White House Wants To Make Sure Schools Do A Much Better Job Of Preparing Future Teachers (The Huffington Post)
The Obama administration had announced its intention to develop new standards of accountability for teacher preparation programs in April. After months of consulting with stakeholders, the Department of Education has released the new draft regulations for public comment. The proposed rules ask states to measure teacher preparation programs using four main criteria: new teachers’ job placement and retention rates, feedback from new teachers’ employers, student learning outcomes, and specialized accreditation.
With that in mind, FORBES sought to spur debate by quantifying the seemingly unquantifiable. We set out to determine the costs and benefits of taking U.S. schoolkids from their middling global rankings to top five in the world, as measured by math scores and rates for high school graduation, college entry and four-year college completion.
While test scores barely budged District-wide this past spring, Ketcham saw an 11-point increase in its math proficiency rate — to 49 percent — and a 4.5-point increase in reading — to 35 percent. Officials attribute the gains to the move to “blended learning.”
What It Takes to Fix American Education (The Daily Beast)
As a parent, a mentor, the son of a civil rights leader turned child advocate and a former aide to Robert F. Kennedy, and an advocate for children for nearly twenty years, I can tell you this with confidence: when it comes to helping underserved students succeed, there’s no silver bullet or quick fix. But there are real solutions…
Students Interested in STEM Fields, But Few Plan to Teach Them (Education Week)
“The Condition of STEM 2014,” released Wednesday by ACT, examines data gathered from 1.8 million students in the high school graduating class of 2014 who took ACT exams. Just under half of those students said they were interested in STEM subjects, but only 4,424 said they were interested in teaching math, and 1,115 said they were interested in teaching science.
Introduce Word Problems to Students Sooner, Studies Say (Education Week)
Word problems are often considered one of the most challenging tasks in a beginning algebra class, with students likely to stumble over the move from the clean, basic formula to applying it in a real context. Now, however, evidence from an ongoing series of experiments with students from middle school through college suggests that word problems might be easier and more beneficial for students when presented at the beginning, not the end, of a mathematics lesson.
Three and 4-year-olds who went through a seven-hour a day preschool program demonstrated higher scores on tests of social-emotional skills, language, math, and physical development than young children who attended a program for three hours a day, according to a study released Friday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The Crackdown on Poor Teacher-Training Programs (The Atlantic)
In 2011, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called it “laughable” that in the prior decade the majority of states had failed to rate even one teaching preparation program as inferior. On Tuesday, the White House released draft regulations that are no joke for the nation’s teacher colleges and could result in a loss of federal funding if their graduates fail to do well on the job.
Ed. Dept. Puts Spotlight on Principals’ Central Role (Education Week)
That heavy focus on principals is a departure from that of previous administrations and marks a shift even from Secretary Duncan’s first four years. It coincides not only with the research, but also with sweeping changes in other federal and state K-12 policies—ranging from federal waivers of some provisions of the No Child Behind Act to the implementation of college- and career-readiness standards—that put principals in the driver’s seat for making such initiatives work in schools.