Renascence School Education News - private school

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Make Language Learning a National Priority

The Huffington Post – Jane Swift

“With dozens of studies proving its benefits for young minds and the grim reality that we are far behind other nations in a key competitive skill, you would think that politicians would be falling all over themselves to support language education in our schools. However, increasingly more policies are popping up at the state and federal levels that would put language education further out of reach for more students…Rather than being a “luxury item” on the school menu, language learning is a must-have….In a global economy, learning a foreign language is more critical than ever — and right now we don’t have enough bilingual speakers to keep up with other nations.”(more)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Inspiring the Next Generation of STEMthusiasts

Change the Equation – Staff Writer

“Last week we saw this article proposing an awards show that spotlights scientists in a way that’s as big as the Oscars. The author argues for a science awards show grand in stature, which would present awards to the top five to 10 breakthroughs in science. Sounds promising, doesn’t it? We thought so too. But the reality is that it’s unlikely an award show will be enough to inspire young people about STEM…So what’s the solution? We’ve got to focus our efforts on building a strong foundation by fostering interest in STEM at a young age. Young people should be exposed to STEM earlier and in a variety of ways…Maybe an Academy Awards for STEM isn’t the solution, but shining a spotlight on the good commitments of Corporate America and promoting strong STEM programs will go a long way to inspiring young people.”(more)

Arts Education Poised for Comeback in Nation’s Largest School Districts

The Huffington Post – Doug Israel

“After years of budget cuts, and a narrowing of curriculum at public schools across the country, urban school districts, such as New York and Chicago, are taking bold steps to expand the school day curriculum and once again invest in arts education…In announcing New York City’s new initiative, Mayor de Blasio spoke of the spark that the arts light in students, but importantly noted that, “The investments we are making here won’t just help our students explore music, dance and the arts. They will help these children grow in a way that helps them succeed in school and in life.” In fact, according to a 2012 report by the National Endowment for the Arts, students who have access to the arts also tend to have better academic results overall, better workforce opportunities, and more civic engagement. And these benefits are most pronounced for students of low socioeconomic status.”(more)

“Generation Study Abroad” aims to double US students studying abroad in 5 years

SI News – Staff Writer

“A new campaign supported by the Intsitute of International Education (IIE) is aiming to make Millennials the “study abroad generation” — and it only has a few years to do so. Generation Study Abroad, as the campaign is called, hopes to serve as a catalyst to encourage Millennials to turn their well-documented love of travel into a passion for studying abroad. The initiative has set a target of doubling the number of US students studying overseas over the next five years. As IIE points out in its information about the program, international experience has become a vital part of a 21st-century education. It is also becoming an increasingly important component of professional development, as employers are constantly seeking workers with international skills and experience — especially language skills…Though it remains to be seen whether the program will reach its targets, it is doing its part to raise awareness of the importance of international education in today’s globalized world. “Study abroad is not a luxury,” said Daniel Obst, deputy vice president for international partnerships at the IIE, “but an essential part of education.””(more)

Governors Missing the Link Between Global Competitiveness and Global Competence

Education Week – Heather Singmaster

“Most United States governors have completed their annual State of the State and inauguration speeches, which included the outlines of their education priorities. They covered many trending topics such as the Common Core, early childhood education, and Career Technical Education (CTE)…As in years past, however, the topic of global education remained relatively unaddressed…Many governors’ speeches also referenced state competitiveness in the global economy and attracting global commerce…How can states create more jobs and be globally competitive? According to Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D) “Education is the best economic development tool we have.” So if global competitiveness is a priority—and education is the key—shouldn’t governors want to promote a global education? Only two governors made the direct connection between the economy and global education in their speeches. Delaware Governor Jack Markell, (D) a long-time supporter of world language education, spoke about its importance. “We have also invested in language immersion programs because our children will have greater opportunities in the global economy when they can speak more than one language,” said Markell.”(more)

