This week in education news, Florida lawmakers are considering giving the public more power to influence what educators teach students; new report finds that states must provide more information than what’s required to give administrators and parents a clearer view of how schools are performing; homework is beneficial, but only to a degree; DeVos wants to direct federal funds to school choice, STEM, career preparation; In # ArmMeWith movement, teachers ask to be armed but not with guns; not enough states are using data to determine if their supply of teachers is meeting the demand of school districts; and a new study finds text messages tailored to students’ needs boost retention.
Policymakers in the United States are pushing to give the public more power to influence what educators teach students. Last week, Florida’s legislature started considering two related bills that, if enacted, would let residents recommend which instructional materials teachers in their school district use in their classrooms. The bills build on a law enacted in June 2017, which enables any Florida resident to challenge the textbooks and other educational tools used in their district as being biased or inaccurate. Read the article featured in Nature.
Too often when we consider how to connect science and literacy, we think about using literature to support science. Maybe it’s reading a fictional book with a science theme, or exploring a biography of a famous scientist. But we could instead turn that around and use science experiments as a way of bringing literature to life. Read the article featured in edutopia.
States must provide more information than what’s required on federally mandated school report cards to give administrators and parents a clearer view of the education culture, according to a recent report from the nonprofit policy organization Data Quality Campaign. Since No Child Left Behind, states have had to create report cards detailing the academic performance of students in each school. Some 43 states have now added measures that go beyond test scores—such as chronic absences, discipline rates and course offerings—to offer a wider view of how a school is performing and what programs are available to students. Read the article featured in District Administration.
Many teachers and parents believe that homework helps students build study skills and review concepts learned in class. Others see homework as disruptive and unnecessary, leading to burnout and turning kids off to school. Decades of research show that the issue is more nuanced and complex than most people think: Homework is beneficial, but only to a degree. Students in high school gain the most, while younger kids benefit much less. Read the article featured in edutopia.
In an audio conversation, Education Dive spoke with two experts from the Society for Science & the Public about key areas in STEM education and ways education leaders can broaden the pipeline. The experts are Maya Ajmera, the CEO of Society for Science & the Public and publisher of Science News, and Caitlin Sullivan, the organization’s director of outreach and equity. Listen to the conversation featured on educationdive.com.
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will give applicants for federal grants a leg-up if they are planning to embrace things like school choice, STEM, literacy, school climate, effective instruction, career preparation, and serving military-connected children and students in special education. Read the article featured in Education Week.
Teachers have taken to social media in the midst of a gun control debate following the Parkland, Florida, school shooting to push for an increase in classroom resources — not the ability to carry guns in school. Earlier this week, President Donald Trump suggested that some teachers be armed, calling it a “great deterrent” to mass shootings on campus. Using the hashtag #ArmMeWith, teachers are proposing other resources they would rather be armed with, such as more funding, additional school counselors and smaller class sizes. Read the article featured on CNN.com.
Are states doing enough to tackle teacher shortages? Not according to a new report released by the National Council on Teacher Quality, a Washington-based research and advocacy group that tracks teacher policies. Read the article featured in Education Week.
Workdays were originally created to allow teachers and support staff to prepare for classroom work directly related to students and centered around curriculum. They were a day for mentors to spend side by side with their new-teacher mentees, helping shape effective content and best practices in the classroom. As the workday approached, teachers would prepare by updating lesson plans, communicating with specialists, going through cumulative folders, making copies, and grading papers. Read the article featured in Education Week.
A new report about a sample of more than 2,000 community college students pursuing degrees in STEM fields found that the students were 10% more likely to return the following semester if they received text message “nudges” to encourage persistence and enrollment. The nudges encourage students to adopt time-management and study skills and remind recipients of important deadlines for financial aid applications and class registration. Read the brief featured in Education DIVE.
Stay tuned for next week’s top education news stories.
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