News at a glance

21st February 2014 at 00:00

US state calls for Common Core rethink

One of the chief advocates of the Common Core State Standards in the US has called for a rethink of the programme. The standards, which are the first attempt at a national curriculum in the US, have been adopted by schools in 45 states as well as the District of Columbia. But in a significant blow for the scheme, the New York State Government has decided to review how the standards are implemented. The New York State United Teachers union has also withdrawn its support for the Common Core.

Teach for Australia backed despite dropout rate

Teach For Australia has been given the full support of the country's government, despite a third of the scheme's graduates quitting after a year in the classroom. The Australian education department revealed this week that one in three of those who completed the on-the-job teacher training in 2012 had stopped teaching a year later. A similar number of last year's recruits have signalled their intention to quit at the end of 2014. The government support comes despite it costing two-thirds more to train a participant on the scheme than someone in mainstream teacher training.

On a mission to uncover Shanghai's secrets

UK education minister Elizabeth Truss is to lead a delegation of experts on a fact-finding mission to Shanghai, to discover how children there have become the best in the world at maths. Learning from Shanghai and other Far Eastern jurisdictions was key to improving the UK's competitiveness and productivity, the minister said. "They also have a can-do attitude to maths, which contrasts with the long-term anti-maths culture that exists here," Ms Truss added. "The reality is that unless we change our philosophy and get better at maths, we will suffer economic decline."

Union warns of teacher shortages in Ireland

A boom in secondary student numbers in the Republic of Ireland could lead to a drastic shortage of teachers, school leaders have warned. The anticipated rise is the result of a baby boom that started in the early 1990s. The National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals warned that there could be a shortage of teachers in a range of subjects over the next six years. The rise in student numbers is coupled with a high retirement rate among teachers.

Mops out as flood-hit schools prepare to reopen

Schools in some of the areas of England most affected by floods will reopen after the half-term break, as a clean-up operation gets under way. Gloucestershire County Council was hopeful that all its schools would "reopen as normal" next week because conditions in the storm-stricken area appeared to be improving. In Windsor and Maidenhead, a frantic clean-up is taking place at two schools to enable them to reopen after half-term. Many schools around the country were shut when access roads flooded.

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