Education Reform


Tue September 9, 2014

Colorado Experiment To Move Beyond Grade Levels Taps Into Larger Ed Movement

Samuel Mann Flickr-Creative Commons

A few years ago, a school district in Colorado did away with grade levels – instead of being a kindergartner, a third grader, or a sixth grader, students began to be defined by how much they knew.  

Starting in the 2009-2010 school year, Adams County School District 50, a 21-school district serving 10,000 students in the Westminster area that had struggled academically, began implementing a system they called competency-based education. Students, regardless of their age or grade level, are now tested into levels in areas like math and literacy, and then learn at their own pace.

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Wed August 20, 2014

A Tale Of Two Polls

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 9:52 am

LA Johnson/NPR

Two new polls this week attempt to quantify the public's feelings for the Common Core State Standards. The K-12 benchmarks in English and math were little known this time last year. But they've since become the subject of a high-profile political fight. Now a majority of the public opposes them.

Or do they?

Poll No. 1, out today, puts support for the Core at just 33 percent. But Poll No. 2, released yesterday, puts it at 53 percent. That's a big difference.

Which one is wrong? Or can they both, somehow, be right?


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Tue June 3, 2014

The Common Core Curriculum Void

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 7:29 am

Just some of the more than 700 math books that have been reviewed for Common Core alignment by professor William Schmidt and his team at Michigan State's Center for the Study of Curriculum.
Cory Turner NPR

Right now, America's schools are in a sprint. Forty-four states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Common Core State Standards. That means new learning benchmarks for the vast majority of the nation's young students — millions of kids from kindergarten through high school. And, for many of them, the Core Standards will feel tougher than what they're used to. Because they are tougher.

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Fri April 4, 2014

Common Core Turns Business Leaders Against Oklahoma GOP

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 5:47 pm

Conservative Republicans and business leaders are butting heads when it comes to the Common Core standards.

Mike Neal gets annoyed when he talks about politicians in his state. Just three years ago, when the Common Core State Standards for education were implemented, no one had a problem with them, says Neal, president of the Tulsa, Okla., Regional Chamber of Commerce.

"It's been a really frustrating situation to the business community in Oklahoma in that we've all been on the same page, from the governor, the House, the Senate, school board members," Neal says. "They've all been behind this."

Now, things are different.

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Mon December 2, 2013
Shots - Health News

Parents Of Sleep-Deprived Teens Push For Later School Start Times

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 3:32 pm

Maggie Starbard / NPR

Cristina Sevin knows the drill. Her 15-year-old son Isaac's first alarm goes off at 6:05 a.m.

When he sleeps right through it, Mom starts the nudging. But she also has to wake up 16-year-old Lily. She flips on the bedroom lights. "Lily, you gotta get up!"

They have to be out the door before 6:35 a.m. in their Annapolis, Md., neighborhood in order to catch the bus for a 7:17 school start. "I wish I didn't have to be awake right now," says Lily.

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