Posts tagged "Competitive advantage"
February 7, 2013
The story, ”Why Can Some Kids Handle Pressure While Others Fall Apart?“, surveys neuroscience research to try to figure out why top students sometimes freeze up on high-stakes exams. One answer, researchers say, is that people who usually have an optimal level of a neurotransmitter called dopamine go into overload in stressful settings, while others only reach the optimal level in those settings.
Simply put, one researcher told the Times, “The people who perform best in normal conditions may not be the same people who perform best under stress.” It’s a lesson educators know through experience, confirmed through cutting-edge neuroscience.
Critics of high-stakes tests tend to argue that when schools prepare students for tests by giving practice exams and emphasizing the exams’ importance, they stress students out even more.
But researchers say there’s value in test prep: (more…)
January 9, 2013
The state will underwrite costs for schools that keep students in class an extra 300 hours per year, according to a top proposal floated today in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s third “State of the State” address.
Extended learning time was one of several proposals Cuomo mentioned during the education section of his speech, which lasted more than an hour and covered a variety of non-education issues, including a strict ban on assault weapons, decriminalization of small amounts of marijuana, raising the minimum wage and a new plan to build casinos in upstate New York (the revenue of which will mostly go toward state school aid).
The proposals were part of a “more and better” approach to education reform that Cuomo is crafting for 2013, a year after he targeted education “lobbyists” and school bureaucratic inefficiencies. Cuomo said he also wants to invest in expanding early education programs and creating schools that provide health and social services for poor communities.
Cuomo is making the funds available in the form of competitive grants, which he has used in the past in an attempt to fast-track education reforms. The grants would only be eligible to districts and schools that craft plans that adhere to best practices prescribed by Cuomo.
The previous grants have encountered resistance, both from union officials, the Board of Regents and State Education Commissioner John King. They all agreed that a $250 million mini-Race to the Top grant would be be better used if it were redistributed into the state’s general school aid formula. (more…)