September 2009 Archives

Zuni youths learn about the traditional agricultural practices of their tribe as part of a horticulture class in public schools.

The Internet has opened all sorts of new ways to show scientists at work in the field, "doing science," rather than just talking about it.

Reading comprehension is not a "skill," or single strategy that can be taught directly, but is instead rooted in prior knowledge that allows students to create understanding as they read, argues Daniel Willingham of the University of Virginia.

More reaction to the "common standards" in language arts and math. EdWeek hosts at chat at 2 p.m. on Tuesday.

The U.S. Department of State continues to have persistent shortages of staff with critical language skills, despite the fact that such skills help to advance U.S. policy and economic interests around the world, says testimony released last week by the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

"Creation," stars Paul Bettany as Charles Darwin and Jennifer Connelly as his wife, Emma.

Members of a "validation committee" include Andreas Schleicher of the OECD, William Schmidt of Michigan State, Linda Darling Hammond of Stanford University, and Lauren Resnick of the University of Pittsburgh, among many others.

The National Wildlife Federation argues in favor of increasing students' time outdoors.

A documentary laments the United States' standing in math and science, and praises an Arizona charter school for showing a way forward.

New "Common Core" standards are out for public comment.

Steve Robinson, a math and science adviser at the U.S. Department of Education, will be working out of the White House. Robinson will still be officially a part of the department of ed, but he will going about his business from the White House's Domestic Policy Council. My colleague Michele McNeil explains it all on Politics K-12....

State officials approval a detailed process for handling complaints about teaching materials in evolution-related lessons.

Hi folks. The Curriculum Matters blog will be closed for some technical upgrades on Saturday, Sept. 19. Check back with us on Sunday, Sept. 20. We should be rolling again shortly....

Researchers from Washington University in St. Louis put out a slide show with summaries of historical inaccuracies in some of Hollywood's historical films.

If you're worried about the ongoing ruckus over social studies standards in Texas devolving into a "Chavez vs. Franklin"-style battle, you might have legitimate concern, judging from this summary in the Associated Press. The Texas state board of education is slated to discuss the proposed standards at a hearing today. Known as the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, the standards guide textbook content and testing. Earlier this year, an expert panel working on the standards recommended that the attention paid to labor-rights activist Cesar Chavez be minimized and former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall be reduced, relative to figures ...

The organization Common Core, which calls for giving students strong grounding across academic disciplines, has organized an open letter critiquing the program put forward by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, and calling for the group to revise its goals. That letter is signed by some big names in education policy, including Randi Weingarten, of the American Federation of Teachers; education historian Diane Ravitch; Core Knowledge founder E.D. Hirsch Jr.; Chester Finn, of the Fordham Foundation; and John Silber, the retired president of Boston University. Some of those people have been on record previously as opposing the 21st-century-skills push. ...

The College Board publishes standards for college-readiness in science—a follow-up to its language arts, math, and statistics standards.

A new film is the sequel to a 2007 documentary that criticized American students' academic preparation, and motivation, compared with young people in China and India.

A new digital magazine offers a resource to teachers and students on engineering.

The Einstein fellows program invites teachers to Washington to serve as policy advisers to Congress and federal agencies.

A major state tech group objects to proposed NAEP standards.

When the title of the article is “Dehumanized: When Math and Science Rule the School,” it’s safe to assume that the author is not buying the prevailing line about the United States’ shortcomings in those subjects, and their alleged consequences for society. Mark Slouka, in a piece in published in this month’s issue of Harper’s Magazine, derides the continuous “ritual” of pointing out new crises in math and science, a campaign that he says is being pushed along by corporate America with uncritical assistance from politicians, colleges and universities, and the news media. Slouka is not arguing ...

From Guest Blogger Stephen Sawchuk Move over Education Equity Project and Broader Bolder, there's a new coalition in town! Called Rethink Learning Now, this group of philanthropic organizations, civil rights groups, and education groups supports three pillars of education reform: "learning," teaching," and "fairness." It envisions a policy agenda for education that is based on promoting high-quality learning conditions and effective teaching, and equal opportunities for all kids to have a great education. It has a bunch of rather sensational public service announcements up on its Web site (grade school kids in orange jail jumpers and an NFL-like draft for ...

As the United States commemorates the eighth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, teachers have an increasing number of resources available to help them to create lessons focused on the events of that day, and their implications for the country. My reading of various materials put together by teachers and advocacy groups suggest that educators have more options available today than they did three or four years ago. Back then, as my colleague Kathleen Manzo reported, teachers were often left cobbling together lessons about 9-11 on their own. I profiled a teacher in a New Jersey school who had, ...

California's budget cuts are deeply affecting the school curriculum. The four-year postponement of the textbook adoption process is a huge financial loss for publishers.

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics offers a scholarship for teachers who want to take courses on the history of math, and make it part of classroom lessons.

A model for training math and science teachers developed at the University of Texas at Austin will be replicated to a state university campus outside of Dallas.

The National Council on Teaching Quality, which has been critical of elementary math teachers' preparation, is offering an online guide to coursework it believes is effective.

Can't find a job? Students who head to school to strengthen their resumes see a payoff, OECD says.

The Miami Herald examines policy, and parenting, as a means to education achievement in Singapore.

In Iowa, there's a long tradition of national political figures paying visits to schools.

The EPA is encouraging schools to adopt energy-saving measures, and to blend energy topics into the curriculum.

Do you feel that all students can benefit from more of an emphasis on oral language, speaking well, or do you see this only as an issue for English-language learners?

Someone must "own" the ongoing common standards effort, Fordham argues.

A Florida district says a form using the term "negro," was based on descriptions from the state. The state points to the feds.

The United States could be doing more to secure the health of young children, a report says.

Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly portray Charles Darwin and his wife, Emma, in a British-produced film.


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