US school kids showing slight improvement in math

One expert said any gains from 2009 to 2011 were minuscule and wouldn't even be noticed "in the real world."

The nation’s report card on math and reading shows fourth- and eighth-graders scoring their best ever in math and eighth graders making some progress in reading. But the results released Tuesday are a stark reminder of just how far the nation’s school kids are from achieving the No Child Left Behind law’s goal that every child in America be proficient in math and reading by 2014.

Just a little more than one-third of the students were proficient or higher in reading. In math, 40 percent of the fourth-graders and 35 percent of the eighth-graders had reached that level.

The figures were from the National Assessment of Educational Progress.…Read More

Microsoft’s Philly high school traveled rocky road

Students and teachers learned valuable lessons during the school's first years.
Students and teachers learned valuable lessons during the school's first years.

When the Microsoft-designed School of the Future opened, the facility was a paragon of contemporary architecture, with a green roof, light-filled corridors and the latest classroom technology, all housed in a dazzling white modern building.

It might as well have been a fishbowl: Educators and the media from around the world watched to see whether Microsoft could reform public education through innovation in technology.

Although the school’s creative ambitions have been frustrated by high principal turnover, curriculum tensions and a student body unfamiliar with laptop computer culture, the school graduates its first senior class on June 15 with each student having been accepted to an institution of higher learning.…Read More