July 2020 Newsletter
This Month’s Top Standards News and Trends
We Know Standards
In 2020-2021 EdGate is focused on continually improving and updating our ExACT alignment toolset, taking cues from our clients. Through a client survey process and detailed R&D, our goal is to ensure that our ExACT platform provides all of the features and functions needed by publishers to ensure affordable, high quality alignments. For over twenty years EdGate has helped to open up new markets for our client’s content, meeting standards alignment requirements and improving content discoverability. Look for improvements to ExACT in the coming months and don’t hesitate to contact us to provide feedback.
The tough choice to open schools during a pandemic or offer distance learning is currently weighing on the minds of every district in the nation. As these districts begin to plan for the new school year, many are weighing their options to ensure the safety of students and faculty. Along with the safety concerns, districts need to address the availability for all students to attend virtual classrooms and the technology they have available at home.
In a recent study by The National Center for Education Statistics, teachers provided information about the use of technology while students worked from home during the 2018-19 school year. This study addresses the challenges that students with limited access to technology face in completing online homework assignments. The study found while computers and internet service might exist in students’ households, computer availability for homework and the reliability of computer connections to the internet can vary considerably. The ability to reach all students, regardless of online availability, is the core of the virtual classroom issue.
Below are some highlights from the study:
- Twenty-six percent of teachers reported that students have district-provided computers for use at home.
- Of those teachers that did not report district-provided computers, they estimate 81% of students had access to computers at home while another 8% could borrow computers short-term.
- Nearly 75% of teachers felt their students had reliable internet access at home.
- Teachers reported that less than 10% of students need to rely on public locations to access internet school work.
- About one-third of the teachers surveyed estimated the majority of their students had access to a smartphone at home and thought they could be useful for school assignments.
- Teachers that reported giving online assessments found that the majority of their students were somewhat to very prepared for the technology needed for the assessments.
- About three-fourths of teachers also provide alternative homework assignments either in hard-copy or additional in-class time to complete the assignments.
With the findings of this study, its no wonder districts are heavily weighing their options. The digital divide between urban and rural communities remains an issue. As many rural communities struggle to get reliable access to broadband connections, the chance for students to fall behind exceeds those in an urban setting. Income is another factor restricting broadband connection. Lower-income families tend to be more dependent on their smartphones for internet and lack access to laptops or tablets to complete online homework. Teachers need to consider this digital divide when assigning online work.
Just as the government works to contain the disease, school districts must work to tackle the shortcomings of limited access to technology with their students so all can succeed. Ideally the digital divide will be lessened and that may be one of the few positive outcomes that we will see in the next year.
By: Sharla Schuller
The UK is planning ahead for educating students in the fall in the face of our current pandemic. Oak National Academy, the UK’s new online school, funded by £4.3m from the government, is recording 10,000 lessons in July, as they prepare an online learning “backup” plan for the upcoming new academic year. Oak National Academy has recruited approximately 300 teachers to create and record this huge bank of video lessons during July and into August, covering the entire national curriculum for both primary and secondary schools! A huge undertaking indeed!! Even more impressive is the academy’s initial 80 teachers have recorded from their homes more than 200 online lessons each week, since the lockdown began. In total, they have managed to deliver 14 million lessons to around four million pupils!
Given our world-wide chaotic educational environment for students and teachers, this writer finds it comforting to see this solid plan and strategy being enacted. The intent/hope in the UK is that schools will open in September, but the reality of this actually happening is not likely, given the pattern of COVID19 to date. Having all these video lessons as backup, provides teachers with a ‘plan B’, and one that can be put in motion quickly and efficiently. This may well be a game changer for teachers and students alike in the UK.
In the U.S. however, there is no overarching plan, forcing individual districts to scrambleto create a viable solution on their own to educate their students during this pandemic. EdGate invites you to contact us and perhaps together we can collaborate a helpful approach in your solution. Great things can be accomplished collectively, so let’s get started!
By: Larry Johnson
Alternate assessments provide a way for schools to measure the progress of a small percentage of students with “significant cognitive disabilities” (as defined by the Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA). ESSA requires each state to limit those eligible for alternate assessments to one percent of students tested in a given subject. There are many components to alternate assessments, but the general purpose is to achieve educational accountability for every student.
