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ACSA Interim Executive Director Karen Stapf Walters

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Editor Susan Davis Board of Directors

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Tom Armelino, Aaron Benton, Todd Cherland, Carl Christensen, Lisette Estrella-Henderson, Rod Federwisch, Diane Gischel-Lingo,

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Leadership magazine (ISSN 1531-3174) is published bi-monthly in September/October, November/December, January/February, March/ April and May/June by the Asso ciation of Califor- nia School Admin istrators, 1575 Bayshore Hwy., Burlingame, CA 94010. (USPS 282-740) Annual subscription: $60; single copies, $12 (includes state tax). Subscriptions outside the U.S. add $20 ($80 total). Periodical postage paid at Burlingame, California and additional post offices. Articles and advertisements are the expressions of the author(s) and advertisers and are not statements of policy or endorsements of ACSA. Postmaster: Send address changes to: Leadership magazine, ACSA, 1575 Bayshore Hwy., Burlingame, CA 94010.

To our readers

21st century schools: Learning and teaching in the classroom and beyond

Dear Colleague: Classrooms are exciting places to be when learning and teaching

focus on critical thinking, communication and collaboration to solve problems. Creating the classrooms where these learning experiences happen is our mission as educators, as well as the goal of the Common Core standards. It is also the focus of this issue of Leadership. In our lead article, authors Sue and Greg Kaiser present data show-

ing a majority of students do not possess the literacy levels they need by eighth grade to comprehend content area reading at their grade level.

To compensate, teachers use hands-on activities and lectures to “spoon feed” the informa- tion to students. “As we sit on the eve of the Common Core State Standards implementation,” they write,

“our students must have multiple opportunities to become independent in their ability to extract meaning from expository text in order to prepare for exams that will require them to read multiple sources to extract meaning, as well as develop arguments and opinions regard- ing information presented.” The authors present five proven instructional strategies to close these “practice gaps.” Next, Matt Saldaña and Leslie Rodden (page 12) showcase a dynamic marine robotics

program in Long Beach that brings relevance to students’ academic studies and connections to future careers. “Bridging the disconnect between the classroom and the real world brings classroom learning alive,” they write. Classroom learning can’t happen if students aren’t in school, or if behavior problems and

stress levels inhibit success. A San Francisco program called Quiet Time, which engages stu- dents in classroom meditation, has tackled these problems successfully. “No matter how much effort we put into teaching, if we don’t effectively address the pervasive underlying ten- sion and trauma experienced by our youth, we can’t make real progress,” writes Jim Dierke, who initiated the program at his middle school (page 14). And balanced students deserve a balanced education. Steve Athanases, an expert on di-

versity and equity in teaching and learning, presents a framework for providing high chal- lenge and high support – holding the bar high while focusing on creative, targeted supports “to help students engage challenging curriculum as fully as possible” (page 18). Summing it up, columnist George Manthey writes, “All students do think critically,

create, communicate and collaborate. It’s just that they don’t all do so in school.” Creating schools where 21st century learning happens is our job, and the opportunity is now. I wish you all a great 2012-13 school year! Sincerely,

David Gomez ACSA President

September/October 2012 7

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