The beginning of the end of our obsession with standardized tests

It didn’t work, which came as no surprise to teachers and other critics. They had long pointed to extensive research showing standardized test scores are most strongly correlated to a student’s life circumstances. Real reform, they said, means addressing students’ social and emotional needs and the conditions in which they live, and making improvements in school buildings.

Higher education was not immune to the testing frenzy, either, at least not in admissions. Scores on the SAT or ACT became an important factor in deciding who was accepted. College rankings — led by the annual lists of U.S. News & World

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ACT, SAT ‘Test Optional’ College Admissions Gain Ground. But Schools and Students Should Be Skeptical – Inside School Research

Efforts to remove college admissions tests such as the ACT and SAT from application requirements are gaining momentum this year, with more than half of four-year universities offering to make the tests optional at least in some cases, particularly for students coping with massive testing disruptions this spring.

Yet the tests have not taken as much of a back seat in the college process as students and schools may believe, and it’s not yet clear what role they will play in students’ paths to college after the immediate chaos of the pandemic.

The National Center for Fair & Open Testing

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Georgia becomes first state to seek suspension of standardized tests in 2020-21

In March 16, Georgia became one of the first states in the nation to suspend standardized testing requirements in the wake of the COVID-19 school closures, and later received approval from the U.S. Department of Education for the cancelation of all remaining standardized tests in the 2019-2020 school year.

Given the ongoing challenges posed by the pandemic and the resulting state budget reductions, it would be counterproductive to continue with high-stakes testing for the 2020-2021 school year. In anticipation of a return to in-person instruction this fall, we believe schools’ focus should be on remediation, growth, and the safety of

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What we do — and don’t — know about schools reopening for fall

In California, for example, the state Education Department recently issued guidance calling for the implementation of a hybrid, or blended, instructional model in all K-12 districts.

Virginia Education Secretary Atif Qarni said recently that he envisions some combination of remote and in-school learning, with in-school learning most necessary for students with special needs, young children, English-language learners and other at-risk students.

In Ohio, some districts have informed the state they plan to use blended learning.

And many colleges and universities throughout the country that have declared that they are welcoming students back to campus envision a hybrid model, with students

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Why it is indefensible to keep Confederate names on schools

The issue of honoring Confederate figures has been in the spotlight in recent weeks as protesters around the country have demanded police reform and justice for black men and women killed by police with impunity. In some places, protesters have pulled down or defaced Southern icons, and there are calls to take down all of them that remain standing in public spaces.

The Southern Poverty Law Center says its newest count shows 110 public schools, mostly in the South, still named after Confederate leaders, and 43 other schools that have been renamed (though the nonprofit organization says it can’t be

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Why ALL Students Should Experience Cha-Ching Money Smart Kids

Read on to learn why 4th grade educator Christi Vereckey, M.Ed., NBCT recommends Cha-Ching Money Smart Kids becomes a cornerstone of elementary school education.

My students (and even my own children!) think unlimited money lives behind debit and credit cards. I often ask myself: as a teacher, how can I ensure our kids grow up to be financially literate? The answer lies in elementary school education.

Designed for students in Grades K-6, Cha-Ching Money Smart Kids highlights basic principles of financial literacy in ways younger students can understand and relate to, while most importantly making the learning FUN! Colorful

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How to get kids to exercise their brains this summer

Parents are worried this summer — far more than in the past — about how to keep their kids learning after a spring semester where many lost ground.

Here’s some help. In this post, veteran educators Daniel and Trisha Willingham have some advice for parents on how to keep their kids exercising their brains and learning how to be independent within boundaries.

Daniel Willingham is a psychology professor at the University of Virginia who focuses his research on the application of cognitive psychology to K-12 schools and higher education. He was appointed by President Barack Obama to the National Board

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Why faculty are concerned about being back on campus

Dear faculty, staff and students,

Today, I am announcing how we are returning to campus this fall. It will be in a way that minimizes health and safety risks to faculty, staff, students and community members through our Road Map to Fall 2020 plan, which I am officially accepting from our Academic Year 2020-21 Planning Team today.

Our Road Map to Fall 2020 calls for classes beginning as scheduled on Aug. 24 and finishing remotely after Thanksgiving break. It prioritizes health and safety considerations required to minimize risk and enable an on-campus academic model that accommodates both in-person and remote

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Empowering Students to Use Data to Understand Equity and Justice

Data means so much more than numbers on a screen. The proximity, accessibility, and inclusivity of data helps drive change around the globe. Whether it be the impact of consumer decisions, the science behind voting, or the influence of social media algorithms, data drives our world.

That’s why it’s important for students to understand the power of data. Discover Data – an education initiative powered by the Nielsen Foundation in collaboration with Discovery Education and the Afterschool Alliance – provides no-cost dynamic digital resources for educators, students, and families to innovate the future through data.

Integrating data science in the

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