How To Solve America’s Low-Skills Crisis

Forbes – James Marshall Crotty

“…the United States now ranks second to last in the world in the earning levels of its of low-skilled adult workers…a big part of the problem is America’s obsession with getting young people to graduate high school without stringently verifying that they have the basic skills to garner meaningful employment…one can easily graduate high school in this country knowing almost nothing…Moreover, the connection between low skills and high rates of graduation is strongest in America. In other nations, graduating high school actually means something. Schools and governments in those countries go to great lengths to ensure that those graduating high school actually have the skills to perform a wide range of tasks in the world of work…with the OECD confirming high rates of civic apathy and low rates of volunteerism among the growing ranks of low-skill Americans, the twin pillars of our unique democracy are threatened unless we act soon. We should start this turnaround by dramatically raising the standards for U.S. high school graduation. In particular, we must require that all high school students regardless of income, race or geography demonstrate mastery of basic skills on an objective, uniform and global PISA-like test – free of state and local political interference – before receiving their diploma, driver’s license, and government support…”(more)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Pick preschools based on education philosophy

The Shreveport Times – Meaghan Long

“A child’s preschool is a place full of alphabet songs and animal flash cards, but there’s more to choosing the right first school than shapes and colors. It’s one of the first tough decisions parents must make regarding their child’s intellectual and social development. And there are many factors parents must consider when making that decision. For many parents, costs are a primary concern. Michelle Brunson, director for Northwestern State University’s graduate program in early education, is a firm believer cost doesn’t always measure quality. “The most expensive school is not necessarily the best,” Brunson said. When it comes to early education, Brunson is adamant the primary concern should be the child’s social and emotional development. “A child must feel nurtured and accepted and form healthy bonds with caregivers,” she said. A school’s educational philosophy — the curriculum teachers and staff use — should also be a priority for parents. Parents need to find out if the school is following an established curriculum and, if so, which one.”(more)

Learning a Language Early On Is the Best Investment

PR News Wire – Staff Writer

“The best advice for the teen you know is plain and simple: Learning a foreign language is one of the best investments one can make, with short and long term benefits. We are bombarded with miracle solutions to learn a language “in 5 minutes.” However, some straightforward facts and truths about language learning must be acknowledged: – Start way before your college years. You must be dedicated in college to learn a language from scratch, let alone two. And even though studying abroad in college is great, it will never bring the same intensity and emotions compared to doing it between 14 and 17. Middle school and high school years are the best time to learn a foreign language.”(more)

Lessons for Learning and Life: 10 Messages Parents (and Teachers) Can Teach Kids

The Huffington Post – Mary Ryerse

“Reflecting upon enduring lessons learned during my formative years, a primary source was former professor and college tennis coach Steve Wilkinson. I am not alone. Thousands of former students, athletes, and campers have credited Steve’s clear, simple and profound teachings as being at the core of who they are today. Steve brought with him not only the credibility of a PhD., too many tennis titles to count, a published book, inductee to several Hall of Fames, and more – but also a ready smile, a caring heart, and the ability to connect seemingly simple lessons learned on the court to life off the court. This is much like the opportunity parents have each day to create an environment that transforms day-to-day activities into a training ground for life. Parents are in a unique position to help their children draw connections between what they are learning and doing (in school, activities, community service, family conversations, and more) with enduring life lessons. After Steve recently passed away after 6 years of living with cancer, his daughters (Stephanie Wilkinson and Deborah Wilkinson Sundal) and colleagues (Neal Hagberg and Tommy Valentini), articulated many of Steve’s lessons – and I’ve done my best to build upon them and draw connections between learning and life in practical ways.”(more)

The Skills You Really Need to Get a Job

The Huffington Post – Amy Rosen

“This week, I’m attending The Future of Work Conference being held in London sponsored by The WorldPost. One panel I am on is “Mind the Skills Gap.” Discussions about the skills gap have usually included questions such as “How serious is it?” and “What can we do about it?” and “How can we get our schools and employers to work better together?” But now more serious questions are being raised — questions about whether the skills gap exists at all. Less than a year ago, New York Times columnist and economic heavyweight Paul Krugman wrote that it does not. He called it a skills myth. And he said it again just last week. And while I’m hesitant to disagree with someone as well-versed and well placed as Krugman, there’s really little debate that we have a skills gap — or maybe, better said, an employment gap.”(more)