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April 15, 2011
End of CSAP as we know it
Next spring, as students across Colorado sit down to take the statewide summative assessment, they will not see the Colorado Student Assessment Program (CSAP) on their desks, state education officials announced today.
April 13, 2011
Third grade reading linked to grad rates
A study finds a link between third grade reading levels and high school graduation rate.
March 29, 2011
Tenth grade CSAP a good predictor of ACT scores
A student’s performance on ninth- and 10th-grade CSAP serves as a strong predictor of future results on the Colorado ACT, a recent study found.
March 15, 2011
Ask an Expert: Coping with CSAP stress.
A seasoned educational expert offers some sage advice to parents dealing with CSAP stress at home. Tips include movies and a bit of sign language.
February 11, 2011
Find your school, district remediation rates
Nearly one in three Colorado high school graduates who attend a state college or university must take at least one remedial class. How does your school or district measure up? Search the Education News Colorado remediation database.
February 9, 2011
Ask an Expert: I have a really smart kid who struggles in school
When you attend parent-teacher conferences, what do you typically hear about your son? Does it vary depending on the content area (reading, writing, math, science, social studies, etc.)? Do his teachers talk about his behavior in a negative way?
January 21, 2011
Week of 1/17/11: Teaching & learning tidbits
New and improved School Finder in Denver, teacher training - by students, new program for struggling readers, Aurora delays shift in grad requirements, teachers learn online techniques, Colo. gets mixed reviews in Quality Counts, DPS budget boost, and more!
December 23, 2010
Week of 12/20/10: Teaching & learning tidbits
The latest on Colorado's grim school funding picture; U.S. boys lagging in reading; Aurora charter school expansion clears hurdles; Aurora's Rebound Program has success with hard-to-serve students.
December 1, 2010
Ask an Expert: Is my son ready for "advanced kindergarten"?
An educational expert weighs in on advanced kindergarten programs. Denver Public Schools offers an advanced kindergarten, but this expert encourages parents to think things through before enrolling their child.
September 23, 2010
Dougco football players tackle reading
Here's an interesting approach to inspiring elementary school children to read. This article about an innovative program at Frontier Elementary School called Reading with Winners comes from the Douglas County School District. Share stories of things your child's school is doing to inspire young readings by making a comment on this post.
August 20, 2010
Ask an Expert: Questions about my daughter’s IEP.
If your child’s IEP team determines that it is appropriate for her to have a modified curriculum, she should not be held to the state curriculum standards. Rather, her IEP goals should become her primary academic targets. A modified curriculum will generally be appropriate for fewer than 2 percent of all students.
May 17, 2010
Reading the NAEP tea leaves: a good sign for NYC?
Schools Chancellor Joel Klein does not take questions from reporters without considering how the answers will make him look. So it seems noteworthy that Klein has decided to publicly discuss New York City's results on a prominent national reading exam. On Thursday, Klein will join a panel of people lined up to speak about the latest scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress for reading, commonly known as NAEP, in urban school districts. Results for each state have already been released and New York State students' showed no significant progress in the last eight years. But seeing Klein's name on the list I can't help but wonder if the city will have a different story. In 2007, the last time that New York City students took the NAEP reading exam, the city's fourth graders had made some progress since 2002, but its eighth graders' scores had not significantly changed since 2003.
May 13, 2009
After waiting anxiously for scores, a teacher finds them useless
Much ado is made every year about how students do on state tests. But are individual students’ test scores useful for them and their teachers?…
October 14, 2008
Answers to your questions about the Core Knowledge Reading Program
A few weeks ago, I passed on some readers' questions about the Core Knowledge Reading Program to Matthew Davis, who is coordinating a pilot of the program in New York City elementary schools. He got back to me today with some answers. Ira asked whether the program addresses syntax, since he finds that his students are very weak in understanding grammar and sentence structure. Matthew Davis: In the Listening and Learning strand, the children will be hearing sentences with a lot of syntactical variety, including longer sentences than they would generally encounter in early reader type books they read on their own. We hope this oral experience of the language of books will help the students develop a sense of syntax. Also, beginning in grade 2, the Skills strand will address grammar and syntax explicitly. We expect to do some sentence-combining type of exercises to practice syntactic expansion. Details are being refined as I write. Smith wanted to know how content is selected and sequenced, and how this program differs from what elementary teachers do already.
September 9, 2008
Challenges in assessing the effectiveness of the Core Knowledge Reading Program
Yesterday, Michael Shaughnessy of EdNews interviewed Dr. Matthew Davis, who is leading the implementation of the Core Knowledge Reading Program pilot in New York City. Much of the interview covers basics of the program which we've discussed here already, including the two-strand approach to teaching reading and comprehension and the body of research supporting this method. What the interview highlighted for me are the contradictions of researching a program while trying to decide whether to continue using it, especially when real children are the subjects. Davis says that the pilot will begin this year in kindergarten classes at 10 high-needs schools, then add grade 1 next year and grade 2 in 2010-11. But the continuation of the pilot "will be contingent on success in year one and a continuation of funding," he says. Sounds fair: a program should prove itself before people (in this case, the Fund for Public Schools) invest further. Davis describes the plan for assessing the program: Within the next several weeks, students in both sets of schools will be administered nationally standardized reading assessments in order to establish a baseline performance. These same tests will be administered again at the end of the kindergarten. In addition, there will be formal observation of all teachers in the pilot classrooms to ascertain any possible correlation between the level of implementation of the Core Knowledge program and the level of student achievement. In addition, specific case studies will be conducted by the NYCDOE in three pilot schools to provide additional qualitative information. As far as the test are concerned, we hope to see a significant difference in word attack, word reading, decoding skills, and spelling by the end of the kindergarten year -- because the program has what we think is a very strong way of teaching the mechanics of reading. Background knowledge and vocabulary take a bit longer to build, and gains don't start to show up on some tests until later, but, by the end of the three-year period, we hope to see the front end of what we think will eventually be a very significant difference in vocabulary, oral comprehension, and reading comprehension. So although the survival of the program may rest on a single year's results, the promised impact of the program — increased vocabulary and content knowledge — may take three years to show up. At least three years:
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