School Leader Innovators

The Magna Awards recognize excellent school district programs supported by excellent school board governance. The 2014 Grand Prize winners are bringing back high school dropouts, helping adult learners, and connecting schools to the arts – all with the help and support of their school leaders.

April 2014 Dashboard

This month: “Trends” finds that there is no advantage to single-gender education. Brain training can bring ADHD relief. Chicago schools have reduced their suspension rate. College does pay off. Biometrics gets the thumbs-down in Florida due to student data security concerns.

April 2014 Leaderboard

From the Editor, Tom on Point, President's Corner

April 2014 Backboard

Designing for Technology and Q&A with teacher and Freedom Writers author Erin Gruwell

Going Paperless

Paperless board meetings – using an electronic system for agendas, calendars, and other board materials – can save districts thousands of dollars in copying and paper costs, as well as in staff time.

Creative Drivers

Creativity may be a relative newcomer on the industrial world’s wish list for prepared workers, but it has long been valued in teaching and in learning. Researchers are finding that creativity can be clearly defined – and, more importantly – taught.

Knowledge Network

What about professional development for school boards? Today, more than 20 states require board members to receive some type of formal training. As your work becomes more complex, due largely to increased state and federal regulations that affect K-12 school, this move toward mandatory training comes as no surprise.

Brighter Futures

Poverty now outstrips race as the best predictor of college attendance and completion. Bright Futures USA, a new non-profit organization started by Missouri’s Joplin Public Schools, plans to tackle poverty’s stranglehold on student achievement across the U.S.

Celebrating Brown

Our commemoration of Brown would be incomplete if we did not acknowledge the persistence of what is de facto segregation. This racial isolation is not legally mandated – instead, it reflects residential patterns, private choices, and public policy decisions. In the spirit of Brown, school boards should tackle this issue.

Congressional Influence

Collectively, school board members can have far greater influence on members of Congress than ever before. In order to effectively influence Congress, board members must understand that it takes in-depth knowledge of education, passion and commitment to the issue, and a strong and sustained relationship with their members of Congress.


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