The Common Core Curriculum Mapping Project develops word clouds like this one of high school English Lit key concepts to help teachers prepare for teaching the Common Core Standards
AS OF TODAY, 45 states have signed on to adopt the new, federal, grade-by-grade math and reading assessment called the Common Core State Standards. The initiative is meant to ensure that a third grader in Florida is learning the same skills as a third grader in Maine, Utah, Oregon and so on. Critics of these national standards say it's the state's responsibility to evaluate a student's progress, while advocates point out the value of comparability in a country with a transient population like the United States. Alaska is one of the five states that has not adopted the standards.
KTD! producer Sarah Gonzales spoke with Tom Loveless, Senior Fellow at the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution to learn more about testing on the national level.
ON Kids These Days! we like to highlight the efforts of those individuals who take the time to mentor Alaska's youth; we profile them in our ongoing series called the Power of One. This time, meet a high school teacher who recently helped students learn a lot about the science of solar power as well as the power of giving.
Russell Hood is a physics teacher at East Anchorage High School, where he also leads the Solar Club after school. His group of students built and donated two "solar suitcase" or, portable power supplies, that will benefit medical clinics in the Sudan. These solar-powered batteries will allow the clinics to provide care that they would otherwise not be able to provide when or if the power goes off.
Kids These Days! host Shana Sheehy attended the presentation of the solar suitcases to the Alaska Sudan Medical Project last October in Anchorage where she met Russell and his students.
ALL THROUGH OUR school years, there’s big potential “failure” lurking, like flunking a test or even failing a whole grade and being held back.
It turns out there’s a reason for the term “flunking out”; plenty of studies show kids who are held back a grade are less likely to do well in school later on and are less likely to graduate. But moving students forward when they’re not ready to advance isn’t so great either. That’s called “social promotion” and several states have now passed laws prohibiting social promotion of third graders.
Kids These Days regular contributor Jessica Cochran found out that like most things, the issue of social promotion versus grade retention isn’t so black and white.
Patrick in France last year
A BIG PART of Senior year is getting ready to attend college - taking placement tests, touring campuses, writing essays, applying to schools... and then all that waiting to find out where you got in. But what if your top university pick doesn't pick you?
Our resident teen blogger just found out what it's like to NOT get what he's worked so hard for - a change of pace for someone who is used to winning.
Patrick Walgren shares his thoughts on what getting rejected from his college of choice is teaching him.
The campaign poster that Carson says showed that he's "kinda brave" and that he "has concentration."
KIDS MAY NOT have many places these days where winning is not an option, but one holdout can be found each year in the form of the school election.
Here's the story of one Anchorage elementary school kid who ran for office at Northwood Elementary school, lost, and ended up teaching his family something about winning, losing, failure and grace.
Contributor Michelle Theriault Boots introduces us to Carson.
AS EDUCATION BUDGETS continue to get slashed while the costs of schooling children continue to rise, some public schools in the United States are taking a closer look at advertising dollars to make ends meet. One school district in Texas is selling space to advertisers - on the inside of school buses, while another district in Colorado will rake in ninety-thousand dollars over three years for selling ad space - on report cards.
We're hearing more of these stories every day from around the country, so we wanted to know - how do Alaskans feel about advertising in the schools?
Our young reporter from the Alaska Teen Media Institute, Aviva Hirsch, has the story...
TEENAGERS ARE NOTORIOUS for staying up late and not getting enough sleep, so when the school day requires teens to be in their seats and ready to learn at the crack of dawn, those late nights can really take a toll.
Our teen contributor from the Alaska Teen Media Institute, Aviva Hirsch, spoke with her her fellow high school students about how much sleep they are getting - or not getting - and how it affects them.
TELLING YOUR CHILD that they are smart seems like an encouraging and positive thing to say, right? Well, studies on intelligence have shown that saying "You're so smart!" can actually prevent kids from choosing to take on subsequent, challenging tasks for fear that they might fail and so risk appearing not smart. Psychology professor at Stanford University, Dr. Carol Dweck is an internationally-recognized expert in intelligence research. Her study's results have found that praising children's efforts - saying "You worked hard and did well!" instead - encourages them to continue learning and growing all throughout life. These academic studies have informed two mainstream projects - the book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success and the online curriculum Brainology - both are based on her idea of the "growth mindset".
Kids These Days! producer Sarah Gonzales recently spoke with Dr. Dweck from her office in Palo Alto, California.
A PERSISTENT ISSUE that comes up with gifted and talented education is that too few minority students tend to be included in the programs: nationally, Native Americans, Hispanics and African Americans have been under-represented in gifted and talented programs by as much as 50%.
Dr. Donna Ford (at left) has been studying minority under-representation in gifted and talented programs for about 20 years; during that time, she’s seen some improvement in the numbers -- Native Americans are more equally represented in gifted and talented programs than they used to be, and Hispanics have seen some gains. But African Americans have not.
KTD regular contributor Jessica Cochran has the full story below.
INNOVATION, CREATIVITY AND PROGRESS. These are some of the things that have helped America become what it is today. Whether you see it in a former Alaskan winning the Nobel Prize in Physics or in Steve Jobs and his life as a technology pioneer – helping our brightest youth succeed is important. So today we're turning the spotlight on the education of Alaska's Gifted and Talented students.
IN-STUDIO GUESTS: Joining host Shana Sheehy in the studio to discuss how gifted and talented kids are identified, tested and then educated are three guests: Peter Ljubicich, director of the Anchorage School District Gifted Program; Annie Bill, director of the Mat-Su Borough’s Talented and Gifted Program; and Susan Dulong Langley of the National Association for Gifted Children in Massachusetts.
WEB RESOURCES FOR G&T ED:
Thanks to Annie Bill for providing this list.
• The Underrepresentation of Minorities in G&T Programs - Nationally, Native Americans, Hispanics and African Americans have been under-represented in gifted and talented programs by as much as 50%. Regular contributor Jessica Cochran spoke with Vanderbilt University professor Dr. Donna Ford who has been studying this cause for concern for about 20 years.
• Don't Tell Your Kids They're Smart - Dr. Carol Dweck is an internationally-recognized expert in intelligence research who has found that praising children's efforts - instead of their intelligence - encourages them to continue learning and growing all throughout life. Kids who are praised for being smart, she says, quickly grow afraid of failing. Producer Sarah Gonzales recently spoke with Dr. Dweck.
[Watch The Effect of Praise on Mindset video with Dr. Dweck explaining her study.]
• Real Life Revenge of the Nerds - Our brainiac blogger, high school senior Patrick Walgren says if being smart means he'll be the boss someday, he's just fine with being labeled as a "nerd".