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Texas Re-Ignites Creationism vs. Evolution Battle with New Science Curriculum

creationism vs evolutionState education leaders forged a compromise Friday on the teaching of evolution in Texas, adopting a new science curriculum that no longer requires educators to teach the weaknesses of all scientific theories.

The State Board of Education voted 13-2 to put in place a plan that would instead require teachers to encourage students to scrutinize “all sides” of scientific theories, a move criticized by evolution proponents.

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, which will be in place for the next decade, governs what teachers are required to cover in the classroom, the topics students are tested on and the material published in textbooks. Read the rest of this entry »



Hybrid High School / Community College Opening in Brooklyn

Students attending Brooklyn’s new City Polytechnic High School of Engineering, Architecture and Technology (opening Fall 2009) will graduate with both a high school diploma and an Associate’s degree. It’s a progressive approach to high school education that New York City schools chancellor Joel I. Klein says is “long overdue.” mayor bloomberg and joel klein

The school is offering a five-year secondary education with its curriculum based on career and technical education with advanced courses like computer systems and architectural technology being taught at the New York City College of Technology.

City Polytechnic students will be able to start taking college-level classes during their third year, followed by attending classes in person at the College of Technology. This approach is the first of its kind, allowing students to take professional studies like construction management and IT, and will no doubt promote higher graduation rates, a simpler assimilation to college and a higher rate of college attendance and graduation.

Learn more at New York Times.



Obama Proposes Longer School Days, Extended School Year

president barack obamaFor this generation of students to remain competitive with their international peers as adults, they need to start spending more time in school. This week President Obama proposed that American school children extend their time in class, either by lengthening the school day, or spending less time on summer vacation.

“We can no longer afford an academic calendar designed when America was a nation of farmers who needed their children at home plowing the land at the end of each day,” Obama said. He continued to say “That calendar may have once made sense, but today, it puts us at a competitive disadvantage. Our children spend over a month less in school than children in South Korea. That is no way to prepare them for a 21st century economy.” Read the rest of this entry »



Hispanic Students to be Majority by 2023

Roughly one-fourth of the nation’s kindergartners are Hispanic, evidence of an accelerating trend that now will see minority children become the majority by 2023.

Census data released Thursday also showed that Hispanics make up about one-fifth of all K-12 students. Hispanics’ growth and changes in the youth population are certain to influence political debate, from jobs and immigration to the No Child Left Behind education, for years.

In colleges, Hispanics made up 12 percent of full-time undergraduate and graduate students, 2 percent more than in 2006. Still, that is short of Hispanics’ 15 percent representation in the total U.S. population.

“The future of our education system depends on how we can advance Hispanics through the ranks,” said William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution in Washington. “In many cases it’s going to be a challenge, because they are the children of immigrants, and their English is not as strong. Many have parents without a high school or college education.”

Read more from the Associated Press.



Denver School District Ends Use of Grade Levels

School districts across the US are trying to improve student performance and low test scores. But few have taken as radical an approach as Adams 50.young student raising hand

For starters, when the elementary and middle-school students come back next fall, there won’t be any grade levels – or traditional grades, for that matter. And those are only the most visible changes in a district that, striving to reverse dismal test scores and a soaring dropout rate, is opting for a wholesale reinvention of itself, rather than the incremental reforms usually favored by administrators.

The 10,000-student district in the metropolitan Denver area is at the forefront of a new “standards-based” educational approach that has achieved success in individual schools and in some small districts in Alaska, but has yet to be put to the test on such a large scale in an urban district.

Read more about this innovative move at Yahoo News.





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