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"Pre-AP" Hits Houston Middle Schools

If Houston's pre-teens weren't already thinking about college, they will be now. Beginning next school year, sixth graders in the district will be required to take pre-Advanced Placement English courses, announced Superintendent Kaye Stripling during a February State of the Schools address. In addition, all high school students with demonstrated ability will be required to enter AP courses.

Last month's column featured my hardware and R&D related recommendations for the National Educational Technology Plan. Here are some additional recommendations for imaginative school leaders and members of President Nader's cabinet.

Q&A with Beth McGrath: Real-Time Math and Science

Q:What forces are working for and against K-12 technology integration in math and science?




Missions to Mars

After months of travel, two NASA rovers have landed and begun exploration of the Red Planet. Here on Earth, educators are creating adventures for students to embark on some Mars expeditions of their own.

There's the Mars Student Imaging Project. Teams of students in grades five and up are working with scientists, mission planners and educators from Arizona State University's Mars Space Flight Facility to image a site on Mars using a visible wavelength camera. The camera is aboard the Mars Odyssey spacecraft currently orbiting Mars.

The federal Department of Education is developing the Third National Education Technology Plan. Who knew? The first two plans must have been top secret. In case my recommendations don't make it to the Oval Office, I'll share them with you. (Look for my ideas about professional development next month.)