September 1997 Issue
Welcome to e-News - Strategic Studies Online Newsletter
Visit Strategic Studies Online at http://www.strategicstudies.com
 
Message From The President

Welcome to the first edition of e-News! Our goal has been to create a simple, easy to use newsletter that will provide readers with information about current topics of interest and related Internet sites. Future editions will include information on educational curriculum shareware, parental advice, essays, research, and conferences.

Strategic Studies is a consulting firm operating out of Illinois which provides research, development and evaluation services to education, non-profit organizations and small business. We are pleased to have this opportunity to provide you with information which may help you in your decision making. Our fundamental purpose is to develop ways of improving the quality and effectiveness of the organizations we serve.

In our work in Illinois we have noticed that the resources of the Internet are not being fully utilized. We believe this is due to 1) time constraints and 2) unfamiliarity with Internet search techniques. We hope that e-News will help readers in that regard.

Thank you for joining us for this first edition. We look forward to hearing from you.

If you have areas you would like more information on, please let us know.

 

The National Test Proposal

President Clinton is proposing a national testing plan of students in grade 4 in reading and grade 8 in mathematics.

The test is advertised to measure basic skills and to establish high standards. The federal government will pay to develop the tests and for the initial administration. After that, states will have to pay for the tests if they want them. Individual results will be reported to parents, while results from states and districts will be made public.

Currently, national testing is an issue for debate. Proponents of the plan say that the proposed national tests will help to improve US schools and they want to hold schools accountable for educating our children. On the other hand, opponents say that the multiple choice and short answer items of the tests cannot assess most areas of thinking. Therefore, by basing most of the score on these methods, the test sends the message

 

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that schools can continue to ignore teaching students to think and problem solve.

What do you think about the national test issue? We would like to find out. Please check your view on the following and we will share the results of this survey in our next issue of the newsletter.

Yes, I am in favor of the national test plan

No, I am not in favor of the national test plan

I have no opinion

State Testing Programs Evaluated

How good is your state testing program? The state testing programs are recently evaluated by FairTest to yield the following results. FairTest assigned a 5-point scale to the evaluation where 5 is excellent and 1 is needs major improvement. The evaluation results follow:

Delaware, Iowa, and Wyoming are not included in the

evaluation because they do not have a full state testing program.

Level 5: Vermont

Level 4:

Colorado, Connecticut, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, New Hampshire

Level 3:

Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island

Level 2:

Arkansas, California, Idaho, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin

Level 1:

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia

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National Center for Fair and Open Testing

Research Says About Young Adolescents

What are the specialized needs of young adolescents ages 10-15? Why do we need to develop curricula and educational programs tailored to those unique needs? Researchers have found that young adolescents have the following developmental needs

  • positive social interaction with adults and peers

  • creative expression

  • structure and clear limits to physical activity

  • meaningful participation in families and school

 

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  • opportunities for self definition

  • competence and achievement

Programs which meet the developmental needs of young adolescents use a variety of activities and strategies. As young adolescents have an orientation toward peers and a concern about social acceptance, work in small groups and advisory programs promote opportunities for interaction with peers and adults. Interdisciplinary team organization fosters feelings of belonging while advisory groups allow time and a small group for discussion of issues.

Achievement and competence is achieved through authentic assessment based on personal goals, challenging intellectual material focused on relevant problems and issues, and with recognition by peers and adults. The increase in the desire for autonomy can be addressed through learning strategies involving choice, a curriculum based on social and individual interests. Service projects and project based learning capitalize upon young adolescent’s creative expression and need for meaningful participation.

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Young Adolescents' Development Needs

Lesson Plans Wanted

Strategic Studies needs teachers to prepare lesson plans which can be used in conjunction with the Internet. Lessons are being sought in all curricular areas and all grade levels from primary to high school. You may want to visit

(http://www.strategic studies.com/lessonPlans)

to view a model lesson plan.

For more information about lesson plans, please call (847) 318-7110 (M-F, 9 AM to 5 PM, CST)

RESOURCES
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