Perhaps Harvard Business Review isn't high on your list of regular leisure reading. It isn't high on mine, either. But this is worth a look. It's an argument for the importance of feeling that you are making progress in your work. The authors studied "knowledge workers" of many stripes, and found that recognition, incentives, interpersonal support and clear goals are not as high on the motivation scale as that sense of making progress in your work. (Managers of these workers thought that recognition for good work would be the most important motivator, and making progress would be the least important. ...


Add Ohio to the list of states currently working to revamp Social Studies standards.


We've had so much snow here in Washington that we're all on snowverload. (Some are calling it snowverkill, but I like my own word, "snowverload," better. I welcome the grammarians to bring it on.) So perhaps it's all the white stuff getting to me. But I see an odd connection in three stories of interest today to all you curriculum wonks. One the one hand, we hear that huge portions of students in Colorado need remediation to keep their heads above water in college. (The fact that kids need remediation isn't news, of course. But just check out the proportions ...


The Kentucky board of education voted unanimously this morning to adopt the common standards. It's the first state to do so. And it did so even before the first public draft of the K-12 standards has been issued. (Nonpublic drafts have been circulating among state officials for review.) The original idea, officials there tell me, was to hold the adoption vote after the standards were finalized. Completion was originally expected in December, so Kentucky officials scheduled adoption for the board's Feb. 10 meeting. But the timeline for finalizing the K-12 standards stretched. They're now expected to go up for public ...


U.S. Rep. Vernon Ehlers of Michigan, a major champion of improving STEM education, has announced plans to step from Congress.


In what seems like an unusual step by the judiciary, a judge in Washington state has ordered the Seattle school board to reconsider its choice of math materials for high schools across the district, reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. "The court finds, based upon a review of the entire administrative record, that there is insufficient evidence for any reasonable board member to approve the selection of the Discovering Series," writes Judge Julie Spector from the King County Superior Court in her Feb. 4 decision. The Seattle newspaper explains that last May, the board implemented a districtwide math curriculum called Discovering Math. ...


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.


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