Illusions of Progress

October 13, 2008

At a forum hosted by the American Enterprise Institute on September 22nd, Harvard University researcher Daniel M. Koretz told a roomful of policymakers that test-based accountability systems are creating illusions of progress.

View the full-text article, Testing Expert Sees ‘Illusion of Progress’ under NCLB

RAC-CEMS Collaboration Event is a Huge Success

October 9, 2008
Sara Silverstone, RAC-CEMS' Executive Director makes a lava lamp. Picture c/o Ed Darling

Sara Silverstone, RAC-CEMS' Associate Director makes a lava lamp. Picture c/o Ed Darling

The Center for Excellence in Math and Science would like to thank everyone who participated in the 2008 Collaboration Event. Workshops ran throughout two days, and the feedback has been terrific.

We are in the process of updating the Conference webpage at

Several workshop presentations are posted on the site for you to refer back to. Also posted is a photo album and a list of Speaker Biographies. More will be added in the coming days, so be sure to check back often.

What was the high point of your conference experience? Was there a spark that was ignited, a question that was finally answered, or maybe a connection with a local community member that made your day? Write us a comment to let us know.

What’s 380 Million Years Old in Upstate NY?

October 1, 2008

Ever thought of experimenting with paleontology? Fascinated by fossils? Tickled by trilobites? Then Penn Dixie is the place for you! 

This summer, while teaching a geology camp, I visited Penn Dixie Paleontological and Outdoor Education Center for my first time.  When the bus pulled up, I saw a wide open ‘field’ of exposed Windom shale. It is not the shale that is so amazing, but the stories that are fossilized within it. The layer of shale rock at Penn Dixie dates back to the Devonian Era 380 million years ago. The shale was formed from the muddy bottom of a shallow prehistoric sea. During this era, trilobites, brachiopods, corals, and fish roamed the seas. These creatures are now fossilized in the shale beds at Penn Dixie.

Bring your own shovel, hammer, and bucket when you visit the site… and prepare to go home full-handed!  If shale is not really your thing, visit the pyrite bed to collect some more sparkling specimens. 

Visit the Penn Dixie Website for more information and detailed driving directions.

Upcoming Events:
October 4, 2008 – 5 PM-9 PM, Lost Treasure  of the Ghostly Pirates  
October 11, 2008– 9 AM-3 PM, 11th Annual Earth Science Day Celebration
at the Penn Dixie Site.
October 25-26, 2008 – Penn Dixie exhibit at the Rochester Gem, Mineral, & Fossil Show.