News Search of the Week
Here's what the media are saying about:
Browse By News Topic
Technology is swiftly assuming a dominant role in classrooms, and in students' lives. Many observers have raised doubts about whether schools of education are providing future teachers with the skills they need to address blended learning, and whether they're using digital tools to improve instruction. Faculty members at Clemson's school of education and at a number of other higher education institutions are determined to address the issue head-on.
Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, the country’s second largest teachers union, has been a supporter of the Common Core State Standards for a long time but she has expressed concern in the last year over the way the standards are being implemented, saying that the rollout was “far worse” than the HealthCare.gov website. Last April she called for a moratorium on high-stakes Common Core tests, and she made a call in November with early childhood education expert Nancy Carlsson-Paige for education officials to convene a task force to review the “appropriateness and the implementation of the Common Core standards for young learners … and recommend developmentally appropriate, culturally responsive guidelines for supporting young children’s optimal learning.”
Corporate reformers have had two decades to make their case that what ails American education is a lack of rigor, and two decades to test their theory that market forces are the surest way to kick-start that needed rigor. To that end, they’ve introduced competition with a vengeance—kids against kids, parents against parents, teachers against teachers, schools against schools, districts against districts, states against states, nations against nations.
The American work force has some of weakest mathematical and problem-solving skills in the developed world. In a recent survey by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a global policy organization, adults in the United States scored far below average and better than only two of 12 other developed comparison countries, Italy and Spain. Worse still, the United States is losing ground in worker training to countries in Europe and Asia whose schools are not just superior to ours but getting steadily better. In this editorial, the Times Editorial Board offers examples from three countries.
Carnegie Mellon University will open the world’s largest database on student learning to the public in an effort to identify best practices and standards for using technology in the classroom, the university announced on Monday. To support the open-access initiative, the institution will form a council of higher education leaders, education technology experts and industry representatives to distribute the data and guide the conversation.
The job of helping professors become better teachers is often assigned to a campus's center for teaching and learning, where faculty members can take in the latest educational research, request feedback on their performance, and attend workshops to redesign courses. But how much evidence is there that the centers work? And what keeps more faculty members from using them?
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has spent nearly $700 million on its teacher-quality agenda, according to an Education Week analysis. The foundation is widely seen as the most influential independent actor in a period of nationwide—and deeply contested—experimentation with the fundamentals of the teaching profession. What its spending has wrought, however, and whether it will have the desired effect, remain the subject of heated debate.
The United States has some of the best university-based math teacher training programs in the world. But we also have some of the worst – and those poor performing programs produce 60 percent of the country’s teachers in schools with the highest percentage of students living in poverty, according to research released earlier this month from William Schmidt, co-director of the Education Policy Center at Michigan State University. The United States was the only country in his study to have such a wide range of performance by math teachers in teacher preparation programs.
Teaching may be attracting a more academically successful group of people compared to previous years, according to a new study released Wednesday. Two researchers at the University of Washington examined four national data sets to determine how the characteristics of first-year teachers changed between 1993 and 2010. The study found that more new teachers have advanced degrees than ever before. During the 2007-08 school year, 26 percent of new teachers entered the classroom with a master’s degree, compared to 17 percent two decades earlier.
In an effort to get more effective teachers into America’s classrooms, seven states have joined a new initiative to “strengthen” teacher licensure standards and “raise the bar” on the approval process for teacher prep programs. The initiative — led by the Council of Chief State School Officers, or CCSSO, and formally called the Network for Transforming Educator Preparation, or NTEP — grew out of a “call to action” that CCSSO issued late last year and adds to the growing momentum to make university-based teacher preparation programs more accountable for student achievement.