November 2010 Archives

Common-Standards Watch: South Dakota Makes 44

South Dakota becomes the 44th state to adopt the common standards.

What Can the 12th Grade NAEP Reliably Tell Us?

Tools for measuring college readiness are being produced more and more, and even the NAEP is being considered for that use. But how reliably can any of those tools do what they promise?

Literacy Groups Fear Losing Federal Aid With Earmark Ban

Reading Is Fundamental and the National Writing Project could lose funding under an amendment being pursued by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.

Common-Standards Watch: Idaho Makes 43

Idaho provisionally adopts the common standards.

Astronauts to Chat From Space With Middle Schoolers

Amid all the recent talk among STEM advocates about getting young people more excited about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, here's a great example of the idea in action. Tomorrow, astronauts in orbit on the International Space Station will communicate directly with students at two middle schools about what it's like to live and work in space. Students from the two District of Columbia public schools will gather at the U.S. Department of Education to speak with astronauts Scott Kelly, Shannon Walker, and Doug Wheelock, the space station's commander. On hand to join the students will be Secretary of ...

Wyoming May Ditch Foreign-Language Rule for Scholarships

Students could substitute study in the fine and performing arts or career and technical education.

Motivating 12th Graders to Ace NAEP: Try Prom Tickets

Some schools are offering rewards to motivate 12th graders to do better on the NAEP.

Common-Standards Watch: Alabama Makes 42

Alabama becomes the 42nd state to adopt the common standards.

Governors Group Forms STEM Advisory Panel

The 19-member panel includes expertise across education, policy, business, and STEM content.

How Are 12th Graders Doing on NAEP? The Results Are Out

NAEP scores for high school seniors in math and reading show declines since 1992, but modest gains since the last test in 2005.

How to Define College Readiness? Good Question

A newspaper finds that some of its state's most respected high schools have large shares of students who fall short of ACT's college readiness definition.

Assessment Consortia Plans: A Power Point Version

New Power Point explanations are out on the two big state assessment consortia that won Race to the Top money to design tests for the new common standards.

Study: Parents Should Talk to Toddlers About Numbers

The research suggests that children whose parents talked with them a lot about numbers as toddlers had an advantage later in understanding math.

Formative Assessment: Subjectivity vs. Proof

Engaging in another round of discussion with an EdWeek reader, testing expert Margaret Heritage discusses the role of subjectivity in formative assessment.

Spotlight on Common Standards

Those of you who have been following our coverage of the common standards—and those of you who feel you've missed things and want to catch up—might be interested to know that key stories and commentary on that subject have been pulled together in one place. It's our "Spotlight on Common Standards."...

District Restores Textbook With Nude Photos (of Ancient Statues)

The removal of the humanities textbook sparked an online campaign by students who accused the district of censorship.

Checking for Understanding of Formative Assessment

An assessment expert wades into dialog with an EdWeek reader to clarify the meaning of formative assessment.

Seat Time: An Idea Whose Time Has Come and Gone?

A new study argues that technology can play a key role in letting students advance through their education as they master skills and ideas, rather than after prescribed periods of "seat time."

Louisiana Panel Endorses Textbooks, Despite Evolution Critics

A final decision on the science books is expected next month from the state board of elementary and secondary education.

Textbook Battle Brewing in Louisiana Over Evolution

Critics say the textbooks give too much credibility to the theory of evolution.

U.S. Teens Understand the Value of Math and Science, Survey Finds

While U.S. teens understand the value of STEM, they are far less confident in the nation's ability to be competitive in math and science, a new survey shows.

A Focus on Professional Development

EdWeek takes a special look at professional development.

Buono! Italian AP Program Makes Comeback

Ehe Italian embassy led a fundraising drive to help restore the Advaced Placement exam and course.

Formative Assessment or 'Formative Instruction'?

Formative assessment is squishy. And squishy things don't easily yield to standardized measurement. And that creates an awkward situation in an era of numbers-driven accountability. That squishiness was on display yesterday during a panel discussion about formative assessment. (See my story for highlights of the discussion and a summary of the paper that inspired it.) The key messages being put forth were these: Don't let the push for new-age assessments mess with formative assessment, and don't forget what formative assessment really is. And what is it, exactly? According to Margaret Heritage of the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, ...

Formative Assessment: A Lost Opportunity?

An assessment expert argues that the great potential of formative assessment to shape teaching and learning could be squandered by the two new assessment consortia.

Reading Roundup: How Much Are Students Really Learning?

Had enough talk about the election? Here are a few things to consider that have nothing to do with last week's events, all brought to you by teachers: • Revisit the question of whether social studies gets squeezed out of the curriculum by math and English language arts, since No Child Left Behind pegs accountability to those subjects. • Consider new approaches to assessing students' skills every day, in the classroom. Not the skills assessed by multiple-choice tests, but a broader set that is critical to their success. • Ask yourselves what can be done to avoid the utterly disillusioning experience...

Leading Companies, Universities Urge Senate to Pass 'COMPETES' Act

The organizations argue that continued "strong funding" of basic research and STEM education programs will help ensure the nation's prosperity.

Elections Bring Six New (Mostly GOP) State Schools Chiefs

New state superintendents will be taking office in Arizona, California, and South Carolina, among other states.

Election Results Raise Questions for Common Standards

Yesterday's elections shifted the political landscape to the right, and that could bring about some key education policy changes nationally and in states about academic standards and assessments.

Al Gore to Host Virtual Town Hall Meeting on Science, Math Education

Gore will be joined by inventor Dean Kamen and former astronaut Sally Ride for the online event, which is intended to get young people interested in the STEM fields.

Will Elections Shift the Winds for Common Standards?

If you have been following the wave of adoptions of the common standards, you might well wonder what the elections this week will hold for their future. As my colleague Erik noted below, this election is really worth watching for its potential impact on education. Even though 41 states have adopted the common standards, who knows what will happen to the commitment to put them into practice when new governors, state boards, state lawmakers, and state education chiefs arrive? The folks over at ASCD take a look at a few places where changes could affect the common standards. Our intrepid ...

Election Outcome Has Big Implications for Education

From congressional races and gubernatorial campaigns to ballot measures, Tuesday's elections are important for the future of education policy and funding.

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