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June 16, 2008

Does Testing Motivate Students?

Here's a story from The Seattle Times that tackles an important question: Does standardized testing motivate students? This year, on the Washington Assessment of Student Learning, students passed in much higher numbers than predicted. "The kids rose to the occasion," [said one superintendent]. "I ...

February 28, 2008

Can You Measure Motivation?

This story, "Researchers Propose NAEP Look Beyond Academic Measures," by Education Week's Kathleen Kennedy Manzo is about a new report written for the Campaign for Educational Equity at Teachers College, Columbia University, which says that the National Assessment of Educational Progress should meas...

December 06, 2007

Society's Role in Student Motivation

Yesterday, I read an essay published in the Hoover Digest, written by Diane Ravitch. In the essay, Ravitch, whose well-defined ideas on education you can find on her Bridging Differences blog, says that we are quick to blame teachers for low international test scores and poorly performing schools, b...

December 03, 2007

Longer Days, Higher Test Scores

I can only imagine the whining that ensued when students in 10 Massachusetts schools were told that their school day would stretch from a 6-hour schedule to an 8- or 9-hour day. But the results are in, and according to this article in the Boston Globe, it's working. The students in schools with lon...

October 23, 2007

Achievement Gap Alert: 'Stereotype Threat'

Education Week's Debra Viadero has written a fascinating piece about 'stereotype threat,' the tendency for students to underperform when faced with situations that might confirm negative stereotypes about their social group. Since 1995, stereotype threat has been documented in more than 200 studies...

September 21, 2007

Building Skills in New Orleans

Education Week writer Lesli Maxwell is spending quite a bit of time in New Orleans this school year as she tracks the progress of Martin Luther King Jr. Charter School for Science and Technology. She is filing special online-only dispatches about the school's efforts to raise student achievement. ...

August 14, 2007

Report Card Failure

If federal law doesn’t ensure that schools and districts report student achievement data to the public, maybe threat of a lawsuit will. Public Advocates is banking on it. The San Francisco-based non-profit law firm has filed suit against California's Oakland Unified, and sent warning letters to sc...

August 09, 2007

Absent From School

Japan is known far and wide for maintaining a rigorous and effective public education system. But a significant number of students are less than enamored with it. A new report from the country's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology shows that the number of students refusing...

August 01, 2007

The Temptation to Cheat

It is the season for school report cards, and I’ve seen a number of news clips about student progress and overall school performance on state tests reported under the requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. But alongside the coverage of test results, a parallel story line is playin...

July 27, 2007

Success at a Price

Linda Perlstein is getting a lot of attention this week with the release of her second book, this one about the impact of testing and accountability on an elementary school in suburban Maryland. “Tested: One American School Struggles to Make the Grade” chronicles the success of Tyler Heights Ele...

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