The Common Core State Standards may help prepare disadvantaged students for college-level classes, according to some early data. Progress is shown among low-income and minority students in several states, such as Kentucky, Massachusetts and New York. "Research shows that students who are exposed to rigorous curricula and the practices that the Common Core embodies are more likely to succeed in college or a career," writes Tiffany Miller, director for education policy at the Center for American Progress.
Math scores for female students increased when a woman taught the course instead of a male teacher, according to a study from Texas A&M University. Researchers studied the test results of middle-school students in South Korea and found that when girls switched from a male to a female teacher in math, scores rose by 8.5% of a standard deviation, compared with the boys' scores.
Public schools in Chicago hope to save $13.5 million by changing the start times at 82 schools. Some high schools will start an hour later than last year, and other schools will start 15 minutes earlier.
Ten thousand Georgia high-school students will test a career-path-planning program beginning this fall, Sen. Lindsey Tippins announced. The online program will assess students' interests and compatibility with job sectors through "game-like exercises."
Though the number of states participating in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers tests has dwindled to 12 from 24, leaders say the organization is strong and remaining states will not pay more for assessments. "We've got a strong group of committed states that have worked together over the last five years to build a robust, high-quality assessment," PARCC CEO Laura Slover said. "Nothing's changed from that standpoint."
Educators looking to integrate science, technology, engineering and math into classroom lessons should have a thorough understanding of science and math principles and STEM lessons, writes Anne Jolly, who works with teacher teams in schools. She offers five principles for designing STEM lessons and suggests collaborating with colleagues to overcome knowledge gaps.
Some preschools in Washington state and Massachusetts are using the Building Blocks program to teach young students about math. Boston schools have seen math gains among third-graders who participated in such programs. A prekindergarten-to-grade-8 school in Seattle also has seen gains, and the city now is seeking to expand use of the program to other preschools.
A Mississippi school district credits three years of improvements in services for students with disabilities implemented during the past three years for a significant rise in special-education students' graduation rates. Data show an increase from 14.4% in the 2012-13 school year to an estimated 58% for the 2014-15 school year. Changes include adoption of response to intervention and hiring a transition coordinator.
Teachers can boost innovation in the classroom in a variety of ways including creating problems that are both authentic and interesting, writes Trevor Shaw, the director of technology at the Dwight-Englewood School in New Jersey. In this article, Shaw offers eight ideas educators can use to bring out innovative ideas from their students.
California educators recently gathered at 33 locations to share ideas on implementing the Common Core. This article highlights some lessons teachers learned through the conference's mix of keynote speakers and Edcamp-style workshops, where teachers selected and then led professional-development sessions.