AUTHORS Kallie Smith - A senior at Brigham Young University - Idaho who was born and raised in the Seattle area. “I have always had a concern and interest in education. I think it is interesting to look at what our country is doing compared with other countries in the world. I think that we should look at what works and what doesn’t and learn from each other!”
Richard Bitton - A junior at Brigham Young University - Idaho
who was born in Pocatello ID and raised in McCammon ID. “Even with some states doing fairly well compared to past figures, test scores are dropping on a federal level and America is falling behind other countries.”
Austin Thompson - A senior at Brigham Young University - Idaho who is from Salt Lake City Utah. “Quality education will be a major determining factor for the success of our country. I feel that there can be major improvements in our current education system and that reform should be a top priority for everyone.”
Anthony Armstrong - A senior at Brigham Young University - Idaho who is from North Central Washington. “If America is to be the best country to live in, then we should be able to back that up with at least a majority of the issues at hand, especially education. The youth will eventually be the leaders of this country.”
Table of Contents Physical activity. How it helps and why we should listen. Over the past several years, schools have begun cutting recess time and physical education classes for students. Why?
High School. Why it’s not a waste of time. Where are we going wrong? Why is public education diminishing in quality?
Mastery Grading. Why “A-F” should be replaced For most of the 20th century, the U.S. led the world in education. Now in the 21st century we are 22nd in the world for high school completion
INTRODUCTION The United States has been slowly slipping behind the other countries in the world in test scores. The level of education for students has slipped behind the rest of the world and we have set out to find out why. According to an article by The Huffington Post, “students in Latvia, Chile and Brazil are making gains in academics three times faster than American students, while those in Portugal, Hong Kong, Germany, Poland, Liechtenstein, Slovenia, Columbia and Lithuania are improving at twice the rate.” In international exams, the United States placed behind 24 other countries in math, 17 in science, and 14 in reading comprehension. In 2009, students in the United States ranked 25th out of 34 countries tested in math and science. In 2006, in an international exam administered to 56 countries, only six percent of students in the United States per¬formed at an advanced level. So what is the problem? Why does the United States continue to fall behind? How can we fix the issue? Another bit of information to take into consideration is the fact that there is a lot of inconsistency between academic performance between states within the United States. According to The Quick and the Ed, if states were given grades based on the students’ academic performance compared to the scores in the rest of the world, there would be states that would receive a “B” grade, while other states within the United States would receive a grade in the “D+” range.
The Facts In 2009, U.S. students ranked 25th among 34 countries in math and science.
Only 6% of U.S. students performed at the advanced level on an international exam administered to 56 countries in 2006. 6% of U.S. students perform at an advanced-proficiency level in math, a share that lags behind kids in some 30 other countries. Even in we treated each state as its own country, not a single one makes the top dozen contenders on the list.
The mean reading score in the U.S. is ranked 11 out of 65.
The U.S. is ranked 26th out of 65 countries in mean math scores.
Compared to the world, there are states in the U.S. who are “B” students and others that would fall into the “D+” range.
RAMIFICATIONS THE UNITED STATES IS IN DANGER The United States is falling behind other countries in the rate at which education is progressing. Other countries are pulling ahead and the United States is being left in the dust. There is a good part of the world that is currently scoring much higher than the United States in math and reading on standardized tests administered throughout the world. Countries like Finland and China are at the top of the world in education. China comes first in math and several other countries continue to pull ahead.
So why does this matter? Why is it relevant or important? Jobs are already being outsourced; there are more kids in the United States dropping out of high school and opting not to attend college. If kids are not properly educated and prepared for the real world, we could lose our standing in the world as a superpower. We will not be able to improve or innovate at the rate that we have been due to the lack of quality education. Our youth wonâ€™t be prepared for the future. They wonâ€™t be prepared for college or the demands that come with having a career. If something is not done to improve the level of education in the United States, more jobs will be outsourced, increasing the unemployment rate in our own country. Something needs to be done about the quality of education in the United States, and who better to address the issue than you and me?
