Survey Suggests Hurdles for Math, Science Teaching EdWeek: A rich new set of survey data on math and science teachershighlights some big challenges the nation faces if it hopes to significantly increase student achievement in those disciplines. It also drives home, experts say, the huge need to support teachers as districts begin implementing the common-core math standards, and as an effort to develop common standards for science nears completion.
Cantor, Rubio, Other Key Republicans in Congress Focus on Choice PoliticsK12: And now Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., the second-top-banana in the House, is getting in on the act. Cantor doesn't have a long record on K-12, but it's clear he wants folks to see this as a big issue for him going forward. School choice played a prominent role in Cantor's big speech to the American Enterprise Institute last month, in which he laid out his vision for the new Congress. Since then, Cantor has traveled to New Orleans and met with students who are participating in a voucher program put in place by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (a potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate). Check out local coverage here.
Digital Learning Priorities Influence School Building Design EdWeek: As school districts plan and design new buildings, a philosophical shift in how learning environments look is happening, fueled largely by technological advancements and a belief that classrooms should be more interactive and mirror the workplaces of today and the future. That new look puts a high priority on small-group work, use of mobile devices, and project-based digital learning.
Fund That Subsidizes Internet for Schools Should Expand, a Senator Says NYT: The $2.3 billion federal E-Rate program, which subsidizes basic Internet connections for schools and libraries, should be overhauled and expanded to provide those community institutions with new, lightning-fast connections to the Web, the chairman of a Senate committee that oversees the F.C.C. said Tuesday. Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, a West Virginia Democrat who is chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, said that the fund should be used to create one-gigabit connections to every school in America — a speed that is 60 to 100 times faster than most schools or homes now receive — and wireless connections in every school building.
New Jersey Town Divided Over Schools and Firearms WSJ: More than two months after this suburban township put armed guards in each of its schools following the rampage in Newtown, Conn., residents are divided over the pilot project's consequences for children and its effectiveness as a deterrent. Police officers—their pistols displayed in holsters—have patrolled Marlboro's nine public schools since Jan. 2, unnerving some parents and comforting others while providing a model for communities that want to follow the National Rifle Association's advice on preventing school violence.