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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Even as new surveys reveal the value of libraries in providing community access to resources, skills, and technology necessary for full participation in the 21st century global marketplace while also indicating a continuing digital divide in California, statistics indicate that about one-third of U.S. public schools do not have a full-time, state-certified librarian.  Continue reading

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Pressure to meet national education standards may be the reason states with significant populations of African-American students and those with larger class sizes often require children to learn fewer skills, according to University of Kansas researcher Argun Saatcioglu. In order to increase test scores and avoid the negative consequences of failing to meet No Child Left Behind standards, some states are reducing the skills students are expected to learn, said Saatcioglu, who presented his findings at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in August.  Continue reading

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