The problem is clear: The U.S. is losing ground in the battle to improve students’ content knowledge in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and business leaders lament graduates’ lack of preparation to compete in a global economy. Despite a continued sense of urgency to better prepare students, much of the discourse on improving STEM education has focused on the latter end of a student’s academic career, overlooking the opportunity to set an early foundation. This issue of Principal delves into how school leaders can prioritize STEM at the K-8 level, developing in our nation’s children not only a sense of wonder, but a methodology for creative problem-solving that will benefit them throughout their academic careers.


STEM Gets a Boost from Business
Linda Rosen
Business leaders are partnering with elementary schools to help increase students’ interest and achievement in STEM.
(Article Available to the public)

Spotlight on a STEM School
Meredith Barnett

A Vertical Approach to Math Instruction
Linda Gojak
Establishing vertical math teams creates professional development opportunities for teachers while also improving student achievement.

The Right Equation for Math Teaching
Deborah Schifter and Burt Granofsky
The Common Core State Standards for Mathematical Practice require a new method of teaching. Know what to look for in your classrooms.

The Impact of Next Generation Science Standards
Becky Stewart, Ted Willard, Ken A. Wesson



Navigating Your Way Through the Research Jungle
Scott Bauer and David Brazer
Turn research into practice by discovering the most relevant sources to help improve your school.

Supporting Rural Teachers
Doris Terry Williams
By addressing the challenges of teachers and bolstering their performance, rural principals elevate their schools’ achievement.
(Article available to the public)



From the Editor
Setting a Foundation for STEM
Kaylen Tucker
(Article available to the public)

(Article available to the public)

Practitioner’s Corner
A WISE Writing Program
Ruby Larson

Principal’s Bookshelf

Circle in the Square: Building Community and Repairing Harm in School
by Nancy Riestenberg
—Reviewed by Kaivan Yuen

Professional Capital: Transforming Teaching in Every School
by Andy Hargreaves and Michael Fullan
—Reviewed by Jacie Maslyk

The Reflective Principal
Differentiated Learning for Teachers
Jo Beth Jimerson

Ten to Teen
Finding the Right Teachers for Minority Students
Walter Hunt

Speaking Out
Stop the Pendulum
Lee Jenkins
(Article available to the public)

The Promise of Project-based Learning
Obi Okobi

Parents & Schools
Coping With Loss
David J. Schonfeld and Marcia Quackenbush

It's the Law
Teaching Sensitively
Perry A. Zirkel

Art Puts the STEAM in STEM
Gail Connelly
(Article available to the public)



Preparing Teachers to Meet Common Core
Toni Hollingsworth, Heather Donnelly, and Lisa Piazzola
Are teachers getting the kind of professional development they need to implement Common Core Standards?