REPORT: FUTURE K-12 EDUCATION ASSESSMENTS MUST HELP IMPROVE TEACHING AND LEARNING
PRINCETON, N.J.-- A high-level, 30-member commission of educators and thought leaders formed to examine the future of education and its assessment issued a report this week calling upon state and federal policymakers to commit to a long-term effort to develop assessments that place greater emphasis on providing timely and valuable information to students and teachers. The report of The Gordon Commission on the Future of Assessment in Education asserts that good assessments provide timely, constructive information that help students accelerate their learning and teachers personalize instruction. Commission members expressed concern that the use of test results for the sole purpose of school accountability has overshadowed, at times, the more valuable uses of assessments. The Commission also found that although digital technologies that may one day be used for real time assessment of learning show promise, much more research is required before they can be fully integrated into classrooms and schools. Carnegie Senior Fellow Louis Gomez says in a video accompanying the release that it is time to ask how a system of assessments helps us reach the aspirations that we have for students. Gomez, who is also the The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Chair in Digital Media and Learning at UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information, serves on the Commission with Carnegie Senior Associate for Research and Policy Elena Silva, and Carnegie President Emeritus Lee Shulman.
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ALGEBRA, GEOMETRY CLASSES VARY IN RIGOR
The drive to get every student to take so-called college gateway courses has succeeded, a new federal study finds, but students taking Algebra I and Geometry classes are getting considerably less substance than their course titles would suggest. Nearly all of the Class of 2005 graduated having taken Algebra I, according to the latest iteration of the National Assessment of Educational Progress’s high school transcript study, released this morning by the National Center for Education Statistics. Yet if their course materials are any indication, fewer than one in four of those students studied the kind of challenging topics needed to prepare them for college-level mathematics.
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COMPANY SEES OPENING FOR OER
A new company is using an open-source approach to help institutions eager to phase out traditional textbooks for open education resources, but its efforts face an impediment: some instructors still believe a price drop in course materials means a similar drop in quality. Lumen Learning, co-founded by Brigham Young University associate professor David Wiley and Kim Thanos, a higher education entrepreneur, will marry what the two described as an increased focus on the price of education -- particularly the price of textbooks -- with the “pervasive awareness” about OER among researchers. The article is in Inside Higher Ed.
NEW CAL UNIVERSITY CHANCELLOR TO FOCUS ON ‘GATEWAY’ COURSES
The new chancellor of the California State University system Timothy White said one of his goals is to improve what he calls “gateway bottleneck courses” — those in which high numbers of freshmen and sophomores get a grade of D, F or W (for withdrawal). Failure to get through remedial algebra, college-level algebra or introductory statistics can doom students in a variety of fields. With that in mind, San Jose State University recently announced a partnership with online education provider Udacity to offer courses in such subjects. White plans to track that experiment closely. He’s aiming for statewide initiatives that can open equal opportunity to students at Humboldt State University, in the state’s far north, or San Diego State, near the Mexican border. “If we can scale this thing up,” he said, “what an amazing opportunity to get students through the bottleneck and save money doing so.” The article is from The Washington Post.
STUDENT SUCCESS: FOCUS ON THE INDIVIDUAL STUDENT
Saint Leo University President Arthur Kirk writes in the Huffington Post: Institutions must, of necessity, create programs for groups of students, yet to truly have an impact on the goal of timely graduation, each student must see the initiative as targeting his or her own personal need. This concept is, at once, both simple and difficult.
TOP STUDENTS, TOO, AREN’T ALWAYS READY FOR COLLEGE
Elaine Tuttle Hansen, who is a Carnegie Board member and executive director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Talent Youth, writes in The Chronicle of Higher Education: As a former college professor, provost, and president, I've been hearing faculty and administrators at top undergraduate institutions quietly complain for more than three decades about the declining quality of student preparation. What's changed is that today, college readiness is more often a hot topic for educators and policy makers focused on at-risk students. The data driving their laudable work are alarming: Only one in four high-school seniors meets the four benchmarks designed to show readiness for a successful freshman year of college, according to the 2012 ACT college-readiness test.
