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Common-Core Math Standards Put New Focus on English-Learners - Education Week

Education Week - Teachers - 10 November 2014
With their heightened emphasis on language and explication, the new math standards pose unique challenges for students who are not fully proficient in English.
Topic: Teachers

Math-Exam Performance Tasks Ratchet Up Expectations, Anxiety - Education Week

The state consortia charged with developing common-core-aligned assessments take steps to address concerns about potential bias and difficulty level in the performance-based questions.

Approach to Fractions Seen as Key Shift in Common Standards - Education Week

The common core's emphasis on fractions as points on a number line offers a window into the framework's divergence from past conventions.

Math-Exam Performance Tasks Ratchet Up Expectations, Anxiety - Education Week

The state consortia charged with developing common-core-aligned assessments take steps to address concerns about potential bias and difficulty level in the performance-based questions.

Under Common Core, Teachers Band Together to Build Math 'Coherence' - Education Week

The common standards for math put a heavy emphasis on coherent instruction, prompting efforts to familiarize teachers with standards for grade levels beyond their own.

Common Core Redoes the Math - Education Week

Schools and teachers face complex challenges and competing demands as they work toward implementing the new math standards.

Q&A: Behind the Math Standards - Education Week

William G. McCallum, a lead writer of the common-core math standards, discusses the aims, effects, and criticism of the framework.

Common-Core Math Standards Put New Focus on English-Learners - Education Week

With their heightened emphasis on language and explication, the new math standards pose unique challenges for students who are not fully proficient in English.

In Transition to Common Core, Some High Schools Turn to 'Integrated' Math - Education Week

Long a staple of the high school curriculum, the mathematics-course sequence of Algebra 1, geometry, and Algebra 2 is facing a budding challenge as schools transition to the Common Core State Standards.

10-Year Trend of Educational Performance 2004 - 2013

Ministry Of Education Feed - 10 November 2014

The Ministry of Education releases data annually on the 10-year trend of the performance of our students. The objective is to provide feedback to the community on how our children have fared over the last 10 years.

Year-to-year fluctuations are to be expected as each batch of students is different, so it is more meaningful to focus on longer-term trends over 10 years.

Summary: Overall 10-year Trend of Educational Performance (2004 - 2013) Percentage of Primary 1 Cohort Admitted to Post-Secondary Education Institutions

The percentage of each Primary 1 Cohort admitted to post-secondary education institutions has improved steadily over the last 10 years, from 90% in 2004 to 95% in 2013.

Performance in National Examinations

At the GCE ‘A’ Level, the overall percentage of students with at least 3 ‘A’/’H2’ passes and a pass in General Paper or Knowledge and Inquiry has improved over the last 10 years, from 89% in 2004 to 91% in 2013. The percentage of GCE ‘A’ Level students who passed General Paper or Knowledge and Inquiry has remained high, at above 90%.

The overall percentage of students with at least three GCE ‘O’ Level passes and at least five ‘O’ Level passes has remained stable over the last 10 years. The percentage of GCE ‘O’ Level students who passed English Language has increased over the last 10 years, from 85% in 2004 to 89% in 2013.

PSLE results have remained stable over the last 10 years, both in terms of overall percentage of passes and the percentage of PSLE students who scored A*-C in each subject.

Detailed Description of Charts

The following performance charts for the last 10 years (2004 - 2013) are attached:

  • A chart on the percentage of each Primary 1 Cohort admitted to post-secondary education institutions 1.

  • Three sets of charts showing the performance of the major ethnic groups in the GCE ‘A’ and ‘O’ Level Examinations and the PSLE 2.

Percentage of Primary 1 Cohort Admitted To Post-Secondary Institutions (Chart A)

The percentage of a Primary 1 Cohort admitted to post-secondary education institutions 3, including private education institutions, has remained high, at above 90%. See Chart A.

Performance in GCE ‘A’ Level (Charts B1 - B3) Performance by Overall Measure

The percentage of GCE ‘A’ level students who obtained at least 3 ‘A’/’H2’ passes and passed General Paper or Knowledge and Inquiry exceeded 90% in 2013. See Chart B1.

Performance by Subject

The overall pass rates in General Paper or Knowledge and Inquiry and Mother Tongue Language has remained high, at above 90%. See Charts B2 and B3.

