Renascence School Education News - private school

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Lloyd Bentsen IV: Focus on STEM education a no-brainer

The Dallas Morning News – Lloyd Bentsen IV

“If Fareed Zakaria has his way, the United States education system will continue to fail our children. In 2012, on the standard international education test, American students ranked 36th among developed countries in mathematics, with a score of 481 out of a possible 1,000 and below the average score of 494. In science, U.S. students scored 497 out of a possible 1,000 and below the average score of 501. By contrast, students in Singapore scored 573 in mathematics and 551 in science; Japan, Korea and parts of China scored at the top with Singapore. Education reformers have recently turned their attention to STEM — the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering and mathematics — because of a lack of workers and a mismatch between STEM degree-holders and STEM fields.”(more)

When students become entrepreneurs, real learning happens

E-School News – Jason Braddock

“Here in eastern Ohio, some of our students are embracing their entrepreneurial spirit right at school, engaging in a style of learning that helps make lessons come alive. The students, spread throughout nine districts, are working with my organization, the Mahoning County Educational Service Center, which provides educational opportunities—including this foray into project-based learning—to thousands of regional students.”(more)

Mass. teacher finds success with flipped model

E-School News – Michael Hartwell

“At Memorial Middle School in Fitchburg, Mass., science teacher Christopher Landry spends most of his time crouching down like a catcher, talking to his students one-on-one, instead of standing in front of the board. For the past four years, Landry, 40, has incorporated the flipped educational model, in which lectures are delivered electronically outside of the class and homework is done during class. Supporters say the method is growing in popularity, but Landry is the only one who uses it in his school.”(more)

What’s Next on ESEA?

Education Next – Michael J. Petrilli

“Tell me if you disagree, my fellow wonks and pundits, but I don’t think anyone predicted a 22-0 vote from the Senate HELP committee on ESEA reauthorization. What an amazing tribute to the bipartisan leadership of Chairman Lamar Alexander and ranking member Patty Murray. So what happens now? The next stop is the Senate floor, where members of the committee and others will introduce many an amendment—some of which will be plenty controversial, but few of which will muster sixty votes. At that point, we’ll learn whether there are sixty votes to pass the bill as a whole. The unanimous committee vote certainly bodes well, though it’s no guarantee. (I can’t imagine Senator Rand Paul voting for a bill on the Senate floor that doesn’t including Title I portability, for example, but there aren’t the numbers for that. So he’ll vote nay.) And if the Senate does pass a bill? Then there’s that pesky House of Representatives. That’s where things get interesting. House Republican leaders will face three choices: First, they can take the Senate bill straight to the House floor and seek to pass it with bipartisan support. They will almost surely lose many liberals and conservatives, but they might squeak out a majority consisting of both Republicans and Democrats. (If they can’t get a majority of Republicans, they will have to break the “Hastert Rule” to pass it, which seems unlikely.).”(more)

Applause for No Child Left Behind rewrite, but concerns remain

The Christian Science Monitor – Stacy Teicher Khadaroo

“A bipartisan Senate bill to rewrite the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), currently known as No Child Left Behind, took a big leap forward Thursday. The legislation passed out of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions unanimously, after members considered 57 amendments over the course of several days. Now dubbed the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015, the legislation would continue to require the current level of testing in reading, math, and science. It also would require the reporting of data for subgroups of students according to categories such as race, gender, income, and disability. But it would allow states to set up their own accountability systems. Although states must work toward improving their lowest-performing schools overall, they would no longer be required to intervene in schools where students in various subgroups have fallen behind.”(more)

Senate panel approves bipartisan K-12 education bill

USA Today – Erin Kelly

“A bipartisan education bill to replace the controversial No Child Left Behind law and reduce the federal government’s power over schools cleared its first big hurdle Thursday. The Every Child Succeeds Act, from Sens. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., was approved by a vote of 22-0 by the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee after three days of debate and the adoption of nearly 30 amendments. Supporters said the bill would “fix” the No Child Left Behind law that governs the nation’s approximately 100,000 K-12 public schools. Critics say that law – signed by President George W. Bush in 2002 – placed too much emphasis on judging and punishing schools based on student test scores and gave the federal government too big a role in deciding how best to improve local schools. The law expired in 2007, but states still have to abide by its requirements until a new law replaces it.”(more)

How Colleges are Squeezing Students on Financial Aid

Time – Timothy Pratt

“Dalia Garcia breathed a sigh of relief when she found out that she had been given enough financial aid to nearly cover the cost of tuition for her first year at California State Polytechnic University at Pomona. Because her father earned less than $20,000 a year as a janitor, college would have been out of reach without the help. The aid meant “having a sense of security,” she recalled. And as a high school valedictorian with a high grade-point average, Garcia was able to add several scholarships to her bounty.”(more)

Getting enough sleep is key to exam success, research says

The Telegraph – Josie Gurney-Read

“A good night’s sleep may not be high on the agenda for students across the country but, according to new research, it could be key to successful learning. Academics from the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway University found that learners were able to remember and consolidate material more effectively having slept on the new information. The research also suggested that learning material in stages and getting enough sleep inbetween sessions, meant students were better able to make connections and remember information, putting paid to the belief that ‘cramming’ before an exam is an effective means of revision. It comes as research published by the Sleep Council last month, found that more than half of teenagers confessed to regularly cramming all their revision for an exam into one night. During this study, researchers taught a group of people new words from a fictional language, characterised by a rule relating the new words to one another. They found that, although learners became aware of the rule within the new language shortly after being taught it, they were unable to apply it to new words until after a period of rest.”(more)

Four in 10 children ‘put off sport by competitive parents’

The Telegraph – Javier Espinoza

” Four in 10 children are put off sport by over-competitive parents telling them they are too fat or lazy to run and making them cry in front of team-mates. Parents telling children they are “too heavy” or that they have made a “pathetic mistake” are also factors contributing to children not wanting to play sports, according to a new survey. One of the 1,002 children polled reported witnessing a dad telling a boy on the opposition team he was “rubbish”, while a mother was seen “shouting abuse at a referee”. Many children cried in front of their team-mates as a result of verbal abuse by parents. Other cases of abusive behaviour included children being called “losers” and “cheaters” by parents from the opposite team. A boy was called “stupid” by his dad each time he played. In total, nearly half of the eight to 16-year-olds questioned said the bad behaviour of parents made them feel like they did not want to take part in sport, according to a study by Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and the Chance to Shine charity.”(more)

Alcohol use in movies tied to teen drinking

Reuters – Kathryn Doyle

“In a study of 15-year-olds in the U.K., those who had been most exposed to alcohol use in films were also most likely to have tried alcohol, and about twice as likely as the least exposed to have been binge drinking. After accounting for factors in early childhood, and even before birth that might explain the link, the associations were still “very robust,” said lead author Andrea Waylen of the School of Oral and Dental Sciences in Bristol, England. The study only looked at a single point in time, so it cannot prove cause and effect, Waylen noted in an email. But the results are in line with research from the USA, Europe and elsewhere that links youth “viewing of depictions of alcohol use in movies and the onset of drinking, regular drinking, binge-drinking and alcohol-related problems,” she said. Waylen and her coauthors analyzed data from another long-term study of children born near Bristol between 1991 and 1992, who were followed periodically from birth. At age 15, more than 5,000 of the kids completed a computer-based interview, assessing whether they had seen 50 randomly selected popular contemporary movies. Researchers had coded how many seconds of alcohol use appeared in each film, and totaled the amount each kid had seen based on their answers.”(more)