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New Wisconsin K-12 standards intended to spur interest in computer science careers

USA Today – Jordan C. Axelson

“Computer science is so ubiquitous in our everyday lives that it often goes unnoticed. Take for example, ordering a pizza. Computer science lets you request your pizza with a few taps on your phone; it protects your credit card information during the transaction; and it runs the delivery driver’s GPS, providing the fastest route, so you get the pizza while it’s still hot and melty. Computer science also extends into fields like medicine, communication, and manufacturing. It’s the most in-demand occupation in Wisconsin in 2017, and the sector is expected to grow by 12% through 2024 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.”(more)

Is Disruptive Innovation Driving K-12 Privatization?

Education Next – Thomas Arnett

“If you’ve followed the K–12 education dialogue over the last decade, then you’re probably familiar with the term “disruptive innovation.” Edtech entrepreneurs and school choice advocates sometimes invoke it as an indomitable force that will redeem and transform broken school systems. Meanwhile, people on the other sides of these debates worry that “disruption” is a flawed yet rhetorically powerful narrative used to rationalize K–12 privatization. Somewhere in the middle are skeptics who give consideration to the idea, but wonder if disruption is an oversold term that is likely to underdeliver on its proponents’ promises.”(more)

Column: The importance of sparking STEM interest in our children

Cincinnati – Tiffany Osborne

“In fact, the U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that 80 percent of new jobs in our area over the next decade will require some form of math or science skills – and that STEM jobs are on track to grow at two times the rate than any other field. However, as these fields continue to expand, our region faces a growing disparity between the number of STEM careers available and the amount of local talent with the skills needed to perform those roles. This disparity becomes even more pronounced when looking at the number of students interested in these crucial STEM fields. In fact, research shows that:.”(more)

Librarians: Information literacy is a must-have skill

E-School News – Laura Ascione Devaney

“Nearly half of librarians in a recent survey said their libraries do not advocate for information literacy as much as they should. The ProQuest survey of 217 librarians from higher education, K-12 schools and public libraries reveals that while 83 percent said information literacy has a large impact on college graduation rates, and though 97 percent of those surveyed said information literacy leads to success in the workforce, just 44 percent believe their libraries adequately support the skill. Only 21 percent of surveyed librarians said they believe their library patrons recognize information literacy’s effect on lifelong success, while 34 percent said their patrons do not recognize it and 33 percent were unsure.”(more)

Do the math: Education is the most effective jobs program. Let’s invest in it

Fox News – Harold O. Levy

“Democrats and Republicans agree that creating good jobs for American workers must be a priority for the Trump administration and Congress. But a report issued at the end of December by the White House warns that millions of American jobs could be wiped out by automation in the next 20 years as machines and self-driving vehicles gain new abilities with the help of artificial intelligence. The White House report reaches the same conclusion that many economists and educators across the partisan divide have called for: “American workers will need to be prepared with the education and training that can help them continue to succeed. Delivering this education and training will require significant investments” from preschool through college. What is needed now is a bipartisan commitment by all levels of government to invest billions of dollars to improve kindergarten-12th grade schools and make college more accessible and affordable.”(more)

The Cult of Finland: What American Schools CAN’T Learn From International Comparisons

The 74 Million – Matt Barnum

“Tuesday’s release of the PISA results — an international test of high schoolers — will almost undoubtedly prompt endless discussion of a mythical educational utopia, where kindergartners are “joyful and illiterate,” where there are no big, bad charter schools or high-stakes testing, where schools are virtually all equal — and where those same test scores are through the roof. It is called Finland, and many a journalist, policymaker, union leader and education researcher yearns to dwell in this K-12 Lake Wobegon whose virtues are lauded regularly on the pages of high-profile publications and whose methods are praised assiduously during panel discussions at serious conferences. Finland’s education system is sometimes described as a “miracle.”(more)