or a "Needs Improvement?"
On its surface, the question of report card reform in the elementary grades is a simple one: What format will provide the best information about a student's progress? But for educators the answers are seldom easy. And for parents, anxious to see their children succeed in an increasingly competitive society, the correct answers are crucial.

Assessment Reform: Are We Making Progress?
Education World offers a brief summary of findings from a recently released study of assessment reform. Is assessment reform working? How are teachers handling new approaches to assessment? Are students and curriculum benefiting from new assessment methods approaches?

Setting Standards in Our Schools: What Can We Expect? President Bill Clinton has called for national education standards and voluntary achievement testing. Read about the past, present, and future search for effective educational standards.

National Testing: Prepare for a Battle
President Clinton's plan for national testing is under attack from both sides. Clinton and Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley are defending their plan.

Close-Up: Voluntary National Tests
A close-up examination of the reasoning behind the plan to introduce voluntary national tests of reading and mathematics in America's schools in March 1999.



Reviews
FairTest: The National Center for Fair & Open Testing
The National Center for Fair & Open Testing is an advocacy organization working to ensure that standardized testing and evaluation methods are fair, open, and educationally sound for individuals of all cultures and backgrounds.

The Challenge 2000 Multimedia Project: Project-Based Learning With Multimedia
The Challenge 2000 Multimedia Project is an innovative approach to learning and assessment in which students research, design, and create a multimedia project. The site offers support resources for starting such a program and includes assessment rubrics, curriculum activities, technical guides, and project examples.

Coalition of Essential Schools
Coalition of Essential Schools is a growing network of more than 1,000 schools in 38 states that are implementing community-based school reform centered around rethinking the schools' priorities and redesigning curriculum, assessments, and instruction to be more student centered. The site offers a large library of materials, lists of participating schools, and information on projects and research.

Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing
This is the Web site from the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).

Educational Testing
This Web site has information on the AP(r), GMAT(r), GRE(r), LSAT(r), PRAXIS, SAT(r) and the TOEFL(r) examinations.



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Electronic Portfolios
Here's a great overview of Electronic Portfolios presented in a slide show format.

The Digital Portfolio: A Richer Picture of Student Performance
This is an electronic report on the Digital Portfolio Project from the Coalition of Essential Schools. Here you'll find information on the project, case studies, and information and tips on implementing digital portfolio assessment programs.

The Portfolio and Its Use: Developmentally Appropriate Assessment of Young Children
An ERIC Digest

CLASS / SCHOOL SIZE


Sections

Class Size Archives
Part of our School Issues Center, you can keep up with the latest theories and research.



Articles

School Growth Here to Stay, Report Says
A government report on the baby boom echo focuses on the growing number of children -- grandchildren of the baby boomers -- heading back to school.

Are Smaller Schools Better Schools?
Reforming public education may be as simple as creating smaller schools. The results of two recent studies indicate that small schools may be the remedy for lots of what is wrong with public education. Small schools can reduce the negative effects of poverty, reduce violence, and increase parent involvement and student accountability.

Money for Class Size Reduction Is on Its Way!
The U.S. Department of Education just mailed the first installment of Class-Size Reduction funds allocated for the school year 2000-2001. Those funds will enable local communities to hire an estimated 29,000 teachers. Included: How much of the $1.3 billion dollars will your state be getting? Plus resources to help you put this hot issue in perspective!

Large Schools Should Take Lessons from Small Schools
According to the National Education Goals Panel, smaller schools have fewer discipline problems, and large schools can learn a few lessons from those schools. Included: The U.S. Department of Education hosts a satellite workshop on applying for Smaller Learning Communities grants on June 8 from noon to 1:30 p.m.

Class Size Reduction: Success Stories Noted in New Report
Last month, the U.S. Department of Education released a report, "Local Success Stories: Reducing Class Size." The 9-page report describes challenges and opportunities in efforts to reduce class size. Included: The latest research on class size reduction.

Are Smaller Schools the Answer?
Michael Klonsky, of the University of Illinois (Chicago) College of Education says, "A compelling body of research shows that when students are part of smaller and more intimate learning communities, they are more successful." This week, Education World takes a look at some of that research.

Are Smaller Classes the Answer?
Teachers, parents, and students all say smaller classes are better, but will smaller class sizes really lead to enhanced student performance?

The Debate Over Class Size -- Part 2: The Critics Have Their Say
In Part 2 of Education World's "The Debate Over Class Size" we focus on the critics of President Clinton's class-size initiative. Could the money spent as part of Clinton's plan be better spent in other ways? many critics wonder.

