Spotlights Collection

Education Week Spotlight: Selected Education Week coverage of critical issues
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FEATURED SPOTLIGHTS

Spotlight on Data-Informed Learning

FREE! Educators are turning to data to spark improvement in schools and the classroom. In this Spotlight, see how educators are using data for effective problem-solving, informing student career plans, and to meet students’ learning needs. Sponsored by itslearning (September 27, 2018)

Spotlight on Differentiated Instruction

FREE! Schools are building frameworks for differentiated instruction to meet individual students’ needs. In this Spotlight, learn what research says about the value of ability grouping, what sets differentiation apart from other instructional approaches, and how to foster authentic differentiation in the classroom. Sponsored by DreamBox (September 27, 2018)

Spotlight on Assessment 2018

FREE! While the anti-test movement has slowed, educators are finding ways to more effectively measure student learning. In this Spotlight, discover how schools are helping students cope with test anxiety, learn why we should care about “assessment literacy”, and debate the merits of allowing retakes on tests. Sponsored by Renaissance (September 13, 2018)

Spotlight on College and Career Readiness 2018

FREE! A changing economic landscape has schools preparing students for the jobs of tomorrow. In this Spotlight, learn how schools are launching effective apprenticeship programs, raising the bar on college readiness, and helping students reinvent themselves for future careers. Sponsored by Edmentum (September 13, 2018)

Spotlight on Critical Thinking

FREE! Educators are laying the groundwork for critical thinking in schools through meaningful engagement and an eye on the future. In this Spotlight, see how schools are making learning purposeful, equipping students for a changing world, and promoting curiosity and critical thinking in the classroom. Sponsored by Mentoring Minds (August 30, 2018)

Spotlight on Literacy Instruction

FREE! From improving grammar and writing competencies to measuring online reading abilities, literacy skills are critical to educational development. This Spotlight explores the effects of the Common Core on reading and writing instruction, the impact of rising automation on literacy skills, and how to empower students to love writing. Sponsored by Voyager Sopris (August 30, 2018)

Spotlight on Response to Intervention (2018)

FREE! Response to Intervention is a model to identify students in need and provide targeted interventions. In this Spotlight, learn why RTI may fall short in flagging certain students, practical lessons on multitiered systems of supports, and how RTI can be used to support teachers. Sponsored by Solution Tree (January 31, 2018)

Spotlight on Improving Reading in Schools

FREE! Schools are implementing various strategies to improve reading among struggling learners. In this Spotlight, learn how educators are intervening on behalf of dyslexic students in reading and math, when students with low proficiency should be retained, and how research can reshape instruction. Sponsored by Istation (August 14, 2018)

