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  • Protecting student data in the age of marketing and advertising   
    District CIOs need to have a complete understanding of a district's legal obligations to protect student data as more student information is stored with online, third-party providers and parents' privacy concerns reach new heights, technology experts say. Some 89 percent of adults are concerned that third-party providers will use students' personal data for marketing purposes, according to a new survey.    [read more]

  • Center for American Progress: Race to Top states making good progress
    It's the final year of Race to the Top, so how are the dozen winners doing when it comes to the four main areas of the program, including turning around low-performing schools, improving teacher effectiveness, beefing up state data systems, and bolstering standards and assessments? Overall, states have made great progress in a short amount of time, but there have been bumps in the road, according to a report by the Center for American Progress, a think tank in Washington that many consider to be closely aligned with the Obama administration.    [read more]

  • Snow and severe winter take a toll on classroom learning   
    This winter's frequent snowstorms have reshuffled lesson plans and testing schedules at schools across the Washington region, and the days off have left students worried about being ready for spring exams. Teachers wonder if first-graders will make their reading goals as they lose ground on snow days, and parents have been surprised by extra homework.    [read more]

  • Pros and cons of Common Core State Standards   
    As the name suggests, Common Core State Standards mean an even and consistent educational standard across the country that will pave the way for equal learning opportunities. The initiative was designed to keep in mind that students need to be prepared for the real world and this comprehensive education will be their ally. However, the Common Core State Standards have faced a lot of opposition ever since they were announced. The reality is that like every new idea, this too has its pros and cons and needs to be evaluated and assessed properly.    [read more]

  • FEATURED ARTICLE: When school discipline is unfair: 4 ways to do better   A black boy in baggy pants is disciplined, while a white girl in a short skirt, also against the dress code, is left alone. A girl gets suspended for fighting, but the principal doesn't realize she's been repeatedly harassed for being gay.   [read more]

  • TRENDING ARTICLE: 3 things we should stop doing in professional development   Spending some time in Oslo, Norway, with the visionary Ann Michaelsen and other school leaders here, some have really thought about the way they deliver professional development. Some of the practices don't make sense anymore, and need to be re-thought out. But many of these lessons have applications to the classroom.   [read more]

  • MOST POPULAR ARTICLE: How can schools develop transformational leaders?
    Districts looking for transformational leaders to turn around schools may find more success by rigorously training their own teachers and assistant principals for leadership roles, according to a recent report. But most districts lack an effective model for identifying, encouraging and developing an internal pool of qualified future leaders.   [read more]

  • 10 ways computers are changing public schools
    There's a reason many school administrators and teachers get excited when they're talking about one-to-one computer programs. Many new learning possibilities open up when each student is equipped with his or her own device.   

  • Punishing students for gadget use will make their tech etiquette worse
    At the start of this year, the President Barack Obama administration made a New Year's resolution for schools nationwide. It urged them to drop the "zero tolerance" approach to discipline, joining a growing chorus of critics of policies that dispense serious punishments for small rule violations. The recommendation from the Department of Justice is nonbinding, but comes as schools across the country have been edging away from zero tolerance on their own. It's about time.   

  • Report: Widespread racial disparities in public school punishments  A U.S. Education Department report finds what it calls a pattern of punitive policies and educational neglect that disproportionately hurt black, Latino and Native American students in public schools.  [read more]

  • Schools turn to bandwidth management to handle the surge of mobile demand   IT staff at Charlotte County Public Schools in Port Charlotte, Fla., had two main reasons for optimizing the district's networks. A few years ago, the state of Florida began requiring districts to administer online tests, so the district needed a way to prioritize bandwidth when students were taking the exams, says Chris Bress, executive director of the district's Learning Through Technology & Media department.  [read more]

  • The administrative tightrope and finding balance   Tom Martellone, a contributor for Connected Principals Blog, writes: "This morning I was on the phone with a principal colleague from Boston when I realized what I would write about this week for my blog. It's funny how an ordinary conversation can take a turn and help bring clarity and focus to a situation. Both of us were talking about our hours at work and what it takes to be an elementary school principal. I was sharing how for the past couple of weeks at least, I've been working almost 12 hour days at school and then coming home and trying to work at night, in addition to working on weekends as well. My colleague shared that she, too, had been working long hours at school and that she often went in for several hours on the weekend."   [read more]

  • Should students be grouped by 'content level' instead of by grade?   A California school district is grouping students by "content level" instead of grade. The model is based on the idea that students learn at their own pace and should advance when they have mastered the material. So, is content-based learning a good idea? Former high school academic dean Jedidiah Bila says the new plan means students have different lesson plans and more individualized learning.   [read more]

  • Sandy Hook design required special reverence   The challenging terrain and the trauma attached to the former Sandy Hook Elementary School is not lost on the architects selected to build a new school that is safe without becoming a fortress and incorporates the beauty and sanctity of the 12-acre site off Dickinson Drive. Principals Barry Svigals and Judith McFadden of Svigals Partners of Orange, credit the community - some 200 or more voices - with providing the "creativity, intelligence, compassion and diligence" that they translated into designs for the institution's next generation.   [read more]

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