Here’s why civics education should teach students how to self-govern

In April, Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Neil Gorsuch called for improving civics education, saying the future of the republic depends on it. Indeed, the United States has never needed civics education more. The differences between opposing parties on the governing principles of our country are greater today than at any time in our history, even during the Civil War.

That’s not hyperbole. Looking at the Constitution of the Confederate States, it’s clear that both sides felt they were defending the U.S. Constitution. On the other hand, today’s battle is between two opposing views of how we govern ourselves.

There is a lot at stake. Congress is debating major changes to the core constitutional principle of checks and balances by increasing the number of Supreme Court justices and abolishing the electoral college. If implemented, these ideas would fundamentally change the Constitution. Our citizens, especially our student citizens, should understand the ramifications, whether they believe the country needs such dramatic changes or not.…Read More

IXL Awarded Research-Based Design Product Certification from Digital Promise

SAN MATEO, Calif., June 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ —  IXL, the personalized learning platform used by more than 12 million students, announced that it has earned the  Research-Based Design product certification from Digital Promise, an independent, nonprofit organization authorized by Congress to spur innovation in education.

IXL submitted its whitepaper, ” IXL Design Principles: Core Features Grounded in Learning Science Research,” as evidence that links IXL’s product design to established research on how students learn. After a comprehensive assessment, Digital Promise awarded IXL the certification, confirming for administrators, educators, and families that IXL creates effective learning opportunities that help all students grow.

“Schools and families should feel confident that their educational resources are grounded in proven best practices,” said Paul Mishkin, CEO of IXL Learning. “The Research-Based Design certification from Digital Promise highlights IXL’s uncompromising commitment to developing world-class, evidence-based products that make a positive impact on all learners.”…Read More

7 ways to focus stimulus spending on students with disabilities

Schools and districts are poised to receive an influx of federal dollars that should support students with disabilities and make equity a priority, ensuring that outdated and ineffective special education systems are updated and held to high-quality standards, according to a new report from the Center for Learner Equity.

Students with disabilities and those with special needs are some of the worst-hit during the pandemic, with virtual learning preventing students from accessing vital in-school therapies and programs.

In March, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan, which invests $130 billion into education–including $3 billion for IDEA–and gives schools and districts access to funds to directly meet student needs, including students with disabilities and those impacted by socio-economic constraints.…Read More

5 assessment policy recommendations for the Biden administration

The incoming Biden administration and Congress should focus on innovation, flexibility and more relevance to teaching and learning when it comes to assessment policy, according to NWEA.

Following the release of NWEA’s research on the impact of COVID-19 school disruptions on learning, the nonprofit research and assessment provider announced K-12 assessment policy recommendations for the incoming administration.

“The pandemic has illuminated persistent inequities and while statewide assessment and related accountability systems have helped to move the needle somewhat over the past 20 years, these systems have not eliminated opportunity and achievement gaps,” said Aaliyah Samuel, Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and Partnerships at NWEA. “Given the impacts of the pandemic, it’s time – now more than ever – to modernize the system to one that is focused on action.”…Read More

Groups urge IES to release months-late report on student internet access

A federal report on students’ home access to digital learning resources is months late, and ed-tech groups say the delay is impeding efforts to close the homework gap.

In a letter to the Institute of Education Sciences, a number of ed-tech and advocacy organizations point out that many students lack home access to the internet connectivity they need to complete homework and use online learning resources.

The groups also point out that the study, which the Every Student Succeeds Act mandated be sent to Congress by June 2017, “will help policy makers identify the best ways to ensure all students can connect with broadband services and be on a path for success after graduation.”…Read More