November 2011 Archives

A Primer on the Common Assessments

Educators are keenly interested in what the new common assessments will look like, and need far more information about them than is currently available.

Forget Block Scheduling, Here Comes Block-Building 101

Unit blocks are seeing a resurgence in education circles, The New York Times reports.

Six More States Sign On to Help Craft New Science Standards

With six more states joining in, more than half of states are now helping to craft a set of next-generation science standards for K-12 education.

Caught Between Common Standards and Assessments

Some states and districts are uncertain of how to translate common standards into classroom teaching without knowing what the assessments designed for those standards will look like.

NSF Aims to 'Transform' STEM Learning With Set of Grants

The National Science Foundation recently awarded seven grants to 'transform' science learning, with another batch planned for next year.

New Poetry Prize Aims to Honor, Promote Creativity in Youths

Five outstanding high school poets will be chosen each year under the new program.

Common Assessments: Ohio Makes Its Choice

Ohio chooses an assessment approach for the common standards: it's the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.

English Teachers' Group Sidesteps Common-Core Opposition

The National Council of Teachers of English declines to approve a resolution opposing the common standards.

USAID Announces Global Child-Literacy Campaign

USAID and its partners are committing more than $20 million for the international literacy effort.

NCTE Launches National Literacy Education Center

The National Council of Teachers of English partners with nearly two dozen groups to launch a new national literacy center that will feature collaborative cross-disciplinary literacy work at a network of schools.

Grants to Fund New 'Learning Labs' in Museums, Libraries

The learning labs are intended to help young people move "beyond consuming content to making" it.

NRC to Explore Teaching Social, Behavioral, Economic Sciences

A workshop later this week will explore the state of teaching the social, behavioral, and economic sciences in K-12 education.

New Round of Race to Top Contest Targets STEM Education

States seeking a slice of $200 million in Race to the Top aid must develop plans for improving STEM education.

Study Highlights 'Power of More Time' for Science Learning

The National Center on Time & Learning offers case studies of five public schools offering more time for science instruction.

GED Overhaul Raises Profit-Making Questions

The redesign of the GED by Pearson and the American Council on Education raises questions in some quarters about the partnership's profit-making motive.

Effort Aims to Tie Foreign Language Study to Common Standards

National guidelines for the study of foreign languages are being revised to make explicit the links to the common-core standards, the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages announced this week. The news came just days before the council hosts its annual conference, with the theme "Empowering Language Educators Through Collaboration." The Nov. 18-20 convention is in Denver this year. The council has already issued a draft document on its website showing how the existing national standards for foreign languages, issued in 1996, align with the common standards in English/language arts and mathematics. In addition, the organization is ...

More Special Needs Students Taking NAEP, But Some Exclusion Rates Still High

Most states have made gains in testing students with disabilities and ELLs on NAEP, but many still fall short of federal inclusion targets.

Alabama Board Resists Governor, Keeps Common Standards

The Alabama Board of Education votes against rescinding the common standards, despite a push from the state's governor.

Assessment Consortium Releases Final Content Frameworks

The PARCC assessment consortium releases its revised, final content frameworks after public feedback.

STEM Education Wins Big in 2nd Round of 'Innovation' Grants

Five of the applicants for a federal i3 grant identified STEM education as the "absolute priority."

What It All Means: Analysis of NAEP Results Pours In

Education analysts highlighted a number of issues related to the latest NAEP data, including historic gains in math and large exclusion rates in some states.

Chicago Details College-Readiness Plans

Chicago is reporting new college-readiness metrics to parents, such as schools' rates of student eligibility for "selective or highly selective" colleges. But the district isn't evaluating schools on that information yet.

Common-Standards Watch: Montana Makes 47

Montana adopts the common standards, leaving only four states that have not officially embraced them.

Kentucky to Model Professional Development for New Standards

Kentucky has been chosen as a demonstration site for a statewide professional-development model reflecting the new common standards.

STEM Professionals Urged to Consider Move to Classroom

A House subcommittee heard testimony from several witnesses about the transition to a career in STEM teaching.

No Shortage of STEM Plans Vying for Innovation Grants

More than 150 STEM education proposals are seeking a slice of federal aid in the second round of the federal Investing in Innovation program.

Academic Standards: Three Parts, Not One

Curriculum consultant Grant Wiggins writes that standards actually have three parts: the content students must know, the skills they must be able to perform, and examples of how well they should be able to demonstrate their knowledge.

Calif. Study Raises Alarm Over Elementary Science Education

The report from WestEd estimates that only about 10 percent of California elementary students are regularly exposed to high-quality science instruction.

Study: Pre-K Crucial to Best 3rd Grade Reading Outcomes

A new study finds better performance in 3rd grade reading for children who have attended preschool and half-day kindergarten than for those who attended only full-day kindergarten.

NAEP Scores Rise Slightly in Math, Flat for 4th Grade Reading

The results over time suggest big gains in math, small ones in reading.

Illinois High Schools' Scores Sink as State Tightens Up Rules

More than half of Illinois' high schools see test scores drop as the state closes a loophole that veiled poor performance.

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