Most Clicked ASCD SmartBrief Stories

1. Have Common Core tests been successful?

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 22, 2015

Technical issues that affected testing in several states, coupled with the growing opt-out movement, could have lasting effects for exams aligned with the Common Core State Standards, according to this article. While some say they expected some glitches, the setbacks have officials considering greater flexibility and shorter tests. Hechinger Report, The (04/21)

2. Fla. district eliminates most end-of-year tests

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 24, 2015

A large school district in Miami, Fla., is eliminating most year-end tests, including all exams for elementary-school students. The decision was made amid mounting statewide pressure to reduce testing, and some say it could set a precedent for other Florida districts. Reuters (04/23)

3. What to expect when full Senate debates NCLB rewrite

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 20, 2015

The U.S. Senate education committee last week passed a bipartisan rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. If the bill is debated by the full Senate, senators are expected to reintroduce amendments tabled during recent negotiations. "Neither of us (Patty Murray, D-Wash.) insisted on putting into our base bill every proposal about which we feel strongly, although we will offer some of these as amendments when we reach the Senate floor," Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., said. Education Week (tiered subscription model) (04/22)

4. Study: How music lessons affect student learning

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 20, 2015

Music classes may result in improved reading abilities -- particularly for low-income students -- according to a recent Northwestern University study. Researchers found that music also helps students develop social, emotional, intellectual and creative skills. (04/17)

5. Study: Extra reading class may not improve all students' scores

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 23, 2015

More may not be better when offering additional instruction to some students who score below the 60th percentile on literacy assessments, according to a recent study. The study -- focused on students in a large, urban district -- revealed that an extra literacy class did not result in gains for black students. Study author Shaun Dougherty offers possible reasons for the trend. Education Week (tiered subscription model) (04/22)

6. What do opt-out students do during testing sessions?

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 24, 2015

Advocates for the opt-out movement have turned their attention to what schools instruct students who are not taking tests to do during exam sessions. In parts of New York state, parents and others have been critical of what they call "sit and stare" policies. New York Times (tiered subscription model), The (04/23)

7. Should schools consider a gender-based approach to learning?

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 23, 2015

Peak cognitive development occurs at different ages for girls and boys, neuroscientist Frances Jensen said. She suggested neurological evaluations as one tool to help educators personalize learning. "Brains are in such a different state from person to person, they should be taught differently," she said. Washington Post (tiered subscription model), The (04/22)

8. Proposals to repeal Common Core falter in some states

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 23, 2015

None of the 19 states that considered legislation this year to repeal the Common Core State Standards have passed such bills into law. Some opponents of Common Core say they intend to keep pursuing its repeal. Education Week (tiered subscription model) (04/22)

9. Ed-tech grant program is part of proposed NCLB changes

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 21, 2015

The proposed revisions for the No Child Left Behind Act includes the I-TECH -- Innovative Technology Expands Children's Horizons -- amendment. The measure would create a competitive grant program used to fund education-technology initiatives. Education Week (tiered subscription model) (04/20)

10. How teachers can engage kinesthetic learners

ASCD SmartBrief | Apr 24, 2015

More students benefit from tactile and kinesthetic learning, but the approach remains underutilized in classrooms, according to Naphtali Hoff, a former educator and school administrator turned executive coach. In this blog post, Hoff offers several suggestions for engaging kinesthetic learners. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Education (04/23)

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