Barack Obama is not the only national leader talking about the importance of education during a period of deep recession. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is seeking to revamp his nation's approach to math and science instruction, pitching that proposal as a matter of long-term economic health, according to this BBC story. Brown says he wants to double the number of British secondary students taking "triple" science—biology, chemistry, and physics. Currently, just 8.5 percent of British students take the triple science option, the story says. Brown's plan is to double that figure by 2014, which the story says...


Here's another good story on the gray area surrounding "mercy" rules—policies aimed at curbing vicious blowouts that are fairly common in high school sports. This article, from the AP, is set in Nebraska, where lopsided scores in girls' basketball —92-18, 72-13, 92-11 and the like—apparently occur pretty regularly. The story does a good job of adding some nuance to the discussion of mercy rules that emerged a few weeks ago in the wake of a Dallas girls team's 100-0 demolition of a rival. In some games, even when the white flag goes up, and coaches take out their...


This video of the last day at the Rocky Mountain News, the latest newspaper to close up shop in the midst of a spiraling downturn in the news industry, was posted on Vimeo a few days ago by Matthew Roberts. Over at The Joy of Children's Literature blog Denise Johnson wonders if today's generation will remember how the news "used to be published." Final Edition from Matthew Roberts on Vimeo. Of course this is a topic near and dear to me and my colleagues. It's not just the demise of the broadsheet that worries journalists, but the seeming growing indifference ...


Edweek.org now has a widget for our coverage related to the federal stimulus. You can embed this widget in your blog or on your Web site to help readers follow the latest news and analysis on how the huge infusion of federal money is being targeted for schools. if (WIDGETBOX) WIDGETBOX.renderWidget('d313643b-e81f-4c87-82f6-f5af275ba98f');Get the Edweek.org: Schools & Stimulus widget and many other great free widgets at Widgetbox! Just click on the grey "Get Widget" tab, above, and copy and paste the code into your blog or Web site. It's easy! Our crack Web team has already posted a ...


I recently came across this item in Plus magazine, an online publication which seeks to introduce readers to the "beauty and practical applications of mathematics." It asks readers to vote for their favorite fictional mathematicians. I was a bit surprised by the top vote-getter. Then again, maybe I shouldn't have been. (After voting, scroll to the bottom of this entry, about math teachers swooning over the appearance of a couple celebrity math geeks at an NCTM annual meeting.) What about a poll of favorite real-life mathematicians? Pythagoras? Descartes? Physicist-mathematician Einstein? I would guess the stock of John Nash has risen ...


Most elementary teachers report that instruction time for arts education stayed about the same between the school years of 2004-05 and 2006-07, according to a report released today by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Still, teachers at schools with higher percentages of minorities and that have been identified as needing improvement under the No Child Left Behind Act were more likely to report a decrease in time spent on arts education in their schools. Four percent of elementary teachers surveyed said arts education increased at their schools, and 7 percent reported a decline. In some ways, it's surprising that ...


A new "carnival" of blogs focused on math and science issues is open for business. For those new to carnivals—and I am one of you—they serve as a sort of clearinghouse of links to blogs, and specific posts, on a particular topic. This one is sponsored by Kim's Play Place, a blog run by a self-described "homeschooling mom to two girls with a toddler," who is especially interested in math and science topics. The carnival will publish on the second and fourth Mondays of each month. The deadline for submissions is 8pm EST on Sunday, March 8 for the...


While an "impact study" by the federal government has raised questions about the success of Reading First nationally, an evaluation in California credits the program with raising student achievement in that state significantly. Reading First, which has been the flagship reading program of the No Child Left Behind Act, is a K-3 program, but in California, even 5th graders in Reading First schools are scoring significantly higher on reading tests than those not in Reading First schools. The study by Educational Data Systems also shows that students in schools that implemented the program to a high degree had much higher ...


Most teachers have probably seen their students transmit all kinds of silly, strange, and downright inappropriate gestures over the course of the school day. But sometimes in-class gestures can have a benign and productive effect, at least in mathematics. That's the conclusion of a new study published online in the journal Psychological Science this month. It found that children required to produce correct gestures learned more than children required to produce partially correct gestures, who, in turn, learned more than children required to produce no gestures. The researchers, who included Susan Wagner Cook of the University of Chicago and others ...


The American Chemical Society, a big organization that seeks to take an active role in school science and math issues, is seeking to hone its message on these topics and figure out a way it can have a bigger impact. And they're looking to the K-12 community to give them ideas. The ACS, headquartered in Washington, has created a task for force to "identify a unique role for the world’s largest scientific society in transforming education in the United States." The task force is loaded with private industry officials, academic scholars, and some K-12 officials. They describe their mission ...


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