January 2010 Archives

Alaska's governor is looking to use a new college scholarship program as a lure for students to complete what he calls "a more rigorous" high school curriculum.

The Diary of Anne Frank is pulled from a school's reading list because a parent complains about its sexual themes.

Experts this week discussed the importance of math learning in early childhood at a gathering on Capitol Hill.

The revision process for the draft K-12 common standards offers a glimpse into the difficulty of crafting skills-and-knowledge sets to everyone's satisfaction.

A Wisconsin high school outlaws "sexual bending" at school dances.

Utah's governor calls for sustained emphasis on STEM education.

Bill Gates zeroes in on teaching, online learning, in his annual letter.

A new study suggests that female teachers' anxiety about math can infect female students with the idea that boys, but not girls, are good in math.

Online lesson plans are available to help teachers make the most of the State of the Union address.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is in the early stages of developing a new initiative to compare and assess higher education quality across institutions globally. Richard Yelland, who is spearheading the effort for the Paris-based OECD, tomorrow will announce and detail the launch of the first phase of research, including problem-solving and critical-thinking skill measurements, according to an OECD press release. The initiative, the International Assessment of Higher Education Learning Outcomes, will involve 31 "developed and advancing" countries, including the United States, the press release says. Yelland will speak at the 2010 annual conference of the Council for ...

The chat is a great way to get up to speed on the initiative.

The mass migration from Chicago to Washington sparked by President Obama continues, it seems. We're a little behind the times on this one, but Michael C. Lach, who previously oversaw high school curriculum and instruction in the Chicago public schools, in November joined the U.S. Department of Education as a special assistant focused on STEM issues. (Among the many other migrants from Chicago, of course, is Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, the former schools chief in the Windy City.) Lach will be speaking late this afternoon at a Washington conference on math and science learning hosted by the National ...

Funny or scary? You be the judge. The Texas board of education bans the author of the children's book Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? on the mistaken belief that he wrote a book critical of American capitalism. (Hat tip to Robert Pondiscio over at the Core Knowledge blog.)...

High school students took to their computers last week, but it wasn't to chat on Facebook. This time, they were applying constitutional principles to the issue of gay marriage. The video conference with students from high schools around the country was part of a program called The Exchange. Based at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, it brings together high school students in moderated debates about important issues of the day. The idea is to help them learn to "do democracy" by engaging in civic deliberation. Previous programs have explored how to balance students' rights with school safety and whether ...

A U.K. study finds that children who text regularly improve their literacy skills.

Indiana's governor is backing legislation to end "social promotion," but it appears likely to face some serious obstacles.

A key House committee is gearing up to reauthorize the America COMPETES Act, which promotes STEM education.

What does it mean when far more high school teachers think their students are ready for college than do the college instructors who teach them? It means we have a pretty big disconnect between what high schools think is needed for success in college and what actually is needed. This is not exactly news. We know there are many reasons that high school students fail to make it to college, or fail to thrive once they're there. But a new survey of thousands of high school and college teachers, conducted by ACT Inc., fleshes out a few of the key ...

The Race to the Top applications turned in yesterday offer an interesting preview of what might be in store as states move toward adopting common standards and common assessments aligned to those standards. (You might remember that they have a better shot at getting RTT money if they promise to do those things, and offer evidence that they are actually committed to doing them.) States' applications for this money are gargantuan pretty lengthy. But a little guided tour through the specific sections in a few of the applications, in which they discuss their plans for common standards and common assessments, ...

Arkansas finds that 58 high schools gave inflated grades to 20 percent or more of their students.

The common academic standards in math are still in the nonpublic draft stage, but that doesn't stop people from talking about them. They were the featured topic of a panel discussion at the annual joint meetings of the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America in San Francisco this past weekend. One of the panelists, William McCallum, tells me that the idea was to facilitate a lively discussion among panelists and attendees about the proposed standards. The organizers thought the draft would be public by the time of the meeting this past Saturday. But the timeline slipped a ...

"Quality Counts" is required reading; it explores the push for common academic standards.

A new video series explains the science by the athletic feats in the Winter Olympics.

President Obama has repeatedly sought to highlight his support for improving "STEM" education, including at an event last week. But a look at one particular measure—the value it's assigned in the federal Race to the Top competition—raises questions about how high a priority the issue is for the administration. The $4 billion federal competition will rate state applications on a variety of factors, from their commitment to adopting common standards to implementing longitudinal data systems, improving teacher and principal effectiveness based on performance, and promoting charter schools. To do this, the U.S. Department of Education has developed...

Another input hearing on the Education Department's Race to the Top Assessment competition explores intriguing questions of how to manage the tangle of state procurement rules to produce a collaborative and innovative testing system.

Experts advise leaders from the U.S. Department of Education on how to shape the $350 million Race to the Top assessment competition.

The Texas State Board of Education today is taking public testimony on new social studies standards being developed.

Louisiana is reducing by $16 million its spending for precollegiate education, including a program to improve reading and math skills.

More debate on the role content knowledge plays in developing adolescent literacy.

Pennsylvania's journey to high school graduation tests sparks questions about how a state can best measure the success of its high schools.

In response to an Education Week story, Core Knowledge blogger Robert Pondiscio argues that without content knowledge, reading aloud to students is of limited value.

University presidents commit to increasing the supply of math and science teachers.

Kentucky could be the first state to approve the common standards.

Kentucky advances a bill to let districts use outside entities in turning around low-performing middle and high schools.

A coalition of educators, scholars and civil rights groups argues for a new generation of assessments as the reauthorization of the ESEA looms.

A new study finds little difference, on average, in the math achievement of girls and boys.

President Obama this afternoon will announce new public-private investments in STEM education.

Many teachers find reading aloud to adolescents valuable; the Socratic approach to learning finds fans in Cincinnati.

President Obama scheduled to discuss STEM education at White House event tomorrow.

A new team takes over the curriculum beat.

A professor and the president of the English teachers' association discuss whether reading comprehension is a skill that can be taught.


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