Renascence School Education News - private school

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Carnegie Science Center leaders promote STEM education at congressional hearing

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Dan Majors

“Convinced that they’re onto something with their new approach to science and math education, directors of the Carnegie Science Center went to Washington on Wednesday to spread the word at a congressional briefing. About 100 education leaders gathered for the session to learn how teachers can get kids more enthusiastic in learning science, technology, engineering and math — commonly called STEM. Business leaders are concerned about how much of tomorrow’s work force will have the skills for tomorrow’s jobs.”(more)

Monday, March 9, 2015

Sen. Casey Introduces Bill To Reduce School Suspensions

The Huffington Post – Christina Wilkie

“As members of the Senate hurried out of town Wednesday ahead of a major snowstorm, Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) quietly introduced a bill that could help keep tens of thousands of young people in the classroom and out of the juvenile justice system. The Keep Kids in School Act, introduced Wednesday, aims to reduce the number of kids suspended from U.S. schools each year by encouraging school districts to collect detailed information about disciplinary practices and by providing additional resources to school systems struggling with high suspension rates. “Over the course of one school year, the number of children suspended could fill the seats at [Pittsburgh Steelers stadium] Heinz Field nearly 54 times,” Casey said in a statement, referring to the nearly 3.5 million students nationwide who were suspended from school in 2012, the most recent year for which data are available. “This legislation will give more schools the tools they need to keep children in the place that is most likely to lead to a successful life: the classroom.” The bill is the latest piece of a nationwide movement to reform what are known as zero-tolerance discipline practices, which typically mandate harsh punishments for even minor violations of school rules, like breaking dress code and being tardy. Casey’s proposal also comes amid a growing body of research showing that suspensions often disproportionately impact minority and disabled students, and that students who are suspended are more likely to drop out of school before graduating.”(more)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Deep Practice and Its Promise for Math Education

The London Economic – Robert Sun

“It’s not often that an inner-city American school rises to the top of national rankings in academics, and yet Baldi Middle School in Philadelphia has beaten the odds— not just once, but multiple times. Its track record reveals some important insights for anyone concerned with improving the learning experience for children. In a nationwide online maths competition involving 6,000 schools in 45 states, Baldi ended the latest school year ranked #1, as students solved almost 20 million maths problems correctly in just ten months. Baldi has consistently ranked among the top ten schools in the US in this competition for each of the past five years. How was this productive culture established? Why do Baldi students embrace maths with such enthusiasm when the subject intimidates so many children? To begin with, Baldi’s leadership, with support from the community and parents, has instilled a high-performing culture characterized by three traits: the school’s 1,200 children feel attached to their school and its mission; the environment supports productivity and performance; and students are energized to sustain accelerated effort over time.”(more)

Full STEAM Ahead: Inside Penn’s Approach to Education

The Daily Pennsylvanian – Jack Cahn

“Is emphasizing everything the same as emphasizing nothing? Penn’s choice of a STEAM approach to education — one that treats Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics equally — instead of a STEM approach has raised this question. “We are emphasizing STEAM education. We are absolutely committed to integrating liberal arts and sciences with more technical education,” President Amy Gutmann said. “One of the reasons Penn is ranked so high internationally is that we make sure our students cultivate T-shaped intellects and skill sets which are deep in some things and broad at the top.” This STEAM approach makes the School of Engineering and Applied Science unique, and is one of the University’s biggest selling points. As opposed to more technical schools like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or the California Institute of Technology, Penn offers its students a more well-rounded, interdisciplinary education. “What I really like about Penn is the diversity of people. You get that more at a school with many different strong suits than at a more technical school,” Engineering freshman Becky Abramowitz said. “I think it’s important to know other things and not just to be a one-dimensional person or a one-dimensional engineer, especially in terms of writing and knowing how to communicate.” Penn’s STEAM approach, however, can also be seen as a liability. Engineers in 2012 earned an average starting salary of $69,234 with computer science graduates earning $80,118, compared to $63,273 among Wharton graduates and $52,061 among College graduates — indicating a strong market demand for engineers. Meanwhile, the Engineering School’s applicant pool has doubled over the past few admissions cycles, Dean of Admissions Eric Furda said. STEAM opponents think Penn’s decision to not significantly expand enrollment or funding at the Engineering School despite this high demand is economically inefficient and inexpedient.”(more)

Monday, December 29, 2014

Can positive student-teacher relationships improve math scores?

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Eleanor Chute

“With a National Science Foundation grant, Pittsburgh Public Schools has embarked on an effort to develop positive student-teacher relationships to help every student learn math. The goal is to reduce the gap in student achievement, sometimes called the racial achievement gap or the opportunity gap.”(more)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

School districts in Pennsylvania sue state over education funding

Reuters – Daniel Kelley

“(Reuters) – Six Pennsylvania school districts and a group of parents sued the state on Monday, charging that funding for education discriminates against children based on the wealth of their school districts.” (more)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Don’t Blame School Choice for Philly’s School Funding Fiasco

Education Next – Jason Bedrick

“Philadelphia’s government schools are in the midst of a financial crisis and anti-school choice activists think they found the perfect scapegoat.” (more)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Philadelphia schools to open on schedule despite shortfall

Reuters – Sean Landis

“Philadelphia’s cash-strapped public schools will open on schedule in three weeks after $32 million of budget cuts, the school district’s superintendent said on Friday, easing fears of closures or a late start to the school year to save money.” (more)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Philadelphia School District’s Ongoing Financial Crisis

Education Next – John Caskey and Mark Kuperberg

“Each year, as predictably as classes end in June, the School District of Philadelphia faces a budget crisis for the coming school year. In 2014, the School Reform Commission, the school district’s state-imposed governing body, for the first time and in violation of the city charter, refused to pass a budget, arguing that there were insufficient funds to run the schools responsibly.” (more)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The big emotional, financial costs of childhood poverty

Philly.com – Dr. Daniel Taylor

“Much the same disparities hold across America, where 43 percent of children live in or near poverty, and the health effects of growing up that way can be life-altering.” (more)