According to the National Center on Educational Outcomes (NCEO), currently there is one type of alternate assessment: Alternate Assessments Based on Alternate Achievement Standards (AA-AAS). Based on the same grade-level content covered by the general assessment, but reduced in depth and complexity, NCEO states that these assessments “describe achievement based on what a state determines is a high expectation for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.” Some states used other types of alternate assessments in the recent past, but these have been phased out -- though information about them is still available for viewing at NCEO. At present, all states offer an AA-AAS.
To learn more about alternate assessments,you can visit the following resources:
By: Tamara Haskett
Data Entry Specialist
Curriculum Grants and Funding
In this section of the EdGate Observer we point our clients to news about districts, states, etc. that may have available funding for curriculum.
This month we highlight three upcoming grants and awards:
- Kansas receives a $8.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to reform their early childhood education services.
- Rice University receives a $1.4 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to boost STEM education.
- The Illinois State Board of Education awarded the Northwest Education Council for Student Success a grant of $249,000 to develop CTE programs focused on careers in education.
Updates to The EdGate Standards Repository include:
- Arkansas Standards Mathematics (AD 2019) Add Technical Math Grades 9-12
- Arkansas Standards World Languages (AD 2018) Grades K-12,6-12
- Colorado Academic Standards (CAS) Arts Education (AD 2018) Grades Preschool -12
- Colorado Academic Standards (CAS) Health and PE (AD 2018) Grades PK-12, PK, K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9-12
- Colorado Academic Standards (CAS) Language Arts (AD 2018) Grades PK-12, PK,K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9-12
- Colorado Academic Standards (CAS) Mathematics (AD 2018) Grades PK, K-12, K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9-12
- Colorado Academic Standards (CAS) Social Studies (AD 2018) Grades Preschool, K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9-12
- Colorado Academic Standards (CAS) Technology Education (AD 2018) Grades 9-12
- Colorado Academic Standards (CAS) World Languages (AD 2018) Grades Preschool, K-12
- Indiana Academic Standards Language Arts (AD 2020) Grades K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9-10,11-12,9-12
- Indiana Academic Standards Mathematics (AD 2020) Grades K-12, K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9-12
- Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards Health and PE (AD 2019) Grades K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9-12
- Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards Mathematics (AD 2019) PreCalculus Grades 9-12
- Nebraska Core Academic Content Standards Social Studies (AD 2019) Grades K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9-12
- New Jersey - Career Readiness (uncorrelated) Career Development (AD 2020 9.1,9.2, 9.4 and 2014 9.3) Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12
- New Zealand Curriculum Standards Arts Education (AD 2007) Years 1-13 (Levels 1-8)
- New Zealand Curriculum Standards Health and PE (AD 2007) Years 1-13 (Levels 1-8)
- New Zealand Curriculum Standards Technology Education (AD 2020) Year 1 - Year 13 (Level 1 - Level 8)
- Oklahoma Academic Standards Science (AD 2020) Grades K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9-12
- Scotland Curriculum for Excellence - Benchmarks Arts Education (AD 2017) Early Level - Fourth Level
- Scotland Curriculum for Excellence - Benchmarks Language Arts (AD 2017) Early Level - Fourth Level
- Scotland Curriculum for Excellence - Benchmarks Mathematics (AD 2017) Early Level - Fourth Level
- Scotland Curriculum for Excellence - Benchmarks Science (AD 2017) Early Level - Fourth Level
- Scotland Curriculum for Excellence - Benchmarks Social Studies (AD 2017) Early Level - Fourth Level
- Scotland Curriculum for Excellence - Benchmarks Technology Education (AD 2017) Early Level - Fourth Level
- South Carolina Standards & Learning Social Studies (AD 2019) Grades K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9-12
- Tennessee Academic Standards Health and PE (AD 2016) Grades K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9-12
- UK GCE AS and A Level Economics (2015) Social Studies (AD 2015) Sixth Form
- UK GCE AS and A Level Geography (2016) Social Studies (AD 2016) Sixth Form
- Wyoming Content and Performance Standards Science (AD 2019) Grades K,1,2,3,4,5,K-2,3-5,6-8,9-12
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