Performance in GCE ‘O’ Level (Charts C1 - C5) Performance by Overall Measure

The percentage of GCE ‘O’ Level students with at least 3 ‘O’ Level passes has remained high, at around 95%, while the percentage with at least 5 ‘O’ Level passes has remained above 80%. See Charts C1 and C2.

Performance by Subject
  1. The overall pass rates for English Language, Mother Tongue Language and Mathematics have remained high and are comparable with the previous years (above 85%, 95% and 85% respectively). See Charts C3 - C5. The percentage of GCE ‘O’ Level students who passed English Language has increased over the last 10 years (from 85% in 2004 to 89% in 2013).
Performance in PSLE (Charts D1 - D5) Performance by Overall Measure

PSLE candidates continued to perform well, with an overall percentage pass rate of above 95%. See Chart D1.

Performance by Subject

The overall percentage of PSLE students who scored A-C in English Language and Mother Tongue Language has remained high, at above 95%, while the percentage who scored A-C in Mathematics and Science has remained above 80% and 90% respectively. See Charts D2 - D5.

Footnote
  1. The percentages are based on students who were enrolled in Primary 1 10 years ago.
  2. The percentages are based on school candidates who sat for the respective examinations.
  3. Junior colleges, Centralised Institute, Polytechnics, ITE, LASALLE College of the Arts, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) and other private education institutions.

Speech by Mr Tan Chuan-Jin at the Presentation Ceremony of Arif Budiman Malay Language Teacher Award 2014

Ministry Of Education Feed - 08 November 2014
Pengenalan

Saya gembira kerana dapat bersama-sama anda dalam majlis penyampaian Anugerah Guru Arif Budiman Dua Ribu Empat Belas (2014) pada hari ini.

Kita akan meraikan kejayaan enam orang guru Bahasa Melayu yang cemerlang. Mereka cemerlang kerana telah berkhidmat dengan penuh dedikasi. Mereka juga telah berjuang untuk bahasa dan budaya Melayu dan menyumbang dengan aktif kepada rakanrakan guru dan masyarakat.

Pentingnya Golongan Guru

Tuan-tuan dan Puan-puan, kita tahu, tidak mudah untuk menjadi seorang guru. Selain mengajar subjek-subjek di sekolah, guru juga melakukan pelbagai tugas dan peranan sampingan seperti pentadbir, pembimbing, jurulatih, kaunselor, ibu bapa, kakak atau abang kepada pelajar mereka. Merekalah suri teladan.

Walaupun kita ada google atau yahoo untuk mencari maklumat yang kita perlukan, kita memerlukan guru untuk membimbing pelajar-pelajar kita cara yang sebaiknya untuk menggunakan maklumat-maklumat tersebut. Oleh sebab itulah guru memainkan peranan yang amat penting dalam membentuk generasi masa depan warga Singapura.

Guru Daripada Generasi Perintis

Bahkan, ramai ikon masyarakat kita merupakan guru-guru yang aktif menyumbang kepada masyarakat. Contohnya Cikgu Arif Ahmad, Cikgu Suratman Markasan, Cikgu Latiff Mohamad, Cikgu Sidek Saniff, Cikgu Yatiman Yusoff dan banyak lagi generasi perintis yang merupakan guru dan menyumbang kepada pembangunan negara kita.

Sumbangan Pemenang Agab

Kita harus terus menggalakkan guru-guru kita agar menyumbang kepada pembangunan negara. Sejauh ini, tiga puluh (30) orang guru telah menerima Anugerah Guru Arif Budiman sejak anugerah mula diberikan. Mereka telah menyumbang kepakaran mereka dalam pelbagai platfom seperti bengkel, seminar, sesi perkongsian dan sebagainya. Syabas saya ucapkan dan teruskan usaha yang baik ini!

Please allow me to continue the rest of my speech in English.

The Arif Budiman Teacher

It is my pleasure to be here this afternoon to honour our Malay Language teachers for their outstanding contribution in the teaching and learning of Malay Language. We also acknowledge the spirit of AGAB recipients who contributed further to the teaching fraternity such as participating or presenting in regional and international conferences and sharing best practices in professional sharing sessions.