SOLUTIONS Over the past several years, schools have begun cutting recess time and physical education classes for students. Why? So that they have more time in the classroom to focus on academics. But is that really the solution to the problem of our schools falling behind? The answer is no. If we want students to perform well in school, we need to allow them an adequate amount of time to exercise. Children need to be getting 60 minutes of physical activity a day. That doesn’t have to be achieved all at once, but can be reached little by little throughout the day. This “60 minute a day” goal can be reached through recess, physical education classes, extracurricular activities, and even short breaks within class.
Recess should be offered for all elementary-aged children for at least 30 minutes a day. It doesn’t have to be all at the same time, it could be broken up, but it would be easy to work this in with the students’ lunchtime. This would allow the students a time to get out and play and burn some energy so that they can focus better in the classroom. If children are able to focus better, they will also perform better on tests and assignments because they will be better able to retain the information that they are learning. Physical education classes should be offered to every student throughout their time in the public education system. This will ensure that all students K-12 will receive at least a half hour of physical activity five days a week. It will also give them a chance to experience a variety of physical activities so that they can develop patters that will last for their entire lives. If we create a generation of students that are active and it becomes a habit for them, they will pass those habits onto their children. If being physically active becomes a habit for children at a young age, they will be better able to think clearly and focus on daily tasks. This will ensure that students continue to learn and understand information at an accelerated rate so that we can continue to progress in education to keep up with the pace of the rest of the world. There should also be more ways for students to get involved in extracurricular physical activities. If students are involved in physical activities outside of school, they will be better able to be focused and obtain better grades while in school. Public schools should offer C, JV, and Varsity teams for every sport to give more students the chance to get involved. At larger schools, intramural options should also be provided for the students. The point here is to get students involved and create a level of school pride that will make the students want to perform well in the classroom.
The advantages of this solution will be the fact that the students will be physically fit and create a habit that will last for their entire lives. Students will be able to be more attentive in class because they will have gotten all of their energy out. There is also a potential for improved scores on exams by being physically active.
Some of the disadvantages of this solution are the fact that time will be taken away from studying in class when there is so much added physical activity throughout the school day. Another potential disadvantage is that students aren’t given as much of a chance to choose their level of involvement in physical activities.
INTRODUCTION The United States has historically been a leader in academic success. Recent PISA tests however, compare the U.S. to the rest of the world and show that while many countries are progressing the U.S. is starting to fall behind. This shouldn’t be the case as our country pays more than almost any other country (per student) to assure quality education. In fact, countries that are paying half the amount the U.S. is per student, are coming out with similar test scores in math and other comparable subjects. Where are we going wrong? Why is public education diminishing in quality? Why are some states superior in education to others, and how do we gain more consistency throughout the Union? Could it be an error in allocation of funds? Or just simply a mindset that needs to change? This issue is very broad and there are thousands of things that can attribute to the success, or the downfall of each individual student. Something to consider while reading this text is “what changes can be made to improve schools locally and inspire new ideas in education reform across the board?”.
The Facts States like Idaho struggle to send kids to college directly out of high school with only a 55% conversion rate. Connecticut on the other hand sends 78% of its graduates on. Why so much disparity?
The U.S. spends $115,000 of government money on each student as they obtain an education. Slovak Republic spends around $53,000, but manages to get similar test scores in nearly every category.
There is 15% score variation within America that is related to socioeconomic differences between students.
53% of schools in the U.S. need repairs and renovations to their facilities. Western Schools on average need those repairs more than eastern schools. Recess is inconsistent throughout schools in the U.S. meaning some schools are benefitted, while others are not from the implications that come with recess.
RAMIFICATIONS IF ITâ€™S BROKEN, FIX IT
Some states are doing quite well while others are not, causing uneven education in America. Rich vs. Poor. Public vs. Private. We are spending money in areas of a students education that obviously arenâ€™t that important in helping him/her become more proficient in their school subjects. Students studying in run down school facilities are less likely to have confidence in themselves and what they can achieve, vs. students who are studying in more respectable facilities.
