December 7, 2012
Delaware State News
Kent County military charter school in planning stages
Next month the Department of Education will review a proposal for a full-time JROTC charter school in Kent County. Scott Kidner, chairman of the founding committee for First State Military Academy, said the school will mirror Delaware Military Academy in New Castle County.
Test designers seek help of students, one at a time
Smarter Balanced is working its way through 945 cognitive-lab sessions in about a dozen states nationwide. As part of SBAC’s item-development contract with the test-maker CTB/McGraw-Hill, experts from the American Institutes for Research are looking for feedback on 20 questions that will inform the way test items are designed. “We want to make significant changes in the way assessment items look, and we don’t want to make those changes without actually seeing how items function when they’re put in front of kids,” said Shelbi Cole, SBAC’s director of math. “This helps us know earlier in the process so we don’t develop a bunch of items that don’t measure the new standards the way we want.”
NAEP data on vocabulary achievement show same gaps
A new analysis of federal data that provide a deeper and more systematic look into students’ ability to understand the meaning of words in context than was previously available from “the nation’s report card” finds stark achievement gaps in vocabulary across racial and ethnic groups, as well as income levels. The analysis aims to offer greater insights into reading comprehension. The first-of-its-kind National Assessment of Educational Progress report suggests a consistent relationship between performance on vocabulary questions and the ability of students to comprehend a text, which experts say is consistent with prior research on the subject.
The repercussions of national education standards
Connecticut’s student test scores are expected to drop drastically when standardized tests based on the Common Core standards are adopted in 2015. According to one study, the shift also is expected to cost districts millions to update their textbooks, teaching materials, technology to administer the new tests on computers, and to train teachers to align lessons with the new standards.
Inside Higher Ed
More cracks in the credit hour
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching announced that it plans to rethink the Carnegie credit hour, with a shift that might help competency-based higher education. The credit hour calls for one credit per hour of faculty instruction and two hours of homework, on a weekly basis, over a 15-week semester. But it is viewed as outdated and inadequate as a measure for student learning.
Baton Rouge Advocate
Panel favors pre-k overhaul
A Louisiana state board committee approved plans to overhaul the state’s pre-kindergarten system. The state will establish early learning performance guidelines for those from zero to age 3 and academic standards for 3- and 4-year-olds. Pre-K centers and schools will get letter grades, and state aid will be linked to how the centers perform. All the changes take effect in 2015-16.
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