December 2014

Top 10 education data stories of 2014

For my year-end post, I’m highlighting my 10 favorite Education By The Numbers stories of the year. Thank you to everyone who has read and commented on my weekly stories about education data and research. I look forward to continuing this conversation with you in 2015. If you would like to receive an email notification […]

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Summer school seems to work better for math than for reading

Back in 2007 a team of Johns Hopkins researchers found that low-income children tended to improve in reading just as much as their wealthier peers did during the school year. The problem, at least for a group of Baltimore children these researchers studied for 18 years, was summertime. During those three idle months, the poorer […]

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To repeat, or not to repeat? California algebra study creates commotion

I received a lot of reaction on Twitter to my Dec. 15 column, “California study finds harm for some in repeating algebra, questions whether it benefits anyone,” and would like to respond. The published study that I was analyzing highlighted the fact that the average student who had repeated algebra improved his grades and test scores. It would seem that […]

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California study finds harm for some in repeating algebra, questions whether it benefits anyone

One of the most often repeated courses in U.S. high schools is algebra. Teachers and school leaders understandably worry whether a student who can’t solve basic equations should move on in math, to geometry or advanced algebra. So the student takes algebra again. Sometimes, even students with B’s in algebra are asked to repeat it […]

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Should students discover their own math lessons?

Student-centered instruction is difficult jargon for lay people like myself to get their heads around, especially for a subject like mathematics. The idea, as I understand it, is to present students with questions, puzzles and scenarios and let them try to figure out the procedures for solving them, by themselves. A traditional teacher might simply explain, […]

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Three lessons from data on children’s reading habits

More than a decade ago a company called Renaissance Learning developed a computerized way for teachers to track students’ reading outside of the classroom. Instead of pasting stars on a chart each time a student says he has read a book, the teacher sits a student in front of a computer screen to answer a […]

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