With Rising Concerns About Dyslexia in Young Learners, Riverside Insights Introduces First-of-its Kind Playbook to Streamline Evaluations

ITASCA, Ill. – Riverside Insights®, a leading developer of research-based assessments and analytics, today debuted a new Assessment Playbook focused on streamlining the evaluation of dyslexia, the most common learning disability, affecting 20% of the population. The new playbook makes assessments more effective and efficient by providing a recommended process for selective testing and a specific test list for querying the most salient features of dyslexia.

“The pandemic disrupted teaching and learning, and has led to a dramatic increase in the number of students who are referred for dyslexia evaluations by their teachers and/or parents. Consequently, evaluators must determine if a student’s reading difficulties are primarily a reflection of this disruption or an indication of a true reading disability,” said dyslexia expert Dr. Nancy Mather, a professor in the  College of Education, Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies at the University of Arizona. “To address this issue and the increase in assessment referrals, evaluators need effective and efficient assessment tools to ensure that all students are accurately identified and get the help they need. In this way, children can be provided with systematic interventions prior to experiencing chronic reading difficulties.”

In the 2021-2022 school year, more than 20 states including California, Florida, Texas and Connecticut updated their dyslexia legislation, passing new codes and statutes to support more effective identification and intervention practices to address the increasing dyslexia referrals.…Read More

Curriculum Associates’ i-Ready® Assessment Named to the Georgia Department of Education Approved List of Gifted Identification Screeners

NORTH BILLERICA, Mass., August18, 2022—The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) has added Curriculum Associates’ i-Ready Assessment for Grades K–12 to its approved list of Gifted EducationAssessment Measuresto identify students’ eligibility for gifted education programs in the achievement domain. With this approval, districts throughout the state can now use their existing reading and mathematics data from the i-Ready Assessment as a source of evidence to support a referral for gifted education programs. The i-Ready normative scores can be used to determine if students meet the criteria in the achievement category of the evaluation and eligibility process, eliminating the need for a separate achievement assessment.

“The i-Ready Assessment data is powerful in helping teachers identify students’ strengths and needs so they can provide more personalized instruction,” said Rob Waldron, CEO of Curriculum Associates. “The Georgia Department of Education’s approval of i-Ready to support gifted identification will help districts throughout the state save valuable time and resources by eliminating the need for another achievement assessment. A more efficient screening process will also help schools connect students more quickly with services that help them reach their full potential.”

The GaDOE gifted education screening process requires information be gathered about a student in four categories: mental ability, achievement, creativity, and motivation. In order to be eligible to receive gifted programming, students must qualify in three of the four categories, or they must have a qualifying score in both the mental ability and achievement categories. i-Ready data is used in the achievement category.…Read More

Discovery Education’s Science Techbook Approved for Statewide Use by South Carolina’s State Board of Education

Silver Spring, Md. (December 20, 2021)—Following a comprehensive evaluation, the  South Carolina State Board of Education has approved the  Discovery Education Science Techbook for the K-5 and 6-8 grade bands, plus high school Earth & Space science, for statewide use as a core instructional resource through its state adoption process. South Carolina’s adoption of the award-winning Science Techbook empowers the state’s school systems to integrate this innovative digital curriculum into teaching and learning.  Discovery Education is the worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place.    

Delivered through  Discovery Education’s flexible K-12 platform, Science Techbook drives engagement with exclusive phenomena and interactive content. Virtual and hands-on investigations, STEM activities, and a variety of instructional supports that enhance the delivery of impactful, blended instruction in person or at a distance. 

Available with the Science Techbook are coordinated digital teacher guides offering unit, concept, and lesson overviews, standards connections, and differentiation activities to inform instructional planning and guide three-dimensional learning. Teacher editions also provide flexible pacing options, embedded teacher notes, and Pathways for Learning to address diverse learners.   …Read More

The unbeaten path to hybrid learning

Virtual learning, and the forms in which virtual and in-person education meet, have sparked controversy in the educational community. 

Often we debate what consequences this type of education has. We wonder whether traditional learning methodologies–with their big appetite for control and constant evaluation–are even achievable when classes are hybrid. But by focusing on impacts only, we overlook the essential issue: What’s the real purpose of education?