Arif Budiman teacher award recipients 2014

In a speech “Singapore in Transition - The Next Phase” delivered recently at an NUS Society lecture, PM Lee touched on three themes for Singapore as we stand at an ‘inflexion point’. One of the themes he mentioned was that Singaporeans “must never be hard-hearted, but must never shy away from being hard-headed”.

Teachers role-model this quality to students on a daily basis. You make difficult and sometimes unpopular decisions from the student’s point of view. But you do it with a softness of the heart towards your students, assuring them that you care, and pushing them to expect greater things from themselves.

Our AGAB recipients this year exemplify this ability. They are firm when it comes to learning and values but gentle when they need to nurture the hearts of our students. I would like to congratulate our six recipients of this year’s AGAB. They are:

  • Mdm Azizah Shaik Abdul Kadir from Chongzheng Primary School;
  • Mdm Zaleha Ahmad from Park View Primary School;
  • Mdm Nuraina Mohamed Sin from Fuhua Primary School;
  • Ms Nurbaya Ismail from Townsville Primary School;
  • Mdm Yahida Yahya from Yusof Ishak Secondary School; and
  • Mr Ridzuan Abrahim from Pasir Ris Crest Secondary School.

They are very good examples of educators who are Arif and Budiman - a learned person who contributes to the society. My heartiest congratulations to our six recipients of the Arif Budiman Teachers awards this year. I hope you will continue with your good work, and continue to be an inspiration to other Malay Language teachers and students.

Conclusion

In closing, I would like to congratulate the Malay Language Council Singapore, Malay Language Teachers’ Association, Berita Harian and the Malay Language Learning and Promotion Committee for organising this Award Ceremony.

Thank you.

Modified NAPFA Test for Pre-National Service Students from 2015

Ministry Of Education Feed - 06 November 2014

The National Physical Fitness Award (NAPFA) test was introduced in Singapore schools in 1982 at the secondary and pre-university levels, and in 1992 at the primary level. Currently, the NAPFA test comprises six test items to assess the different components of overall fitness. The six test items are customised for different age groups. For the post-secondary students, the test items are sit-up, pull-up (for males)/inclined pull-up (for females), sit-and-reach, standing broad jump, shuttle run and 2.4km run/walk.

From January 2015, the NAPFA pull-up test will be replaced by a push-up test for pre-National Service (NS) students in pre-university institutions1 , polytechnics and Institute of Technical Education. This will facilitate the use of the NAPFA test results for pre-enlistment purpose, in line with the modifications in the Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT) announced earlier by MINDEF2 .

The NAPFA test, with its six test items, will continue to provide a comprehensive indicator of students’ health- and performance-related fitness for MOE’s purpose of developing students physically. There will be no change to the NAPFA test items for all students at the primary and secondary levels, and for female students in pre-university institutions, polytechnics and Institute of Technical Education. Inclined pull-up and pull-up will continue to be used for this group to train upper body muscular strength and endurance.

The table below shows the NAPFA and new IPPT items with effect from 2015.

NAPFA test items for primary and secondary school students, and female students in pre-university institutions, polytechnics and Institute of Technical Education NAPFA test items for pre-NS students in pre-university institutions, polytechnics and Institute of Technical Education IPPT items (pilot from 1 Sep 2014, full implementation expected in 2015) Sit-Up Sit-Up Sit-Up Pull-Up (Male)/ Inclined Pull-Up (Younger Male/ Female) Push-Up (New) Push-Up (New) Sit-and-Reach Sit-and-Reach Standing Broad Jump Standing Broad Jump Shuttle Run Shuttle Run 2.4 km Run/walk / 1.6 km Run/walk (for primary school students) 2.4 km Run/walk 2.4 km Run About Physical Education Syllabus 2014

MOE’s new physical education (PE) syllabus is being introduced in stages from primary to pre-university level from 2014. The new syllabus aims to equip students with the ability to engage in a wide range of physical activities and sports. This will lay a strong foundation for a lifelong pursuit of a physically active and healthy lifestyle.

Physical fitness will continue to be emphasised through the new Holistic Assessment3 in PE, which will be introduced to all schools in 2016 to support the new PE syllabus. It will help students develop a holistic perspective of fitness and the enjoyment of exercise and sports. Students will track their fitness level, participation in sports, games, and other physical activities. In addition, students will design their own programmes to achieve their desired fitness levels for different purposes.

