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A Growth Mindset Could Buffer Kids From Negative Academic Effects of Poverty

KQED News Mind/Shift – Katrina Schwartz

“Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, along with other education researchers interested in growth mindset, have done numerous studies showing that when students believe their intelligence can grow and change with effort, they perform better on academic tests. These findings have sparked interest and debate about how to encourage a growth mindset in students both at home and at school. Now, a national study of tenth-graders in Chile found student mindsets are correlated to achievement on language and math tests. And students from low-income families were less likely to hold a growth mindset than their more affluent peers. However, if a low-income student did have a growth mindset, it worked as a buffer against the negative effects of poverty on achievement.”(more)

As the race to expand STEM education enters its next lap, here are three ways to recruit and train more teachers

The Hechinger Report – Talia Milgrom-Elcott

“As a first-year teacher at Antheil Elementary School in Ewing, New Jersey, one of Linda Hoffman’s favorite moments is when her third grade students have an “aha” moment. Even at a young age, Linda’s students relish the thrill of solving a math or science problem and coming to a creative, exciting solution. For Linda, the “aha” moment is familiar — she herself experienced it last year when she was a student at Rider University’s TEACH first class program. After a career in market research, Hoffman heard the calling to teach after volunteering in her own children’s school. She says Rider’s program — which trains people from unconventional backgrounds for teaching science, technology, engineering, and math — taught her a lot more than how to teach math. I learned how to teach thinking,” she says. Just as Linda and her students have their “aha” moments in learning math and science, America needs to have a collective “aha” moment for figuring out how to get more qualified teachers in science, technology, engineering and math into our classrooms.”(more)

Kids have lots of choices, which also increases stress

The Toronto Star – Catherine Little

“According to survey released by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health recently, one third of Ontario adolescents in Grades 7 to 12 reported signs of “psychological distress.” This is a 10 per cent increase since the last survey in 2013. Dr. Robert Mann, co-lead investigator of the survey speculated that part of the reason could be life is “much more complex now than it was 20, 30 years ago.” I agree. Things are a lot more complex — for teens as well as the adults. And I suspect at least part of the issue may be the mixed messages we send our children about this complex life and the choices they have to make at increasingly early ages. We say we want children to have fun … play outside. Toronto city council just lifted the ban on street hockey and basketball, citing children should be active without risking a fine. Parents, teachers and other significant adults have been known to give children the advice to follow their dreams, do what they are good at and life will unfold as it should. But do we really mean it?.”(more)

USDA Dictates Final Rules on Smart Snacks in School Program

Education News – Grace Smith

“A USDA has announced to all US schools that unhealthy snacks for students must be eliminated in the 2016-2017 academic year, a move that completes the Smart Snacks in School program which began in 2014. Healthy snacks will be provided at schools to take the place of junk food. Emily Monaco of the Organic Authority reports that a 2014 study published in the American Medical Association Pediatrics found that 70% of kids in elementary and middle school were exposed to junk food advertisements at school which, showed a study in Obesity Review, may contribute to childhood obesity. The study found that young people are more apt to eat foods that are unhealthy after seeing advertisements that featured such food.”(more)

School Closures In New York City

Education Next – James J. Kemple

“New York City’s public hearings on closing schools for poor performance often featured passionate testimony, shouting from the audience, and parents and teachers waving signs that read “Save Our Schools” and “Stop School Closures.” The educational improvement tactic of last resort almost always triggers protests—similar scenes have played out in Detroit, Chicago, and Philadelphia in recent years. Closing schools is clearly controversial. But does it work? We found a unique opportunity to study performance-based high-school closures in New York City, which closed 44 low-performing high schools from 2000 to 2014. The closures were part of a sweeping and interconnected set of secondary-school reforms introduced by former mayor Michael Bloomberg and chancellor Joel Klein, which also included opening more than 200 new small, themed high schools and extending high school choice to all students throughout the district. By implementing these changes together, they hoped to eliminate dropout factories, improve educational options available to students who had been historically assigned to failing schools by virtue of where they lived, and raise graduation rates. After they were slated for closure, high schools would stop accepting new students and gradually phase out as students transferred elsewhere, graduated, or dropped out over the next three years.”(more)

Input Compassion Output Results

The Huffington Post – Regina Jackson

“Imagine a classroom blustering with energy. All hands up in the air. Why are they excited? It’s reading time! The enthusiasm of an engaged, confident reader is infectious. They cannot wait to travel through books, to make discoveries, and to unlock mysteries. Yes, the enthusiastic reader is like finding a pot of gold… Unfortunately, many classrooms in Oakland do not look like this yet. In OUSD, nearly two-thirds of third graders are reading below grade level. For our African American and Latino students, that number is even lower with 30% of African American third graders proficient in reading and only 25% for Latinos. These numbers hit even harder when you realize that politicians use third grade reading proficiency as an indicator of the likelihood of graduating from high school and even being incarcerated. The school to prison pipeline is REAL. These numbers tell us that our classrooms in Oakland are not yet brimming with the enthusiastic, confident readers we hope for.”(more)