This spring, at the Academy for Learning in Dolton, Illinois, a school police officer allegedly assaulted a 15-year-old special-needs student for not adhering to the school's dress code, according to CNN. The confrontation, which was caught on a school surveillance videotape, reportedly began when the officer admonished the student for not tucking in his shirt properly, in violation of the school's dress code. In the video, the student responds to the officer, after which a faculty member grabs the student's arm. The student resists, pulling away and walking down the hall, followed by the officer and faculty member. The officer ...


Some parents at a unique Massachusetts elementary school are showing by their actions that the type of curriculum their children are exposed to is more important to them than near-term test scores, according to a story in the Boston Globe. When children enter kindergarten at Sam Placentino Elementary School in Holliston, Mass., their parents decide which of one of three instructional programs to place them in: traditional, French immersion, or Montessori. But the choice comes with a warning from district administrators: The nontraditional programs will likely produce lower state test scores, especially for younger students. "We are very clear to ...


Reports of the death of handwriting have been greatly exaggerated (or at least slightly overstated), according to The Washington Post. This week, tucked away in a northern Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C., two dozen school teachers received training on how to teach handwriting to students—most of whom are more familiar with a keyboard than a pencil. Instruction came by way of a curriculum created by occupational therapist Jan Olsen. Olsen's curriculum, Handwriting Without Tears, grew out of her successful efforts to help her son overcome his handwriting struggles in elementary school. HWT, which uses music and movement to teach...


An Ohio school district has decided to implement a review system to evaluate all books on teachers' reading lists.


Last week, in the nation's capital, 38-year-old Chancellor Michelle Rhee announced that there would be a reduction in force of the city's 3,800 teachers due to "unanticipated" cuts to the budget by the City Council, according to The Washington Post. A controversial figure locally since her appointment in the spring of 2007 by Mayor Adrian Fenty to head up Washington, D.C.'s troubled school system, Rhee has became something of a media darling outside the Beltway—appearing on the cover of Time magazine in the now-famous picture of her in a classroom, holding a broom; in the pages...


A California elementary school with high percentages of low income and minority students has seen dramatic test score gains as a result of an instructional program that combines intensive white board use with choral student responses, according to the Contra Costa Times. Delta View Elementary's Academic Performance Index scores have jumped 148 points over the past year, reaching 830 this year (on a scale of 200 to 1000, where 800 marks proficiency). It boasts the highest academic-growth rate in its district. Teachers and administrators attribute the gains to the introduction of basic-skills instructional programs called "BoardMath" and "BoardEnglish." In these ...


A New Hampshire teacher has been disciplined and is being monitored after issuing a (shall we say?) peculiar essay prompt to her 12th grade class, according to local news provider WMUR. The prompt in question: "If you knocked your brother to the ground, would you urinate in his mouth?" Jack Robertson, superintendent of the Governor Wentworth Regional School District, claimed that the teacher designed the question to motivate students to think creatively and improve their writing. He noted that the teacher, who previously had a good track record, did not exercise good judgment by assigning the question to the class. (Ya...


This week, CNN reported that the population of Facebook—now at 300 million members—has neared that of the United States. This is good news for anyone trying to connect via the Internet, except perhaps for teachers in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The ArgusLeader.com reports that, as of June, the district has a new policy that prevents students and staff who are not related from social-networking with or “friending” each other, unless the site is a professional one. For Deb Merxbauer, the head of the Sioux Falls Education Association, the decision is an inconvenience for district staff who find sites ...


Editor’s note: Conquering classroom management can be tough. Whether it’s figuring out how not to make the most of leftover classroom time, dealing with behavior problems, or staying ahead of classroom chaos, classroom management can raise the hackles of even a seasoned educator. A best-of selection of classroom management tips written by the members of the Teacher Leaders Network and staff reporters at Education Week is now available. A package of articles on topics ranging from classroom organization to conflict resolution to the latest management tools are available for only $4.95....


In an op-ed piece published in the Boston Globe, education professor and historian Diane Ravitch argues that the current movement to emphasize “21st Century Skills” in K-12 schools is a potentially harmful rehash of earlier, now discredited pedagogical efforts to teach life skills in the place of content knowledge. Ravitch writes that the focus on cooperative learning, critical thinking, and employment preparation recommended by advocates of 21st Century Skills has a host of precedents. Throughout the 20th century, she says, progressive pedagogical movements repeatedly called on educators to “abandon their antiquated academic ideals” and teach students relevant practical skills through ...


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