Free resources for middle and high school.

Philippe Cousteau, Jr.’s environmental youth leadership organization EarthEcho International offers its free environmental education resources to teachers, students, and families affected by school closings due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Resources are available immediately via the EarthEcho Website: www.EarthEcho.org

The resources, many of which are designed to satisfy national and state education standards, are a collection of live virtual events, recorded videos and short activities designed by teachers and EarthEcho’s education team to support high-quality experiential learning. Most of the videos and activities are intended for middle and high school students but can be utilized with upper elementary students as well.

These materials serve as a unique alternative to assist teachers, parents, and homeschoolers looking for options to keep students engaged in science and conservation during these challenging times. They also equip young people to explore and protect their local natural resources.…Read More

Sylvia Shugrue Award for Elementary School Teachers

This award honors one elementary school teacher who has established (or is establishing) an interdisciplinary, inquiry-based lesson plan. The lesson plan will fully reference sources of information and any relevant National Science Education Standards and benchmarks found in the Atlas of Science Literacy. The award consists of $1,000 and up to $500 to attend the NSTA National Conference on Science Education; the recipient of the award will be honored during the Awards Banquet at the NSTA Conference.

 

…Read More

Categories Uncategorized

Did Race to the Top help or hurt the push for a common curriculum?

States were working on a common set of education standards before the Obama administration decided to make adoption of them part of its Race to the Top competition. The prospect of winning federal money motivated some states to pass the standards, but the administration’s blessing might have turned others away, Stateline.org reports. Nine states and the District of Columbia were awarded Race to the Top education grants Aug. 24, ending the interstate competition. Nowhere was the competition among states more fierce than in their efforts to adopt a common academic curriculum known as the “Common Core” standards. So far, 36 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the new standards. Many of them seemed motivated by the possibility that doing so would help their applications for the Race to the Top money. But even though advocates for the standards are encouraged by the enthusiasm with which state officials have bought into common standards, they also are wary of the political baggage that can come with an endorsement from the Obama administration. In 2005, the National Governors Association led an initiative to get states to use the same measures to calculate graduation rates. That initiative evolved into a broader effort over the past year, as education officials from 48 states—Alaska and Texas did not participate—worked on developing a new set of academic standards for K-12 schools in conjunction with the NGA and the Council of Chief State School Officers. Those quiet state-led efforts got tied up in national politics when the administration decided to use the standards as a criterion for Race to the Top. That has made it harder for state officials to convince conservative legislators or board of education members to sign off on the Common Core standards, some observers say…

Click here for the full story

…Read More

Duncan: Schools ‘need to be more creative’

Education Secretary Arne Duncan took questions from students.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan took questions from students.

Education leaders in the United States must work to close the digital divide and ensure that all students have access to top-notch technology, while at the same time using technology not just for technology’s sake, but as a game-changing learning tool, said U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan at a national town hall meeting for students on Dec. 15.

During the town hall, which was a special edition of the Education Department’s (ED’s) television news program for parents, Duncan said that using technology the way today’s students use it is key to making an impact.

“We need to be much more creative and innovative in how we do things,” Duncan said. For instance, students today use cell phones and PDAs on a regular basis, he said, so coming up with creative ways to deliver content and curriculum involving technologies that students like to use is one way to grab students’ attention.…Read More