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Posts Tagged ‘policy’

A recent report released by the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst outlines a very important connection between early childhood education and prosperous economic development.  According to economist Arthur MacEwan:

“It is highly desirable and valuable to society for state governments to support universal early childhood education. In doing so, governments will be putting in place an essential component of economic development, a component that will provide both a long-run foundation for their states’ economic development and an immediate boost to their states’ economic progress. Moreover, they will be providing an important service to families and strengthening equality of opportunity.”

You can check out the full report here or read more on the Eye on Early Education blog.

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tabletFrom Larry Rosen, eSchool News — While educators agree that digital technology can help students learn, there is an overwhelming feeling among many that today’s digital technologies are creating an easily distracted generation with short attention spans and that today’s students are too “plugged in” and need more time away from their digital devices.

Mr. Rosen goes on to describe the various studies that have been conducted and offers suggestions on avoiding the hazards that digital technology can have on the quality of education today.

Read the entire article by clicking here

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Masslive.com, November 24th, Jeanette DeForge:

Early last week, Masslive.com covered a story on the Chicopee School Committee and their review of the new MCAS teacher accountability system.  Changes have been made to the original system, most notably, the replacement of the Annual Yearly Progress standard with the Progress and Performance Index.  This benchmark looks to have schools reduce the proficiency gap in achievement by 50 percent over a period of five years.  For example, if students are only 60 percent proficient in 2011, the school will have to improve proficiency by 20 percent by 2016.  City officials support this change, citing that it will provide teachers with more information while also maintaining more realistic benchmarks for progress.

What do you think?  For those familiar with the changes in the accountability system developed alongside the Common Core Standards, are they an improvement?

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By staff and wire service, eSchool News -- Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Oct. 2 called for the nation to move as fast as possible away from printed textbooks and toward digital ones. “Over the next few years, textbooks should be obsolete,” he declared.

It’s not just a matter of keeping up with the times, Duncan said in remarks to the National Press Club. It’s about keeping up with other countries whose students are leaving their American counterparts in the dust.

South Korea, which consistently outperforms the U.S. when it comes to educational outcomes, is moving far faster than the U.S. in adopting digital learning environments. One of the most wired countries in the world, South Korea has set a goal to go fully digital with its textbooks by 2015.

“The world is changing,” Duncan said. “This has to be where we go as a country.”

Read the full story by clicking here.

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By staff writers, eSchool News — A new report from the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) tackles the U.S. algebra and mathematics dilemma and is the latest to suggest that not all students should be pushed to take algebra in the eighth grade.

Solving America’s mathematics education problem,” by Duke professor Jacob L. Vigdor, examines cultural shifts that have resulted in new waves of interest in students’ mathematics performance.

Despite a renewed focus on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills, high school students continue to perform poorly on math tests. That trend continues into college, where many new college students enroll in remedial math courses. The report notes that “the proportion of new college graduates who majored in math-intensive subjects has declined by nearly half over the past 60 years.” The U.S. is in danger of slowed or lost progress if these trends continue, the report warns.

Read the entire article by clicking here.

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On a recent episode of Need To Know, Jon Meacham discusses how education is key to the United States regaining its footing economically, as well as remaining a military power (see video below). What do you think about his editorial?  Do you agree?  For more thought-provoking topics for the classroom or the teachers’ room, Need to Know airs Fridays at 8:30pm on WGBY. Watch full-length episodes of Need to Know through PBS Video.

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