February 2012 Archives

CCSSO Leader Rallies Higher Education for Common Core

The leader of one of the groups that brought about the common standards urges higher education and K-12 to work together on the new expectations.

Kentucky: Building a Bumpy Road From K-12 Through College

A forum designed to show off Kentucky's postsecondary and K-12 partnership on the common standards also reveals the heavy lift required of teachers to reach the partnership's lofty goals.

To Test—or Not to Test—in Science? Lawmakers to Debate Measure

A House Republican is seeking to retain NCLB's requirement for science testing.

UPDATED: U.S. Ed Secretary Lambastes S.C. Anti-Common-Core Push

The progress of an anti-common-core bill in South Carolina sparks a public statement from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

Senate Panel Votes Against S.C. Anti-Common-Standards Bill

A bill to halt common-standards implementation in South Carolina is voted down in a subcommittee, but will get a full committee hearing.

Textbook Publishers Come Under Fire From Former Contributor

A former contributer to educational materials laments what she sees as a sharp decline in quality amid industry consolidation and the pressure for profit.

Another Prediction of Common-Standards Failure

Washington Post education columnist Jay Mathews joins Brookings Institution scholar Tom Loveless in predicting the failure of the common-standards movement.

Obama Adviser Details STEM Ed. Plans, Draws GOP Skepticism

At a recent hearing, Obama science adviser John Holdren outlined budgetary plans for STEM education, but encountered some skepticism from a leading Republican.

New Research Finds Benefits From Alabama STEM Initiative

An Alabama STEM initiative is boosting student learning, a federal study concludes.

Effect of Common Standards Debated

Bloggers lash back at a Brookings Institution report that predicts that common standards will have little effect on student achievement.

S.C. Lawmakers Hear Testimony on Anti-Common-Standards Bill

Senators in South Carolina hear arguments on a bill that would bar implementation of the common standards.

Obama Proposes NAEP Cut; Seeks State Pilot for Global Testing

President Obama is proposing to cut the budget for the "nation's report card" by $6 million.

Journal Hosts Debate on Merits of Common Math Standards

Two experts debate the Common Core standards in mathematics.

Study: Common Standards Will Not Affect Student Achievement

A new study argues that common standards won't make much of a difference in student achievement.

Girls Like Biology, Boys Like Physics? AP Data Hint at Preferences

New AP data shed light on gender preferences across subject areas.

Teachers Debate Value of 'Close Reading'

English/language arts teachers are arguing about the value of "close reading," a key tenet of the common standards.

Obama Budget Lowers Sights for Literacy, Well-Rounded Ed. Funds

President Obama's latest budget request significantly scales back funding levels for three 'teaching and learning' funds covering a variety of content areas.

Calif. Governor Seeks to Roll Back Science Requirement

Gov. Jerry Brown wants to eliminate a second year of science from the state's requirements for high school graduation.

Trends in AP Test-Taking: Bonjour Geography, Adieu French

Question: What do geography, Chinese language and culture, computer science, world history, and environmental science have in common? Answer: They're apparently becoming a lot more popular subjects in high school, at least based on one national measure. Participation in Advanced Placement tests in these subjects has grown most rapidly—from a percentage standpoint—when comparing the number of tests taken by the graduating class of 2011 with the class of 2010. That's based on my quick analysis of new data from the College Board's 8th annual AP Report to the Nation, which provides an interesting window into subject preferences...

NCLB Waivers: Implications for Testing, Standards Implementation

The ten states who have won NCLB waivers outline plans to implement college- and career-ready standards.

The End of the Tripods, and of Author John Christopher

Guest post by Ross Brenneman For those who knew "when the tripods came," the Feb. 3 death of English author John Christopher hurt. Christopher, born Samuel Youd, was a prolific science fiction writer, penning over 50 books and several trilogies. He passed away at the age of 89. While Christopher gained popularity with The Death of Grass in 1956, most kids would come to know him best from the Tripods trilogy, about an alien race that enslaves humankind sometime at the end of the 20th century. (Hopefully NASA is still on the lookout.) A young boy named Will, knowing no ...

Think Tank Raises Alarm of Federal Overreach Into Curriculum

In a new white paper, the Pioneer Institute suggests that the U.S. Department of Education may be violating prohibitions against a federally dictated curriculum.

Arts Education, Already on Rise in Boston, Gets $4 Million Boost

A public-private initiative in Boston to vastly increase access to quality arts education in schools just received a new infusion of $4 million.

Study: Parents, Teachers Favor Formative Over Summative Tests

A survey of parents, teachers and district administrators shows that they find more value in formative tests than summative ones, but also shows a lot of confusion about various types of tests.

Obama Unveils STEM Ed. Plans at White House Science Fair

At a White House science fair today, President Obama announced several new initiatives to improve STEM education.

Taking Pains With 'Eddication': Charles Dickens Turns 200

Charles Dickens turns 200 today.

South Dakota Lawmakers Weighing More Debate on Common Standards

South Dakota lawmakers are considering forcing the state board of education to hold a second public-comment period on the common core standards.

Close Reading: Are Educators Behind the Curve?

Close-reading isn't anything new, and it's amazing that more instructional leaders don't know about it and use it, a curriculum consultant argues.

Calling All Teachers: An Invitation to Help Design Common-Core Tools

One of the two state assessment consortia begins the process of recruiting groups of teachers who will take leadership roles in teaching colleagues about the new tests, and help design instructional resources for them.

STEM Coalition Blasts Plan to End Science Testing Mandate

A Republican plan to abolish the federal mandate for science testing across states is facing sharp criticism from a coalition of groups promoting improved STEM learning.

Common Standards, Not Tests, for Charter Schools Network

A charter schools network with schools in both New York and Connecticut exemplifies the challenge of having common standards without fully common assessments.

States Exploring a Creativity Index for Schools

Officials in several states are exploring the idea of developing a creativity index for schools.

New Panel to Explore Research-Based Practices in Literacy

A new panel will draw on research to come up with best-practices in literacy instruction.

First Draft of 'Next Generation' Science Standards Coming Soon

The public will soon get its first chance to comment on a set of draft, common standards for science.

Indiana Senate Backs Bill to Require Cursive Lessons

Some Indiana lawmakers are hoping the loops and tails of cursive letters won't be neglected in their state. The state's public schools and private schools that receive vouchers must teach cursive, according to a bill by Republican state Senator Jean Leising that passed last Thursday. We reported that the bill was being considered in a story considering the larger debate about teaching handwriting in cursive in schools.

UPDATE: GE Foundation Invests $18 Million in Common-Core Work

The GE Foundation awards $18 million to a nonprofit that was central in writing the common standards, to work with teachers in implementing the new learning goals.

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