If you don’t have a YouTube channel as an education provider, there’s a good chance you’re behind the times. Nearly every major educational institution in the world now hosts its own collection of videos featuring news, lectures, tutorials, and open courseware. Just as many individuals have their own channel, curating their expertise in a series of broadcasted lessons.
The Washington Examiner (8/19) reports that Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Monday tweeted, “Thanks to the Montgomery County, MD schools for moving their discipline policy away from out-of-school suspensions.” The piece explains that this sentiment “comes as no surprise,” noting that the Administration “has repeatedly called on schools to move away from out-of-school suspensions whenever possible.” The piece notes that Duncan cites criticisms “that minorities tend to be expelled at a much higher rate than their peers,” and quotes him saying in January, “Our department’s Civil Rights Data Collection shows that African-American students without disabilities are more than three times as likely as their white peers to be expelled or suspended. And we know that discipline policy and practices matter tremendously — there is nothing inevitable about high rates of suspension and expulsion. We can, and must, do much better.”
In middle school, we ask students to dissect texts and perform literary analysis. However, that does not mean that we have to limit how we assess their understanding of the books. If the desired learning objective is for students to . .
Demonstrate understanding of the plot elementsExplore the role of tone and themeIdentify significant scenes or events and their impact on the storyAnalyze a character and show an understanding of that character's motivationsExplain the relationship between the author's life and the story
"Like other digital reading programs, Newsela uses short online quizzes, taken by students after reading each article, to help evaluate students’ comprehension and adjust their reading level accordingly. Such “formative assessments” ensure that no student is unfairly labeled by an outdated evaluation—another potential advantage of computerized leveling over its paper-and-ink counterpart, which offers no automated way to monitor students’ increasing fluency.
Ironically, these digital improvements on traditional leveled reading arrive just as the practice of leveling itself is coming in for criticism. Commentators like Timothy Shanahan, an emeritus professor of urban education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Robert Pondiscio, a senior fellow at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, an education think tank, have recently argued that leveled reading programs provide students with too little challenge. Better than having each student read at his or her own level, they say, would be asking all students to tackle texts appropriate to their grade level, with teachers supplying help when necessary."
In spring 2014, the PARCC Field Test will be administered to over one million students across PARCC states. The PARCC Field Test represents a critical milestone in PARCC’s work toward building assessments for the 2014-15 school year, and will give students and local educators the opportunity to experience the administration of PARCC assessments. The Field Test will be conducted in a random selection of schools across PARCC states. The sample of students in the selected schools will represent the demographics of each state and PARCC as a whole.
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