As the new year approaches, many news articles have begun to reflect on the major events in education news that have taken place over 2015. It has truly been an eventful year for education, for example on topics such as standardized testing. To mention just a few of the popular stories:
- A redesigned version of the SAT was created and is now scheduled to be implemented, and practice material has already been released.
- The Common Core and the related PARCC assessments have generated debate in schools, with some continuing to support their use and others withdrawing their membership.
- Massachusetts has announced plans to develop an “MCAS 2.0” assessment test, which would be a hybrid of PARCC and MCAS.
A recent article has compiled a list of the top 10 stories in K-12 Education for 2015. The stories selected span a variety of topics, such as education technology, the impact of political decisions on education, and teaching policy in education. In summary:
- The No Child Left Behind Act was overhauled, with the House and Senate passing the Every Student Succeeds Act in December, followed by it being signed into law by the president.
- The Education Secretary Arne Duncan resigned on October 2nd after serving since 2009, and will be replaced by John B. King in January.
- The Common Core received some criticism due to perceived problems or limitations, and states such as CT, MA, and NY made changes to decrease or cancel their use of the education standards.
- Google’s Chromebook did very well in schools, with 60% of sales in the education sector and an increase in school use.
- Google’s Expeditions, a virtual reality field trip kit that has been use in some school since May, was a novel example of the growing role of education technology in classrooms.
- Schools such as the Seattle School District voted to push back school start times in 2016-2017, in response to statements from health experts that explained it was better for the health of students.
- A significant shift occurred in education to increase focus on computer science courses, such as in some California and New York schools.
- STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and the related Maker’s Movement saw a growing influence in education in 2015.
- The link between effective teaching and collaboration was supported by a study by the University of Michigan’s School of Education.
- The important topic of blended learning (classroom education combined with online learning) received in-depth coverage in a report from the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL).
Socrato is a website for scoring and performance reports for standardized admissions test preparation. Socrato reports are available for the SAT, ACT, PSAT, SSAT, HSPT, and many more tests. You can learn more or try for free at socrato.com. Featured image credit: Artis Rams