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Articles: Standards

As a longtime elementary school teacher, Jolene Rude has seen her share of students struggle with—and sometimes abandon—difficult math problems. After using Everyday Mathematics 4, however, even struggling students are learning challenging math concepts, along with life skills, says Rude, an elementary CORE math teacher at Johnston Community School District, located in a northern suburb of Des Moines, Iowa.

While testing in the U.S. has become more about ranking schools and even teachers, in most of the developed world, tests make or break a student’s future, sometimes before the age of 12.

Carol Burris is executive director of the Network for Public Education and lead author of “Grading the States: A Report Card on Our Nation’s Commitment to Public Schools.” 

Network for Public Education Executive Director Carol Burris is the lead author of a new report that raises concerns over taxpayers funding charters, vouchers and private schools—and how that impacts public education.

Innovation expert Ted Dintersmith is the author of What School Could Be (Princeton University Press, 2018).

In his new book What School Could Be, innovation expert Ted Dintersmith profiles schools that focus on innovation and “real” learning, rather than endlessly drilling on formulas and definitions that don’t matter in today’s world.

During Noel Petrosky’s 12 years at different Saint Marys Area School District elementary schools, she saw assessment data accurately predict student performance on state tests and inform instruction that led to student growth. That wasn’t the case at Saint Marys Area Middle School when she became principal two years ago.

“I thought, ‘I can’t go into a system not knowing what my students are capable of,’ ” recalls Petrosky, who wanted to establish a multi-tier system of supports (MTSS) framework at her middle school in rural northwestern Pennsylvania.

Twenty-six states have digital learning repositories where vetted, curated instructional content and material is available to all educators in the state.

Dan Hamlin is a postdoctoral fellow in the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Dan Hamlin, a postdoctoral fellow in the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and Paul E. Petersen have examined data to see what impact states lowering the bar on academic proficiency have had on student achievement.

Looking to illustrate an abstract concept from a novel she’d read, an Oklahoma high school student turned to her building-level school librarian. Then, with the school librarian’s encouragement to tinker in the makerspace, the girl sculpted a clay model of a kneeling woman balancing a 3D-printed replica of the earth on her back.

Just a few years ago, Title I students in Hoover City Schools were making such modest gains that they stayed in the program year after year.

That all changed once the central Alabama district implemented Istation, an e-learning program that identifies learning gaps and provides engaging interactive lessons and face-to-face teaching strategies to get students back on track.

Implemented in Hoover City in the fall of 2015, it is used in Response to Intervention (RTI) for students in grades 1 through 5 in the district’s four Title I schools.

When Wicomico County Public Schools implemented common core state standards six years ago, complaints from parents rolled in regarding challenging homework assignments. 

“Parents did not understand so they couldn’t help their children,” explains Julie Dill, elementary math supervisor for the 15,000-student district on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

Then came Everyday Mathematics 4, a comprehensive math program that enables parents to access lessons and watch videos at home to break down the common core language barrier.

GET YOUR MOTOR RUNNIN’—A typical class at  Tahoma High involves students working on separate machines, including a tire balancer. Instructor Luke Thompson also provides writing assignments. Documenting work, he says, is an industry standard for tasks such as repair orders.

Schools have started fine-tuning their automotive tech programs to make them ideal vehicles for STEM instruction.

Here’s how schools and districts overcome six potential pitfalls after adopting self-paced learning.

Sam Frenzel is a writer for Teach.com based in upstate New York. He covers topics including education policy, teacher welfare and classroom technology.

Many teachers are forced into using technology they are unfamiliar or uncomfortable using. Administrators should do all they can to help teachers overcome this. Here are four keys to supporting and engaging teachers.

Daniel Koretz, one of the nation’s foremost experts on education testing, is the Henry Lee Shattuck professor of education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and author of "The Testing Charade: Pretending to Make Schools Better."

In The Testing Charade: Pretending to Make Schools Better, Daniel Koretz says the pressure to raise achievement test scores often leads to outright cheating.

Source: “States Leading for Equity: Promising Practices Advancing the Equity Commitments,” 2018;  The Council of Chief State School Officers, America’s Promise Alliance  and The Aspen Institute; DAmag.me/ccsso

In 2016, state education leaders, advocates and civil rights leaders gathered together to develop actions to support education equity. A year later, 10 general equity-boosting practices have emerged from across the U.S. 

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