Footnote
  1. This includes Junior Colleges and Millennia Institute.
  2. In July 2014, the Ministry of Defence launched a new Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT), which comprises push-up and sit-up stations, and a 2.4km run.
  3. Holistic Assessment in PE does not count towards promotion to the next level.

GOP Wave to Sap Obama's Clout on Education - Education Week

A midterm election that vastly favored Republicans at virtually every level leaves President Barack Obama with far fewer allies in states and in Congress to champion his policy priorities.

SkillsFuture Council Begins Work: Driving National Effort to Develop Skills for the Future

Ministry Of Education Feed - 05 November 2014

The SkillsFuture Council, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Tharman Shanmugaratnam, held its first meeting today. The Council will develop an integrated system of education, training and career progression for all Singaporeans, promote industry support for individuals to advance based on skills, and foster a culture of lifelong learning. The formation of the Council was announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at this year’s National Day Rally.

DPM Tharman said, “Our future must be about mastery of skills, in every job, and enabling every Singaporean to develop themselves to the fullest. We are going to put full effort into this, and it involves everyone - Government, employers, unions and all of us as individuals.”

At its first meeting, the Council decided on four thrusts to drive this national effort:

i. Help individuals to make well-informed choices in education, training and careers
  • The Council will guide the development of a full system of guidance to help individuals make choices in education, training and their careers, starting from educational counselling in schools and extending throughout a person’s working life. It will foster collaboration between the Government, industry, and institutions, to provide individuals with exposure to a wide range of occupations and industries from young, and ongoing information on the changing needs of the labour market.
ii. Develop an integrated, high-quality system of education and training that responds to constantly evolving industry needs
  • The Council will review education and training to ensure that a sound and broad-based education for the young is complemented with a full menu of the continuous learning options, including opportunities to develop new specialisations. A panel of leaders from educational and training institutions will be appointed to support the Council in this effort.
iii. Promote employer recognition and career development based on skills and mastery
  • The Council will work with employers to design and implement a framework to enable individuals to advance by climbing skill ladders. Panels led by employers, and supported by unions and government agencies, will be appointed in each sector to develop this framework.
iv. Foster a culture that supports and celebrates lifelong learning
  • This will involve a long-term effort to respect every job for its skills, and value the achievements of individuals who attain mastery in their own fields. It will also promote the habit of learning throughout life, for work as well as for interest. The SkillsFuture Council will be supported by the community-led Lifelong Learning Council , which will promote practical ways to advance this culture.

Members of the high-level SkillsFuture Council include representatives from the government, industry, unions and employers, and educational and training institutions (see list of members in Annex). The members of the inaugural term of the Council have been appointed for two years.

The Council will take forward the key recommendations under both the Applied Study in Polytechnics and ITE Review (ASPIRE) and the Continuing Education and Training Masterplan (CET) 2020 (see illustration below). The Council will develop and drive initiatives to ensure an integrated system of learning, pre- and post-employment, for all Singaporeans. It will be a major, long term effort involving collaboration with all stakeholders, including employers, training providers, unions and individuals.

Changes to National Productivity and Continuing Education Council

The National Productivity and Continuing Education Council (NPCEC) was formed in April 2010 to oversee and drive national productivity efforts as well as develop a comprehensive first-class national CET system. With the formation of the SkillsFuture Council, the oversight of CET will be devolved from NPCEC to this new Council with effect from 1 November 2014. The NPCEC will be renamed as the National Productivity Council (NPC) to reflect its redefined scope. The NPC will continue to promote and support industry upgrading for higher productivity, including the development of industry-wide platforms to support business productivity. While skills advancement and industry upgrading complement each other strongly, they will each receive focused attention and energy through the work of the SkillsFuture Council and NPC respectively.

New Work-Study Pathway for Graduates of Northlight School and Assumption Pathway School Starting From 2015

Ministry Of Education Feed - 05 November 2014

A new work-study pathway will be offered to the graduates of NorthLight School (NLS) and Assumption Pathway School (APS). The two-year work-study programme (named “NorthLight Academy” and “Assumption Pathway Academy” respectively) aims to equip these NLS and APS graduates with work-relevant skills and expertise through a combination of on-the-job training at the workplace and in-school learning to help them transit successfully from school to the workplace.

