It's clear that finding the right classroom seating assignment benefits students and educators, but how can it be accomplished without asking too much of the teacher's time? How can the guesswork be removed?

Indiana's Republican Governor Mike Pence made headlines when he announced in late March that his state would soon abandon the Common Core standards. His announcement was fueled by fervor about state's rights and the role of the federal government in what he, and many, believe should be a state's responsibility: creating and enforcing K-12 education standards.

There is a lot of money tied up in educational technology. In 2012, $600 million was invested by venture firms into ed-tech startups. To put that in perspective, that is 400 percent more than what was invested in the same industry in 2002. It seems that a lot of faith is being placed in the technology that will soon arrive in K-12 and college classrooms and on campuses - but what is actually being created?

Educators are collectively working harder to help students make it to the high school finish line and get prepared for college and the workforce. There is a lot of credit to be handed out for the successful graduation rates around the country (of course, there are still plenty of areas for improvement), but I think one shining area deserves a lot of the praise: technology.

Math, science, and engineering are all intrinsically linked with technology. This gives educators an advantage with the current generation of K-12 students who arrive in kindergarten classrooms with a technological edge. As learning technology improves, STEM education will continue to be the beneficiary if educators use it resourcefully.

There is a debate about equity in education that extends beyond zip codes, race and socioeconomic status and cuts right to the heart of something predetermined: sex. The controversy over whether or not single-sex schooling models actually make an academic difference is one that has raged for the better half of a century. Early reasons for separating young men and young women in their studies were simple enough - there was a cultural belief that removing the distraction of the opposite sex would lead to greater focus and higher academic gains.

Student success stems from teacher capability. The educators who oversee today's classrooms directly determine how much their students learn. U.S. News & World Report recently released its top education graduate programs in the country. Of 356 schools surveyed with doctoral programs, 245 provided the right data to be calculated in the rankings. The list was determined based on 10 criteria, including GRE scores, acceptance rates, student-to-faculty ratios, research expenditures and other factors.

Last week parents, teachers and other advocates for special education students gathered at a meeting in Detroit held by the Michigan Department of Education Office of Special Education. The concerns centered on a 19-page proposal to change special education eligibility and teaching requirements in the state.

Before high school graduates are shipped off to college with dreams of jobs and big paychecks on the other side, they need a reality check. A college degree is a valuable asset but does not come without a cost.

Creating and writing lesson plans are activities common to basic teacher education courses. Before entering a classroom, young educators are taught how to meticulously plan their time for the benefit of their students


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