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 ...


A couple years ago, I was lucky enough to be one of many reporters who crowded into a federal courtroom in Harrisburg, Pa., to cover a landmark court case over whether "intelligent design" had a place in public school science classrooms. The legal battle centered on a decision by the Dover, Pa., school board to require that students be introduced in biology class to intelligent design, an alternative to the theory of evolution. A group of parents sued to halt the policy, arguing that it amounted to an attempt to promote religious views in a public school science setting. Federal ...


The title of this entry is a mouthful, I know. But they're all topics scheduled to be discussed next week by the board that sets policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP. The meeting of the National Assessment Governing Board is scheduled for Thursday-Saturday, Nov. 20-22, to be held just outside Washington. On Thursday afternoon at 2 p.m., the board will continue its discussion of policies to allow students to be excluded from, or received special accomodations, on NAEP tests. States follow their own exam policies right now, and as a result, the percentage of students ...


So many people who work with young people and youth organizations have been heartened by the enthusiasm and energy that American teens and young adults displayed leading up to the presidential election this month. Even students who are still too young to cast a vote were following the race, expressing their views on issues via blogs and social networking sites, and even volunteering in the campaigns. This week in Washington, experts involved in programs serving youth said that the youth factor in the election and the growing numbers of teenagers participating in community service, as seen in this new report, ...


With the declining daylight hours and cooler weather hitting the Mid-Atlantic, it is a lot easier for me to get my kids to sit down with a book in the afternoons and evenings. What hasn't been so easy is finding the books that will suck them in and keep them engaged beyond the obligatory 20- to 30- minute reading time each day. I've searched library stacks and online education sites for recommendations, which have sometimes worked out well. My daughter, a 5th grader, has found a few that kept her up reading past bedtime, or left her sitting in the ...


There is a lot of discussion and speculation about how the federal education agenda will play out under the Obama administration, and whether the new president will take up reading reform in the wake of the controversy over Reading First, and the likely demise of that program. In a lengthy letter to the next president, Eduflack urges President-elect Obama to be "bold and audacious" and break the status quo in education. He then makes some general recommendations for policy decisions on key issues, such as accountability and school choice and teachers. He offers this on reading: "Reading—I have reluctantly ...


There's been a steady push to encourage students to take more math, and tougher math, in high school. Business leaders, advocacy organizations, and state and local policymakers provided a lot of the muscle behind that movement, arguing that high-level math skills are going to become increasingly important in the years to come. But why is advanced math important? For students, teachers, and parents, sometimes the responses can seem pretty vague, and unsatisfying. Some people will tell you it's because more jobs are going to require strong math skills, and the thinking that comes from taking demanding courses. Others say it's ...


You might have followed the debate this year over Florida's revision of its state science standards, but it's a good bet you've never heard of something called the Joint Administrative Procedures Committee. Yet that heretofore obscure panel is a player in odd new developments that could result in that document having to go through another review by state officials. The science standards that were narrowly approved by the state board of education in February, you might recall, won praise from the scientific community for offering a fuller treatment of the theory of evolution. Florida's previous standards did not even mention ...


Barack Obama, with 57 percent, over John McCain's 39 percent. That's the result of the Scholastic Presidential Election Poll, announced last month. Students participating in the poll have been right on all but two occasions since 1940. They voted for Thomas E. Dewey in the close 1948 election won by Harry S. Truman, and for Richard Nixon in his loss to John F. Kennedy in 1960. For all the talk about Obama being a rock star of sorts, owing to his appeal with America's youth, some of the student voters couldn't resist writing in their own favorites. Miley Cyrus and ...


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