California Becomes First U.S. State To Mandate Later School Start Times

Some California schoolchildren will soon get to sleep later in the mornings, thanks to legislation signed into law on Sunday by Gov. Gavin Newsom that mandates later start times at most public schools. The new law, which acknowledges research showing that teens perform better when they start later than schools now typically begin, will make California the first U.S. state with this requirement once the law is fully implemented, the Los Angeles Times noted. Impacted Read More

Kids in poor, urban schools learn just as much as others

Schools serving disadvantaged and minority children teach as much to their students as those serving more advantaged kids, according to a new nationwide study. The results may seem surprising, given that student test scores are normally higher in suburban and wealthier school districts than they are in urban districts serving mostly disadvantaged and minority children. But those test scores speak more to what happens outside the classroom than how schools themselves are performing, said Douglas Read More

Four States Now Require Schools to Teach LGBT History

Starting next school year, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender history will be part of the curriculum in Illinois public schools. Democratic Governor J. B. Pritzker signed House Bill 246 into law Aug. 9, making Illinois the fourth state to mandate teaching LGBT history, after California, New Jersey, and Colorado. The Illinois legislation takes effect in July 2020. The law mandates that history classes in public schools “include a study of the roles and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Read More

When Weather and School Segregation Collide

WHEN A MAJOR WINTER storm ripped across the South over the weekend, dumping nearly a foot of snow in parts of North Carolina and prompting some school systems to cancel classes Monday, it sparked a public debate about school segregation. “Long thread about our countywide school system and inclement weather,” Wake County schools posted to Twitter Sunday afternoon. “Grab a mug of hot chocolate and listen in.” What came next was a long explanation-cum-history lesson about Wake County Read More

White House Outlines Five-Year STEM Push

THE WHITE HOUSE announced Monday evening a five-year strategic plan for science, technology, engineering and math education, setting forth what it calls a “North Star” that “charts a course for the Nation’s success.” “It represents an urgent call to action for a nationwide collaboration with learners, families, educators, communities, and employers,” the White House plan reads. The administration’s goal is threefold: for every American to master basic STEM concepts, like computational thinking, in order to respond Read More

Teachers Turn Lessons Into Instagram-Worthy Photos

When she’s trying decide which art supplies to buy for her class, Tennessee art teacher Cassie Stephens hops on Instagram. She’ll post the question on her Instagram story, and within minutes, other art teachers will send her ideas and videos. Teachers like Stephens have formed something of a community on the app. Using hashtags like #teachersofinstagram, teacher Instagrammers post photos of meticulously crafted classroom decorations, lessons and even their daily outfits (Stephens posted a picture of Read More

Small Classes, Small Benefits

SMALL CLASSES ARE VERY popular with parents. Fewer kids in a room can mean more personal attention for their little ones. Teachers like them, too. Fewer kids means fewer tests to mark and fewer disruptions. Communities across the United States have invested enormously in smaller classes over the past 50 years. Pupil-teacher ratios declined from 22.3 in 1970 to 17.9 in 1985 and dropped to a low of 15.3 in 2008. But after the 2008 recession, Read More

Can Schools Use Federal Funds To Arm Teachers?

This question came up again and again Tuesday during an at-times heated hearing of the Senate’s education committee: Does the law allow schools to use federal money to arm teachers? The federal money in question comes from Title IV of the big, k-12 federal education law known as The Every Student Succeeds Act. It’s a billion-dollar pot intended for what the law calls “student support and academic enrichment.” “There’s a range of services that Title IV funds, Read More

U.S. Department of Education Announces 2018 National Blue Ribbon Schools

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today recognized 349 schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2018. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. “I’m pleased to celebrate with you as your school is named a National Blue Ribbon School,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in a video message to the honorees. “We recognize and honor your important work in preparing students for Read More

What the Dot Test Can Teach Us to De-Stress Our Students

Despite all the careful planning and prep, the school year has the capacity to quickly get stressful. As soon as I sense students are feeling overwhelmed, I try to find little techniques to help lighten the mood and detox any unnecessary stress from building up. When things start to feel like too much, I pull out one of my favorite techniques – The Dot Test – which I was fortunate enough to experience in graduate Read More