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Trump Executive Order Seeks to Scale Back Federal Role in K-12 Education

The 74 Million – Carolyn Phenicie

“President Donald Trump’s plan to sign an executive order requiring the U.S. Education Department to study and scale back the federal footprint in K-12 education came as no surprise to accountability hawks critical of the administration’s retreat and encouraging news to conservatives, who say it can’t happen fast enough.”(more)

Trains, Planes, and ESAs

Education Next – Lindsey M. Burke

“For roughly the first two centuries of the American experiment, education was a quintessentially local endeavor. The Colonial Act of 1647, also known as the Old Deluder Satan law, mandated that every town with more than fifty households would hire a teacher, and once a town had more than 100 families, a grammar school would have to be established. In this case, formalized schools served to ensure a shared mission and to act as stabilizers, conserving and maintaining order in the budding community. Academies quickly spread throughout New England in the years following the American Revolution.[7] If the goal of education in the colonies was preservation, the goal of education in the New World was to solidify a common culture and social order.”(more)

Proposed Changes to Higher Education Act Clear House

Education News – Kristin Decarr

“A number of bipartisan higher education bills have been passed by the House of Representatives in an effort to provide solutions to elements of the Higher Education Act currently in need of an update. In all, five bills were passed by the House which address some of the issues within the Higher Education Act, including a simplification for the application for federal student aid, making information about colleges and universities readily accessible, and offering benefits for historically black colleges those who serve Hispanic students…One of the bills, sponsored by US Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan, seeks to help students and their families obtain the necessary information they need to choose a college. The bill will create a US Department of Education tool called the College Dashboard, which will be available online and will include key data pertaining to financial and economic statistics on universities across the country.”(more)

Naples student heads to China for intensive language training

Collier Citizen – Lance Shearer

“”They told us to bring a gift for our host family — but be sure it’s not something made in China,” said Nick Lamb. The concept illustrates some of the cultural currents the rising Naples High sophomore will navigate this summer, as a U.S. State Department scholar in Sichuan Province, China. Nick will have intensive Mandarin classes six hours a day, all while living with a local Chinese host family and speaking nothing but the local tongue. Nick’s merit-based scholarship, officially known as the National Strategic Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y), is part of a U.S. government initiative that prepares outstanding American students to be leaders in a global world…The NSLI-Y program seeks to increase the number of Americans who can engage with native speakers of critical languages. The goals of the NSLI-Y program include sparking a life-long interest in foreign languages and cultures, and developing a corps of young Americans with the skills necessary to advance international dialogue and cross-cultural opportunities in the private, academic and government sectors.”(more)

Urgent action needed to close UK languages gap

Phys.org – Staff Writer

“The UK Government needs to urgently adopt a new, comprehensive languages strategy if it is to keep pace with its international competitors and reduce a skills deficit that has wide-reaching economic, political, and military effects…Recent independent research, highlighted within the report, indicates the language deficit could be costing the UK economy billions of pounds per year…”A UK strategy for languages would mean that UK businesses can participate fully in the global market place using the language and communication skills of their workforce,” said Professor Ayres-Bennett. “It would also mean that the UK is able to maximise its role and authority in foreign policy through language and diplomacy. Educational attainment in a wide range of languages brings with it personal cognitive benefits as well as the ‘cultural agility’ vital to international relations and development, as well as enhancing the cultural capital and social cohesion of the different communities of the UK.””(more)