Absenteeism matters to schools and students

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By Robert Balfanz

Trauma and learning in America’s classrooms

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  All teachers confront the need to create safe and supportive environments for students who have had adverse childhood experiences. By Salvatore Terrasi and Patricia Crain de Galarce Michael, a 2nd-grade student, has become defiant with this teachers, and his mother reports that he doesn’t want to go to school. Until recently, he was happy [...]

Revising the role of principal supervisor

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Principal supervisors are part coach, part evaluator. They keep their principals focused on teaching and learning. By Amy Saltzman There were dark moments that first year. In 2014, Principal Elizabeth Namba inherited a school that faced multiple challenges, including a troubling achievement gap, drastically decreased enrollment, and a growing suspension rate. But when she found [...]

Through our eyes: Perspectives from black teachers

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Black teachers bring unique skills to their work that often go far beyond their roles as content experts and instructors. By Ashley Griffin and Hilary Tackie “The difference I would like to make is a difference that my 5th-grade teacher, an African-American woman, made on me,” says an elementary teacher from Oakland, Calif., who is [...]

Opening your door to research

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Armed with some knowledge of how the process works, teachers may be more willing to welcome researchers into their classrooms. By Melody Zoch and Ann D. David Whenever we read, “research says . . . ,” we assume that what follows is synonymous with good instruction, assessment, or practice. However, given the differences among communities, [...]

Microcredentials show what you know

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Giving beginning teachers — as early as high school students exploring teaching — opportunities to demonstrate what they know is one strategy for enhancing the profession. By Dan Brown and Dwight E. Rhodes Over the past decade, the concept of personalized student learning has taken center stage in discussions about educational improvement. Now it’s time [...]

Being #2  

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A school administrator shares how he handles the stresses of a job that, by its nature, often holds him responsible for things he cannot change.  By Maury Grebenau I’m the principal of a high school but second in command. Although we school administrators share many challenges as we practice our sacred craft, there are specific [...]

Time for teacher learning, planning critical for school reform

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Students aren’t the only ones who need more time to learn; teachers also need more and better time for learning and for planning. By Eileen G. Merritt Teachers accomplish so many important things with such little time. They teach several subjects or courses each day, review student work, plan differentiated lessons to meet the needs [...]

Burnout factories:  The challenge of retaining great teachers in charter schools

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In its well-intentioned effort to create alternatives to public school dropout factories, the charter school sector has created teacher burnout factories. But, says the author, it doesn’t have to be this way. By Mark Fusco A few years ago, the term “dropout factory” was everywhere: lamented by the leaders of the so-called school reform movement, [...]

Madam Secretary, help us improve social-emotional learning

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Schools need to begin to systematically include social-emotional learning for all students. Washington can play a leading role in this. By Maurice J. Elias, Samuel J. Nayman, Joan C. Duffell, and Sarah A. Kim Somewhere on the warm, sunny, and well-manicured campus of Stanford University, a group of children were given a choice. They could [...]

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