July 2009 Archives

Shifting Into College-Level Math and Science, Chicago-Style

A new effort in Chicago seeks to help high school students make the plunge into college-level math and science.

Patterns in Studying 'STEM'

Students who major in "STEM" fields tend to have more success in completing college studies than peers with other interests.

Curriculum Aims to Educate Native Americans About Diabetes

A free curriculum has been created that has a goal of helping Native Americans to prevent diabetes. It's aimed for children in grades K-12 at tribal schools or schools with a lot of Native Americans.

Study Takes Qualitative Look at Arts Quality

Researchers commissioned by the Wallace Foundation report findings on what arts educators consider to be a high-quality arts program. One important aspect is to engage students on many levels.

Science Standards Stir Anger—in Britain

The United States isn't the only place to host contentious debates over what belongs in science standards. A proposed rewrite of Britain's academic guidelines for primary school teaching in that subject, the first such revision in England in more than 20 years, has drawn objections from some of the country's leading scientists, including renowned evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. Dawkins and other scientists, in a letter to Britain's children's secretary, voice concerns that the draft does not address the theory of evolution, the scientific method, or give students an overall sense of why science is important in society, the Guardian reports. ...

What Should an Exceptional History and Social Studies Teacher Know and Be Able to Do?

The National Board of Professional Teaching Standards is seeking public comment on revised standards for certification of accomplished history and social studies teachers.

Shop Class as "Soulcraft"

Matt Crawford, the author of the book "Shop Class as Soulcraft," argues that society should preserve manual training in schools, amid calls for computer skills and other "knowledge"-oriented training.

The Use of Evidence in the Draft Standards

The working version of the "Common Core" standards includes an explanation of how "evidence" informed them. One source of evidence is found in Singapore.

A Look at the Promises and Challenges of Common Standards—UPDATED

At a forum at the National Press Club takes stock of the movement for common standards and the long road to travel once they are developed.

ETS Report Aims to Inform Debate on National Standards

With political momentum building to develop common standards across the nation, the Educational Testing Service today is releasing a new report to help inform the effort.

Another Take on the (Draft) Common Standards

Karen Wixson, a scholar who works on language arts issues, says the drafters get the "grain size" of the document right.

Draft Common Standards Hit the Internet—UPDATED

A version of the common, multistate academic standards is posted on the Core Knowledge Web site. The document gets a less-than-stellar review.

Training the Next Line of Cyber-Defense

The shortcomings of the American education system in math and science pose a cyber-risk to the United States, argues former Bush administration official Tom Luce.

Minnesota: Where Many of the Students are Making Progress in Science

Minnesota's science scores climb on the state's test—and the results actually seem modest, compared to the state's impressive showing on an international exam.

Remembering Frank McCourt, Creative Writing Teacher

Frank McCourt, who has died at the age of 78, became a world-famous memoirist. But before that, he was a creative writing teacher in the New York public schools.

Apollo, Sputnik, and Math and Science Education

The moon landing was driven in part by Cold War competitiveness. Are breakthroughs in math and science education likely to come as a result of foreign competition, too?

From Korea to Cornell U

An elite South Korean prep school is sending students to Ivy League campuses in the United States.

An Educational Blog on Drug Abuse from the Feds

The National Institute on Drug Abuse site offers blog posts, videos, testimony from recovered users, and science facts.

Singapore's Strategy With Voc-Ed.

Singapore's use of "streaming" and its forging of strong partnerships between schools and businesses, help transform voc-ed in the high-performing country.

An Exploration of "Unscientific America"

A new book examines Americans' scientific illiteracy, and what can be done about it.

Yapping About the Achievement Gap

Plenty of state reaction to the recent NCES study on the disparity between white and black students.

Francis Collins on Faith and Science

Francis Collins, Obama's pick to head the NIH, has spoken often about the compatibility between religion and science.

Community College Proposal Coming from Obama

Obama is planning to put more resources into community colleges, the entry point for many K-12 students focused on specific trades.

White-Black Achievement Gap: Stagnation Among Older Students

A new study re-examines the white-black achievement gap. It seems likely to prompt re-examinations of the No Child Left Behind Act, too.