The truth is that not all of the smartest kids who have jumped through the hoops required for selective college admissions are ready for the demands of college-level work. Second, what are faculty doing about the problem? Unfortunately, at most colleges, even teachers devoted to undergraduate success aren't convinced that it's their problem, nor do they know how to solve it.
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COMMISSION CALLS FOR ‘RADICALLY DIFFERENT’ TESTS
Emerging technology and research on learning have the potential to dramatically improve assessments, if educators and policymakers take a more balanced approach to using them. That's the conclusion of two years of analysis by the Gordon Commission on the Future of Assessment in Education, a panel of top education research and policy experts that was launched in 2011 with initial funding from the Educational Testing Service. The article is in Education Week.
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THE SECOND CHANCE CLUB
The students in English 002 stand at higher education's threshold. If they make it through, they advance to college-level courses that count toward a degree. Otherwise they must decide whether to try again, running down their financial aid, or give up on college and make do without it. The article is in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
HOW COLLEGES ARE MAKING INCOME INEQUALITY WORSE
In higher education, as in health care, America boasts many of the world’s best institutions but produces disappointing results overall. Access is improving: Since 1972, the share of low-income high school graduates who start college immediately has about doubled, to more than half, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Yet nearly half of students who enroll in a postsecondary institution don’t complete a degree within six years. For African-Americans and Hispanics, the number is about three-fifths. Despite Washington’s huge investment in access, since 1970 the gap in college completion rates between students from the bottom and top fifths of the income ladder has doubled. Those from the top fifth are now seven times more likely to graduate than those from the bottom. The article is in the National Journal.
否額外教他一些東西，因為他5-6歲的時候就自己在家學會了基本 的閱讀、書寫和簡單的數學計算。老師表示反對並說，「您應該讓您 的孩子與其他孩子保持同步」。一個星期後我再次去見老師，並出示 了孩子高智商的證書，希望得到她的理解和支持，但老師用一種奇怪 的眼光看著我，似乎我像來自外星的人一樣。」
孩子的大腦留下想像空間。過多的知識會使孩子的大腦變成了電腦的 硬盤(Hard Disk)，常此下去，孩子的大腦就慢慢地變成了儲存器，不會主 動思考了。
這個問題，我專門請教了德國的教育人士，他們讓我找《基本法》來 看看。翻開聯邦德國《基本法》（即憲法），我大吃一驚。其中第七 條第六款明確規定，禁止設立先修學校(Vorschule)。
他們告訴我，孩子在小學前的「唯一的任務”就是快樂成長。因為孩 子的天性是玩耍，所以要做符合孩子天性的事情，而不應該違背孩子 的成長規律。
情況才發現他們對待小孩子的做法基本上大同小異。例如匈牙利立法 規定：嚴格禁止教授幼兒園期間的孩子學習寫作、閱讀、計算等。幼 兒
園的教育是免費的。 （Ungarn： Es ist strengstens verboten in diesem Jahr den
Kindern Schreiben, Lesen, Rechnen, usw. beizubringen. Die pädagogische
Arbeit der Kindergärten ist kostenlos）.
識基本上都學完了。人們有理由擔心， 歐洲的孩子在起跑線上已經輸給了中國的孩子。其實， 這樣的擔心是多餘的。歐洲人普遍認為，孩子有自身的成長規律，他 們在相應的階段要做相應的事情。表面上看中國的學前教育和基礎教 育很紮實，但他們的想像力和思考能力已經被破壞掉，由此造成了孩 子被動接受知識而疏於主動思考的習慣。
：自諾貝爾獎設立以來，德國人（含移民美國、加拿大等國的德裔） 獲得的諾貝爾獎人數將近總數的一半。換句話說，8200萬的德國 人分享了一半的諾貝爾獎，而全球另外70多億人口只獲得了剩下的 一半。
育，看看他們的做法是否值得我們藉鑑。同時也希望中國的教育工作 者別沾沾自喜，因為今天所做的事情，其實是毀了中國/香港的一代 又一代。