The development of the Common Core Standards for English, Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Sciences, and Technical Subjects has spurred renewed interest in teaching students to navigate challenging texts. The focus of the standards is on college and career readiness, to aid American students in being successful in earning a degree and in having the skills to be successful in the 21st Century workplace.
You can hardly go anywhere anymore without hearing someone talking about something they have “pinned.” Pinterest is one of the newer social networking sites and people are flocking to get involved. Users create boards onto which they pin things they would like to return to someday and those items are then shared with their followers. Pins are linked to their original spots on the web, allowing Pinterest users to return to the site at a later date.
The biggest complaint from Pinterest users is the fact that they waste so much time pinning things but never return to actually complete any of the projects. It has become obvious to me that teacher resources are well-suited to for pinning to Pinterest boards.
The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation of 2001 continues to have an impact on public education. The act was passed as an effort to encourage schools that receive federal funding to make adequate yearly progress (AYP) across all subgroups. States have developed and administered student evaluations for the the past decade, but many are finding the legislation limiting in its focus and unrealistic in its expectations.
Limits of the Legislation
The legislation was designed to close the achievement gap between subgroups and has been successful in its requirements on school districts to collect achievement data and use the data to inform instruction.
Unfortunately many schools are discovering that the NCLB law, an extension of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, is limited in its ability to track gains in student achievement (explore state-by-state progress in this interactive map). The legislation requires schools to meet increasingly higher scores and placed labels describing their non-performance on those that have not kept pace. Schools are required to meet a 100% proficiency level for all students by 2014.
Just as the expectation of working in the same job at the same company for one’s entire career has faded, gone also are the days of one-size-fits-all education. Educators have embraced differentiation in their instruction and schools today strive to provide a wide variety of opportunities for students to demonstrate their mastery of content.
At the same time, special education laws are changing to better meet the needs of the diverse learners entering our classrooms each day. In Wisconsin, the Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) law will change December 1, 2013, to include analyzing data collected through regular education interventions with students that are not progressing sufficiently.
Childhood assessment with learning intervention
Students will no longer be deemed disabled using the discrepancy model, rather, students that are not progressing at grade level will be monitored intensively and offered learning interventions through the regular education programs.