A couple years ago, I took a trip to Canton, Ohio, home to the illustrious Pro Football Hall of Fame, and home to a group of schools that were using classroom technology in an attempt to boost student performance in math. Teachers in several Canton schools had set up a system called TI-Navigator, in combination with graphing calculators, both designed by Texas Instruments. The system worked like this: A math teacher would give a problem to students, who would type answers (such as plotting points on a graph) into their calculators. Their calculators were connected by cords to "hubs," which ...

Ed Sec Margaret Spellings writes this week in the Salt Lake Tribune and the N.J. Herald News in defense of Reading First, a bit late perhaps for some advocates and observers who were waiting for her to make such a case a month ago when scathing headlines followed IES's release of the interim impact study. Some of those headlines may have unfairly or inaccurately described the results, including these: "Failing to Read," "Billion Dollar Boondoggle," "U.S. Reading Program a Failure, study says." The study's bottom line is that the $1 billion-a-year funding stream has not led to improved ...

Florida’s new state science standards break new ground by including their first-ever reference to a major scientific topic. And no, in this case I’m not talking about evolution, which got all the attention when the standards were approved back in February. The 96-page document, in addition to having references to the previously absent e-word, also spells out that Florida’s students should understand the basic science behind climate change. High school students should “discuss the large-scale environmental impacts resulting from human activity, including waste spills, oil spills, runoff, greenhouse gases, ozone depletion, and surface and groundwater pollution,” it ...

We've launched this blog with the hope of cultivating a wide-ranging forum for discussing school curriculum. By "curriculum," we generally mean the meat-and-bones of academic lessons -- what gets taught, in what order, at what grades. This obviously covers a lot of ground--policies, programs and materials, trends, standards and assessments, research, controversies, and best practices. Over the past few years, the two of us have reported on a bevy of curriculum topics, including how the federal Reading First program has been implemented, the recommendations of the National Math Panel, and the status of social studies, foreign language, the arts, and ...


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