Teaching & Instruction

September 15, 2018 FREE! While the anti-test movement has slowed, educators are finding ways to more effectively measure student learning. In this Spotlight, discover how schools are helping students cope with test anxiety, learn why we should care about “assessment literacy”, and debate the merits of allowing retakes on tests. Sponsored by Renaissance
April 1, 2016 The implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act will create noticeable shifts on state and districtwide assessments. In this Spotlight, read about ESSA’s impact on interim assessments, the opt-out movement, and learn how teachers are adding purpose to their assessments
September 15, 2018 FREE! A changing economic landscape has schools preparing students for the jobs of tomorrow. In this Spotlight, learn how schools are launching effective apprenticeship programs, raising the bar on college readiness, and helping students reinvent themselves for future careers. Sponsored by Edmentum
September 27, 2013 Good teaching and quality assessments go hand-in-hand to support students in the classroom. In this Spotlight discover how formative assessments support teaching and learning, see how testing is changing in the common-core era, and examine key factors needed to build high-quality assessments.
March 1, 2017 Educators are focusing efforts on classroom assessment to gauge student progress and improve instruction. In this Spotlight, explore common misconceptions about formative assessment, see how teachers are tackling new student-writing expectations, and learn how educators are using students’ formative and summative data to build dynamic learning environments.
June 1, 2017 As schools integrate digital tools into the classroom, educators are finding new ways to customize lessons for students. In this Spotlight, see how educators are evaluating growing curriculum choices, consider the potential and drawbacks of algorithm-driven playlists, and learn how districts can deploy a high-quality digital curriculum.
September 1, 2018 FREE! Educators are laying the groundwork for critical thinking in schools through meaningful engagement and an eye on the future. In this Spotlight, see how schools are making learning purposeful, equipping students for a changing world, and promoting curiosity and critical thinking in the classroom. Sponsored by Mentoring Minds
November 1, 2013 Classrooms are transforming in the 21st century, requiring new approaches to learning that emphasize “deeper” knowledge and understanding. In this Spotlight, explore how research is changing the way math concepts, like fractions, are being taught. See how leading Race to the Top districts are using personalized learning and take a look at classrooms using foreign language programs to prepare students in a globally competitive world.
October 1, 2018 FREE! Schools are building frameworks for differentiated instruction to meet individual students’ needs. In this Spotlight, learn what research says about the value of ability grouping, what sets differentiation apart from other instructional approaches, and how to foster authentic differentiation in the classroom. Sponsored by DreamBox
October 15, 2012 Students face a number of cultural, economic, and educational barriers to completing high school and going on to pursue college and careers. This Spotlight focuses on chronic absenteeism, early-dropout detection, online credit-recovery courses, and how early-college models can reduce dropout rates.
March 1, 2018 Studies suggest that effective early-childhood education lays the foundation for improvement student achievement in the later years. In this Spotlight, learn how schools are using kindergarten assessments to shape instruction, targeting early educators for professional development in math, and developing elementary students into global citizens.
January 15, 2015 The English/language arts skills taught in elementary and middle school are essential to students’ success throughout their academic careers. In this Spotlight, learn how teachers can spark student interest in reading, how some schools are automating student writing evaluations, and how personalized learning can boost English/language arts instruction.
February 1, 2018 Schools are finding ways to boost children's math skills by focusing on teachers and students in the early grades. In this Spotlight, learn how digital games are improving young students' math performance, how students' brain development affects their ability to comprehend math, and how math class can be fun and meaningful for kids.
April 1, 2018 Across the country, educators are working hard to address inequity in the classroom. This Spotlight considers the digital divide in how teachers learn to use technology, how teachers are trained to address race and equity in the classroom, and the links between school climate and achievement gaps.
September 1, 2014 Foreign language instruction is being used to help students gain a competitive edge in a global society. In this Spotlight, take a look at schools with language immersion programs, bilteracy certifications, and strategic language courses, geared toward languages like Farsi, Mandarin, and Arabic.
September 1, 2017 The need to drive better-quality instruction is keeping assessment in a state of motion. In this Spotlight, learn how digital formative assessments are used to track and monitor student progress, how students are designing ways to demonstrate what they’ve learned, and how educators can provide authentic feedback in the classroom.
September 27, 2013 Global connections are as close as the classroom for some students. In the Spotlight, discover how schools are building a global learning and language network through international-student programs, foreign-language courses, international videoconferencing, and immersion initiatives.
