November 2009 Archives

African-American Studies: Separate, Unequal?

African-American history needs to be blended into the curriculum, not taught in isolation, through one-time events, a state-funded task force in Florida argues.

Historical Figures in the Texas Social Studies Standards

The Texas Education Agency has produced a document that shows which historical figures are being recommended for deletion from the Texas social studies standards and which are being recommended for addition.

A Washington State Fight, a Nationwide Debate

The battle playing out in Washington state carries echoes of fights elsewhere around the country.

An Advocate of Civics Education Weighs in on Federal Audit

An advocate of civic education in K-12 schools expresses concern that an unfavorable federal audit of spending by the Center for Civic Education could reduce the amount of federal funding for civic programs.

NCTE's Stance on Reading Bill Sparks Controversy Within Ranks

From Guest Blogger Elizabeth Rich There's debate brewing within the National Council of Teachers of English over the organization's support of the "LEARN Act," the proposed reading legislation that would replace three federal programs including Reading First. I returned this week from NCTE's annual convention in Philadelphia, where LEARN was a hot topic of conversation, along with giving teachers and students the power to lead instruction. There was a 400-page program, and more than 6,000 educators in attendance. Teachers repeatedly expressed their dislike for standardized assessments and instructional scripts, and the subject of phonics elicited groans. Of the pending ...

New Resource on Evolution, from the National Science Foundation

An interactive site offers video interviews, a timeline, background resources on evolutionary theory.

'UTeach' Program Expands to Rocky Top

The University of Tennessee and Middle Tennessee State University receive grant funding to try the "UTeach" model for training math and science teachers.

Teaching About Hunger This Thanksgiving

The United Nations World Food Program is looking for the "edgiest, most provocative" videos about hunger for an international competition.

Federal Audit Finds Problems with Civic Education Program

An audit has drawn attention to some problems in the two grant programs of the Center for Civic Education.

White House Seeks Innovation Through 'STEM'

In describing the public-private effort, Obama talks about the importance of "STEM literacy."

Study Will Examine Effectiveness of Sex Ed. Approaches

Mathematica Policy Research was awarded a contract this week by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to study the effectiveness of sex education programs.

Virginia Gov. Wants Review of Minority Participation in Gifted Programs

Minority representation in Virginia's gifted programs lags. Tim Kaine wants to know why.

Former ETS Researcher on Common Standards

A researcher questions whether beginning the common standards effort at the end of the K-12 pipeline is the right idea.

Evaluation: Results Are Favorable for New Mexico's PreK Program

Researchers evaluating New Mexico's preK program recommend that it be expanded because it has had a favorable impact on children's achievement.

A Re-examination of Gender and Math/Science Careers

Charles Murray, Christina Hoff Sommers, Elizabeth Spelke, David Geary and other scholars probe the volatile topic of gender bias in math/science, and reach different conclusions.

The Creator of Wikipedia Turns to Education Videos

Larry Sanger launches, which offers free educational videos, which can be sorted by topic area.

U.S. Supreme Court Won't Hear Case of Removal of Cuba Book

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear appeals about the removal of a book from school library shelves in Miami-Dade County, Fla.

A Market for Math Teachers (But Hardly Anybody Else)

Math teachers are in demand, despite the woeful economy, a report says.

What Should a Library Media Specialist Know and Be Able to Do?

The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards has formed a committee to revise its standards for what an ideal library media specialist should know and be able to do.

The Career-and-Tech Pathway to Literacy

A paper highlights states' efforts to boost literacy through career-and-technical, or vocational education.

Choosing and Promoting a Math Curriculum: Not as Easy as It Seems

A South Dakota school district puts a math curriculum in place, and test scores rise. But getting everyone to buy into it is not easy.

Conquering Calculus, Before It's Too Late

A Texas A&M program preps incoming students for calculus, through technology. Both the student, and the university, benefit, supporters say.

A Student Sows the Seeds of Innovation

A student from Oakland, Calif., launches a project to transform farming in India.

Final Federal Regs Attempt to Smooth the Path for Standards

New federal regulations appear to give states more flexibility on common standards.

'Work Groups' Announced for K-12 Common Standards

Scholars, teachers, think tank folks, and teachers fill the ranks of those working the development of multistate K-12 standards in language arts and math.

History as a Video Game

A new video game called "Conspiracy Code," challenges students to stop a menacing organization from rewriting history.

Standards for Assessment Unveiled in English

Two major English-language arts organizations release standards for testing.

Scholarships for Teachers in Hard-to-Staff Schools

The Kellogg Foundation is backing an effort to give math-and-science teachers master's degrees if they agree to work in disadvantaged schools. It is also demanding more of universities.

(Re)Inspecting the STEM Pipeline

A business-higher education group takes issue with the findings of a recent study on the "STEM" pipeline.

U.S. Sen. Murray Introduces K-12 Literacy Bill

Today, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington, introduced into the U.S. Senate a literacy bill that would provide $2.35 billion in funding for literacy programs from kindergarten to 12th grade.

Draft K-12 Standards Expected by Mid-December

A first draft of common K-12 standards is expected to come in mid-December. States' timelines for adopting those standards are likely to vary, one official says.

Putting Science in Plain English

For scientist having trouble explaining molecular biology or string theory in language the public can grasp...a leading scientific organization has a resource for you.

Exclusions and Accommodations on the NAEP: Comments Welcome

Federal officials are considering new rules for testing English-language learners and students with disabilities on the NAEP. A public hearing is set on the matter.

China's Education Minister Removed

China's education minister, Zhou Ji, is removed from his position and replaced by his deputy.

Literacy Is an Obsession at an Alabama High School

Literacy instruction "pops up on every corridor" at Buckhorn High School in New Market, Ala., writes my colleague Catherine Gewertz in an article published at this week.

Focusing on Process, Not Understanding, in Math

A college physics professor argues that schools mistake throwing difficult math material at students for preparing them for the rigors of higher education.

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