Public Schools in America Fair or Poor Roofs
Poor Heating Systems
Poor Air Conditioning
Poor Framing, Floors & Foundations
Fair or Poor Windows and Doors
SOLUTIONS FINISH HIGH SCHOOL AND TRANSITION TO COLLEGE Inspire teachers to motivate kids to get a college degree. Give trainings for teachers, principals, and superintendents teaching them how to effectively motivate students Smaller class sizes, so teachers can focus on the one vs. large groups. Communities need to be more involved in the well being of the students Finance and education shouldnâ€™t be making a huge jump when kids leave high school and go to college.
KEY COMPONENTS INCREASE MOTIVATION
40% of high school students are chronically disengaged from school. Eliminating (in other words a no tolerance policy) cell phones, iPods, iPads and other devices completely during school hours would increase student attentiveness.
Students who are motivated to learn have higher achievement, show better understanding of concepts, are more satisfied with school and have lower dropout rates. Teachers and administrators need classes on how to effectively motivate students. Hold community classes for parents of students and help educate them on how to help their children stay motivated. Reiterate the importance of a college degree frequently in all types of schools.
FINANCIAL AID Work with universities (local, or otherwise) and see what kind of financial aid programs can be worked to help students from lower class families be able to attend college without getting sunk into debt. (aside from government financial aid) Be an active voice in the community. Work on levies and other things to improve facilities for students. This will increase both safety and help students know of the importance of their schooling.
Students will be able to retain more focus in the classroom. Students will have more drive to attend college. Facilities will improve.
More facilities equals a larger monetary investment from community. Student and parent complaints for the removing of electronics.
INTRODUCTION For most of the 20th century, the U.S. led the world in education. Now in the 21st century we are 22nd in the world for high school completion and 14th for percentage of 25-34 year olds with college degrees. Nearly two-thirds of all jobs in the U.S. require some post-secondary education. The wage gap between high school graduates and college graduates has grown nearly 90% since 1975. There is fear that schools are not doing enough to prepare students for college. There is also fear that much of the world is surpassing the United States in quality of education. With increasingly globalization, the United States needs to recognize the comparison and competition from other countries. If the United States falls behind in education, it will also fall behind in the number of professionals and will not have as much to offer on the world market. According to Dr. Richard Elmore, of Harvard Graduate School of Education, professional development (preparing students for college and careers) is the weakest part of our nation’s education reform strategy. Elmore states, “Our nation's record in professional development isn't weak because we don't have the knowledge or the tools to do it right. It's weak because it is difficult to do and because policy makers tend to gravitate toward what is easier. Professional development is an investment of dollars and time. And, it often demands profound culture change.”
The Facts In 2012, the U.S. ranked 22nd in the world for high school completion and 14th for percentage f 25-34 year olds with college degrees. In the 2012 PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment), the U.S. ranked 15th in reading, 23rd in science, and 31st in math. The wage gap between high school graduates and college graduates has grown nearly 90% from 1975 to 2012.
In April 2013, over 100 Chicago students protested with a walkout over the unfairness of standardized tests.
A 2010 research study by Stanford University charted a correlation between gross domestic product and PISA scores.
In that same study, the authors posited that it would take the U.S 20 years to implement reforms that would enable us to reach Finnish levels (the top of the PISA scores).
RAMIFICATIONS Negative trends in the quality of public education will have a direct result on the U.S. economy. More and more jobs are requiring higher levels of education. If not enough U.S. citizens rise to new standards at entry-level positions there will be increased unemployment and poverty. Beyond entry-level positions there is an even greater need for innovation. If the quality of education does not improve, then our countries ability to innovate will also suffer. Nearly 20% of American children currently live below the poverty level. Children suffering from privation also do not succeed in education. They lack the nutrition and proper clothing needed to stay healthy and alert in school. They lack the parental support at home. They score lower on standardized tests and are labeled as under-achievers. Poverty deprives these children of quality education, which in turn continues the cycle of poverty.