May 1, 2016 An emphasis on non-cognitive skills in schools has spurred efforts to instill growth mindsets in the classroom. In this Spotlight, read how schools are embracing social-emotional learning, nurturing growth mindsets, and creating classroom opportunities for meaningful struggle.
December 11, 2009 For many, homework is a school tradition, but that doesn’t mean everyone agrees it should stay that way. This Spotlight explores how much time students spend on homework, research on its usefulness, and challenges surrounding homework practices and policies.
January 1, 2017 Educators are embracing inquiry-based learning to inspire curiosity in the classroom. In this Spotlight, learn how teachers are developing inquiry-based lessons plans, helping students formulate questions, and how schools are engaging their faculty in collaborative inquiry.
August 15, 2013 Instructional coaches can play a key role in schools, helping teachers in the classroom while planning and strategizing with school leaders. This Spotlight looks at districts that are turning teachers into coaches and examines some of the primary practices and tips needed for effective coaching.
April 1, 2017 As the ‘Maker’ movement goes mainstream, educators are giving new meaning to hands-on learning. In this Spotlight, learn how schools are embracing student-driven learning, ensuring equity in maker education, and providing students with opportunities to develop real-world skills.
February 5, 2010 Sometimes, the difference between success and failure in class boils down to motivation. This Spotlight on Motivation describes innovative ways of reaching and inspiring students to study harder and take learning further.
July 1, 2018 STEM is playing an integral role in elevating student achievement and career opportunities. In this Spotlight, discover how schools are working towards equity in STEM education, the link between course access and future STEM outcomes, and district efforts to curb the shortage of STEM teachers.
May 1, 2017 In order to better serve their students, schools are building meaningful relationships with families and their communities. In this Spotlight, learn how home-school connections can benefit ELLs and their parents, how community voices are helping shape state ESSA plans, and how educators can provide parents with actionable information to support student learning.
March 1, 2018 Graduation can be elusive for many students as they make their way towards college and careers. In this Spotlight, see how schools are helping students reach their post-graduation goals, keeping English-Language Learners on track to graduate, and committing to higher graduation standards for all students.
July 15, 2015 Student motivation is no novel concept, but educators across the country are reshaping efforts to engage students in learning. In this Spotlight, discover the benefits and challenges of leveraging non-cognitive factors in classrooms, read commentary on fostering student engagement and inspiring lifelong learners, and reconsider common stigmas of student failure.
February 1, 2018 Some schools are using project-based learning in the classroom as a pathway to raising achievement and preparing students for college and careers. In this Spotlight, see how project-based learning can inspire success in low-income communities, how apprenticeships can ready students for high-need jobs, and how educators are teaching collaborative problem-solving skills.
May 1, 2017 Schools and districts are developing holistic approaches to get a more complete picture of student success. In this Spotlight, see how growth mindsets are factoring into student achievement, how states and districts are gathering data for new school-quality indicators, and how educators can better prepare students for college and careers.
July 31, 2017 Rural schools are tackling unique challenges to provide a quality education to their students. In this Spotlight, see how schools are expanding access to hard-to-staff courses, building up talented teacher workforces, and developing place-based lessons to reach promising students.
May 15, 2018 While barriers remain, educators are forging paths towards implementing social-emotional learning in all schools. In this Spotlight, learn how schools are responding to students' developmental needs, the challenges to carrying out SEL, and how to find time for social-emotional learning in the classroom.
May 15, 2018 Educators work tirelessly to keep all students engaged and motivated, both in and out of the classroom. In this Spotlight, discover the links between work students find meaningful and their levels of motivation in the classroom, and see what teachers can learn from disengagement on tests.
August 26, 2010 Heading back to school offers new challenges for teachers and students. This Spotlight offers tips for educators on easing into the new academic year as smoothly and productively as possible.
May 1, 2009 The first year of a new teacher's career is always challenging. This Spotlight provides insight and practical suggestions for getting started on the right foot.
January 31, 2014 Evolutions in classroom-based assessments are changing the way student growth is measured. In this Spotlight take a look and see how formative assessments are being used to inform instruction, how video games assess noncognitive skills, and explore growth in the testing market.
August 1, 2013 States and districts face many barriers when it comes to putting data in the hands of educators. In this Spotlight, learn from schools developing research-based alliances that put data into practice and see how data results are being delivered to improve classroom instruction.

