Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Barbash: Fix affirmative action by fixing k-12 instruction

In a clearly reasoned, researched, and written analysis, Shepard Barbash argued that the solution to racial disparity in higher education outcomes is not likely to come from affirmative action. Instead, he wrote, it will come from improving instruction in K-12 schooling. Yes, indeed! We need to teach effectively. His essay is worth the read.

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Waiting for Waiting for Superman?

Waiting for Superman, a movie which was shown at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2010, is about education in the United States. I’m looking forward to seeing it, but I don’t have much hope that it will address the issues noted routinely here on Teach Effectively!

These are a couple of videos about the film. To see the trailer, which I couldn’t embed here, go to the Web site for the movie, Waiting for Superman.

Continue reading ‘Waiting for Waiting for Superman?’

Does education research = dreck?

If ya haven’t already done so, I recommend that you read Dan Willingham’s discussion about the assertion, most recently proposed by Newsweek editor Sharon Begley (“Second-Class Science: Education research gets an F.“), that educational research has little or no value. Dan, who’s no friend of schlock science, mounts a reasoned defense and then springs ahead to suggestions about how to make things better. You can read his analysis under Is education research all dreck? — Willingham in the Washington Post’s “The Answer Sheet.”

Happy Teacher Week

Here’s a smile for all those teachers who labor day in and day out, caring for other people’s children.

Secret DI?

Over on the Society for Quality Education blog there is a discussion about a post entitled “The ‘Secret’ Principles of Direct Instruction” that might interest one or two (of TE‘s three or four) readers. I’m not sure what the secrets are, but the original post refers to the video from Children of the Code about which I commented recently (and less recently). However, it’s the comments on that post to which I want to point here. In particular, Mark H. comments from the perspective of a student whose teacher used DI methods to teach him to read. Mr. H. is thankful:

Thank you Dr Englemann

I can read due to a wonderful headstrong Special Ed teacher named Lois Eddy, my diligent mother and my aunt, who was the local French teacher and pulled a lot of strings.
Continue reading ‘Secret DI?’

New test results [from KTM]

Over on Kitchen Table Math the contributor who identifies himself as SteveH has a delightful post about some new test results. Here’s the lead:

Recent testing has shown improvement in shoe tying by fourth and eighth graders over the past two years, although the growth has been stagnant in some districts. Urban school activists, however, can be encouraged by the statistical improvement in areas with populations of 250,000 or more. This continues an upward trend that started 6 years ago when this testing began.

Jump over to Testing Shows Improvement in Shoe Tying.

Do reading curricula make a difference?

Curricula Compared

  • Harcourt
  • Houghton Mifflin
  • Open Court
  • Reading Mastery
  • Scott Foresman
  • Success for All

Reporting in the Journal of School Psychology, Elizabeth Crowe and colleagues recount the methods and results of a study of children’s reading growth during the primary grades. They placed special emphasis on questions about whether different core curricula result in different rates of growth and whether students from lower-SES backgrounds achieve more under one or another curriculum. Although the results of the study do not provide conclusive evidence that any one curricula trumps all others, they give glimpses of programs’ different effects.

In their study, Crowe et al. examined growth in “oral reading fluency” for 30,000 students in Florida (US) receiving instruction using six different core reading curricula during 1st-3rd grades. Generally, they found that almost 3/4ths of the variation in students’ scores was attributable to child factors, but the 1/4th attributable to other factors included differences in the curricula they experienced. They also found, of course, that children’s reading performance, as measured in words read correctly per minute, increased over the grades; however, the increases began to slow late in 3rd grade. In addition, they reported that students from lower-SES backgrounds had lower reading rates than their advantaged peers, but that curricula did not produce different rates of growth for low- versus high-SES students.
Continue reading ‘Do reading curricula make a difference?’

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