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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

eSchool News and the Current Site of the Week Online

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‘Benchmarking for Success' says state education leaders can learn from other nations


In a report titled "Benchmarking for Success," high-level state officials call for action to ensure that American students are globally competitive. Education leaders, the report advises, should renew the focus on international benchmarking and look toward other countries for help in drafting state achievement standards.
The report's advisory group, which consisted of governors, state education commissioners, business executives, researchers, and other officials, identified five transformative steps the U.S. education system should take to produce more globally competitive students. The group was convened by the National Governors Association, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and Achieve Inc.
Here, according to the report, are the five steps American education should take to produce more globally competitive students:

1. Upgrade state standards by adopting a common core of internationally benchmarked standards in math and language arts for grades K-12.


2. Leverage states’ collective influence to ensure textbooks, digital media, curricula and assessments are aligned to internationally benchmarked standards and draw on lessons from high-performing nations.


3. Revise state policies for recruiting, preparing, developing, and supporting teachers and school leaders to reflect the 'human capital' practices of top-performing nations and states around the world.

4. Hold schools and systems accountable through monitoring, interventions, and support to ensure consistently high performance, drawing upon international best practices.

5. Measure state-level education performance globally by examining student achievement and attainment in an international context to ensure that students are receiving the education they need to compete in the 21st century economy.
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Related links
Benchmarking for Success
National Governors Association
Council of Chief State School Officers
Achieve Inc.

Note to readers:
Don't forget to visit the Measuring 21st-century skills resource center.
Graduates who enter the workplace with a solid grasp of 21st-century skills bring value to both the workplace and global marketplace.
Measuring 21st-century skills

Current Site of the Week

Free Microsoft curriculum encourages students to be good 'digital citizens'


Students interact with music, movies, software, and other digital content every day—but many don’t fully understand the rules surrounding the appropriate use of these materials, or why this should even matter. To help teach students about intellectual property rights and encourage them to become good “digital citizens,” software giant Microsoft Corp. has unveiled a free curriculum that offers cross-curricular classroom activities aligned with national standards.
The Digital Citizenship and Creative Content program was designed for students in grades 8-10 but can be adapted for use in grades 6-12, Microsoft says.
In one unit, students are given a scenario in which a high school sponsors a school-wide Battle of the Bands. A student not involved in the production decides to videotape and sell copies of the show to students and family members.
Read more...

Source: eSchool News


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