The state plans to create a math-specific test for aspiring elementary teachers. Passing a generic state licensure exam is no longer good enough.


When a federally sponsored study appears to favor two types of early-grades mathematics programs, just how should the education community interpret it?


Talk about "common standards" continues to pop up all over town here in the nation's capital.


Over at Inside School Research, my colleague Debbie Viadero describes Reading for Understanding, a research initiative just announced by the Institute of Education Sciences of the U.S. Department of Education. It's designed to tackle the problem of how children can learn to understand the words they are reading beyond merely sounding them out....


What’s the main goal of elementary school science instruction? And why do students who thrive in early-grades science seem to stumble when they reach middle and high school? I explore some of these topics in a story in this week’s issue of Education Week. It’s about efforts by a University of Michigan researcher to cultivate “complex scientific-reasoning” skills in young, urban students. That researcher, Nancy Butler Songer, is challenging elementary students in Detroit not only to understand basic science facts and concepts, but also to understand what science is and what scientists actually do. That means that ...


California will offer "free, open-source" digital textbooks in math and science for high school students, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has announced. The governor says his state would be the first in the nation to take that step. Maybe there is something to Rahm Emanuel's quip about not letting a good crisis go to waste. Schwarzenegger, in a statement about the plan, suggests that the idea for digitalizing textbooks has come about partly because of California's severe and well-documented budget problems. He says the move will cut costs and encourage collaboration among districts. Schools have shown an increased interest in digital textbooks ...


The Washington Post published an editorial on Sunday offering support for "common, national standards." The editorial also says that improvements on the long-term National Assessment of Educational Progress trend data for younger students, particularly minority students, "can be traced to the standards-based reforms embodied in the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law and the state efforts that predated it." As I indicated in a story about the long-term data published in this week's Education Week, not everyone would agree with that assessment. Chester E. Finn, the president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, noted that at least he'd be cautious ...


After completing a legendary pro basketball career for the Detroit Pistons, Dave Bing left to see out the twilight of his career with professional teams in other cities. Then he did something unusual, given the socioeconomic forces that have been battering the Motor City for decades: He came back. As Detroit's population and economic wealth evaporated, and many residents fled for surrounding suburbs, Bing returned to the city after his playing days and founded an ultimately successful steel company. He became active in the community, on issues such as neighborhood revitalization, as his business grew. Bing has traced the origins ...


Eduflack highlights a small but notable cut in President Obama's education budget in this post about the potential demise of the National Institute for Literacy. He's right when he describes the quasi-federal agency as struggling, both to tackle its ambitious mission to address literacy from birth through adulthood, and to be a leader in promoting research and innovation in the field. I've written a number of times about the institute's misadventures in trying to launch the Commission on Reading Research, to take on the much-needed task of following up on the work of the National Reading Panel. Several other efforts ...


My colleague Alyson Klein reports over at Politics K-12 that President Obama's budget proposes to slash the $66 million Even Start family-literacy program. During the 11 years I've worked for Education Week, I must admit I've never had the chance to observe this program in action. I read a research brief recently published by Child Trends and the Center for Social and Demographic Analysis at the University of Albany focusing on low enrollment of Latino youngsters in early-childhood education programs that made the following statement about Even Start: While the most recent evaluation of the Even Start literacy program did ...


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