August 15th, 2014

Report on Advanced Learning in the Cambridge Public Schools

On July 29th 2014, the Cambridge Public Schools’ Academic Challenge and Enrichment Program Manager, Paula Feynman, presented to the School Committee and Administration on the state of advanced learning in CPS. Slides from her presentation are here.

The presentation was covered by Jean Cummings in The Cambridge Day, in her article “Difficulties handling ‘advanced learners’ […]

April 25th, 2014

New Math Pathways for Cambridge Middle School Students

On March 4th, 2014 the Cambridge Public School District administration and School Committee amended the Academic Challenge Policy to allow for two math pathways in the CPS middle schools. The CALA community has advocated for this change for two years, and supports this decision, as it better enables middle school math teachers to meet the […]

January 2nd, 2014

NYTimes Editorial Board Calls for Improved Gifted Education

The editorial board of the New York Times recently published this call to action, asking US education leaders to greatly increase efforts to identify and develop students of every race and class who have both the intelligence and drive to succeed at very high levels. The piece, titled “Even Gifted Students Can’t Keep Up“, offers […]

December 19th, 2013

Interaction of Teaching-to-the-Test and Socioeconomic Status

Here’s an excerpt of an essay by University of California at Davis Professor Norman Matloff, titled “Let’s Not Panic Over U.S. Students’ Global Rankings“:

“Even former Premier Wen Jiabao has complained about China’s rote-memory approach to education. Chen Lixin, an engineering professor at Northwestern Polytechnic University in Xian, has warned that China produces […]

November 8th, 2013

Racism in Education in the US

This Education Week blog post by Jill Berkowicz and Ann Myers titled “Facing Racism” explores the difficult subjects of cultural and personal racism in education.

“And each of us is a more courageous leader if we wrestle long with ourselves to know whatever bias lives in us. We have children watching and waiting […]

April 30th, 2013

The Rich-Poor Student Achievement Gap Has Grown Over the Decades

In this NY Times Opinionator article titled “No Rich Child Left Behind“, Sean F. Reardon, professor of education and sociology at Stanford, explores how wealth has taken over race as the dominating factor in determining students’ success. The rich-poor gap in student achievement has widened significantly over the last 50 years. Here’s an excerpt:

September 28th, 2012

Education for All Shouldn’t Be About Rationing Limited Resources

RiShawn Biddle’s editorial board, who cover the reform of American public education in blog Dropout Nation, compiled three excerpts about the difficulty of trying to meet students’ advanced learning needs without exascerbating race- and class-driven acheivement gaps. The piece is called — The Power of Challenging Young Minds. Excerpt authors are: Sara Mead of Bellwether […]

April 20th, 2012

Race & Gender Bias in How Teachers Perceive Math Ability

This week’s Freakonomics blog says: “A disheartening new study by Catherine Riegle-Crumb and Melissa Humphries finds that teachers discount the math skills of white females, even when girls’ grades and test scores indicate a comparable level of skill.” The blog post is here, and the research paper, Exploring Bias in Math Teachers’ Perceptions of Students’ […]

April 15th, 2012

Georgetown Freshman on How DC Public Schools Didn’t Prepare Him for College

In this Washington Post opinion column, — I went to some of D.C.’s better schools. I was still unprepared for college. — Georgetown University freshman Darryl Robinson talks candidly about how his public charter school experience failed him in some crucial ways. Here’s an excerpt:

Entering my freshman year at Georgetown University, I […]

April 14th, 2012

High Stakes Testing for Advanced Learning Programs in NYC

The practice of basing entry into advanced learning programs on a single aptitude test — taken by pre-kindergartners — creates very high stakes, and broadens the opportunity gap between parents who can afford expensive tutoring, and those who can’t. Karson Yiu and Edward Lovett report on this phenomenon in “Parents Spend Thousands on Test-Prep to […]