Renascence School Education News - private school

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Nation’s per-pupil K-12 funding fell for second consecutive year in 2012

The Washington Post – Emma Brown

“After more than a decade of increases in per-pupil funding for K-12 public schools, the nation’s per-pupil spending dropped in 2012 for the second year in a row, according to data released Thursday by the National Center for Education Statistics…The downturn has come as federal stimulus funds dried up, shrinking the federal government’s aid to schools by more than 20 percent between 2011 and 2012. At the same time, many local governments saw their property tax base evaporate in the housing collapse and states wrestled with balancing recession-battered budgets…Cuts to education budgets have meant bigger class sizes and fewer programs in many schools; advocates argue that tight budgets have hobbled efforts to adjust to the new Common Core State Standards, expand access to pre-kindergarten and serve an increasingly needy student population.”(more)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Number Of U.S. STEM Graduates Rises Slightly In Past Decade

SiliconBeat – MICHELLE QUINN

“If you listen to politicians and tech leaders, the country is in dire need of more people trained in science, technology, engineering and math, the so-called “STEM” fields. Students appear to be responding somewhat to this message, according to a new study from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Twenty-six percent of all bachelor’s earned by men and 12 percent earned by women were in hard sciences in 2014, up from 24 percent and 11 percent respectively in 2004…But when it came to one specific degree — computer science bachelors — women lost ground. In 2014, 18 percent of all bachelor’s degrees awarded to women were in computer science, down from 23 percent in 2004…”(more)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Early education: You’re never too young to get a start in the arts

The Irish Times – Sam Keating

“Thomas Johnston is a traditional musician and educational specialist. By day he works at St Patrick’s College, researching diversity in music education by documenting primary-school children’s experience of music in the classroom. In his spare time he works directly with an even younger demographic: infants and toddlers aged up to four. “As a musician,” says Johnston, “working with such a young age group is exciting because there is a completely natural reaction to music: they embody it through movement. But as an educator the challenge is also an exciting one. How do you enable them to engage with music in the best possible way?” Interest in early-years arts – targeting children before formal education – is growing in Ireland. As research reveals the enormous benefits to the development of children’s brains from cultural activity, and psychologists stress the importance of the first three years of life, the arts have become an integral part of early childcare.”(more)

Fostering Entrepreneurism at a Young Age Through Education

The Huffington Post – Sam Kirk

“Can you teach someone to be an entrepreneur, or are certain people born with the spirit and drive? I know you can teach someone because I’ve seen it done time and again. But we have a serious problem in the United States. We’re not teaching enough. We can — and must 0- give future entrepreneurs and business leaders the skills and knowledge necessary to grow our economy by teaching them from a young age. We all agree that entrepreneurship is the engine of our economy. Small businesses comprise 99.7 percent of American employer firms, 98 percent of firms exporting goods and 64 percent of net new private-sector jobs, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. And, although this might seem impossible, their importance is growing. Nearly 13 percent of Americans were starting or running new businesses in 2012, the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity since at least 1999, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, an annual report published by Babson College and Baruch College.”(more)

Making the Grade: Dual-immersion students learning en español

The Atlanta Journal Constitution – H.M. Cauley

“Two years ago, Shawn Bender found himself leading the right Atlanta public school at the right time. He had just moved to Georgia from Washington D.C., where he had been part of a school with a dual-language immersion program. That was the same year Gov. Nathan Deal announced an initiative to establish several Spanish immersion programs in the state. Bender jumped at the chance and applied, and was rewarded by having Perkerson Elementary named one of six in the state to offer the program for students in kindergarten through fifth grade. “In D.C., I saw the benefits of this program, and I wanted to bring it here for kids and the community,” said Bender. “But it was so new that, at first, the response I got wasn’t all that positive. I talked about it with the teachers and parents and introduced them to research and, after many meetings with experts, they were open to the idea.” Parents from across the city who were interested in having their incoming kindergartners spend half a day learning in Spanish applied to the program, and 34 students, mostly from the surrounding neighborhood, enrolled in the first class. None of them spoke a word of the foreign language.”(more)

