A’s are a good thing, especially when it comes to grading. While the STEM initiative may be receiving good grades, many experts argue it could use an A, for Arts that is. Education Week reports that momentum is growing for the STEM to STEAM initiative, aimed at adding arts to the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics acronym commonly used in education policy dialogue. They argue that integrating the arts with STEM education enhances student learning and draws attention to the often-ignored value of arts education. Of course, it would not be a debate without those who disagree. Education Week talks with both science and arts experts as the move from STEM builds STEAM.Read Entire Post
On average, students in the U.S. spend 6 1/2 hours a day in the classroom for 180 days. According to the International Bureau of Education, students in Japan and South Korea have a 196-day school year. -The Southern Illinoisan
Among the cohort of students in the first-grade class of 1999–2000 who had progressed to eighth grade in the 2006–07 school year (representing about 80 percent of the eighth-grade class of 2006–07), 33 percent were enrolled in an algebra class in the eighth grade and 6 percent were enrolled in an advanced mathematics course other than algebra (i.e., algebra II, geometry, or integrated or sequential mathematics). Forty-four percent were taking an introduction to algebra or pre-algebra class, and 17 percent were in a general mathematics course, which is typically intended for students who are not yet ready for pre-algebra. -National Center for Education Statistics
More young (20 to 34-year-old) African American men without a high school diploma or GED are currently behind bars (37 percent) than employed (26 percent).-Pew Charitable Trusts
A U.S. Department of Education study found that bullying and harassment affect nearly one in every three American schoolchildren in the sixth through 10th grades. Another study estimated that 60,000 American students skip school each day because they fear being bullied. -The Philadelphia Inquirer
While only 25% of kids have read a book on a digital device (including computers), many more (57% of kids age 9-17) are interested in doing so. When asked if they would read more books for fun if they had access to eBooks, one-third of kids age 9-17 of kids said yes, including frequent readers (34%), moderately frequent readers (36%), and even infrequent
readers (27%; PAGES 14–16). -Scholastic
This week, hundreds of education technology entrepreneurs are gathering in Boston, to "Reflect and Renew” on the “Retooling of the New Education Marketplace”– the theme for this year’s EdNET Conference. This theme is quite fitting, given the current economic situation we are facing as a nation, as an industry, and as individuals.
What will define this country in the years to come is how we choose to “Retool,” the way we have operated in the past; and “Re-Prioritize” our goals moving forward.
Bob Wise, president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and former governor of West Virginia, calls this the “GM Moment.” When the executives at GM found themselves in economic peril and asking for a government bailout, they realized that “business as usual” was no longer an option. The choice was either to “retool” and streamline the business model with 21st Century practices, or close shop.
We are being faced with these same challenges across the country– in every sector– including education. And the stakes are high.
K-12 education in the U.S. is dealing with three major challenges, which taken together, create the “perfect storm.”Read Entire Post
Here is this week's report round-up:
- School Districts’ Perspectives on the Economic Stimulus Package: School Improvement Grants Present Uncertainty and Opportunity by the Center on Education Policy. This report highlights the extent to which school districts have experience with implementing the four federally-mandated school reform models intended to improve the nation’s lowest performing 5% of schools.
- Problems with the use of student test scores to evaluate teachers by the Economic Policy Institute. This briefing paper finds that although standardized test scores of students are one piece of information for school leaders to use to make judgments about teacher effectiveness, such scores should be only a part of an overall comprehensive evaluation.
- America’s Best (and Worst) Cities for School Reform: Attracting Entrepreneurs and Change Agents from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. This study finds that New Orleans, Washington, D.C. and New York are among the top cities that have cultivated a healthy environment for school reform to flourish.
- Stuck in the Middle by Education Next. According to this study of New York City students, kids who move from elementary school to middle school experience a bigger dip in math and language arts achievement than their K-8 counterparts do, and they tend to be absent more often.
- Next Generation Charter Schools: Meeting the Needs of Latino and English Language Learners from the Center for American Progress and the National Council of La Raza. According to this report, successful charter school practices for serving Latino and ELL students can serve as object lessons for school districts to improve academic achievement.
- Back to School Statistics from the National Center for Education Statistics. This fact sheet provides a quick snapshot of 2010 back to school statistics such as public school enrollment numbers, expenditures, employment figures, etc.
- State Tax Revenues Are Slowly Rebounding from The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government at the University at Albany. According to this report, state tax revenues across the country are starting to rebound, with April-June of this year bringing a second consecutive quarter of growth.
- College Admission Tests as Measures of High School Accountability from the Indiana University Center for Evaluation and Education Policy. This study cautions that the growing trend of using college admission and placement exams in measuring high school student achievement may in some cases produce misleading and inappropriate results.