Computer Science Week just wound up, but the whole month has felt tech-centric. There is a tech-tonic shift happening, pardon the pun, from the inkwell world where classrooms got their start. Encyclopedias to Google-ing. Wide-ruled binder paper to spreadsheets. Pencils to styluses.
College. Jobs. The future and all it could hold took center stage at a meeting of business leaders and high school students. The conversation turned to Common Core, and the lynchpin role that industry and educators hope it will play in raising the bar for our local economy.
Modesto City Schools voted against arts-oriented Manzanita Charter School after staff members questioned its financial viability and board members said they could not support its lack of alignment with state standards.
In the fast-shifting education landscape, remaking teacher training programs lies just over the horizon. The changes proposed continue what, for some, is a queasy slide – from a tradition based on measuring how hard everyone tries toward the business metric of evaluating results.
Here are five top takeaways from a conference for education writers about state testing coming this spring, including complaints about too many tests, how to use tests to improve learning and the furor over tying teacher evaluations to test scores.
The state released a guide this week for bringing more parents on campus and making them part of the school team. The California Department of Education’s Family Engagement Framework offers rationale for why involving the community is important, outlines for how to go about it, and tips to avoid potential pitfalls.
Count the American Association of University Women as a fan of Common Core, arguing it will give girls a better shot at higher-paying jobs. While women have a long way to go in the job market, an old yearbook gives a glimpse at how far we have come.
Children without a functional vocabulary start their first day at school already way behind, already on track to fail. Stanislaus READS, which stands for Ready, Engaged, Able, Determined Students, is tackling the sad statistic that only 39 percent of third-graders test as reading at grade level.
Read something naughty today – it’s Banned Book Week. There are plenty of good reads to choose from. I love them particularly because utter indignation got my budding readers to tackle the tough slog that turns learners to literates.
Are the hands-on projects and more student discussions promised under Common Core happening in your child’s class, and is your child doing well with the change? That’s the bottom line for parents, and an opportunity to find out is coming up with parent-teacher conferences, when you have the teacher’s full attention.
A peek at museums 2.0 reveals a new mission for these institutions. In an online talk, Barry Joseph describes his work in education programs with the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, starting with the idea that schools need to look far beyond giving every child a computer.
This school year’s catch word seems to be collaboration. Expect to hear it over and over as teachers team up, students do group work and districts weigh ways to bring citizen input into the budgeting process. But collaboration does not always come easily. Expect to hear diverse opinions about how Common Core is going.
The cutting edge comes with a learning curve in educational technology. But ready or not, here we go into a world where the whiz-bang device isn’t the point. It’s what kids can do with them that matters.