I've received a lot of responses to a story I wrote this week about the growth of "green" lesson plans and curriculum in schools. Some of the reaction has come from schools that are drawing power from solar energy and crafting lessons about the power of the sun. One sun-powered display that I didn't have room to get in the story can be found in the Lagunitas school district, outside San Francisco. (It's pictured on the right.) It was designed and built by Borrego Solar, also located in California. Borrego has seen more school districts use solar installations in recent ...


A friend of mine who works at one of the District of Columbia's public libraries tells me that February is the most important month at her library because it's Black History Month.The library schedules special programs to feature African-Americans. So since I'm new to the curriculum beat here at Education Week, I decided to do a Web search to see just how big Black History Month is in schools. Some schools have put together impressive collections of resources that can be used for lessons marking Black History Month. Here's a sampling: —Lakewood City Schools, in Ohio, has links to Web...


The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has just released a terrific series of resources on evolution, all of them free and accessible online here. Those documents cover current events and examine recent fights over evolution in the states, but perhaps more important, they offer a clear guide through some of the social, legal, and religious dimensions of those battles. The documents are being put forward to coincide with the 200-year anniversary of British naturalist and evolution pioneer Charles Darwin's birth. Pew's documents offer recaps of recent state skirmishes on the theory, many of which will be familiar to ...


Taking math seriously, and learning to enjoy it, will probably make your life easier in high school. It will almost certainly help you get into college and increase your odds of succeeding once you get there. But what kinds of career options are out there for students with talent in math and a love for that subject? I recently came across a good online resource that seeks to answer that question for students. It's the "Career Profiles" page, offered on the Web site of the Mathematical Association of America. As the name suggests, the site aims to answer the question "why...


The folks at Common Core and Core Knowledge take issue with Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland's equating core knowledge with 21st-century skills. In blog posts here and here, the organizations take shots at the Democrat's P-16 education plan, outlined in his 2009 budget proposal. It calls for "mastery of core knowledge, critical thinking, possibility thinking, knowledge creation, development of strong interpersonal skills and effective work habits." I have a feeling that the governor and the Common Core/Core Knowledge advocates have two distinctly different ideas about content. "For the sake of Ohio’s students, we hope the governor and his advisors ...


Sometimes an in-class lab is not enough. I recently received a notice about a bus that is being used in Chicago-area schools as a sort of mobile science classroom to teach students about clean-air and environmental issues. It's one of a number of mobile science labs I've heard of over the years. The idea is pretty simple. You retrofit a bus or vehicle of some sort, which you then send from school to school, so that teachers make use of it to teach students about a specific science concept—in this case, environmental issues. The bus is officially known as the...


Today, the National Museum of the American Indian launched a searchable online collection of 5,500 items and photographs. The online collections site, called the "Fourth Museum," is part of a plan by the museum to put its whole collection of more than 800,000 items online (see today's press release about it), which is expected to take four years. The Washington Post describes the effort in a Jan. 30 article. The online collection could be a boost for teachers who are attempting to carry out new state laws or regulations that require them to teach students about the tribes ...


Rodney Ellis is fed up, and he's fighting back the way state legislators usually do. The Texas state senator, having witnessed the latest hubbub over the teaching of evolution on his state's board of education, has filed a bill to strip the board of the bulk of its authority over textbooks and curriculum. According to this story in his hometown newspaper, the Houston Chronicle, Ellis' move would leave the board with more narrow duties under the state constitution. The measure is unlikely to pass, even Ellis, a Democrat, acknowledges, because of conservatives' influence in the legislature. So Ellis has filed ...


There's a long-running debate about how the skills of U.S. students compare with those of their peers in nations like China. A recent study seeks to cut through the speculation with research from both nations' university systems. In an article published in the journal Science, a team of researchers found that first-year Chinese university students easily beat American freshmen in a test of their knowledge of specific scientific concepts in mechanics, electricity, magnetism. Yet the U.S. students equaled their Asian counterparts when it came to a measure of their broader scientific reasoning ability. The students tested in the ...


On the list of people you least want to tick off on Capitol Hill, Sen. Chuck Grassley's name is probably pretty high up there. Yet some employees of the National Science Foundation have managed to do just that, after allegedly spending a considerable amount of agency time looking at pornography on the Internet. The revelations about NSF staff members downloading sexually explicit files from the Web and storing them on their computers emerged in a semiannual report by the agency's office of the inspector general. One of the more startling revelations in the report is that an "NSF senior official" ...


Follow This Blog

Advertisement

Most Viewed on Education Week

Categories

Archives

Recent Comments