A new survey shows that more high school students are lying, cheating, and stealing—a reflection, it says, of the "entrenched habits of dishonesty" among young people. The 2008 Report Card on the Ethics of American Youth, released by the Josephson Institute of Ethics in Los Angeles, is the result of a survey of 29,000 students at public and private high schools throughout the country. Sixty-four percent of the students said they have cheated on a test over the past year, with nearly four in 10 doing so more than once. Some 40 percent lifted information off the Internet...


All schools would like to think they're capable of producing the scientists of the future—students with the academic skill, curiosity, and creativity to conduct research in cutting-edge fields. But supporters of math and science academies, or specialty high schools, see themselves as especially well-suited to that mission. Now, a new study will attempt to examine whether specialized math and science public high schools actually turn out more scientists in the life, physical, and behavior sciences. Those schools' performance in that area will be compared against traditional high schools. The three-year study will be conducted by researchers at the University...


In the latest twist in the great California algebra debate, the feds have said that because the state is not complying with a testing mandate, they plan to take $1 million from the California Department of Education and redirect it to needy schools. The move is the result of delays associated with California's attempt to test all 8th graders in introductory algebra, a controversial policy that is now stalled in court. California's state board of education voted in July to require that all 8th graders be tested in Algebra 1 within three years, which state officials say has the effect ...


A couple of weeks ago I pointed to a few lists of recommended books to help parents and teachers find texts that would suck children in to the wonders of reading. The lists included primarily popular and classic literature. Will Fitzhugh reminded me today that such lists are incomplete without the kinds of captivating tales—fiction and non-fiction—that are based on history. Fitzhugh, who has devoted his career to publishing the outstanding history research papers of high school students in the renowned Concord Review, gets agitated by all the well-funded efforts to promote reading that fail to acknowledge...


Federal officials have taken a major step toward setting standards that would allow the public to use scores on a test known as "the nation's report card" to judge 12th grade students' preparation for college and the job market. On Friday, the board that sets policy for that influential test, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, voted to accept a report of an expert panel tasked with setting those standards. The move essentially allows federal officials to move forward and begin conducting detailed studies to judge how students' NAEP test performance could be matched against their preparation for college and ...


When the interim report of the Reading First Impact Study came out in May, there was an uproar from fans of the federal program who said the methodology was seriously flawed. As I reported here, they cited the likely "contamination" of the comparison schools, meaning that even though they didn't receive the grant money they were implementing many of the same policies and practices as participating schools. Given that many of the RF and non-RF schools were potentially benefiting from the same professional development, instructional materials, and practices, the critics argued, it would be surprising if the evaluation found much ...


The federal officials who oversee the National Assessment of Educational Progress took a first look at a new idea for administering the exam, which would mark a major departure for the test known as "the nation's report card." That method, which is only under discussion at this point, is known as "targeted," or "adaptive," testing. In basic terms, it involves tailoring tests so that students at different ability levels receive exams with different levels of difficulty, rather than giving all students tests at the same level of difficulty. The panel that sets policy for the NAEP, the National Assessment Governing ...


The Texas board of education is the latest state entity to begin debating the status of evolution in the state's science academic standards. To provide a quick overview: The current version of Texas' science standards calls for students to understand the "strengths and weaknesses" of scientific theories. That language irks scientists, who see it as a way of falsely implying that evolution is riddled with flaws, as opposed to being one of the best-established principles in science. A draft produced by an expert committee recommended dropping that language, as part of a broader reworking of the standards. Then Texas' board ...


The IES released the final Reading First Impact Study report today, and the bottom line is that the $6 billion spent on the federal initiative over the last six years helped boost decoding skills among 1st graders in the program, but had no effect on comprehension for 1st, 2nd, or 3rd graders. Ed Week reports on the study here, and already there are two opposing comments. One commenter asks a number of good questions about whether the program was implemented properly and what are the variations among the 250 schools in the study. The other suggests that focusing on low-level ...


The state of Arkansas and the city of Chicago have shown the capacity to produce presidents from the Democratic Party. But less appreciated are their efforts to produce ... middle school algebra teachers! A couple weeks ago, I wrote about a venture by Arkansas to create a specific endorsement , rather than a generic one in math, for teachers who want to teach algebra at the middle school level. The idea is to produce educators who are better prepared to teach that class in middle school, at a time when, across the country, more students are being asked to take introductory algebra ...


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