Fresh Perspectives from the 'Outside'

There was a time when using the words business and education in the same sentence made people pretty uneasy. And when the context suggested any hint of boardroom involvement in curriculum decisions, rightly so. But few would argue this same corporate culture clash applies when it comes to instituting business efficiencies that affect the district's bottom line, especially in these days of well-cinched belts.

In this month's cover feature, "Down to Business," Matt Villano provides an inside look at the vision and strategies of three districts that recruited experts from the "outside" to bring fresh perspectives to traditional district practices. Among the solution-based concepts that may be new to you are pay-for-performance systems, quality assurance, business analysis, IT accountability, and more. You'll undoubtedly find several nuggets to put into use in your district.

The "fresh eyes" approach also applies to educators teaching in one-to-one environments. Chris Cutter examines key components of professional development programs that accompany laptop initiatives. Also, Paul Fleisher provides a rundown on some of the latest online tutoring offerings.

On another note, T&L has been recognized by the Western Publications Association as a finalist in the Maggie Awards. T&L is represented in the Best Article Series category for 2005's Special 25th Anniversary Reports (available on and for the two-part Game Plan series (September and October 2005), and also for Best Computer Journal in the trade category. Although it indicates that T&L is on the right track, the editors always encourage direct feedback from readers ( Readers can also communicate with the T&L editors by attending a local Tech Forum event.

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