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an hour a day keeps state accountability away
August 16, 2018
Florida told its low-scoring schools to make their days longer. It helped, new research finds
Last year, Camille Watkins’s day as a fourth grade teacher got a little longer. The elementary school where she taught…
October 31, 2017
A simple solution for solving teacher shortages: pay incentives for hard-to-find educators
A new study offers a straightforward solution to teacher shortages: give bonuses or provide loan forgiveness to teachers in positions that are hard to staff.
a failure of accountability
July 14, 2017
High-stakes testing may push struggling teachers to younger grades, hurting students
it’s a big problem when schools encourage their least effective teachers to work with their youngest students. And a new study says that the pressure of school accountability systems may be encouraging exactly that.
March 30, 2017
For the first time, Tennessee school voucher advocates are pushing for TNReady in private schools. Here’s why.
If Tennessee private schools want to take advantage of public money that could soon be flowing their way, they might have to become…
in her own words
March 28, 2017
Rave reviews: Here are the states, schools, and programs that have gotten Betsy DeVos’s seal of approval
In her speeches, she's been citing program after program that she supports, often with remarkable specificity.
February 28, 2017
Voucher-like proposal could take $71 million of public school funding from all Tennessee districts
The Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Act would allow public school dollars to go toward private education services.
September 18, 2014
Study says relying on sales tax could hurt Indiana schools
Indiana’s reliance on sales tax as a critical part of its tax revenue isn’t doing any favors for education funding. A report released by Standard and Poor’s says the rising gap in wealth has led to slower economic growth and could result in a decrease in the money Indiana uses to fund education.
October 1, 2008
Authentic science instruction raises test scores in Florida
At the intersection of earlier discussions of elementary school content knowledge, vocabulary development, and instruction of English Language Learners is…
July 10, 2008
Do better readers do better on tests of reading?
Yesterday, I took an initial look at the Manhattan Institute's study, "Building on the Basics." Today, I want to look at Florida's state science exam, the focus of the study. A common criticism of standardized tests is that they all, to some degree, test reading ability. What does the Science FCAT look like? What skills would you need to perform well on it? I've only seen the NYS Science exams, so I decided to download a Florida sample test and take a look. The first thing that surprised me about this test was the reading level, which seemed high. Many of New York City's fifth graders would (for better or for worse) stumble over sentences like, "Florida has many limestone caves containing formations called stalactites." I tracked down a site of readability analyzers and entered text from test items. Question 1: Melissa’s school rings a bell to alert students that it is time to start class. When the bell rings, it vibrates. The use of vibrations to send messages is an example of which type of energy? This one ranged from 4.72 to 10.07 in estimated US grade level required to understand it, which certainly calls into question the reliability of the readability analyzers, but also the ability of average 5th graders to understand this question.
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