Show Notes #2

 Today’s news story:Test Scores show early prep key

Here’s what I found most interesting about the story:

  • “The effective way to raise ACT scores is to strengthen the rigor of the curriculum,” Drew said.
  • Summer reading — reading during summer vacation
    has been expected of older students for a long time, but Drew said the
    summer reading requirement was extended to second grade recently.
  • “The summer reading program isn’t enrichment, it is required. The
    students are scored for their projects associated with the books,” Drew

  • “Vocabulary books are used starting in the second grade. These vocabulary books correlate to other subject areas.”

The first point seems obvious and we say it often enough. But do we really implement it?
The second point is the one that fascinates me the most. It really talks about several different things. All of these things are quite beautiful. First of all, there is the presumption that students will work “independently”. Second, this assumes that parents will play an active role in the education of their child. Thirdly, there is a spiraling effect in place. Students are expected to just learn stuff and then move on.
The third point is equally interesting. It’s really easy to forget about the basics when teachers are told to teach to higher level critical thinking skills. And that is what we need to do. However, that doesn’t preclude the teaching of basics. Teachers do feel time pressures. That can lead to “skipping the basics” to get to the teaching of higher skills. However, what really needs to happen is that teachers need to fully utilize their time. Certainly teachers can’t take all of their teaching time on basic skills but need to incorporate them into the lessons.
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