Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 7:15 am
In Taneka Hawkins' classroom, 20 kindergarteners wiggle through a mid-morning dance break, waving their arms and jumping around to a guided dance video. It's busy, to be sure, and a bit crowded.
"The children are so small, and a lot of things that we do have to be so hands on, and it's kind of hard when it is more than 20," Hawkins says. A class size of 15, she adds, would be ideal. "I think we could reach more students with that smaller class size."
Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 2:06 pm
Former Florida GOP Gov. Jeb Bush defended the Common Core education standards Thursday, but offered an olive branch to Republican activists who oppose them and are making them a litmus test for potential 2016 presidential candidates.
Bush's longtime support has put him crosswise with part of the Republican base. He said that he finds the new angst over Common Core "troubling," but that there is room for disagreement among those who more generally support school reform.
Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 8:28 am
In New Orleans, schools have long struggled to provide for students with physical, emotional and mental disabilities. Even before Hurricane Katrina, many parents had to fight for extra help. But many say things have only gotten harder since the city's public school district shifted almost entirely to charter schools.
In 2012, when Louisiana’s taxpayer funded scholarship program was expanded statewide, Hosanna Christian Academy in Baton Rouge went all in.
In that first year, the school took on almost 300 voucher students, nearly doubling its enrollment. By the start of this school year, Hosanna had more voucher students than any other school in the state -- about 85 percent of its student are enrolled with a voucher.
Hosanna's students didn't score well enough on state tests, and it won't be allowed to enroll more voucher students next year. Still, headmaster Josh LaSage says the school isn't giving up.
Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 12:29 pm
Part 2 in a four-part series on reading in the Common Core era.
Linnea Wolters was prepared to hate the Common Core State Standards.
She taught fifth grade at a low-income school in Reno, Nev., where, she says, there was always some new plan to improve things. And none of it added up to good education. But, after leading her class through a Core-aligned lesson — a close reading of Emma Lazarus' sonnet "The New Colossus" — she was intrigued, especially by the way different students reacted to the process.
Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 9:48 am
Part 1 in a four-part series on reading in the Common Core era.
The Common Core State Standards are changing what many kids read in school. They're standards, sure — not curriculum. Teachers and districts still have great latitude when it comes to the "how" of reading instruction, but...
The Core standards explicitly require students to read "complex" material, and the fact is, many kids simply weren't doing that before the Core. What were they doing?