Public Spending Per Student Drops
U.S. public-education spending per student fell in 2011 for the first time in more than three decades, according to new U.S. Census Bureau data issued Tuesday.
New Online Marketplace
Educators are invited to join The EdWorld Exchange, an innovative online marketplace for educators, where they can buy and sell classroom resources.
Classroom of the Future Foundation Honors San Marcos Unified for Innovation
Congratulations to San Marcos Unified School District for winning the Classroom of the Future Foundation's 2013 Innovate Award!
Survey Finds Students Prioritize Devices...Variety over Internet Access
A recent report from Project Tomorrow finds that students increasingly favor digital learning and prioritize technology devices, rather than Internet access. The survey also showed that while about 21% of teachers report assigning Internet homework weekly, a majority of students in 12th and ninth grade and 47% of students in sixth grade report weekly use of the Internet to do their homework. For the full report, visit: tomorrow.org
The Common Core's Fundamental Trouble
There's a lot being said and written about the Common Core State Standards these days, not all of it accurate. Here's a smart piece about the initiative by the editors of Rethinking Schools, a nonprofit organization that publishes a magazine of the same name that balances classroom practice and educational theory, while also addressing key policy issues. Writers include teachers, parents and researchers, You can see who is on the editorial board here.
U.S. Lets States Delay Using Tests to Rate Teachers
Acknowledging that the nation's educators face large challenges in preparing students for more rigorous academic standards and tests, Arne Duncan, the secretary of education, informed state education officials on Tuesday that they could postpone using the tests to make career decisions about teachers.
We would like to introduce you to a member of our Digital Media Project Team,
Naomi has been a part of the EdGate family since 2010, fulfilling duties in two capacities. She segments and summarizes educational videos and archival films as well as supports teacher, parent and student users of SchoolNotes.com. Naomi's teaching experience includes early childhood education in the private sector and countless hours of volunteer work in her local elementary school. She holds a degree in communication and a certificate of completion from the Long Ridge Writer's Group.
Founded in 1997, EdGate Correlation Services (EdGate) is a leader in the field of alignment solutions for educational companies around the world.
The EdGate Standards Repository is the most comprehensive collection of national and international educational standards in all subject areas.
Through the power of our technology and the professional experience of our subject-area specialists, EdGate provides accurate and continually updated correlations, on-demand correlation reporting capabilities, and effective website integration options.
EdGate can also deliver standards licensing, customized taxonomy solutions, correlation to assessment standards, and more.
Welcome to The EdGate Observer!
In this month's newsletter, we focus on the most recent educational news pertaining to Smarter Balanced Online Practice Tests (Common Core Update), Graduation Requirements and Common Core (Hot Topic), NGSS Available in Several Ways (Client Solution), Attendance at ISTE 2013 in San Antonio, Texas (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 specifically the impact of educational standards.
Sandra Schugren, EdGate General Manager
Common Core Update
SMARTER BALANCED RELEASES ONLINE PRACTICE TESTS
Teachers, parents, and students across the country can now access online practice tests aligned to the Common Core State Standards. The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (Smarter Balanced) released sets of example test questions for grades 3-8 and 11 in both English language arts/literacy and mathematics. The Practice Tests will help schools prepare for the implementation of the Smarter Balanced Assessment System in the 2014-15 school year.
The Practice Tests provide a preview of the types of questions that will be featured in the summative assessment beginning in 2014-15, including selected-response items, constructed-response items, technology-enhanced items, and performance tasks (extended activities that challenge students to apply their knowledge and skills to respond to real-world problems). The Practice Tests are freely available on the Smarter Balanced website.
In October 2012, Smarter Balanced released a set of sample assessment items and performance tasks. The Consortium has also published: content specifications that translate the standards into assessment claims and targets; item and task specifications that specify how individual questions are to be written; and the preliminary test blueprints that describe the content of the test and how it will be assessed.
These materials are available online at: http://www.smarterbalanced.org/smarter-balanced-assessments/.
GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS AND COMMON CORE
Although 45 states and the District of Columbia have adopted Common Core State Standards for Math and Language Arts, most "do not require" high school graduates to complete the math classes that would cover the new standards. What does this mean to students? That college or career readiness as envisioned by Common Core remains unrealized.
It is up to each state to lay out the curriculum and classes that will result in the outcomes described in the new standards. Yet, according to Change the Equation, graduation requirements in 22 states that have adopted the Common Core, "lack corresponding graduation requirements that match the expectations of new standards."
To learn more about the analysis performed by Change the Equation and the National School Boards Association's Center for Public Education, go to http://changetheequation.org/out-sync.
NGSS AVAILABLE IN SEVERAL WAYS
Many of you are already correlating your content to the Next Generation Science Standards, and others are also contemplating doing so this summer and fall. The assessable "Performance Expectation", or PE's, are the focus of these new standards, which we currently have in the EdGate Standards Repository.
These are available through several organizations:
1) as the science portion of the US National Standards
2) as the science portion of EdGate's National STEM Standards, and
3) in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
Science, Education and Business Communities Widely Endorse the NGSS. So far, Kansas, Kentucky, and Rhode Island have adopted them, and many are expected to follow suit this summer. Others on board are National Science Teachers Association, Carolina Biological Supply Company, PASCO Scientific, Sally Ride Science, and Vernier Software and Technology, to name only a few.
Due to client requests, EdGate is also working on adding a supplementary comprehensive version of the NGSS by including the frameworks upon which the PE's are based - including the 3 elements of instruction from the NRC Frameworks document. These three elements are "Practices", "Crosscutting Concepts", and "Disciplinary Core Ideas". These will be available later this summer, and will be accessible as a separate organization within the EdGate Repository. These can be added to your account profile for a nominal, one-time fee.
For more information on the NGSS, visit their website at http://www.nextgenscience.org/next-generation-science-standards.
Stop by the EDmin booth #10102 to see the products offered by EdGate's sister companies. We would love to meet with you to discuss Common Core Standards, NGSS, Curriculum Matrix or any additional services.
Please contact Leslie Kolber firstname.lastname@example.org or Tracy Olstad email@example.com to schedule a time.
We look forward to seeing you in San Antonio!
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