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ESSA Reviews Are In: New Mexico, Louisiana Rise to the Top; Michigan, Arizona Falter

The 74 Million – Blair Mann

“Most of the noise surrounding the Every Student Succeeds Act this week was focused on the highly anticipated rollout of the independent peer review project from the Collaborative for Student Success and Bellwether Education Partners. While many groups, advocates, and experts have weighed in on specific pieces or trends in the plans, the peer review project is one of the only efforts giving a full analysis of what’s been cooked up in each state plan. More on that below.”(more)

Why STEM Education Is Crucial to the Longevity of Tech Communities

Tech Co – Heidi Jannenga

“There’s a pervasive problem occurring in Phoenix. It’s no secret, but it’s an issue that few seem ready to address. The so-called “Valley of the Sun” — like other emerging tech hubs — has struggled to compete in this era of global digitalization. Of course, there are many contributing factors to this problem. Chief among them being that we’ve had a hard time attracting, incubating, and retaining the skilled workforce and future business leaders necessary to drive innovation.”(more)

Calculating a love of math

Arizona State University – Monique Clement

“Do you like math? People tend to feel strongly one way or another, and likely your decision rides on your experiences in the classroom. “Mathematics itself is fairly neutral,” said Jim Middleton, a professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering at Arizona State University’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. “There is no reason to either love or hate mathematics outside the experiences we have in and out of school along with the cultural attitudes.” When students’ enjoyment and understanding of math falters, so do the possibilities of STEM courses and career paths that require higher math in those student’s futures.”(more)

U.S. News Ranks America’s Top Public High Schools — and for the First Time, Charters Dominate Top 10

The 74 Million – Kate Stringer

“U.S. News and World Report has released its 2017 rankings of America’s public high schools, and for the first time ever, the majority of the schools in the top 10 are charters. BASIS Scottsdale, BASIS Tucson North, and BASIS Oro Valley — all Arizona public charter schools in the BASIS network — placed one, two, and three atop the 2017 list. Rounding out the top tier are Arizona’s BASIS Peoria and BASIS Chandler schools (ranking #5 and #7 respectively) and California’s Pacific Collegiate Charter (#10).”(more)

Arizona now requires cursive be taught in schools

WSBTV – Staff Writer

“Arizona has made some big decisions regarding state public school education standards as they relate to the federal guidelines of Common Core. It’s being called Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards. Among the headline changes are that the state will require public schools to teach students cursive. Students will have to learn print and cursive. For the latter, students will be taught cursive through fifth grade. By third grade, students must be able to read and write cursive in upper and lower case, according to KPHO.”(more)

Chinese immersion programs aim to give students cultural, academic, job advantages

The Arizona Daily Star – Gabriella Vukelic

““One and a half billion people speak Chinese and that number expands with people who can collaborate or speak with others,” said Sheryl Castro, director of Global Citizenship Education at the Catalina Foothills School District, which Sunrise Drive is a part of. “There is a demand for people to speak and read in Chinese.” Learning Chinese can give students an advantage in the job market in the future, she said. Immersion programs taught by Chinese teachers are the fastest and most effective way for a student to learn a language because they are taught at a young age, Castro said.”(more)