August 2009 Archives

An effort funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institutes seeks to spawn more expert science teachers in elementary schools.

Arne Duncan talks about what his kids read at home, and what his parents read to him.

A new study suggests that students aren't saddled with too much homework.

Creativity is rooted in hard work. Schools don't do enough to help students understand this, the scholar Robert Root-Bernstein argues.

What's the connection between innovation, creativity, and economic growth? Educators and policymakers are pondering this question, as they look at strategies to boost students' innovative skills.

Just a reminder to the math-happy among us that we're staging a live chat today on your favorite subject. The topic is high school math: Why does U.S. students' performance appear to stagnate at the high school level, despite the relative progress made at earlier grades? Our guests are Hank Kepner, the president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and Susan Eddins, a math consultant and a retired, longtime teacher at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy. You can watch, and submit questions, at this site. UPDATE: Here's the transcript from the chat....

Organizers of Kanawha County's infamous textbook battles hold a reunion to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the violent protests.

Among his many legislative accomplishments, Ted Kennedy helped shape the NAEP test and protect its objectivity.

A survey of science teachers shows support for a national curriculum, and a call for more help, particularly among elementary educators.

Arne Duncan talks teacher recruitment, federal funding, in a forum with science experts.

You want more uniform policies for the NAEP, when it comes to testing students with disabilities and English language learners? Federal officials want your input.

The National Math and Science Initiative, which seeks to provide training to teachers to lead AP classes, as well as cash incentives, appears to be showing results.

To keep up with the issues of the times, Street Law Inc., a nonprofit organization supporting civics education, has added a chapter on immigration law and policy to its new textbook for high school courses in "practical law." "Everyone needs to think about what our immigration policy should be," said Lee Arbetman, the director of U.S. programs for Street Law, in explaining why the 2010 Street Law textbook has included immigration issues. The organization lines up law students to co-teach classes about the nation's laws with high school teachers. Typically, the class is taught as an elective. I mention ...

Students in the United States show little distinction compared with most other countries in reading, mathematics, or science at any grade level or age, according to a special analysis released this week by the Institute of Education Sciences of the U.S. Department of Education.

While reporting on trends in civic education I came across a couple of video clips from this spring when retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor appeared on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," produced by Comedy Central. They could be a resource for a U.S. government class.

PBS is giving away 20 DVD sets of its series "We Shall Remain" on Native American history.

Cesar Chavez, a Latino civil rights and labor leader, is cited in the draft of the revised Texas social studies standards, even though one of the six "experts" appointed by the Texas state board of education to advise standards writing teams questioned if he should be included. But some other historical figures who are listed in the social studies standards now in place in Texas have been removed from the proposed standards and replaced with other people. In the U.S. history standards for high school, for example, Shirley Chisholm, the late congresswoman from New York*, and Franklin D. Roosevelt ...

A Michigan scholar's own learning experiences as a student in his native China shapes his perspective on American education reform.

I spoke this week with Gail A. Lowe, the chairwoman of the Texas state board of education, and she told me that state board members support Texas Commissioner Robert Scott's decision not to join the effort to create national common standards. Since Missouri got on board, only three states—Texas, Alaska, and South Carolina—are still holding out. Lowe picked up on some critics' views that the drafting of the common standards has not been transparent, saying she has a "concern that something is done in a group in secret, and we don't know where it's headed." She added: "The work...

Evolution is being covered more extensively and better in state science standards than was true nearly a decade ago, according to a review of the standards in 50 states and the District of Columbia by the National Center for Science Education.

Jesuit Refugee Service/USA has created a free curriculum to teach high school students about refugee and migration issues.

The California state board of education won't approve new textbooks for K-8 students until January 2016 at the earliest because of reduced state spending in the budget for textbooks, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Six states participating in a project funded by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices have succeeded in more than doubling participation of minority and low-income students in Advanced Placement courses in their states.

Missouri has joined the effort to create national common standards, so now only three states are not on board. The holdouts are Alaska*, South Carolina, and Texas. The District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have also agreed to take part. An Aug. 7 press release (tweeted by @ASCDpolicy) says that the Missouri state board of education voted on Aug. 6 to join the common standards initiative. Earlier this summer, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, had announced his commitment to the undertaking. *corrected from earlier version...

Henry Louis Gates Jr., a Harvard professor, is creating a curriculum that he believes will help African-American students to become more engaged in learning. It's a curriculum for having them trace their own genealogy.

Representatives of the organizations overseeing the common standards effort briefed the board that sets policy for the NAEP.

Federal officials have been struggling to set more uniform policies for testing English-language learners and special education students for years.

I often hear math teachers and others talk about the importance of the study of statistics in high school, and how they believe it's unfairly shunned, in favor of other math studies, particularly calculus. There are others who say statistics, in fact, is getting its due. The College Board, for instance, offers an AP test in that subject and sometimes you'll hear of a high school offering some other kind of statistics-focused course. The New York Times has a story this week about the growing need for statisticians in the job market, which they suggest is a result of the ...

The Squire Family Foundation is trying to expand the availability of philosophy classes in high schools across the nation.

A paper examines the connection between college majors and devotion to religion.

Research shows that when information in a film doesn't match what's in a history text, students are more likely to remember the film version, according to the EdWeek blog, Inside School Research

The Society for Science & the Public seeks to cultivate independent research projects among disadvantaged students.

Teaching to the test is not a problem in schools as long as it is the right test, argue a couple of commentators in an on-line debate, "What Do School Tests Measure?," published by the New York Times this week.

Britain's Tory party proposes an online database of national tests, from different eras.

Jim Burke, an English teacher in Virginia, posts his version of what students need to know and be able to do in English to prepare for college and the workplace.

Math is becoming increasing important to the study of biology, a new paper argues.


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