The Debate Over Class Size -- Part 1: Class Size Does Matter!
In his State of the Union Address, President Clinton announced a plan to reduce class size in grades 1-3. Plenty of research supports his initiative to reduce class size. Early results from a class size reduction program introduced in California also seems to support the President's plan.



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Small Class Sizes Produce Long-Term Benefits The Tennessee Student-Teacher Achievement Ratio Project
This 14-year study found that students who attended small classes in grades K-3 continued to outperform their peers even after they returned to regular-sized classes in the fourth grade.

Class Size ReductionQuestions and Answers
from the U.S. Department of Education

EQUITY IN EDUCATION


Articles

Ballot Measures Lead To Heavy Spending, Lobbying
In Arizona, voters ended bilingual education. California and Michigan voters soundly defeated propositions to allow school vouchers. In Oregon, voters decided against tying teachers' pay increases to student performance. The results of an Oregon measure to ban instruction promoting or sanctioning homosexual or bisexual behavior was too close to call as of Wednesday morning.

Collaboration Needed to Improve Hispanics' Education
A new report by the President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans advises that groups need to work together to help Hispanic students close the achievement gap with students of other ethnic groups. Included: Descriptions of programs that are working *and* ways in which parents, schools, communities, businesses, and the government can come together to help Hispanic students achieve.

Can You Spell D-I-S-C-R-I-M-I-N-A-T-I-O-N?
As a Supreme Court ruling highlights the Boy Scouts' ban on homosexuals, the organization finds itself being excluded too. A growing number of local school districts are denying the Boy Scouts access to school buildings for meetings. The Boy Scouts organization is crying foul, stating it's not fair that schools are discriminating against their "moral" values. Included: Guidelines from the National School Boards Association.

An Education World e-Interview with Sherry Turkle: Is Technology Just for Boys?
Sherry Turkle, one of the co-chairs of the American Association of University Women's 15-member Commission on Technology, Gender, and Teacher Education, shares her thoughts on issues arising from the commission's recent report detailed in yesterday's Education World story, Educating Girls in the Tech Age: A Report on Equity.

Educating Girls in the Tech Age: A Report on Equity
Why are girls --who make up less than 20 percent of computer science Advanced Placement (AP) test takers-- so poorly represented in advanced technology classes? Why do so few women --who account for less than 30 percent of instructional technology professionals-- opt for careers in technology? A recent report answers those questions and more.

States Step Up Efforts to Reduce School Segregation
In response to a state Supreme Court ruling that children in Hartfords urban schools were receiving an inferior and unequal education, Connecticut stepped up efforts to improve the education of urban schools. This week, Education World takes a look at what Connecticut is doing to combat educational inequality. Included: A brief summary of the Harvard University The Civil Rights Project, which looks at the resegregation in U.S. schools.



Reviews
FairTest: The National Center for Fair & Open Testing
The National Center for Fair & Open Testing is an advocacy organization working to ensure that standardized testing and evaluation methods are fair, open, and educationally sound for individuals of all cultures and backgrounds. (Grades: K-12+)

Equal Access to Software and information
The EASI Web site is an excellent resource to learn more about using adaptive technology to empower disabled students in mainstream, special classroom, and workplace environments. EASI includes live Webcast interviews, articles, and other resources. (Grades: K-12+)

Making Schools Work for Every Child
Making Schools Work for Every Child -- equitably -- is the goal of this Web site. A resource for educators working to create educational equity, the site provides a collection of math and science materials to help improve the ways in which students with varied needs are educated. (Grades: K-12+)

Mobilization for Equity
Mobilization for Equity is a five-year initiative by the National Coalition of Advocates for Children (NCAS) to promote equity in education for students of all socio-economic backgrounds in the United States. Mobilization for Equity is an active advocate for students who are in the greatest need but still get neglected by the engines of change within the educational community. The site includes a newsletter, national alerts, and information about many of the projects that are part of the Mobilization for Equity initiative. (Grades: K-12+)



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Critical Issue: Ensuring Equity with Alternative Assessments
This page from the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory looks at alternative to standardized testing in providing a fair assessment of learning in a diverse student body.

Equity & Excellence in Education
This journal of the University of Massachusetts School of Education. A free trial subscription is available.

Kozol
This website is devoted to the work of Jonathan L+Kozol and includes information on his life and several of his landmark books on equity in education.

Savage Inequalities : Children in America's Schools by Jonathan Kozol
A review of Jonathan Kozol's critically acclaimed book on the inequity of the American educational system.

Equity Education On Line This site provides information about organizations, research, materials, and more.

FUNDING


Sections

Education World's Grants Center
Funding and financial aid sources for educational programs!

