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President’s Perspective: Tracking by any other name

About 300 people filled our board chamber a few months ago for a charged discussion about changing our district’s high school graduation requirements. The vote before us that evening would involve committing all our students to meeting college and university transfer requirements, known in my state as “A to G.” If passed, this significant change would move the district away from a system that had been in place for many years.

When it was my turn to speak, I shared a personal story.

Tom On Point: Melting pot or layer cake?

“Nearly 750 charter schools are whiter than the nearby district schools.”

This headline, from a June 2018 report by NBC News and the Hechinger Report, was both startling and yet somehow not at all surprising. The investigation in question found that, despite their status as public schools ostensibly open to all students, many charter schools look very different from the communities they serve. The disproportionality of white students to those of color is starkest in some districts where the public schools are primarily serving African American students, according to the report.

From the Editor: The graduate

Most of us don’t think about graduation requirements until our children enter high school. Then we hear about different kinds of diplomas, pore over lists of requirements, and check our student’s course selections and schedule.

Graduation preparation starts much earlier than that, of course. School leaders and educators know that steps toward graduation start when students enter preschool. Some districts and communities are coming together to say explicitly what they want their students to know and do when they graduate from high school.

Business of Education

Critical Care

Design for the future

Well-designed school facilities can improve efficiency and lower operating costs but also elevate the learning experience, says Taryn Kinney, a principal with the integrated design firm DLR Group. Architecture is one piece of an equation that can “actually move teaching and learning and the human behaviors that happen within a school forward,” Kinney says.

Soundboard August 2018

Seeking Counsel: Speaking Up on School Safety

Critical Care

NSBA delivers an urgent message in Washington

Francisco M. Negrón Jr. and Sonja Trainor

In the wake of the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and the extraordinary student activism that followed, Washington once again turns its attention to school safety.

Public Advocacy: All About the Money

Critical Care

Keep your community informed about your budget

Glenn Cook

Adults Behaving Badly

School leaders can help reduce negativity and conflict in their schools

Rebecca Coda and Rick Jetter

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