As educators receive results from a pilot Massachusetts standardized science exam taken this spring, some worry that the 26% failure rate may signal problems down the road. This year, Massachusetts will require students to pass the test to graduate, and students across the country will soon be taking similar exams for the first time.
States that have set very low definitions of proficiency may be the only ones that meet the NCLB's requirement that all students test proficiently by 2014, some educators say. As more states realize this, some states that have set especially lofty achievement goals, such as California and South Carolina, are lowering their standards, according to a study.
Using art may help children identify and explore what troubles them, says Virginia Shaver, a Minnesota psychotherapist who specializes in art therapy. "Sometimes words are too easy; sometimes they're too hard," she said.
Legislators have made Illinois one of at least 10 states that require schools to start the day with a brief period of silence in which students may pray or reflect. Legislators said the law which passed over a gubernatorial veto was not meant to impose religion; the U.S. Supreme Court in 1985 struck down an Alabama law that authorized a daily moment of silence specifically for meditation or voluntary prayer.