Archive for May 28, 2012
Check out “Gas station without pumps” for more on the Next Generation Science Standards, available now for comment (but only through this week). There is a bit of computational thinking and computing education in there, but buried (as the blog post points out). I know that there is a developing effort to get more computation in there.
The first public draft of the Next Generation Science Standards is available from May 11 to June 1. We welcome and appreciate your feedback. [The Next Generation Science Standards]
Note that there are only 3 weeks given for the public review of this draft of the science standards, and that time is almost up. I’ve not had time to read the standards yet, and I doubt that many others have either. We have to hope that someone we respect has enough time on their hands to have done the commenting for us (but the people I respect are all busy—particularly the teachers who are going to have to implement the standards—so who is going to do the commenting?).
I’m also having some difficulty finding a document containing the standards themselves. There are clear links to front matter, how to interpret the standards, a survey for collecting feedback, a search interface, and various documents about the standards, but I had a hard time finding a simple link to a single document containing all the standards. It was hidden on their search page, rather than being an obvious link on the main page.
Low-income students and schools are getting better, according to this study. They’re just getting better so much more slowly than the wealthy students and schools. Both are getting better incrementally (both moving in the right direction), but each increment is bigger for the rich (acceleration favors the rich).
We heard something similar from Michael Lach last week. The NSF CE21 program organized a workshop for all the CS10K efforts focused on teacher professional development. It was led by Iris Weiss who runs one of the largest education research evaluation companies. Michael was one of our invited speakers, on the issue of scaling. Michael has been involved in Chicago Public Schools for years, and just recently from a stint at the Department of Education. He told us about his efforts to improve reading, math, and science scores through a focus on teacher professional development. It really worked, for both the K-8 and high school levels. Both high-SES (socioeconomic status) and low-SES students improved compared to control groups. But the gap didn’t get smaller.
Despite public policy and institutional efforts such as need-blind financial aid and no-loan policies designed to attract and enroll more low-income students, such students are still more likely to wind up at a community college or noncompetitive four-year institution than at an elite university, whether a member of the Ivy League or a state flagship.The study, “Running in Place: Low-Income Students and the Dynamics of Higher Education Stratification,” will be published next month in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, but an abstract is already available on the journal’s website.“I think [selective colleges] very much want to bring in students who are low-income, for the most part,” said Michael N. Bastedo, the study’s lead author and an associate professor of higher education at the University of Michigan. “The problem is, over time, the distance between academic credentials for wealthy students and low-income students is getting longer and longer…. They’re no longer seen as competitive, and that’s despite the fact that low-income students are rising in their own academic achievement.”