Monday, December 4, 2017

Merging Literacy and Science Methods: A New Database Developed by Dr. Petrosino Helps Pre-Service Teachers


This is a recent article ---it discusses a database I designed and developed centering on children's science books. Its essentially a resource for teachers and parents wishing to introduce their students and children to scientificlly appropriate literature. -Dr. Petrosino

 Because of the foundational importance of literacy to education, teachers are increasingly expected to integrate reading across various subjects, including science. But choosing appropriate texts can be a challenge for teachers, who may not be well-versed in how to critically evaluate them. 

Associate Professor Anthony Petrosino of the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin’s STEM Education program and doctoral student Sarah Jenevien have developed a solution that addresses this challenge.

The two collaborated with the college’s Office of Instructional Innovation to develop an online Children’s Science Book Database, where pre-service elementary teachers post reviews of science-related children’s books. The database was created in 2014 and has become part of pre-service teachers’ coursework within their science methods class.

“The review template encourages pre-service teachers to engage critically with the texts in terms of their scientific content, fostering scientific process skills and identifying potential stereotyping or gender bias,” says Petrosino.

Pre-service teachers are asked research-based questions. They must critically assess the literature for processes, content, readability, engagement, and interest. Their reviews provide basic information, such as a summary of the book and the maximum and minimum grade levels it would be appropriate for.

For example, one student wrote of the book Volcanoes, “The book could be considered slightly gender-biased because only images of male geologists are included. However, considering the publishing date, it’s most likely that only men were given credit for the science discoveries at the time.”

Currently, over 130 children’s books have been reviewed for the database, including titles such as Pluto’s Secret, A Butterfly is Patient, What Makes Day and Night? and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, which one reviewer noted has many positive aspects, but is not based on sound scientific principles, “as it is impossible for food to fly down from the sky three times a day.”

“By searching the database, pre-service teachers can easily find books that match their grade level and subject area, which decreases the difficulties associated with integrated lesson planning and increases the likelihood that they will use children’s books during their field teaching experiences,” says Petrosino. “This work helps teachers become critical consumers of children’s literature.”
The database is available for educators and the public to view reviews.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Kids First didn't want a dual language program in the district when they were presented the opportunity and Kids First-Forward Together members have tried to use the courts to put aside Hola's renewal and expansion ever since...while claiming threats of bankruptcy with a $5 million dollar surplus

Various members of the Kids First-Forward Together
Political Group from Hoboken, NJ responsible for the
current state of public education in the town
Below is a list of all the schools and learning centers in the City of Hoboken, NJ. I have placed an asterisk next to the schools that then Hoboken Board member and President Leon Gold determined is/was the reason for bankrupting the school district...even though the district enjoys a $5,400,000+ surplus this year according to its annual audit.

Dr. Leon Gold is also a member and supporter of the political group known as "Kids First"- a group  who voted against a dual language program in the Hoboken Public Schools in 2009 (Dr. Gold was not on the Board at the time) and then a few years later initiated a lawsuit to terminate the school and its efforts to renew its charter and expand.

The Hoboken Dual Language Charter School (HOLA) has been twice recognized by the State of New Jersey as an exemplary dual language school. It should be noted that all members of the Kids First-Forward Together group, when given the opportunity, have voted against a dual language program in the school district, voted in favor of initiating a lawsuit against the dual language school and initiated a repeal of the original decision by the State of New Jersey. Recently, the Hola Dual Language School field for first place in the very competitive PARCC NJ State assessments. The Hoboken Public Schools which these trustees oversee came in 346th. 

In short, Kids First/Forward Progress/"reform" (sic) did not want a dual language program in the district when they were presented the opportunity (using unfounded excuses that the program was not in compliance*) and Kids First and Forward Together members have tried to use the courts to put aside its charter renewal and expansion since. Even resorting to using ridiculous claims of bankruptcy while having consecutive million dollar surpluses.

As we now know-- all the claims by the Hoboken Board of Education against the segregation and economic impact of a single small charter school on the Hoboken school district were judged unfounded.