A Survey on Science

A Pew survey shows that many scientists are frustrated by their profession's inability to communicate ideas to the public.

UPDATED: Malaysia Reverts to Teaching Math and Science in Native Language

Malay-only will be the rule in math and science classes in Malaysia.

Texas Panelists Question Minority Heroes in Curriculum

Some members of a panel convened by the Texas school board have suggested that minority historical figures get too much coverage in the social studies curriculum.

International Opinion on Darwin

How does public opinion in the United States about the theory of evolution compare with attitudes and beliefs in foreign countries? A recent survey by the British Council, which describes itself as an international body that promotes cultural relations, offers some insights. The survey, which polled 10,000 adults across 10 countries, found that overall, a strong majority of respondents, 70 percent, have heard of Charles Darwin and know a little about evolution, the theory he pioneered. The United States ranked among the highest, with 71 percent of adults having that knowledge, as did Great Britain. Adults in other countries ...

Forum on the Future of Science Education

For readers in the Washington area, biotechnology and science advocates are staging an event on Tuesday on the future of science education. It will look at how to strengthen science instruction in the nation's classrooms and at what role bioscience education can and should play. I've written a bit about efforts to integrate biotechnology into classrooms, as well as nanotechnology, which appears to be a growing area of interest among science educators....

A Simulation Model for "STEM"—UPDATED

State and federal policymakers, academic researchers and others have spent a lot of time thinking about how to increase the pool of U.S. students with interest and talent in math and science who study those subjects in college, and choose careers in related fields. Today, a coalition of business and education advocates have unveiled a computerized "simulation and modeling" tool aimed at providing insight on that topic. The modeling device will allow policymakers, researchers, and pretty much anybody with sufficient time and computer know-how to crunch data on students, teachers, and workforce trends in STEM to evaluate various education ...

Goldwater Institute: High School Graduates Should Have to Pass Civics Test

U.S. students know less about U.S. history and civics than people who apply to become citizens of this country, according to a study by the Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute.

State Action on "STEM" Teaching: A Blueprint

Raise requirements on state licensing tests, and do more to draw qualified older teachers, and part-time educators into math and science teachers, two organizations say.

Can You Name a Famous Female Scientist?

Two-thirds of Americans can't name a famous female scientist, but strong majorities favor doing more to lure women into scientific occupations.

Study: Native Americans Make Achievement Gains Since Passage of NCLB

A federal study shows that in a majority of the states that enroll the most American Indian or Alaska Native students, the proportion of such students who score proficient in reading and math on state tests has increased since passage of the No Child Left Behind Act.

Summer Art Gallery

The U.S. Department of Education is hosting an art gallery until July 13 with the works of prize-winning graphic arts posters from a national competition for high school seniors.

Louisiana's Imminent Graduation Option Draws Fire

Louisiana new graduation option seeks to create a new, career track for students, but critics say it weakens academic standards.

The Next Texas Board Chair: Let the Speculation Begin

Rampant speculation about next Texas board chair focuses on Cynthia Dunbar.

A More Complete Measure of China?

The scores of Shanghai are likely to be released next year on the PISA exam, a testing official says. It's a boon for those who've been curious about how well Chinese students fare on international exams.

McKnight Foundation to Fund Literacy Efforts for Early Grades

The Minneapolis-based McKnight Foundation has decided to start a grant program to help children in the Twin Cities learn to read by the end of the 3rd grade.

Meet Math Group's New Exec Director

Kichoon Yang moves from the University of Missouri to NCTM.

Is Your School's Curriculum Public?

Joanne Jacobs asks whether school districts make it hard for parents to access the curriculum of their children's schools.

Common Core Standards: Who Made the List?

The list of experts and insiders who will be shaping the effort to create voluntary math and reading standards is unveiled.

Spotlight on Reading from EdWeek

EdWeek is publishing a potpourri of stories on reading, chosen by its staff. The collection is part of our "Spotlight" series, which covers various education topics. This one focuses on some of the major questions facing reading educators and experts today, including early literacy, the role of educational TV in reading instruction, the pitfalls of reading research, reading software and tips for engaging reluctant readers. It's six articles and two commentaries, in PDF form. Have a look....

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