December 2006 Archives

The state of New Jersey is working overtime to collect money state officials feel it is owed to clean up public school sites and fix improperly constructed public school buildings. The Star-Ledger reports that New Jersey is suing an architectural firm and an engineering firm for $20 million, trying to recoup costs for structural and design defects on school projects across the country. This lawsuit comes on the heels of another school-related lawsuit filed earlier this month that seeks to reimburse the state for millions of dollars it paid out to clean up properties purchased for school sites and then ...


Getting English Language Learners up to speed at the pace required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act has been a challenge for many schools. The Christian Science Monitor highlights one school in St. Paul, Minn., that has had success with a creative method. Prosperity Heights Elementary School teachers use a team-teaching approach to allow teachers to push those students with better English language skills forward, while other teachers give specialized attention to students still learning English. Struggling students aren’t pulled from the class and they work on the same lessons as their peers. But the two teachers ...


For a real glimpse at the life of a new teacher, the Memphis Flyer invited seven Teach for America teachers to write essays about their lives in the classroom. “Classroom Confidential” features the voices of Memphis teachers driven to chain smoking and rampant ice cream eating by the stresses of their jobs; teachers questioning their life choices; teachers wading through sleep-deprivation to make it through the school day. But after a couple months in the classroom and despite the challenges, many of them are still optimistic. They still want to make a difference and hope to have a positive impact ...


In the latest (and possibly last) chapter to the saga over former Vice President Al Gore’s global warming movie “An Inconvenient Truth,” The Washington Post reports today that one of the movie’s producers has decided to give away copies of the DVD to the first 50,000 teachers who ask for it. If you’ll remember, producer Laurie David accused the National Science Teacher’s Association of turning down her offer to give them 50,000 copies of "An Inconvenient Truth" to distribute because of the group’s ties to energy companies like Exxon Mobil—a charge the ...


The International Baccalaureate program—once known mostly for its challenging high school version—is becoming more and more popular with elementary school parents, according to this Washington Post story. The IB's elementary incarnation, called the Primary Years Programme, is now in 72 U.S. schools. According to the story, parents who choose the program for their children are looking for a more global take on education, along with a challenging curriculum. Education Week looks at the International Baccalaureate program here and explores the reasons why the IB program is getting a boost from the Bush administration's push for improved math ...


The Time Magazine cover story this week is all about the time warp that American public schools are mired in. The article argues that schools need a complete overhaul to allow students to compete in the global marketplace, where skills like fluency in several languages, out of the box thinking, global awareness, and the ability to interpret complex data are all highly valued. But the article argues that those things are not being taught in public schools where the structure of teacher lecturing at the head of the class, students sitting in rows taking notes by hand has remained unchanged ...


Parents struggling to help their children with nightly math homework will be pleased to hear that the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics has released a report recommending that schools limit the mathematical concepts they introduce instead of inundating students with many math concepts that ultimately don’t stick. On this segment on NPR’s Talk of the Nation, Education Week’s math and science reporter Sean Cavanagh holds forth on the intent of the group’s recommendations and why where you go to school may determine what you learn. Francis “Skip” Fennell, president of the National Council of Teachers ...


It seems almost every month a new story comes out highlighting the increase of autism cases among children. The U.K.’s Observer features this poignant and personal description of a father trying to connect with his son despite the barrier of his son’s autism. As unlikely as it may sound, surfing was the way they broke through. If you’re looking for more hard data on the subject, Education Week takes a close and thorough look at the increase of autism among school-age children....


San Diego Union-Tribune columnist Ruben Navarrette Jr. expounds on why Latino students may have such a significant school drop-out rate in this essay. During a recent speech he said he had to explain some of the reasons for the high rate, even though Latino parents place such value on education. He cautions that there are no simple answers. Check out some of Mr. Navarrette’s other columns here....


If you’ve been anywhere near a high school lately (or even a middle school for that matter) you may have had trouble deciphering the slang coming from students who are actually speaking English. “Phat” doesn’t mean fat and “sick” doesn’t mean someone is vomiting. But over in England, teachers and other adults are struggling even harder to decode the speech of students born in the U.K. but whose families speak Punjabi, Urdu, or Hindi at home, according to TES Magazine. The new slang has been dubbed Hinglish and the magazine provides a primer on it for ...


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