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October 27, 2008

Romanian Rule

Olena, Ana, and Ioana, we salute you. At a time when American educators and elected officials are fretting about their inability to encourage more girls to consider studies and careers in math, you apparently jumped into that subject quite willingly. You three were high finishers in the Putnam Math...

October 16, 2008

8th Grade Algebra Study: Another Look

A couple weeks ago, I wrote a story about a study that looked at the rising number of students taking algebra in 8th grade and made the argument that many of those middle schoolers are woefully unprepared for the challenge. How unprepared? Tom Loveless of the Brookings Institution examined courseta...

October 01, 2008

Gender and Computer Science

Why are more minorities not pursuing undergraduate and advanced degrees in computer science? A new book examines that question and finds that the answer can be traced to a number of factors in K-12 systems, including high school course offerings, access to counseling, the influence of teachers, and...

September 12, 2008

Math in the Pacific Rim

A new book examines math study in four nations that are receiving lots of attention for their education systems these days: China, Japan, Korea, and Singapore. "Math Curriculum in the Pacific Rim" is based on the proceedings of a conference sponsored by the Center for the Study of Mathematics Curri...

August 25, 2008

Debating Al Gore

Democrats have descended on the Mile High City this week for their party's national convention (Ed Week coverage galore here and from our home page). One of the headliners will be former Vice President Al Gore, who is expected to speak the final night of the event, around the same time as presumpt...

August 19, 2008

Learning Science—Through Everyday Language

Few concepts are as fundamental to students' understanding of biology and plant life as photosynthesis. And everybody knows what photosynthesis is, right? Right? Well, a study published this year makes the case for introducing students to scientific concepts and phenomena, such as photosynthesis (...

August 06, 2008

Finding the Equation in High School Math

Everybody seems to agree that the United States needs to improve the quality of its math education. There's less consensus, however, on how to get there. A conference scheduled for next month in Washington will focus on that topic, specifically on the math taught in high schools. Hosted by the Univ...

July 22, 2008

A Sponsor-Less Math/Science Academy

Math and science "academies" have grown more popular around the country in recent years. But the movement apparently has stalled in Gary, Ind., as Ball State University has withdrawn its sponsorship of a new school there. The school was scheduled to open on Aug. 20 in the city the Jackson Five made...

July 21, 2008

Skip Fennell, the Sequel

This is my second and last entry blog based on a recent interview with Francis M. "Skip" Fennell, who completed his two-year run as president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, earlier this year. The first entry focused mostly on Fennell's work in crafting and promoting "Curriculum...

July 18, 2008

Conversation with Skip Fennell (Part I)

Earlier this year, Francis M. "Skip" Fennell's two-year term as president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics officially ended. Debates over the most effective strategies for teaching math—sometimes called the "math wars"—have been playing out for years in school districts a...

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