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. 92, No. 3, November

$320,000 Kindergarten Teachers: Your Kindergarten Classroom Can Leave a Lasting Impact on Your Earnings and Your Quality of Life Long after Circle Time Is a Distant Memory
Could the quality of your kindergarten experience make a difference in your lifetime earnings? Or whether you're married or own a home? Our study of an experiment that randomly assigned students to different kindergarten classrooms suggests the...
And the Beat Goes On: The Endless Loop of School Reform Often Means That One Group Takes Apart What Someone Else Has Just Put Together. Does This Benefit Children?
Education is all about politics. I didn't always understand that. I used to think it had loftier purposes. But then I used to believe in the Tooth Fairy, too. I first came to see the horrible effects of politics on schools and schooling when I lived...
A Tale of Two Cases: How the Courts Interpret Students' Rights When They Use the Internet Is Still Uncertain Territory
Two separate cases involving student First Amendment rights and the Internet demonstrate the unsettled nature of the law. Case #1: In March 2007, J.S. was an 8th-grade honor roll student at Blue Mountain Middle School in Orwigsburg, Pa., when she...
Caring Connections: Linking Research and Practice Can Improve Programs of Family and Community Involvement and Lead to Improved Student Success in School
My Kappan article, "School/Family/Community Partnerships: Caring for the Children We Share," was part of a special issue coordinated by colleagues at the Lilly Endowment to report new research and development on caring--a critical variable for student...
In the Future, Diverse Approaches to Schooling: Some of the Basic Ways That We've Delivered Education Will Be Changing in the Future - in Fact, It's Already Happening
Critics of U.S. K-12 education often complain that the basic structure of public schools hasn't changed in a hundred years. That criticism doesn't fit the facts today--there are many exceptions to the generalization that all instruction is delivered...
It's All about the People: Although Schools Differ Significantly from Business, Educators Still Can Gain Insights by Comparing Schools to Other Enterprises That Are Labor-Intensive and Service-Focused
Schools represent a complex, human-capital-intensive service. In the most basic terms, people--teachers, students, and leaders--are the keys to effective schooling. Although there's a long history of business interest in school reform efforts, we...
It Takes a Community: Tuscaloosa, Ala., Rallied to Provide Preschool for At-Risk Students and Get Them off to a Successful School Start
In tough economic times, Tuscaloosa, Ala., mobilized the city to provide high-quality preschool for at-risk students. The Tuscaloosa City Schools serve more than 10,000 students, and about two-thirds of them qualify for free or reduced-price lunches....
New Literacies for a New Era: Learning to Read Words Is No Longer Enough; Students Must Learn to Be Visually Literate as Well
Have you noticed how many toddlers are almost proficient at technology? My friends' three-year-old knows how to scroll through her iPhone to view his own photos. Another friend's three-year-old swipes any iPhone he encounters to find buttons he can...
New Thinking about Instructional Leadership: Schools That Improve Student Achievement Are More Likely to Have Principals Who Are Strong Organizational Managers Than Are Schools with Principals Who Spend More of Their Time Observing Classrooms or Directly Coaching Teachers
School leaders matter for school success. Numerous studies spanning the past three decades link high-quality leadership with positive school outcomes. Recognition of the importance of school leadership has led to increased attention to recruiting and...
Ready or Not, Here Come the Preschoolers! Elementary School Principals Say They Value Having Preschoolers in Their Buildings, but They Need More Preparation and Support to Improve the Experience
When a state establishes universal preschool, one of the first questions is where to put all these new pupils. Largely for practical purposes, many new preschool classes are placed in existing elementary schools. But this decision raises further questions....
School/family/community Partnerships: Caring for the Children We Share: When Schools Form Partnerships with Families and the Community, the Children Benefit. These Guidelines for Building Partnerships Can Make It Happen
The way schools care about children is reflected in the way schools care about the children's families. If educators view children simply as students, they are likely to see the family as separate from the school. That is, the family is expected to...
School Readiness Begins in Infancy: Social Interactions during the First Two Years of Life Provide the Foundation for Learning
School readiness interventions that start later than infancy may be too late to be effective. If educators and policy makers fail to include experiences for infants and toddlers in their initiatives and continue to launch school-readiness programs...
Sparding Innovation in U.S. Communities and School Districts: Ensuring Early Learning That Is Sustained Requires Coordinated Community Efforts That Are Context Specific
The SPARK initiative, launched in 2001 by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, was developed to promote permanent improvement in the systems that affect early learning, particularly for vulnerable children ages three to eight. Unlike other initiatives that...