Professional Development

December 1, 2016 Schools across the country are tailoring professional development to meet the individual needs of teachers. In this Spotlight, explore the movement towards micro-credentialing in teacher PD, how schools are grooming teacher leaders, and the benefits of coaching principals.
July 15, 2017 Educators are combining time-tested strategies with new approaches to get the most out of literacy instruction in schools. In this Spotlight, learn how invented spelling can produce better readers, how teachers are using social media to connect students with authors, and how to teach revision in the writing process.
August 1, 2013 In a recent survey, half of the teachers said they felt unprepared to teach the common-core standards. Major shifts are ahead in instruction and professional learning is a key component in standards implementation. This Spotlight examines how teachers are using virtual professional development, interdisciplinary instruction, and teacher collaboration, among other strategies, to prepare for the standards.
January 15, 2018 Across the country, educators are working to improve their practice through professional learning. In this Spotlight, discover how schools are helping teachers learn new technologies, how educators are crafting personalized plans for improving instruction, and how to balance autonomy and collaboration to spur meaningful professional development.

Common Standards

December 1, 2013 The common core has challenged test-makers and educators to craft assessments that measure the depth of knowledge expected by the standards. This Spotlight examines early results on common-core assessments, previews test items, and explores challenges still ahead for math and reading assessments.
December 1, 2013 The common-core standards are giving new shape to curriculum and student assessment across the country. This Spotlight explains how the standards will impact curriculum development and the crafting of common assessments.
March 1, 2015 In this Spotlight, explore how teachers are leading the way in implementing the common core, review the effects of new math standards, and read interviews and commentary on the common-core literacy standards.
July 1, 2014 Many teachers are transitioning to the common core with new instructional strategies in place for their classrooms. In this Spotlight, see what strategies are working best for teachers, learn how “teacher researchers” are using formative assessments, and see how teachers are collaborating to support students with special needs.
November 1, 2012 As states and districts plan for the Common Core State Standards, educators are left to wonder how digital literacy fits into the standards. This Spotlight focuses on how to incorporate digital literacy, explores public-private efforts to close the digital-skills gap, and looks at competency-based and technology-driven programs attempting to give students a head start on common-core assessments.
January 2, 2013 As the Common Core States Standards take hold in schools, educators are changing approaches to teaching, testing, textbooks, and professional development. This Spotlight reviews some of the new texts aligned to the standards, results from the earliest student assessments, principal training efforts, and ways to reduce costs associated with common-core implementation.
March 1, 2014 Many English/Language arts teachers are preparing their students for the Common Core State Standards. In this Spotlight, look at how instructional materials are being evaluated in the common core-era, understand how “skimming” is used in literary analysis, and see how films can be a tool for critical reading.
May 1, 2013 The transition to the common-core math standards has resulted in shifts in classroom teaching and course materials. In this Spotlight, take a look at how the common core is influencing math instruction, see how teachers are preparing at-risk students for the standards, and examine early assessments aligned to the common core.
June 1, 2014 Supplying teachers with quality professional development is one requirement for common-core implementation. In this Spotlight, take a look at new talent development models, how schools are rethinking instructional practice, and what educators are saying they need to do to feel more prepared for the common-core era.
October 1, 2014 Students with cognitive disabilities and special needs are transitioning to new assessment and instructional practices under the Common Core States Standards. In this Spotlight, take a look at how alternative assessments align to the common core, see how testing accommodations differ between consortia, and examine how a results-driven accountability system is giving new to life to instruction.
December 1, 2012 Teachers are preparing for a variety of instructional shifts with the introduction of the Common Core State Standards. This Spotlight explores some of the ways educators are getting ready for the standards, including using virtual professional development, forming educator cadres to prepare for common assessments, producing e-textbooks, and building capacity for new instructional approaches.

Reading & Writing

August 15, 2018 FREE! Schools are implementing various strategies to improve reading among struggling learners. In this Spotlight, learn how educators are intervening on behalf of dyslexic students in reading and math, when students with low proficiency should be retained, and how research can reshape instruction. Sponsored by Istation
September 1, 2018 FREE! From improving grammar and writing competencies to measuring online reading abilities, literacy skills are critical to educational development. This Spotlight explores the effects of the Common Core on reading and writing instruction, the impact of rising automation on literacy skills, and how to empower students to love writing. Sponsored by Voyager Sopris
June 1, 2010 Many educators are learning that it's not just young children who need help with literacy skills. This Spotlight explores unique strategies and programs for working on literacy with middle and high school students.
January 15, 2017 Educators are gaining a better understanding of what constitutes reading comprehension as technology reshapes the way students learn. In this Spotlight, learn how schools are teaching digital reading, predicting the deep reading comprehension skills students need throughout their schooling, and providing tools for collaborating with other educators to support productive reading across subjects.
March 1, 2018 Both educators and policymakers are working to improve achievement and proficiency for struggling readers. In this Spotlight, learn how mix-gender classes may help boys read better, how educators can inspire confidence among struggling readers, and how teachers can foster authentic reading experiences for resistant readers.
February 1, 2017 As digital technology transforms literacy instruction, educators are finding new ways to build avid readers. In this Spotlight, learn how schools are combining print and digital texts to develop reading skills, how educators are encouraging literacy instruction in every subject, and how teachers can differentiate supports for individual students.
October 1, 2017 From crafting good sentences to encouraging revision, writing instruction develops an essential skill. In this Spotlight, see how educators are teaching evidence-based writing across subject areas, using online tools to fuel collaborative writing, and inspiring students through the creation of school writing clubs.