Funding
Part of our Administrators Original Content section, you'll find resources, ideas and successful programs to help you locate funding.



Articles

Congress Approves Largest Education Budget in History!
Congress dug deep into the nation's pockets last week and gave the Department of Education an 18-percent raise. Highlights of the spending package include the first-ever allocation for emergency school renovations and substantial increases in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) funding for special education, Pell Grants for low-income college students, and after-school programs.

Change for Kids: Working With Other Nonprofits to Make a Difference
Four years ago, a group of friends decided to make a difference by raising money to buy school supplies for kindergarten teachers at four New York City schools. Three fund-raising events later, other individuals and nonprofit organizations interested in making a difference have joined the effort. Included: Nonprofit directory of New York City nonprofit organizations that focus on childrens education.

Does High Teacher Pay = High Achievement? A Study Says No!
A new, in-depth report takes a look at how states spend education money and finds that the most cost-effective ways of increasing student achievement are by reducing pupil-teacher ratios, providing more prekindergarten programs, and providing teachers with discretionary classroom resources --- not by raising teacher pay.

Outdated School Libraries: What Can You Do to Update Yours?
In Baltimore, library coordinator Della Curtis keeps examples of outdated books from the county's school libraries on a "shelf of shame." Curtis spearheaded a drive in Baltimore that led county officials this year to fund $10.5 million for the purchase of new books. Today, Curtis tells Education World writer Mary Daniels Brown how she accomplished that. Included: Comments from librarians and other experts on the state of our schools' libraries and advice from Della Curtis on mounting your own successful campaign for funding for new library books.

Florida Fails Children of Miami-Dade County
Our anticipated gains in the number of foreign-born students alone will require us to build one elementary school a month just to keep up, Roger C. Cuevas, Miami-Dade County school superintendent, told Education World. But a Florida grand jury recently found that the states formula that funds new school construction doesnt recognize the countys unique needs created by its large immigrant population. Legislators counter the grand jury's finding, questioning whether Miami-Dade has been wisely spending the money it gets from the state.

Teachers at the Bottom of the Class for Professional Pay
Released last week by the American Federation of Teachers, the survey shows that although salary increases were slightly higher than the national inflation rate, the nation's teachers still earn less than many white-collar professionals do. Included: Look up the average salary for teachers in your state!

Supreme Court Rules on Funding Equipment for Religious Schools
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this week that federal tax money could be used to pay for computers and other instructional equipment for religious schools on Wednesday. The 6 to 3 decision included three opinions weighing in on the longstanding controversial issue.

Football or Full-Day Kindergarten? -- Budget Cuts Force Tough Choices
School districts across the country are coping with the problems that arise when school funding provides less money than schools need.

Fund-Raising Ideas: Raise Money Without Selling Door-to-Door
How far would you go to raise needed funds? Would you kiss a pig? Organize a game of cow chip bingo? Paint Pepsi on your school roof? As school budgets seem to buy less and less of what educators and parents believe students need, money from fund-raising is becoming more and more important. Some school districts are discovering -- or creating -- new ways to raise money.

The Selling of Our Schools: Advertising in the Classroom
Are our kids for sale to the highest bidder? Do we tell them proper nutrition is important and then plaster the school's walls with signs saying, "Things Go Better With Coke"?

From Billboard to Chalkboard: Advertising Creeps Into the Classroom
Corporate advertisers are spending big buck$ to get their names into classrooms around the world. And schools strapped for ca$h are letting them do it. Why? And what can school administrators and teachers do to make sure kids are getting the right me$$age? Included: Media literacy and money managing Web sites for kids!

Who Will Pay for Full-Day K?
Do you pay to send your child to public school kindergarten? Some parents who want full-day kindergarten programs do. Parents in Seattle may be next.



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GENDER IN EDUCATION


Articles
An Education World e-Interview with Sherry Turkle: Is Technology Just for Boys?
Sherry Turkle, one of the co-chairs of the American Association of University Women's 15-member Commission on Technology, Gender, and Teacher Education, shares her thoughts on issues arising from the commission's recent report detailed in yesterday's Education World story, Educating Girls in the Tech Age: A Report on Equity.

Educating Girls in the Tech Age: A Report on Equity
Why are girls --who make up less than 20 percent of computer science Advanced Placement (AP) test takers-- so poorly represented in advanced technology classes? Why do so few women --who account for less than 30 percent of instructional technology professionals-- opt for careers in technology? A recent report answers those questions and more.

Single-Gender Classes: Are They Better?
What happens to the bright-eyed exuberance of girls between the primary grades and high school graduation? Do schools shortchange boys? Could single-gender classes or schools make a difference? Some California educators think so.

