Two sets of early-grades math curricula, Saxon Math and Math Expressions, emerged as big winners in a major study released by Mathematica. A curriculum that's drawn major heat from parents in some districts, Investigations in Number, Data and Space, did not fare as well. Nor did Scott Foresman-Addison Wesley Mathematics. Read my colleague Debbie Viadero's story here. Various factions in the much-discussed "math wars" are sure to go to the report for ammunition in advancing their causes. The study only focused on 1st graders, in four states. It involved about 1,300 students. Investigations is often referred to as a "reform"...


Don't miss my colleague David Hoff's post over at NCLB: Act II about a vote at the winter meeting of the National Governors Association to approve a policy statement that could lead to a set of national standards....


One of the elementary math curricular programs that tends to raise the ire of parents locked in the so-called "math wars" is Investigations in Number, Data and Space. Well, a federal review of that program is in, and the grade is (drumroll) incomplete. The What Works Clearinghouse, a federal center for reviewing the quality of curricula and interventions on strict criteria, identified 40 different studies of Investigations. Unfortunately for those seeking a clarity on the merits of the curricula, none of the studies fell within the "review protocol meet What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) evidence standards," the office found. "The lack ...


"Reading First is still out" of the spending bill for fiscal 2009 expected to soon be taken up by the U.S. Congress, according to my colleague Alyson Klein over at Politics K-12. But at the same time, Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon of California, the top Republican in the House Education and Labor Committee, is expressing discontent about the committee's decision to kill what had been the flagship reading program of the No Child Left Behind Act....


Over at the Digital Education blog, my colleague, Katie Ash, has an interesting report on a discussion she heard at the Northwest Council for Computer Education's "Navigating the New World With Technology" conference in Portland. Debra Pickering, author of several books about teaching and learning that she's co-wrote with Robert Marzano, gave the keynote address about building lessons that incorporate technology. It's about the lesson, not the technology, Pickering said. From Katie's post: "At the root of those questions was something I hear over and over again from the ed-tech community—don't use technology for technology's sake. Just because you ...


With all the wondrous and free exhibits at the Smithsonian Institution, we here in the Washington, D.C., area tend to take museums for granted. But the availability of such resources in communities large and small is not guaranteed, particularly as the economic crisis continues to put pressure on budgets. Schools across the country, however, rely on museums for curriculum content, class trips, and enrichment opportunities. And now schools have many more opportunities to "visit" great museums through virtual field trips. This week the American Association of Museums is calling on museum patrons to take action to ensure that all ...


A press conference about "Writing in the 21st Century" hosted by the National Council of Teachers of English today here in the nation's capital promoted two seemingly different strains of thought concerning the teaching of writing to students. Kathleen Blake Yancey, a professor of English at Florida State University, spoke about the value of teachers' supporting students in writing through new modes of communication, such as Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. People are writing "with new audiences, for new audiences, and to new audiences," she said. She stressed that the emphasis on audience with the new modes adds relevancy to writing ...


Difficult economic conditions are having an impact on students' pursuit of GEDs, recent reports suggest. The number of people seeking out the credentials, officially known as the General Educational Development test and diploma, has risen in California, according to this AP story. The article notes that in that state, where unemployment is the highest in 15 years (at 9.3 percent), the number of people taking the GED test has increased from 46,184 in 2005 to 59,416 in 2008. Just last year, the number of people taking the exam rose 15 percent in the state, according to a ...


While the stimulus provides a major cash infusion to the nation’s schools, the flow of federal money to school and college “STEM” education efforts, in particular, is smaller and more difficult to track. As my colleagues at Ed Week have detailed in past stories, the package provides about $95 billion, total, for the U.S. Department of Education. Most science and math education programs at the federal level today are overseen by the department and the National Science Foundation, but they are also scattered across other agencies. As far as the Obama stimulus plan goes, probably the largest STEM ...


A report by the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice says that vouchers improve the academic achievement of public schools. The author, Greg Forster, reviewed 17 empirical studies on that topic. All but one found that vouchers improved public schools, and none found that vouchers detract from them, according to the report. Twenty-four school-choice programs now exist, in 14 states and the District of Columbia, which serve about 160,000 students, the report says. Forster's evaluation examines voucher efforts in Milwaukee, Florida, Ohio, and other areas. The Friedman Foundation is home to "the nation's leading voucher advocates," according to a description ...


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