Education News and Notes
By Anat Tour, math teacher and children’s author/illustrator
December 19, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--December is a busy time for the holidays, but if you are a high school senior this is the season to get your college checklist in order.
In addition, here are my picks for this month’s top stories of interest to local students, teachers, and parents:
• A New Kind of Problem: The Common Core Math Standards
• School Improvement Grants Produce Mixed Reports
• Fostering Curiosity Here, There and Everywhere
• Supporting New Teachers To Make Global Connections
• What Do Colleges Look at in Evaluating Students
• U.S. Department of Education Releases Early Snapshot of School Improvement Grants Data
• Early Math Teachers Celebrate ‘Critical Thinking, Not Correct Answers’
• Barriers to Good Teaching
• At Work, Practice Puts Perfection in Reach
• December College Checklist for Seniors
A New Kind of Problem: The Common Core Math Standards
A set of guidelines adopted by 45 states this year may turn children into "little mathematicians" who don't know how to do actual math.
School Improvement Grants Produce Mixed Reports
A federal program that pumped a record $3 billion into failing schools has shown mixed early results, with more than one-third of the targeted schools doing worse after receiving funding, according to initial government results released.
Fostering Curiosity Here, There and Everywhere
When I speak with students, I often ask, “Who wants to become successful?” All hands shoot up.
Then I tell them the story of nuclear physicist Isidore I. Rabi, winner of the Nobel Prize in physics in 1944 for work on the electron. Somebody once asked him how he became a world-famous scientist.
Supporting New Teachers To Make Global Connections
This past week a tremendous opportunity to participate and view presentations from educators around the world happened on the web. The annual presentation is called the Global Education Conference.
U.S. Department of Education Releases Early Snapshot of School Improvement Grants Data
The U.S. Department of Education today released an early snapshot of student performance data at schools that have received federal School Improvement Grants (SIG) program funds, a key component of the Department’s blueprint for helping states and districts turn around the nation’s lowest-performing schools.
Early Math Teachers Celebrate ‘Critical Thinking, Not Correct Answers’
Aimed at increasing young students’ proficiency in math, Chicago’s Erikson Institute is transforming how teachers in pre-K through 3rd grade approach mathematics lessons through a research-based training funded by a five-year, $5 million Investing in Innovation (i3) Development grant awarded by ED in 2010. i3 “Development” grants support new and high-potential practices to improve student learning, and pairs that support with funding to evaluate the impact of the practices.
Barriers to Good Teaching
I don’t know how many times I’ve asked myself and anyone else who was within earshot of me why weren’t my academically at-risk students more successful. I was doing everything I could except stand on my head and yet some of my student’s still weren’t getting it. I’ve got professional development coming out of my ears. I’ve tried to keep my student-centered teaching practice fresh and up to date by including things such asproblem based learning, differentiated instruction, assessment for, of and as learning , computers and other digital technology, student created rubrics etc., etc., etc. What is preventing students from doing their best?
At Work, Practice Puts Perfection in Reach
IN 2011, I started a public charter elementary school as the principal. My organization, Uncommon Schools, manages charter schools for the bottom line, which in our case is student achievement. Some 92 percent of my school’s students live below the poverty line, and the urgency of our faculty’s work is what motivates us to be great every day.
December College Checklist for Seniors
Seniors: Let me start by saying, I feel your pain. Even though I tell myself every year that I won’t wait until the last minute to finish my tax returns, I just can’t make myself do them sooner. (Remind the adults in your life of this fact the next time they nag you about procrastinating on your college applications.)
But now that Thanksgiving and Black Friday are in the past, it really is time to get serious about applying to college if you haven’t already.