High School

How Shop Class Can Boost College Enrollment

College isn’t for everyone, many argue. But what is the alternative? An old idea is to train kids in a trade in high school via shop class. However, high school trade programs have had a deservedly bad reputation as a “dumping ground” for low-income students, providing a subpar education and failing to prepare young adults for the modern world. These classes are also bound up with a shameful racial history. When schools were forced to…

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As School Gets Back to Normal, It’s Both Better and Worse

“Things are better this year, right?” I am asked again and again. The short answer, from this high school administrator, is yes and no, depending on which aspect we choose to focus on. On the surface, things are mostly back to normal. We’re not in masks or tracking COVID cases or on a hybrid learning schedule. We’re having assemblies, sporting events, band concerts, and school dances. Hallway shenanigans are back. We had a senior prank…

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Dear Math Letters Can Help Overcome Math Dread

Many students fail to understand the value of math, and some grow to hate it. 15-year veteran math teacher, Sarah Strong, and her high school student, Gigi Butterfield, strove o discover the root of this problem by addressing concerns about negativity around teaching and learning math and why kids hate math (at least some of them). Digging into the feelings math evoked in hundreds of middle and high school students—that math is unnecessary, oppressive, and…

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5 Ways to Engage Introverts in the Classroom

It may be a misconception regarding personality traits that the more verbal, outgoing classroom extroverts maintain superior classroom or academic ability. While introverts are not at a cognitive deficit when compared to extroverts, the personality type may pose obstacles for instructors who value regular classroom engagement. Here are five brief ways that instructors may be able to better support the personalities and enhance engagement of student introverts in the classroom setting. 1. Build in peer-support…

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The Impact of Reading Struggles on Older Students

When students get to middle and high school without strong reading skills, the results can be devastating. In response to a recent survey about reading struggles, dozens of parents and educators described secondary students who refuse to read out loud for fear of being teased, who can’t understand math word problems or science vocabulary, and gradually give up on school altogether. They worried such students face poor job prospects and bleak futures, not to mention…

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4 Strategies for Parents Seeking to Motivate Teens

The relationship between parent and child is central to building children’s self-motivation and stress tolerance, and how parents respond to kids when they are emotionally distressed can strengthen or strain that relationship. After the release of his bestselling book “The Self-Driven Child,” clinical neuropsychologist William Stixrud got a request: make it even easier for parents to apply the research in the book to motivate teens. So Stixrud and his co-author Ned Johnson wrote “What Do…

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Why We Should Teach Taxes to High Schoolers

It’s almost tax day, and while tax time can be a trying experience for adults, it can also be a prime learning opportunity for students to understand how taxes work and why we pay them. By taking an approach to teaching taxes that is enjoyable and stress free, when kids grow up to manage their own taxes, they won’t carry negative preconceptions they may have been inadvertently taught by their parents. Many high school students…

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Graduation Rates Dip as the Pandemic Stalls Progress

High school graduation rates dipped in at least 20 states after the first full school year disrupted by the pandemic, suggesting the coronavirus may have ended nearly two decades of nationwide progress toward getting more students diplomas. The drops came despite at least some states and educators loosening standards to help struggling students. The results, according to data obtained from 26 states and analyzed by Chalkbeat, are the latest concerning trend in American education, which…

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20 Graphic Novels for Reluctant High School Readers

Graphic novels take the text of a story and pair it with corresponding imagery, usually in the form of a comic strip or sequential art. As graphic novel authors have ventured outside of superhero narratives and improved at representing more diverse characters, graphic novel sales have soared. What’s fueling the recent rise in graphic novel popularity? Other than greater representation, many educators are finding that graphic novels are useful resources for struggling readers or students…

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Renaming Schools in 21st Century America

No offense to the worthy gentlemen, but the issue at hand is what to rename Woodrow Wilson High School, the comprehensive high school in Northwest Washington that has long carried the name of a two-term president. Wilson moved into the White House more than a century ago, and as a product of his time, he was also an unrelenting segregationist. Now in 2022, the D.C. Council is moving to change the name. School districts around…

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