American School Board Journal

President’s Perspective: Now what?

“Now what?” was the charge asked of each of us at the close of NSBA’s Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE) Annual Conference in September. This short question, just two words and a question mark, can give pause to both new and veteran school board members.

As a board member serving a student population, the majority of whom are struggling, underperforming or linguistically challenged, the “Now what?” question really stuck with me. On my flight home after the conference, and for days afterwards, the question replayed in my mind, “Now what?”

Tom On Point: A sound investment

Occasionally, Congress addresses education in a meaningful, bipartisan way. Take, for instance, the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act—the long-awaited reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that restored an emphasis on local and state leadership. Then, too, there was this year’s reauthorization of the Carl Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which also won the backing of legislators from both parties. Both were major advocacy victories for NSBA.

From the Editor: Fight the stigma

I’ve been an education writer long enough to remember when student mental health was considered to be outside the purview of schools. The stigma—felt by the students and their families most keenly—meant such topics were rarely discussed at school.

Of course, after years of research, we know that the mental health status of children is a critical part of academic achievement and success. And we know that many more children are affected by mental disorders than was believed previously.

Business of Education: Social and Emotional Learning: What’s Next

The recognition that social and emotional learning (SEL) is on a par with academic achievement is growing in the education community. Less is known, however, about the best and most effective ways to integrate SEL into the classroom.

Equity: Listen to the Girls

School discipline falls hard on girls of color

“Listen to the girls” proclaims a poster in my home office. It was a gift from a former supervisor and it signals to me that it is important to appreciate the unique challenges faced by girls in this world. In the educational equity space, it means that we need to appreciate the unique challenges of female students— including girls of color.

Database: Special Ed to Prison Link?

Schools need better methods to teach students with disabilities

“Cody Beck was handcuffed in front of his classmates and put in the back of a police car outside of Grenada Middle School, Mississippi; he had lost his temper when arguing with another student, and hit several teachers when they tried to intervene. Cody was 12 years old. Officials at his school determined the incident was a result of Cody’s disability.

Public Advocacy: Safe Messages

Appropriate communications can prevent copycat suicides

Over a six-month period that stretched into January, five students and one recent graduate from Ohio’s Perry Local School District died by suicide, a staggering number that has left the community shaken.


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