Math & Science

May 1, 2015 In this Spotlight, explore why elementary and middle school foundations are essential to later algebra success, how new research offers practical strategies for improving algebra instruction, and what a global perspective can add to math class.
February 15, 2016 Rapid changes in technology have inspired schools to adopt digital tools in the classroom. In this Spotlight, learn how educators are using technology to personalize instruction, facilitate hands-on learning, and boost student engagement in math.
January 15, 2014 New research on elementary school math is helping to give shape to instruction that builds math skills at an early age. In this Spotlight, see how schools are taking new approaches to teaching fractions, developing young learners’ spatial and task skills, and opening new doors to math learning.
April 15, 2016 As standards shift across the country, states and districts are exploring different forms of assessment to measure student progress. In this Spotlight, find out how tests are gauging higher-order thinking, how Common Core State Standards are affecting high school math, and learn how teachers are designing useful math assessments in the classroom.
October 15, 2014 Math instruction is undergoing shifts in the common-core era. In this Spotlight, see how teachers are building math coherence across grades, find out how the common core is impacting math instruction, and learn how blended learning can be implemented in math classrooms.
August 15, 2017 The emergence of digital learning and new standards is pushing the limits of science instruction. In this Spotlight, learn how the Next Generation Science Standards are promoting a more inquiry-based approach to science, explore efforts to train and support new science teachers, and find out how educators can attract more students to science.
April 15, 2014 High school math is undergoing instructional shifts in the common-core era. In this Spotlight, see how high schools are using transitional coursework to prepare students for college math, discover how educators are preparing for common-core assessments, and learn about using statistics to foster data literacy.
July 1, 2018 STEM is playing an integral role in elevating student achievement and career opportunities. In this Spotlight, discover how schools are working towards equity in STEM education, the link between course access and future STEM outcomes, and district efforts to curb the shortage of STEM teachers.
March 1, 2012 Schools and policymakers emphasize STEM as a way to prepare students for 21st century challenges, leaving teachers with their own challenge: How do you successfully engage students in these subjects? This Spotlight offers tips on how to create effective science and math learning opportunities for students.