The Yin and Yang of Learning: Educators Seek Solutions in Single-Sex Education
Girls are characterized as being more collaborative in the classroom; boys are said to be more competitive. Does this mean schools should offer single-gender schooling?


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Links

Research
This page summarizes research conducted by the AAUW, beginning with the research publication Shortchanging Girls, Shortchanging America.

Science, Math, and Girls
This Education Week story discusses women's progress in science and mathematics. Recent research shows girls are catching up on the gender gap. Still there is a long way to go, and no easy solutions to the hard problems.

Gender Equity
This article summarizes research on gender bias. It also points out that boys often face more-serious problems than girls do.


GRADE CONFIGURATION


Sections

Grouping / Scheduling
Part of our School Issues Center, you'll find concepts, theories and methods



Articles

Promotion Policies Modified: One Size Doesn't Fit All
Schools in some communities are taking some of the sting out of tough promotion policies by implementing special transition classes and allowing more teacher/principal input into promotion decisions. Today, Education World takes a look at three urban school districts -- Chicago, Detroit and Milwaukee.

Is Nationwide Pre-K on the Way?
Georgia is on the right track with its all-day, free prekindergarten program, say parents and educators. Future school reform should include universal prekindergarten nationwide, according to Head Start founder Edward Zigler and U.S. Department of Education Secretary Richard W. Riley.

K-8 Schools: An Idea for the New Millenium?
Are K through 8 schools things of the past, memories of yesteryear? Are middle schools the wave of the future? Many educators think so, but some still believe K through 8 is the best way to go!

Where Does Sixth Grade Belong?
Should sixth grade be in the middle school? the elementary school? a school all its own?

Grade Configuration: Who Goes Where?
K-3? K-8? 5-8? 7-8? How about a ninth-grade-only learning center? What is the best grade configuration for a school? A new report from the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory looks at schools of every configuration!



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SCHOOL CALENDAR


Sections

Grouping / Scheduling
Part of our School Issues Center, you'll find concepts, theories and methods



Articles
Is Year-Round Schooling the Answer?
Do year-round schools enhance student learning, or are they a costly, hectic, and largely ineffective cure for the nation's educational ills? Those involved in year-round schools -- school superintendents, specialists, researchers, teachers, and principals -- share their views with Education World readers.

Around the Block: The Benefits and Challenges of Block Scheduling
Education World examines the research about block scheduling in junior and senior high schools. Included: What you can do to ensure that block scheduling will succeed and tips from the principal of a successful "block-scheduled" school!

Alternative School Calendars: Smart Idea or Senseless Experiment?
Year-round schools, later start times, the four-day week, trimesters, and more!

In the Loop: Students and Teachers Progressing Together
Looping ---when a teacher moves with his or her students to the next grade level rather than sending them to another teacher at the end of the school year--- was initially advocated by early 20th-century Austrian educator Rudolf Steiner and since has been used successfully for years in Europe.

Advice About Middle School Advisories
This week, Education World answers the question What makes a successful advisory? We also include activity ideas for improving advisories!

Should Schools Take a Break from Recess?
Does it make sense, educationally and developmentally, to eliminate recess for students in elementary school? That question is the subject of debate among educators. What do teachers and parents have to say?

Is the Four-Day School Week Coming Your Way?
Test scores were on the downswing; unfunded state mandates were on the rise. There was not enough money, not enough time. What is a superintendent to do? Lewis Diggs, Superintendent of Schools in Saratoga, Arkansas, might have found the answer for his system in the four-day school week.

The School Calendar: It's Time to Make Time for Learning!
How is the school-year calendar determined in your school system? How is the length of the school day determined? Is student learning at the center of those decisions?

Block Scheduling: A Solution or a Problem?
The merits of block scheduling are a subject of great debate. Is it a flexible scheduling alternative that benefits students -- or is it a fad that's sure to pass?



Reviews

National Association For Year Round Education
This website covers a lot of the questions and information concerning year round education programs, including examples and terminology. (Grades: K-12)



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SCHOOL CHOICE


Sections

School Choice
Part of our School Issues Center, you'll find current ideas, thoughts and trends.



Articles

Ballot Measures Lead To Heavy Spending, Lobbying
In Arizona, voters ended bilingual education. California and Michigan voters soundly defeated propositions to allow school vouchers. In Oregon, voters decided against tying teachers' pay increases to student performance. The results of an Oregon measure to ban instruction promoting or sanctioning homosexual or bisexual behavior was too close to call as of Wednesday morning.

