Renascence School Education News - private school

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Healthy Families: Create healthy habits today for your child’s tomorrow

The Reporter Online – Barbara Cronin

“Spring has finally arrived. The outdoors beg us to come and spend a little time exploring. Are your kids getting outside, being active or are they still inside watching TV, on cell phones, computers and video games? According to The President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition, the average child between 8 and 18, spends more than 7½ hours a day on electronics . This sedentary lifestyle for our kids is an unhealthy habit that leads to weight gain and lower academic achievement which can ultimately lead to chronic disease. In fact, research shows that kids gain two to three times more weight in the summer months than during the school year. Many children fall behind academically during the summer months too. Now is the perfect time to begin healthy habits that will carry over into the summer months to keep weight gain and academic loss at bay. One great place to start is at the YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day. This free community event will be held at various locations in Chester County on Saturday, April 25. You can learn healthy snack options as well as fun ways to get your family active. The Lansdale and Indian Valley branches of the North Penn YMCA host free events April 25 and 26. Check www.northpennymca.org for details.”(more)

Early child care experiences play role in kids’ future

Health Canal – Staff Writer

“Children who use centre-based child care and multiple care arrangements across their early years are better prepared for school, a new QUT study has found. Dr Chrystal Whiteford, from QUT’s Faculty of Education, said early child care played an important role in children’s future academic, behavioural and health outcomes with child care experiences as an infant and toddler having positive and negative effects on children aged 4-5 and 6-7. “An important finding from the study was that at 4 to 5 years of age, children in centre-based care and multiplicity of arrangements across the early years were outperforming their peers in early academic competencies,” Dr Whiteford said. “However, while the study revealed developmental benefits of early child care, there were also potential negative impacts upon children’s social-emotional, academic and health outcomes.” The study which tracked the milestones of more than 5000 children from birth to seven years, was part of Dr Whiteford’s PhD and used data from Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children.”(more)

The Best Part of NCLB Reauthorization You’ve Never Heard Of

Education Next – Nora Gordon

“Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) two weeks ago released their bipartisan agreement to reauthorize the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). I’m sure reasonable minds will differ, but the Every Child Achieves Act strikes me a remarkably bipartisan balance on the hot-button issues of testing, standards, and accountability that students, parents and teachers experience so personally and have dominated this year’s reauthorization discussion. The larger legacy of the Every Child Achieves Act may well be how it cleans up supplement not supplant, a little discussed and often misunderstood fiscal rule with a big impact on how schools actually spend the $14 billion of NCLB Title I funds. The proposed legislation makes two important changes: (1) it requires districts to show they are distributing their state and local funds across schools without regard to the federal funds that each school receives; and (2) it increases local autonomy over how to spend Title I funds.”(more)

Shakespeare getting little love from American colleges

The San Francisco Chronicle – Nanette Asimov

“A new study finds that English departments at just four of 52 top-ranked universities require English majors to take a course on the 16th century playwright and poet who is considered the English-speaking world’s greatest man of letters. UC Berkeley is one of the four. “Our department feels very strongly about this,” said Professor Katherine O’Brien O’Keeffe, who chairs the English department at UC Berkeley. “Shakespeare is the single most influential writer in English. Not only that, he’s one of the most supremely absorbing writers in any language. We couldn’t imagine how a student could achieve a degree in English without taking a course in Shakespeare.” Only Harvard, Wellesley and the United States Naval Academy share that view, according to the study released Thursday — believed to be the Bard’s birthday — by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, a nonprofit group in Washington, D.C., that focuses on academic freedom and holding “colleges and universities accountable.” The study, “The Unkindest Cut: Shakespeare in Exile,” looks at the 26 top-ranked universities in the nation — including the eight Ivy League schools — and the 26 top liberal arts colleges as ranked by this year’s U.S. News & World Report, and found more than 92 percent do not require English majors to take a course on Shakespeare. Stanford is one of them.”(more)

