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The Changing Roles of Teachers

From the Editor

Anne Wujcik, Editor

Time spent with family and friends over Thanksgiving provided a welcome break from post-election anxiety and uncertainty. So did the generosity that marked Giving Tuesday. From local efforts like food drives and holiday gift collections through national campaigns like the partnership of First Book and Penguin Random House, aimed at providing up to 550,000-new books to children in need, and so many more, it was wonderful to see education companies reach out to support children and families across America.

The nomination of Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education goes a long way to resolving any lingering uncertainty about education policy in the Trump administration, Like President-elect Trump, DeVos is a school choice advocate.

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Voice from the Industry

James Burnett, President, ORIGO EducationRigor with Balance: Exploring interconnected topics and skills for the mathematics classroom

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) call for three shifts in the approach to teaching mathematics: a greater focus on fewer topics; more coherence of topics across grades; and increased rigor in math instruction.

Teachers need to know what products are truly successful in developing conceptual understanding when they are implemented with fidelity. Criteria to look for in Instructional Materials:

  • Encourage discussion and discourse.
  • Offer multiple visual models.
  • Offer experiences with all types of each operation.
  • Provide powerful visual tools.
  • Delay the introduction of procedures as described in the CCSSM.

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She Snoops for Scoops: The Personal Side of the EdNET Community

Vicki Smith BighamWell, Thanksgiving is behind us, and here comes Christmas and Hanukkah! However you spend it, we are rolling into the holiday season, though things aren't slowing down much yet. But I have the holiday spirit—what a joyful time of the year. And I hope I bring you some joy with my weekly scoops. Go check out what I have for you this week....

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U.S. Eighth-Graders Post Highest Mathematics Scores to Date on International Assessments

Knowledge of advanced mathematics and physics has not changed among the United States' most advanced high school students since 1995, according to a new report. However, in that same time period, U.S. fourth- and eighth-graders have improved in mathematics. The results of the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) show that U.S. eighth-graders have also improved in mathematics since 2011, while scores for fourth graders have held steady. The 2015 TIMSS results were released today by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The report, Highlights from TIMSS and TIMSS Advanced 2015, compares the performance of U.S. fourth- and eighth-grade students in mathematics and science to the performance of their peers in more than 50 countries and other education systems across six continents.

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Interest in STEM Majors/Careers High, Readiness Low Among ACT-Tested 2016 High School Graduates

Many 2016 high school graduates are interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) majors and careers, but few of those students are well prepared to succeed in first-year college STEM courses. These findings come from the latest edition of ACT’s annual STEM report, The Condition of STEM 2016, which was released today. While around half (48 percent) of the nearly 2.1 million 2016 U.S. high school graduates who took the ACT® test had an interest in STEM majors or careers, only 26 percent of those graduates met or surpassed the ACT College Readiness Benchmark in STEM. The benchmark is an indicator of whether a student is well prepared for first-year courses such as calculus, biology, chemistry and physics, which are typically required for a college STEM-related major. These findings are virtually unchanged from last year.

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