The EdGate Observer





November 2013


In This Issue
Top Stories
Hot Topic
Client Solution
Common Core Update
Top Stories

PBS Launches New Video Series to Make Math 'Cool'

PBS has launched a new "experimental web series" intended to "make math interesting" to middle school students. The series, called PBS Math Club, features short videos designed to connect math to students' lives and interests. The program "was designed from the ground up for blended learning, using Common Core Standards and focusing on the struggles that teenage girls experience in the subject," according to a PBS release.


China's 10 New and Surprising School Reform Rules

Earlier this year China began a major education reform initiative designed to increase student engagement and end student boredom and anxiety. Reduced standardized tests and homework and no tracking are some of the new actions China is taking to lessen student academic burden.


President to Announce $100-Million in Education Grants

Next Tuesday, President Obama will unveil a $100 million competition aimed at finding new ways to prepare high-school students for the global high-tech economy. The program, Youth CareerConnect, would award 25 to 40 grants next year for high schools to team up with higher-education institutions and employers, creating innovative programs that give students industry-relevant education and job skills. Grants would range from $2 million to $7 million and applicants would be required to pony up matching funds of at least 25%.


Report Uncovers Who Is Actually Teaching With Technology

The Pew Research Center published a report on how teachers are using technology at home and in their classrooms. The survey was conducted with middle and secondary instructors across the US, with a special focus on educators involved in the Advanced Placement and National Writing Project. Overall, the findings show that digital technologies have become a central part of teachers' teaching and professional development.


Staff Highlight


We would like to introduce you to a member of our Social Studies Project Team,
Alex Alo
Alex has been with EdGate since 2009. She started out reviewing, segmenting, and summarizing documentaries and other educational films. This experience made her a perfect addition to the social studies team, where she currently uses her knowledge of history and social sciences to accurately correlate publisher content. Over the last 5 years Alex has spent many volunteer hours in elementary school classrooms, which has given her a great understanding of how teachers can best be supported by educational materials. Alex's passion for education and BBA make her a diligent and valuable member of the EdGate team.

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Welcome to The EdGate Observer!


Greetings everyone,


In this month's newsletter, we focus on the most recent education news pertaining to Computer Science Curriculum in the U.K. (Hot Topic), PARCC/SBAC Who's In and Who's Out? (Common Core Update), Advanced and Custom Reporting (Client Solution), Team Work Makes the Dream Work (EdGate Services) and following up with new additions to the EdGate Standards Repository (Standards Update).


As always, EdGate is your source for staying current with new developments in education and the impact of educational standards.   



Sandra Schugren, EdGate General Manager


Hot Topic      




The United Kingdom is setting the stage for others to follow. They are adding a new "Computer Science Curriculum" into their current curriculum for all UK students, Key Stages 1 through 4, and are implementing in September, 2014. They are the first nation to require all kids be able to code, write applications, and be responsible with their knowledge. Students will start at age 5 (Key Stage 1), and continue through age 16 (Key Stage 4), with each level building on the previous level(s).


Their goal is to "[...] ensure students can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation. Pupils will also be taught to analyse problems in computational terms with practical experience of writing computer programs to solve them, to evaluate and apply information technology analytically to solve problems, and also ensure pupils are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of such information and communication technology."


Will any states in the US follow the UK's lead? EdGate will be monitoring! Larry_New



Project Manager

Client Solution  




Periodically we get requests from clients that ask, "Are there additional specialized report format options or can we create custom reports?" The answer is yes!


You can expand your reporting options beyond EdGate's ExPERT Reporting Tool by opting in for the Advanced Reporting Tool or simply requesting a custom report format. While ExPERT can provide basic reports using minimal criteria, Advanced Reporting provides more options in both format and data selection. With Advanced Reporting users can choose from a variety of report templates designed by EdGate or we also offer custom reporting.


If you have a need for a specific report format, our staff can work with you to develop custom reports. Whether the report is needed for submitting a state bid or for marketing initiatives, EdGate has the tools and experience to help meet your requirements. Jennifer_NEW


Please contact your sales or project manager if you are interested in finding out more about Advanced or Custom Reporting!

By: Jennifer Larson
Project Manager


EdgateServicesEdGate Services       




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Since our founding in 1997, we have developed the most robust and comprehensive methods for correlating content that's available in the industry. Our unique and powerful methodology has been successfully proven over years of testing. Equally important is the experience and solid foundation of our team. We are proud of the reputation we have built based on our expertise and the relationships we have formed over the years. Having the tools, technology and experience are all critical components to performing successful alignments, but it's having the support of all of our staff working together as a team that makes us great to work with!


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Common Core Update PARCC_SBAC  




Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), two assessment consortiums, have been developing new tests to address the Common Core academic subjects. For a long time, those who belonged to the consortia were pretty much the same as those who planned to use the tests. However, recent events indicate a few states dropped out of the consortia altogether, while Pennsylvania is a member of both but announced they have no intentions to use either test. Oklahoma went as far to make it clear they were downgrading its membership in PARCC, but are in fact leaving the consortia altogether.


So how many states now belong to one or both of these two consortia?


SBAC = 25 states

� PARCC = 18 states plus D.C.

Pennsylvania belongs to both

There are a total of 8 states that are not members of either


With the news that PARCC tests will cost $29.50 per student, all states in the two federally funded common-assessment consortia now have estimates of what the new tests will cost, which they are sorting out.


The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers released pricing that's just under the $29.95 median spending for summative math and English/Language Arts tests in its 19 member states. That means that nearly half of PARCC states face paying more for the tests they use for federal accountability.


The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium released its pricing in March. The end-of-year summative assessment is estimated to cost $22.50 per student, while the full suite of summative, interim, and formative assessments is estimated to cost $27.30 per student.


For more information, visit SBAC or PARCC at:





Standards Update 


Updates to The EdGate Standards Repository include:  


� Georgia - Early Childhood Education (2013)

� Georgia - Science "Materials Chemistry" course (2013)

� Idaho - Early Childhood Education (2013)

� Illinois - Early Childhood Education (2013)

� Louisiana - Early Childhood Education (2013)

� Rhode Island - Early Childhood Education (2013)

� Tennessee 2014-2015 - Social Studies (2013)

� Wyoming - Early Childhood Education (2013)

If you have any questions regarding standards, feel free to contact me and I will be happy to assist you. You can always join us on Twitter and Facebook to receive notifications regarding state standards in the

EdGate Standards Repository at:





Kristie McCarley

EdGate Standards and Operations Manager