A one-hour TED Talks Education program aired this week, bringing together teachers and education advocates who each delivered short, high-impact talks on the theme of teaching and learning. You can watch the program online. PBS
The Texas Senate approved a bill this week that will dramatically reduce the number of standardized tests that students need to take in order to graduate high school. The House passed a different version of the bill that also reduces the number of tests. The two bills will have to be reconciled. Huffington Post
Increasing numbers of cities and school districts are surveying their teachers to find out if they feel prepared to begin teaching to the Common Core State Standards. The newest is Sacramento; the results are broken down into school districts. Sacramento Bee Read Entire Post
A Georgetown sociology class on hip-hop got a surprise when Jay-Z called in from Europe. The class was studying the artist’s life and work and his role in black culture. “He’se a friend of mine, so teaching this class on him was an exercise in both the critical engagement with a towering icon and an attempt to understand the nature of his craft and his appeal in the world,” class professor Michael Eric Dyson said. Washingtonian
Some students in Indiana, Oklahoma, and Minnesota have extra time to study for end of year high-stakes tests because of computer glitches that occurred the first, and regularly scheduled, time they were administered. The students have been kicked offline when they attempt to take the assessments. New York Times
Too many students who enter college do not complete their program. A new infographic looks at the statistics. Civitas Learning Read Entire Post
A new study shows that home-schoolers get 90 more minutes of sleep per night, on average, than their traditionally schooled peers. Students who get more sleep may be better prepared to learn. USA Today
A group of Rhode Island adults spent part of their Saturday taking the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) standardized test. A student advocacy group encouraged the adults to take it to see how they fared and what they thought. The adults weren’t fans. The Answer Sheet
Boston’s historic busing system, designed in the 1970s under a federal court desegregation order, is no longer. The city shut down the last remnants of the busing system, arguing that students should be able to attend should closer to home instead of across town. New York Times
The original 12 Race to the Top winners may be granted up to an additional year to complete their projects. 2014 was slated to be the last year of the Race to the Top program, but the Department of Education will consider extensions on a case-by-case basis. Politics K-12 Read Entire Post
Fifty adults in Rhode Island agreed to take the state’s standardized test, used for high school graduation standards. One of the State Senators took the test. The Answer Sheet
Congress will consider the reauthorization of the Workforce Investment At. While it doesn’t have major implications for K-12, it does have an impact on some job training programs that serve high school age students. Politics K-12
Maine’s State Legislature is considering a bill that would allow for single-gender classrooms. The bill, L.D. 699, would give this option to public elementary and secondary schools. Kennebec Journal Read Entire Post
The test was probably significant. Eighth grade was the end of schooling for a lot of young people in the late nineteenth century. Although data are scarce, Census figures show that, in 1910, the median number of years of schooling for adults was eight, meaning that half of all adults never made it to the eighth grade. Only 13 percent of adults in 1910 graduated from high school. So an eighth grade test represented a passage into adulthood, or at least into the workforce, for many young people.
In many ways, the test appears quite challenging. It took five hours to complete and included a total of forty-eight questions in five subjects: grammar, arithmetic, U.S. history, orthography, and geography. None of the questions were multiple-choice, although some probably required short answers (“Name all the republics of Europe and give the capitals of each.”). Some required short essays (“Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.”).
Yet in other ways, the test shows that students now are expected to know more than their counterparts from the 1890s. The Common Core State Standards, which forty-six states and the District of Columbia have adopted, set higher expectations for eighth graders than the 1895 test, at least in the areas of English language arts and mathematics. Read Entire Post
The publisher of Education Week, Editorial Projects in Education, released a study finding that teachers are unconcerned about preparedness when it comes to implementing the Common Core standards. Education Week
Deposits, paperwork, and fees are just as few of the ways low-income students are kept out of attending colleges, even after they’re accepted. This feature is a must-read. The Atlantic
President Obama’s plan for a new competition to redesign high schools across the nation is still a work in progress. Little details have been announced, and there’s a looming question of whether Congress would approve it as they’re trying to make cuts. Education Week Read Entire Post
Stopping these sequestration cuts isn't rocket science, according to Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Sec. Duncan called the cuts and Congress's inability to negotiate a resolution to avoid them "dumb," as well, on "Face the Nation." CBS News
Is cursive handwriting obsolete? Some lawmakers in North Carolina are trying to ensure that it’s not and that it won’t be. A bill introduced in the State House this week would make cursive a part of the curriculum in elementary schools. Charlotte Observer
Teacher protests over standardized tests have spread to Massachusetts; this time professors – from big name schools Harvard, Tufts, and Boston, among others, have signed a public statement encouraging officials to stop overusing high-stakes standardized tests. Washington Post
The looming across-the-board cuts, known as sequestration, will impact federal education spending. The White House is estimating just how much it will impact different areas by state. Politics K-12
U.S. high school graduation rates are climbing and, according to a new report by Civic Enterprises, the Everyone Graduates Center, America's Promise Alliance, and the Alliance for Excellent Education, expected to reach 90 percent by 2020. The report, released Monday, is the fourth annual update on graduation statistics. Huffington Post
Happy Friday! We won’t hold you up from enjoying your weekend sooner, so here are the latest education headlines. Zip through them and you’re one step closer to zipping through your day and work week!
California Watch continues the analysis of special education in the American school system. After failing for the eighth straight year to meet service delivery targets for special education, Los Angeles Unified School District has begun interviewing staff to understand why records indicate thousands of students with disabilities are not receiving their prescribed services.Read Entire Post
Happy Monday (or at least pretend to be happy, soon it’ll be over). Here are the top headlines in education news. Enjoy!
The Chicago Tribune reports that the cash-strapped Chicago Public Schools is racing to spend about $16 million in federal tutoring grants by the end of the summer to avoid losing the money in a program plagued by dwindling participation and financial missteps.Read Entire Post