January 2011 Archives

Revised AP Biology Course Coming, But U.S. History Delayed

Parts of the revised U.S. history curriculum seemed "vague," some teachers reportedly complained.

Bill Gates' Annual Letter: A Focus on Teaching

Bill Gates' annual letter devotes a short section to education, and it focuses on the foundation's evolving concept of excellent teaching.

'National History Day' Lifts Achievement, Study Finds

An independent evaluation found that participants in National History Day not only saw higher test scores but also are better writers and more capable researchers.

Defining What's Required for Each College Degree

A foundation that focuses on higher education creates a profile of what is required to earn various college degrees.

College Board's SAT Goes Statewide in Delaware

Delaware will offer all of its 11th graders the chance to take the SAT, free of charge, during the school day.

Obama Emphasizes STEM Education in State of the Union

President Obama ties STEM education to the nation's competitiveness in the world, reiterates call to recruit 100,000 new teachers in those fields.

Education to Get Spotlight in State of the Union Speech

Several students with a special interest in STEM education will be seated in the first lady's box at the U.S. Capitol for the State of the Union address.

Proficiency in Science Eludes Most U.S. Students

New results available for U.S. students in science.

Common-Standards Watch: Idaho Makes it Final

With the approval of the state Senate's education committee, Idaho's adoption of the common standards is final.

'Chemistry Now' Video Series Brings Science to Students

NBC Learn and the National Science Foundation launch a video series for students on chemistry.

'Informal' Science Learning Merits More Support, Researchers Say

An article recently published in the American Scientist magazine says growing evidence points to the power of learning science in informal settings.

Milwaukee to Revamp STEM Curriculum With Private Grant

The grant is part of a GE Foundation initiative to help districts align their math and science curricula to the international STEM job market.

The Challenge of Aligning K-12 With College

A California program is a role model for those who want to help K-12 systems align to college expectations.

Hu Jintao to Visit Chicago School With Chinese Language Program

The school that the Chinese president is visiting serves as a hub for Mandarin language instruction in Chicago public schools.

Connecting Students With Financial Aid

Simplifying the financial aid process and supplying information earlier about college costs would boost students' chances of continuing on to higher education.

Roundup: High Court Action, ESEA Renewal, Teaching Cursive in Jeopardy

A roundup of recent news developments highlights actions by the Supreme Court, a library literacy initiative, among other things.

Scientists, Educators, and Hollywood Types to Share Ideas at Summit

The event will explore how movies, TV programs and computer games can help young people learn about science and technology.

Getting a Say in Common Standards

Lawmakers in Utah and New Hampshire want a say in common-standards adoption.

College Grad-Rate Information Key for Lower-Income Parents

Lower-income parents benefit even more than their more-advantaged peers from knowing colleges' graduation rates.

More on PISA: U.S. High Achievers Scarce in Math, Science

The U.S. is not exactly a world leader in producing top-tier performers in math and science.

'Sleeping Giant' in Philanthropy May Be Good News for Arts Education

Artist-endowed foundations are reportedly growing in number and financial strength.

Will the New Assessments Make a Difference?

Mixed into the optimistic visions of the folks working on new assessments for the common standards are some more-skeptical strains. One recent example I've come across: a prediction from George Wood, the executive director of the Forum for Education and Democracy, that the new tests won't prove, in the end, to be all that different from the tests we've got now. An interesting aspect of Wood's essay is his description of the performance-based testing at his small Ohio high school: Take a look at what students there are doing in order to demonstrate their knowledge. Both of the main assessment ...

A Message for Common Standards in Race to Top Guidance?

New guidance from the Department of Education warns states not to wander too far from their Race to the Top plans.

Report Sees Disconnect Between NAEP, Common Standards

[Correction: This blog post should have said that the NAEP math items examined in the Brookings Institution study were, on average, two to three years below the 8th grade math recommended by the common-core standards. The algebra items were at about the 6th grade level. The items from the "numbers" strand were at about the 5th grade level.] A new analysis from the Brookings Institution raises questions anew about what the advent of common standards—and the development of common assessments to complement them—means for the future of NAEP, often called "America's report card." Overall, the report suggests...

Dearth of High School Research Papers Gets Attention

A crusader for high school research papers gets a national boost for his cause.

Math Group Issues Guidance on Common-Core Standards

If you teach math, you might find a new guide to the common standards useful. Released today by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the guide tries to build a bridge between its own math standards, which are widely used in schools across the country, and the math in the common standards. The new set, as you know from reading this space, has been adopted by 43 states and the District of Columbia, so lots of school folks are asking for guidance implementing them. The NCTM's guide includes both a print version and an online interactive version. Other resources ...

Kentucky Bill Promises Cash for Strong AP Scores

The legislation would pay teachers for each student who achieves a score of 3 or above on AP tests in math and science.

Most Common-Standards Changes Several Years Away, Report Finds

A new report finds that states are planning changes in key aspects of their K-12 systems to align to the common core standards, but most of those changes are years away.

Taking the 'N Word' Out of 'Huckleberry Finn'

A new edition of Huckleberry Finn replaces the "n word" with the word "slave."

President Obama (Quietly) Signs STEM Education Bill

The America COMPETES Act reauthorization contains a variety of provisions to improve STEM education.

Eeeewww! Fewer Kids Are Showering After Phys Ed

Students are showering less often after gym class.

'Success for All' Literacy Program Draws Renewed Focus

The reading program is attracting renewed attention after winning a $50 million grant under the federal i3 initiative.

Obama Quiet on STEM Education Bill Approved by Congress

At a press conference last month, Obama highlighted some legislative victories, but failed to mention passage of the America COMPETES Act bill.

Va. to Strengthen Textbook Review After Errors Identified

A recent review found a multitude of errors in history textbooks being used in some of Virginia's elementary classrooms.

An Early Glimpse at Gates-Funded Instructional Tools

The Gates Foundation offers an early glimpse into the development of instructional tools it is funding for the new common standards.

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