The Important Announcement that the Regents Didn't Make Yesterday

Published: Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Yesterday, the New York State Board of Regents announced that the controversial standardized tests in English and math would be reduced from three days each to two. But what was perhaps more important was the announcement that the Board didn’t make.

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Revisions to Common Core Standards Released

Published: Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Today, the New York State Education Department released revisions to the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics. I was part of the committee that met in Albany last summer to propose revisions to the standards. That week was an incredibly intense meeting of educators from to discuss what turned out to be relatively minor improvements to the standards. I've spoken and written earlier about my thoughts on the revisions, most extensively in an article that I wrote for Math for America last November called "Revising Common Core Math Should Be Just the Beginning."

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EdWeek Article on EngageNY

Published: Monday, March 27, 2017

An article published in EdWeek today describes a RAND study of teachers who use the EngageNY web site's materials for Common Core English and math. (EngageNY is a web site of Common Core materials published by the New York State Education Department.) The survey found that the math materials are used much more often than the ELA materials, that K-8 materials are used much more often than the high school materials, and that most teachers modify the material for their own use.

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Google Classroom Review

Published: Friday, December 30, 2016

Google Classroom is a powerful collaborative tool but has frustrating bugs and surprising limitations.

Google Classroom is a free learning platform for schools that allows teachers to create, distribute, and grade assignments online. Released in 2014, it is designed to be not just a platform for class web pages but a complete integrated online package for managing class information.

My school used eChalk for years to run its school and class webpages until we switched to Google Classroom in the fall of 2016. In the last few months, I have used Google Classroom to post and manage assignments for my classes. I found that while it has a smooth interface that is integrated well with Google’s other collaborative tools, it also has several annoying limitations.

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It Takes a Mathematician to Criticize the Value-Added Model

Published: Thursday, November 24, 2016

Most mathematical models didn't get the 2016 election right. Why would we trust them to measure teacher performance? In his latest op-ed piece for the Huffington Post, mathematician John Ewing (president of Math for America, which runs the Master Teacher Fellowship that I have had since 2009) criticizes the use of the value-added model to measure teacher quality. The value-added model theoretically uses gains in standardized test scores to measure the amount of student knowledge added by a teacher.

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