ICYMI: Most read by educators

Principal: Happiness starts with teachers

Elementary-school principal Tracey Smith first focused on the staff when she wanted to improve her school's culture. In this commentary, Smith offers several methods they used to make the school happier and shares the school's theme for next year -- "We Are Connected."

Full Story: eSchool News

Study: Rigor tied to healthier teen behavior

Teenagers who take additional math and science courses are less likely to drink or binge drink alcohol, according to a recent study by researchers from Washington State University. Co-author Ben Cowan suggests that students who take more rigorous courses may have less time to engage in risky behaviors and be more likely to have a positive outlook on the future.

Full Story: Education Week (tiered subscription model)

Report: More high schools have low grad rates

The nation's graduation rate has increased overall, but the number of US high schools with low graduation rates also rose from 2,249 to 2,425 between 2015 and 2016, according to the latest "Building a Grad Nation" report. Report co-author and Johns Hopkins University researcher Robert Balfanz suggests the expansion of alternative schools may account for the low graduation rates because such schools often receive struggling students -- resulting in a "hyperconcentration of need."

Full Story: Education Week (tiered subscription model)

Parkland, Fla., school gets surprise commencement speaker

Full Story: The Associated Press

Ore. program tackles kindergarten literacy

Kindergarten students in Albany, Ore., are making gains in literacy through a University of Oregon program. The Enhanced Core Reading Instruction program focuses on direct instruction that uses repetition and games.

Full Story: Albany Democrat-Herald (Ore.)

Teresa Donnellan is an editorial assistant at SmartBrief.

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This "most read" feature reflects the most read items in ASCD SmartBrief from the previous week. Sign up for ASCD SmartBrief to get news like this in your inbox, or check out all of SmartBrief’s education newsletters, covering career and technical education, educational leadership, math education and more.