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What Foreign Language Should You Study?

Master Studies – Joanna Hughes

“By now most of us are aware of the many advantages of learning another language. Multilingualism comes with a host of benefits, including everything from increased employment opportunities to opening your mind to different worldviews. In fact, many graduates cite foreign language studies as among the most important coursework they took in college. The evidence makes it clear: Learning a second language is well worth your time. Not so clear for many students? Which language to learn. While English is undeniably valuable, it’s far from the only appealing option. Here’s a closer look at five other languages which may offer a leading edge depending on your unique interests and goals.”(more)

Use the ‘2K rule’ to save for your kid’s college education

CNBC – Tom Anderson

“Saving for your child’s college education can seem like an impossible goal. Unlike with retirement savings, few clear guidelines exist. College costs vary widely depending on where your child goes to school and whether they qualify for financial aid. Fidelity Investments has tried to clarify college savings with a new rule of thumb: Multiple your child’s age by $2,000 to stay on track to cover half the average cost of a four-year, public university.”(more)

Schools Should Tell Parents Whether Their Middle Schoolers Are On Track for College

Education Next – Michael J. Petrilli

“Today’s conventional wisdom says that kids are too stressed out by the burdens we parents are placing on them, and we need to help them relax. Maybe that’s true for the tiny sliver of students who attend hothouse high schools in the bubbles where many of us happen to live. But for America at large, it’s exactly the wrong advice. We need the majority of parents and kids to be more stressed out. We need to shake them out of their complacency and tell them: You and your kids are heading toward a coming-of-age catastrophe, but you can avoid it if you act now!.”(more)

College readiness program aims to boost AP scores

Ed Source – Theresa Harrington

“With less than a third of the combined students at two high schools scoring high enough to earn college credit on Advanced Placement tests in English, math and science, the Oakland Unified School District was a perfect candidate for a national program that aims to help students – especially low-income, African-American and Latino teens – improve their performance on AP tests.”(more)

OPINION: ‘Bad at math’ no more

The Hechinger Report – Zoe Clute

“By the end of high school, exposure to TED talks and YouTubers had made me believe that math could be fantastically entertaining, under the right conditions. But like many students who stumble upon this discovery, I immediately distinguished between “school math” and, as Khan Academy calls it, “math for fun and glory.” I began to assume that we were all doomed to suffer through school math, and that math classes like mine were the only way to learn the skills needed to eventually participate in fun math. My first college math class was essentially like high school but performed at twice the speed with half the student participation. It was disappointing to realize that I enjoyed math just as little in college as I did in high school and I quickly became aware that I was behind many of my peers in the class.”(more)

One Reason Young People Don’t Go Into Science? We Don’t Fail Well

The Scientific American – Sara Whitlock

“My story has a happy ending—at least to me. Through stress eating, meltdowns, and support from my professor and older students, I studied my way to an A-minus in that calculus class. But, even better: I learned how to fail, something I keep learning and relearning as I come to the end of my second semester in graduate school. It’s the fundamental underpinning of scientific resilience—failing repeatedly, and picking yourself up to try again. It’s what I think is missing from many young Americans’ educational experiences, and, in part, why I think so many of us, as smart and creative and technically adept as we are, shy away from scientific research as our careers. Learning resilience is fundamental to a successful career as a scientist. The experiments we try will fail many times before they work, whether as an undergraduate, a PhD student, or a postdoc gunning for a faculty position. I’m dealing with this right now in my third laboratory rotation: In trying to study a protein in zebrafish, I made a mistake and all my embryos died. So, I’m troubleshooting and doing the experiment again.”(more)