Merit Views and Opinions Regarding Education and Technology

Is English Language Instruction Just to Pass Tests?

What Holds English Language Learners Back in Korea?

Approaching English as a purely technical task, says Jon Huer, columnist for the Korea Times, is what explodes in the face of most Korean learners of English.

Narrowing the achievement gap: the high cost of failure

Earlier this month, McKinsey & Company published “The Economic Impact of the Achievement Gap in America’s Schools.” The report finds that the educational gaps between black and Latino students and white students impose on the U.S. the economic equivalent of a permanent national recession.

Special Education and the role of learning technologies

The new U.S. economic stimulus package places a strong emphasis on special education. Assistive learning technologies will play a large role in this area.

Improving student achievement, cost effectively

Failing in Mathematics, is the first article we’ve seen in a long time advocating educational software as a way to cost effectively improve student achievement. Most of the recent talk about education reforms has centered on other options — all of which are extremely expensive. History has shown that in tough economic times, people?s resistance… Read More »

Rethinking elementary classroom instruction

The Center for Educational Policy (CEP) just announced a new report about the impact of the NCLB on the classroom. The study found that in schools in need of improvement teachers are more likely than those in higher-achieving schools to ask students questions with one or a few right answers. Conversely, teachers in high-achieving schools… Read More »

How can we improve teacher quality? Malcolm Gladwell’s article on teachers

Malcolm Gladwell tackles the controversial issue of hiring teachers in a new New Yorker piece Most Likely to Succeed “students of a very bad teacher will learn, on average, half a year?s worth of material in one school year. The students in the class of a very good teacher will learn a year and a… Read More »

How can we close the achievement gap?

The recent article Minorities have not caught up on test scores points out that in the Rowan Salisbury School System, as in many communities across the United States, white students did better in the last year on proficiency exams than their black and Hispanic peers. Schools Superintendent Dr. Judy Grissom said the results come as… Read More »

Should grammar be taught in the classroom?

The National Curriculum Board of Australia has recently proposed that traditional English and grammar lessons be reinstated in school classrooms to address a deterioration in writing skills. See the report on ABC News. The recommendation comes after complaints from universities and business that students lack the most basic knowledge. Many businesses and colleges, along with… Read More »

Secondary Reading Scores, Skills Need Improving

The Daily Herald reports that the latest Illinois state test results show a somewhat alarming trend – state reading scores for high school juniors in urban areas are dropping. In the case of the suburbs, scores are flattening. The article asks, “if there is a problem, what to do about it, especially now that we… Read More »