Thursday’s Tiny Reading Collection: Economic Turning, the Good & Bad Revealed Through Testing, Arts Learning, & MLK Day of Service

As the school term winds down, some of you will have a little more time to read in your down time.  And for those of us who continue on the grind, we probably still have time to fit in a little update on education issues, right?  Here’s your easy-access collection of the week:

  • The connection between Portland’s reduced incomes and the impact on Portland schools and public services is explored.  I’m planning a later post on this…important stuff!
  • Read a recent study on how urban students have faired on standardized math tests.  There have been some improvements and some areas where improvement on the needed scale has yet to come.  For those of us who are educators or who have been in classrooms, the quote from a student about how he learns best when “learning is fun” should not come as a shock…but the continued emphasis on testing and drilling for the test in light of the fact that students learn best when engaged with the materials does seem shocking.
  • In light of the previous article, take a look at this Edutopia post about how to use student data to improve teaching practices.  For teachers out there, this is a must read.
  • With so many cuts to school programming, is this one answer?  Substitute recess for arts learning?  As someone who comes from a family of artists and musicians (and as someone who always hated recess as a child), this has some appeal.  What do you all think?
  • PSU (along with many other local universities) will be spending the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday serving in the community.  More specifically, PSU is dedicating its service to Roosevelt High School, which is right in my neighborhood and which will also be one of our community partners this winter.  This is a day off for so many of us…and is the perfect opportunity to get involved in the community as a one-time day of service or to jumpstart a New Year’s resolution to practice weekly community-based work.   Register through the above link!  I’ll be promoting this day of service throughout the next two months and hope to see you all there!
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