A bipartisan group of U.S. senators this week introduced legislation to promote and improve engineering education in schools. "As a nation, our future success depends on our ability to produce a greater number of engineers," Sen. Edward E. Kaufman, D-Del., a co-sponsor of the bill who claims to be the only current senator who has worked as an engineer, said in a prepared statement. "This legislation will give schools nationwide more incentive to implement science and engineering education into K-12 curricula." With both the America COMPETES Act and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act up for reauthorization, you can ...


Wisconsin's governor has signed legislation that requires public schools to teach about birth control and sexually-transmitted diseases as part of comprehensive sex education classes.


The White House is conducting a competition among public schools, with the winner getting President Obama to deliver their commencement address this year.


Something tells me that a "Dear Colleague" letter circulating in Congress to shore up federal support for the Reading Is Fundamental program is just one of many such letters making the rounds in response to President Obama's recent budget request. The bipartisan letter by Reps. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Texas, and Don Young, R-Alaska, urges fellow House members to join them in resisting Obama's plans to consolidate federal aid for RIF into a new literacy fund the president hopes to create at the U.S. Department of Education. It's part of Obama's larger effort, outlined in his fiscal 2011 budget plan, ...


President Obama wants to tie Title I aid to states' adoption of the common standards, as you already know from reading our story. But a couple of new reports are out today claiming that several states would have more to lose than to gain by adopting them. One study comes from the Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research in Massachusetts. The institute compared the September and January drafts of the common standards with the state standards in Massachusetts and California. The study concludes that the common standards will not ensure that students are college-ready in math or English/language arts. ...


Those of you who consider yourselves assessment freaks (I say that affectionately) might be interested in a couple of tidbits today: the vision of next-generation assessment laid out at a forum I attended yesterday, and a report and webinar this week on the topic. The experts at yesterday's panel articulated quite the sweeping vision of assessments they'd like to see take shape as the Race to the Top money becomes available for development of common tests, and as Congress starts to discuss reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. See what they had to say in my story today. You ...


You've read before in this blog that the role the federal government is taking—or ought to take—in the development of common standards is a touchy subject. Fresh rounds of evidence popped up yesterday, with the news that President Obama proposes tying Title I money to the adoption of college- and career-ready standards, a clear—though not exclusive—nod to the set currently under development. The National Conference of State Legislatures gave an elbow jab to the feds, as you can see in reading our story about Obama's proposal. Take a look, also, at this announcement from...


New research from Michigan State University suggests that parental influence and access to math courses are likely to guide students to careers in the STEM fields and medicine, says an article in ScienceDaily. The article draws on information presented this weekend at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. "Only 4 percent of students who experienced low parent encouragement to attend college planned to enter a postsecondary program and major in a STEMM field," said Jon Miller, a professor of integrative studies at Michigan State who presented the findings at the meeting. (Editor's note: The ...


U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan apparently told governors at a meeting yesterday that the Obama administration wants to tie billions of dollars in annual Title I aid for low-income students to whether states adopt standards judged to be "college- and career-ready," my colleague Lesli Maxwell is reporting over at State EdWatch. President Barack Obama is meeting today with most of the nation's governors at the White House. During that session, he's expected to share specific proposals for revising the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (known in its latest iteration as the No Child Left Behind Act), with a ...


Just as Kentucky this month became the first state to adopt common academic standards for math and English/language arts, a Senate committee in the Bluegrass State has unanimously approved a bill to establish guidelines for teaching Bible literacy in public schools. Stories from the Associated Press and the Courier-Journal newspaper of Louisville both describe the effort, with somewhat different angles. "The purpose is to allow the Bible to be used for its literature content as well as its art and cultural and social studies content," the AP quotes state Sen. David Boswell, a Democrat and the chief sponsor, saying ...


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