The Global Context for Education
Arguing that the inability to communicate in any language but English constitutes a threat to the nation’s economic and military security, two recent studies have painted a grim picture of foreign-language education in the nation’s K-12 schools. The reports from the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and American Councils for International Education found that public schools and state departments of education are struggling to find qualified world language instructors and unequipped to track local and national trends on language learning.
Educators in Puerto Rico are getting support from the American Federation of Teachers in their efforts to thwart a plan to close schools as a way of helping the island deal with its financial crisis.
AFT president Randi Weingarten sent a letter in April to the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico urging them “not to make devastating funding cuts to the education system that serves the 379,000 students in Puerto Rico.” The federal fiscal board is overseeing Puerto Rico’s efforts to deal with bankruptcy and resolve its debt.
U.S. students are stagnating in reading and science proficiency while their math scores declined slightly, based on new results from an international assessment, cueing the usual spate of alarmed headlines, as well as no shortage of opportunities to misapply the data.
This Asian island roughly the size of Austin has dominated international rankings in education, with students regularly outperforming their peers in math, science and literacy.
Singapore officials say the key to that success was simple: Hire only the best teachers.
“Teaching is akin to nation building. It’s about survival,” said Ee Ling Low, a professor to aspiring teachers at the country’s National Institute of Education.
The U.S. isn’t No. 1 but it’s in the top 10: According to a respected international measure of American student performance in math and science, the nation’s 4th and 8th graders, on average, scored higher than students in dozens of countries.
How will the U.S. fare against other countries when the results from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) are released Dec. 6? At our reporters-only webinar, get advance, embargoed access to the full report, as well as an opportunity to ask questions about the findings from a leader at the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Get ready. A fresh wave of global test results for dozens of nations is about to hit U.S. shores. Outcomes from two major exams will be issued just days apart: TIMSS on Nov. 29. PISA on Dec. 6.
Once again, we’ll get a snapshot of how U.S. students stack up against their peers overseas in key subjects, including math, reading, and science. And we’ll hear lots of rhetoric about what it all means.
Who needs preschool? What do we know about the programs that produce the best long-term results? And why is America lagging so far behind many countries in providing high-quality, affordable programs to young learners?
In a six-part series for The Hechinger Report, Lillian Mongeau examines the latest research, visits classrooms in the U.S. and abroad, and looks at efforts to raise the bar for certification and training for early childhood educators. She talks with EWA public editor Emily Richmond about what she learned in places like Boston and England, and offers smart story ideas for reporters in their own communities.
The boys (and girls) are back in town. For class, that is.
See how forced that lede was? Back-to-school reporting can take on a similar tinge of predictability, with journalists wondering how an occasion as locked in as the changing of the seasons can be written about with the freshness of spring.
Recently some of the beat’s heavy hitters dished with EWA’s Emily Richmond about ways newsrooms can take advantage of the first week of school to tell important stories and cover overlooked issues.
After learning of their gold-medal victory in the world’s most prestigious high school mathematics competition — held recently in Hong Kong — six American teenagers engaged in a celebratory ritual familiar to many of their peers back home: They went to McDonald’s. But the victors weren’t quite ready to leave the math behind.
At a time when the volume of student achievement data can seem overwhelming, brace yourself: A wave of international test results for dozens of countries, including the U.S., is coming soon.
This report examines the status of education in the United States by aggregating high quality research and data from numerous credible sources. Each chapter describes the context and the current state of play in each focus area — including student achievement, standards and testing; school finance, and charter schools, among others. It highlights key policy issues and trends affecting public education now and in the future.
For education reporters, coming up with fresh ideas for back-to-school stories is an annual ritual. And if you’re balancing the K-12 and higher education beats, it can be an even bigger challenge.
There’s another small country getting attention for its strong student performance on international assessments, and for the equity of its instructional programs.
Sarah Butrymowicz of The Hechinger Report joins EWA public editor Emily Richmond to discuss how more eyes are looking beyond Finland to nearby Estonia, a relatively young country with an already impressive academic track record. What lessons might there be for U.S. schools when it comes to teacher workforce, and putting more educational choices in the hands of the students themselves? And what challenges are Estonian schools facing as more students opt for the college-prep high school track over vocational or career training?
With Donald Trump now seen as the presumptive Republican nominee for president, after his strong victory in the Indiana primary, attention surely will grow to what he would actually do if elected.
If you want to know where Trump stands on education, you might think the first place to go would be his campaign website.
We know many American students struggle with math and trail many of their international peers. Conventional wisdom says that’s keeping them from developing the kind of critical thinking skills they need for high-paying STEM careers, and to be successful in a 21st century global economy. But is that shortsighted view of a bigger — and more positive — picture?
High-achieving countries share some common practices when it comes to the recruitment, training and development of public-school teachers, according to experts at a recent Education Writers Association event.
A few years ago in Singapore, teachers in a high school English department posed a question: Would having students conduct live debates on an issue before they wrote persuasive essays about it result in more highly developed final papers?
Near the end of 2016, results will come out for two major international assessments — kicking off a new round of analysis and debate over the standing of U.S. students on the global stage.
“We are really covering the whole range when it comes to these international studies,” said Dana Kelly, an official with the National Center for Education Statistics, which oversees the administration of both exams to U.S. students.
International comparisons in education usually focus on the national level—what countries can learn from one another. But a number of cities in North America and East Asia have teamed up to compare notes and share ideas, including on the tough issue of improving educational equity, a challenge faced by urban systems across the globe.
Nearly 50 years ago, the U.S. first got a snapshot of how its students compare with their peers in other countries based on a standardized test. The news was sobering.
“Look towards the bottom of this list, and see the U.S. coming in 11th out of 12 [industrialized] countries” in math, said Tom Loveless of the Brookings Institution, pointing to a chart he presented last month at an Education Writers Association seminar in Washington, D.C. “Only Sweden scored below the U.S.”