Louisiana's Board of Elementary and Secondary Education recently discussed how to improve achievement in math in the state, where eighth-grade students ranked 50th in math on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Officials said one hurdle is the lack of qualified math teachers.
Teachers are spending an average of $652 of their own money this year to buy supplies and pay for professional development, according to a survey from SheerID and Agile Education Marketing. Researchers estimate that this is 39% more than last year and the highest in the past five years.
Some school districts are designing schools to accommodate students' sensory and emotional needs. With teacher input, a Minnesota district built schools to reduce sensory stimulation by having climate controls in each classroom, windows placed high on walls and rubberized floors and wainscotting.
About 100 Pittsburgh-area students participated in a six-week summer program to conduct research in teams on social problems across the city and look at ways communities can respond. The students were paid for their work and will share their insights with the public at a symposium.
School principals who have embraced their roles as both instructional leaders and digital enthusiasts are being called "New Learning Leaders" in Project Tomorrow's Speak Up survey. The data show that 74% of such leaders have implemented blended learning in their schools, and about two-thirds say one of their biggest challenges is using technology in teacher training.
The US Department of Education officially has launched its mobile app to allow students to complete and file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid on their cellphones. Federal officials say they hope the app, dubbed myStudentAid, will encourage more families to apply for student aid.
Representatives from several Vermont school districts this week asked the state's board of education to rethink the proposed mergers it is forcing on 18 districts. The district leaders argued that the mergers could financially harm poorer communities.
The US Department of Education's school safety commission met for the fifth time on Thursday to hear about ways to improve student safety, including "hardening" building security, better cooperation with law enforcement and training students in conflict resolution. Officials also recently announced a $1.8 million grant to help schools train students on how to take care of the wounded.
An extra hour added to the school day led to a one- to three-month gain in literacy in some Florida schools, according to research on that state's program requiring low-performing schools to have extended days. Most students in the study qualified for free or reduced lunch, so researchers are unsure if the same results would occur at more affluent schools.