George Mason in the News…

Posted: February 11, 2005 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage George Mason received during the past week:

Sunday, Feb. 6, Houston Chronicle

Second Grade Speeds Up, Zooms Past Three Rs

“As required by the federal law, which took effect in 2002, all children in public schools take their first standardized test in third grade. Schools risk sanctions if there is no academic improvement among enough children. As a result, said David Brazer, assistant professor in the Education Leadership Program at George Mason University, most kindergartners are taught what used to be a first-grade curriculum, and many children are expected to enter primary school knowing how to read. Second graders are learning lessons that used to be saved for later years, such as multiplication.”

Sunday, Feb. 6, The Washington Post

County Evolves Into New Roles; Jobs, Affluence, Culture Transformed

“Already, the pace of economic development is remarkable. Prince William added jobs at the fastest rate of any big county in the United States in the 12-month period that ended in March, with an 8 percent rise, according to the U.S. Labor Department. Nowhere is that change more evident than outside the City of Manassas, where a high-technology center is developing around the Prince William campus of George Mason University. With the prospect of thousands of new jobs, the area could be the economic and business center of Prince William in the 21st century. Planning has not stopped with academic buildings and an aquatics center. The county, the city and George Mason have agreed to help finance a $56 million performing arts center styled after a famous European opera house.”

Monday, Feb. 7, The Washington Times

Sounds of Phonics

“The movement toward the balanced approach began in the mid- 1990s, says Barbara Given, director of the Adolescent and Adult Learning Research Center at George Mason University in Fairfax. ‘Children need specific intensive instruction, and it can’t be incidental,’ says Ms. Given, who holds a doctorate in the education of exceptional children. Traditional phonics taught alone or as part of whole-word instruction, for instance, left out attention to phonemic awareness, she says.”

Tuesday, Feb. 8, The Washington Post

Fairfax Student AP Results Among Top in U.S.

The Washington Post annually calculates a Challenge Index rating for local high schools, based on test-taking rates without considering the scores. Several studies show that students appear to increase their chances of graduating from college if they try AP or IB courses in high school, and the effect is particularly strong if they do well. Gerald W. Bracey, an educational psychologist at George Mason University, said he had some concerns about the mastery rate assessment, because it gave as much weight to a student who passed just one AP test as a student who passed two or three. He also said it was a bad idea to judge high school success solely on AP or IB results.”

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