July 2012 Archives

Remember last week when I posted about new types of college-and-career-readiness tests entering the marketplace from ACT, among other companies? Here is a story I just finished about that, and its interaction with the state assessment consortia's work. There are many interesting dynamics at work now in the test-publishing industry that bear watching....

Analysts say it's not yet clear how influential the new set of 'publishers' criteria for the common-core math standards will prove, but the document appears to be drawing serious attention.

Some observers appreciate key aspects of the document, though issues such as proposed restrictions on the length of textbooks are generating debate.

Gov. Beverly Perdue of North Carolina recently signed legislation that requires teacher-preparation programs to ensure elementary students are readied to integrate the arts across the curriculum.

After 100 years in classrooms, the student newsmagazine will be closed and merged into Scholastic News.

Two new systems of college-and-career-readiness tests have recently announced rollouts, adding new players to a landscape dominated by the two groups of states that are designing such tests with $360 million in federal money.

One challenge in implementing the common-core standards in math is helping students not only master key content but also become proficient in the eight standards for mathematical practice laid out in the document. We'll explore the practices in an Education Week webinar Thursday at 2 p.m. Eastern time. What do the practices really mean? What do they look like in the classroom? What are some good resources to help educators dive in? To answer these and other questions, I'll be joined by two expert guests: • Jason Zimba, one of the lead writers of the common-core math standards and a founding...

The NSTA's interim executive director said the board's dismissal of its leader was not emblematic of plans to shift direction as an organization.

Sally Ride was not only an astronaut but a leader in STEM education who helped inspire many young people, especially girls, to pursue further study in math and science.

A survey of a small group of Washington insiders finds pessimism that the common assessments will be ready as promised in 2014-15.

In case you missed it, the lead authors of the Common Core State Standards have issued publishers' criteria in math. The criteria outline, in essence, what good curricular materials look like if they fully reflect the standards. My colleague Erik Robelen blogged about the criteria last week when they came out, and will be back soon with a story on the criteria and what folks in the field think about them. But in the meantime, it's worth taking a look at his introduction, and at the criteria themselves. Since the criteria reflect the standards' authors' interpretation of common-core-friendly curriculum alignment, ...

The new guidelines, which have the backing of several prominent groups, aim to ensure 'faithful' implementation of the math standards.

President Obama is looking to create a national master-teacher corps for the STEM disciplines.

The rate at which U.S. students have improved their achievement since 1995 falls in the middle of the pack when compared with other, mostly industrialized nations, a new study drawing on standardized test data finds. In addition, the researchers shed light on which U.S. states have seen the fastest—and slowest—growth over time (dating back further, to 1992), based on data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress. The top five, in rank order, are: Maryland, Florida, Delaware, Massachusetts, and Louisiana. The bottom five? Iowa, with the slowest growth, followed by Maine, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and Nebraska....

A $500,000 grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York will help to develop a network of STEM-themed schools in North Carolina with a focus on biotechnology and agriscience.

A new study finds that a simple intervention with parents can lead to their adolescent children taking more math and science courses.

The U.S. Department of Education is seeking applicants for a new 'innovative literacy' program, though in some ways it's not exactly new.

The National Science Foundation and NBC have teamed up for a new set of educational videos that focus on Olympic athletes to generate interest in engineering.

One of the state groups designing tests for the common standards seeks feedback on its definition of college readiness, which is central to the assessment's development.

If perception is reality, a lot of schools are failing to challenge their students, a Washington think tank concludes in a new report. Drawing on a rich set of student-survey data, the Center for American Progress cites some alarming statistics in the report, released today. Many students, it seems, find their schoolwork is just too easy. For example, a full 57 percent of 8th grade history students say their work is often or always too easy. Fifty-one percent of 8th graders say the same about civics. The result is better for elementary math, but still cause for concern: 37 percent ...

A British study finds that girls encounter higher levels of math anxiety than boys, and that this distress has a negative effect on student achievement.

Scott Norton, a longtime education official in Louisiana, is taking on a key post at the Council of Chief State School Officers overseeing work on standards, testing, and accountability.

Amid concern that funding to promote academic disciplines beyond reading, mathematics, and science is getting squeezed out of the federal budget, more than two dozen education organizations are banding together in a new coalition to more effectively make their case to policymakers. Members of the new College, Career, and Citizenship Readiness Coalition represent subjects including arts education, social studies, history, foreign languages, P.E., and health education. A press release notes that Congress has recently made "deep cuts" in some program areas, including "completely eliminating funding for history, civics, geography, and economics programs." In addition, President Obama has repeatedly sought ...

A new approach to highlighting the key shifts of the common standards in English/language arts boils the changes down to "what's in and what's out."

New polling data suggest that the vast majority of public school teachers are now aware of the Common Core State Standards, but the same isn't true for registered voters.

Twenty-five communities win awards for outstanding work in advancing an agenda to ensure that students are reading on grade level by 3rd grade.

South Carolina, one of the few states still participating in both test-design consortia, chooses the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium approach.


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