Major equity gaps persist in access to AP science learning

Despite students saying that STEM courses are their favorite subject areas and that they aspire to go to college, Black and Latino students and students from low-income backgrounds continue to be excluded from crucial learning opportunities available through AP STEM courses, according to a new report from Education Trust and Equity Opportunity Schools, Shut Out: Why Black and Latino Students are Under-Enrolled in AP STEM Courses.

This new research highlights that a positive and inviting school climate plays an important role in getting more Black and Latino students in advanced courses that would nurture their aspirations and interests and position them to thrive in college and future careers.

“Students who are ready and eager to take advanced placement courses at their schools shouldn’t be shut out because seats are not available or they don’t feel welcomed in these courses,” said Dr. Allison Socol, assistant director of P-12 policy at The Education Trust. “District and school leaders must lead efforts to build more welcoming and inclusive learning environments that ensure students who are interested in STEM professions are able to enroll and succeed in AP STEM courses.”…Read More

Riverside Insights and Educator Impact Partner to Improve Student Well-being and Enrich School Cultures

ITASCA, Ill. – May 6, 2022 – Riverside Insights®, a leading developer of research-based assessments and analytics, today announced a new partnership with Educator Impact, an international,  Australian-based Ed Tech company dedicated to enriching school cultures through student and staff well-being “pulse checks.”  Educator Impact’s Pulse product, on its easy-to-use platform, provides key insights to help educational leaders regularly gauge the well-being of students and staff, inform SEL strategies and school wellness programs, and enhance overall school health. 

Unlike other observational well-being tools, ei Pulse quickly gathers and amplifies student and teacher voices and empowers educators with direct feedback to help personalize connections, shape classroom climates, and strengthen school communities. 

“Riverside Insights’ partnership with Educator Impact further illustrates our commitment to support the whole child and their ‘Limitless Learning’ by empowering them to unlock their full potential” said CEO, Rajib Roy, Riverside Insights. “We know that students learn best when they feel safe, supported, and loved. These contextual student well-being insights, paired with student ability and achievement measures, empower teachers with a 360-degree view of students so they can serve their classroom’s needs. Riverside Insights will now be able to support educators with a more comprehensive set of insights to accelerate student learning.” …Read More

How staff absences impact educator burnout

The average day in a K-12 school has little margin for error; educators have perfected the art of stretching resources. Yet the typical day rarely goes as planned. Staff absences are on the rise this year, and for each person who is out, others are asked to stretch themselves to make it work.

“We have staff who are consistently giving up prep periods to cover for absences, absorbing additional classes, and taking on higher caseloads,” shared one special education director who noted the extra strain staff are experiencing this year.

Research on school staff absences in the past has focused primarily on the impact on students, and the facts are clear that students suffer setbacks when facing chronic staff absences. These absences have been shown to be more prevalent in low income schools, a scary prospect when compounded with the other areas of disparate impact through the pandemic seen in reduced educational progress and increased mental health challenges in low income schools.…Read More

How to implement a districtwide K-12 computer science program

With recent research showcasing the growing number of STEM-related jobs that will be available to our graduates in Indiana in the coming years, teaching computer science skills has become as important as teaching students how to read or do math. The state has recognized this importance by mandating that all schools incorporate computer science for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

As the career and STEM academy director for Barr-Reeve Community Schools, I helped our district integrate computer science into our K-12 students’ school days. Our program helps students develop essential skills for academic and professional success. I’ve learned a number of lessons along the way and hope districts across the nation can benefit from my experience.

Starting small…Read More

IRIS Debuts Powerful New Application Where Students Use Seismic Waves Data to Learn about the Layers of the Earth

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 3, 2022) — The Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) has created an online version of its popular activity “Determining and Measuring Earth’s Layered Interior” to challenge students to use evidence in the form of earthquake data to understand the Earth’s interior layers. This free web-based tool for Earth Science classrooms was funded in part by the National Science Foundation. 

The activities contained within the tool emphasize the use of models and the importance of using empirical evidence to make discoveries in Earth Science. When using the tool, students act as scientists as they discover and analyze real-world data. This exploration encourages independent thinking, data analysis, and engineering and design, as it builds an understanding of this dynamic planet and its internal engine.

“Students today have unprecedented access to seismic data and web tools that allow them to explore fundamentally big ideas such as the predictive power of models to help explain the Earth’s system and to measure the Earth’s core,” said Michael Hubenthal, Senior Science Education Specialist at IRIS. “The “Determining and Measuring Earth’s Layered Interior” tool allows students to explore and analyze the data that scientists use to understand the layers of the Earth.”…Read More

How to find language learning opportunities for students

There has been a steady decline in language learning in schools. According to the Pew Research Center, only one in five K-12 students in the United States now learns another language, and just 10 states and the District of Columbia make world language learning a requirement for graduating from high school.

New Jersey has the most students studying a world language (51 percent), followed by the District of Columbia (47 percent) and Wisconsin (36 percent). However, the vast majority of states have fewer than 25 percent of students learning another language — and just 9 percent of students in Arizona, Arkansas, and New Mexico. Compare that to Europe, where 92 percent of students learn a foreign language, Pew observes.