School Vouchers 101: An Overview of This Year's Hottest Campaign Debate
What is the voucher debate all about? Here is an overview -- and the latest facts about one of the hottest political issues of this presidential election year. Included: The results of two Harvard University studies that evaluated school voucher programs after one year.

More and More States Embrace Charter Schools
More and more states embracing latest wave in education reform. President Clinton calls for 3,000 charter schools by next century; we're one-quarter of way there.

What Really Matters in American Education?
The Department of Education minces no words in stating its position on private school vouchers: "Using public tax dollars for private school vouchers fundamentally undermines 200 years of public education in America." Vouchers and other key issues are examined in a new Department of Education report.

A recent U.S. Department of Education report looks at the differences and similarities of public and private schools.
Which is better: public schools or private schools? In the debate over school effectiveness, public schools may come out the losers. Private schools are often perceived to be more effective, with at least some evidence to buttress that position.

The Yin and Yang of Learning: Educators Seek Solutions in Single-Sex Education
Girls are characterized as being more collaborative in the classroom; boys are said to be more competitive. Does this mean schools should offer single-gender schooling?

Government Releases Charter School Report
A Study of Charter Schools: First-Year Report was recently released by the U.S. Department of Education. The study includes the first definitive survey of all charter schools (90% of all charter schools in operation as of the 1995-96 school year).



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School Choices
School reform is a hot topic. Most people agree that we need to make changes to improve the quality of America's schools, but few can agree on just how to go about it. The School Choice site puts forth a strong argument in favor of a free-market school system as opposed to our current government run school system. Here you'll find articles, book reviews, and other information that examine the pros and cons of this controversial reform method. (Grades: K-12)

Charter Schools
This site was created to provide information, resources and listings for anyone interested in learning about charter schools in the United States. (Grades: K-12)



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SCHOOL MANAGEMENT


Sections

Leadership Archives
Part of our School Administrators Center, you'll find current ideas, thoughts and trends including the popular Principals Files series.



Articles

When Size Matters: Making Big Schools Feel Small (An Education World E-interview With Paul S. George)
Educators have seen the fallout from big and anonymous schools -- kids don't flourish in those environments. Paul S. George, coauthor of "Making Big Schools Feel Small: Multiage Grouping, Looping and Schools-Within-a-School." comments that schools need to do what it takes to foster long-term relationships between students and teachers.

From the Principal Files: The Principal Shortage -- What Can Schools Do to Attract a New Generation of School Leaders?
Education World asked our "Principal Files" principals to suggest some ideas that might help grow the shrinking pool of qualified school leaders. Today, we share their responses! Included: Read their replies -- some common sense, others provocative!

From the Principal Files: The Principal Shortage -- Why Doesnt Anybody Want the Job?
I wouldnt want your job! School principals hear that remark all the time. Is it any wonder? The day doesnt include enough hours to accomplish half of what most principals must do. Paperwork mounts. The stresses of accountability pervade. Support from above and respect from the community border on nonexistent. Finally, considering that most principals work long days and year-round, the pay stinks! Included: Today, Education Worlds Principal Files principals share their thoughts about why our nation is on the brink of a severe principal shortage. Tomorrow, they share their ideas for alleviating that shortage.

Principals Speak Out on Major Election Issues
On October 30, the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) released the results of a September survey of 712 of its members. Principals responded to statements about more than 20 hot-button education issues. Included: Survey results summarized!

From the Principal Files: Principals Identify Top Ten Leadership Traits
Education World recently surveyed 43 principals to learn what they consider essential traits of successful school leaders. Vision, trustworthiness and credibility, daily visibility, and a sense of humor were among the ten traits that topped the list! Included: Principals comment on the most important characteristics of strong leadership!

'Formative Leadership' Theory Views Principal as Leader of Leaders An Education World e-Interview With the People Behind the Theory
The theory of "formative leadership," developed by Dr. Ruth Ash and Dr. Maurice Persall, of Samford University, is based on the belief that many leaders exist within a school. The theory supports the teacher as a school leader and the principal as the leader of leaders. Today, Education World interviews Ash and Persall about the leadership theory they developed.

Skilled Leadership the Key to Improving Test Scores, Study Says
Researchers at Seattle Pacific University recently surveyed 40 successful principals to learn why some schools succeed while others struggle to achieve. Researchers also learned what it would take for those principals to agree to take over the reigns of a struggling school. Included: Comments from researchers and principals and a bold idea for restructuring the principal's job!

Site-Based Management: Boon or Boondoggle?
Site-based management is great --- when it works! Today, Education World looks at research on SBM. We talk with a prominent superintendent who leads a large school system in which site-based management has garnered accolades. Learn what that superintendent has to say about making SBM work!