Want To Change How Kids See The World? Teach Them A Second Language

Good Magazine – Rafi Schwartz

“As a child in a dual-language elementary school, my teachers liked to explain that learning another language would enable me to meet more people, have conversations in new places, and generally be a better citizen of the world. And while my bilingual skills have gone woefully underused since my grade-school graduation, I am thankful for being exposed to a second language, if only for the fact that it’s given me an added “skills” line on my resume, and the ability to – every once in a while – randomly surprise some of the kiosk workers at my local mall. But, as it turns out, my learning a second language at a young age may, in fact, have affected me more profoundly than I, or anyone else for that matter, previously knew.”(more)

Grit and gratitude join reading, writing and arithmetic on report cards

The Sacramento Bee – Loretta Kalb

“Outside Harry Dewey Fundamental Elementary School in Fair Oaks, Amanda Christensen recalled the first time she saw the detailed report card for her three children. “At first it was very complicated,” Christensen said. “You see all these new things and you don’t understand quite what they mean.” Case in point: Her kids are now graded on their level of grit. “What does my child have to do to get a grade in that?” she wondered. Across the state, report cards are undergoing a sea change in how students are measured for academic performance. Where teachers once graded students on traditional math or English skills, they now judge attributes such as grit, gratitude or being sensitive to others. Districts are changing their report cards to reflect the new Common Core State Standards, which are intended to move students away from rote learning and memorization. Rather, critical thinking and analysis geared toward deeper understanding of academic subjects are the goals.”(more)

Scott Visits Pensacola To Push STEM Education Funding In New Budget

North Escambia – Staff Writer

“Gov. Rick Scott visited the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition in Pensacola Monday to highlight proposed STEM education funding in his 2015-2016 “Keep Florida Working” budget. Scott has announced $1 million in in proposed funding to partner with high-tech companies in Florida to create a paid summer residency program for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) teachers to bring new industry trends in STEM fields back to Florida’s K-12 classrooms. In addition to the summer residency program, Governor Scott’s 2015-2016 “Keep Florida Working” Budget also proposes $30 million for a new workforce training initiative focused on STEM occupations and $5 million to incentivize $10,000 STEM degrees at state colleges.”(more)

An International Look at the Single-Parent Family

Education Next – Ludger Woessmann

“When Daniel Patrick Moynihan raised the issue of family structure half a century ago, his concern was the increase in black families headed by women. Since then, the share of children raised in single-parent families in the United States has grown across racial and ethnic groups and with it evidence regarding the impact of family structure on outcomes for children. Recent studies have documented a sizable achievement gap between children who live with a single parent and their peers growing up with two parents. These patterns are cause for concern, as educational achievement is a key driver of economic prosperity for both individuals and society as a whole. But how does the U.S. situation compare to that of other countries around the world? This essay draws on data from the 2000 and 2012 Program for International Student Assessment studies to compare the prevalence of single-parent families and how family structure relates to children’s educational achievement across countries. The 2012 data confirm that the U.S. has nearly the highest incidence of single-parent families among developed countries. And the educational achievement gap between children raised in single-parent and two-parent families, although present in virtually all countries, is particularly pronounced in the U.S.”(more)

Nations will only succeed if women are successful, Obama tells India

Reuters – Nita Bhalla

“U.S. President Barack Obama raised the issue of women’s rights as he ended a visit to India on Tuesday, saying that if countries wanted to develop effectively, they must educate and empower their daughters as much as their sons. “We know from experience that nations are more successful when their women are successful,” said Obama, speaking at a meeting attended mainly by students and broadcast live on local news television stations. “This is one of the most direct measures of whether a nation is going to develop effectively – how it treats its women. When a girl goes to school, it doesn’t just open up her young mind, it benefits all of us,” he said. “Maybe some day she’ll start her own business, or invent a new technology or cure a disease. And when women are able to work, families are healthier, communities are wealthier, and entire countries are more prosperous.” Gender equality has gained greater public attention in India since the notorious gang rape and murder of a young woman on a Delhi bus in December 2012.”(more)