New research sheds light on how effective online learning is. The large-scale Columbia study found that online instruction improved student achievement in sex, drugs, and health studies. The findings indicate that with the often taboo nature of the subjects, students are more comfortable sharing and asking questions outside of a traditional classroom. The Hechinger Report
In feel good news of the day, a 7th-grade journalism prodigy interviewed First Lady Michelle Obama for the cover story for Sports Illustrated Kids. She has interviewed celebrities and athletes in the past. She said Ms. Obama is the easiest interview she’s ever had. Indy Star
President Obama’s education budget proposal would invest heavily in pre-kindergarten and put money into transforming high schools, among other things. Politics K-12 Read Entire Post
Afternoon Announcements: Obama Announces High School Competition in SOTU; Alliance Issues Report on ESEA Waivers
The big news this morning is the high school competition President Obama announced during last night’s State of the Union address. The president said the competition will “redesign America’s high schools so they better equip graduates for the demands of a high-tech economy.” Obama didn’t offer many details, but Alliance President Bob Wise thinks the competition has “great potential.”
In a statement, Wise said, “If the nation is serious about the high school dropout crisis, more must be done to engage students and make learning relevant. The president’s proposal appears to do both.” Read the complete statement.
Education Week’s Politics K-12 blog has more details on the president’s other education proposals, including expanded access to preschool and tying federal college financial aid in part to student outcomes—something the Alliance advocated for in these two recent reports: Repairing a Broken System: Fixing Federal Student Aid and A System in Need of Repair: An Examination of Federal Student Aid for Postsecondary Education.Read Entire Post
Big news in the DC education community yesterday is that the College Board has recruited Stefanie Stanford, a big-name policy/advocacy specialist. David Coleman, new head of the Board, recruited her. Education Week
Congressional House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Republican-Virginia), sent a letter to his fellow republicans post-election. He expressed disappointment in the results but also encouragement at room for compromise with democrats. Specifically, he pointed out education, saying that it’s necessary for Congress to make it easier for “parents and students to make informed decisions about what type of post-high school education is right for them.” New America Foundation
If the Obama Administration were to make a to-do list for education in the next four years, what would be on it? Here’s a comprehensive list. The Quick & The Ed
In Kentucky, there’s a battle raging among legislators over raising the dropout age, again. They’ve had this argument before, and proponents of raising the age from 16 to 18 have previously been outvoted over funding questions. WFPL – NPR
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For those of you who may not be familiar with the term, work-based learning opportunities integrate academic coursework with field training and include job shadowing, internships, apprenticeships, and service-learning, among other opportunities. When incorporated as part of a broader strategy, these experiences can ensure more students can graduate from high school ready for college and careers.
Recognizing these potential benefits, Connecticut and Kentucky have taken tangible steps to promote higher quality work-based learning opportunities. Both states have defined what it means to be engaged in a quality work-based learning. Both states have also removed key barriers students face in going this route. For example, Connecticut created a state-level worker safety team composed Connecticut’s Departments of Education, Labor, and Public Health that ensures students’ safety while they participate in work-based learning. Read Entire Post
Monday is the undisputed* best day of the week. To celebrate that fact, High School Soup is giving you an extra large heaping helping of Afternoon Announcements today to feast on. You might even have leftover announcements to take home and have for dinner. That’s great education news value!
The Associated Press leads us off with an article on a new report that shows a growing divide between low-income Kentuckians and their moderate- and high-income peers in terms of graduation rates. The report from the Council on Postsecondary Education says that from 2008 to 2010, low-income students saw their college graduation rates fall from 46 percent to 35 percent. In the same period, moderate- and high-income students dropped only four percent from 57 to 53 percent.Read Entire Post
Politico writes that eleven states have submitted waiver requests to get out from under provisions of No Child Left Behind, less than two months after the President Obama announced he would excuse states from some requirements of the Bush-era education reform law.
An increase in Hispanic students across the nation is forcing schools to deal with a serious shortage of teachers who share their cultural heritage, reports the Washington Post, citing that more than 21 percent of schoolchildren are Hispanic, compared with 7 percent of teachers.
The Huffington Post reports that, “given sophisticated new digital tools, increased investment in app development, and the near-ubiquity of mobile devices, educational software developers are creating more engaging and empowering content today than ever before.”