Can Non-Educators Lead Our Schools?
Roy Romer, a former Colorado governor, was selected last week to lead the schools of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Romer is the latest non-educator to lead a large urban school district. What drives school districts to look outside education for leadership? Is this a trend or another experiment bound to fail?



Reviews

Coalition of Essential Schools
Coalition of Essential Schools is a growing network of more than 1,000 schools in 38 states that are implementing community-based school reform centered around rethinking the schools' priorities and redesigning curriculum, assessments, and instruction to be more student centered. The site offers a large library of materials, lists of participating schools, and information on projects and research.

Council of the Great City Schools
The Council of the Great City Schools is an organization of the nation's largest urban public school systems that advocates for K-12 education in inner-city schools. The Web site includes an on-line newsletter, articles, resources, an employment service, and lots more!

Rethinking Schools Online
Rethinking Schools is an activist education publication, with articles written by and for teachers, parents, and students. It addresses classroom practices, educational theory, and key policy issues such as vouchers and marketplace-oriented reforms, funding equity, and school-to-work programs.

Learning First Alliance
The Learning First Alliance is a newly formed group dedicated to improving student learning in America's public elementary and secondary schools.

The Council of Chief State School Officers
This is the Web site for the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). Users will find headlines, publications and information related to the organization.

National Association of Elementary School Principals
Information and resources for elementary and middle school principals.

American Association of School Administrators
Information pertaining to and for school administrators.



Database
  • Administrative Resources:
  • SCHOOL UNIFORMS


    Articles
    Philadelphia School Board to Require Uniforms
    Philadelphia public school students will be required to wear uniforms in September. Will the new rule improve student behavior? Will it result in more serious students and higher test scores? What do Philly's parents and school administrators think? What does the ACLU say about the new requirements?

    School Uniforms: Panacea or Band-Aid?
    Does requiring students to wear uniforms directly affect school environment and student achievement, or is it the equivalent of painting the walls of a crumbling building -- merely cosmetic? What does the research say? What do students, teachers, and parents say?

    Can Uniforms Save Our Schools?
    The New York City School Board recently voted to require students in all city elementary schools to wear school uniforms beginning in September 1999. The unanimous ruling, which is expected to affect more than a half-million students in the nation's largest school system, is the most recent development in a trend that is rapidly spreading across the country.

    TEACHER QUALITY


    Sections

    Staffing
    Part of our Administrators Original Content section, you'll find tips to help you with your staffing needs.



    Articles

    Will Higher Pay Solve the Worst Teacher Shortage Ever? It Can't Hurt!
    Subsidized housing, tax breaks, student loan forgiveness, and more!

    Ballot Measures Lead To Heavy Spending, Lobbying
    In Arizona, voters ended bilingual education. California and Michigan voters soundly defeated propositions to allow school vouchers. In Oregon, voters decided against tying teachers' pay increases to student performance. The results of an Oregon measure to ban instruction promoting or sanctioning homosexual or bisexual behavior was too close to call as of Wednesday morning.

    School Systems and Teachers Unions Mull Over Performance Pay
    The Cincinnati Federation of Teachers recently adopted a new salary structure that ties pay to classroom performance. A teachers union in Colorado continues to refine its three-year-old performance-pay system. Included: Tips for changing your school district's pay system.

    A Pickle in the Middle Grades: Report Documents Importance of Teacher Training for Grades Five Through Eight
    If their academic preparation in middle school is weak, students are unlikely to succeed in high school. And if their education isn't tailored to meet their developmental needs, the students may become alienated and disengaged and mark time until they are old enough to drop out of high school. The problems are especially acute in urban schools. Those are the conclusions offered in a report from the Philadelphia Fund. Included: Basic requirements for middle school educators!

    Testing Teachers Makes Teachers Testy!
    All but a few states require prospective teachers to take licensing exams. Those exams --as well as the sometimes-dismal scores -- are stirring up trouble in some states, though. Do the tests help raise the quality of classroom teachers, or is there little correlation between test results and teacher competence? This week, Education World writer Glori Chaika explores the politically polarized issue of teacher testing.

    Solving the Substitute Shortage, Part 2: Exploring Other Options
    Many school districts, coping with a serious shortage of substitute teachers, can no longer rely on the subs who simply show up and sign up. So schools have explored other options! Included: Information about a new substitute agency, a new substitute union, and a "sub camp" that bridges the gap for new subs.

