A few things to read on a slow August morning: • A new report from the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard. It profiles the leadership of 15 public high schools, tracking the things they did to make their schools standouts. • A recent survey by Achieve that finds broad support for the college and career-ready agenda. • Announcement of a plan by the Institute of Education Sciences to study ways to link NAEP results to international assessments. (NAGB, which oversees NAEP, mentioned a little something about this in the spring, as well.)...

Idaho officials are planning to scrap a requirement that students pass a high school science exam to earn a diploma.

The common-standards initiative is in transition. For a while, it was all about development. The next wave was about state adoptions. Now states and districts are trying to figure out how to turn the standards into teachable stuff for kids. In that spirit, Kathleen Porter-Magee, over at the Fordham Institute's Flypaper blog, cautions the field not to take its eyes off the accountability ball while it obsesses about implementation. Without setting clear student achievement goals and holding people accountable for the outcomes, she says, it will be "easy to ignore good curriculum." We've talked a lot in this space about ...

If you've been following the common-standards coverage in this blog, you know that Aug. 2 was a big-deal day, because states vying for Race to the Top money got maximum points if they had adopted the standards by then. When the RTT Round 2 finalists were announced, we noted that nearly all states that had won a grant (in Round 1) or were still in the running for one (Round 2) had adopted the standards. Then it came down to one: Delaware was the only one of the RTT winners or contenders that had not yet adopted the common standards. (It...

With support from a federal grant, a new initiative will develop classroom materials for middle school chemistry and biochemistry.

More than a hundred school districts are getting federal aid to promote the teaching of American history.

Roberto J. Rodriguez, a key education adviser in the White House, told the National Assessment Governing Board that the administration is "thrilled" with states' progress in adopting the common standards. He appeared at NAGB's quarterly meeting here in Washington last Friday to reflect on the president's education policy agenda and on NAGB's work. (For those of you who might not know, NAGB sets policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress.) There were no bombshells here; Rodriguez applauded, for instance, NAGB's focus on state-level data and its "continued focus" on subjects beyond math and reading. It got a tad more ...

A few assorted tidbits for you to get your week started: The Shanker blog reflects on the way too many people confuse standards with curriculum. (Hat tip to Joanne Jacobs.) Utah, which tentatively adopted the common standards way back in June, makes it final. The National Review revisits the testing mess in New York. (Refresher? Here is the New York Times story, with tons of reader comments.) Edutopia blogger Rebecca Alber writes about teaching literacy across all content areas, something emphasized both in the common standards and in a major report on adolescent literacy. The ETS reports that progress has ...

Not long ago, we told you that the Center for K-12 Assessment & Performance Management had created graphic depictions of the proposals submitted to the federal Ed Department under its Race to the Top program to create comprehensive assessment systems. We mentioned that the group was working on a similar graphic depiction of the RTT proposal to create a system of high school assessments. And now, it's done. You can see it on the Center's homepage. (Click on "the State Consortium on Board Examination Systems (SCOBES).") If you need a refresher course in what the Race to the Top assessment competition ...

A Senate bill approved yesterday that's designed to save education jobs would be paid for in part by cutting money from a federal reading program.


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