claus's blog

Google Trends Has Good News about STEM

August 10, 2017

If people's Google search habits are any measure, STEM education and jobs have caught the public's attention. That's good news for STEM advocates, even if the road to universal STEM literacy remains steep and rocky.

Tags: STEM

Dropping the Algebra Requirement: a Solution, or a Surrender?

August 8, 2017

The Cal State system, which enrolls almost half a million California students, will no longer require them to pass Intermediate algebra. The decision may have been necessary, but it raises unsettling questions about the prospects of a diverse STEM workforce.

Tags: minorities, math, standards

Eye-Popping Gains in Computer Science!

August 2, 2017

All too often, stories about education reform start with herculean efforts and end with anemic results. Fortunately, the story of at least one large national reform movement is poised to have a happier ending. The push to expand computer science in K-12 is already yielding impressive results.

Tags: computer science, women & girls, minorities

Schools and Districts Should Invest in What Works...but What if We Don't Know What Works?

July 27, 2017

Pity today’s school principals and superintendents. State and national leaders are urging them to focus their time and money on programs with very strong evidence that they work. That’s very sound advice, but it’s not easy to follow when such programs are few and far between.

Tags: STEMworks

Doubly Disadvantaged in Massachusetts: High-Poverty Schools in a High-Flying State

July 18, 2017

Massachusetts has earned bragging rights for its successes in education.  Few other U.S. states have seen such swift gains in students’ performance over the past two decades. Massachusetts eighth-graders lead the nation in math and science, and they can even hold their own against students in high-performing countries like Japan and Singapore.

NEW BRIEF: Ending the Double Disadvantage

July 6, 2017

Poor students who attend schools where the vast majority of their peers are poor as well labor under a double disadvantage. They suffer the deprivations of poverty, and their schools concentrate those deprivations. Students in schools where more than 75 percent of students are eligible for free or subsidized lunches are much least likely to have access to STEM resources, experiences, and classes most wealthy parents would demand for their children.

Tags: low-income students

Remembering Mitchell Chester

June 29, 2017

We were stunned and deeply saddened by news that Mitchell Chester, the nation's longest-serving state superintendent of education, passed away unexpectedly on Monday night. 

Do teachers have the resources they need in math? Troubling trends

June 13, 2017

Amidst the current avalanche of political news, it’s easy to forget that K-12 academic standards were recently a topic for fiery debate at statehouses and dinner tables across the country. But let’s not forget one of that debate’s biggest lessons: Standards could founder if teachers lack the tools and support to reach them.

Tags: standards, math, teachers

The High Stakes of Diversity for Washington State

May 18, 2017

Washington State may have a bright future if it maintains its dominance in the tech sector, but that could be a tall order. Lack of diversity in the STEM workforce could be the state’s Achilles heel, and that challenge has its roots in K-12.

It should surprise no one that STEM jobs pay in a state with companies like Microsoft and Boeing call home. STEM jobs in Washington State may well grow 15 percent in the coming decade, and the state’s STEM wage premium is enormous:

Tags: computer science, engineering, diversity, jobs & workforce

Lack of Teacher Support Prolongs the Elementary Science Drought

May 10, 2017

On Monday, we explored the troubling state of science education in the nation’s elementary schools. One likely reason for the drought? We argued that elementary teachers are unlikely to spend much time teaching science, because they feel so ill prepared to teach it. 

Tags: science, Next Generation Science Standards, teachers

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