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A Counterintuitive Approach to Improving Math Education: Focus on English Language Arts Teaching

Education Next – Susanna Loeb

“Recent education reform efforts commonly aim at improving teacher effectiveness. One study of three large districts finds that they spent approximately $18,000 for professional development for each teacher each year. Numerous education agencies, such as the District of Columbia Public Schools with its IMPACT effectiveness system for school-based personnel, and the state of Tennessee with its Tennessee Educator Acceleration Model, have invested substantial resources in teacher evaluation and feedback.”(more)

Could PD lead to better student writing?

E-School News – Laura Ascione

“Certain teacher professional development could have a positive impact on academic writing by English learners in grades 7-12, according to a study from the University of California, Irvine. Students of teachers who participated in the Pathway Project, which includes 46 hours of training in the “cognitive strategies” instructional approach, scored higher on an academic writing assessment and had higher pass rates on the California High School Exit Exam than students whose teachers did not receive the training.”(more)

Children and youth learning English require better support for academic success

Phys.org – Staff Writer

“Despite their potential, many English learners (ELs)—who account for more than 9 percent of K-12 enrollment in the U.S.—lag behind their English-speaking monolingual peers in educational achievement, in part because schools do not provide adequate instruction and social-emotional support to acquire English proficiency or access to academic subjects at the appropriate grade level, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Moreover, early care and education providers, educational administrators, and teachers are not given appropriate training to foster desired educational outcomes for children and youth learning English.”(more)

Working memory as key to preventing misdiagnoses, overrepresentation of minorities in special education

Science Daily – Staff Writer

“Researchers have found a link to growth in working memory and growth in English-language reading among young English-language learning students. The findings suggest better assessment and education that considers second language acquirement, and not just curriculum, could help prevent misdiagnoses of learning disabilities in minority students.”(more)

Bilingual babies ‘learn languages faster’

The Straits Times – Amelia Teng

“Babies exposed to two languages at the same time can master the rules of each language faster than monolingual babies, a new study by National University of Singapore (NUS) psychologists has found. They are able to differentiate between English and Chinese, and hearing both languages in their first year does not confuse them…The study’s findings are reassuring for parents concerned that exposing their infants to two languages would confuse them, or delay development in one language, said Prof Singh. The study found that bilingual babies have a six-month head start compared with their monolingual peers…”(more)