RSI Corporate - Licensing

The ‘Miraculous’ Rise and Ugly Fall of ESSA: Is Congress’s Education Coalition Too Broken to Tackle Higher Ed?

The 74 Million – Carolyn Phenicie

“The move by House and Senate Republicans to use the blunt-force Congressional Review Act to obliterate the Obama-era K-12 accountability rules shows just how badly the education consensus has cracked on Capitol Hill. Sen. Chris Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, lamented that they were vaporizing the regulations even though lawmakers agreed on 80 percent of them. Sen. James Lankford, Republican of Oklahoma, said the finality of getting Washington, D.C., out of judging teacher effectiveness, student achievement, or school success suited him just fine.”(more)

Schools to trial happiness lessons for eight-year-olds

The Guardian – Peter J Walker

“Eight-year-old children will be given lessons on happiness and teenagers will be instructed on combating anxiety and suicidal thoughts under government projects due to be trialled. The Department for Education (DfE) is inviting bidders for multimillion-pound contracts to offer mental health training in more than 200 schools.”(more)

Have Schools Forgotten Brain Science?

The Huffington Post – Cognitive Neurosciences Society

“Being an applied neuroscientist, I was stunned as I skimmed my daughter’s 7th grade life science textbook and found that only 8 out of 400 pages discussed the nervous system. This amounted to one section of one chapter. In contrast, while genetics are certainly important, there were two complete chapters devoted to this topic. Then, I discovered that schools explicitly prohibit students from doing science projects that involve brain or behavior science. For such studies, a human studies board review and approval is required, so schools simply prohibit any studies involving people or animals. There is no field of science with more direct bearing on the effectiveness, productivity, and happiness of youth than neuroscience, yet students are being discouraged from exploring it. As schools jockey to assert their STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) credentials, youth are offered an array of programs focused on robotics, rockets, computer programming, and other topics. However, virtually no activities are available to youth that focus on neuroscience and related brain science, despite neuroscience being one of the most active fields of science today.”(more)

Are Test Scores Good Proxies for School Quality?

Education Next – Matt Barnum

“In a series of blog posts (I, II, III, IV), Jay Greene argues against the “high-regulation approach” to school choice. I’m going to focus on the final two posts, in which Greene argues that student achievement tests are poor proxies for school quality and that they’re not correlated with other measures of quality. I think Greene is right to a large extent. But he undersells the value of tests. It’s pretty clear that the ability of a school or teacher to increase students’ standardized test scores is associated with long-run outcomes. Let’s dig in to some evidence:.”(more)

Vilsack, Duncan, Burwell: Keep school lunches healthy

USA Today – Tom Vilsack, Arne Duncan and Sylvia Burwell

“Every parent has dreams for their child. We want them to grow up strong and healthy. We tell them to dream big and work hard so that they can be anything they want to be. We want them to take the world by storm. As parents, we lay the foundation for our children’s future success, but we know that we can’t do it alone. We rely on people like pediatricians, other health care providers, teachers and other school professionals to act as our proxies. We entrust them with the task of helping our kids grow up smart, strong and healthy because, as parents, we believe that they will make decisions in our children’s best interests. And that applies to what our children eat when they are away from home, especially at school. The updated school meals standards introduced across the country in 2012 are undoubtedly improving the quality of school meals as well as the health and well-being of our children.”(more)