July 21, 2017 10:28 am
“There are only two things that matter: what students are learning and how effectively they are learning it.”
Former Commissioner of the New York State Education Department, Dr. David Steiner, addressed the importance of rigorous standards and high quality curriculum and instruction during a recent talk at the Alliance’s High School Advisory Group Meeting. The group supports the Alliance’s efforts to elevate and expand practices to promote postsecondary opportunities for traditionally underserved students.
This week’s digest features social and emotional learning as a foundation, going beyond basic reasoning skills to prepare students for future jobs, project-based learning questions and answers, and the story of how one school keeps deeper learning afloat.
Early on a Friday morning in May, Dale Fiess and his students took to the water. For the students, it literally was a sink or swim moment. The time had come to launch the solar-powered boat the students had built and see whether it could compete against the other teams entered in the California Solar Regatta.
Last month, the Trump administration released its first full budget proposal recommending a $9.2 billion, or 13.5 percent, cut in funding for the U.S. Department of Education (ED) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. The suggested cuts raised many eyebrows on Capitol Hill when U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos testified about the budget before the House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee responsible for funding ED. In particular, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), the Ranking Member on the subcommittee, voiced concerns regarding proposed cuts to literacy funding. She stated, “Literacy is a mark of a civilized society—we spend money to spread literacy internationally, yet [the budget eliminates] $190 million from the largest reading program for low-income children and youth and $96 million from grants that help low-skilled adults become literate.” The Alliance for Excellent Education (the Alliance) shares Congresswoman DeLauro’s concerns with the administration’s recommended cuts to literacy funding.
Stephanie Murphy’s fourth graders had a problem—there simply weren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. But their challenge wasn’t trying to balance their homework with their time with friends. Instead, the students were trying to allocate the amount of time the members of their colony would devote to building homes, making clothes, cooking meals, and other chores as part of a classroom exercise simulating life of the seventeenth century American colonists.
Having a postsecondary degree or training increasingly is becoming a prerequisite for most jobs. Yet while U.S. students are graduating from high school and completing college at the highest rates in decades, employers say many prospective employees still lack essential skills in problem solving, critical thinking, and communication. Furthermore, these skills—along with the ability to collaborate, direct one’s learning, and persevere in the face of challenge—are especially crucial in fast-growing and emerging occupations, according to a new report from the Center on Education Policy (CEP).
This week’s digest features a new image gallery depicting teachers and students in action, examines why deeper learning competencies are critical for career success, offers examples of college readiness pathways, and demonstrates how to decode deeper learning.
A portion of the following is an excerpt from the new ASCD book, Learning Transformed, authored by the Alliance for Excellent Education’s Thomas C. Murray, and his co-author, Eric Sheninger.
For decades, school leaders have discussed “the need” to integrate technology. The problem with these conversations has been a lack of focus on the why and how technology can support a learning transformation. The greatest technology in the world will not garner hypothesized improvement if a concerted effort to change pedagogy isn’t the foundation. As evidenced in various reports from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development on the topic, the problem isn’t the technology itself per se but the lack of high-quality pedagogy, which often stems from a lack of high-quality professional learning to support educators with effective implementation.