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December 2011 Archives

The Most Significant Curriculum Stories of 2011

Common standards, assessments and STEM education dominated the year's curriculum stories.


How Much Will RTT3 Benefit STEM Education?

By guest blogger Stephen Sawchuk All seven states that qualified for the third round of the federal Race to the Top competition have won a share in the $200 million remaining, and all of them will be expected to address STEM fields. The question on the table is just how far these changes are going to go where STEM is concerned. Remember, states primarily will use this money to implement part of their original Race to the Top plans—which means making progress in one of the core areas of the economic-stimulus legislation, such as raising standards, improving evaluation systems,...


ED Approves Consortium's Scaled-Back Test Design

The U.S. Department of Education has "conditionally approved" a decision by one of the two consortia developing assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards to reduce the number of testing components in its plan.


Will NCLB Waivers Reverse Narrowing of the Curriculum?

Some states seeking federal waivers under No Child Left Behind would add assessments in other subjects to make accountability decisions.


Arizona High School to Offer New STEM Diplomas

An Arizona high school will soon offer two advanced diplomas with a STEM emphasis.


Budget Deal Restores Literacy Aid, Cuts U.S. History Program

A new budget compromise would restore the Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy program, but abolish or cut some other curriculum-related initiatives.


White House Issues Inventory of STEM Education Spending

Did you know that 13 federal agencies are directly engaged with supporting STEM education?


Is Accountability Compatible With Well-Rounded Learning?

In a recent speech to social studies educators, Secretary Duncan explored the tension between "real accountability" and promoting a "well-rounded" education.


Ohio Bill Mandates Teaching of U.S. Historical Documents

Ohio measure would require schools to teach the "original texts" of several historical documents, including the U.S. Constitution.


How Do We Train Teachers in Formative Assessment?

Experts outline challenges to helping teachers embody formative-assessment practices.


Survey Sheds Light on Sparking Teen Interest in Engineering

The survey of 1,004 teenagers found that most have never considered a career in engineering, but that learning about the field could make a difference in getting them to take a closer look.


High School Test Terrain Shifting From Exit Exams to College-Readiness

A new report finds high school testing shifting toward college-readiness. A new report, and states' No Child Left Behind waiver applications, find schools shifting to college-readiness testing.


Most Teachers See the Curriculum Narrowing, Survey Finds

Two-thirds of public school teachers say the intensive focus on English and math is crowding other subjects out of the classroom.


State Science Expectations 'All Over the Map,' Study Finds

In 15 of the 37 states examined, the bar for proficiency in 8th grade science fell below the NAEP threshold for "basic."


S.C. Official Says 'No Thanks' to Green-Ribbon Schools

South Carolina's state superintendent takes aim at the Green-Ribbon Schools program, suggesting that it's overly burdensome and designed to placate environmental lobbyists.


Anti-Common-Core Resolution Advances in Legislative Group

A resolution opposing the common standards advances at an organization of state lawmakers and private-sector business and think-tank organizations.


Experts Develop Framework to Evaluate Environmental Literacy

A group of experts has developed a new framework for assessing environmental literacy.


Ideas to Help Math Teachers Cope With Common Standards

Three prominent math educators have just released a set of recommendations for providing strong professional development pegged to the common standards.


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