Students who hope to be the first in their families to attend college can struggle with the complex process of getting admitted. Some high schools provide college prep teachers and guidance counselors, who help students manage their psychological and administrative barriers to higher education.
The racial achievement gap in graduation rates among white and black students closed last year in Syracuse, N.Y., where 64% of each student group graduated. Officials cite efforts including a tracking system that alerts educators when students start to falter, an expansion in career-technical programs and an overhaul in student discipline strategies that halved suspensions.
Educators at a California elementary school are using teacher-led training sessions and peer reviews to better integrate arts into core instruction as part of their participation in the national Turnaround Arts program. Teachers say they hope the arts-integration techniques will help boost student achievement.
Third-graders from a Michigan school recently went on a field trip to a museum to learn more about the Native American history that they studied in class. The students learned about the fur trade of the 1800s, enjoyed hands-on activities and got an up-close look at museum artifacts.
Some parents are using private tutors and test prep companies to prepare their young children for a Virginia school district's gifted screening testing, given in the second grade. District officials discourage the practice, informing parents that the test is one of three selection criteria and that gifted-ed is meant for students who learn differently.
Middle- and high-school students at California's Paso Robles Joint Unified School District will soon be able to take most of their classes online. The online academy will offer such courses as math and English as well as preparatory classes for the ACT, SAT and PSAT, officials said.
A Tennessee school district has proposed earmarking $10.7 million to restructure teacher pay, awarding raises based on classroom evaluations and student test scores. The proposed structure would also give bonuses to highly rated teachers with advanced degrees in their subjects, officials said.
Educators at a Massachusetts middle school plan to end academic tracking in core subjects except for math in order to create higher expectations for all students. The school's seventh-graders will no longer be divided after this fall, and tracking will end for eighth-graders the following year.
A Massachusetts middle school has created a buddy program that has general-education students volunteer to be peer models for students with special needs. The students work together on projects, and the peer models help their buddies improve social and communication skills.
Having a "pseudo-disaster" in school can happen to any teacher, such as when National Board Certified Teacher Starr Sackstein had a class in which she monopolized the conversation. In this blog post, she shares five questions she asks herself to help her bounce back from a lesson that didn't go as planned.
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