September 4, 2013
The News Journal
Delaware officials promote, experience the real Common Core
Some of Delaware’s most influential policymakers sat in small wooden chairs in Silver Lake Elementary School classrooms in Middletown on Tuesday evening doing multiplication problems and finding keywords and captions. Answering third- and fifth-grade reading and math questions may seem below the pay grade of school board members, state Board of Education members, legislators and Department of Education bigwigs. But those in attendance said they were learning something crucial – what Common Core State Standards look like in the classroom. “We’re trying to get away from the zoomed out, high-level discussions,” Education Secretary Mark Murphy said.
The Dover Post
Districts begin to assess kindergarten preparedness with new survey
Across the state and the nation students are evaluated and tested every year. This year, new measures are being implemented across the state to evaluate some of its youngest students. The Early Learners Survey is being implemented in both the Capital and Caesar Rodney School Districts as part of a Race to the Top Early Learning grant that the State of Delaware received last year. The survey is being used to determine how prepared children are when they come into kindergarten, said Brandi Miller, program manager for the Office of Early Learning.
The New York Times
Expecting the best yields results in Massachusetts
Conventional wisdom and popular perception hold that American students are falling further and further behind in science and math achievement. The statistics from this state tell a different story. If Massachusetts were a country, its eighth graders would rank second in the world in science, behind only Singapore, according to Timss — the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, which surveys knowledge and skills of fourth and eighth graders around the world. (The most recent version, in 2011, tested more than 600,000 students in 63 nations.) Massachusetts eighth graders also did well in mathematics, coming in sixth, behind Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan. The United States as a whole came in 10th in science and 9th in math, with scores that were above the international average.
New sites aim to help pick best Ed-tech tools
Educators struggling to choose the best technology products face a mind-boggling array of decisions, a challenge that is spawning a growing number of Ed-tech product-review sites. Such sites—sometimes compared to Consumer Reports, Angie’s List, or CNET in how they use ratings and recommendations to evaluate educational technology—are now operating or are launching soon, with educators themselves assigning the grades. The effectiveness of such review sites is still a big question mark. But their existence comes at a critical time, as schools face a multitude of decisions about laptops, tablets, smartphones, digital curricula, video, apps, and other technologies.
Math, science program sees big improvement on AP tests
The pass rate on rigorous Advanced Placement tests went up by 72% last year at high schools that took part in a National Math and Science Initiative program that trains teachers and gives students extra help on Saturdays. The program has been especially helpful in boosting success for girls and minority students. The group’s AP program last year was in 18 states and will be added in four more states this year.
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