At One LA Unified School, the iPads are ‘Rocking and Rolling’
All 338 students in kindergarten through fifth grade at Cimarron Avenue Elementary in Hawthorne have iPads at their fingertips. The rollout has gone smoothly at the school, one of the first in LA Unified to receive the tablets when distribution began in August. “We’re rocking and rolling here,” said Cimarron’s principal, Cynthia Williams. Critics have called...
By Brenda Iasevoli | November 8, 2013
LA Unified Wants Student Hackers on an Anti-Hacking Panel
Los Angeles Unified will assemble a student committee to advise its response to the recent security breach of district-issued iPads by 185 high school students, Ron Chandler, the district’s chief information officer, said yesterday. The move is the district’s attempt to find a way to balance students’ desires to surf the web unfettered with the...
By Brenda Iasevoli | September 26, 2013
Testing Tools Approved for Smarter Balanced Assessments
California and the 24 other states developing the Smarter Balanced assessments aligned to the new Common Core standards have approved support tools for all students, including English language learners and students with disabilities. The supports range from digital notepads to test items translated into the student’s native language. The “Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines” identifies three types...
By Brenda Iasevoli | September 12, 2013
CA Getting ‘Smarter’ with New Tests to Probe Critical Thinking
When California’s new statewide tests are in place by the spring of 2015, an 11th grade student might be asked the following: “Pretend you are preparing a report for a congresswoman on the pros and cons of using nuclear power to generate electricity. Gather some evidence, then write an essay arguing for either using nuclear...
By Brenda Iasevoli | August 27, 2013
Common Core Training Session Draws Overflow Crowd
Nearly 1,400 LA Unified educators flooded the California State University Dominguez Hills campus in Carson on Saturday for a free conference on the Common Core State Standards. “Launch LA Common Core” was organized by Teach Plus, a nonprofit that focuses on professional development for teachers. The event was held as states are scrambling to train...
By Brenda Iasevoli | August 26, 2013
Aquino Sees Deeper Thinking but Falling Scores with Common Core
Five years ago, as Jaime Aquino was leaving his post as chief academic officer of Denver public schools, a reporter asked him his thoughts on how to improve public education. His response: national standards, coupled with national assessments. But Aquino told the reporter, “I will never see this in my lifetime.’” Fast forward to 2013....
By Brenda Iasevoli | August 14, 2013