The education headlines continue to pile in today, and most of them aren’t focused on nominations at the U.S. Department of Education nor the education implications of the economic stimulus bill. Some ideas to consider:
Further Proof We Need National Education Standards
Over in Kentucky, legislators are looking to rewrite the state’s reading and math school standards, seeking to improve student proficiency by reducing the number of state standards they are held to. A noble intent, particularly when it is intended to address remedial needs in postsecondary education, but by now, you’d think every state would understand core academic standards. Our focus should be on delivering the proven-effective instruction in math and science and equipping teachers with the materials and supports they need to get the job done. This seems like a side step when so many are calling for a large step forward.
Refocusing on Teaching
By now, we all should recognize the importance of the classroom teacher in school improvement and the need to provide those teachers ongoing, content-focused professional development. And with expectations for our schools, teachers, and students growing higher and higher, one would think PD would gain greater attention from the education system. But in Iowa, teachers are struggling to find the time they need for professional development.
A Little College Help
We often hear how the job of K-12 education is complete once graduation day finally arrives. Over in Indianapolis, though, educators seem to take their commitment to boost the college-going rate just a little more seriously. Imagine, high schools providing guidance counselors to recent high school graduates, to help them adjust to the challenges and rigors of postsecondary education. It’s true, at least for those who attended Indianapolis Metropolitan High School.
Learnin’ the Language
While the focus on school improvement grows larger and larger with each passing week, there is still little discussion about the issue of English Language Learners. Seems the National Association of Bilingual Education, through its former ED James Lyons, is trying to change that, talking up the need for greater ELL focus in national education policy.
Wire Me Up
According to the Pew Charitable Trusts, 25 percent of adults in the United States do not use the Internet. While we expect the vast majority of those individuals are older Americans, one has to ask, how many parents of school-aged children are disconnected at home?