Increased poverty will lead to more citizens dependent on government welfare, which will increase spending and national debt. There will be less social mobility resulting in a greater income gap. The rich will get richer and the poor will continue to get poorer. This will intensify social unrest that can lead to protests, riots, and violent crime. The quality of well-educated professionals in our country will determine our ability to both compete and cooperate with other developed countries around the world. The decline of education will cause an increase in poverty. The 2010 Stanford research study posited that if the U.S. is able to make the reforms required to reach the Finnish levels of the PISA scores the U.S. GDP would increase by 700% by the end of the century, otherwise we will continue to fall behind and be burdening by poverty.
SOLUTIONS TRADITIONAL TO MASTERY GRADING SYSTEM
Students from elementary through college are taught that they need a certain amount of points in order to receive a grade. They are very good at knowing exactly how many points they need and exactly what hoops to jump through to get those points and get an “A” in the class. Students who do not fully understand the material or are unable to apply it, get left behind as the class moves on. Mastery-grading would replace the current “A”-“F” grading system. Grades would be represented as an “M” for mastery or an “I” for incomplete. A student must achieve 90% or better in order to receive an “M” for mastery. They must achieve mastery in order to receive credit. An “I” indicates incomplete, the student has not yet attained mastery and that further instructional support is necessary. There is “recovery time” in which students have the chance to rectify incomplete. This approach uses a combination of group projects, individualized learning, online exercises, small group sessions, and one-on-one learning.
KEY COMPONENTS ACCOUNTABILITY
Students must demonstrate what they have learned rather than just get points on an assignment.
With a mastery-grading system guessing becomes unnecessary. Copying answers straight from a book or from a friend also become irrelevant to demonstrating knowledge and skills.
Rather then receiving homework sheets with calculated scores, students receive practical assignments that will prepare them to demonstrate mastery. Students spend more time doing and less time reciting.
With a mastery-grading system guessing becomes unnecessary. Copying answers straight from a book or from a friend also become irrelevant to demonstrating knowledge and skills.
Students can’t just jump through hoops to receive credit . More students will receive individual attention. Students who do not pass a test or assignment will not get left behind. Students will also be more prepared to apply the curriculum in life outside of school.
More time and effort required from the teacher for lessons and assessments. A single “M” gives no differentiation between levels of mastery. More time equals more spending and greater need for increased funding.
My name is Kallie Smith, I was born and raised in the Seattle area. I am a senior at Brigham Young University – Idaho. I enjoy playing sports, running, hiking, basically anything that has to do with being outdoors.
SELECTION OF ISSUE For me, personally, I have always had a concern and interest in education. I think it is interesting to look at what our country is doing compared with other countries in the world. I think that we should look at what works and what doesn’t and learn from each other! The specific issue I have chosen to focus on is how physical activity affects academic performance. This has always been an interest to me because of my hobbies. I started out college wanting to be a personal trainer and have actually passed the exam to be a certified personal trainer. This being my background, I was really interested to see if there was a link and how physical activity could actually improve the attentiveness and test scores of students.
In this project, I have worked on research and drawing conclusions for the background of our issue. I also gathered information and drew conclusions about how physical activity affects individual students’ attentiveness in the classroom. I interviewed two educators to get their view of where education has been going and how it has changed over the years. I have also contributed some graphs and charts to our group to use for the issue book.
The United States falls behind several countries as far as scores in math and reading comprehension are concerned. We fall right about in the middle of the pack. Countries at the top include China and Finland. Within the United States there is also a discrepancy in the quality of education. There are some states that fall into the “B” range and others that fall into the “D+” range and there isn’t any one noticeable reason for the range between grades and test scores. Recess and sports have been cut from a lot of schools since “No Child Left Behind” in 2006. Kids have less time to get any physical activity in school than ever before. It has been proven that moving around for as little as five minutes a day can improve a student’s attentiveness in the classroom.
