Your Guide to Understanding the Charter School Debate

Updated  February 07, 2018 |
Your Guide to Understanding the Charter School Debate
Changes instigated by the Trump Administration have been met with a great deal of controversy but one of the biggest debates within the education sector is in regard to integration and charter schools. Keep reading to learn more about the charter school debate and what you should know as a parent.

When it comes to schools in the United States, the biggest differences lie in the gap between public and private school. What many people do not realize, however, is that there are many different subcategories for each.

For example, a charter school is an independently run public school that has greater flexibility than a traditional public school. Charter schools still need to meet state standards, but a significant portion of their curriculum and operation is influenced by the school’s “charter” – a performance contract that details the school’s mission as well as the students served, specific performance goals, and its methods of assessment. As modern reform continues to shake the foundation of the United States education system, a debate about charter schools has risen to the forefront.

In theory, charter schools exist to provide underprivileged students with access to better education. The primary question, however, is whether charter schools inadvertently support segregation. Keep reading to learn more about charter schools and how they are changing the face of the U.S. education system.

Understanding the Basics About Charter Schools

According to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS), there are roughly 6,900 charter schools in the United States. Though they are technically public schools and therefore open to a wide range of students tuition-free, charter schools work differently than traditional public schools. A charter school operates under an independent contract (known as a “charter”) with some kind of authorizing agency such as a government agency, university, or non-profit organization.

While a charter

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Updated  February 07, 2018 |
How Does Standardized Testing Affect Teaching Quality?
The Common Core State Standards Initiative has changed the course of education in the United States, particularly with its emphasis on standardized testing. But how does standardized testing affect teaching quality? Keep reading to find out.

Introduced in the early 2000s, the Common Core State Standards Initiative is designed to ensure that students across the country receive a similar quality of education. The initiative set specific standards for what students should know at the end of each grade with the goal of making sure that every student has an equal opportunity to attend college after high school.

Since its introduction, the Common Core State Standards Initiative has encountered a great deal of controversy. In some ways, it may benefit students to have a more structured education, regardless where they go to school. In other ways, however, the standards don’t always work for every school or every student. One of the biggest problems about the initiative, however, is its emphasis on standardized testing.

As one of the major tenants of the Common Core State Standards Initiative, standardized testing has a significant impact on the nation’s educational system. Keep reading to learn more about how standardized testing affects teachers and teaching quality.

What is the Deal with Standardized Testing?

According to the Common Core website, the Common Core State Standards Initiative is, “a set of high-quality academic standards in mathematical and English language arts/literacy” that were created to ensure that “all students graduate from high school with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college, career, and life”.

Having standards designed to increase the quality of education in the United States is a good thing – there are no arguments that quality of education is not important. The problem

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Published  November 09, 2017 |
An In-Depth Look at Common Core – What’s Working and What Isn’t?
The Common Core State Standards Initiative, more commonly referred to simply as “Common Core”, was introduced to help American students graduate from high school better prepared for career and college. But what exactly are these "common core" standards, and are they working?

If you attended a public school in the United States, you have probably taken a standardized test at some point – probably a lot of them. Testing is one of the most common ways to evaluate the efficacy of an education program, though it may not always be the best way. One of the most well-known education programs that makes heavy use of testing is the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

The Common Core State Standards Initiative, more commonly referred to simply as “Common Core”, was introduced in the early 2000s, though many people still have a poor understanding of what it is and how it has affected the nation’s school systems. This system has been in place for half a decade and yet the jury is still out on whether it works or not.

Whether you have detailed knowledge of what’s going on in the nation’s education system or not, you are probably aware that the most recent presidential election has led to some big changes. Keep reading to learn about the history of common core, it’s future, and whether or not it really works.

A History of Common Core

According to the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), the Common Core State Standards Initiative is, “a set of high-quality academic standards in mathematics and English language arts/literacy,” also known as ELA. These standards exist to outline exactly what a student should know at the end of each grade in public educational systems. In a perfect world, these standards will

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Published  September 27, 2017 |
Tips for Easing Test Anxiety in Public School Students
Even the smartest of students can sometimes perform poorly on tests when they become anxious. Keep reading to learn how to ease test anxiety in public school students.

If your student attends public school, you are undoubtedly familiar with standardized testing. Standardized testing is designed to determine the effectiveness of a school’s curriculum and teaching staff as well as the degree to which students understand core concepts.

Many schools engage in standardized testing once a year or more in grades 3 through 8, focusing particularly on subjects like math, science, and language arts. Though these tests are partially designed to measure the effectiveness of a school program, they are also used to determine funding for public schools – this puts a lot of pressure on schools to ensure that their students perform well.

With so much riding on these tests, it is no wonder that many students develop test anxiety. Anxiety over testing can turn even the smartest, most intelligent student into a F student. But what is text anxiety and how do you deal with it? Keep reading to find out.

What is Test Anxiety?

According to the American Test Anxiety Association, test anxiety is a psychological condition in which students experience extreme distress before, during, and/or after a test or exam. This level of stress makes it difficult for the student to do their best work – it even causes some students to freeze up entirely and to forget everything they’ve learned. As many as 20% of school children have severe test anxiety and another 18% have a more moderate form of the condition. Understanding what test anxiety is and how it affects students is important for both

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Published  September 27, 2017 |
The Top 10 Study Tips for High School Students Preparing for College
Are you preparing to make the transition from high school to college? Many things are going to change for you in the coming years, so prepare for them academically by learning strong study skills now that you can apply during your college years.

Preparing for college can be nerve-wracking for a high school student, even if you’ve already been accepted by a school. During that final year of high school, it may be difficult to concentrate on academics, but you want to show your college that you aren’t slacking off just because you’ve already been accepted. It is always important to do your best.

As you prepare for college, not only should you be keeping up with your school work, but you should take some time to evaluate your study habits to see if you are properly prepared for college. In this article, you’ll receive the top ten study tips to get you ready for the transition into college.

How Much Studying Do College Students Do?

According to a national study, the average full-time college student spends about 15 hours per week studying. Of course, the number of hours a student spends studying doesn’t necessarily correlate with their level of academic success. For example, students who studied an average of 20 hours per week or more were not always fully prepared for class, according to the results of a campus-wide student engagement survey. The amount of time students spend studying may also depend on their major and their class load. For example, senior engineering students reported 19 hours of study per week while students in the social sciences and business studied an average of 5 hours less.

What is the takeaway here? While spending more time studying isn’t necessarily a guarantee of academic success, improving

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February 07, 2018
The Common Core State Standards Initiative has changed the course of education in the United States, particularly with its emphasis on standardized testing. But how does standardized testing affect teaching quality? Keep reading to find out.
February 07, 2018
Changes instigated by the Trump Administration have been met with a great deal of controversy but one of the biggest debates within the education sector is in regard to integration and charter schools. Keep reading to learn more about the charter school debate and what you should know as a parent.