This October many high school students around New York State are taking an Algebra I quiz with some unusual and very tough questions. In one, students are asked about how much water is used in the tallest skyscraper in the world during a 24-hour period.
New York State has become the epicenter of a major transformation in the $7 billion textbook industry that threatens the preeminence of publishing behemoths like Pearson.
When the “math wars” began in the 1990s, on one side were those who argued for a new focus on concepts and reasoning rather than drilling students on their times-tables. On the other were the traditionalists, who said the progressive approach allowed students to become unmoored from the building blocks of the subject, leaving them […]
In 2011, the architect of the Common Core State Standards, David Coleman, taught a lesson to a group of teachers that has since sparked controversy over whether the standards are the best way to reform American classrooms. In the lesson, Coleman highlighted two new ways of doing things under the Common Core: a shift to […]
A major requirement for the Common Core State Standards was that they be internationally benchmarked. But there has been debate about how well the standards match those of countries like Singapore. On the Common Core website, a section on myths about the standards says “international benchmarking played a significant role in both sets of standards.” […]
The Gettysburg Address isn’t typical reading in a high school English class, where teachers have long favored literature such as Moby Dick, Nineteen Eighty-Four and Shakespeare. The writers of the Common Core wanted to change that. Although the Common Core standards are not meant to dictate pedagogy or curriculum—something that proponents have repeatedly highlighted in […]
A decade ago, American education leaders received some alarming news: On a pair of international tests, U.S. students were far behind their peers in countries like Japan, Russia, Singapore and South Korea. While 44 percent of Singapore’s students scored “advanced” on the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), only 7 percent of American […]
On a weekday afternoon in July, Jessica Klaitman pulled her 16-month-old daughter Hannah out of a stroller in the lobby of the New York Kids Club, a 10,000 square-foot “child-enrichment center” with four classrooms, a dance studio, and gym space in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y. A circle of parents and nannies holding babies were swaying and […]
On a 2011 reporting trip to visit schools in Bihar, India’s poorest state, one scene in particular stuck in my mind. After a touring a slum neighborhood on the outskirts of the state’s capital city, Patna, my contact there, Sunita Singh, of the Education Development Center, drove me past a small one-room schoolhouse that served […]
The Supreme Court ruled in June that the nation’s courts must strictly scrutinize race-based affirmative action plans at universities and colleges, a decision that could prompt a gradual retreat from the use of race in college admissions. Some researchers see a silver lining for the cause of diversity in higher education, however. They hope that […]