A new study takes a look at the role interim assessments can play in improving student achievement. And it offers an interesting conclusion. I'll let the co-authors speak for themselves: "We conclude that interim assessments that are designed for instructional purposes are helpful but not sufficient to inform instructional change," they say in a policy brief summarizing the study's findings. "When well-supported by their districts and schools, teachers used interim assessment data to decide what to re-teach and to whom, but not necessarily to change the ways in which they taught this content." The study is by three scholars at ...


If you've been reading this blog in recent months, you've heard a great deal about the effort to develop common standards in math and English/language arts, including a post just yesterday by my colleague and co-blogger, Catherine. But you might not know about a separate effort getting under way to devise a set of "next generation" science standards. I recently attended the inaugural meeting of a panel of experts convened by the National Research Council to craft a "conceptual framework" for those standards. You can check out my story from edweek.org for lots more details....


I'm not telling you anything new when I mention that many people are less than thrilled when federal officials start exerting a broader influence on local schools. This skepticism has long roots, and has cropped up time and time again in education debates. As I track the development of the common-standards initiative, it's certainly one of the themes I hear. I saw it again while reading my colleague Lesli Maxwell's new blog on state policy. And the message comes across loud and clear in this story, too. What does this mean for the common-standards initiative? Skepticism toward a large federal ...


A draft of revised social studies standards in North Carolina is facing criticism over proposed changes to the teaching of U.S. history in high school.


A majority of arts educators say NCLB has not reduced art staffing in their districts, but nearly half report that it's led to budget cuts to art programs.


We all know that children—most of them—anyway, love recess. It was probably my favorite "subject" in elementary school, and my heart raced when I heard the bell go off and we were free to hit the playground. But what's being billed as the "first ever" national poll of elementary school principals on the subject finds that most of them believe recess helps children learn. Four out of five principals report that recess has a positive impact on academic achievement, with two-thirds saying students listen better after recess and are more focused in class. Virtually all of the nearly...


A newspaper examines AP test data and finds that more students are taking the exams but more are also failing them.


The Education Department's top school safety official advocates standards for school climate.


State boards of education seem to be lacking a good deal of information about the proposed common-core standards. And in most states, these panelists will be the folks who will have to decide whether to adopt them. That message emerged clearly from Day 2 of a meeting of Western board members I attended this week in Las Vegas, organized by the National Association of State Boards of Education. (See my blog post from yesterday about Day 1.) About a dozen states had representatives attending the meeting, and they spent a chunk of the morning discussing the questions they have about ...


A recent study finds that 2005 high school graduates earned more credits in "STEM" courses than did their counterparts from 1990.


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