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Florida’s Scott Pushes ‘Career in a Year’ Vocational Program

Education News – Jace Harr

“Florida Governor Rick Scott is appealing to the public for approval of his education program in 2016, which includes greater collaboration between schools and businesses. Scott’s proposed program, colloquially called “a career in a year,” is a $20 million grant program that would encourage high school technical centers to teach skills Florida employers are seeking and prepare students for the workforce in one year of schooling. Its full name is the Technical Center Rapid Response Grant Program.”(more)

America’s Lacking Language Skills

The Atlantic – Amelia Friedman

“Educators from across the country gathered in Washington, D.C., this past Thursday to lobby in the interest of world languages. It was Language Advocacy Day, an annual event on Capitol Hill that is aimed at garnering more federal support for language education…Each year as national budget priorities are determined, language education is losing out—cuts have been made to funding for such instruction…Kirsten Brecht-Baker, the founder of Global Professional Search, recently told me about what she calls “the global war for talent.” Americans, she said, are in danger of needing to import human capital because insufficient time or dollars are being invested in language education domestically…And knowing a foreign language is an undoubtedly practical skill: According to Mohamed Abdel-Kader, the deputy leading the DOE’s language-education arm, one in five jobs are tied to international trade.”(more)

Your Back-to-School Shopping Survival Guide: How to Nab the Best Deals in August

The Huffington Post – Learn Vest

“The lazy days of summer are in full swing… which can only mean one thing. Back-to-school shopping — the second-biggest retail season — is officially underway…And if you’re like most harried parents, you’ll probably just end up heading to a big-box store at the last minute to pick up everything at once — and be done with it. Or you could do your homework and get better bang for your back-to-school spending buck by being a bit more strategic…So to help set you up, and your budget, for success, we’ve created a week-by-week buying guide in the countdown to September.”(more)

Play Hard, Live Free: Where Wild Play Still Rules

NPR – Eric Westervelt

“There are only a handful of these “wild playgrounds” in the country. They embrace the theory that free, unstructured play is vital for children and offer an antidote to the hurried lifestyles, digital distractions and overprotective parents that can leave children few opportunities to really cut loose. “It’s really central that kids are able to take their natural and intense play impulses and act on them,” says Stuart Brown, a psychologist and the founding director of the National Institute for Play. Children need an environment with “the opportunity to engage in open, free play where they’re allowed to self-organize,” he adds. “It’s really a central part of being human and developing into competent adulthood.” Brown says this kind of free-range fun is not just good; it’s essential. Wild play helps shape who we become, he says, and it should be embraced, not feared. Some educators advocate “dangerous play,” which they say helps kids become better problem solvers.”(more)

Give teenagers control of household budget in summer holidays, says headteacher

The Telegraph – Javier Espinoza

” Teenagers should take responsibility for the household budget and chores during the summer holidays to teach them the challenges faced by parents, a headmaster has said. Ash Rahman, head of Toot Hill School in Nottinghamshire, believes teenagers are leaving school without essential life skills because schools spend too much time ensuring they perform well in exam league ­tables, instead of equipping students for the world outside the classroom. Mr Rahman’s comments follow research among 200 secondary school teachers by the National Citizen Service, a youth programme for 15-17 year olds, which suggested they do not think young people are making the most of their school holidays.”(more)

We Need Innovative Ways to Fund Early Childhood Education

The Huffington Post – Mark Shriver

“Many presidential candidates are talking about early childhood education as they stump through small towns across the country. It’s an issue that is hard to argue with…And while lawmakers, candidates and the public agree that this is an issue where we need to focus our time and attention, it’s often difficult to agree on how to fund early learning programs…Innovative Financing for Early Childhood Education is a toolbox of solutions meant to bridge the gap between lawmakers’ desire to expand access to early childhood education and balance the budget. It offers ideas that are attractive to both Republicans and Democrats…”(more)