kitchen table math, the sequel: Two new Education Blogs

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Two new Education Blogs

Two new education blogs have joined the fray. Full disclosure: I'm helping create the "Throwing Curves" blog. Throwing Curves is a project between a friend and I that are on opposite sides of the political spectrum, but find a lot of common ground when we start to talk about education. I hope you'll join us. We have a Connecticut focus, but are known to take on national issues whenever the whim strikes us.

The other is "Education Quick Takes" and is giving us lots of short blurbs about education news and policy. It's worth the click. I have no connection to Education Quick Takes, other than as a reader.

2 comments:

Knowledge Based Science said...

Lynn, thanks for the tip. I tried to leave a comment on EQT on the AP Bio revamp, but it was not showing up. (I've also been unable to leave comments on my own blog.) I wrote:

The new approach is important because critical thinking skills are considered essential for advanced college courses and jobs in today’s information-based economy.

I have to wonder whether this is the reporter's opinion or whether he is paraphrasing Mr. Packer. Does the college board really believe this?


I'm actually cautiously optimistic about this change. The current AP biology exam covers a very, very broad range of content. It could stand to be put on a diet.

OTOH, when I see terms like "think like scientists," "creative," "critical thinking skills," and "information-based economy," I'm never sure what to think. Is it a cover for fluff and low expectations? Or is it a way to sell something that is educationally sound, knowing that those are the terms that teachers/admin will pick up on (as opposed to, say, rigor and inductive reasoning)? For any program, those descriptors tell us less and less, as they come to mean more and more.

BTW, I blogged about this here:

http://knowledgebasedscience.blogspot.com/2011/01/new-curriculum-for-ap-biology.html

- Hainish

LynnG said...

Lowering the expectations seems to be a valid conclusion. The other possibility is that schools will maintain their high standards, only rarely admit anyone with less than 3 subject tests, but use the lower application criteria to boost the number of unqualified applicants. It ends up being a game. The schools want more applicants, of any type, because it increases their "selectivity" numbers.

The cynic in me thinks the change is just an effort to make themselves look more selective by increasing the number of apps.