Some of the News Fit to Print
BILL GATES BETS BIG ON BIG DATA SAVING SCHOOLS
Bill Gates trumpeted his numbers-driven approach to philanthropy at a Manhattan meeting with six reporters and writers recently where he laid out his wish list for how to improve data-gathering efforts to address social, health, and economic problems around the world. The world's most generous donor also launched a few missives aimed at fellow philanthropists -- who, he says, devote too much funding to disaster-relief in the wake of floods and earthquakes, and too little to sustained improvements that prevent disasters from wreaking such havoc. He also took aim at the federal government, which he said should spend more money on research and development on innovative policy reforms, particularly in public education. The article is in The National Journal.
CALIFORNIA ABANDONS ALGEBRA REQUIREMENT FOR EIGHTH-GRADERS
By falling in line with other states, California's state board voted last month to shift away from a 15-year policy of expecting 8th-graders to take Algebra I. The state will allow them to take either Algebra I or an alternate course that includes some algebra. New state standardized tests will focus on the alternate course -- the same one adopted under the Common Core. The article is in the San Jose Mercury News.
STATES LACK DATA ON PRINCIPALS, STUDY SAYS
While principals increasingly are moving to center stage in national debates over school improvement, a new study finds most states have little or no information about how their principals are prepared, licensed, supported, and evaluated. The article is in Education Week.
ABOUT HIGHER ED
MOOCS AND TABLET COMPUTING ARE TOP TRENDS
MOOCs and tablet computers top the list of emerging higher-education technologies in this year’s “Horizon Report,” by the New Media Consortium. The report, which has been released each year since 2004, describes six technologies that are expected to influence learning and teaching during the next five years. The technologies are divided into three tiers of varying time horizons: near term, midterm, and far term. The post is from The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Wired blog.
WHY THE ONLINE ED MOOC DIDN’T WORK
When word spread this weekend that a massive open online course about online education had to be suspended due to technology problems that left many students angry, officials from Coursera and the Georgia Institute of Technology were not available for comment. In interviews Monday, however, officials of both Coursera and Georgia Tech confirmed that the major issue concerned the ability of the 41,000 students to discuss topics in small groups, and that the technology for that feature indeed was not working. The officials also said that they were confident that fixes would be made in a short time period, and that the course would then continue. The article is in Inside Higher Ed’s Quick Takes.