The most enlightening part of this assignment for me was the interview. It was amazing hearing from people who have been on the inside for so long. The male teacher that I interviewed has taught for over twenty years in multiple countries and he had a lot of insight into the issue because he has seen the curriculum as well as the students change. He mentioned that one of the biggest changes he has seen in education is the ability for the students to express themselves in a medium that they excel in. There was a point in time where a student could do a project about history by doing a painting, writing a song, creating a power point, whatever the student was the most confident in. He said that now, they are not supposed to focus so much on the basics, but more on “higher-level thinking.” They don’t learn the basics of history, they learn how to learn. All students’ do the same projects and they are all intended to help the students test better. There isn’t as much room in the curriculum for the teachers to do activities and different things to help ideas stick in the students’ minds. I asked him about exercise (even if it was just getting up and moving around in the classroom) and he said that he thinks it would be a great thing for the students and a good way to get them involved and more connected with the school. It is hard to definitively say whether or not physical activity would improve grades, but it does create a greater connection to the school and has been proven to increase attentiveness while in the classroom. Through my research I found several programs that offer after-school activities to students to get them active and moving. I thought that this was great and that it was awesome that the community is getting involved and trying to get the kids out and moving. But I think that it would be interesting to see if involvement would go up if things like intramural sports were offered in high schools and if students would be able to pay better attention in class if they were given more time to play and run around during the day.
I have learned a lot through interviewing and researching on this project, there are multiple solutions that could help to solve this problem. There is a lot of room for more research and investigation into the issue to find if there is one main cause or whether there are multiple contributing factors into why the United States seems to be falling behind other countries in education.
My name is Richard Bitton. I was born in Pocatello Idaho and raised in a nearby town called McCammon. I am a Junior at BYU-Idaho. I am an entrepreneur at heart and love investing and anything that has to do with business. I have played basketball, soccer, football, baseball and run track, on competitive teams throughout my life. Saying that I love sports is an understatement.
SELECTION OF ISSUE
We have selected this topic for a variety of reasons. The reason why it was so appealing to me though was because education is something that has such a huge impact on a human life. I have witnessed first hand the effect that not being able to complete college has had on my father in law. Getting jobs and being able to provide for his family has been a struggle throughout his whole life. This is just one small issue in the broad spectrum of education. Another main point of interest in this issue for me was, why the U.S. is falling behind other countries in test scores?
The main goal and focus throughout my process of doing this research has been to find debilitating factors that impede education in America and what can be done to improve our current systems. I have found interesting statistics done on a state by state basis that show that education is not even throughout our country. Even with some states doing fairly well compared to past figures, test scores are dropping on a federal level and America is falling behind other countries. I conducted an interview with a school board member and have been able to encounter other important research and information through my data inquiries.
Idaho ranks last in sending kids to college directly out of high school at 55%. That means that 9 out of every 20 students is looking elsewhere for progression after they receive their high school diploma. In a down economy employers can often be very specific about who they hire and people without degrees are often shunned, for people who have paid the price and gone to college. Other states such as Connecticut are doing fairly well in this regard with a 78% high school to college rate. Much of my research has been digging into the â€œwhyâ€? there is so much variation from state to state. On an international level I have done research comparing U.S. test scores to the rest of the world and have found that even though we spend a lot of money towards each individual students education, the money isnâ€™t paying off in test scores comparatively to the results other countries are getting.
I think the main thing I have learned throughout this process, has probably been the importance of education as a whole. When I have children, I will want the very best education possible for my kids as it is what will help them be able to survive in a world that so much depends on it. Doing the interview with Carrie Yost I realized just how much the local school board issues meant to her and the measures she was willing to make in order to assure that her kids were receiving the best education possible. I have always thought that the U.S. was leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of the world when it came to math and other comparable subjects, but I have realized that is not the case. I think if anything I am going to be more proactive in my community to assure that education is where it needs to be for my children to have a successful learning experience.
