One major way that this accountability is enforced is through standardized testing. By applying the same requirements to each teacher, and each student within a state, the general theory is that accountability for student success will be upheld.

Are you getting the most from your PD dollars in terms of educator growth and student achievement?

Only 10 percent of eighth-grade black boys in the U.S. are proficient in reading. In urban areas like Chicago and Detroit, that number is even lower.

In broad terms, gamification is using the concepts of game design and play to motivate users and boost participation, and engagement. People who gamify attempt to tap into their users' innate desire for competition, prestige, and partnership. Teachers use game design principles to enhance curriculum materials while helping students learn.

An award-winning educator illuminates the importance of combatting isolationism by guiding substantive dialogue among students from different places, cultures, and religions.

Technology allows teachers and administrators to capture, organize and analyze this information, so they can act on it in a timely way. But is it having an effect on student learning and achievement?

According to numerous sources, America is experiencing a nationwide teacher shortage that will undoubtedly escalate to a crisis within the next two years.

Sustained educational change will never occur until we as a country decide that enough is enough and make a commitment to change, no matter what it takes.

Contrary to popular belief, DNA is not a child's destiny. IQ is not fixed. Cognitive skills can change. This is critically important in K-12 schools because of the poverty gap -- the difference between a child's chronological age and developmental age.

So how can colleges step up their game when it comes to closing the achievement gap?

The opinions expressed in Education Futures: Emerging Trends in K-12 are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.

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