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A summer program uses the arts to combat the achievement gap

The Hechinger Report – Tara García Mathewson

“Around the country, most elementary school students’ math and reading ability stops progressing over the summer, and kids from low-income families are particularly at risk of slipping backwards. While students of all socioeconomic classes tend to learn at about the same pace during the school year, the impact of summer learning loss is cumulative, and low-income kids can be as many as three years behind their peers by fifth grade.” (more)

Can STEM instruction benefit from an infusion of the arts? One Maryland district says yes

Education Dive – Pat Donachie

“In the 2014-2015 school year, Prince George’s County Public Schools District in Upper Marlboro, MD, instituted a pilot program to integrate the arts into curricula at 14 of the district’s schools. The program was initiated by John Ceschini, the district’s Arts Integration Officer, who wanted to offer professional development for educators to integrate the arts into an array of subjects, including STEM subjects.”(more)

Sugary drink sales drop nearly 20 percent after multi-faceted campaign

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“After a multi-faceted campaign that included policy changes and community education efforts, residents of one Maryland county put fewer sugary drinks in their grocery carts, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2016. Drinks loaded with added sugars are one of the leading sources of empty calories in the diet of both children and adults, and overconsumption of sugar is associated with obesity and an increased risk of heart disease.”(more)

This NFL Player Wants to Get More Kids into STEM

Fox News Business – Serena Elavia

“Getting kids interested in math and science can be a tough thing to do in classrooms. The statistics are sobering. According to data from the National Math + Science Initiative Opens a New Window. , just 44% of high school graduates are ready for college level math, while 36% are ready for college level science. That’s why Texas Instruments (TI) (TXN) has created a series of programs Opens a New Window. and curriculum materials to promote STEM education by inserting the lessons into their daily lives and attaching it to what they like. “The goal is to have see kids see basic math principles all around them. We want them to pursue more advanced mathematics in middle and high school,” Peter Balyta, President of Texas Instruments Education Technology tells TI has rolled out multiple programs like the STEM Behind Hollywood and have an ongoing partnership with NASA to engage young students.”(more)

Why Delaying School Start Dates is a Bad Deal for Students

Education Next – Martin R. West

“The scene would have been a civics textbook come to life—had that textbook been produced by the state of Maryland’s summer tourism industry. Flanked by local politicians and business owners, Republican Governor Larry Hogan took to the Ocean City boardwalk on August 31 to announce a new executive order directing all public schools in the state to delay the start of classes until after Labor Day and end the school year by June 15. “School after Labor Day is now the law of the land in Maryland,” Hogan proudly declared. The governor argued that the move will boost late-season tourism, provide families additional vacation time, and benefit the environment by reducing the use of air-conditioning—all without harm to student achievement. He emphasized that the order makes no changes to the requirement in state law that public schools be open “for at least 180 actual school days and a minimum of 1,080 school hours” each year. And he cited a 2014 task force report commissioned by his Democratic predecessor, Martin O’Malley, that concluded “there was no quantifiable evidence that a post-Labor Day start is harmful to local schools systems’.”(more)

3 ways innovative schools advance maker learning for all

E-School News – Melissa Gedney

In March 2016, Digital Promise and Maker Ed issued a call-to-action for school leaders around the country to commit to growing the next generation of American makers. Over 1,400 U.S. school leaders have answered the call by signing the Maker Promise. For many members of the League of Innovative Schools, a network of the nation’s most forward-thinking superintendents, this is just an acknowledgement of the work they have long championed. Maker learning inspires creativity, confidence, and passion for learning in young people. So how do you sustain a maker program, and encourage the sorts of innovative action required for this? We identified three major ways how League leaders are making this happen.”(more)