Next Steps for the Next Generation Science Standards

The National Research Council’s K-12 Framework for Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards are designed to drive dramatic rethinking and improvement of science education for all students in the United States. Now decisions at the district, state, and federal levels will determine whether the new standards will promote substantive improvement…..Five other state actions will enable […]

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Education Reform: Unsubstantiated Benefit Claims; Unreported Side Effects

We are in a marketing war for the soul of American education. We are at risk of a radical change in which protecting the rights of the few trumps ensuring the common good and in which democratic participation gives way to private governance. These battles are raging in the open, but the public is observing […]

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Resistance to Attacks on Public Education is Not Enough

The Vergara vs California superior court decision to throw out five state statutes that provide job protections to teachers underscores the persistence, power and wealth behind current education policies. Response from critics has been swift and sharp. However, if we want to defend and improve a democratically-governed public education system that promotes authentic engagement and equity, resistance […]

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Arguing for Science Literacy

Students who are scientifically literate know how to argue. However, current education policies undermine rather than advance this vital academic goal. I do not mean disagreements that are resolved based on personal considerations or positional authority. For scientists, argument is all about whether claims — regarding the accuracy and generalizability of their models to explain […]

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Escape From Poverty for a Few More Students Is Not a Worthy National Goal

The 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision provided a catalyst to advance but not fully achieve racial and economic justice. Sixty years later, Republicans and Democrats alike continue to talk about race, poverty and education. However, there is a chasm in current education policies between proclamations of intent and real effects. The […]

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What If We Approached Testing This Way?

Frequent high-stakes testing and its misuse for teacher evaluation are poisoning the assessment waters. Assessment should not be the goal of learning. The word “assessment” should not make students, teachers, administrators and parents cringe. It does not have to be this way. For students and their teachers the most effective use of assessment is to guide […]

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