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educational articles for parents
  • From the Headmaster:

    The problem: Our high school students face significant challenges.

    The solution: The ASCD High School Reform Proposal. As a member of the ASCD, I support many of the reform ideas being put forth to improve the quality of high school education. As a private school Headmaster, I feel fortunate that I don't need to wait on a tediously slow legislative process to implement improvements at my own school. The ASCD High School Reform Proposal (PDF)

  • California Schools:

    State superintendent paints bleak picture of California schools' future

    Facing $10 billion in cuts this year, California schools risk losing gains for disadvantaged students, said state superintendent of public instruction Jack O'Connell in his annual State of Education address. "These cuts are nothing short of breathtaking," he said, adding that one district plans to lay off more than 15% of its teachers and raise elementary class sizes from 20 to 32 students. San Francisco Chronicle(2/4)

  • In the field:

    Report: College tuition increased 439% from 1982 to 2007

    Rapidly increasing college tuition is causing the U.S. to lose some of its education advantage when compared to other countries, according to a new National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education report. "I don't know what it's going to take to get our nation to wake up to what's happening with regard to the education deficit we're building," said William E. Kirwan, chancellor of the University System of Maryland. The Washington Post The New York Times The Los Angeles Times

  • Eye on Curriculum:

    Students can benefit from tackling hardest material first

    While most teachers progress from easier topics to more advanced ones, that may not always be the best approach, according to a new study. When students were taught to classify materials according to complex criteria, they scored better when they worked on harder problems first. Researchers said those who started with easy items tended to oversimplify and did not think abstractly enough to do well.Science Daily

    Study: High school math key to success in sciences

    Students who took more math in high school did better in all types of college science, while students who took high school science courses such as chemistry or physics, only improved college performance in those specific subject areas, according to a recent study of 8,474 students. San Francisco Chronicle/Associated Press

  • Instruction & Assessment:

    Teach thinking systematically to expand students' horizons

    Thinking requires regular practice in reading comprehension, communication skills, collaboration and writing, say Terry Roberts and Laura Billings of the National Paideia Center. Such systems can be used to stretch students as well as prepare them to reason consistently and deliberately throughout their lives. Educational Leadership (2/2008

    Debate teaches students to research, think critically

    Debating prepares students to think critically and craft reasoned arguments, advocates say. "There is nothing more important an education can provide a child than to foster a hunger to think critically and the tools to know how," says Steven Kalas, a behavioral health consultant. Las Vegas Review-Journal (1/20)

  • Technology Solutions:

    Web site helps students get paid for good grades

    Students from middle school to college who upload their transcripts to GradeFund.com each semester can seek out sponsors for their A's, with donors pledging cash for each A earned; site founder Michael Kopko hopes the model will help motivate younger students and aid older ones with college costs.TIME (12/2)

    Small schools use video conferencing to teach advanced biology

    Some Minnesota students are learning about biology via live video conferences instead of costly in-person visits to see autopsies and surgeries. Instead, the high school students joined students from other states viewing an autopsy during one such "video field trip," which officials say help smaller, less wealthy school systems keep up with neighboring districts. Education Week(1/20)

  • Policy Watch:

    Report: U.S. education spending often haphazardly distributed

    he U.S. education system often spends more on well-off students than poor ones and more for elective and AP classes than core and remedial ones, according to a new report about financing at the 97,000 U.S. schools. "Because we have a system where money is not connected to outcomes, we're not able to answer the question, 'How much should we be spending?'" said project research director Marguerite Roza, a University of Washington research associate professor. The Washington Post Education Week(12/2)