Policy

Understanding ESSA: What does Evidence-Based Really Mean?
Thursday, May 17, 2018
Understanding ESSA: What does Evidence-Based Really Mean?

One clear shift in thinking between the 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and its predecessor, No Child Left Behind, is this: The ESSA prompts schools to use evidence-based interventions with students, particularly if those students qualify for Title 1 funding (intended to provide extra support to students living in...

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Full-Day Kindergarten: Pros, Cons, and State Requirements
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Full-Day Kindergarten: Pros, Cons, and State Requirements

Once an optional, preschool-like addition to elementary school programs, kindergarten has come a long way. For years, most kindergarten classes offered a half-day introduction to life in school, with plenty of time for free play, snacks, and even naps. Today, however, parents have a hard time finding anything other than...

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Recess Revisited: Playtime Can Bring Academic Success
Tuesday, March 6, 2018
Recess Revisited: Playtime Can Bring Academic Success

School districts seeking a fairly simple way to boost achievement might want to look outside their classroom doors by adding more recess time to the school day. Sure, it may be fun for the kids, but as a growing body of research suggests, it also makes students better able to...

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Looking for Innovation? Consider the School Schedule
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Looking for Innovation? Consider the School Schedule

In a blog post for the online site Edutopia, New York City teacher Jose Vilson described serving on an education policy panel in Maryland with several other teachers. Along the way, Vilson and the other panelists were asked what a school of their own design would look like. Vilson said...

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Growing Pains: Charter Schools Face Accountability Questions
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Growing Pains: Charter Schools Face Accountability Questions

Charter schools have been part of the education landscape since 1991, when Minnesota created the nation’s first law authorizing this publicly funded, independently run school model. Back then, charters were positioned as a companion to traditional public schools that allowed teachers and students the freedom to work together in smaller,...

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Between Basic Skills and College Prep: Adolescents Need Attention
Wednesday, January 3, 2018
Between Basic Skills and College Prep: Adolescents Need Attention

Most high school students today expect to go to college, but they do not feel adequately prepared for it. This revelation can be found among the results of a multi-year student survey conducted by the nonprofit organization YouthTruth. Between 2010 and 2015, YouthTruth asked thousands of students around the country...

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Charter Schools: With More Freedom Comes More Accountability
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Charter Schools: With More Freedom Comes More Accountability

Many educators and students recognize the need for unique, individualized learning within their schools. However, for larger organizations such as the public school system, providing individual schools with a high level of independence isn’t always feasible. To ensure students get all the resources they need and are making adequate progress...

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To Repeat or Not: States Wrestle with Holding Students Back
Monday, October 23, 2017
To Repeat or Not: States Wrestle with Holding Students Back

Holding students back in school has long been a controversial topic. Grade retention was common in the one-room schoolhouses of the 19th century because there were more formal agreed-upon ideas about the academic content students should be able to master at each grade level. Then, in the 1930s, holding students...

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Showing Up to Learn: The Effect of Chronic Absenteeism on Literacy Development
Monday, September 18, 2017
Showing Up to Learn: The Effect of Chronic Absenteeism on Literacy Development

As educators, we know the importance of creating and delivering high-quality instruction for maximizing student achievement. In K–12 literacy programs, providing a strong curriculum and assessments for students is an essential component of skill development and meeting expectations of standardized tests. But what happens when, despite all of this preparation,...

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Testing Debate Heats Up Under Education Secretary Betsy DeVos
Monday, June 26, 2017
Testing Debate Heats Up Under Education Secretary Betsy DeVos

As Betsy DeVos was growing into her new job as the United States Secretary of Education in spring 2017, she made some surprising comments about standardized testing. While on a trip to visit Valencia College in Florida, DeVos sat down for an interview with local television reporter Martie Salt in...

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