List of all the schools and learning centers in the City of Hoboken, NJ. 
All Saints Episcopal Day School
Apple Montessori School
Bright Horizons Early Education & Preschool
Dwight-Englewood School
Elysian Charter School
French American Academy
Hoboken Catholic Academy
Hoboken Charter School
Hoboken Children’s Academy
Hoboken Dual Language Charter School (HOLA) *
Hoboken Montessori School
Hoboken Public Schools: Early Childhood Education
Hoboken Public Schools: Elementary Schools
Hoboken Public Schools: Middle School
Hoboken Public Schools: Hoboken High School
HOPES Cap, Inc.
Kaplan Cooperative Preschool
Kiddie Academy of Hoboken
Mile Square Early Learning Center
Mustard Seed School
Park Prep Academy
Prime Time Early Learning Center
Smart Start Academy
Solomon Schechter Day School of Bergen County
Stevens Cooperative School
Tessa International School
The Elisabeth Morrow School
The Ethical Community Charter School
The Hudson School
The Scandinavian School
Viaquenti Preschool
Waterfront Montessori

* The only school  sued by the Hoboken Board of Education

"There is no lawsuit against Hola"....-

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Project Lead the Way Students Score Lower in Math and Science Than Non- Project Lead the Way Students says Leading Engineering Education Researchers

There has been much talk and discussion about the incorporation of Project Lead the Way (PLTW) in schools around the country as well as in the Hoboken Public Schools. Certainly trying to incorporate engineering into the STEM curriculum is noteworthy and Project Lead the Way is a successful company which markets it curriculum to school districts around the country. There is certainly a great deal of enthusiasm for this program. Publicizing the purchase and incorporation of Project Lead the Way is an interesting way to give the impression that rigorous STEM education is taking place. But what does the research tell us about Project Lead the Way?

I thought it might be worthwhile sharing some actual peer reviewed research that was conducted on students in Project Lead the Way classrooms and a comparison group. This research was not conducted nor funded by Project Lead the Way - rather it was funded with a grant from the National Science Foundation (EEC-0648267) for the AWAKEN Project: Aligning Educational Experiences with Ways of Knowing Engineering. The NSF is very interested in quality K-16 engineering education.

Noteworthy also is that the work I am reporting was published by the leading journal in the field of engineering education in the world-- The Journal of Engineering Education or JEE. The article is titled Pre-College Engineering Studies: An Investigation of the Relationship Between Pre-college Engineering Studies and Student Achievement in Science and Mathematics and is authored by Tran and Nathan.


Summary of the Results: 
"Students enrolled in PLTW foundation courses showed significantly smaller math assessment gains than those in a matched group that did not enroll, and no measurable advantages on science assessments, when controlling for prior achievement and teacher experience." -Tran and Nathan (Journal of Research in Engineering Education)
For the Full Paper Click HERE

TITLE: Pre-College Engineering Studies: An Investigation of the Relationship Between Pre-college Engineering Studies and Student Achievement in Science and Mathematics

Abstract

Background
The U.S. has experienced a shift from a manufacturing-based economy to one that overwhelmingly provides services and information. This shift demands that technological skills be more fully integrated with one's academic knowledge of science and mathematics so that the next generation of engineers can reason adaptively, think critically, and be prepared to learn how to learn.

Purpose (Hypothesis)
Project Lead the Way (PLTW) provides a pre-college curriculum that focuses on the integration of engineering with science and mathematics. We documented the impact that enrollment in PLTW had on student science and math achievement. We consider the enriched integration hypothesis, which states that students taking PLTW courses will show achievement benefits, after controlling for prior achievement and other student and teacher characteristics. We contrast this with alternative hypotheses that propose little or no impact of the engineering coursework on students' math and science achievement (the insufficient integration hypothesis), or that PLTW enrollment might be negatively associated with student achievement (the adverse integration hypothesis).

Design/Method
Using multilevel statistical modeling with students (N = 140) nested within teachers, we report findings from a quantitative analysis of the relationship between PLTW enrollment and student achievement on state standardized tests of math and science.

Results
While students gained in math and science achievement overall from eighth to tenth grade, students enrolled in PLTW foundation courses showed significantly smaller math assessment gains than those in a matched group that did not enroll, and no measurable advantages on science assessments, when controlling for prior achievement and teacher experience. The findings do not support the enriched integration hypothesis.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

