The Oakland Unified School District in California has introduced the elective "Mastering Our Cultural Identity: African American Male Image" in 20 schools. The course, taught by African-American male teachers, is intended to help address racial inequality and boost student achievement.
Students beginning in 2017 will have the option of taking the SAT during late August, the College Board has announced. Some say the change will help students focus on the exam before the regular school year gets underway. The summer testing time will replace the January exam date.
Having students design a country incorporates writing into social studies through a creative hands-on project, middle-grades writing teacher John DePasquale writes in this blog post. He describes the steps involved in the project, such as designing the country's flag, writing the laws and presenting the new country at a mock UN meeting.
Teachers in a Colorado school district say they strive to find the right balance between too much homework and not enough. In some cases, parents say they are supplementing homework with outside reading and activities to challenge students, and one school no longer penalizes students who fail to complete all of their homework.
Fifth-graders at a California elementary school recently participated in Boston Tea Party-themed protests against "taxation without representation" during their study of the Revolutionary War. The hands-on experience follows a curriculum revamp by three fifth-grade teachers. The students acted as township citizens rallying against being taxed for such things as failing to dress in school spirit wear and using computers.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has ended the state's lawsuit against the Common Core State Standards initiated by his predecessor, former Gov. Bobby Jindal. "It does not benefit students to continue to use time and resources to pursue litigation that no longer has any bearing on classrooms in Louisiana," Edwards said.
Students with disabilities at a Wisconsin school run a coffee shop that opens before classes start to develop their work and social skills. Through making coffee, students learn how to handle workplace mistakes and build relationships. "We're still not making millions at the Falcon Java Roost, but we're making experiences," special-education teacher Deb Wehrman said.
Student-led social media accounts allow students to become global learners and speakers, second-grade teacher Kayla Delzer explains. Delzer's students complete a comprehensive digital citizenship boot camp before they publish content on Instagram and Twitter for their school -- and the world -- to see.
The US Department of Education announced Tuesday it will offer assistance to states seeking to streamline standardized testing and weed out ineffective or redundant exams. "We hope this guidance will help restore that balance and give back some of the critical learning time that students need to be successful," said acting Secretary of Education John King Jr.
Data for some states reveal a performance gap among students who took different formats of exams aligned with the Common Core State Standards. In Illinois, for example, 32% of high-school students who took the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers English-language arts exam via computer were considered proficient, while 50% who took the paper-based exam met proficiency standards.
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