A new business and industry coalition to be announced tomorrow is seeking to enhance and elevate the U.S. commitment to STEM education

If you don't live or work here in Washington, it could be hard to wrap your head around the intense inside-the-Beltway mentality that shapes dialogue around here. But since our office is inside that Beltway, for better or worse, it came as no surprise that I was inundated with official statements yesterday about the first public draft of the common standards. Most were fairly predictable, of course, given their long-standing agendas or their roles supporting the project (or the politically sensitive prospect of saying anything nasty about the standards). See statements from Achieve, the Business Roundtable, the Alliance for Excellent ...

The Texas Education Agency is criticizing Fox News for its coverage of efforts under way to revise the state's social studies standards.

A new study finds that scientists' initial interest in their subject is often sparked before they enter middle school, a conclusion the researchers suggest has implications for rethinking policy efforts aimed at getting more young people to become scientists. The federally funded study examines the experiences reported by 116 scientists and graduate students that first engaged them in science. Sixty-five percent said their interest began before middle school. Women were more likely to report that their interest was ignited by school-related activities, while most men recounted self-initiated activities, such as conducting home experiments or reading science fiction. The early interest ...

There is an interesting mix of reactions taking shape to the first public draft of the K-12 common standards. (Yes, these folks viewed advance, embargoed copies, or already had the draft because it's been circulated among state leaders.) Check out our story on www.edweek.org, and check back again at 10 a.m EST., when we will link you directly to the drafts. UPDATE: The links to the drafts are now available on our story....

The public-comment period on the grade-by-grade common standards opens tomorrow, and the drafters are very interested in what teachers will have to say about them. Some teachers have been involved in creating the standards, but the folks at the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association tell me that they want many more to weigh in. Chris Minnich of the CCSSO and Dane Linn of the NGA say they want to know whether teachers find the standards "teachable" and whether the grade-by-grade progressions of skills outlined in there make sense. They also want to hear teachers' ...

The Texas state board of education is gearing up to resume debate over revisions to the state's social studies standards.

Since you pay such rapt attention to this blog, you already know that the first public draft of the grade-by-grade common standards is supposed to come out this week. And tomorrow's the scheduled release day. We will have a story on www.edweek.org, and we'll blog about it in this space, too. But starting early tomorrow morning, before that stuff happens, there are a few webinars you might want to catch if you are interested in common standards. The National PTA is holding its annual legislative conference, and focusing a large chunk of its Wednesday morning on common standards. ...

Leading textbooks for homeschoolers offer a Bible-influenced view of science, reports a story from the Associated Press

Top o' the week to you. A couple of good tidbits floating around out there today in the "high school space." New York is apparently thinking about cutting back on the number of regents exams it requires. And another state, Mississippi, is exploring expansion of career-track options for students who don't think college is their thing. I wonder if it will prove as controversial as it did when Louisiana did something similar recently....


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