Many experts are advocating for US school districts to replace standardized tests with presentations, projects and portfolios -- particularly for struggling students. The experts say this approach more accurately reflects what students have learned, but critics worry that replacing exams could weaken education standards.
Sixth-grade science teacher Lori Leo describes how she changed her practice to help her students develop their critical-thinking skills. She describes improvements in students' writing and class discussions, and includes links to tools she uses in class.
A privately-owned apartment building is offering subsidized housing to allow teachers who work in Washington, D.C., to live in the city. Officials say most teachers cannot afford to live in the community in which they work.
All elementary- and middle-school teachers in a Nebraska district visit students' homes before the first day of school. Teachers, who conduct visits in pairs, say the goal is to help reduce first-day jitters and answer any questions students and parents may have.
Educators at a Pennsylvania school district have been promoting summer reading by establishing voluntary book clubs that meet in coffee shops, parks and other public venues. Teachers across subjects, coaches and others signed up to lead groups, allowing the district to offer 21 clubs, with the district paying for one free copy of a book per student.
Some officials on the island of Corsica are promoting the daily use of the Corsican language, Corsu, to help strengthen the identity of the Mediterranean island. Students at one school are learning Corsu and French, while city hall offers language lessons to employees.
The Department of Education issued new guidelines about how states and school districts should meet the needs of homeless students. As part of the Every Student Succeeds Act, the guidelines address how homeless students are identified and how schools and social service providers can collaborate to help them.
In a New York City elementary school, a math teacher is using restorative justice to help students work together and talk through differences. For example, students write positive statements about themselves as mathematicians on index cards that are then arranged on the wall to remind "them that everybody has a voice," math teacher Rajihah Coaxum says.
An after-school program in San Francisco has helped a group of 12- and 13-year-old students form a lifestyle brand called the Young Hustlers. The students, working with financial advisers and professional mentors, run their own team meetings, design products and explore ways to broaden the reach of their company.
Teachers in an Indiana school district say a decision two years ago to push back the start time for high-school students -- from 8:10 a.m. to 8:35 a.m. -- has improved achievement and graduation rates. Students say they are more alert and engaged in class.
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