Four rural Alaskan schools were shut down this year, and a fifth was scheduled to follow suit. The students at the school rallied together, determined not to let another shutdown happen. They’ve pledged to contribute $18,000 to keep the school open, using funds primarily from ice cream sales at the student store. It doesn’t get more inspiring than this. Alaska Dispatch
Is Google Glass the future of education? Is it possible to imagine a future where students and teachers where the new Google glasses technology, using it to advance teaching and learning? The Kansas City Star
According to new state-by-state analysis of recent data on graduation rates for students with learning disabilities, states are struggling to reach the national graduation rate average of 68 percent for students in that category. Education Week Read Entire Post
Sequestration cuts will impact how many students take national tests in social studies for 2014. The National Assessment Governing Board voted to postpone the 4th and 12th grade tests in civics, history, and geography, but the assessments will continue for 8th graders. Politics K-12
According to research by the Pew Hispanic Center, 7 in 10 Latino high school graduates in the class of 2012 went to college. That’s a record college enrollment rate for Latinos. The group surpassed white and black students but still lagged behind Asian-Americans. NPR
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to put additional resources toward science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (STEM) education. It could mean an additional $100 million annually for STEM. Politics K-12 Read Entire Post
He was right. Manor (pronounced May-nor) New Tech is part of the New Tech Network, a group of 115 schools in eighteen states that are designed to foster students’ abilities to understand core content and use their knowledge to think critically and solve problems, and to communicate effectively—the deeper learning competencies that are essential for their future. The school, like the others in the network, accomplishes this goal by integrating technology into every classroom and engaging students in a project-based approach that enables them to apply their learning to authentic situations.
President Obama mentioned some of these projects in his address: “A history teacher might get together with a science teacher to develop a project on the impact of castles in world history and the engineering behind building castles. Or a group of students might be in charge of putting together a multi-media presentation about moral dilemmas in literature as applied in World War II.” In addition, as the President noted, students take part in internships, which give them hands-on experiences in real work settings, and give as many as 200 speeches during their school career, which develops their communications skills. “I can relate,” Mr. Obama quipped. Read Entire Post
The Alliance for Excellent Education’s newest e-newsletter, “Straight A’s” is online. You can read the full articles from this issue here, or short synopses below. As always, if you would like to receive Straight A’s in your inbox, please email email@example.com.
Sixty-six percent of high school graduates from the Class of 2012 were enrolled in colleges or universities in October 2012, a slight decline from the 68.3 percent rate one year earlier for the Class of 2011, according to an April 17 report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The college enrollment rate was higher for young women (71.3 percent) than for young men (61.3 percent). College Enrollment Rate Drops for High School Graduates
Although the national unemployment rate ticked down slightly from 7.6 percent in March to 7.5 percent in April, the unemployment rate for individuals aged twenty-five years and older without a high school diploma increased from 11.1 percent to 11.6 percent, according to the May 3 jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unemployment Rate Increases for High School Dropouts Aged Twenty-Five and Older
A large gap persists between how prepared high school teachers believe their graduating students are for college-level course work and what college instructors expect their first-year students to know, according to the 2012 ACT National Curriculum Survey. The report, Policy Implications on Preparing for Higher Standards, finds that while improved standards—such as the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) or ACT’s College Readiness Standards—are intended to close this gap, states, districts, schools, and teachers need to ensure they are prepared to teach college- and career-ready standards. The report offers policy recommendations to assist states in their preparation. College- and Career-Ready Standards Can Help Close Perception Gaps on Student Preparedness
In a competency-based education system, a student advances from grade-to-grade based on mastery of course content, not on the number of days spent in the classroom. A new policy brief from KnowledgeWorks examines the growing national movement toward a competency-based education and highlights key barriers within the federal accountability and assessment systems that pose a challenge to this work. The brief, An Emerging Federal Role for Competency Education, is the first in a series from KnowledgeWorks to help policymakers define the appropriate role for the federal government supporting competency education in the nation’s K–12 schools. An Emerging Federal Role for Competency Education
Released on January 22, 2013 by the Alliance for Excellent Education, Strengthening High School Teaching and Learning in New Hampshire’s Competency-Based System, profiles two high schools in New Hampshire that moved away from “seat time” toward a competency-based system. The report also examines the changes that were necessary to make competency-based advancement an important part of New Hampshire’s strategy for implementing the Common Core State Standards and ensuring that students graduate ready for college and a career. Additional Resources on Competency-Based Education
On April 30, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) released a series of documents, including assessment blueprints and evidence statement tables, for the English language arts and mathematics assessments set to debut in 2014–15. The documents were created to help educators and the general public better understand the design of the PARCC assessments. Along with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, PARCC is working to create assessments that are aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Updates from PARCC
The NRA recommends schools consider a training program for staff who would like to be armed. This recommendation and others came with the release of the National School Shield report. It coincides with a series of bills on gun-related violence the Senate will consider. USA Today
A new study looks at academic achievement and progress among 8th graders and 12th-graders. Those who struggle in math early on rarely catch up. ACT
American middle schoolers are lagging behind their peers globally. On the brighter side, there are individual American schools that are outperforming every other country. Opinion writer Thomas L. Friedman talks about his “Little (Global) School.” New York Times Read Entire Post