Targeted, Not Universal PreK: Universalizing the Preschool Experience Is No Way to Achieve Lasting Gap Reduction. Instead, Invest in Education for Preschoolers Who Need It the Most
The universal-preschool-advocacy machine is running a bit low on gas. Its drivers are feeling neglected by the Obama Administration, semi-abandoned by their longtime funder at Pew, and thwarted by the parlous fiscal condition of nearly every state....
The 15% Solution? Closing Gaps between Current Standards and Incoming Standards Is a Necessary First Step to Making a Successful Transition
States may soon discover that the 15% of standards permitted them beyond the Common Core actually represents the time they need to catch up. The CCSSO/NGA initiative that identifies standards for state adoption accounts for 85% of the maximum, allowing...
The Declining Significance of Space and Geography: Educational Technology Offers Both Promise and Challenge for a System That Assumes Learning Takes Place in a Defined Space and That Has Designed Schools and Districts According to Geography
"It doesn't look like a school. It's a small, renovated warehouse in Oklahoma City's vibrant 'Bricktown' district. The building's third floor can barely hold 50 people. Yet 60,000 high school students took courses there during the 2006-07 school year....
The Learned Word: Academic
The link between academia, wisdom, and heroes is far from academic. According to Merriam-Webster, academic can mean "conventional; formalistic" (his musical skills were academically perfect but showed little evidence of spirit); it can mean "theoretical;...
The Messiness of Readiness: Instead of Sorting Children into Those Who Are Ready to Learn and Those Who Are Not, Schools Should Provide Opportunities for All Children to Succeed
So many times I have heard, "Most of the children coming to kindergarten don't even know their ABCs!" This is usually followed by, "They aren't ready for school." I've always found this attitude curious. Isn't that what school is about, to learn...
The Plight of a Good Idea: Prenatal Care, Health Services, and Nutrition Programs Could Support the Cause of Urban School Reform. So Why Is the Obama Promise Neighborhoods Project under Fire?
The Obama Administration came up with a great idea for a federally funded education experiment: Give money to nonprofits and universities to organize doctor's visits, prenatal parenting classes, eye exams, early literacy initiatives, and other steps...
Unbundling Our Neighborhoods
I have fond memories of my neighborhood schools. My family moved a lot, so I went to several schools, but they all had some things in common. When I walked to and from school and home and back for lunch every day, neighbors often shouted greetings...
Unbundling Promises and Problems: Deconstructing Schools and the Education System as We Know It May Offer Some Enormous Challenges and Great Pitfalls
"Unbundling" schools means tearing apart their structures and routines and putting them back together in new and, it is hoped, improved ways. But we already know a lot about creating effective schools and obtaining high-quality teaching and learning....
Unbundling Schools: Could Deconstructing Schools Enable Us to Find Smarter Ways to Restructure Them for Efficiency and Improved Learning?
Schooling and teaching today look remarkably like they did in 1910. One wouldn't say that about medicine or engineering, or about commercial sectors such as air travel, farming, or auto manufacturing. In each of these cases, dramatic shifts in the...
Up-and-Coming Leaders: Nikita Ganatra
College readiness means more than just college prep classes to Nikita Ganatra. To Ganatra, whose blog in PDKConnect (www.pdkconnect.org) is titled "College Readiness," it also includes learning life skills and organizational skills, as well as specific...
Using School Readiness Data to Make a Difference in Student Learning: By Studying Kindergartners, Kansas Has Identified Early Learning Practices That Enable Children to Be Better Prepared for School Success
In fall 2005, Kansas began a three-year study to determine the skills and assets children bring with them to kindergarten and what they learn while they're there. The first students in that study entered 3rd grade in 2008, and preliminary results from...
Why PreK for All? the United States Can't "Race to the Top" When Many Children Are Not Even at the Starting Line
Our public schools do far too little during a child's most critical period for healthy development. Children's earliest years are crucial for developing school readiness, and achievement gaps appear well before children set foot in a kindergarten or...
Will Unbundling Provide the Best Education for All? as with So Many Reform Ideas, We Can Be Pretty Sure That Unbundling Will Work out Well for Some Children and Not Well for Other Children If We Don't Heed Some Key Lessons
I spent enough years as a middle school and high school teacher to develop a robust skepticism about research and policy. What did any of those people so far away from my classroom know that would be relevant for me, preferably tomorrow? And why was...