More school districts are offering programs that teach children how to play stringed instruments.

The final version of the common standards is expected in late spring. Standards-watchers can see two of the lead writers discuss the process online on April 22.

Hundreds of historians are criticizing the latest draft of social studies standards in Texas, and urging the board to delay a final vote on the package.

Two new studies focus on the preparation and ongoing professional development of math teachers.

A sample of the divergent views on common standards for you this morning. Ed Miller of the Alliance for Childhood notes the split in two pieces that ran recently in The Boston Globe and The Washington Post. In the Globe op-ed, Nancy Carlsson-Paige and Diane Levin argue that the standards won't close the achievement gap because they will do nothing to address the inequities in the education system that cause it. They say the standards will impose more rote learning on young children and drive play further from school curricula. (Carlsson-Paige, a professor of early childhood education at Lesley University ...

When the common standards initiative first got off the ground, one of the things that created tumult in some quarters was the relative absence of teachers on the panels created to write and review the documents. One of the results of the too-few-teachers complaint was that the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, which co-lead the common standards work, reached out to the national teachers' unions to help work teachers into the process. More teachers were placed on the panels, and teams from around the country also did periodic reviews of the drafts as they ...

More than 10,000 students are gathering at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta to compete in an annual robotics competition.

The latest draft of revised social studies standards for Texas is finally online.

Just minutes ago, we were telling you about how those assessment consortia are evolving in their bids for Race to the Top money. Now comes the news that Susan Gendron, Maine's commissioner of education, is leaving her job to help lead one of those consortia. The news left one state lawmaker lamenting that Gendron wouldn't be around to help the state win money in the second round of the main (no pun intended) Race to the Top competition. She's also led a move there to consolidate school districts, and some lawmakers said they hated to see her leave that work ...

The leaders of the common standards initiative are pushing to make different common assessments comparable across states.

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