Renascence School Education News - private school

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Lessons from Spain: Five reasons to learn a foreign language

The Delphic Times – SHAEFFER SMITH

“It’s been a long, challenging 14 years learning Spanish. I’ve grown from proudly counting to 10 to living and learning in a country that only speaks Spanish. I’ve had my ups and downs in my career, struggling with conjugations and translations that just didn’t turn out quite right, but now I am studying in Salamanca, Spain, working everyday to improve. I am so grateful to be immersed in Spanish, challenging myself everyday, and I think that everyone should be doing the same. Learning another language has a ton of advantages, both personally and professionally, but these are my top five reasons why you should learn another language:.”(more)

Young Girls Are Much, Much Better Readers Than Boys, And Have Been For A Long Time

The Huffington Post – Rebecca Klein

“The gap between boys’ and girls’ respective reading abilities has been getting a lot of attention lately, but the trend itself is not new. Girls have been better readers than boys for a long, long time, according to a report released Tuesday by the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution. The annual report analyzes three topics in contemporary education through the lens of up-to-date research. This year, the report looked at the effectiveness of the Common Core state standards, the relationship between student engagement and academic achievement, and the gender gap in reading. Below are three key insights into gender gaps the report provided:.”(more)

Guess What Makes The Cut As A ‘Smart Snack’ In Schools? Hot Cheetos

NPR – Monica Eng

“Flamin’ Hot Cheetos might conjure a lot of descriptors: spicy, crunchy, unnaturally fiery red. But it’s a good bet that “healthy” didn’t exactly spring to mind. Yet it turns out that those fiery Cheetos beloved by school children (some kids even made an epic rap paean to Hot Cheetos a few years ago) actually qualify as a “Smart Snack” under revised federal nutrition guidelines for schools. The Obama administration rolled out the new guidelines last year in a bid to limit the amount of junk food kids eat in school, but nearly half of all U.S. states have formally rejected the standards as too strict. Some legislators think the rules make it too hard for schools to raise money through snack sales at vending machines. But at Chicago’s Whitney Young High School, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos remain among the most popular snacks sold. “They’re good, like, they just taste delicious,” says Cashari Norwood, a junior at the school. “And like, I’m a vegetarian and so sometimes, I just want to eat something that’s good, and I can’t even really get that here.” These aren’t just any Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. They’re a reformulated version with less fat, less salt and more whole grains. But is that really what the scientists at the Institute of Medicine had in mind when they wrote the recommendations that would become the Smart Snack rules? “Well, probably not,” says Virginia Stallings, a professor of pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She chaired the committee that helped make the federal rules.”(more)

Stretching One Great Teacher Across Many Classrooms

NPR – Blake Farmer

“A stack of research suggests that all the classroom technology in the world can’t compare to the power of a great teacher. And, since we haven’t yet figured out how to clone our best teachers, a few schools around the country are trying something like it: Stretching them across multiple classrooms. “We’ll probably never fill up every single classroom with one of those teachers,” says Bryan Hassel, founder of Charlotte-based education consulting firm Public Impact. But, he says, it’s important to ask: “How can we change the way schools work so that the great teachers we do have can reach more of the students, maybe even all of them?” Public Impact is working with schools in Tennessee, North Carolina and New York to build what it calls an “opportunity culture” for teachers. It’s part of a broader turnaround strategy at schools like Bailey Middle Prep in Nashville.”(more)

Entrepreneurs Are Changing The Future Of Education By Starting New Schools In New Orleans

Forbes – Adriana Lopez

“For the past four years, Matt Candler has obsessed over students, families and teachers, despite the existing, outdated school system around them. Finally with 44 education startups under his belt, he’s starting to see the future of schools change in ways he had only imagined with 4.0 Schools, a non-profit incubator for education-based startups. “4.0 Schools exists because there are no places to innovate schools and education in The United States,” said Candler, 4.0’s Founder and CEO. “But, we are not an accelerator for startups. We are a community of people re-imagining the future of schools.” In 2010, 4.0 Schools was founded in New Orleans on the belief that schools could be made dramatically better. However, outdated systems and the hierarchy that surrounds education creates inefficiencies that make any kind of change nearly impossible. 4.0 Schools equips people with the resources needed to create those changes, using an entrepreneurial mindset. The goal is to create startups or even new school concepts that can help shape the future of schools.”(more)

