Be prepared: It’s a cliché for a reason

According to Tony Spence, for a district to be ready for everything, it has to constantly be preparing for something. And maybe be a little bit lucky.

In this conversation with eSchool News, Spence, chief information officer at Muskego-Norway School District, details his district’s recent major AV implementation and how it dovetailed with his district’s decision to remain in-person during the COVID crisis.

eSN: When we look back at last spring, it was almost as if a lot of districts were in triage—just making basic connections, getting folks together, and things like state testing were out the window. Are there things from your experience that you think that your district will draw out of that and apply going forward?…Read More

Strategies for teaching SEL skills during virtual learning

Why did you go into education? I bet it was because you love teaching and inspiring young minds. However, these days teachers are faced with an increased focus on academic benchmarks, state testing–and currently, major changes with the switch to virtual learning.

This shift in focus is causing an increase in teacher stress due to the workload, and the teacher shortage this year is at the highest we have seen in decades. How does an educator teach the important academic skills that will be measured on formative assessments, but also the meaningful life skills that will prepare each student for their future?

Related content: 8 great resources for classroom SEL…Read More

It’s test score season, but some states don’t release test scores

The Albert Shanker Institute blog reports that we’ve entered the time of year during which states and districts release their testing results. It’s fair to say that the two districts that get the most attention for their results are New York City and the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), due in no small part to the fact that both enacted significant, high-profile policy changes over the past 5-10 years. The manner in which both districts present annual test results is often misleading. Many of the issues, such as misinterpreting changes in proficiency rates as “test score growth” and chalking up all “gains” to recent policy changes, are quite common across the nation. These two districts are just among the more aggressive in doing so. That said, however, there’s one big difference between the test results they put out every year, and although I’ve noted it a few times before, I’d like to point it out once more: Unlike New York City/State, DCPS does not actually release test scores…

Read the full story

…Read More