Technology & Digital Learning

May 14, 2014 1-to-1 computing programs require a coordinated strategy to both implement and manage students and their laptop and tablet use. In this Spotlight, take a look at how some districts are using 1-to-1 computing, explore how students are learning in “1-to-many” environments, and learn about device management concerns and solutions.
July 15, 2017 Educators are navigating an influx of curriculum choices to align with their instructional needs. In this Spotlight, learn how teachers are developing standards-based curricula, using digital tools to personalize literacy instruction, and bridging learning gaps with open educational resources.
February 15, 2018 While efforts to measure success are ongoing, schools are developing bold blended learning initiatives they hope can stand the test of time. In this Spotlight, discover how a district’s blended learning program is building positive school culture, why personalized learning is coming under scrutiny, and tips educators can use to make blended learning more student-centered.
May 1, 2013 School districts are experimenting with blended learning and adaptive instruction, mixing face-to-face instruction with online learning. This Spotlight explores blended learning models and their effectiveness, using adaptive testing in common-core assessments, and tailoring word problems to increase student confidence in math.
September 15, 2012 In order to build the digital district, ed-tech leaders must ensure that back-end services run smoothly and securely. This Spotlight illustrates how districts can maintain reliable technology programs, like multidistrict online collaborations, effective data- security plans, cloud computing, and virtual-learning environments.
March 1, 2018 Data and assessment go hand in hand in schools’ efforts to support ongoing learning in the classroom. In this Spotlight, discover how assessment data can provide clarity on students’ learning strategies, how states and districts are crafting innovative tests under ESSA, and how educators can make se
October 1, 2012 Teachers and students are already driving change, and it’s up to technology leaders to harness it for improved student learning and assessment. In this Spotlight, learn how ed-tech leaders are balancing the benefits and drawbacks of a “flipped” model of instruction, handling school innovation and social media communications, and ensuring districts are tech-ready for the common core’s online assessments.
April 15, 2014 Technology is providing new ways to support opportunities in educational access and learning. In this Spotlight, see how districts are using technology to improve formative assessments, look at programs expanding the use of distance learning, and hear how teachers manage technology in their classrooms.
June 1, 2017 As schools integrate digital tools into the classroom, educators are finding new ways to customize lessons for students. In this Spotlight, see how educators are evaluating growing curriculum choices, consider the potential and drawbacks of algorithm-driven playlists, and learn how districts can deploy a high-quality digital curriculum.
May 1, 2012 Online and blended learning models have reshaped how students learn. Remote learning can assist students with a variety of needs, but there are also accountability challenges associated with virtual education. This Spotlight offers tips on how to best use and apply online learning, inside and outside the classroom.
December 1, 2014 As mobile devices enter the classroom, educators must know how to best use the technology. In this Spotlight, discover how schools track and manage tech tools, learn about “school-to-home” policies for mobile devices, and take a look at security and privacy concerns.
May 15, 2017 As personalized learning gains a foothold in schools, districts are balancing the needs of all students with the growing cost of technology. In this Spotlight, see how schools are using algorithm-driven playlists to customize lessons for students, consider red flags to look for when purchasing products, and learn how personalization can make learning more social.
August 1, 2012 Students are using more than just Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube in the classroom. Many new social media and networking sites are designed specifically for schools. This Spotlight examines the wide range of social media platforms and explores how educators are integrating these tools into instruction.
February 15, 2017 The influx of digital tools in the classroom has educators finding new ways to use technology to support instruction. In this Spotlight, explore how ed-tech can encourage social-emotional learning, how schools are tackling their purchasing and adoption decisions, and how technology is changing the teaching profession.
March 1, 2015 With the rise of open educational resources and other digital materials, educators have access to more resources than ever. In this Spotlight, learn how teachers, districts, and publishers are navigating the expanding digital-content marketplace.
October 1, 2014 Technology collaboration means choosing the right digital tool, experimenting with new online resources, and opening the classroom to a digital world. In this Spotlight, see how you can dig deeper into your library’s digital resources, integrate instruction with your students' devices, and develop out-of-school learning opportunities that connect to the world.

