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Stories tagged: standardized curriculum

Pennsylvania’s stops and starts over new classroom standards

By the Notebook on Oct 18, 2013 11:32 AM

by Sara Neufeld, The Hechinger Report

In the beginning, Pennsylvania was going to be like most other states, following a new set of national education standards and administering new national standardized tests.

But a lot has happened since 2010, when the state signed on to participate in what’s known as Common Core, an initiative designed to make the United States more globally competitive by ensuring students’ ability to meet basic benchmarks.

A Democratic administration turned Republican, and Gov. Tom Corbett took seriously conservatives concerned about the federal government infringing on states’ rights. In March 2012, Pennsylvania officials released their own document, known as the Pennsylvania Core Standards, which they call a hybrid between the national Common Core and the state’s own guidelines.

Pencils Down: It's time to rethink tests

By Samuel Reed III on Oct 30, 2012 01:44 PM

How reliable are tests in measuring what really matters for 21st-century learning? And should high-stakes tests really be used as a punitive evaluation of teacher quality? With all the controversy surrounding standardized tests and cheating, it’s time for teachers, parents, districts and policymakers to consider alternatives.

Navigating the digital world

By by Wendy Harris on Apr 2, 2012 03:53 PM
As a result of the big changes underway in the School District, teachers will soon be given more freedom to be creative. As part of our April print edition, the Notebook and NewsWorks took a multimedia look inside the classrooms of five exemplary Philadelphia teachers to get an on-the-ground perspectives of the great teaching and learning that is possible.

South Philadelphia senior Marcus Johnson stands at the front of his classroom eager to give his presentation on mammals. But there are no poster board cutouts here, no sketches across a blackboard, no pages borrowed from an animal encyclopedia. Johnson, with his back to a class that has iMacs and iPads, works the keys on his laptop computer with the focus of an engineer in a computer lab. After a few clicks, he turns to face his peers, and the website he designed – which gives vivid images and rich content about the animals he loves so much – fills the interactive projector at the front of the room.

Video: Kimberly Paynter for WHYY/NewsWorks

Lessons from teachers

By Anonymous on Apr 2, 2012 01:08 PM

Ask any teacher, whether at a neighborhood, magnet, or charter school, and most would agree that to keep students engaged and create meaningful learning, they need some autonomy – some room to be creative.

April edition cartoon

By by Eric Joselyn on Apr 2, 2012 10:45 AM

Delving into music's impact

By by Wendy Harris on Mar 30, 2012 04:34 PM
As a result of the big changes underway in the School District, teachers will soon be given more freedom to be creative. As part of our April print edition, the Notebook and NewsWorks took a multimedia look inside the classrooms of five exemplary Philadelphia teachers to get an on-the-ground perspectives of the great teaching and learning that is possible.

Johnny Oliver has no doubt about the best unit that he’s taught – and is still teaching – at Freire Charter School.

It’s on radio, recording, and music. Every year students mark it on their teacher evaluations as the most popular project.

Video: Kimberly Paynter for WHYY/NewsWorks

Reorganization is underway

By by Dale Mezzacappa on Mar 30, 2012 04:35 PM

Working with Chief Academic Officer Penny Nixon to develop a new organizational blueprint for the School District, seven “academic design subcommittees” have been meeting since February.

Curriculum development: This committee is expected to develop a pre-K to 12 curriculum with outcomes for each grade level that are aligned to college and career program goals and the new Common Core State Standards.

Navegando por el mar de cambios en el currículo

By por Bill Hangley, Jr. on Mar 30, 2012 04:34 PM

Marilynn Holmes ha enseñado 1er grado en la Escuela Elemental Isaac A. Sheppard en West Kensington desde el 1968. Natural de una pequeña ciudad de minas de carbón cerca de Pittsburgh, y graduada de lo que entonces se llamaba el Cheyney State College, ha sido testigo presencial de 40 años de cambios en el currículo.

Helping students take the lead

By by Connie Langland on Mar 30, 2012 04:34 PM
As a result of the big changes underway in the School District, teachers will soon be given more freedom to be creative. As part of our April print edition, the Notebook and NewsWorks took a multimedia look inside the classrooms of five exemplary Philadelphia teachers to get an on-the-ground perspectives of the great teaching and learning that is possible.

Simon Hauger’s idea of a great lesson is this: ask the student “what is really near and dear to your heart” and then stand back, let the student take the lead, and watch the student’s efforts unfold.

Hauger, who runs the Sustainability Workshop with fellow teacher Michael Clapper, said students learn by doing, coming up with ideas, developing plans and completing projects, large and small.

Video: Kimberly Paynter for WHYY/NewsWorks

Giving teachers more say

By by Benjamin Herold for the Notebook and WHYY/NewsWorks on Mar 30, 2012 04:34 PM

Something in Brenda Wolbransky's classroom doesn't feel right.

The 32-year District veteran is pacing the rows of her honors English class at George Washington High, coaxing her students into a conversation about Lord of the Flies, the classic tale of British schoolboys who get trapped on an island and descend into anarchy.

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