- Diversity On the Rise Among TFA Recruits, Education Week: Catching headlines this month were new stats on TFA’s latest class of corps member: half of the 5300 new crop of teachers identify as people of color. The organization has led a deliberate effort over the last few years to reach a more diverse pool of applicants. A major criticism of the organization has been related to the diversity of its teachers.
- Michelle Rhee Will Leave Job as CEO at StudentsFirst, Huffington Post: Earlier this week, Rhee confirmed reports that she’ll depart as CEO of the organization she founded following her tenure as DCPS’s chief.
- Sales of Chromebooks Rising Rapidly, Fueled by Education Sector, Education Week K12 Marketplace: New numbers show that 85% of the sales of chromebooks were made by the education sector in 2013.
- Personalized Learning and the 2 Sigma Problem, edSurge: Personalized learning has been THE hot topic of the summer. This post dissects the various arguments being had, and pushes on the idea that any personalized learning must be coupled with a fair amount of requisite background knowledge. Also, can we always assume that students will push themselves to learn without oversight?
- US Reviews of Standards, Tests Enter New Phase, Education Week: The US DOE is on the verge of releasing the first draft of new guidance on the peer-review process for standards and tests, a document that could exert powerful influence on how states set academic expectations.
- Group to Launch Free Online Reviews of CCSS Materials, Education Week: A new organization is wading into the waters of judging whether major textbooks and other classroom materials are truly aligned to the CCSS.
- Why Some Schools Are Selling All Their iPads, The Atlantic: In another article on the tablet vs laptop marketplace, The Atlantic looks at the recent challenges schools have faced with both devices.
- Tests that Look Like Video Games, NPR: NPR Ed looks at why people play and how it relates to learning. The article examines how game mechanics are being combined with psychometrics to research and assess knowledge.
- Second Vergara-Inspired Lawsuit Filed in New York, Education Week: A second lawsuit challenging New York laws governing teacher tenure, layoffs, and dismissals was filed earlier this week. The lawsuit argues that those protections are depriving students of their constitutional right to a sound basic education because they make it impossible to fire an ineffective or incompetent teacher.
- College Cost Isn’t Poor Students’ Big Problem, Bloomberg View: This summer’s banner policy proposals suggest that the main concern for college access is access to student loans. After exploring a report that compares US and Canadian college-going trends, an economist examines the idea that the US has incredibly more complex factors as play that lead to low inter-generational mobility in education.
- What Digital Badging Can Teach About Consistent Standards, Associations Now Blog: This interesting post makes the case for interoperability of digital badges, especially if you want them to be meaningful to students’ lifelong learning.
- The Revenge of the Textbook: Why Ed Tech Enthusiasts Need to Understand Textbook Adoption Policy, New America EdCentral blog: Many thought-provoking questions are raised in this piece that examines the adoption practices of major textbooks (hint: they are heavily state policy-driven and not district-driven) and what this means for digital content.
- The Learning Accelerator and RI DOE Announce Partnership, Digital Journal: The Learning Accelerator, a nonprofit that supports the implementation of blended learning, announced an ambitious initiative with Rhode Island to become the first fully “blended learning state”.
- Schools Lament Shortcomings of Apple iPad as Some Opt Instead for Chromebooks, AppleInsider: Even as Apple’s sales boom, schools are transitioning students away from the iPad in favor of laptops, as weaknesses have begun to emerge with the tablet.
- What are the Most Powerful Uses of Tech for Learning? KQED/MindShift: There are a lot of powerful tools available to educators and plenty of creative, inspired educators working hard to put available technology to work in classrooms. A lack of excellence is not the problem, this author claims; access to technology and guidance for participating in the digital space are the much bigger challenges.
- How We Can Strengthen Schools Serving Low-Income Children, Ed Week Commentary: Authors of a recent book on the crisis of inequality in this country and how it relates to school pen a powerful piece on how standards, accountability, and advances in research-based knowledge can help better serve students from low-income communities. They warn that accountability in and of itself won’t improve education for the most at-risk kids: consistent strong supports are needed for teachers to help students master the CCSS.
- Why a NJ School District Decided Giving Laptops to Students is a Terrible Idea, Hechinger Report: A failed experiment in Hoboken has now lead to the district getting rid of its 1:1 laptop program. Not shocking that the problem lies in the implementation of the program.