Teaching Tomorrow’s Founders: Ideas for K-12 Education

Forbes – Gosia Glinska

“What put Hurst on a path to become a serial entrepreneur was her desire to tackle a big problem in tech—the lack of diversity. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a B.S. in computer science, Hurst moved to New York City, where she worked as a software developer. As a woman, she wanted to empower other women to break into the male-dominated tech industry. First, she started a Meetup group in Manhattan to teach women to write code. In 2010, she launched Developers for Good, then Girl Develop It and CodeMontage. Today, Girl Develop It has more than 30,000 members across the U.S. In 2014 alone, the nonprofit taught 9,000 women to write code.”(more)

When To Pay For Education-Related Financial Help

Forbes – Robert Farrington

“There is a booming industry forming to help people with education financial assistance. There are companies and services that can help with FAFSA and Financial Aid, finding scholarships, financial planning for college, and help with your student loans after graduation. The topic of “how to pay for college” is one of the fastest growing areas in financial services, but consumers need to know when they should and when they shouldn’t pay for help. Because in any area that is booming, there are bound to be companies prowling for victims and scamming student loan borrowers.”(more)

What If Students Could Fire Their Professors?

NPR – Anya Kamenetz

“A bill circulating in the Iowa state Senate would rate professors’ performance based on student evaluations. Just student evaluations. Low-rated professors would be automatically fired — no tenure, no appeals. The bill’s author, state Sen. Mark Chelgren, a Republican, argues that too many students are taking on student loan debt but not getting their money’s worth in the classroom. “Professors need to understand that their customers are those students,” Chelgren told the Chronicle of Higher Education.”(more)

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Schools Can’t Innovate Until Districts Do

Education Next – Robin J. Lake

“Every sector of the U.S. economy is working on ways to deliver services in a more customized manner. In the near future, cancer treatment plans will be customized to each patient based on sophisticated genetic data and personal health histories. If all goes well, education is headed in the same direction. Personalized learning and globally benchmarked academic standards (a.k.a. Common Core) are the focus of most major school districts and charter school networks. Educators and parents know students must be better prepared to think deeply about complex problems and to have skills that are relevant for jobs that haven’t yet been created. Promising new school models are showing what’s possible by:.”(more)

What “The Cage-Busting Teacher” Means For School Reformers

Education Next – Frederick Hess

“If you’re an aficionado of the Education Gadfly or Education Next, there’s a fair chance you’ve read or heard me discussing my new book, The Cage-Busting Teacher. It’s written wholly for educators and fueled by interviews and discussions with hundreds of teacher-leaders. In it, I observe that even terrific teachers routinely say they feel stymied, offer insights on how teachers can create the schools and systems where they can do their best work, and explain where practitioners tend to stumble on this count. But what about policymakers and reformers? What does The Cage-Busting Teacher mean for them? How can they create the conditions whereby cage-busting teachers can thrive? Let me offer four suggestions. First, policymakers and reformers need to keep in mind that they’re not the ones who educate kids. Heck, they’re only occasionally in classrooms—and they’re not the ones held accountable for how students are faring. From the teacher’s perspective, they—we—are backseat drivers. Everybody gets frustrated by backseat drivers, even when they have good advice to offer. Passengers can carefully study the GPS or old-fashioned roadmap while the driver focuses on the road. They can see signs that the driver missed, maybe even the truck out front making an unexpectedly fast stop. But backseat drivers need to remember all the stuff they’re not dealing with…because they’re not actually driving.”(more)

The College Education Game Just Got Changed

Time – Sabrina Toppa

“Arizona State now offers online pay-as-you-pass freshman years with no required SAT. Arizona State University (ASU) is partnering with the education nonprofit edX to offer students around the world the opportunity to take freshman year courses online — without a required SAT score or high school transcripts. The earned credits enable students to finish their degrees at Arizona’s campus or that of any university campus accepting the courses.”(more)