Phi Delta Kappan

Founded in 1915, the Phi Delta Kappan is a professional policy journal for K-12 educators and is owned and published by Phi Delta Kappa International. Also referred to as the Kappan, the journal runs concurrently with the U.S. school year, with issues being released September to May and a combined December/January issue. The Kappan's editorial headquarters are located in Bloomington, Ind.The Kappan has a circulation of 33,000 subscribers and publishes articles directed to an audience of K-12 teachers, principals, superintendents, school district administrators and professors. Founded in 1906 to serve all members of the educational community, the journal's owner, Phi Delta Kappa International, maintains a large network of campus-based chapters with members in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia. Articles within the journal primarily address issues related to educational research, service and leadership. Examples of specialized topics within these articles include information on inclusion, class size, testing, tenure, professional certification and alternative school systems. In addition to featured articles, each year the journal publishes results of the Phi Delta Kappa International "Gallup Poll of the Public's Attitude Toward the Public Schools."In June of 2010,the APEX 2010 Awards honored Phi Delta Kappan's Editor-in-Chief, Joan Richardson, and Design Director, Carol Bucheri, for Publication Excellence. Richardson received a Grand Award for her Kappan column, "The Editor's Note," and Bucheri received an APEX Award of Excellence in the Best Redesigns category–an award category that includes highly competitive submissions from a wide range of professional journals, newspapers, newsletters, annual reports, brochures and websites. The Editor-in-Chief of the Phi Delta Kappan is Joan Richardson. David M. Ruetschlin is Managing Editor and Carol Bucheri is Design Director.

