Explore Ecuador

Saturday, August 16, 2014

5 ways to create a performance-based school climate

E-School – Jennifer Medbery

“Students’ learning is affected by academic as well as nonacademic factors. Enabling them to achieve their full potential requires integrating learning outcome data with information about special needs, interventions and social/emotional factors.” (more)

Friday, May 9, 2014

Common Core: What Does It Mean for Boys?

Education Week – Kelley King & Ralph Fletcher

“Across so many indicators – achievement tests, grade point average, discipline rates, and both high school and college completion – boys, as a whole, continue to encounter greater difficulty in school than their female counterparts…Reversing the troubling trends for boys starts with figuring out what makes boys (and boy writers) tick.”(more)

Monday, April 21, 2014

University Education, a Wise Investment?

News Herald – Juliann Talkington

Juliann

For the past forty years, college has been a right of passage – a place to have fun, make friends, and grow up. In the 1950s, 60s, and 70s a college degree of any type opened the door to high quality employment and above average compensation.

 

Then technology began to change and K-12 education faltered. High school graduates no longer had the skills employers needed for many jobs. In an effort to fill job openings with skilled personnel, employers began to require college degrees for a wider range of assignments.

 

These new employment requirements caught many families off guard. They had not planned for post secondary education, but wanted to provide their children with reasonable job prospects. To fill the gap many families obtained loans to cover the cost of college education.

 

At first the loans made financial sense, because the cost of college was low compared to income potential. This meant graduates could pay back loans quickly after graduation.

 

However the increase in demand for college education led to tuition increases as colleges and universities rushed to add programs and facilities. As the cost of university education increased, the payback period for loans increased as well – moving from a few years to decades.

 

At about the same time technology was radically changing the workplace. Low cost computer and communication technologies reduced the number of people required for most jobs and made it possible for companies to fill openings with lower cost workers from overseas. Most high quality job openings now require strong math and science skills, weak areas for most U.S. citizens.

 

U.S. colleges and universities have been slow to adjust to the new workplace demands. Many schools are still offering degrees that are useless in the 21st Century. This means students are graduating with poor job prospects and high debt.

 

According to Clayton Christianson, Harvard University Professor and expert on disruptive change, this is an equation for disaster. He predicts that over half of the colleges and universities in the U.S. will fail within the next 15 years because they are not offering a useful product.

 

Parents and students need to take proactive steps to avoid problems. Young people should be completely proficient in international level math and science by the end of grade 12. Parents need to confirm a college is financially stable before their child enrolls. Then young people need to select degrees that include advanced math and science and build strong communication skills.

 

Monday, February 24, 2014

奥兰治郡学校获得国家学术优秀奖

Outside the Box – Juliann Talkington

 

奥兰治郡学校的学生在学校的学术项目中取得优异的学术成绩,这个学校的学前班到十二年级的学术项目模仿了顶尖的国际学校系统的学术项目。

 

在一些国际学术项目中美国学生的表现持续很一般。这些学术项目包括,国际数学和科学研究和国际学生测试项目。

 

国际复兴学校奥兰治郡校区一直以来致力于培养学生的一种学术水平。有些国家会把这种高的学术水平视为平常。

 

奥兰治郡学校使用了独一无二的教学大纲和特别的教学方法来教授学生高国际水准的学术内容。在这里没有智商测试,而这里所有的学生都在学习,并取得了高学术水平。

 

关于国际复兴学校奥兰治郡校区学术项目的另一大特点就是它能将课堂学习最大化,从而最大程度减少学生在课后做作业的时间。这样,学生有足够的时间来培养对课外活动的兴趣和增强领导才能。

 

二零一四年二月二十五日星期二下午四点半在加洲的2987 Mesa Verde Drive East, Costa Mesa, 将举行一场颁奖典礼。在颁奖典礼上,国际复兴学校奥兰治郡校区将获得两项教学优秀奖。您将有拍照和采访的机会。采访可以使用中文,西班牙语和英语三种语言。

 

