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Martin Burrett

Talking Transition - 7 views

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    "Moving from one school to another is a seminal moment in the lives of young people. Ensuring a smooth start can change how a pupil sees school, their education and their future. Preparing adquently for a new school, or even a new school year is vitial… and that is just the teachers!"
Randolph Hollingsworth

National Center for Education Statistics, The Nation's Report Card: Writing 2011 - 2 views

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    Asa Spencer of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute writes in the Education Gadfly Weekly: "Traditionalists cringe, tech buffs rejoice: This latest NAEP writing assessment for grades eight and twelve marks the first computer-based appraisal (by the "nation's report card") of student proficiency in this subject. It evaluates students' writing skills (what NAEP calls both academic and workplace writing) based on three criteria: idea development, organization, and language facility and conventions. Results were predictably bad: Just twenty-four percent of eighth graders and 27 percent of twelfth graders scored proficient or above. Boys performed particularly poorly; half as many eighth-grade males reached proficiency as their female counterparts. The use of computers adds a level of complexity to these analyses: The software allows those being tested to use a thesaurus (which 29 percent of eighth graders exploited), text-to-speech software (71 percent of eighth graders used), spell check (three-quarters of twelfth graders), and kindred functions. It is unclear whether use of these crutches affected a student's "language facility" scores, though it sure seems likely. While this new mechanism for assessing kids' writing prowess makes it impossible to track trend data, one can make (disheartening) comparisons across subjects. About a third of eighth graders hit the NAEP proficiency benchmark in the latest science, math, and reading assessments, compared to a quarter for writing. So where to go from here? The report also notes that twelfth-grade students who write four to five pages a week score ten points higher than those who write just one page a week. Encouraging students to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) is a start."
Randolph Hollingsworth

Career and Technical Education: Five Ways That Pay Along the Way to the B.A. - 1 views

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    New report from Center on Education and the Workforce, Georgetown University, September 2012, by Anthony P. Carnevale, Tamara Jayasundera, Andrew R. Hanson - Daniela Fairchild of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute writes in The Education Gadfly Weekly: "At 31 percent, the United States currently ranks second among OECD nations-behind Norway-for the percentage of its workforce with a four-year college education. That's the good news. The bad news is that we rank sixteenth for the percentage of our workforce with a sub-baccalaureate education (think: postsecondary and industry-based certificates, associate's degrees). Yet a swath of jobs in America calls for just that sort of preparation, which often begins in high school. Dubbed "middle jobs" in this report by the Center on Education and the Workforce, these employment opportunities pay at least $35,000 a year and are divided among white- and blue-collar work. Yet they are largely ignored in our era of "college for all." In two parts, this report delineates five major categories of career and technical education (CTE), then lists specific occupations that require this type of education. It's full of facts and figures and an excellent resource for those looking to expand rigorous CTE in the U.S. Most importantly, it presents this imperative: Collect data on students who emerge from these programs. By tracking their job placements and wage earnings, we can begin to rate CTE programs, shutter those that are ineffective, and scale up those that are successful. If CTE is ever to gain traction in the U.S.-and shed the stigma of being low-level voc-tech education for kids who can't quite make it academically-this will be a necessary first step."
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