Big money and its influence on K-12 education: An interview with Sarah Reckhow 


Kappan’s editor talks with Sarah Reckhow about her research into the ways the Gates Foundation and other big spenders have influenced K-12 education.  By Rafael Heller  KAPPAN: In preparation for this issue of Kappan, we compiled a list of all the people who wield power and influence over K-12 education, from the local level to state capitals to Washington, D.C. [...]

The case of teacher evaluation: Who do state policy makers listen to?


  As states are being given more freedom to develop their own policies on teacher evaluation and tenure, a survey reveals which voices are most likely to influence policy.  By Rachel S. White  While state governments have had a heavy hand in teacher preparation, licensure, and certification policy for over a century (American Association of Colleges [...]

Making the most of instructional coaches


  Although coaching shows promise for professional development, some instructional coaches are spread too thin to focus on instruction. By Britnie Delinger Kane and Brooks Rosenquist Instructional coaching is among the fastest-growing forms of support for teachers’ professional learning (Darling-Hammond et al., 2009), and for good reason. When compared to other common forms of teacher [...]

How school counselors make a world of difference


  The multifaceted work of school counselors helps prepare  students academically and emotionally for life beyond school.  By Patrick J. O’Connor  Long considered an integral part of a school’s support system, school counselors bring a wealth of insight and resources to a variety of student-centered issues. As part of a team of mental health experts, [...]

What a difference a district can make: An interview with Meredith Honig 


While they’re often overlooked in education policy debates, district central office staff can play critical roles in improving schools and ensuring student success.  By Rafael Heller  KAPPAN: After we announced the theme of this month’s issue of Kappan — on the many adults, beyond teachers and principals, who matter to student success — we received manuscripts about a [...]

A wider vision of learning and assessment


In the Harbor Freight Fellows Initiative, high-potential students who struggle in traditional CTE programs demonstrate their ability to learn outside school.  By Elliot Washor  Actor Peter Falk, made famous by his role as Columbo in the eponymous 1970s television series, once shared a story about his glass eye. When he was three years old, he explained, he had retinoblastoma and had to [...]

School nurses: An investment in student achievement 


  Students enter school with a variety of mental and physical health needs, and school nurses are on the front line of addressing them.  By Erin D. Maughan  Juaquin has his head down again. Is he asleep (again) or not feeling well (again)? Nevaeh is back after being gone for nearly three weeks at the [...]

Who’s really driving student outcomes? Bus drivers


School bus drivers not only get students to school safely, they help create a positive attitude toward learning. By Anthony R. Meals When I was a student, I took many unremarkable bus rides to and from middle school, but today’s ride was anything but ordinary. Approaching my first stop, I switched on the manual ambers. [...]

Teacher leadership to support English language learners

Education, home blogs|

To improve instruction and services for all English language learners, teachers are stepping into leadership roles. By Felice Atesoglu Russell and Kerry Soo Von Esch At a time when school districts across the country are experiencing fast-growing enrollments of English language learners (ELLs), many K-12 educators are asking what they can do to meet those [...]

Do students’ high scores on international assessments translate to low levels of creativity?


By Stefan Johansson In a previous issue of Phi Delta Kappan, Yong Zhao (2012) urged readers to stop worrying so much about the relatively poor performance of American students on measures such as the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which compares the mathematics, science, and reading achievement of 15-year-olds from dozens of countries (OECD, [...]

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