Outlook 2016: DA's Second Annual Year-Ahead Issue Predicts Trends for the New Year

By Pascopella, Angela | District Administration, January 2016 | Go to article overview

Outlook 2016: DA's Second Annual Year-Ahead Issue Predicts Trends for the New Year


Pascopella, Angela, District Administration


District Administration presents its second consecutive Year Ahead edition to help K12 educators navigate the new year. This special section offers in-depth stories focused on the future of leadership, smart classrooms, assessments and standards, and technology and IT. You'll also find trend forecasts by school leaders and results from our reader surveys on curriculum, outsourcing, technology trends and facilities.

Experts and readers say the coming deluge of mobile devices and the repercussions of the Common Core standards (as it did last year) will dominate the landscape in 2016. Readers don't foresee the presidential race having as big an impact: 59 percent of respondents to our survey said the election will not bring major changes in education. Still, 29 percent expect public education to improve more under a Democratic president while 12 percent thought schools would make more progress under a Republican.

Administrators will continue to prioritize student achievement as they work to meet new learning standards and adopt new testing strategies such as performance-based assessments. Teachers and parents, meanwhile, will push for more sensible testing. The problem is not that tests are used, experts say, but that there are too many, they aren't aligned with instruction and they lack useful feedback.

Meanwhile, more districts this year will stress social and emotional skills of students, as educators try to teach "the whole child," says David Thompson, director of student services for Buncombe County School in North Carolina. …

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