Students in New York took took the first exams related to new curriculum in the Common Core State Standards, and reactions are mixed. Many students seemed to struggle with the more difficult assessment. New York Times
Alaska has joined the state-led consortium working towards developing assessments that more closely align with the Common Core State Standards. The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development made the announcement on Friday to join the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. Juneau Empire
A New York superintendent supports the Common Core State Standards in this video. He says, “State Education commissioner John King said even the high-achieving school districts of the Lower Hudson Valley will gain from the new Common Core learning standards and the tougher, revamped state tests that debuted this week.” This Week in Education Read Entire Post
The Senate voted down a bill that would require background checks for gun purchases earlier this week. The bipartisan bill included school safety and mental health provisions that went down with the bill, as well, such as allowing school districts to partner with mental health centers. Politics K-12
Arne Duncan asked the question, if Congress can’t pass gun background checks, will it ever agree on reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act? at Education Wek’s Leaders to Learn from event earlier this week. Duncan called the failure of Congress to pass the gun control legislation “extraordinarily disturbing.” Politics K-12
An elementary school in Denver is taking a unique approach to arts education: students listen to live instruments during what teachers call a “silent lunch.” NPR Read Entire Post
West Virginia Becomes First State to Implement “Project 24” as Part of a State-Wide Education Initiative
On April 17, West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin joined with Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia, to announce that West Virginia would be the first state to implement “Project 24” as part of a statewide education initiative.
Led by the Alliance for Excellent Education, Project 24 is a ground-breaking new initiative to help school districts plan for and effectively use technology and digital learning to ensure that students graduate from high school ready for college and a career. As part of the statewide effort, particular focus will be on helping all West Virginia school districts to undergo district-wide planning through Project 24.Read Entire Post
It's Thursday and it's time to talk digital learning! The following blog post comes from Scott Smith, one of the Project 24 Team of Experts and Chief Technology Officer at Mooresville Graded School District.
However, one of my favorite responses was to a naysayer who asked, "why are you spending all this money on technology?" from one of our school board members. He replied: "We are not spending money on technology, we are spending money on children!"Read Entire Post
Competitive grant programs have received the lion’s share of the federal government’s K-12 budget under President Obama, in large part because Senate Democrats have continued to finance it. But what about formula grants that every school district receives for Title 1 and special education? They have been flat-funded in Senate appropriations bills. Politics K-12
An Alabama bill that could repeal the adoption of the Common Core State Standards made headway this week. State Republicans are behind the bill that got voted out of committee. Alabama.com
Philadelphia School District plans to launch an online school this summer called the Philadelphia Virtual Academy. They would adopt a blended learning approach where students learn both online and in-person from teachers. The Notebook Read Entire Post
The U.S. Department of Education is equipped to hand out another $490 million in Race to the Top grants for districts with impressive education-improvement plans, along with states to improve early-learning opportunities. Politics K-12
Remediation courses before college isn’t altogether uncommon, but in Colorado it is becoming increasingly more common. Almost 40% of Colorado’s high school graduates need remedial instruction before entering college. Denver Post
Would longer school days improve student achievement and outcomes? Analysis of extended day programs in New York City, New Orleans, and Baltimore suggest student performance in mathematics has improved with increased classroom time. Education Week Read Entire Post
In his monthly column in the Huffington Post, Alliance president Bob Wise talks today about the importance of district leaders forming a strategic plan for digital learning and technology implementation. He talks in-depth about the Alliance's Project 24 initiative - a set of resources and tools, along with a framework, to aid districrt and school leaders in creating a digital learning environment. He notes that technology is a powerful way to increase access and opportunity for all students everywhere, but it must be complemented by excellent teaching. Teachers, he says, become educational designers in a digital learning environment.
"Technology provides students with access to both online and traditional classroom opportunities that leverage data systems and interactive software -- that may not normally be available -- to engage and support students. With comprehensive planning and teacher support, technology can be an equalizer by providing the same educational opportunities to low-income students and students of color as it does to more affluent students. Technology can also be used to tailor learning based on each student's needs.
Effective digital learning provides technological tools that allow teachers to be designers of each student's individual pathway for achieving success. Technology enhances the teacher's role in the classroom by opening up new opportunities for instructional strategies and digital content and resources. Additionally, online professional development opportunities can connect teachers with mentors and expert colleagues worldwide, which enables real-time collaboration on lesson plans and best practices."
Learn more about Project 24, and how digital learning can improve student outcomes Wise's column: Technology in Education: Before You Make a Purchase, Make a Plan.Read Entire Post
Blended learning has taken over some classes at San Jose State and other California State Universities. In one dreaded engineering program, students now listen to lectures at home and work on assignments in class. Student achievement in the class has increased in the last year. Mercury News
Several dozen states are considering dropping the GED because prices for the pencil and paper test are too high. The states are exploring a more cost-effective alternative to the GED. Huffington Post
Students at Carnegie Mellon University can pay for their lunch by scanning their fingertips. The new technology connects the fingerprints with a debit card. PSFK Read Entire Post
This is a public university, created and run by the state of California and funded by the taxpayer. Rivaling well- known private selective institutions, UCB produces state, national, and international leaders in almost every field. This is a publicly-funded institution where the physics building's parking lot has six prime spots "Reserved for Nobel Laureates."
Yet even this major institution that has created much of California's intellectual infrastructure and resulting economic growth has seen reductions in state investment in past years. Against the backdrop of my walk, I replayed the constant political refrain that ending deficit spending is the most important issue facing the nation. Read Entire Post
The Washington Post released their 2013 list of America’s Most Challenging High Schools. The Post answers frequent questions on how the Index is compiled, how it works, and what it means. Washington Post
At least one school district in Missouri is beginning to train teachers to carry weapons. Parents in the area generally support the measure. New York Times
These infographics help explain the rise of Massive Open Only Courses (MOOCs) and how perceptions towards them continue to change. The information is based on research released earlier this year by Babson Survey Research Group. Huffington Post Read Entire Post