Many New York City parents are familiar with the “renewal school” program which, according to the Department of Education, represents a “call to action” to fix the city’s 94 lowest-performing schools by supplementing them with extra support services and about half a billion dollars. Less well known to families is that a sprawling list of schools, many not on the… Read more →
Sometimes it feels as though schools have lost their proverbial minds and all it takes is a strict (or insane) adherence to a “health and wellness policy” to make the case that indeed they have. But first, let’s get one thing out of the way. We all can agree that health and wellness are both noble goals. Everyone wants to… Read more →
The organization that often delivers the dispiriting news about our nation’s lagging performance on international exams now reveals another concern: Rich kids and poor kids are taught math in different ways—and that difference is driving down proficiency among low-income students. A new report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development finds that applied-math instruction, or the way it is actually taught… Read more →
If you selected 20 parent friends from across the country with diverse backgrounds, children of all ages and diverse educational levels and careers and asked them what—if anything—they knew about Common Core State Standards (CCSS), what would happen? That’s exactly what I did this week. My interest was piqued not only because I’ve noticed – who hasn’t?—that Common Core continues… Read more →
Education Week, 6-22-2016
Rural schools are increasingly relying on online courses to expand education opportunity for students, especially in the midst of budget cuts and teacher shortages. For many of these schools, online credit recovery can free up staff members, expand course offerings, and provide more opportunities for students to earn credits needed to graduate.
A new report published by the Institute of Education Sciences and written by the Regional Educational Laboratory Northwest examined successful credit recovery strategies in Montanato determine how schools, especially rural ones, can administer successful online credit-recovery programs. The report found that among schools in Montana that offer credit recovery through a statewide online system, those that had the highest passing rates had several strategies in common.
South Dakota’s adoption of Common Core standards was not illegal, a Hughes County judge ruled last week.
Two South Dakota parents filed a suit against Gov. Dennis Daugaard and the state in November arguing that South Dakota’s involvement in an multi-state assessment group aligned with Common Core standards was illegal.
Last week, Circuit Court Judge Mark Barnett ruled that the state had not violated any federal or state laws.
Advanced Placement enrollment has more than doubled over the past decade as more high schools open up classes to less-prepared students and try to boost participation by lower-income and minority students, writes Jenny Brundin of Colorado Public Radio. However, taking an AP class doesn’t help students who don’t pass the exam, concludes Philip Sadler, director of the science education at Harvard’s Smithsonian… Read more →
I was itching to pick apart a Boston Globe piece by Neil Swidey that was excerpted in Edushyster (aka Jennifer Berkshire) because it seemed to suggest that college wasn’t a good investment for low-income students. College isn’t that great equalizer that we make it out to be, but is a kind of an engine, widening the divide. It ends up helping the… Read more →
It is hard to look at photos splashed all over social media with mostly white teachers who work in the suburbs, smiling, while they protest what would ensure that more disadvantaged children get the education that they deserve—the education that these teachers would most assuredly demand for their own children. “But giving parents in underperforming districts more opportunity to… Read more →
The Hechinger Report, news story, 6-7-2016
The MCAS has long been considered one of the nation’s best tests at assessing student performance. But the shift to the Common Core State Standards meant it would have to go. The PAARC tests, used in states such as Illinois and New Jersey since 2015, were supposed to be even better. Not the joy-killing machines ruining childhood, as so many critics have portrayed standardized tests, but true measures of whether children were learning the key skills they would need as grown-ups: how to think critically, solve problems, make a convincing argument, and write a coherent paragraph.
Instead, the uproar over testing has only gotten louder. The increased difficulty of PARCC and other Common Core-aligned exams sent pass rates plummeting, while teacher evaluations linked to scores have fueled union-led fights, including those now unfolding in Massachusetts. And the continued use of multiple-choice questions has parents, teachers, and kids questioning whether the new tests could be much better than what they were replacing.
Amid the controversy, the Massachusetts Board of Education decided last fall to create an MCAS/PARCC hybrid unique to this state. Officials and educators are optimistic that by retaining control over the test, they will help preserve Massachusetts’s spot at the top of the US educational pack.