    Solving the Substitute Shortage, Part 1: Four Rules to Keep Your Best Subs Coming Back
    Between kindergarten and high school graduation, the average student will spend 187 days --more than one full school year-- with substitute teachers. Learn what schools can do to guarantee the highest quality education possible in the absence of the permanent classroom teacher. Included: Four rules to help keep your best subs coming back and tips for recognizing the contributions of your school's substitutes!

    Ed Schools: Are Tomorrow's Teachers Making the Grade?
    How are our teacher education institutions doing? How might they improve on what they're doing? As the school year begins, Education World Principal Files principals reflect on new teachers they have hired in recent years. As well prepared as many of those teachers might be, principals say, colleges could do an even better job of training new teachers for the reality of the classroom. Included: Principals reflect on the need for new teachers to have more hands-on experiences, better classroom management skills, a keener awareness of the interpersonal skills needed to thrive in the school culture, and more!

    Does High Teacher Pay = High Achievement? A Study Says No!
    A new, in-depth report takes a look at how states spend education money and finds that the most cost-effective ways of increasing student achievement are by reducing pupil-teacher ratios, providing more prekindergarten programs, and providing teachers with discretionary classroom resources --- not by raising teacher pay.

    Teachers at the Bottom of the Class for Professional Pay
    Released last week by the American Federation of Teachers, the survey shows that although salary increases were slightly higher than the national inflation rate, the nation's teachers still earn less than many white-collar professionals do. Included: Look up the average salary for teachers in your state!

    Out-of-Field Teaching: How Qualified Is *Your* Child's Teacher?
    Teacher shortages, primarily in the areas of special education, math, and science, vary by region and by school district, but critical shortages do exist throughout the country. If your child's teacher has inadequate preparation in the subject she or he teaches, is that the equivalent of educational fraud?

    Is the Teacher in the Classroom Next Door a Convicted Felon?
    Discovering that felons work in school systems happens more often than one might wish. This week, Education World examines the problems that have led many communities and states to require background checks for all school personnel. Included: Practical tips from attorneys and other experts who specialize in school safety issues.

    Teachers Tackle Testing: The Scoop on Teacher Assessment
    A Harvard graduate, a Boston University graduate, and an MIT Ph.D. failed the Massachusetts new-teacher assessment test. How do you think you would do on it?



    Reviews
    FairTest: The National Center for Fair & Open Testing
    has some interesting information on the fairness of the National Teachers Exam in relation to cultural and ethnic backgrounds.


    Database
    Administration Resources:

    TECHNOLOGY IN EDUCATION


    Sections

    Technology & Internet
    Part of our Administrators Original Content section, you'll find ways to incorporate Technology into your school.



    Articles

    Riley Announces New National Educational Technology Plan
    U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley released the nation's first educational technology plan in 1996. Last week, he announced a new plan showing "where progress has been made, where new opportunities exist, and where challenges remain." INCLUDED: News of five new national goals and a link to the plan.

    In My Opinion: The Filter Is Bad for Education
    By guest editor Ted Nellen
    Educational technology innovator Ted Nellen reacts to reports that the majority of Americans favor filtering Internet access in schools.

    Should Kids in Primary Grades Use Computers?
    Does using computers in the primary grades stifle young children's natural inclination to experiment and explore and hamper the development of independent thought? Will hardware turn primary classrooms from environments that nuture young minds to labs that merely mesmerize them? Learn what our experts think! Included: An expert's response to the tech naysayers.

    Peddling Products to Kids in School on the Rise
    According to a government report, commercial activities in our nations schools are increasing. The report also states that few school districts closely monitor those activities and are not aware of how commercial technologies that gather marketing information can affect kids.

    Live at 9:00: Are You Ready for Web Cams in *Your* Classroom?
    "I propose creating a secure pilot program in a small handful of schools, wiring every classroom with Internet-connected video and audio equipment, allowing parents to log on to the World Wide Web and watch their children in their classes." Those are the words of Jeff Howard, a New Hampshire gubernatorial candidate. How would you feel about having every moment of your school day broadcast live online via Web cam? Today, Education World shares thoughts from educators on both sides of this hot debate.

    ZapMe! Is It an Idea Whose Time Has Come?
    Picture this. A student in your history class sits down at a computer in the library to do some research on the ninth century for her upcoming report. The brand-new computer employs the latest technology. As the student surfs the Net, a small box in the lower left corner of the computer screen flashes advertisements for the U.S. Army, Xerox, Wells Fargo College Financial Aid, and Kodak. That computer might have been provided to the school *at no cost* by ZapMe! Today, Education World writer Sherril Steele-Carlin looks at ZapMe! and a similar offering from America Online. Included: Interviews with staff at schools that use ZapMe!

