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January 30, 2009

Porn Controversy at NSF Irks Senator

On the list of people you least want to tick off on Capitol Hill, Sen. Chuck Grassley's name is probably pretty high up there. Yet some employees of the National Science Foundation have managed to do just that, after allegedly spending a considerable amount of agency time looking at pornography on ...

January 26, 2009

Standard-izing Those Math and Science Standards

The Washington Post has a good story on what I would describe as an under-reported issue in education today: The dissimilarity of math standards and courses that, on paper, appear to be uniform. The story focuses on Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia, and their efforts to encourage mo...

January 23, 2009

Texas Evolution Update

Scientists are celebrating in Texas today—or are they? The Texas state board of education on Friday tentatively approved new science standards, the basic blueprint that spells out what students are expected to know in that subject. The overwhelming focus has been on how the document would trea...

January 06, 2009

Technology and Textbooks, But Above All, Teaching

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 Septe...

December 30, 2008

Senior Year Alternatives in Math

Let's say you're entering your senior year of high school. Your school district, or your state, is requiring you to take a fourth year of math. But the only options offered, in addition to the courses you've already taken, are pre-calculus, calculus, and a more basic course that wouldn't challenge ...

December 29, 2008

National Math Panel: Under A Microscope

Less than a year after a federal panel offered its blueprint for how to improve teaching and learning in math, a number of academic researchers have put some sharply worded critiques of that work in print. Their reviews have been published in a special issue of the Educational Researcher, a journal...

December 23, 2008

Us (Meaning the U.S.) Against the World

With the recent release of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (suggested headline: Mixed Results for the United States), it's worth noting that there are many good opinion pieces and commentaries being put forward by researchers offering their take on how to interpret these an...

December 23, 2008

"Reform" Math in Public and Private Schools

There’s a long, fractious debate over the performance of public schools v. private schools in this country, and that feud has grown more intense over the past few years, with the publication of a couple of intriguing studies on student performance that compare the two systems. And if subject-spec...

December 22, 2008

Update: California Algebra Ruling Made Final

A judge has now officially blocked a California policy requiring students to take algebra in 8th grade from going forward. Judge Shelleyanne Chang had originally issued a "tentative ruling" saying she was likely to halt the policy, as of a few days ago. But she's now made the decision final, in a de...

December 19, 2008

Where The Wild Things Are

Zoos, aquariums, and science centers have become major resources for science teachers over the years. Educators see those facilities as places where students can study the behavior of living things, or learn about them through visually appealing exhibits, rather than simply reading about them in a t...

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