My name is Austin Thompson. I’m from Salt Lake City, Utah and currently a senior at Brigham Young University-Idaho. My major is Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations. I also have a minor in Chinese language and speak fluent Mandarin. I will be starting a new part-time job this August teaching Mandarin Chinese at a Junior High School.
SELECTION OF ISSUE I have always been interested in education because my father is a public school teacher. I have been fortunate enough to enjoy high quality education throughout my life. As I grew older I realized that not everyone has the same educational experience. I also realized that my education is a big part of who I have become. I believe that public education is an issue that concerns everyone. No matter if someone has children or not, public education affects all parts of society. Quality education will be a major determining factor for the success of our country. I feel that there can be major improvements in our current education system and that reform should be a top priority for everyone.
I have researched and analyzed the current educational standing of the United States, especially compared to other countries. I have also researched what many experts are saying is the cause of U.S. students falling behind. I have found numerous news articles, scientific studies, and even advocacy websites that have reported on these issues and possible solutions. I also researched and reported on the ramifications of declined educational quality in the United States. After studying the issue and its ramifications I narrowed in on one possible solution. I researched and reported on changing the grading system used in schools from the traditional grading system (“A”–“F”) to a new mastery-grading system. I interviewed a professional educator and school administrator about the current issues in public education and specifically about the new ideas around a mastery-grading system.
The United States has had a history of being a world leader in education, but now we are 22nd in percentage of high school graduates. The number of jobs requiring college degrees is increasing. A standardized test called PISA, administered by an international organization, is used to compare education levels around the globe. Schools in the U.S. have stayed roughly the same in the past 30 years while other countries have innovated. Mastery-based assessment seeks to reform education through changing the way students are graded and therefore changing the way they are taught. Traditionally the student receives an assignment or test and they get a certain number of points. If the student does poorly the class still moves on. Mastery-based assessment changes this approach as it raises the expectations of performance but allows students more opportunity to prove mastery. A mastery system for assessment replaces the traditional “A”-“F” system. A student must achieve 90% or better in order to receive an “M” for mastery. They must achieve mastery in order to receive credit. An “I” indicates incomplete, the student has not yet attained mastery and that further instructional support is necessary. There is “recovery time” in which students have the chance to rectify incompletes. This approach uses a combination of group projects, individualized learning, online exercises, small group sessions, and one-on-one learning.
PERSONAL REFLECTION While researching the issues and challenges currently faced by so many of our schools, my eyes were opened to the varying quality of education in our country. Education reform seems to be a big talking point for many politicians but with every solution there seems to be more problems. President Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” has received much criticism, as has the more recent “Common Core” for education. Education reform is much easier on paper than it is in the classroom.
I think it is hard to find one common solution to education reform because there is not just one challenge in education. There are many reasons why different schools do not perform well. In some parts of the country kids from low-income families do not perform well in school because they are hungry. In other parts of the country students don’t perform well because they are overweight. I think it is difficult to compare countries across the board because countries like Finland and France do not have the same kind of problems schools face in the United States. I believe that in order for us to really educate our children we need to stop treating them like machines. The current school system we have was created during the Industrial Revolution. At that time people needed to be educated to follow exact instructions, to sit still and repeat a task. Schools are run like factories where students are products that go through an assembly line process and are tested for efficiency. We need to start treating students like humans and start thinking of education like experience, not programming. This is why I like the idea of a mastery-grading system. There are still some kinks to work out and there will be some growing pains, but I think it will measure actual learning better than what we have now. Too many students now can jut go through the motions to get the points to get the credit. Some students that don’t learn very much can still pass by knowing just how to pass. There are other students who have learned a lot but for some reason have a difficult time showing it when it comes to points and letter grades. I think that real reform requires a paradigm shift or else we will continue to see the same problems.