We should be primarily concerned with how education helps students achieve their personal and professional goals, whether virtual, in-person, or hybrid–a methodology targeting students’ development will help teachers capitalize on every lesson triumphantly.…Read More

Curriculum Associates’ i-Ready® Classroom Mathematics for Grades 6–8 Named a Highly Rated, “All Green” Program by EdReports.org

NORTH BILLERICA, Mass., September 24, 2021—Curriculum Associates’ i-Ready Classroom Mathematics for Grades 6–8 was recently named a highly rated program by EdReports.org, an independent nonprofit that conducts evidence-based reviews of instructional materials. After undergoing a comprehensive review using the organization’s updated and more rigorous evaluation rubric, expert educators from EdReports.org found the standards-aligned core math program met expectations for all evaluation criteria across Grades 6–8.

EdReports.org conducts extensive third-party reviews to increase the capacity of teachers, administrators, and leaders to seek, identify, and demand the highest quality instructional materials to improve and deepen student learning. The organization’s review process includes a three-gateway system in which a “green” rating signifies that the program meets expectations for a given set of criteria.

i-Ready Classroom Mathematics for Grades 6–8 met the expectations of all criteria for each grade level with a “green” rating across the following:…Read More

5 websites to help students build media literacy skills

Over the past couple years, students have been inundated with a near-steady stream of information and headlines about politics, racial and social unrest, the pandemic, and more. Helping students form discerning media literacy skills is even more essential.

Students must understand how to recognize reputable information and how to identify credible, high-quality journalism. Bias is everywhere, and it’s necessary for young people today to identify it and call it out.

Identifying bias and forming strong media literacy and evaluation skills starts in the classroom. Teachers need resources to illustrate the importance of these skills, and it’s never too early to expose students to news outlets and point out the difference between high-quality and suspect news.…Read More

5 digital tools for school libraries

School libraries have evolved from strict, quiet, hush-hush rooms to more interactive spaces with flexible seating, readily-available edtech tools, and educators on hand to help with research, critical resource evaluation, makerspaces.

It’s in school libraries where students often discover and hone their love of coding and programming, create amazing projects via makerspaces, and where they develop important 21st-century skills.

As schools plan to return to full in-person learning in the fall, students will no doubt be eager to return to their school libraries and pick up where they left off.…Read More

5 ways this district evaluates its digital content purchases

K-12 schools spend billions on edtech tools, but often, many of the tools go unused or aren’t evaluated for effectiveness. So how can district technology teams ensure an effective evaluation and purchasing process for digital content and new software?

The Pickerington Local School District in Ohio has done just that, with a carefully-honed process that ensures communication and transparency between its curriculum and technology departments, as well as with teachers.

“The big problem is that we spend a lot of money on edtech,” said Brian Seymour, PLSD’s director of instructional technology, during an ISTELive 21 session. “Now, with everything that happened with COVID, so much more money was invested into edtech so much more quickly than in the past, because we had to adapt. The problem is that we’re spending a lot of money, and are we really doing it in a wise way?”…Read More

Post-COVID plans should focus on program values and evaluation

As the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic begin to relax, many institutions are going to step back and try to reestablish institutional norms. Many educational organizations have struggled through a year or more of remote learning. The instructional and technology systems of many organizations have been strained.

Some of this stepping back may be as simple as trying to return to a pre-pandemic normal. More of this review may be revision and redevelopment of institutional strategic plans, technology plans, and other such planning documents.

Many of those planning processes have utilized the VMOSA standard as a guide to ensuring a coherent and complete final plan. VMOSA generally stands for vision, mission, objectives and goals, strategies, and action plans. However, as defined, VMOSA is missing a couple of key facets that are required for a truly holistic plan. V should be expanded to provide the planning process not only a guiding vision for the organization, but also the guiding values under which the organization is hoping to operate. …Read More

Computer Science Teachers Association Adds CoderZ’s Professional Development Program to Curated List of Quality Resources

DERRY, N.H. – April 20, 2021 – After a rigorous evaluation, the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) has added CoderZ to its online list of professional learning programs. The list enables K-12 computer science (CS) teachers to find quality professional development opportunities and associated curriculum that fit their needs and goals.

An independent committee of experts evaluated the CoderZ professional development programs using a detailed rubric aligned to quality indicators such as the following:

  • Content Focus
  • Active Learning
  • Collaboration
  • Differentiation
  • Models and Modeling
  • Inclusivity
  • Accessibility
  • Feedback and Reflection
  • Scale and Sustainability
  • Efficacy
  • Ongoing Support
  • Sustained Duration

The CoderZ professional development program introduces instructors to the concepts of teaching computer science and computational thinking using an online tool. Participants learn robotics and coding best practices as well as strategies to successfully leverage a graphic programming interface. In addition, the program hones the skills needed to reinforce student engagement, application, exploration and use of communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity.…Read More