It's the tests, not testing

July 15, 2013

The New York Times came out with a pretty all-encompassing education editorial over the weekend, taking a crack at standardized testing, teacher preparation programs, teacher evaluation, comparisons to Finland, federal education reforms like Race to the Top, and implementation of Common Core State Standards. It's a lot to digest, and makes several valid points, and can easily be misinterpreted. We hope that it's not. 

The Times attempts to undo the Gordian knot of U.S. education by pinning much of the blame on the annual high-stakes tests required by No Child Left  Behind. In this narrative, NCLB fueled our nationwide "obsession" with testing -- and students' mediocre performance on tests, particularly when compared to peers in other countries -- and this has led to teachers to 'teach to the test,' to show the progress mandated by NCLB. Teachers are further hamstrung

Tags: standards, Common Core

STEM in the News: July 9, 2013

July 9, 2013

As you settle back into the office after the long weekend, catch up on what's happened in STEM with our weekly news roundup. 

Math, Science Popular Until Students Realize They're Hard, Wall Street Journal

GUEST BLOG: Strengthening the STEM Pipeline

July 2, 2013
Guest blogger inSPIRE STEM USA's Co-Chair Maria Cardona submitted this post detailing the STEM fund currently making its way through Congress aimed at strengthening the STEM pipeline. From your organization’s perspective, why is it necessary to strengthen the STEM pipeline? And what are the best ways to accomplish it? America faces an acute STEM jobs gap, and what makes the crisis worse is that we aren’t producing enough students trained in those fields to fill those jobs in the future. STEM-related occupations are the second-fastest growing in the country, coming in just behind jobs in the health care industry, according to a Georgetown University study. And while the nation is expected to have more than 8.6 million STEM-related jobs available in 2018, the National Math and Science Initiative warns as many as three million of those jobs could go unfilled at the current rate the U.S. produces workers trained in STEM. If the nation is to keep up with the growing number of jobs in STEM and computer science and keep pace with its global competitors, we need to invest in strengthening STEM education programs and our STEM pipeline throughout the country.
Tags: jobs & workforce, women & girls, minorities

What’s the State of High School Education? Bad, but Not as Bad as You Think

June 28, 2013

Have U.S. twelfth graders made any progress in math since the 1970s? The answer is no, if we’re to believe news stories about the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), which released the results of its long-term math and science tests yesterday. Yet those news stories don’t have it quite right.

Tags: math, standards, minorities

STEM in the News: June 25, 2013

June 25, 2013

It's Tuesday, so we've got the STEM news you can use. 

Computer Coding Lessons Expanding for K-12 Students, EdWeek, June 12

This Day in STEM -- June 20

June 19, 2013

When you pick up your phone today, send an email, or even drum your fingers on your desk in a dot-dash-dot rhythm, pause for a moment and reflect on the humble beginnings of telecommunications.  First, on this day in 1840, Samuel Morse (he of the Morse code) received his patent for the telegraph, setting the course for trans-Atlantic communications (which, incidentally, didn't happen until 1866).

Tags: This Day in STEM, technology

STEM in the News: June 18, 2013

June 18, 2013

Bringing you all the STEM news that's fit to print. 

Questions Arise About the Need for Algebra 2 for all, EdWeek, June 12 

GUEST BLOG: The critical next step for the Common Core

June 18, 2013

The forty plus states that have adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) have committed to an agenda to prepare all students for success after graduation whether in college or careers.  For most of them, the CCSS represent a significant boost from their previous standards.  Consequently, school districts in these states are busy re-examining curriculum, designing lesson plans, field-testing new assessments, adjusting school schedules and providing professional development to educators to help them make the shift to deeper learning experiences for their students aligned to th

Tags: Common Core, STEM & the states, standards

This Day in STEM -- June 14

June 14, 2013

Today in 1864, Alois Alzheimer, who studied and lent his name to the most common form of dementia, was born. 

Tags: This Day in STEM

Beware the summer slide

June 12, 2013

If they're not done already, millions of students are set to start singing some Alice Cooper in the next few weeks. But while students may be dreaming of beaches, swimming pools, and Disney Channel marathons, parents would be wise to focus some time and attention on math skills.

Tags: STEMworks, math


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