In the wake of the attention being paid to English language learners these days (by this newspaper and others) as well as students with disabilities, the public will be given a chance to influence an important policy affecting those students over the next few weeks. Two public hearings have been scheduled to discuss the options for testing ELLs and students with disabilities on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, commonly known as "the nation's report card." The hearings, to be held Jan. 30 and Feb. 4, will focus on efforts to bring more uniformity to the rules governing ...


Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow John McWhorter offers a scathing critique in this New Republic article of New York City's approach to bridging the reading gap between black and white children. The solution, he argues, is simple: Adopt the direct instruction approach, a scripted program that has perhaps the strongest track records for teaching children to read. He points to the Project Follow Through findings, as well as test results in Richmond, Va., and other places. I just keep wondering why, given the evidence of its effectiveness, it is not more popular. Even among educators who subscribe to scientifically based reading ...


Take a look at the latest Quality Counts report, which concentrates on English-language learners, and you get an idea of the challenges many school systems are facing in meeting the needs of this growing population. You may be surprised by the numbers of students in this category, and the broader data picture. Chris Swanson, the director of the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center, which conducted the exhaustive study, presents the data in an informative Webinar, which you can access on the Ed Week website. There may be some surprises for those of us who aren't up on the information. ...


The Presidential Inauguration Committee has teamed up with both national teachers' unions on lesson plans related to the swearing in of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States and the nation's first black commander-in-chief. The plans include ideas for connecting the current events with history, and particularly with the inauguration of another president from Illinois, Abraham Lincoln. There are reading lists, activities, and documents available for download and printing. A number of other organizations and agencies are also offering resources for use in the classroom. They are designed for various grade levels, and include everything from simple ...


Rep. Mike Honda, a California Democrat, had to whittle down the list of requests for the few inauguration tickets he had to give away. So the former science teacher, public school principal, and school board member came up with a contest that would reward a few creative constituents and potentially yield some ideas for school reform in the process. Honda asked entrants to give their best pitch as to why they deserve the tickets, or to share their educational reform ideas. Here's a sampling of the responses from Rep. Honda's Facebook page. From the summaries posted from the 10 winners, ...


In what will probably not come as a surprise to anybody, a potential fracas over evolution is surfacing again in Louisiana. I write that this wasn't unexpected, because the topic was all but certain to re-emerge with the passage of legislation signed into law last summer by Gov. Bobby Jindal. The first-term Republican governor, with little fanfare, gave his approval to Senate Bill 733, which allows teachers to use supplemental classroom materials that will help students "analyze, critique, and review" scientific theories, including evolution. (It also says the "origins of life, global warming, and human cloning" could be the subject ...


A last-ditch fundraising effort to keep the AP Italian program alive will not be enough to continue the classes and tests beyond this school year, the College Board announced this month. The language was added to the Advanced Placement program in 2005-06 under plans to double the number of language courses and assessments offered by the College Board. Japanese, Chinese, and Arabic were also added, reflecting the demands of the business world, government agencies, and development groups for experts in those languages. But Italian seemed like the odd man out. A beautiful language and rich culture, yes, but learning Italian ...


After six years the National Early Literacy Panel released its study of preschool literacy research. I wrote about the panel's preliminary report in 2003, so the final version has been a long time coming. There's nothing too surprising here: The panel found that teaching the alphabet, the sounds of letters, and vocabulary, as well as developing oral language and print knowledge in small children are important foundations for learning to read later on. But the report's strong focus on the effectiveness of code-related interventions, and weaker findings on the importance of vocabulary and background knowledge, have raised some concerns in ...


The other day, Washington Post columnist Marc Fisher wrote a nice profile of Broad Acres Elementary School, in Silver Spring, Md., a school that has made a strong turnaround academically, despite many challenges. A good number of the school’s students are in “survival mode,” the principal says. Many of those students are newly arrived immigrants, who have made harrowing treks to get to the United States. One of the strengths of the story is that the writer presents readers with what I would describe as an organic picture of a school. By that I mean that in describing Broad ...


When attempting to help students in math, don't forget the human factor. That appears to be the central conclusion of an article I came across recently, which came out this fall in the Review of Educational Research, a publication of the American Educational Research Association. Published in September (I just noticed it a few days ago), the study is a research review of 87 experimental studies of the effectiveness of elementary math programs. You can read it here. The basic conclusion: Changing teaching practices does more to increase students' math achievement than simply changing textbooks or using computers in instruction.The...


Follow This Blog

Advertisement

Most Viewed on Education Week

Categories

Archives

Recent Comments