Study shows "early college" puts students on the path to a degree | Is computer science gaining ground in high schools? | How to prepare students for tests under the common core
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July 5, 2013
NCTM SmartBrief
Mathematics Education in Today's News
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Teaching & Learning
High-school students use rap to learn equations, calculations
Senior Jabari Johnson recently won the Science Genius B.A.T.T.L.E.S. -- Bringing Attention to Transforming Teaching, Learning and Engagement in Science -- competition. Jabari and 300 other New York students spent a semester writing raps about different scientific concepts as part of the after-school program Science Genius. The student's rhyme, called "Quest for Joulelry" describes the equation of force times distance equals work. Wired.com (7/1)
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Other News
Curriculum
Is computer science gaining ground in high schools?
While high schools in Massachusetts and elsewhere are taking a greater role in promoting and teaching computer programming, officials report a lack of student interest that is reflective of a national trend. However, some say that could change as the technology industry becomes more involved in training its next generation of employees. Already, at one Massachusetts school, a teacher says he has 30 students enrolled in a programming course next year -- an increase from 19 this year. The Boston Globe (tiered subscription model) (7/3)
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Standards
How to prepare students for tests under the common core
The implementation of the Common Core State Standards will largely overhaul assessments, asserts Kristen Swanson, senior educational technology leader for BrightBytes. In this article, she writes about the shifts in context, rigor and synthesis under common-core-aligned assessments and offers examples of each change. These changes, she writes, will require teachers to alter the way they prepare students for standardized tests, in part, by having students research, create and problem-solve -- all while using various sources and tools. T.H.E. Journal (7/2)
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STEM
Calif. schools are eager to incorporate STEM education
More districts in California are seeking ways to add science, technology, engineering and math to the school day. "Almost every district is starting a STEM school or program at an existing school," said Mike Barney, of the Riverside County Office of Education, who oversees programs, including STEM. Besides launching specific academies, some schools are designing physics playgrounds where they launch rockets and others are starting after-school programs in robotics and coding. The Press-Enterprise (Riverside, Calif.) (free registration) (7/1)
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Policy & Legislation
Duncan: Philadelphia must resolve $304M budget shortfall
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan issued a statement Tuesday in which he urged Philadelphia officials to work to eliminate the school district's $304 million budget shortfall, which Duncan called an "educational crisis." Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, and Diane Ravitch, a national education expert, said they asked Duncan to step in. Duncan said his office is offering support to the city and school officials to help resolve the funding crisis. The Philadelphia Inquirer (7/3)
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NCTM News
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In your view, which of the following poses the greatest limitations on how you teach mathematics?
Students who are uninterested  38.79%
Students who are disruptive  23.56%
Students with diverse academic abilities  22.70%
Lack of parental involvement  6.90%
Lack of teaching resources  6.03%
Students with special needs  2.01%
SmartQuote
Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance."
-- George Bernard Shaw,
Irish playwright and essayist
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