Some of the News Fit to Print
ABOUT HIGHER ED
TRYING TO ASSESS LEARNING GIVES COLLEGES THEIR OWN TEST ANXIETY
The Collegiate Learning Assessment, launched in 2000, has brought rare scrutiny to higher education. Until now, colleges have been largely exempt from the accountability movement sweeping through public elementary and secondary schools yielding the No Child Left Behind law and other initiatives. In a landmark study published last year, sociologists Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa used the test to measure collegiate learning in the nation. Using data drawn from a sampling of public and private colleges, they shook the academic world with a finding that 36 percent of students made no significant learning gains from freshman to senior year. The article is in The Washington Post.
DROPUTS ‘UN-COLLEGE’ PATH TO SUCCESS
For many people, attending college is part of the American dream, a gateway to success and a good job. But, as many recent college graduates are learning the hard way, dreams don't always become reality. It didn't take a diploma for twenty-year-old Dale Stephens to figure that out. Disillusioned with college because he felt he was not getting the skills he wanted, he dropped out and started "UnCollege," a social movement that challenges the notion that college is the best path to success. The article is from Voice of America.
FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS’ FINANCIAL CONCERNS ON THE RISE
Today's freshmen are more focused on the financial benefits of a college education than were their counterparts four decades ago. Freshmen now are also more racially and ethnically diverse, harbor higher expectations for the college experience, and are increasingly interested in pursuing graduate degrees. Those are among the findings of the Cooperative Institutional Research Program, part of the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles, which will soon issue a wide-ranging examination of 45 years of responses to its annual Freshman Survey. The article is in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
NEW TEACHERS GETTING READY TO BE GRADED ON CLASSROOM WORK
Anyone completing a teacher-education program and seeking a teaching license in Wisconsin will have to demonstrate their skills through the Teacher Performance Assessment, a portfolio-based assessment. Teaching candidates will have to submit lesson plans, reflections of their work and a video of their classroom interactions with students as part of the Web-based program. The article is in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
TRAINING OF TEACHER EVALUATORS EXAMINED
Formal training of the principals and other observers conducting teacher evaluations is a complex, necessary, and often overlooked component of the systems, concludes a new paper written by the experts who oversaw the training and scoring of thousands of teachers' lessons, as part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Measures of Effective Teaching Project. Such training, including the certification and testing of observers, will help to ensure that judgments of teacher practice are valid and reliable for the purpose of professional development and other decisions, they assert. The post is from Education Week’s Teacher Beat blog.
FEDS AIM TO SPARK FRESH THINKING ON SCHOOLING
The digital divide will be an enormous hurdle to overcome as the Obama administration pushes for national adoption of e-textbooks for all students by 2017. This month, the administration is expecting to convene a group of CEOs in the digital-publishing industry to jump-start the effort. "Education is one of the most important challenges we face as a country. Part of the solution is new technologies: ...digital devices, digital textbooks," said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski during a national town hall meeting last month that was focused on digital learning. "It will require educators, companies, parents, everyone in the ecosystem to come together to agree on a goal and work hard to get there." The article is in Education Week.