Education Policy

The Three Types of Common Core Writing Defined

The common core might seem intimidating—all new standards, shifts in ideas and expectations—but it really isn't so bad. I’ll admit that I like a lot of the new changes and initiatives. And once you see it explained in clear and concise way, like in this Teachers Guide to the Common Core Standards put out by the USC Rossier School of Education, you’ll see that it’s actually pretty logical. But one area that teachers might need a little more help on is the three kinds of writing.

Adopting the Next Generation of Science Standards: A Step in the Right Direction?

It’s been 15 years since the National Research Council revised the standards for science education on a national level. Since then, NASA landed their first successful Mars Rover, measles was eliminated from the U.S. for good, and Pluto was demoted to dwarf planet status. Times are changing, and it’s time for our outdated science standards to change as well. And that’s exactly what happened. The NRC named these up-and-coming standards the Next Generation Science Standards, or NGSS, for short.

Do the CCSS Inhibit Creativity?

Since its inception in 2009, the Common Core State Standards, or CCSS, has accumulated a bad rep from teachers, parents, and students alike. They believe that the standards restrict creativity in education. Today, we’re taking a closer look at the CCSS to find out if it’s as unaccomodating as it’s made out to be.

So far, 45 states and the District of Columbia have adopted Common Core standards. Many teachers who teach around the CCSS have been very vocal. It is surprising to note that they do not have a problem with the standards but rather the supporting assessments to measure whether or not these standards are being achieved.

One source of complaint is math, which has been heavily criticized for the CCSS’s new notoriously roundabout and overly-complex methods of solving math problems. This has been a great source of confus…

White House Chart: What You Need to Know About the Fix to No Child Left Behind

Since the beginning of his Administration, President Obama has joined educators and families across the country in asking for a bill to fix and improve No Child Left Behind to better serves our students, schools and educators. No Child Left Behind has long been broken, and it’s time for it to be replaced. This week, the Senate is considering the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act to fix No Child Left Behind, and we’re calling on them to move quickly to send the bill to the President’s desk.

The Every Student Succeeds Act will reduce over-testing and end the one-size-fits-all federal mandates of No Child Left Behind. It also guarantees that all students will be held to high academic standards that prepare them for college and careers and that, when students fall behind, states redirect resources into what works to help them and their schools improve. Finally, the bill makes one of the best investments we can make in our children’s future by providing high-qualit…

The Impact Effective Principals Have on Education: INFOGRAPHIC

While there are many facets to a strong and valuable educational experience for children, there is one that oft overlooked: leadership. Queens University of Charlotte put together this infographic on “The Impact Effective Principals Have on Education,” making a strong case for the importance of high-quality leaders to effectively shepherd their schools and districts--and how a lacktherof may be holding us all back.

A few notable stats:

  • Teachers who report their principals as “excellent” are 14 percent more likely to report opportunities for professional development
  • 56 percent fewer behavioral incidents resulting in students being sent to the principal’s office
  • An effective principal is equivalent to between two and seven months of additional learning
  • There are expected to be nearly 100,000 job openings for principals by 2020

The Change of the M-STEP Due to Public and Teacher Feedback

Teachers, parents, and students often felt powerless when it came to government-mandated standardized tests such as the Michigan Student Test for Educational Progress (M-STEP).

It was difficult for teachers and parents to understand if the amount of time spent on standardized testing was necessary and beneficial to students. Hours were taken away from teaching and learning time last school year in order to administer the M-STEP. This was a problem.

The M-STEP was also an online test. This took computer time away from teachers and students who needed them for instructional and learning purposes. This was another problem.

There were also technology problems such as software failures, which also ate up teaching and learning time.

Teachers across the state had issues with th…