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For the first time, financial literacy will be required part of Washington’s school curriculum

The Seattle Times – Paige Cornwell

“Wages. Insurance premiums. Roth IRAs. Financial education hasn’t always been a priority in Washington schools. But under new standards adopted this year, students will learn about financial subjects like spending and saving — and why they’ll need to know about wages, insurance premiums and Roth IRAs when they’re adults. The standards are the first of their kind in Washington, according to the state superintendent’s office. Superintendent Randy Dorn presided over a ceremonial adoption last week. Dorn noted that if more people understood what banks were doing with home loans, the financial crisis may not have hit the country as hard as it did in 2008 and 2009.”(more)

State’s students falling short in level of education for new jobs

The Seattle Times – Katherine Long

“Only about 31 percent of the high-school class of 2006 had earned a postsecondary credential, including a college degree, by 2013 — a significant mismatch with the types of jobs being created in Washington and the level of education needed to get them, according to a new study by the Washington Roundtable. The study reiterates what other reports have found about low levels of college attainment in this state, and underscores the degree to which Washington students will miss out on the coming wave of lucrative job openings in the next five years. According to the study, commissioned by the Roundtable, about 69 percent of high-school students from 2006 have no degree, not even a certificate from a community college or a professional license. More than 20 percent of those students are high-school dropouts. Roundtable President Steve Mullin called the results alarming. And his organization — a public-policy group of business leaders — has set a goal: By 2030, it wants to more than double the percentage of students who have a college degree or other type of credential by age 26.”(more)

Boeing gives $6 million to boost tech skills of Washington students

The Seattle Times – Katherine Long

“Boeing is giving $6 million to a wide-ranging group of nonprofits and education institutions throughout the state in an effort to boost tech training and skills. The company is aiming to reach a diverse group of high school and college students, many of whom historically haven’t pursued STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. In a phone interview Wednesday, Boeing CEO Ray Conner said the company wants to provide opportunities for tech jobs to a generation that’s growing more racially and ethnically diverse. “We’re trying to reach out to the population that has been a little bit underserved over the course of time,” he said.”(more)

5 States in Crisis: Budget Battles, Court Challenges, Political Bickering Leave Schools Millions Short

The 74 Million – Carolyn Phenicie

“Chicago Schools are laying off 1,000 staff members. In Kansas, schools closed their doors early. And the situation in Oklahoma schools is truly grim. In Oklahoma City Schools, leaders first cut 208 teaching positions, then 92 members of the administrative staff. Fine arts budgets will be cut in half for the upcoming school year, and there will be no money for new library materials. Oklahoma’s Newcastle Public Schools will start charging $100 per student for extracurricular activities — and that’s after district officials have already eliminated most field trips, increased class sizes, delayed a major textbook purchase and moved to a four-day school week. Celebrity talk show host Ellen DeGeneres helped one elementary school librarian in the state’s Union Public School District pay for a summer reading program. Leaders in Tulsa are filling budget holes with a community fundraiser, forebodingly called “SOS” — Save our Schools.”(more)

From farm to future: Getting small-town kids into tech

Cross Cut – Jaclyn Zubrzycki

“Many emphasize the natural connection between rural skills and STEM fields. But there’s also an urgency behind the efforts: Rural Washington schools are undergoing a longer-term demographic transformation as many family farms have been consolidated, more migrant farmworkers have arrived, and populations in many towns are aging. Many schools are also short on resources, funds, and even teachers. That’s left educators to figure out how to prevent their students from being left behind in a changing economy. While jobs connected to STEM subjects have become increasingly common in the state, rural students are often isolated from those opportunities, according to Barbara Peterson, the director of the Northwest Learning and Achievement Group, a nonprofit focused on young people in Washington’s rural school districts.”(more)

Social-Emotional Learning: States Collaborate to Craft Standards, Policies

Education Week – Evie Blad

“Eight states will work collaboratively to create and implement plans to encourage social-emotional learning in their schools, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning announced this month. The organization, which is also known as CASEL, will assist the states through consultation with its own staff and a panel of experts. The participating states are California, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Washington. And an 11 additional states that originally applied to join the collaborative will have access to the materials it develops. Each participating state has a unique plan, and many of those plans include creating developmentally sensitive standards that show how social and emotional skills are demonstrated at each grade level, developing materials to infuse traditional classroom concepts with social-emotional learning concepts, building strategies for state-level support, and implementing professional-development plans for schools about the subject.”(more)