Articles from Vol. 90, No. 10, June

A Meaningful High School Diploma: Creating a Meaningful High School Diploma Will Expose Students to the Full Range of Adult Options, Which Will Enable Them to Shape Their High School Education in a Way That Connects to Their Current Interests and Stimulates the Growth of New Ones
A war is being waged over what knowledge is most important and who is best qualified to teach it to students in grades 6 through 12. The board of education in my state of Washington chose "meaningful" as the one word to describe its mission in re-examining...
Balancing Students' Constitutional Rights: School Officials Have Considerable Latitude in Maintaining a School Environment Conducive to Learning. but They Must Also Honor Students' Rights in the Process
Students must learn how to become responsible citizens, and few places are more significant in developing those skills of citizenship than the public schools. However, if students are going to learn to become responsible citizens in a democracy, they...
Beware of Foreigners Bearing Gifts
American educators seem to be discovering and embracing all things Chinese these days. Educators and school board members are visiting the Middle Kingdom by the hundreds. Schools are being pressured to add Mandarin to their language offerings. Magazine...
Beyond Special Education: A New Vision of Academic Support: A Massachusetts High School Demonstrates That a Mainstream Academic Support Program for Students with Mild Learning Problems Can Help Motivate Students to Learn and Improve Their Academic Performance as Well as Promise Long-Term Financial Savings at a Time When Special Education Budgets Are Increasing Dramatically
"I am going to college because of the Brookline High School Tutorial. The program saved my academic life; it's as simple as that." --Danny Unfocused and distracted, Danny was diagnosed with a learning disability during middle school. That diagnosis...
Beyond the Wall of Separation: Church-State Concerns in Public Schools: Religion Has Been One of the Most Contentious Issues in Public Schools, and There Are No Signs That the Disputes Will Disappear. Educators Must Know Which Activities Are Prohibited and Which Are Protected by Law
Few controversies involving public schools have been more volatile than those pertaining to religious issues. Since the mid-20th century, schools have been the setting for some major church-state decisions rendered by the U.S. Supreme Court. The...
Constitutional Cases Involving Teachers: Teachers' Workplace Rights Have Been Shrinking in the Past Few Decades. in Some Cases, Teachers Can Even Be Fired for Doing What They Are Paid to Do
The law of public employment has come a long way since 1892. That's when Oliver Wendell Holmes made his infamous statement, "The petitioner may have a constitutional right to talk politics, but he has no constitutional right to be a policeman." (1)...
Cool Stuff from the States
Colleagues recently referred to me as "geek of staff" (smile), and I really don't mind, particularly since it's so accurate. I am a policy wonk. As such, I'm always on the lookout for interesting policy actions by legislatures. Here are some samples...
Following the Script: When Schools and School Systems Are Exploring Scripted Literacy Programs, Educators Should Consider Four Questions before Embracing That Approach to Teaching
Title I schools that want desperately to raise student scores on high-stakes tests often have found it hard to resist the lure of scripted literacy programs, especially in the face of pressure from No Child Left Behind to raise test scores. In recent...
From Black Armbands to Bong Hits for Jesus: The 40th Anniversary of Tinker: John Tinker and Kenneth W. Starr Share Their Divergent Views about Limitations on the Freedom of Speech in Schools
2009 marks the 40th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court case, Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District. That case established that students, as well as teachers, do not "shed their constitutional right to freedom of speech or...
Identify and Observe Effective Teacher Behaviors
With all, it was now clear that among say eight kids all supposed to be at 4.5-4.8 reading level, making errors A, B, and D (but not C), there were in fact eight kids some of whom were reading all kinds of stuff, some who would only read the newspaper,...
Looks Deceive
If you somehow managed to miss Susan Boyle's performance on Britain's Got Talent in April, pause now and check the YouTube video today. Take a Kleenex with you when you do. Susan Boyle is the frumpy, 47-year-old Scottish spinster who entered...
Paranormal Tribune Atoms vs. a Three-Legged Woman? the "Science" of the Paranormal Offers What the Grind of Scientific Research Does Not: Immediate Gratification, Pat Explanations, and the Reduction of Complex Matters to Fleeting Sounds and Images. but Such Easy and Ready Answers Are Poor Preparation for a Scientific Vocation
In my college course in introductory biology, I include a few lectures on the structure of the atom as a basis for understanding the chemistry of living things. To convey how incredibly small these particles are, I point out that Danish physicist Niels...
PDK Scholarship Winners
The PDK Educational Foundation annually awards scholarships to prospective educators who have a connection to PDK or who qualify under particular endowed scholarship criteria. 2009 scholarship recipients are listed below. Applications for the 2010...
Prepared for What? Why Teaching "Everyday Science" Makes Sense: Teaching Everyday Science Would Require a Shift in Priorities, but It May Be the Best Way to Provide a Science Education That Truly Prepares Students for Good Citizenship and Daily Decision Making
American science education is plagued by a fundamental confusion--a mismatch between goals we claim to value and the strategies we use to achieve them. This confusion is rooted in the seemingly simple idea that science education should prepare students...
Public School Law: What Does It Mean in the Trenches? Being Reasonable and Prudent Isn't Enough to Keep Educators out of Court These Days. but the Many Legal Developments in School Law Provide Us with Opportunity and Incentive to Better Serve Our Students
When I entered the field of education 34 years ago, prudent and reasonable educators usually could rest assured that they wouldn't end up in court. That's no longer the case. Their risk of litigation has grown as our society has turned increasingly...
Stacy Reeves
Stacy Reeves is changing the lives of children across the world. Reeves, an associate professor at the University of Southern Mississippi and a member of PDK's 2007-08 Class of Emerging Leaders, has worked with orphans abroad, as well as helped...
Summing Up a Career
The big decisions being made in Washington and state houses inspired me to look back, all the way to my first Washington Commentary. It was in September 1982 during President Reagan's first year in office, and I bluntly declared that the benign U.S....
The Big Picture: Five Legal Issues Have Changed the Face of Public Schooling in the United States. While Federal Courts Led the Way in the Earlier Cases, the Key Players Now Are State Courts, State Legislatures, and Congress
The last half-century has seen dramatic changes in the legal landscape for schools. It is a daunting task, and one that requires some subjective judgments, to generate a list of the most important legal developments. However, five legal developments...
These Kids Today
Long ago and in what seems like a galaxy far, far away, I was new to teaching. In those early days, I taught in the elementary school I'd attended as a child--not something I would recommend, especially for students with ... well ... "spotty" records....
Tinkering Change vs. System Change: Without the Willingness to Make Courageous, Transformative Changes, Public Education Risks the Likelihood That Its Many Small Changes Will Lead to No Change at All
At an education conference, John Holt, author, educator, and home schooler, responded to a question about home schooling by saying that he had given up hope for public education. He no longer--this was in the 1970s--believed that school systems could...
Visiting Room 501: Middle-Class Latino Students in the United States Negotiate Life as Transnational Citizens, Developing an Identity and a Culture That Translate Their Contemporary, Lived Experiences and Highlight Within-Group Variances
If you are in trouble, if you need money, I will help you. You are my favorite cousin," wrote Sammy as part of a "friendly letter" assignment in Room 501. Why did Sammy, a 5th grader in an American elementary school, offer such support to his Mexican...