If a Tornado Strikes Your School
How would you handle the specter of a tornado spinning toward your school? What split-second decisions would you make? No single plan and no one decision is fool-proof when it comes to tornadoes. Still, you’re more likely to save lives if you follow these strategies, adapted from NOAA’s Preparedness Guide for Schools.
A Place for Place-Based Learning
In a standards-based, test-driven reform era, is there value to be found in teaching children how to live and learn ecologically, politically, economically, and spiritually? Understanding one’s place through place-based education, when children gain a sense of belonging to the local community, may be one of the keys to living well.
Should Younger Children Move From Class to Class?
Some researchers question the assumption that the rotating classroom system is better than self-contained classrooms. Their studies show that the practice of rotating elementary classrooms can be risky for many young students. Achievement often sags during the year when elementary schools switch from self-contained to changing classrooms.
Giving Students an Early Advantage
Prekindergarten children’s gains in language, literacy, and math often fade out by the end of the first grade. The gains children make in kindergarten often fade out by third grade. But don’t give up hope. PK-3 units are a promising solution to the fade-out problem.
The Importance of Agricultural Education
Getting high-quality agricultural education programs off the ground requires more than laws and leadership, and more than money and models. It also depends on school leaders who have the patience and persistence to work on problems researchers have identified.
Use School Business Managers as Budget Allies
The bottom line—the balance that remains after all revenue is accounted for and all expenses are paid—shows a school district's fiscal status. But business managers should consider an equally important bottom line: a balance sheet that shows how budget decisions improved achievement for all students.
Interest-Based Bargaining Helps Boards and Teachers
What's the difference between traditional and interest-based bargaining? Traditional bargaining is power-based; each side aims to win. Interest-based bargaining encourages the parties to work in partnership to solve mutual problems. Why should you consider using interest-based bargaining? For one thing, it starts with the facts.
Getting Your Students Into the Flow
Elite athletes make it look easy. Or so it seems. Practice counts, of course. But investigations into athletes' prowess, and into their brains, show there's more to the story. What can school leaders learn from acclaimed athletes? A lot, as it turns out. I've found plenty of parallels between training athletes and helping kinds learn in the classroom.
A Guide to Excellence in the Boardroom
Board members should never accept excuses for poor performance and disparities in achievement. Members should become "informed activists" by studying tests and assessments, sorting and classifying student data, updating district goals, and supporting reforms to improve teaching and learning. Excellence in the boardroom is the first step to excellent achievement in your schools.
Are Mayors Threatening to Take Control of Your Schools?
The threat of mayoral and state takeovers is real. Today, takeovers are permitted by statute in about half the states, and they’re allowed by some city charters. The question is: Do takeovers work? Despite political criticism, posturing, and rhetoric from public school opponents, research on the financial or academic impact of takeovers remains sparse.