Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Sean McDaniel and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister say they're working on ways to reduce principal turnover in schools. Speaking on a televised panel, teacher Felix Linden told the leaders that schools need a "Superman" who will stay to provide consistency and build relationships.
Students in 16 states, including Mississippi, require third-grade students to pass a reading proficiency test or be held back a year. Harvard University education professor Martin West says his research can't prove such policies improve academic performance over the long term, but he says they may help educators focus on improving early-grade literacy.
Introverts tend to thrive during one-on-ones and often find it's easier to initiate conversations at networking events by arriving early or staying late, when the energy is calmer, writes Michelle Tillis Lederman, CEO of Executive Essentials. Volunteering at these events helps less-outgoing people by providing them "purpose and permission to talk with people."
Delaware lawmakers are considering measures to raise pay for substitute teachers that has remained at the same level for almost 20 years. District leaders say it's often hard to find a fill-in for teachers, especially with low unemployment and other jobs offering comparable pay.
Dan Ninham, a physical-education teacher at Bemidji Middle School in Minnesota, is using posters written in English and Ojibwe and decorated with indigenous art to encourage students to lift each other up. "It's not only encouraging the Ojibwe language, but it's also encouraging the English language -- people telling each other good stuff, good phrases," Ninham says.
Colorado middle-school principal Joel Hathaway says building a culture of trust is one of his top priorities, something he accomplishes by learning to deeply listen to the concerns of others. Hathaway uses committees and focus groups to gather teachers and parents together to hear and respond to their ideas and problems.
Confronting bias at work goes more smoothly when education is involved, not just confrontation, says Alexis McGill Johnson, executive director of the Perception Institute. To evoke deeper thinking, ask specific questions when someone makes a biased comment, and "describe the bias without attacking the person," Johnson says.
An after-school program at a Kentucky middle school is teaching students how to grow food using aquaponics. The "Aquapunx" group is working with a local nonprofit on the project and students hope to draw attention to the importance of growing their own food, especially in places considered to be food deserts.
The Illinois State Board of Education plans to ask lawmakers for $2.4 million more in funding to explore ways to stem the state's teacher shortage. The legislature already is considering changes to teacher license requirements, but board members say investing in programs to encourage students to become teachers and increasing salaries could be more effective.
Expanded access to preschool programs can improve students' performance -- even among those who do not attend -- according to a study by researchers at the University of South Carolina. Researchers credit preschool attendance with helping to curb bad behavior and improve test scores in elementary school, which helped to boost the school environment for all students.