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How Effective Are Practice Tests?

Practice Tests

Rethinking the Use of Tests: A Meta-Analysis of Practice Testing

This meta-analysis examined the effects of practice tests versus no practice tests on student performance. The research demonstrated that students who take practice tests often outperform students in non-testing learning conditions such as restudying, practice, filler activities, or no re-presentation of the material. Results revealed that practice tests are more beneficial for learning than restudying and all other conditions that exclude practice tests. This review found that the impact of practice tests had a moderate effect size of 0.51 compared with restudying, and a larger effect size of 0.93 compared with filler or no activities.

Adesope, O. O., Trevisan, D. A., & Sundararajan, N. (2017). Rethinking the Use of Tests: A Meta-Analysis of Practice Testing. Review of Educational Research.


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Unanimous Supreme Court Expands Scope of Special Education Rights



The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a major decision expanding the scope of students' special education rights, ruling unanimously that schools must do more than provide a "merely more than de minimis" education program to a student with a disability...


"For children with disabilities, receiving instruction that aims so low would be tantamount to 'sitting idly ... awaiting the time when they were old enough to drop out,'" he added, quoting from key 1982 Supreme Court precedent on special education, Board of Education of the Hendrick Hudson Central School District v. Rowley, that also dealt with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

"The IDEA demands more," the chief justice said. "It requires an educational program reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress appropriate in light of the child's circumstances.


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25 Mini-Films for Exploring Race, Bias and Identity With Students

How do we get students to consider perspectives different from their own? How do we get them to challenge their own biases and prejudices? If, as Atticus Finch famously said, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … until you climb into his skin and walk around in it,” how do we get our students to do that?

Teachers traditionally turn to literature, history and current events to open up these conversations, but it’s always helpful to have a bigger toolbox to tackle such important and difficult issues. That’s why we pulled together these 25 short New York Times documentaries that range in time from 1 to 7 minutes and tackle issues of race, bias and identity.

To help teachers make the most of these films, we also provide several teaching ideas, related readings and student activities.

In the comments, we hope you’ll share how you use these films in your own classroom.


The 25 Films

Department of Education Seeks Comments on New IDEA Website

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has expressed her commitment to ensuring that infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities and their families receive support and services they are entitled to under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Recently, the Department of Education’s IDEA website, IDEA.ed.gov, which provides information and resources related to the IDEA 2004 reauthorization, was unavailable due to a technical malfunction from an external hosting service provider. Once the IDEA website became functional again, the Secretary directed the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) to create a new and improved IDEA site and include stakeholder input as part of the development process. The current IDEA.ed.gov site will remain available to users during and after the development of the new IDEA website.

OSERS is seeking input from users of the IDEA.ed.gov website as part of our effort to provide updated, easy-to-navigate IDEA resources to children with disabilities and their families, teachers, administrators, advocates, and other stakeholders.

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Latino kindergartners start school 3 months behind in math, on average

A new report from Child Trends' Hispanic Institute highlights the problem and possible solutions

Latino children currently make up 1 in 4 kindergartners nationwide. By 2050, they are expected to be 1 in 3. Latinos are the fastest-growing school-aged population among all races and ethnicities.

That’s one reason why the Child Trends’ Hispanic Institute’s latest report on early math skills is particularly troubling. On average, Latino students show up to kindergarten three months behind their white peers, in terms of their math skills. While they make as much progress throughout the year as the average white student, the achievement gap remains because they started behind.

“One of the best ways to not be behind the starting gate at the beginning of kindergarten is ensuring that we expand and continue to fund high-quality early childhood programs,” said Lina Guzmán, director of the Child Trends’ Hispanic Institute and a co-author of the paper, “Make Math Count More for Young Latino Children.”

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