January 2012 Archives

Ind. Bill Adds New Wrinkle to Debate on Teaching Creationism

A bill in Indiana would require public schools that teach creationism to address origin theories from multiple religions.

Review Gives Many States 'D' or 'F' for Science Standards

Science standards in about half of the states deserve a grade of D or F, concludes a new report from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.

Indiana Common-Standards Challenge Fails

A legislative challenge to Indiana's adoption of the common standards fails.

Obama Proposes College-Ready Exit Standards for High School

President Obama proposes a $1 billion Race to the Top challenge for higher education, which would require states to ensure that high school exit standards are appropriate for college entry.

Common-Standards Challenge: Engaging in 'Close Reading'

Chief academic officers gather to discuss the deep shifts in instruction required by the common standards in English/language arts.

GAO: Overlap in STEM Programs, But 'Not Necessarily Duplication'

A new GAO report finds overlap in federal STEM education programs, but suggests they are not necessarily duplicative.

Superintendents Explore How to Change Reading Instruction

Improving reading instruction was the topic du jour at a Washington forum yesterday that brought together four superintendents and an educational publisher.

Va. Senate Votes to End Science, History Testing for 3rd Graders

The Virginia Senate delivered a bipartisan vote in favor of a bill that would end required state testing of 3rd graders in science and history.

States Anticipate Technology Challenges With Common Tests

A new survey of states finds that they anticipate significant technological challenges implementing tests for the common standards.

Federal Grants Promote Science Ed. for English-Learners

The NSF and U.S. Department of Education have recently issued grants to help improve science learning among English language learners.

Should Cursive and Other Forms of Handwriting Be Taught in Schools?

Guest post by Jackie Zubrzycki Depending on whether you're using the Julian or Gregorian calendar, John Hancock either was or was not born today, National Handwriting Day. In either case, his authoritative signature's legacy lives on in debates about handwriting and cursive in schools. Should schools spend precious instructional time teaching handwriting? Should students learn cursive at all, or is it an outdated skill—and here's the Hancock link—how will they sign their names if they don't know cursive? I wrote an article about the conversation about the role of handwriting in school, prompted by a summit on handwriting...

Searching for Resources to Teach the Common Standards

The hunt for instructional resources for the common standards is starting to yield more results.

STEM Education Gets Boost from New Round of Grants

Efforts to improve STEM education are getting a boost from several recent announcements, including grants from the NSF and the Gates Foundation.

Study Questions Popular Explanation for Gender Gap in Math

The study suggests that belief in the "stereotype theory" leads to neglect of other paths to help improve gender equity in mathematics achievement.

Florida Presses NAGB on NAEP Exclusion Rates

A letter of complaint from Florida's education commissioner highlights NAEP's ongoing trouble with high rates of exclusion for students learning English and those with disabilities.

EdWeek Report: U.S. Education Under Pressure From Abroad

A special Education Week report finds the U.S. education system striving to learn lessons from other countries.

Report: States Have 'Far to Go' in Transition to Common Core

A new study shows that state have a long way to go before they have blueprints to implement the common standards.

School Inspections Eyed as State Strategy in Post-NCLB Era

A new case study suggests that the English system of school inspections could be a model for states to rethink accountability.

NCLB Waivers Could Undermine Graduation Rates, Group Contends

A high-school-policy group expresses concern that states' applications for relief from No Child Left Behind could undermine graduation-rate accountability.

Curriculum the Missing Ingredient in School Reform, Book Says

A 25-year veteran of educational publishing argues that curriculum is too often ignored in efforts to improve schooling, and that the process for developing and selecting curricular materials needs to change.

Race to Top States Dinged, But Not on Common Core

Even as some states get scolded for making insufficient progress on Race to the Top plans, common-core standards-and-assessment work is not the target of much federal criticism.

New National Standards Address Sexuality Education for All Grades

A new set of standards outlines the minimum that students should know about their sexuality by the time they leave high school. The lessons should start in elementary school, the creators say, and build as students age, in the same way other subjects are taught.

Helping Principals Lead Common-Core Implementation

A national principals group has partnered with the College Board to help principals lead their schools in implementing the common standards.

Math Problems Using Slavery Upset Families in Georgia School

One question on a math worksheet asked: 'If Frederick got two beatings per day, how many beatings did he get in one week?"

New Hampshire Law Gives Parents More Say Over Curriculum

A measure just approved in New Hampshire gives parents new authority to seek alternatives to any aspect of the school curriculum they find objectionable.

As Senator, Santorum Waded Into Debate on Teaching Evolution

Back in 2001, Sen. Santorum pushed an amendment on the teaching of evolution that was roundly criticized by educational and scientific organizations.

Common Assessments: More Details Emerge

The two federally funded consortia designing tests for the common standards issue more documents that offer more details on what the tests might look like.

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