Some time ago I wrote about a highly popular supplemental reading program used in thousands of schools called “Accelerated Reader” by Renaissance Learning Inc., which encouraged students to read books that were evaluated through a “readability” formula. Under this scheme, Ernest Hemingway’s classic, “The Sun Also Rises,” gets 10 points and is recommended for kids less than halfway through fourth grade. ”Breaking Dawn,” the fourth book in Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” series, earns 28 points and is recommended for fourth graders, too. Toni Morrison’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “Beloved,” which depicts a mother choosing to kill her daughter rather than see her enslaved, gets 15 points and a book level of 6.0, appropriate for sixth grade. Kids get rewards for amassing book points.Read full article >>
We hear a lot about how children from low-income families often enter school with a “word gap,” meaning they have heard and know fewer words than their more affluent peers, a reality that puts them at a disadvantage from the very beginning of their education. In this post, Esther Quintero, a senior research associate at the nonprofit Albert Shanker Institute, looks at why the “word gap” is more than about words. This first appeared on the institute’s blog. If you are interested in this issue, check out “Early Childhood Education: the Word Gap and the Common Core,” a public conversation taking place Dec. 11, 2013.Read full article >>
Why are some kids crying when they do homework these days? Here’s why, from award-winning Principal Carol Burris of South Side High School in New York. Burris has for more than a year chronicled on this blog the many problems with the test-driven reform in New York (here, and here and here and here, for example). She was named New York’s 2013 High School Principal of the Year by the School Administrators Association of New York and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and in 2010, tapped as the 2010 New York State Outstanding Educator by the School Administrators Association of New York State. She is the co-author of the New York Principals letter of concern regarding the evaluation of teachers by student test scores. It has been signed by more than 1,535 New York principals and more than 6,500 teachers, parents, professors, administrators and citizens. You can read the letter by clicking here.Read full article >>
New Parent, Old Parent: If Your Child Was Bullied, When Did You Intervene and When Did You Stay Out?
Karen and Reynaldo Dudley of Glenn Dale were on the prowl Wednesday night, in search of a suitable educational program for their son, who will be a high school freshman next fall.
The Dudleys and hundreds of other parents moved throughout the exhibit hall in the cafeteria at Eleanor Roosevelt High School gathering information about the specialty programs, career academies and public charter schools offered in Prince George’s County.Read full article >>
From The Hechinger Report, an independently funded unit of Teachers College at Columbia University, comes the following chart about how the Common Core State Standards in math and English language arts are changing classrooms:Read full article >>