Put the Brakes on the Summer Slide | Teaching Tolerance

School is over for most students throughout the United States, and kids are clambering to do anything except school-related stuff. Unfortunately, two months of no school also means two months of little or no reading for many students. Their reading progress slips not only for the two months of no school, but also for two months of academic growth.

Here is a quote from the opening paragraphs of a helpful and informative article. The link for the full text is supplied below.

The school year is wrapping up, and most students won’t see the inside of a classroom for months. To kids, this means vacation, but to teachers it means lots of catch-up in the fall. According to a study by the John Hopkins’ Center for Summer Learning, without summer educational programs, the average student falls two months behind in his reading skills.

The “summer slide” disproportionately affects students living in poverty because their families may not have the access to summer educational opportunities available to more affluent families. This disparity goes a long way toward explaining the achievement gap that widens at each grade level. The good news is that there are easy, low-cost summer educational options out there—parents just need to be told about them.

Put the Brakes on the Summer Slide | Teaching Tolerance.

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Urban District Assessment of Mathematics 2011

If you are an educator–especially if you are an educational researcher–you should be frequenting the web site for the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) (nces.ed.gov) on a regular basis to view the latest nation-wide information on educational progress of students, containing information on both pre-K to 12, and post-secondary levels. This site has the facts on every conceivable education-related topic you could possible want to view. 

For those of you specifically interested in what is going on in American schools’ math programs, here is a wonderful publication from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). It can be downloaded free of charge from the link below. 

The Nation’s Report Card:
Trial Urban District Assessment Mathematics 2011

Representative samples of fourth- and eighth-grade public school students from 21 urban districts participated in the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in mathematics. Eighteen of the districts participating in the 2011 NAEP Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) participated in earlier assessment years, while three districts participated for the first time in 2011. Between 1,000 and 2,700 students in each district were assessed at grades 4 and 8.
December 2011
Author: National Center for Education Statistics

View or download the report from:

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4 Professors Discuss Teaching Free Online Courses for Thousands of Students – Technology – The Chronicle of Higher Education

These are just snapshots, or “sound bytes,” but they give a bit of an idea of the diversity of thought among professors teaching a variety of free online university courses (MOOCs–Massive Open Online Courses). Will similar courses be the precursors to free post-secondary for-credit classes? Might such classes result in (or at least lead to) free college education for anyone interested? Will professors be paid based on the popularity of their free online teaching–how well-attended, how well commercialized, etc.?

My questions always seem to start with the content, but then go quickly beyond the actual text and context…

4 Professors Discuss Teaching Free Online Courses for Thousands of Students – Technology – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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