American School Board Journal

ASBJ - August 2017

The 2017 Magna Awards

We help you wade through the noise and the fads of school security in this issue of ASBJ. Our cover story, “Trending in School Security,” offers up a solid look at cutting-edge, and tried-and-true, ways to keep your students and staff safe at school.

What’s Your Mission?

Make your mission statement work for you

Denise Schares

School boards, administrative teams, and community members across the nation are working to develop district missions that reflect the overall purpose of the district. These mission statements are intended to describe what the district does, for whom it does it and the benefit the district provides to those it serves. They answer the question, “Why do we exist?” and tell the world who the district is and how it goes about the work of educating students.

Getting the Best Principals

Why are some schools great? Look to the principal

Robert L. Zorn

The Thinking Classroom

A Colorado case study on the use of differentiated instruction

Carrie DeWaters

In today’s differentiated classroom, each student receives from his or her teacher student-centered instruction and customized assignments to reflect the students’ skills and knowledge. Teachers differentiate their assignments for each of their students so they may access the Common Core State Standards, interact with complex nonfiction texts, integrate rigorous literacy skills across the content areas, and contend with complex mathematical skills, procedures, and understandings.

President’s Perspective: A vision for the class of 2030

Kevin Ciak

Elected at the age of 19 to my local school board 23 years ago, I now have the distinction of being the youngest NSBA president in history. As I begin my term as NSBA’s 70th president, I am proud to say that more than half of my life has been devoted to school board leadership.

Across the country, the Class of 2017 is nearing graduation, and I hope each graduate succeeds in reaching his or her full potential. I also thank each of you for your work in helping these seniors reach this milestone.

Seeking Counsel: The Opt-Out Generation

What happens when students refuse to be tested?

Jasmine Wightman

Database: Sad, Not Bad

Trauma informed care gets students the help they need

Katharine Carter

Devin refused to comply with simple teacher requests. He would choose to sit on the floor instead of participating in class activities, or he would leave in the middle of class without permission.

Devin’s behavior earned him three suspensions and the label of “troublemaker.”

Public Advocacy: Voucher Strategy

Pushing back against private school vouchers

Daniel Kaufman

Until this year, the national push for public funding of K-12 private school vouchers had experienced some slow but modest success. More than half of states and Washington, D.C., currently offer some form of vouchers.


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