Up on Capitol Hill there’s a lot of talk about the possibility of fast action on the No Child Left Behind Act, which is up for reauthorization next year. But the folks over at the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation are worried that lawmakers are not prepared to tackle what they see as one of the federal education law’s biggest problems: the laser-like focus on math, reading, and sometimes science where the law calls for testing of student achievement. Critics say the result is that schools are squeezing out other subjects, like social studies, in order to focus on ...


The November issue of NEA Today includes a nice read on student gardens. The article highlights a California elementary school that has adopted a pilot gardening program. The students are tilling the soil, watching seeds grow in the classroom, and eating the fruits (and vegetables) of their labor in the cafeteria. One of the big goals of the project is to get kids interested in eating healthy, fresh food at a young age to fight the problem of childhood obesity....


Time Magazine features an essay on “the math wars” by writer Claudia Wallis, who argues that the right formula for teaching mathematics has been found, but that politics are getting in the way. She says the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics has devised some basic, but sensible methods for teaching math to American students who are faltering in comparison with their peers in places like Singapore. But she worries that the new methods will be incorrectly interpreted and result in boring math drills and could contribute to students' aversions to math....


Evoking the 1984 Kevin Bacon movie “Footloose,” National Public Radio tells the story of the principal at Aliso Niguel High School in California who has banned school dances due to the suggestive nature of “freak dancing” at the gatherings. Principal Charles Salter said the sexually charged dancing was inappropriate for school and far removed from the days when school leaders wrung their hands over slow dancing. The report is part of NPR’s series of stories about the trials that face principals across the country....


Reacting to the outcome of the recent elections, several education organizations have put out statements that recap what they see as campaign successes and lay out proposals for the new, Democratically controlled Congress. In this release, Reg Weaver, the president of the National Education Association, calls the elections a “victory for children.” The president of the American Federation of Teachers, Edward J. McElroy, called the results “a rebuke to the Republican majority.” Over at the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development that organization puts forth its hopes for the new Congressional agenda on education....


The London-based Times Education Supplement has launched a redesign of its TES magazine, a popular British education publication. This week’s issue features an article debating whether men are turning away from the teaching profession and another on how two married math teachers have perfected the art of job sharing. The magazine’s Web site also features several different blogs, which are worth taking a look at for a European perspective on education....


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