Search form


Home > Administrator's Desk Channel > Administrator's Desk Archives > Grouping / Scheduling


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.

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.

The School Day: It's Not a Race; Let's Change the Pace!
Does the relentless pace of the school day frustrate you? Do you need to cram more and more into six hours? In his latest book, TIME TO TEACH. TIME TO LEARN, Chip Wood takes a serious look at the frenetic pace of teaching and learning. He offers dozens of suggestions for refocusing on what's really important during the school day. In this exclusive Education World e-interview, Wood talks about his new book and about his ideas for changing the way we spend time in school.

Around the Block: The Benefits and Challenges of Block Scheduling
An organization called PENCIL connects the dots between New York City schools and businesses that have surplus supplies to give. Through PENCIL programs, the schools obtain funds, materials, and support. Is it possible to obtain similar benefits for your school? One principal offers his best suggestions for forging an educational partnership with your community. Also: Information about a handful of programs that help provide needed supplies for schools.

Alternative School Calendars: Smart Idea or Senseless Experiment?
If American students are to compete effectively in a global economy, do they need to spend substantially more time in school? Would increasing the length of the school year or school day raise students' achievement, or would it be more advantageous to alter how we use the time we currently have? Many school systems are experimenting with alternative instructional schedules in an attempt to find out. Included: 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. Despite the successful experiences of European school systems, looping is still uncommon enough in the United States to be considered innovative. Included: Looping research and comments from kids ---pro and con--- about looping.

From the Principal Files: Making Class Lists Needn't Be a Nightmare!
You've just completed the annual ritual --- the creation of next year's class lists. You've promised yourself you'll look for ways to make the process run more smoothly next year. First step: Read the advice in this story from Education World's "Principal Files" --- advice from school administrators who've been there, done that. Included: Why do parents request specific teachers?

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!

Homogeneous or Heterogeneous: Which Way to Go?
Is ability grouping the best way for students to learn or does it hold many back? Education World takes a look at recent information -- from researchers and from teachers -- on the issue.

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?

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

Starting Kindergarten Late: How Does It Affect School Performance?
Does entering kindergarten late help some children do better in school? The answer isn't as simple as it sounds! Opinions -- and the results of several recent surveys -- are divided on that question.

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.

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?

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!

Is Ability Grouping the Way to Go---Or Should It Go Away?
Logic, emotion, and research often clash in the longstanding debate over the advantages and disadvantages of ability grouping (tracking). Should it be left up to the courts to decide whether such grouping is fair or not?