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Updated by Lilianna Chapa on Feb 25, 2015
Headline for Current Issues in Education
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Current Issues in Education

Childhood Obesity and Nutrition: Study Recommends New School Lunch Guidelines
More than 60 years ago, the National School Lunch Program was established as a way to make sure the country's youth could count on a nutritious meal at school during the lean, post-war years. However, children today are facing a very different problem.
The Push for National Standards: What Parents Need to Know
Will common academic standards become a reality across the nation? Find out, and how parents can get involved.
The Global Achievement Gap: Why America's Students Are Falling Behind
"Will my child get into a good college?" is a question that keeps high-school parents up at night. But in our new global economy, getting a degree is no longer enough to guarantee success. Now parents must also ask themselves, "Which skills will my child need to get a good job after college?"
Academic Preschools: Too Much Too Soon? |
"Academic" preschools that promise to prepare kids for the cutthroat world of kindergarten are becoming more and more popular. But are they a good idea?
Is Play on its Way Out?
For an increasing number of children, play just isn't taking place, and the consequences for child development may be severe.
Should Struggling Students Repeat a Grade?
At first glance, grade retention may look like old-fashioned common sense: Fail the year? Just do it over! In fact, with new emphasis on hard-nosed standards, the tactic is on the rise around the country. Old-fashioned, yes, says the National Association of School Psychologists. But common sense? Not on your life.
The Homework Debate
Every school day brings something new, but there is one status quo most parents expect: homework. The old adage that practice makes perfect seems to make sense when it comes to schoolwork. But, while hunkering down after dinner among books and worksheets might seem like a natural part of childhood, there's more research now than ever suggesting that it shouldn't be so.
Is Your Child Getting Enough Physical Education?
Here's how you can make sure your child is getting enough physical education.
Are Traditional Grades a Thing of the Past?
In classrooms around America, hands go up every day with the question, "Is this for a grade?" But perhaps a more pressing question would be "what is a grade for?" Today, the grades on a child's report card reflect not only a grasp of academic subjects, but also a variety of other factors such as attendance and behavior.
Common Core State Standards
Common Core State Standards are K-12 English Language Arts/Literacy and Math standards that will create a clear, consistent level of knowledge for our public school students no matter where they live.
Is Differentiation the Answer to the Tracking Debate?
Max Fischer is taking steps to transform his classroom into the differentiated model Carol Ann Tomlinson describes, but he's confronting some roadblocks along the way. How different, he wonders, will his classroom might look like a year from now...
Is Ability Grouping the Way to Go---Or Should It Go Away?
Is ability grouping (or tracking) an efficient way to handle differences in student abilities? Does such grouping benefit students---or does it unfairly label them? Research, logic, and emotion often clash when responding to those questions.
Driven By Data: Teachimg in the Age of Accountability
Educator Brenda Dyck reflects on how collecting data has become an essential part of teaching. But data collection often can become such an obsession that it actually gets in the way of student learning. This week, Dyck reflects on her interest in data and her realization that sometimes more data is really not helpful at all. Included: Eight questions to help determine if data gathering will be worth the effort.
Around the Block: The Benefits and Challenges of Block Scheduling
Is block scheduling a vehicle for greater depth and flexibility in education or merely a faddish approach that fails to enhance academic performance? What do the researchers -- and the practitioners -- have to say?
Bullying Intervention Strategies That Work
"Bullying," according to noted expert Dan Olweus, "poisons the educational environment and affects the learning of every child." Learn what you can do to keep bullying behavior from poisoning your school. Included: Practical tips for changing the behavior of bullies and their victims.
Science or Soccer? -- How Important Are Extracurricular Activities?
Research suggests that extracurricular activities can benefit all students. John H. Holloway, a consultant with the Educational Testing Service, explains those benefits for Education World. Included: An extensive list of online resources for exploring the value of extracurricular activities.
In-School Suspension: A Learning Tool
hile educators agree that keeping suspended students in school is better than having them home unsupervised, schools need more than a room and a teacher for in-school suspension to change behavior. Structured programs that address multiple issues can help students get back to class faster and stay there.
Have Computers Forced Handwriting Out of the Picture?
Computers have demoted the second of the three Rs, some educators say. Instead of teaching the loops and swirls of cursive letters, teachers point students to the letter r on the keyboard. Not all educators and handwriting experts agree on whether or why handwriting skills might be declining, however. Some place the blame on teachers or school budgets or book publishers.
Making Connections Between Math and the Real World!
A new secondary school math program, Math Connections, is changing the way teachers look at math -- and changing kids' attitudes toward its real-world value.
Wire Side Chat: The Growing Role of Online Learning
Enrollment in online and blended courses -- those that combine online and traditional learning -- will continue growing, a study says. Educators need training and schools need plans to ensure online learning is integrated effectively and efficiently into schools.
Schools and Online Social Networking
Most educators working with middle and high school students are aware of the explosive involvement of youth on social networking sites. Few are prepared to deal with it. In this article, Nancy Willard discusses the risks and benefits of such sites and offers schools a comprehensive approach to addressing student Internet access.
Dealing With Angry Parents
The following topics are covered in this article.

Listening Is Key
Put Yourself in the Parents Shoes
More Calming Techniques
Strong School Communities = Fewer Angry Parents
Finding Solutions That Work
The Principal as First Resort, Last Resort
Secretaries: The First Line of Defense
Quick Responses Are Best
Principal-Suggested Resources
Student-Led Conferences Hold Kids Accountable
Would you like to find a way to actively engage students in their learning process and increase parent attendance at conferences? Student-led conferences can accomplish those two objectives. Included: Highlights of research about student-led conferences.
Why Teens Make Unsafe Choices Online
Why is it that teens make unsafe or irresponsible choices online? Of course, we know that all teens from time to time make unsafe or irresponsible choices in the real world. This column will explore some of the factors that are implicated in online decision making, which includes those factors that influence real-world decision making -- and a cyber-twist.
Are Smaller Classes the Answer?
Teachers, parents, and students all say smaller classes are better, but will smaller class sizes really lead to enhanced student performance?