The decline in language learning carries over into college: According to the Modern Language Association, university and college enrollment in language courses dropped by nearly 10 percent from 2013 to 2016. During that same period, higher education institutions cut 651 foreign language programs nationwide.…Read More

DreamBox Learning® Promotes Dianna Winegarden to Chief Customer Officer

BELLEVUE, Wash. — March 24, 2022 —  DreamBox Learning (“DreamBox”), the leading education technology provider and pioneer of intelligent adaptive learning, announced today that Dianna Winegarden has been promoted to Chief Customer Officer. With this new role, DreamBox will strengthen its commitment to fostering thriving, engaged, and successful customers across its personalized, research-proven dual-discipline learning solutions.  

As Chief Customer Officer, Winegarden is responsible for leading DreamBox’s customer strategy and cultivating a company-wide devotion to nurturing an enthusiastic and growing customer base, including broad responsibility for all customer initiatives such as: customer support, customer success, customer operations, and professional services. A key strategic role at DreamBox, the new position will drive cross-functional programs to design, innovate, and continuously improve the customer experience across an expanding range of products and services. 

“We are delighted to elevate Dianna to Chief Customer Officer where she will continue to lead our Customer Organization to further strengthen our district partnerships and ensure their students and educators are equipped with the support, services, and engagement they need to grow and thrive,” said Jessie Woolley-Wilson, President and CEO of DreamBox Learning. “Dianna embodies what it means to be a values-driven leader at DreamBox. She is a proven innovator, creative thought leader, and passionate customer advocate who continues to demonstrate her strong commitment to unlocking learning potential for all learners, regardless of who they are or where they live. I am thrilled to recognize Dianna’s consequential contributions to DreamBox growth and success with this promotion.” …Read More

Riverside Insights and 7 Mindsets Partner to Improve Student Well-being with Lessons for SEL

ITASCA, Ill. – March 24, 2022 – Riverside Insights®, a leading developer of research-based assessments and analytics, today announced a new partnership with 7 Mindsets to offer Lessons for SEL, a cloud-based solution featuring a streaming platform of video lessons and social and emotional learning (SEL) content with specific focuses on self-awareness, social awareness, self-management, relationship skills and decision-making skills. 

Unlike other well-being tools, Lessons for SEL offers a complete curriculum of powerful, engaging resources and video content aligned to the CASEL framework to help educators, mental health professionals, and school leaders enhance  the social emotional wellness of their students and staff.  Educators can use the platform to identify relevant topics that address unique classroom needs and tailor instruction to support individual student development. 

“Riverside Insights’ partnership with 7 Mindsets demonstrates our continued commitment to support the whole child and their ‘limitless learning’ by empowering them to unlock their full potential,” said Matt Tebbe, General Manager at Riverside Insights. “Lessons for SEL offers a wide variety of educator resources to promote differentiation within the SEL curriculum and is easy to incorporate into the daily routine, since the platform requires no additional infrastructure and many lessons are only six minutes long.”…Read More

Latest Research from Curriculum Associates Highlights Importance of Grade-Level Readiness for Student Growth

NORTH BILLERICA, Mass.,March 17, 2022—Whether students are prepared for grade-level learning matters more to their progress over the course of the pandemic than whether they were remote or in school, according to a new report released by Curriculum Associates. The report, Student Growth during COVID-19: Grade-Level Readiness Matters, analyzes data gathered from the edtech company’s i-Ready Assessment tool for reading and mathematics from more than two million Grades 1–8 students who used i-Ready Diagnostics during the last three school years, using student testing location (i.e., in school or remote) as a proxy for learning location.

The report provides new insights on student learning trends, and serves as a call to other education researchers to look at similar factors. Curriculum Associates’ data follows the same students, examining how they progressed over time from the 2019–2020 school year before the pandemic hit through the 2020–2021 school year. This report offers a unique understanding of how the pandemic impacted students as, unlike most research published on unfinished learning, it followed the same students across two years, incorporating their reported testing location during the pandemic.

“After several reports exploring the extent of unfinished learning, we find that remote versus in school alone did not matter much in impacting student scores,” said Dr. Kristen Huff, vice president of assessment and research at Curriculum Associates. “Though there were slight differences in student growth based on location, what mattered most was where students started in the first place—that is, whether they were already behind or prepared for grade-level work at the beginning of the school year.”…Read More

FEV Tutor’s Personalized High-Impact Tutoring is Now Available to Over 5 Million Students

WOBURN, Mass. – March 16, 2022 – FEV Tutor, the most comprehensive virtual tutoring solution in K-12, today announced that its personalized high-impact tutoring program is now used by more than 400 districts with nearly 5 million students in aggregate. The company is projecting a 200% growth in the number of tutoring sessions delivered from 2021 to 2022. This milestone underscores the challenges school districts face and FEV Tutor’s commitment to providing research-based, high-impact online tutoring to students around the clock seven days a week, year after year.

“Last week alone, we delivered nearly 70,000 tutoring sessions,” said Ryan Patenaude, Sr. Vice President and Co-Founder of FEV Tutor.  “We are honored that our partner districts have entrusted us to help their students through our experienced tutors and our individualized instruction practices.”

FEV Tutor is a US Department of Education, Level Two ESSA research and evidence-based intervention. Its live 1:1 online tutoring program employs instructors with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and two years of teaching experience. It delivers personalized academic intervention where it’s needed most and is designed to naturally extend the instruction delivered by a specific school or district.…Read More