A new study reported by HealthDay News suggests that fitness may stimulate children’s minds. While the study doesn’t prove that fitness actually makes children smarter, it does suggest a link, according to the researchers. “Our work suggests that aerobically fit and physically fit children have improved brain health and superior cognitive [thinking] skills than their less-fit peers,” said study author Laura Chaddock-Heyman, a postdoctoral researcher with the department of psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Continue reading

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A recent article in Forbes spotlights growing public confidence in the quality of online higher education. The article cites a Gallup report indicating that 37% of U.S. adults agree or strongly agree that online colleges and universities offer high-quality education (37%)—an increase from 2012 (33%) and 2011 (30%) figures.  Continue reading

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Despite widespread concerns that texting erodes young people’s grammar skills, “parents and educators need not panic that exposure to abbreviated and unconventional spelling and writing styles in digital communication will lead to the ruin of young people’s conventional literacy skills,” said language psychologist Nenagh Kemp of the University of Tasmania in a recent Vox article.   Continue reading

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ASCD’s latest Policy Points report examines the connection between student performance on standardized tests and economic measures such as productivity and gross domestic product (GDP). The report finds that, despite unexceptional test scores, the United States remains an economic leader. For instance, although scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) have changed very little over the past 40 years, U.S. productivity levels have spiked during that same time.  Continue reading

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As political controversy continues to swirl around the Common Core State Standards, two new polls indicate declining support among the general public. Awareness of the Common Core has risen substantially over the past year, but so has opposition, according to the results of the 46th Annual PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools. In 2013, 62% of poll respondents said they had never heard of the Common Core State Standards; in 2014 81% said they had heard at least a little about them. Six in ten respondents (60%) oppose requiring teachers in their district to use the Common Core to guide what they teach. Among those who are opposed, the greatest concern is that the standards will limit the flexibility that teachers have to teach what they think is best.  Continue reading

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