Posted inElementary to High SchoolOpinion

An award-winning teacher explains why PARCC, Smarter Balanced are the kind of tests students should take

Maryland officials recently released scores from PARCC assessments, which were administered for the first time this spring. The results pulled back the curtain on a tough reality that went unspoken for a long time: When held to levels that reflect what students need to know and be able to do to succeed at high levels […]

Posted inNews

Working in a group might be the best way to help kids meet individual goals, study says

When I first became an education journalist back in 2011, there was a lot of talk about individualized instruction, particularly by using educational software to tailor subjects for each student. I visited many elementary and middle schools where students, with bulging headphones wrapped over their heads, stared at separate computers, each learning something different at […]

Posted inNews

Can Common Core reading tests ever be fair?

NEWARK, N.J. — Yandilixza Esteves’ face lights up when she talks about reading. Her favorite books are from “The Magic Tree House” series because, “I can imagine I’m in the places they’re talking about,” she says. Esteves, age 10, is a fourth-grader at Roberto Clemente Elementary School in Newark, N.J., and a native of Puerto […]

Posted inElementary to High SchoolHigh School ReformNews

Presentations and portfolios take the place of tests for some students

NEW YORK — One afternoon this spring, tension ran high at City-As-School in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. In drab classrooms, students, many of whom have struggled with school, presented research that would determine whether they would graduate this year. Fellow students listened, murmuring words of encouragement as two teachers pressed the speakers on their findings. This […]