The Institute of Education Sciences’ National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assitance (that’s a mouthful!) released data on the breakdown of state allocation of the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. States received varying amounts, due to receipt of competitive grant funds, such as Race to the Top. The average per pupil funding for states receiving the most funds was $1,750, compared to $1,205 for the states receiving the lowest amount. A take-away from all these numbers is that overall, high-need school districts (those with the highest rates of child poverty and lowest student achievement) received more funding per pupil than districts doing better. Read Entire Post
In more pedestrian news is that thing happening in November. Remind me, I keep forgetting? Oh, right, the election! The Minnesota Post gives a nice comparison of Obama and Romney’s education platforms. That it to say, they summarize a lot of the same rhetoric coming from both sides. It seems Obama has adopted most of the traditionally Republican ideas on education, and not surprisingly, Romney agrees with a lot of it. Who ever thought we’d see the day where those two guys agreed on anything? Read Entire Post
The following post comes from Jeremy Macdonald, a 5th Grade Instructional Technology teacher at Mills Elementary in the Klamath Falls City Schools district in Klamath Falls Oregon.
Every year we ask our students to stretch themselves; to take risks; to try new things; to step outside their comfort zone. And every year we get frustrated when students are reluctant to do so. Failure is a natural part of the learning process (or cycle -- however you want to put it), and it can be intimidating to a lot of our students.
Learning needs to be modeled. The process needs to be evident each and every day in our classrooms. And that means that you and I, as educators, need to fail. We need to make mistakes. We need to ask for help. We need to be vulnerable, and most importantly, we need to actually learn something.
So here is what WE are going to do. Pick a tool -- new hardware (tablet, smartphone, laptop, clickers, etc) or a new app/software. Just one. Don't be an overachiever here. Keep it simple and keep it focused. The key, however, is that it has to be something new; something you are not familiar with; something you haven't used in class or used with students. If you need some ideas, look back at some of my previous posts.
Speaking of not doing so hot in school, SAT scores for the class of 2012 dominate education news this week. SAT reading scores are lowest since 1972; 57 percent did not score high enough to indicate college success. Part of the problem is the number of test takers: the SAT is down, and the ACT is up. Regardless of the causes, College Board President Gaston Caperton said, “When less than half of kids who want to go to college are prepared to do so, that system is failing.” Read more at the Washington Post. Read Entire Post
In his weekly blog Take Note, John Merrow, veteran education reporter for PBS and NPR and president of Learning Matters, a media production company, looks at the good, bad and the ugly of blended learning.
Merrow supports blended learning - a new educational methodology that incorporates technology with traditional classroom instruction, when skilled, dedicated teachers are at the helm of implementation.
“For blended learning to soar, teachers cannot be controlling the action, and they don’t have to,” Merrow notes. “They aren’t walking away, of course, but they are mentoring and monitoring and coaching, and sometimes instructing.”
The Alliance is also a fan of blended learning. In our “Culture Shift” report, we broaden the definition to say we believe blended learning occurs any time a student learns, at least in part, at a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home and, at least in part, through online delivery with some element of student control over time, place, path and/or pace.
As the practice of blended learning grows, however, Merrow’s endorsement becomes increasingly cautious, and he warns against what he sees as its three largest obstacles: faddishness, greed and limited vision.Read Entire Post
I dare to guess that if you are in the education profession in any capacity, you’re at least familiar with this week’s Education Nation Summit (#educationnation on twitter). If you’re not familiar, you can see the full schedule and stream the remainder of the conference live at Education Nation.
This morning, President Barack Obama spoke to the Summit via a taped interview, and Presidential nominee Mitt Romney followed up with live remarks and a Q&A with the audience. Romney praised his own teachers, said he supports teachers striking and that he’d like to grade schools A-F, a platform borrowed from Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
On common core, he had this to say: “I think it’s fine for people to lay out what they think core subjects might be… I don’t subscribe to the idea of the federal government trying to push common core on states. But to financially reward states based on accepting the federal government’s idea of a curriculum is a mistake. I’d rather let education and what is taught state by state be determined state by state and not the federal government. “
Below is another clip from his remarks.
What else is happening in ed news today? Read on!Read Entire Post
The following blog post comes from Robyn Young, the school librarian at Avon High School and the Avon Advanced Learning Center in Avon, Indiana. She is a former Media Specialist of the Year in the State of Indiana.
I was teaching a group of high school freshmen and sophomores in a health class yesterday. We were working on video editing, citing sources and using online databases. Working with the classroom teacher, we had created a great handout that gave them the information and resources that the students needed to get started, and the students were working hard.
By creating an interesting assignment that utilized technology, 100% of the students were on-task during the entire class (seriously, they were – the teacher and I both took note of this over 5 different class periods). The teacher and I felt great about the assignment, and we had a substantial amount of learning taking place in the library.
At the end of the assignment, the students were supposed to email their final product to the teacher for grading. Here is where it became interesting to me…the students had no idea how to send an email!
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon writes an anecdotal appeal to Huffington Post readers on the importance of education. He shares his story of growing up in South Korea, a country at the time seeped in war and poverty. “The Republic of Korea was on its knees,” he writes, “but education enabled the country to stand tall again.”
“As the Secretary-General of the United Nations, I want every child, without exception, to have the same sense of opportunity that I had.”
Idaho looks to be the next battleground over teacher evaluations based on student performance, tenure, pay and technology in the classroom. The Idaho electorate will vote on Proposition 2 in the November election, which will decide whether the state has to pay based on merit. If it is struck down, the state will not be forced to pay. Get the full story at New York Times. Read Entire Post