有人可能会认为这个学校是为书呆子开的。其实不然。这个学校有国内优秀的运动员,小音乐家和演员。同时,他们在每年夏天都将组织国际性旅行活动。今年,该学校八年级的学生将使用他们学到的西班牙语知识参与活动的策划。

 

当看到三四岁的孩子能说三种语言的时候,当看到五岁的孩子学习代数基本知识的时候,当看到初中学生探索着如何把艺术,科学和数学融汇在一起解决实际生活问题的时候,人们总是非常激动的。

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Common Core Standards Could Knock As, Bs And Cs Off Report Cards

NPR – Sam Evans-Brown

“When it comes to report cards, most people think of grades like A, B, C or maybe F. But more and more parents around the country are seeing their kids come home with grades like E, M, IP or LP. It’s part of a growing trend to make grades more reflective of the specific skills students have actually mastered, and its getting a boost from the move to Common Core standards.”(more)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Performance-Based Test for Teachers Rolls Out

Education Week – Stephen Sawchuk

“As the test, known as the edTPA, kicks into high gear in 2013-14 after two years of pilot testing, thousands more teacher-candidates will be expected to demonstrate those competencies to receive a teaching certificate.”(more)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Keep extracurricular activities in perspective

News Herald – Juliann Talkington

Juliann

If you think all youth soccer, ballet, football, and theater programs are kid centric, think again. These programs along with thousands of other “kids activities” are BIG BUSINESS.

 

Coaches, teachers, and trainers draw lucrative salaries and make extra income on clinics and consulting gigs. Hotels, restaurants, airlines, grocery stores, and convenience stores add cash to their coffers when families travel to compete. And promotional companies make money on web sites, uniform companies generate income with clothes and shoes….

 

All told, kids extracurricular activities infuse hundreds of millions of dollars into the U.S. economy each year.

 

So why do parents open their wallets so willingly? Top athletes and entertainment figures garner significant media attention and command large salaries. Combine this national attention with the unrealistic view many parents have of their children and you have a marketer’s dream.

 

Although the statistics vary from sport to sport, only about 1% of the high school athletes are selected to play for NCAA teams and only about one out of every 1000 high school athletes go on to professional careers. The odds of being a famous ballerina, movie star, or singer are even smaller.

 

Given the statistics, the costs, and the potential stress, should kids avoid extra curricular activities all together?

 

Probably not!

 

There are many studies that suggest outside activities provide kids with an opportunity to hone leadership skills, build friendships, learn the intricacies of working in groups, and develop life long interests –critical life skills.

 

So how should extracurricular activities be incorporated into a child’s middle/high school experience?

 

Monitor academic performance. Even if your child is a very talented athlete, musician, or artist, it is critical that he/she develop strong communication, numeracy, and problem solving skills, so he/she can find meaningful employment later in life.

 

Don’t compromise your family. It is important to eat together and to have time for family activities. Teaching values and helping children make good decisions requires communication.

 

Although some kids are energized when their schedule is full, many children need time to relax. Make sure you and your child reevaluate the activity load at the end of every season.

 

There are many different activities and levels of participation. If finances are tight, encourage your child to participate in activities that do not require out of town travel.

 

In short, encourage your child to explore new things, but don’t let your dreams of grandeur create a pressure filled environment or financial strains on your family.

 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Should College Admissions Include Personality Testing Too?

PsychCentral – Rick Nauert

“College admission criteria usually focus on a student’s performance on standardized tests (SAT and ACT), high school grade point average and class rank. But new research suggests a better way; long-term success in college may be better predicted with Advanced Placement (AP) exams and personality traits in combination with standard admission practices.”(more)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Gist Urges Rhode Island Parents to Take Active Accountability Roles

Education News – Julia Lawrence

“Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah A. Gist used the occasion of the release of school performance data to urge parents to take a more active role in their children’s schools.”(more)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Districts Turning Summer School Into Learning Labs

Education Week – Nora Fleming

“With evidence growing that languid summer months can have a harmful impact on student performance, particularly for disadvantaged students, an increasing number of districts are seeing summer as one strategy for school improvement.”(more)