The Prince William School Board is considering a plan to add three days to the end of the school year, an effort to dig out of a deep, snow-day induced instructional hole.
The suburban district closed schools Monday and Tuesday, bringing the total number of snow days to 12 this school year, twice as many as last year. Schools opened with a two-hour delay Wednesday.Read full article >>
I recently wrote about a bizarre open letter to teachers that Education Commissioner Pam Stewart released that accused people who want a change in standardized testing requirements for severely disabled students of launching a political attack on the department. Stewart’s missive followed testimony before the Board of Education by an Orange County, Fla., mother named Andrea Rediske who had waged a long battle with the department over a requirement that her severely brain-damaged and blind son, Ethan, who also suffered from cerebral palsy, take an alternative version of the state-mandated Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. Rediske fought for a test waiver for her son last year and won, but recently, while he lay dying in a hospital, she was required to fill out paperwork proving that Ethan could not take a new standardized test this year. Ethan passed away on Feb. 7, at home with his parents at his side. There is now a bill called the Ethan Rediske Act in the Florida legislature that would make it easier for families to obtain test waivers by allowing local authorities to exempt disabled students from taking these high-stakes exams rather than continuing the current lengthy process that involves state officials.Read full article >>
The nation’s two dominant college admissions tests, the SAT and ACT, have always sought to distinguish themselves from each other. Now they may be converging in some key ways.
The SAT, begun in 1926, is rooted in a tradition of assessing how students think regardless of what curriculum they have studied. After all, no one takes a class called “verbal.” That was the longtime name of the section of the SAT that covered language skills. It was changed in 2005 and renamed “critical reading.”Read full article >>
Montgomery County teachers ratified a new contract Wednesday that would provide raises totaling about 5.5 percent over three years for 12,000 educators but would require employees to pay a larger share of health insurance premiums.Read full article >>
The Loudoun County School Board has granted conditional approval for a community-led effort to save a small-town school by turning it into Northern Virginia’s first charter school.
The Middleburg Community Charter School would take the place of a century-old elementary school that has been threatened with closure in recent years as the school system has struggled to balance a tight budget with the cost of rising student enrollment.Read full article >>
Big changes are coming (again) to the SAT, the once almighty college admissions test that was overtaken in popularity by the ACT.
The essay portion of the exam, added in 2005 with great fanfare as a crucial new part of the exam, is now being made optional, because apparently, it wasn’t all that crucial after all.Read full article >>