Joshua P. Starr, superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland, is calling for a three-year moratorium on standardized tests to focus on the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. While the common core, adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia, is an important and worthy change, he writes in this opinion article, its implementation has not been given the full focus it deserves by school district officials.
Students from Wilmington Chinese School performed Sunday at the celebration of Chinese New Year at Wilmington Children's Museum in North Carolina. This was the museum's second year of hosting the event, which included opportunities to make Year of the Snake bracelets, sampling lo mein and other activities centered around the traditions of Chinese New Year. "It really brought a new flavor this year that helped the event feel more authentic," said Mary Ellen Laughnan, director of art and early-childhood education at the Children's Museum, of the school's participation.
Social studies and English teachers at Thurston High School in Redford, Mich., are working to enhance learning by raising money to bring laptop computers with Google Chrome software into the classrooms. Teachers Jason Brater and Rory Hughes have raised nearly $11,000 to supply their classrooms with 72 computers. "If you want to maximize their attention and their learning, then you have to do those things where they're most able to pay attention and learn," said Brater, a social studies teacher.
The Michigan Department of Civil Rights on Friday filed a complaint with the federal government on behalf of current and future American Indian students, asking for a ban on the use of American Indian mascots and nicknames by schools. The complaint, filed with the U.S. Department of Education's Office on Civil Rights, alleges that the use of these names promotes negative stereotypes and shows insensitivity to American Indian students who are harmed academically. Officials from school districts with such nicknames or mascots say the names represent local history and are not mean to be insensitive to American Indians.
Technology benefits classroom instruction, according to 74% of teachers who responded to a recent PBS LearningMedia survey. Among the benefits cited by teachers are the ability to expand content, motivate students and provide more individualized instruction, Katrina Schwartz writes in this blog post, which includes links to other articles on technology and education. About 65% of teachers say technology allows them to present information in ways that otherwise would be impossible.