It's been more than a decade since the National Assessment of Educational Progress tested 8th graders in what they know and can do in the arts. In that amount of time, the proportion of schools offering the arts at least several times a week has stayed about the same, according to the NAEP arts report released today. In 2008, 57 percent of 8th graders attended schools where music instruction was provided at least three or four times a week, while 47 percent went to schools where visual-arts instruction was offered at least as often. See my story on the report, ...


A couple items worth catching up on today: The medical-technology corporation Medtronic Inc., will provide a $1.4 million grant to support Teach For America’s efforts to find, keep, and train math and science teachers. The award follows an earlier amount of money given by Medtronic in 2007. The latest amount will support additional training for TFA educators through online resources and other means, according to a statement from Medtronic. The money will also pay for the possible expansion of TFA’s program in Minnesota this year and to enhance ongoing efforts in Memphis, Tenn., and Jacksonville, Fla., where ...


The Anne Frank Elementary School in the Philadelphia School District is having an event today to honor the school's namesake: Anne Frank. Starting on her 13th birthday, 67 years ago, Anne began writing a diary, which was published as The Diary of Anne Frank following her death in a Nazi concentration camp. As you all know, the book is widely read by school children, and the play based on the book is often put on by high school students. Today would have been Anne Frank's 80th birthday. The elementary school was scheduled to have a Holocaust survivor, Kurt Herman, speak ...


How does the U.S. fare in producing top-tier science students? Depends on how you look at it.


Williamson "Bill" Evers, a research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution and a conservative, expounds on why students in the U.S. don't perform as well in math and science as students do in some other countries. His views are published in a Q&A in the Stanford Review. (It's promoted on Evers' Ed Policy blog, which he infrequently updates.) Textbooks in the United States lack depth, and teachers here aren't as well prepared as teachers in some countries, Evers contends. In addition, Evers notes that U.S. culture has a current of anti-intellectualism, as Americans admire characters such as ...


The Prez issues a get-out-of-class card.


A new report calls for a "mobilization" of the public and private sector to improve math and science education. Are its goals realistic?


Joanne Jacobs and Robert Pondiscio over at Core Knowledge blog are both skeptical about the practicality of former New York City schools Chancellor Harold Levy's proposal that compulsory schooling should include one year of postsecondary education. If you missed their posts this week, you have another chance to read them as part of this week's Carnival of Education, a collection of posts by education bloggers. Pondiscio writes: "College entrance is still something largely driven by interest and merit. Might that have something to do with the generally sound state of U.S. higher ed and the relatively poor state of ...


Academic scholars, as well as educators, have debated the link between students' enthusiasm for academic work and its connection to learning. If an activity can be made fun, will that help a child pick up new knowledge? David Geary, a professor of psychological sciences at the University of Missouri, explores this topic in a recent, provocative study in the journal Educational Psychologist. Some of you may be familiar with Geary through his work as a member of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel, but he has an extensive background in cognitive developmental psychology. His study, published late last year, examines what ...


From Guest Blogger Stephen Sawchuk Nevada, Illinois, and Louisiana are the latest states to join the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, according to a release from the partnership this morning. That brings the number to 13. As part of membership, the states agree to retool their standards, tests, and professional development to integrate into core-content classes an emphasis on tech literacy, communication, and entrepreneurship. It's especially interesting that Illinois is on board, with Obama in the White House and EdSec Arne Duncan at 400 Maryland Ave. So far, I haven't been able to get a really good read on where ...


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