From the offices of the U.S. Department of Education come appeals for union-district collaboration and from local school districts come examples of labor and management working through divisive issues, in areas such as performance pay and teacher evaluation, writes Education Week.Read Entire Post
The following is a guest blog submitted by Jill Griebe, the District Literacy Coach for Eminence Independent Schools in Eminence, Kentucky, and a member of the Digital Learning Day Educator Working Group, which provides leadership on the Digital Learning Day toolkits and outreach development for teachers and administrators across the country.
To learn more about Digital Learning Day, which is February 1, 2012, visit the Digital Learning Day website.
In Eminence, Kentucky, on November 8, teachers arrived expecting a full day of professional development for Eminence Independent Schools. The agenda was full, including a working lunch. No one appeared to be happy to be there. However, as they entered the library, it was decorated with apples--on the tables, hanging from the ceiling, and lining the walls. The theme was about giving an apple to a teacher.
The Eminence Independent Schools' superintendent, Buddy Berry, pleasantly surprised the teachers with a video collage of students expressing their love and appreciation for their teachers while holding an apple. He went on to describe how much they are appreciated by not only their students, but also by their administration. A "sweet surprise" was handed out in the form of a wrapped gift. The teachers were expecting to receive an apple pie, but what they found was an "Apple" of the best kind....a MacBook Pro laptop. There were smiles and shouting all around, even a standing ovation. To top it all off, Buddy burned the PD agenda, literally. Instead, the day was dedicated to learning how to use their new Apples.Read Entire Post
Number of amendments offered by members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee to the draft language to overhaul the No Child Left Behind Act: 144
Education Week's Politics K-12 blog has a good rundown of some of the amendments that the committee will consider, including amendments to limit the U.S. Secretary of Education's ability to grant waivers, make it easier for alternatively certified teachers to be considered "high quality," and add student achievement goals back into the legislation.
Despite new momentum lately, it doesn't look like Congress will get around to renewing the No Child Left Behind Act by the end of this year, according to Education Week. But it's (almost) a sure bet that lawmakers will be looking to reshape the programs in the U.S. Department of Education, either by eliminating some, or by consolidating smaller programs into broader funding streams.
The Huffington Post reports that when Secretary of Education Arne Duncan presented the Obama administration's reforms to teacher training programs before the D.C.-based think tank Education Sector last Friday, he was joined by an unlikely partner: Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association. The National Education Association, the largest teacher's union in the country, has warred with the Obama administration in the past, going as far as adopting a resolution this summer that took on the title, "13 Things We Hate About Arne Duncan."Read Entire Post
USA Today’s Kindness section picks up on America’s Promise Alliance, “100 Best Communities for Young People List”.
The Washington Post reports that when Mayor-elect Vincent Gray met with Chancellor Michelle Rhee yesterday, they talked about schools not her future in the job.
Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive and a founder of Facebook, has agreed to donate $100 million to improve the long-troubled public schools in Newark, according to the New York Times.
In an op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle, David W. Gordon, Sacramento County superintendent of schools, writes, “As a school superintendent, I am acutely aware that preparing our 6.4 million students to compete in a global economy is vital for their personal success and the success of our state and nation. And as a member of the National Assessment Governing Board, which oversees the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), I am equally aware of how far we have to go.”
New Jersey parents will soon get to see teacher evaluations online, according to the Associated Press.
The Washington Post editorial board commends DC Public Schools’ IMPACT system which in its first implementation year rated 662 teachers, or 16 percent of the District's teaching force as highly effective and awarded them with bonuses ranging from ranging from $3,000 to $25,000.
The Chicago Tribune reports that Illinois has improved the quality of its preschool programs but lags behind other states in grades K-12 and does not adequately prepare students to succeed in college and the work force, according a report released Thursday.
The Courier-Journal reports that even as state-wide test results showed more Kentucky schools falling behind, there’s more bad news — only a third of last spring's high school graduates were prepared for college or careers.
Looking to boost a 72.9 percent high school graduation rate, the Cape Girardeau School District is beefing up its attendance policy and putting parents on the hook for student absences, according to the Southeast Missourian.