Leadership & School Policy

February 1, 2012 State legislatures have recently passed anti-bullying laws to protect students and principals and teachers face the challenge of keeping students safe. This Spotlight offers school leaders practical tools and strategies for bullying prevention.
March 15, 2013 The path to college comes with many unique challenges for students. In this Spotlight examine the digital divide in the college admissions process, see how districts instill higher education ambitions with early outreach and early-college models, and discover how schools are preparing students for the academic and financial demands of college.
January 14, 2016 While many educators believe that more sophisticated use of student data can significantly raise performance and close gaps, critics contend that more data-sharing opens the door to a range of privacy concerns. In this Spotlight, learn how educators are being trained on using data and maintaining student privacy and explore how schools are leveraging data to improve student outcomes.
August 1, 2015 The increasing availability of student data is creating debate over how to effectively use the information to drive district decisions. In this Spotlight, explore how states are developing governance structures to guide data collection and use, consider the difficult balancing act between data collection and privacy concerns, and learn how some educators are making data work in their schools.
April 1, 2013 To create school and district leaders, school systems must provide opportunities for training, professional development, and meaningful feedback. In this Spotlight, see how some districts are remaking principal evaluations, find out what it takes to build a positive school culture, and look at schools using on-site training to prepare principals for their jobs.
October 1, 2018 FREE! Educators are turning to data to spark improvement in schools and the classroom. In this Spotlight, see how educators are using data for effective problem-solving, informing student career plans, and to meet students’ learning needs. Sponsored by itslearning
August 1, 2014 At the district-level, data can play a key role in day-to-day operations. In this Spotlight, learn how data trackers can detect dropout risks, examine the role of big data in a digital district, and see how one district is releasing data and allowing developers to create custom tools.
March 15, 2015 Effective district leadership demands a skillful mix of innovation, collaboration, and support. In this Spotlight, read how leaders are fostering innovation, how teachers and students are shaping district policy, and how districts are adopting cutting-edge R&D models.
August 4, 2009 With funding shrinking, schools and districts are looking for ways to do more with less when it comes to technology. This Spotlight explores how information technology professionals and educators can rise to the challenge.
July 15, 2015 For district leaders, the shift in educators' roles requires new approaches to hiring and building better leadership development systems. In this Spotlight, examine the work conditions that trigger high rates of teacher attrition, read how districts are improving the screening process for hiring teachers and learn about creating effective recruitment and retention strategies.
December 15, 2015 Across the country, schools are crafting innovative solutions to 21st century challenges. In this Spotlight, meet leaders who are using technology and innovation to enhance instruction and prepare students for a changing world.
May 15, 2015 Next to teachers, school leaders are widely considered one of the most essential in-school determinants of student achievement. In this Spotlight, explore competing models and standards for principal evaluation, read research and commentary on improving school leadership, and reconsider the role of principal supervisors.
October 1, 2016 As their position evolves, principals are taking a leading role in school improvement efforts. In this Spotlight, learn how principals are providing input on ESSA's implementation, gaining management savvy from the business world, and balancing classroom visits with other leadership responsibilities.
June 21, 2010 Principals have long been seen as important to the success of schools. This Spotlight takes a closer look at effective school leadership and the challenges principals face.
December 15, 2013 FREE! There is a need for proven leaders in American education, both at the school and district levels. These leaders are experimenting with new policies and procedures that are helping to reshape schools. In this Spotlight, see how some districts build and develop the talent of leaders from nontraditional backgrounds; understand how principal and superintendent turnover is changing the way leaders are selected and evaluated; examine districts that are changing their school governance model to incorporate charters; and hear from leaders who are using innovative practices in STEM and social networking.
April 13, 2010 School uniforms and student dress codes can be the source of heated debate. This Spotlight examines the research on school uniforms and the challenges schools face in implementing dress codes.
September 15, 2016 As schools become more data-driven, there is a renewed focus on protecting student-data privacy. In this Spotlight, see how districts are being rewarded for protecting student data, how schools are pushing the boundaries of classroom analytics, and what can be done to improve data-privacy training for educators.
June 1, 2018 Research and intentionality are setting the groundwork for best practices in schools. In this Spotlight, discover how instructional coaches are boosting school performance, what studies say about school climate and achievement gaps, and tips for successfully teaching English-language learners.