These programmes will cater to a group of NLS and APS graduates who are not yet ready to progress to further education at ITE or to start work independently at the workplace. This is part of MOE’s broader commitment to bring out the best in every child by providing different pathways that cater to different learning needs. The programmes will be offered to the 2014 cohort of Year 4 students in NLS and APS, who will participate in this programme organised by their respective schools. We expect to cater to a total of 90 NLS/APS graduates a year and will admit the first batch from February 2015.

The curriculum will comprise on-the-job learning at the workplace with on-site support by school personnel for three days a week, complemented with in-school learning modules for the remaining two days. Training will be aligned to the standards of the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications. Career coaching and counselling support will be provided to help them identify their strengths and career aspirations, and develop the requisite competencies (knowledge, skills and attitudes) that companies look for in potential employees.

Industry partners will create authentic learning opportunities for these NLS and APS graduates to build deep skills and expertise and eventually offer job placements if they perform well in their jobs. The industry partners include Metro Pte Ltd, Park Hotel Group, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels PLC, Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre, Pastamania and Crossings Café.

Student Care Centres

Ministry Of Education Feed - 04 November 2014
Response

Student Care Centres (SCCs), or after school care centres, provide students with a convenient, structured and supportive environment after school.

The majority of SCCs are sited within the community, but as many parents have given positive feedback on school-based SCCs, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has steadily expanded the number and capacity of school-based SCCs to complement the community-based SCCs. In fact I have visited a few SCCs, spoken to parents and students, and I appreciate the value that these centres bring to students.

From less than 50 school-based SCCs in 2011, I announced at this year’s Committee of Supply Debate that we would expand the number of school-based SCCs by a further 40, to 120 by 2015, and had shared the names of the 21 schools that would be setting up their school-based SCCs by end-2014. We are on target to set up an additional 19 school-based SCCs by end-2015. We will announce details of where these centres are in due course and will update later on our plans for 2016.

Our approach is to assess localised needs and we actively support primary schools with demand for student care services to set up or expand school-based SCCs, taking into account infrastructure and demand in school.

With regards to Mr Liang Eng Hwa’s question on encouraging more VWOs to set up SCCs, MOE will work with MSF on this. MOE understands that there is demand for SCC services, and will continue to work with the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and SCC operators to increase the number of SCC places both in our primary schools and in the community. At the same time, MOE and MSF are mindful that any expansion must be done at a pace that allows us to maintain quality and affordability.

Opportunities for ITE students

Ministry Of Education Feed - 04 November 2014
Response

ITE has strong links with industry players, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs). These partnerships have helped ensure that course curricula stay relevant, and students have access to good opportunities for industry attachments and exposure.

Currently, SMEs make up more than 60% (or almost 600) of ITE’s host companies for internships and traineeships, and host almost 40% of ITE students for their industrial attachments.

Following the government’s acceptance of the Applied Study in Polytechnics and ITE Review (ASPIRE) recommendations, MOE and WDA have been working together on new place-and-train programmes for our polytechnic and ITE graduates that integrate study and work, to be launched by 2016 as earlier announced. This is being done in partnership with many economic and regulatory agencies, including SPRING Singapore.

Where feasible, we will leverage on existing schemes and funding support for employers to implement these place-and-train programmes, including SPRING Singapore’s SME Talent Programme.

Education Technology - Education Week

Education Week - Teachers - 04 November 2014
The New Media Consortium finds similar and evolving European and American views about how teachers should be presenting and delivering content in the digital age, across the 28 member nations of the European Commission, the executive body of the European Union.
Topic: Teachers

Lengthy Teachers' Strike in Waukegan, Ill., Nears Resolution - Education Week

Education Week - Teachers - 04 November 2014
After nearly a month, a teachers' strike in the Waukegan, Ill., school district appeared to have come to a close late last week.
Topic: Teachers

Common Standards - Education Week

Education Week - Teachers - 04 November 2014
Public school teachers are divided on the merits of the Common Core State Standards, with 44 percent having a negative opinion of the shared academic goals and another 40 percent of teachers favoring it, according to a new Gallup poll.
Topic: Teachers
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