For the first time, the nation is on track to meet the goal of a 90 percent high school graduation rate by the Class of 2020, according to a new report from Civic Enterprises, the Everyone Graduates Center, America’s Promise Alliance, and the Alliance for Excellent Education. The report, Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic, finds that the Averaged Freshman Graduation Rate (AFGR) increased from 71.7 percent in 2001 to 78.2 percent in 2010. It also finds that the number of “dropout factories” fell from 2,007 in 2002 to 1,424 in 2011. Building a Grad Nation
A new report from the California Dropout Research Project at the University of California–Santa Barbara finds that English learner (EL) students make up 11 percent of students nationally, a percentage that climbs to 20 percent when students who were once classified as EL students are included. The report, The English Learner Dropout Dilemma: Multiple Risks and Multiple Resources, examines the consequences, causes, and solutions to the high school dropout crisis among EL students and argues that the social, economic, and health consequences of dropping out threatens both the general population as well as EL students. The English Learner Dropout Dilemma
On February 26, the Alliance for Excellent Education conducted a webinar on the transition to Common Core State Standards and Next-Generation Science Standards and the opportunities and challenges for the growing number of English language learners (ELLs). During the webinar, panelists discussed numerous initiatives underway to help ELLs access grade-level content while building their language proficiency, including Stanford University’s Understanding Language initiative and the Council of Chief State School Officers’ (CCSSO) Framework for English Language Proficiency Development Standards. Building on Common Core State Standards to Improve Learning for English Language Learners
In this issue of Straight A’s, we wrapped up our recaps of state of the state addresses given by the state governors. We highlighted Maryland, where Governor O’Malley is pushing for digital learning; Mississippi, Governor Bryant is working to reduce high school dropout rates; Missouri, where Governor Nixon proposed $150 million in additional education funding; Tennessee’s Governor Haslam announced a goal for 55 percent of Tennesseans to earn an associate’s degree or higher by 2025; and West Virginia, where Governor Tomlin praised the Alliance’s Project 24 initiative. State of the State Addresses
You can read the full articles online here. If you’d like to receive Straight A’s in your inbox, please email JAmos@all4ed.org. Read Entire Post
Come Monday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will announce a new initiative that will extend kindergarten to a full day in all of the city’s public schools. The current system allows schools to choose whether to meet the by-law minimum of a half day. Chicago Sun-Times
Education Secretary Arne Duncan participated in today’s Building a Grad Nation Summit. In his remarks, he announced a $15 million grant over three years that will place AmeriCorps volunteers in underserved schools around the nation. Politics K-12
Are public schools the new charter schools? A growing trend shows urban public schools are rebranding themselves as accessible charter schools. Education Week Read Entire Post
Stopping these sequestration cuts isn't rocket science, according to Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Sec. Duncan called the cuts and Congress's inability to negotiate a resolution to avoid them "dumb," as well, on "Face the Nation." CBS News
Is cursive handwriting obsolete? Some lawmakers in North Carolina are trying to ensure that it’s not and that it won’t be. A bill introduced in the State House this week would make cursive a part of the curriculum in elementary schools. Charlotte Observer
Teacher protests over standardized tests have spread to Massachusetts; this time professors – from big name schools Harvard, Tufts, and Boston, among others, have signed a public statement encouraging officials to stop overusing high-stakes standardized tests. Washington Post
The looming across-the-board cuts, known as sequestration, will impact federal education spending. The White House is estimating just how much it will impact different areas by state. Politics K-12
U.S. high school graduation rates are climbing and, according to a new report by Civic Enterprises, the Everyone Graduates Center, America's Promise Alliance, and the Alliance for Excellent Education, expected to reach 90 percent by 2020. The report, released Monday, is the fourth annual update on graduation statistics. Huffington Post
It has been a very exciting and busy month for the Alliance. In our newest edition of our bi-weekly newsletter Straight A's, we give you the low down on our second annual Digital Learning Day, the launch of a new district-level initiative, and we explore what state governors have planned for education in the coming year in their state of the state addresses. You can read this entire edition of Straight A's online here.
Signifying the growing importance and demand for digital learning strategies in the classroom, nearly 25,000 teachers, millions of students, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park, and U.S. Representative George Miller (D-CA) joined the Alliance for Excellent Education on February 6 for the second annual Digital Learning Day, a national campaign that promotes digital learning and spotlights successful instructional technology practice in K–12 public school classrooms across the country. Let's Get Digital
As part of the Digital Learning Day celebration, the Alliance announced “Project 24,” a ground-breaking new initiative to help school districts plan for and effectively use technology and digital learning. Already, more than 400 school districts, representing approximately 2.5 million students across forty-two states and the District of Columbia, have signed up for Project 24. The "24"represents the next twenty-four months. Launching Project 24
In this issue of Straight A's, we covered seven state of the state addresses: Alaska, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Nevada, and New Mexico. Of highlight...
- Alaska governor Sean Parnell set a goal of raising Alaska's high school graduation rase -currently under 70 percent - to 90 percent by 2020.
- In Delaware, Governor Jack Markell focused on teachers - the importance of them, retaining them, and recruiting effective ones.
- Georgia 's Governor, Nathan Deal, discussed focusing resources on K-12, maintaining and growing the HOPE scholarship, and increasing the high school graduation rate.
- Hawaii is going digital. Governor Neil Abercrombie is looking to digital learning to raise educational achievement.
- Governor Terry Branstad of Iowa plans to revitalize Iowa's school system and focus on teachers and college and career readiness. He said it's an "economic and moral imperative" that students finish high school ready for college and a career. We can't help but like the way he thinks.
- Nevada 's governor, Brian Sandoval, took a different approach in his address, focusing on English Language Learners, early literacy, and dropout prevention. His goal is to ensure that every Nevada schoolchild can read by the third grade.
- New Mexico is making strides to lower the dropout rate, Governor Susan Martinez emphasized. She announced several successful dropout prevention programs currently working in her state that she wants to see expanded.