Looking to learn more about what’s trending in education?!? Here’s a recap of this week’s news.
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Education gets spotlight in SOTU (eSchool News)
President Obama in his Jan. 20, 2015 State of the Union Address highlighted the need for high-speed broadband for all Americans, access to higher education opportunities, and the need to protect student data in information.
Student Testing: Deciding When Enough Is Enough (Huffington Post)
Many states and districts require additional testing beyond the federally mandated exams. A Center for American Progress snapshot of 14 districts in seven states found that students take as many as 20 standardized assessments annually and an average of 10 tests in grades three to eight. The group said these students spend on average 1.6 percent of instructional time or less taking tests.
Arne Duncan: Improving American education is not optional (The Washington Post)
On consecutive days this week, the United States was introduced to two very different visions for its most important education law. Quite soon, Congress will choose between them, and while the legislation could move fast enough to escape wide public notice, its consequences will be profound.
This isn’t a class, and the app they’re building — an informational guide for a drug rehab center — isn’t even a school project. But this is what it takes to have a chance at an elite summer internship, says Daniel Diaz. “What you are taught at school is not enough,” Diaz says, “especially in today’s competitive society. I think you need to do some more outside learning.”
So these students are working on other apps, doing hackathons and learning additional programming languages outside of class. They’re doing it because there’s a thought — perhaps a reality — that hangs over them: They’re underdogs.
In Miami-Dade, we knew that our students were digital natives — hyperconnected, multitasking consumers of information whose daily reality outside of school is always changing, in no small measure due to their use of and exposure to technology. We also knew that if we did not learn how to engage students on their terms, many would be lost.
Majority of U.S. public school students are in poverty (The Washington Post)
For the first time in at least 50 years, a majority of U.S. public school students come from low-income families, according to a new analysis of 2013 federal data, a statistic that has profound implications for the nation.
The Southern Education Foundation reports that 51 percent of students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade were eligible for the federal free and reduced-price lunch program in the 2012-2013 school year. The lunch program is a rough proxy for poverty, but the explosion in the number of needy children in the nation’s public classrooms is a recent phenomenon that has been gaining attention among educators, public officials and researchers.
Back in the fall, US school superintendents took big steps towards making their districts “future ready.” First, more than a thousand lent their signatures to the Future Ready Pledge, a list of blended learning stipulations that included transitioning to high-speed internet and providing all students with universal access to quality devices, among other top commitments. Then, 118 gathered on November 19 at a White House Future Ready Superintendents’ Summit, referred to as the “ConnectED to the Future” convening, to connect and discuss the use and implementation of educational technology in American schools.
Extended learning time has been at the heart of many of the Obama administration’s school turnaround strategies. Schools that get money through the School Improvement Grant program have to extend the school day, or year. And states with waivers from the No Child Left Behind Act have to add extra learning time for “priority” schools (those that are among the worst in the state) .