Front Row Education Is Changing The Way Math Is Taught In U.S. Elementary And Middle Schools

Forbes – Alexander Taub

“In 2013, Sidharth Kakkar and Alexandr Kurilin had the opportunity to watch children learning math in an inner-city Baltimore school. For a month, they attended to school every day and worked with students. At night, they programmed to make an application that could help the students learn. In September they launched their company, Front Row Education, with 3 teachers. Today there are over 80,000 teachers & 1.1 million students using Front Row across 19,000 US schools. Front Row develops a math program for students and teachers in Kindergarten through eighth grade classrooms. For students, Front Row personalizes practice and lets them work on math problems at their own pace. For example, in a third grade, students learn multiplication. But in every classroom, there are some students who are substantially ahead of their peers: they’re already great at multiplication, and are ready for exponents. On the other hand, there are students trail their peers: their previous teachers were weak and so they lacked a foundation for math. As a result, they still haven’t mastered basic addition. In fact, for most classrooms, 80% or more students fall into one of those two categories.”(more)

Common Core fact check: A primer on myths and reality

The Mercury News – Bill Barrow and Kimberly Hefling

“In the political uproar over Common Core, various myths are peddled as fact. Do the learning standards really mean the federal government is serving as a “national school board,” as Sen. Marco Rubio says? That’s hard to square with the reality that the standards were developed by governors and state education leaders. Should leaders “repeal every word of Common Core,” as Sen. Ted Cruz demands? Actually there’s no federal law — or even federal program — to repeal. Sen. Rand Paul slams “rotten to the core” propaganda forced on children by an initiative that has no curriculum at all.”(more)

Milwaukee ‘turnaround schools’ plan likely to be scaled back

The Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel – Alan J. Borsuk

“Why don’t we just turn all these failing schools in Milwaukee over to people who will run them better? Because experience elsewhere and realities in Milwaukee suggest it is close to impossible that big steps like that would turn out well. That doesn’t mean there won’t be important action coming out of the state Legislature soon. But it does mean that, if it comes, it will be in smaller increments. What is very likely to be put before legislators will be scaled back from ideas floated earlier to turn a bunch of low-performing schools in the Milwaukee Public Schools system over to independent charter operators and create something like the New Orleans Recovery School District. Two to five schools a year for the next several years — that’s what state Rep. Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield) and state Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) are talking about now.”(more)

Munson: Eighth-graders raise forks in fight for good etiquette

The Des Moines Register – Kyle Munson

“The last line of defense for our civilized world is a ballroom inside the Hotel Pattee where I sat down this past week with 37 eighth-grade students from Guthrie Center and six of their teachers for an elegant three-course formal dinner and lessons in etiquette. No, this wasn’t greasy state-fair stick food or a platter-sized tenderloin from a roadside diner. (Both of those are fine in my book; I tend to subsist on convenience store sandwiches and Twizzlers as I roam Iowa.) It also wasn’t the typical 20-minute school lunch where students shovel in tater tots while texting.”(more)

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Boys More Likely Than Girls to Underperform Academically

The U.S. News – Allie Bidwell

“There’s an education gap in academic performance, but it’s not the one you’re probably thinking about. Male students are significantly more likely than female students to be less engaged with school, to have low skills and poor academic achievement, to leave school early and to be overall low achievers in reading, math and science, according to a new report from the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development, or OECD. The report analyzes the scores of 15-year-old students on the Programme for International Student Assessment exam over time to determine why boys are more likely to fail to meet baseline requirements for proficiency in those three core subjects. Across more than 30 OECD countries in 2012, 14 percent of boys and 9 percent of girls did not meet baseline-level proficiency in any of the three core subjects, the report found.”(more)