Education Policy

September 1, 2017 As schools aim to be the great equalizer in society, they are working to close the achievement gap. In this Spotlight, see how positive school climates are narrowing gaps between low-income students and their peers, learn how schools are enrolling English-language learners in gifted classes, and read about the need for a more diverse teaching force.
July 2, 2009 The No Child Left Behind Act is perhaps the most controversial and far-reaching federal education law on the books. This Spotlight looks at where adjustments have been made to NCLB and what lies ahead for the law and schools.
May 1, 2009 Should teachers’ pay be based on their students’ academic performance? Some reformers say yes, but others question the effectiveness of performance–or merit–pay. This Spotlight takes a closer look at the issue of pay for performance.
February 17, 2010 The $4 billion Race to the Top initiative is the Obama administration's signature education program. This Spotlight examines insider perspectives on Race to the Top policy, the role of standards in the competitive grant program, and states' preparations to secure their piece of the funding pie.
June 23, 2011 The role that religion plays in schools is a contentious and often hard fought battle. This Spotlight examines growing debates, from the classroom to the courtroom, on topics like evolution, religion in textbooks, and school choice.
February 1, 2012 An influx of federal funds targeting the nation’s lowest performing schools has state and districts sorting through how to implement the four intervention models. This Spotlight explores the logistical and practical impact of U.S. Department of Education’s School Improvement Grant (SIG) program on improving underperforming schools across the country.
March 15, 2016 As efforts intensify to track school performance, states and districts are utilizing data to support school improvement. In this Spotlight, learn how ESSA shifts accountability on underperforming schools, find out about ways to measure school success, and examine lessons from school improvement grants.
April 15, 2013 Teacher evaluation is being hotly debated in education policy circles. In this Spotlight, explore the subtleties between teachers deemed highly effective and ineffective, understand how combined measures can provide a more balanced picture of teacher performance, and see why researchers urge caution in using ‘value added’ evaluations.
October 1, 2012 Programs serving the nation’s economically disadvantaged students and those with disabilities receive federal funding through No Child Left Behind’s Title I. This Spotlight examines continuing oversight on NCLB waivers, growing academic achievement by Title I students, gains by turnaround schools, and suggestions for repairing Title I funding.
July 1, 2018 As proposed rules emerge on The Every Student Succeeds Act, policymakers and educators are grappling with the impact of the law on data reporting, accountability, and parent and community engagement. In this Spotlight, learn about the key highlights of the new law and reactions to the proposed rules on accountability, test participation, and school interventions.

English-Language Learners

April 1, 2013 The Common Core State Standards are placing new demands on English-language learners. In this Spotlight take a look at how schools are making the standards accessible to ELLs, understand how the common core may help establish uniform definitions for ELLs, and see how teachers are preparing for instruction and assessment challenges.
May 28, 2009 Teaching English-language learners is a complex endeavor that requires skill and patience. It is also a reality that more and more schools are facing. This Spotlight examines assessment and instruction in the everyday world of ELLs and their schools.
September 1, 2012 One out of every five children now enrolled in American public schools speaks a language other than English at home. This Spotlight focuses on ways to meet English-Language Learners’ needs, including teacher professional development, early detection of dropouts, and what the new common-core standards mean for ELL students.
November 15, 2017 New research and teaching practices are addressing the unique challenges faced by English-language learners. In this Spotlight, learn how early exposure to English can benefit ELLs, how educators are using new techniques to help English-learners talk through math problems, and how states are embracing biliteracy and bilingualism.

Special Education

November 30, 2009 With autism more frequently diagnosed than ever among American schoolchildren, educators are confronting their students' numerous and diverse needs. This Spotlight examines technology, research, and parent and advocate perspectives about the complex disorder and how schools can rise to the challenge of teaching children on the autism spectrum.
August 18, 2010 Providing gifted students with meaningful challenging work that keeps them engaged in learning is not always an easy task. This Spotlight explores different ways schools are approaching gifted learning and the numerous issues facing gifted students and those who teach them.
May 28, 2009 American schools use many strategies to make classrooms more inclusive of students with disabilities. This Spotlight looks at inclusion and school technology’s growing role in supporting it.
February 1, 2018 FREE! Response to Intervention is a model to identify students in need and provide targeted interventions. In this Spotlight, learn why RTI may fall short in flagging certain students, practical lessons on multitiered systems of supports, and how RTI can be used to support teachers. Sponsored by Solution Tree
April 1, 2017 New policies aimed at supporting special education students have advocates debating their merits. In this Spotlight, learn about new testing accommodations for special education students, how vouchers are affecting parents of students with disabilities, and the potential of personalized learning for all students.

Charter Schools & Choice

May 28, 2009 Successful charter schools come in many flavors, but many are especially concerned with developing effective leadership. This Spotlight examines the ways schools cultivate new leaders and the many strengths and skills those leaders must draw upon.
March 8, 2011 Charter schools have gained increased prominence in the national education landscape in recent years. This Spotlight examines research on student achievement, student enrollment patterns, and scalability issues in charter schools.

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