2016 NJ PARCC Composite Mean Score for All "FG" School Districts

2016 NJPARCC COMPOSTITE MEAN SCORE- ALL “FG” School Districts
Data: New Jersey Department of Education

COUNTY NAME
DISTRICT NAME
DFG
MEAN SS
OCEAN
LONG BEACH ISLAND
FG
775
BERGEN
NORTHVALE BORO
FG
769
MONMOUTH
SPRING LAKE HEIGHTS BORO
FG
766
UNION
CLARK TWP
FG
762
PASSAIC
LITTLE FALLS TWP
FG
762
MONMOUTH
MATAWAN-ABERDEEN REGIONAL
FG
761
MIDDLESEX
MONROE TWP
FG
761
SUSSEX
SANDYSTON-WALPACK TWP
FG
760
PASSAIC
BLOOMINGDALE BORO
FG
759
WARREN
HOPE TWP
FG
759
HUNTERDON
HOLLAND TWP
FG
758
CAPE MAY
STONE HARBOR BORO
FG
758
BERGEN
DUMONT BORO
FG
757
BERGEN
FORT LEE BORO
FG
757
PASSAIC
NORTH HALEDON BORO
FG
757
BURLINGTON
BORDENTOWN REGIONAL
FG
756
OCEAN
POINT PLEASANT BEACH BORO
FG
756
OCEAN
POINT PLEASANT BORO
FG
756
GLOUCESTER
WOODBURY HEIGHTS BORO
FG
756
MONMOUTH
HOWELL TWP
FG
755
BERGEN
ROCHELLE PARK TWP
FG
755
MIDDLESEX
SOUTH PLAINFIELD BORO
FG
755
GLOUCESTER
MANTUA TWP
FG
754
CAMDEN
COLLINGSWOOD BORO
FG
753
MORRIS
LINCOLN PARK BORO
FG
753
MIDDLESEX
MIDDLESEX BORO
FG
753
BERGEN
NEW MILFORD BORO
FG
753
CAMDEN
GIBBSBORO BORO
FG
752
BERGEN
MAYWOOD BORO
FG
752
GLOUCESTER
SOUTH HARRISON TWP
FG
752
CAPE MAY
UPPER TWP
FG
752
BURLINGTON
HAINESPORT TWP
FG
751
SUSSEX
HARDYSTON TWP
FG
751
GLOUCESTER
LOGAN TWP
FG
751
MIDDLESEX
OLD BRIDGE TWP
FG
751
MORRIS
ROCKAWAY BORO
FG
751
SUSSEX
STILLWATER TWP
FG
751
BERGEN
BERGENFIELD BORO
FG
750
BERGEN
HASBROUCK HEIGHTS BORO
FG
750
ESSEX
NUTLEY TOWN
FG
750
ATLANTIC
PORT REPUBLIC CITY
FG
750
BURLINGTON
SPRINGFIELD TWP
FG
750
SALEM
WOODSTOWN-PILESGROVE REG
FG
750
GLOUCESTER
EAST GREENWICH TWP
FG
749
PASSAIC
WEST MILFORD TWP
FG
749
BERGEN
WOOD-RIDGE BORO
FG
749
BURLINGTON
CINNAMINSON TWP
FG
748
WARREN
KNOWLTON TWP
FG
748
MORRIS
RIVERDALE BORO
FG
748
MORRIS
BOONTON TOWN
FG
747
PASSAIC
POMPTON LAKES BORO
FG
747
SUSSEX
VERNON TWP
FG
747
WARREN
BLAIRSTOWN TWP
FG
746
SUSSEX
FRANKFORD TWP
FG
745
MIDDLESEX
MILLTOWN BORO
FG
745
MORRIS
MINE HILL TWP
FG
745
BURLINGTON
BURLINGTON TWP
FG
744
MIDDLESEX
DUNELLEN BORO
FG
744
MIDDLESEX
NORTH BRUNSWICK TWP
FG
744
MONMOUTH
EATONTOWN BORO
FG
743
CAMDEN
HADDON TWP
FG
743
MERCER
HAMILTON TWP
FG
743
GLOUCESTER
WASHINGTON TWP
FG
743
MONMOUTH
WEST LONG BRANCH BORO
FG
743
HUDSON
HOBOKEN CITY
FG
742
CAMDEN
BARRINGTON BORO
FG
741
BURLINGTON
LUMBERTON TWP
FG
739
HUNTERDON
KINGWOOD TWP
FG
738
MONMOUTH
OCEAN TWP
FG
737
BURLINGTON
DELRAN TWP
FG
736
BURLINGTON
EASTAMPTON TWP
FG
736
WARREN
MANSFIELD TWP
FG
736
GLOUCESTER
PITMAN BORO
FG
736
SUSSEX
HOPATCONG
FG
735
SOMERSET
SOMERVILLE BORO
FG
732
SUSSEX
OGDENSBURG BORO
FG
730
SUSSEX
ANDOVER REG
FG
728