Renascence School Education News - private school

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

NSF Fellow Pairs Art, Astronomy to Hook Girls on Science

Education Week – Sarah D. Sparks

“Aomawa Shields spends her life searching for overlooked potential—both in habitable planets throughout the universe and in young girls interested in studying them. Shields’ nonprofit, Rising Stargirls, works to get girls, particularly those from poor and minority backgrounds, interested in astronomy careers. She argues that efforts to interest students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics should incorporate more art, drama, and other “soft” subjects…In workshops such as a recent one at Irving STEAM Magnet Middle School in Los Angeles, Shields starts by asking students to draw what they think a scientist looks like, then leads a discussion about the different ways to conduct science and to be a scientist…They also work through exercises in which they must come up with a theory about a concept and use evidence to convince another student who disagrees. “It’s all about claiming your own views and also being open to other people’s ideas,” she said—building assertiveness that female scientists sometimes have difficulty expressing.”(more)

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Recruiting More Minority Teachers Could Do Wonders For Minority Students, Study Says

The Huffington Post – Rebecca Klein

“One way to help low-performing students do better in school could be to put them in classrooms with teachers who share their race, a new study says. The study, which will be released in the April issue of the Economics of Education Review, looks at how students’ test scores are impacted by the race of their teachers. Through analyzing Florida Department of Education data, researchers found that black, white and Asian/Pacific Island students do slightly better in school during years when they share their classroom educator’s race/ethnicity. Low-performing black and white students especially benefit from having teachers of their same race, the study says. Researchers accessed the test scores of nearly 3 million Florida students between the 2001–02 and 2008-09 school years, as well as information about students’ and teachers’ races. They focused on students’ statewide test scores between the third through 10th grades. After accounting for factors such as teacher quality and student poverty level, the researchers found that black and white students have better reading scores when taught by teachers who look like them, and that black, white and Asian/Pacific Island students have higher math scores when taught by teachers who look like them.”(more)

Sunday, February 22, 2015

California’s school suspensions show racial disparity

USA Today – Michael Bott and Ty Chandler

“Teenager Dwayne Powe Jr. got a suspension in eighth grade. He didn’t get into a fight. He wasn’t caught with drugs. He committed no crime. “I actually was asking for a pencil,” Powe said. Powe said his class began an exercise and he asked to borrow a pencil from another student. That’s when his teacher told Powe he was being disruptive and made him leave class. Powe tried explaining he had only asked for a pencil, but that only dug his hole deeper, he said. He was technically suspended for “willful defiance”. Nearly 200,000 California students who were suspended for willful defiance last year can relate to Powe’s story. What constitutes willful defiance is somewhat vague, but it generally allows teachers to remove students from the classroom if their behavior is thought to be disruptive or defiant. It’s the most common reason California students were suspended—and students of color are overwhelmingly targeted.”(more)

Monday, February 2, 2015

UC RIVERSIDE: Program aims to close racial gap in science education

The Press Enterprise – Sandra Stokley

“On a recent sun-drenched Saturday morning – when most teenagers were playing sports, hanging with friends at the mall or sleeping in – a group of Inland middle school students sat in a UC Riverside classroom pondering the concept of spatial relationships.
Under the tutelage of retired aerospace engineer Michael Batie, they used graph paper, scissors and glue sticks to construct 3-D models to help them visualize how objects relate to each other in space. They are the first students in the 10-week pilot University STEM Academy that offers instruction and mentoring in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to sixth- through ninth-graders. The goal is to boost interest in those subjects and improve academic achievement. The program is aimed at, but not limited to, African-American students.”(more)

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Closing the Math Gap for Boys

The New York Times – DAVID L. KIRP

“ON a recent afternoon, the banter of boisterous adolescents at Edwin G. Foreman High School, in a poor, racially and ethnically mixed Chicago neighborhood, echoed off the corridor walls. But Room 214 was as silent as a meditation retreat. Inside, 16 ninth- and 10th-grade African-American and Latino boys were working, two-on-one, with a tutor. They’re among 1,326 boys in 12 public schools in this city who are sweating over math for an hour every day. Kids like these fare worst on every measure of academic achievement, from test scores to graduation rates. On the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress, the average reading and math scores of eighth-grade black boys are barely higher than those of fourth-grade white girls, and Latino boys score only marginally better. Dropping out is a near-certain ticket to poverty, and these youngsters quit or are pushed out at a dismaying rate. Only 57 percent of young black men and 62 percent of young Latino men graduate from high school in four years, compared with 79 percent of young white men.”(more)

Friday, January 23, 2015

The business case for STEM education

Fortune – Michal Lev-Ram

“Silicon Valley has always looked for talent among the young (Mark Zuckerberg made his first billion at age 23). It’s only recently, though, that it has set its sights on grade school. The Valley isn’t trying to hire preteens (yet), but some of the country’s mightiest tech giants are aiming to bolster the talent pipeline by putting serious money behind kids’ math and science education, particularly for girls and minorities…in early January, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced that he will dedicate $300 million to sponsor STEM education in K-12 classes and in universities, with a focus on underserved regions. The money is part of a broader effort to boost diversity among its workforce and will also fund recruiting, training, and investments in female and minority-owned startups, along with education.”(more)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Front and Center: Bringing Marginalized Girls into Focus in STEM and CTE Education

The White House Blog – Valerie Jarrett

“President Obama believes in the innate curiosity of every child, and our responsibility to ensure that every young woman and girl has the opportunity to achieve her dreams, regardless of what zip code she is born in. This week, as part of the President’s commitment to equal opportunity for all students, the White House Domestic Policy Council and the Council on Women and Girls, the Department of Education, and the Georgetown University Law Center on Poverty and Inequality highlighted programs that focus on developing the talent of girls of color and low-income girls in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and career technical education (CTE) careers. We heard from the educators, innovators, researchers, scientists, and marginalized girls themselves who are dedicated to increasing the participation of low-income girls and girls of color in post-secondary education and in-demand careers within high-growth industry sectors.”(more)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Young People Must Know Their Own History

The Huffington Post – Martin J. Blank

“Do our young people know about our own nation’s history, particularly how our society has responded to marginalized groups? This question has been coming up consistently for me in recent months. It emerged again as I watched the new film Selma, and wondered how much our students know about the shameful incidents at the Edmund Pettus Bridge that are at the center of the film — incidents that too many would still prefer to ignore. Understanding one’s own personal history has been consistently recognized as important in young people’s learning and development. Students are often asked to write a story about their own family’s history or about a particular individual in their family who may have contributed any particular way.”(more)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

School Vouchers Help Low-Income Minority Students Earn a College Degree

Education Next – Matthew M. Chingos and Paul E. Peterson

“With school vouchers popping back on to state agendas in the wake of Republican gubernatorial and state legislative victories across the country, renewed interest in the long-term effectiveness of vouchers has quickened. But most voucher studies are able to look only at the short-term effects on parental satisfaction and student test-score performance.”(more)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Race in school discipline: Study looks at silence among educators

The Christian Science Monitor – Amanda Paulson

“Minority students, particularly boys, tend to face far harsher punishments, even at young ages, for the same infractions that non-minority students commit. A new study examines educators’ reluctance to talk about the ways they might view students differently.”(more)