American School Board Journal

Teacher Diversity Efforts in Boston

Michelle Healy

Boston Public Schools identifies and offers “letters of reasonable assurance” of future employment to promising black applicants and students about to graduate from a teachers college. The effort is being praised by the city and school officials for increasing diversity. This academic year, 26 percent of April hires were black compared to only 17 percent of August hires.

Advice for public advocate newbies

Del Stover

If there’s any lesson for school board members wanting to speak out on public policy, it’s that building a personal relationship with the legislators serving your community is key.

“The first time you contact your legislator should not be when you have a problem, but to let them know who you are and why you are passionate about your issues,” says Bob Vogel, director of governmental relations with the Montana School Boards Association.

Wanted: New Teachers

Why teaching is no longer a desired profession

Terry McDaniel

While some may say the phrase “The perfect storm” has been overused, it is an accurate way to describe the reason Indiana and other Midwestern states for the first time in decades, if ever, are facing a teacher shortage.

Less Than Zero

Should schools rethink the practice of giving zeros to unfinished work?

Powers Thaddeus “Teddy” Norrell

Consider this scenario: Mark and Emily are students in an AP Physics class. The teacher gives the students five assignments during the term. Mark does well on the first few assignments, earning a 99 and an 89. Then he slacks off, plays on social media during class, and gives a half-hearted effort on his assignments. His final three grades are 79, 69, and 59.

President's Corner: Bringing it to the table

John Tuttle

Words are powerful tools and, combined with appropriate action, can be quite effective. Whether school board members are looking to establish new policy or programs, or to develop a shared vision and commitment to improving achievement for students under their watch, setting clear goals and priorities go a long way in the face of increasing demands and limited resources. What you bring to the boardroom and, in particular, what makes it on to the table sets the stage for change or improvement.

Tom on Point: School boards as leadership role models

Thomas J. Gentzel

Perhaps there is simply too much to do, with more work than time to do it. Maybe we are a country overloaded with priorities: not sure what should be at the top of our collective to-do list, so we shift continuously from one topic to another. There certainly is no shortage of problems to address. Who can expect us to deal with all of them?

Q&A: Charlene Burgeson of Let's Move!

Adolescent health expert Charlene Burgeson is executive director of Let’s Move! Active Schools, the national collaboration of health, education, and private sector groups working to make 60 minutes of physical activity the norm in all K-12 schools.

Comeback Season

Sayreville Football Game

A New Jersey school district and community recover from a hazing scandal

Glenn Cook

More than two decades after playing his last football game, Richard Labbe still has dreams about being on the field.

Up Up and Away for Public Education - Barbara Morgan

Barbara Morgan, former NASA astronaut and the backup to Christa McAuliffe in the Teacher in Space program of the 1980s, joins the National School Boards Association's (NSBA) national campaign, "Stand Up 4 Public Schools TM." NSBA's American School Board Journal sat down with Morgan in Boise, Idaho to talk about her life, STEM education and public schools.

ASBJ SPOTLIGHT: Teacher and Astronaut Barbara Morgan – Behind the scenes for ASBJ’s cover story

By Kathleen Vail
Editor-in-Chief, American School Board Journal

When there’s a soccer tournament in town, it’s nearly impossible to get a hotel room in Boise, Idaho. Rental cars are scarce, too.


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