Daily News Roundup, October 25, 2013

Perspectives: News You Can Use
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Some of the News Fit to Print

GATES GIVES $100K FOR ONLINE EDUCATION CONFERENCE
Due to the increased popularity of online education because of its outreach and flexibility, the calls for its improvement have increased, too. Several huge companies and charitable foundations are showing their support for online education by providing funds to various institutions interested in improving the medium. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is one of the latest, having offered a grant to a leading university to hold a conference where educators can discuss ways to improve the effectiveness of online education. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recently gave the University of Texas at Arlington a $97,200 grant to host a conference where educators will discuss the effectiveness of new trends in online learning. The article is at EducationNews.org.

ABOUT HIGHER ED

EVALUATING TEACHER EVALUATION
In the past two years, the quality of teacher education programs has been repeatedly called into question, and a federal panel could not come to a consensus on the role students’ test scores should have on teachers’ evaluations. A report released today by the National Academy of Education suggests that more emphasis should be placed on designing evaluations of teacher training programs. Current approaches to evaluating teaching programs are “complex, varied, and fragmented,” the report said. The article is in Inside Higher Ed.

COLLEGE ENROLLMENT DECLINES SLIGHTLY
Between 2000 and 2005, college enrollment grew by 15 percent. From 2005 to 2010, it increased another 20 percent. But the surge has come to a halt. The latest trends report issued from the College Board Wednesday shows that in 2011, there were 0.2 percent fewer students going on to postsecondary education. However, some sectors experienced gains, such as public four-year institutions. Here's a breakdown of enrollment for several categories between 2010 and 2011:

·         Public four-year institutions up 1.6 percent (123,000);

·         Private, nonprofit four-year institutions up 1.7 percent (66,000);

·         Public, two-year colleges down 2.2 percent (159,000); and

·         For-profit two-year colleges down 2.8 percent (68,000).

The post is from Education Week’s College Bound blog.

ABOUT K-12

ENGAGEMENT IS KEY
Esther Wojcicki writes in the Huffington Post: “Today, the magic key for policymakers and administrators is testing. Their reasoning is that if we put enough pressure on teachers using their salaries as motivators, then kids will test better and learn more. In fact, the opposite is true. Testing is one of the major problems in education today. It forces teachers to teach to the test and it cuts creativity. It is hard for teachers to individualize when the book and curriculum are prescribed and required. So if I had to pick a magic key that might work today, it would be something very different, something simple. It is obvious, but has been overlooked for a long time. Based on my years in the classroom, I would pick engagement.

TEACHING SUSTAINABILITY IN THE TWENTY FIRST CENTURY
Inside Higher Ed’s Getting to Green blogger writes: “The sad fact is that sustainability challenges can only be fully described with a combination of qualitative and quantitative logic, while the way we teach math (separate from language) at the earliest grade levels establishes a pattern of thought in which words are words, numbers are numbers, and never the twain do meet.”


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