New Computer Science Standards for K-8 Students in Tennessee: In part of the state’s effort to revise standards for all core areas, the Tennessee State Board of Education has approved computer science standards for grades K-8. The standards are set to be implemented in the 2019-2020 school year and mark the education community’s movement from computer technology standards to more comprehensive, workforce-oriented curricula starting in elementary schools.
Louisiana’s Alternative Standardized Testing Program is Approved: Secretary Betsy DeVos has signed off on Louisiana’s proposal for their “Innovative Assessment” pilot. A provision in the Every Student Succeeds Act allows seven states to create new testing strategies in select districts as pilots for eventual statewide programs, but Louisiana is the first state to gain approval. The new program willintegrate English and social studies assessments into a new system of evaluation. Applications for New hampshire and Puerto Rico are awaiting approval from the Department of Education.
North Dakota School District Eliminating Grade Levels: North Cass School District, just outside Fargo, North Dakota has decided to experiment with moving students through schools based on skills and competencies, abolishing grade levels in the process This three-year transition will be complete by the fall of 2020 when all students will have moved through school at their own pace. Aside from gym class and field trips, students will not be grouped with other students their age.
NAACP Addresses Charter Schools: Derrick Johnson, the President of The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People told reporters this week that the organization does not oppose charter schools. Stopping short of an endorsement, Johnson noted that civil rights groups remain wary of select charters’ practices and believe failures in the sector have been underrepresented in political rhetoric. This comes in the wake of the NAACP’s call for a moratorium on charter schools in 2016 and subsequent report in 2017.