Building a Better School Day

From today’s Parade Magazine

1. Begin the Day with Breakfast

As a result of government policies like No Child Left Behind—which requires schools to improve on students’ standardized test performance year over year—educators are overwhelmed with testing and test prep. And that has contributed to an increasingly dysfunctional public school system,

2. Emphasize Learning, Not Testing
3. Teach 21st-Century Skills
4.  “Flip” the Class Work

What if, instead of spending algebra class listening to their teacher give a lecture, students were sent home with short video lectures, then spent class time having the concepts reinforced with interactive labs or discussions?

5. Say Yes to Recess
6. Get Creative
7. Go Longer-And Better

Test Scores Sink as New York Adopts Tougher Benchmarks

It’s all about the numbers.

Excerpts from article linked above:

“The number of New York students passing state reading and math exams dropped drastically this year, education officials reported on Wednesday, unsettling parents, principals and teachers and posing new challenges to a national effort to toughen academic standards.”

“Now we’re going to come out and tell everybody that they’ve accomplished nothing this year and we’ve been pedaling backward?” Ms. Russell said. “It’s depressing.”

William C. Thompson Jr., a Democratic candidate who has been endorsed by the city’s teachers’ union, said the results showed that for years the city had put too much of an emphasis on tests at the expense of deeper learning.”

“The dreary numbers in New York have prompted some critics to argue that the tests are simply too difficult to pass and that education officials have set unrealistic goals.”

“We’re now demanding that most students are A students, and that’s ridiculous,” said Diane Ravitch, an education historian and a frequent critic of Mr. Bloomberg’s efforts to remake the school system. “It will feed into a sense that the tests are not even legitimate measures.”