    How Can Schools Make Better Use of the Internet?
    According to a report recently released by the National School Boards Foundation, the majority of parents see the Internet as a powerful tool for education and a positive force in their children's lives. According to Peter Grunwald, whose firm researched and produced the report, those findings present educators with both an opportunity and a challenge. Included: Guidelines to help schools make the most of the potential of the Internet. 6/28/00

    Establish a Computer Club: Big Benefits for Students and Staff
    A great online resource helps teachers start computer or Web clubs on their campuses!

    Have Computers Forced Handwriting Out of the Picture?
    Who is to blame for students poor handwriting?

    Three Keys to Technology Excellence
    Most teachers, school administrators, students, and parents know that computer literacy is vital to success in the 21st century, but whats the best way to develop technological effectiveness in our schools? To find out, Education World asked educators whose districts' technology programs were cited by the U.S. Department of Education to tell us their secrets.

    And in This Corner The High-Tech Heretic! (An Education World e-Interview With Author Clifford Stoll)
    This is the e-interview that every educator will want to read! Clifford Stoll is the author of High-Tech Heretic: Why Computers Dont Belong in the Classroom and Other Reflections by a Computer Contrarian. He is also an MSNBC commentator, a Berkeley astronomer, an Internet pioneer, and a full time, stay-at-home dad. This week, Stoll shares with Education World readers his controversial thoughts about computers in the classroom. After reading, youll want to share your thoughts on an Education World message board!

    Technology in the Schools: It *Does* Make a Difference!
    This year, the Clinton administration earmarked an additional $25 million over last year's budget to help schools integrate technology into the curriculum and for technology training for teachers. Will spending all that money really help kids learn? This week, Education World examines both sides of the *Is technology worth it?* debate. This story focuses on some of the research that makes a strong case in favor of technology in the schools. Included: Resources to help make the case for technology.

    Technology in Schools: Some Say It Doesn't Compute!
    Technology changes faster than educational researchers can study it. Although many researchers insist computers are valuable in schools, they readily admit they can't yet say whether technology actually helps kids achieve educational goals. Have schools jumped onto the technology bandwagon too soon? In this story, Education World focuses on some of the research that makes a strong case against the way technology is currently used in schools.



    Reviews

    Safeguarding the Wired Schoolhouse
    This Consortium for School Networking site helps school leaders make informed decisions concerning the Internet.



    Database
    Administrative Resources:

    URBAN EDUCATION & RURAL EDUCATION


    Sections

    Rural Education
    Part of our Education Issues section, you'll find information about whats going on with education in rural areas.

    Urban Education
    Part of our Education Issues section, you can find out about whats happening with education in urban areas.



    Articles

    New Report Highlights the State of Rural Schools
    Today, the Rural School and Community Trust released the first national report providing state-by-state data about rural schools. The report demonstrates the need for policy makers to pay more attention to the special problems rural schools face. Included: Five fast facts about rural America.

    Scrambling for Staff: The Teacher Shortage in Rural Schools
    At a time when school districts nationwide are experiencing teacher shortages, districts that historically have difficulty attracting and retaining quality teachers are really scrambling for staff. This week Education World explores the effects of the teacher shortage on remote and rural schools. Included: What are schools doing to solve the shortage? BYLINE: Glori Chaika

    The Social Context of Education -- 1997
    A wide range of social conditions can affect the way kids learn. A report, The Social Context of Education, examines those conditions and how they've changed over the last few decades.



    Reviews
    Schools Online
    Part of the Urban Programs Resource Network at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Schools Online is a collection of interactive curriculum materials for a broad section of the K-12 population.

    National Institute for Urban School Improvement
    The National Institute for Urban School Improvement is dedicated to supporting urban educational communities that are implementing mainstream inclusion programs for disabled students. The site includes an excellent library of resources, a discussion forum, events calendar, and newsletter.

    Council of the Great City Schools
    The Council of the Great City Schools is an organization of the nation's largest urban public school systems that advocates for K-12 education in inner-city schools. The Web site includes an on-line newsletter, articles, resources, an employment service, and lots more!

    National Center for Urban Partnerships
    The National Center for Urban Partnerships sponsors education initiatives to increase higher education opportunities for at-risk, urban students, and to create lasting change in the education system.

    Teach for America
    Teach For America is "the national teacher corps of outstanding recent college graduates of all academic majors and cultural backgrounds who commit two years to teach in under-resourced urban and rural public schools."

    Urban Education Web
    Most of the information comes from the Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) Clearinghouse on Urban Education.



    Database
    Administration Resources : Education Issues: