February 6, 2013
On January 29, the Thomas Fordham Institute published a report, “Commentary & Feedback on the Next Generation Science Standards (Commentary). Nine people wrote the report, none of whom are “experts” in the field of science education. Yes, most of them have Ph.D’s in science, but they lack the experiential and content knowledge of science education, science curriculum development, and classroom K – 12 science teaching experience.… Read more
February 3, 2013
For the past two decades there has been a drive to create a common set of standards in math and science (and English Language Arts). The enterprise is well-funded, and supported not only by the U.S. Department of Education, but by corporate and philanthropic America to the extent that the initiative is pushing ahead at an urgent speed.
The drive to set up common standards is part of “rightest” movement that Dr.… Read more
January 27, 2013
Why are we so hung up on making sure students’ test scores rise, year after year? Is this a sustainable and humanistic approach to educating children and youth? Is using the metric of competency-based test scores a valid measure of student learning and a convincing appraisal of teaching?
This week Illinois raised the “cut score” on its high stakes standardized tests in math, English language arts, and science making it more difficult for students to “meet competency.”
Ever since the U.S.… Read more
January 20, 2013
Maureen Downey is the education blogger at Get Schooled on the Atlanta Journal-Journal (AJC) website, and writes occasional education editorials for the newspaper. In her post today, she wonders why the teachers in Seattle are protesting by refusing to administer a test they are required to give three times per year to all students in their classes. She puts it this way:
What’s odd to me is the test Seattle teachers are choosing to protest, which is the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP).
… Read more
January 18, 2013
The Next Generation Science Standards are on the web for all of us to view and critique until January 29th. According to Achieve, the developers of the standards, they will use the feedback to revise last version of the science standards, to be published in March, 2013.
The new science standards are the scientific and science education community’s latest document spelling out the performances that students must show in the science curriculum.… Read more
January 13, 2013
The second draft of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) was released this week, and you can check it out and give feedback here.
Millions of dollars are being spent to write the new science standards. And it will cost even more to carry out them in the Nation’s schools. Why new standards at this time? According to Achieve, the developers of the NGSS there is a problem with science and mathematics education.… Read more
Bill Moyer Interviews David Rosner and Gerald Markowitz on Toxic Science
Science can be a battleground — witness the politics of climate change, the teaching of evolution, the uncharted terrain of genetic modification and stem cell research, among other contentious issues. But when industries release untested chemicals into our environment — putting profits before public health — our children are the first to suffer. Nowhere is this more troubling than in the ongoing story of lead poisoning. (Moyers & Company)
January 11, 2013
Achieve, Inc., a corporate sponsored non-profit company, uploaded the 2nd draft of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) on its website for review until January 29, 2013. A final version will be uploaded in March, 2013.
For many educators, the NGSS are just what the doctor ordered to improve science teaching in the U.S. In fact, some say that it will revolutionize STEM education in the nation. According to the developers and financial backers of NGSS, the nation’s science education is in shambles, and needs to be fixed. The economic prosperity of the nation is at stake, and future workers, today’s students, will simply not be able to compete in the global market place.… Read more
January 2, 2013
By Melissa Walker, Executive Director of JazzHouseKids, and Peter Smagorinsky, Distinguished Research Professor of English Education at the University of Georgia. This article appeared on Maureen Downey’s Get Schooled Blog, Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Public schools, in general, have become incriminated in the public mind for having failed society. They must be re-envisioned, restructured, reassessed, and refinanced if they are to serve the public good, according to commentators ranging from folks waiting in line at the post office to governors and national policymakers.… Read more
January 1, 2013
Cooperative-communal classrooms are aligned with fundamental ideas that have been formulated from nature. Cooperation, empathy, mutual aid, and the interdisciplinary nature of the biosphere are fundamental concepts that are implicit in cooperative-communal classrooms. Each has its origin in nature.
The rationale for establishing cooperative-communal classrooms can be linked to the theory of evolution by Charles Darwin and the work of two Russian scientists of the 19th and early 20th Century, Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky (1863-1945), and Peter Alexeyevich Kropotkin (1842-1921).… Read more
December 26, 2012
There are a lot of people in the U.S. who think that the only way you can decide whether students learn is with a test. In fact, Jeb Bush, former Governor of Florida, has decided to get involved in education in Texas. Being a guru on testing, he backs the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) system, which calls for end-of-year exams in most high school courses.… Read more
December 19, 2012
The Race to the Top continues with the announcement that 16 educational organizations including charter organizations, urban schools, and consortia, will share about $400 million. According to the U.S. Department of Education website, 16 applicants, representing 55 school districts in 11 states and D.C.–have won the 2012 Race to the Top-District competition. The $400 million will be used improve achievement and educator effectiveness, close achievement gaps, and prepare every student for college and career.… Read more