My name is Anthony Armstrong. I was born in Spokane Washington and raised in one of the smallest towns ever called Pateros. I’m a Senior at BYU-Idaho, I have a 2 year old son and have been married for almost 9 years. I love sports, especially golf. I would like to have a successful business so that I could retire and play golf every day.
SELECTION OF ISSUE There were a couple of reasons why we wanted this topic. First, and foremost was my desire to get other opinions on education. I think that we as a nation struggle with it and eventually 18 years down the road, those errors are going to come to fruition and we will have to suffer with those choices. Second, we profess to be the greatest country to live in. There is even the tagline of “The American Dream.” If America is to be the best country to live in, then we should be able to back that up with at least a majority of the issues at hand, especially education. The youth will eventually be the leaders of this country and if they can’t count to 100 without a calculator or even paper and pencil then we have no solid ground to stand on.
The main goal and focus of my project is to create a book that is fluid and smooth throughout. There shouldn’t be anything that is a sharp stand out or looks out of place. Everything should have a consistent theme, look and feel. I wanted it to also present the theme of our topic. The colors, shapes, and images used are all to maintain this theme.
For me I didn’t learn as much throughout this process as maybe the others since I didn’t write anything or research. However, since going through the other’s presentations and seeing what they were able to put together, I realized that we, the United States, have a lot of room to improve on. It might not have been as terrible if we were within a couple of points from everyone else, but we are not. The other thing is that education is not the only thing we struggle in. There are other issues that need attention as well. I think that even though this was an assignment, it helped bring some clarity to myself that we cannot just sit back and accept mediocrity as the acceptable place in society. 18
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BIBLIOGRAPHY CONTINUED Rubenstein, Grace. “Who is failing Our Schools?” Parenting, Parenting magazine. Web. March 2014. http://www.parenting.com/article/failing-public-schools Thomas, Paul. “An Alternative to Accountability-Based Education Reform.” The Progressive, Public School Shakedown. Web. 5 Jan, 2014 http://www.publicschoolshakedown.org/ alternative-to-education-reform Lynch, Matthew. “Public Education Reform Successes of 2013.” The Huffington Post, Febru ary 2014. Web. 28 February 2014. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matthew-lynch-edd/ public-education-reform-s_b_4875577.html “Key Instructional Shifts of the Common Core State Standards.” America Achieves. Web. March 2014 http://cdn.americaachieves.org/resources/The-Common-Core-Key-In structional-Shifts.pdf Nobori, Mark. “Mastery-Based Assessment Builds Accountability.” Edutopia. Web. 31 October 2012 http://www.edutopia.org/stw-college-career-stem-assessment Somerville, Michele. “Bored-o-Ed: An Educator’s Plan for Making NYC Public Schools Work.” Huffington Post, Web. 23 Sept. 2013. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michele-somer ville/nyc-public-schools_b_3971965.html Condition of America’s Public School Facilities: 2012–13, National Center for Education Sta tistics, March 2014, http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2014/2014022.pdf 3/14/2014 “College-Going Rates of High School Graduates - Directly from High School.” http://high eredinfo.org. NCHMS Information Center, n.d. Web. 14 Mar 2014. http://higheredinfo. org/dbrowser/index.php?submeasure=63&year=2010&level=nation&mode=graph&sta te=0. American Schools vs. the World:Expensive, Unequal, Bad at Math, The Atlantic, 10/27/2010, http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2013/12/american-schools-vs-the- world-expensive-unequal-bad-at-math/281983/ 12/03/2013 Munger, Dave . “Does recess really improve classroom behavior?.” 20 May 2009. N.p., E-mail http://scienceblogs.com/cognitivedaily/2009/05/20/does-recess-really-improve-cla/ Scriffiny, Patricia. “Educational Leadership.” http://www.ascd.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Mar 2014. http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational_leadership/oct08/vol66/num02/ Seven_Reasons_for_Standards-Based_Grading.asp&xgt