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“I’m so pumped about the minute that my test drops.” Students at Jefferson Academy in Washington, D.C. made a music video to the song “Thrift Shop” in an effort to get excited for state tests. (Washington Post)
Today marks the 30th anniversary of A Nation at Risk. In this video, listen to education thought leaders reflect on this pioneering report and how education has changed since. (TContinue Reading »
There’s an important new study out looking at what happened in states that mandated all high school juniors take a college entrance exam. It measured the impacts for the first two states with mandates in place, Colorado and Illinois, which both created mandates around the year 2000 forcing all students to take the ACT*. It found some promising results.
Obviously test-taking went up, partContinue Reading »
Last week California Governor Jerry Brown signed a new law directing the state superintendent to add graduation rates and measures of college- and career-readiness into its school accountability system, the Academic Performance Index (API). This is a big deal for the country—California will now join a handful of states that consider more than just test results and graduation rates in high schooContinue Reading »
This video by the New York Times illustrates just how much faster sprinter Usain Bolt is than Olympic medalists of yore. The video’s key takeaway is that the crème de la crème of athletes have over the years pushed themselves to consistently higher standards. Whereas breaking 10 seconds used to seem nearly impossible, it is now all but a requirement of medaling in the 100m sprint. While the Continue Reading »
His reasoning is even better. A New Hampshire lawmaker claims he found the culprit of high crime rates in his local community: kindergarten. (Yahoo News)
Cashing in on a historic home run. A Connecticut mother is auctioning off a baseball hit by Lou Gehrig during the 1928 World Series in order to pay off her son’s student loans. (Los Angeles Times)
Priceless. What is a good teacheContinue Reading »
While the reauthorization of No Child Left Behind is rather unlikely at this point, reforms around academic standards and testing are still alive—and arguably more so than a decade ago. My colleagues, Susan Headden and Bill Tucker, contribute to a special report from Washington Monthly, out today, that explores new Common Core State Standards, the assessments associated with them, and how testiContinue Reading »
Dear Pearson VUE, Prometric, and other computer-based testing centers,
I will be the first to admit it: I am addicted to chapstick (specifically, the pure Vaseline kind). I also drink a lot of water. I think it’s refreshing, and it keeps my eyes—and my fussy contact lenses—hydrated. And sometimes I like to wear a wrap to keep my arms or legs warm in an overly air-conditioned offiContinue Reading »
Educators from coast-to-coast will celebrate the nation’s first Digital Learning Day on Wednesday. Amidst the cool technology demonstrations, shiny gadgets, and debates about online learning, it’s essential not to overlook the country’s most expensive — and perhaps most ambitious — initiative to use digital technology.
Just under 18 months ago, the U.S. DepaContinue Reading »
Taking up the testing challenge. Remember the uproar caused by the Florida school board member, who took – and failed – state tests last month? Remember, too, Diane Ravitch’s challenge to everyone else (take the test and share your results publicly)? Well, Kathleen Porter-Magee answered that challenge – and had a very different result. (Thomas B. Fordham Institute)
GIVE back. A groContinue Reading »
My Education Week “Truth About Testing Costs” commentary outlines why the rhetoric about the high budgetary costs of testing is not only overblown, but in many ways counter-productive, because it stifles investment in the very sorts of high-quality assessments that most educators deeply desire.
My inquiry found that states actually spend very little of their per-pupil spendinContinue Reading »