One of the biggest concerns in U.S. education today is whether our students are graduating from high school "ready" for college and career. To be ready, obviously, students need to take and understand advanced math and science coursework. But a significant portion of students, our Vital Signs report found, don't even get the chance to take those courses.
Take math like Algebra II, for instance. The course is considered necessary for college.
One of the indicators we're most excited about in our new Vital Signs is how much states spend on per proficient student -- or, as we call it, the return on investment.
What exactly does that mean? We -- working with the American Institutes for Research -- looked at how well students performed on the 2009 NAEP exam in math and science (some states didn't participate in science, so we just looked at math) and also
Check out our new 2012 STEM Vital Signs!
As the last wave of students returns to school this week, chances are high that they will have a first- or second-year teacher, according to a new analysis put together by University of Pennsylvania researchers. The reason? While Baby Boomers' retirement accounts for some of the new faces, high turnover, especially of math and science teachers, accounts for most of it.
While attrition is not exactly a new problem, the analysis confirmed the increasing pace. In 2007-08 200,000 new teachers led classrooms, up from 65,000 20 years earlier. And according to earlier work by the lead author, math and science teachers are twice as likely to leave for another industry than they are to retirement.
India, home to one of the largest and fastest-growing student populations in the world, has decided to opt out of the 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) examinations, according to the national government. The reason? They think their students just aren't ready for it.
PISA, administered by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, is given to 15-year-olds every three years and is designed to provide a standard point of comparison for educational systems (Some countries, including India, had regions with enough variance in the educational systems to essentially have two entries). India participated for the first time in the 2009 exam,
Khan Academy -- the nonprofit that hosts an free online library of thousands of educational videos -- recently launched a collection of tutorials on computer science.
According to the introductory video, hosted by John Resig, head of the initiative for KA, and Sal Khan himself, the series is designed so that even someone with no background in computer science could pick up coding. The tutorials start with the basics
ACT scores for the class of 2012 are out, and the results are worrisome: More than half of last year's graduating class is not prepared for colllege or a career, though improving scores in math and science show promise.
Over half of seniors -- 52 percent -- took the test last year, which benchmarks reasoning in English, reading, math, and science. Based on how past test-takers performed in their college courses, ACT estimates how students would likely fare in an entry-level course. For each subject
Despite the ongoing recession and flat job growth, employers in Michigan -- one of the hardest-hit states in the economic downturn -- are amping up recruitment offers to attract talent to the area and automotive industry, according to Detroit Business. The unemployment rate in the state, which reached a 14.9 percent high in 2009, has plunged to 8.6, putting it in line with the rest of the country. Despite this,
There's probably only a few parents that woul
"Bad teachers can get better, study finds." Only in the education policy world would that recent tweet seem the least bit newsworthy.
Laypeople might assume that teachers, of all people, should be able to learn. Education policy people are different. We take it as a received truth that all students can learn, but we're not so sure about teachers. Much of the school reform discussion has swirled around hiring the best teachers and dismissing the worst. There is some reason for this odd neglect of professional development. We have precious little evidence that the federal investment in teacher professional development has done much good at all. Better, perhaps, to find talent than to develop it.
But that just doesn't sit right, somehow. If we're in the business of education, then we should believe that everyone, including teachers, is educable. That's why the study cited by that tweet is actually newsworthy. It found that students of mid-career Cincinnati teachers did better in math after those teachers took part in a program where other teachers and administrators observe them in the classroom and offer feedback on their instruction. The math gains amounted to three to four