DEN Trend Report: 2/11/15

DEN Trend Report Featured



Looking to learn more about what’s trending in education?!? Here’s a recap of this week’s news.
*If you read this feed, all you’ll owe is a comment below. Let us know what captured your eye and why!



How Elementary School Teachers’ Biases Can Discourage Girls from Math and Science  (New York Times)
by Claire Kain Miller

The pipeline for women to enter math and science occupations narrows at many points between kindergarten and a career choice, but elementary school seems to be a critical juncture. Reversing bias among teachers could increase the number of women who enter fields like computer science and engineering, which are some of the fastest growing and highest paying.

States Weigh Turning Education Funds Over To Parents  (Politico)
by Stephanie Simon

A radical new concept in school choice will come up for vote in at least a half-dozen states from Virginia to Oklahoma in the coming months, as lawmakers consider giving hundreds of thousands of parents the freedom to design a custom education for their children — at taxpayer expense.

To Get Women Into Computer Science, Sheryl Sandberg Launches Lean In Mentorship Network (TechCrunch)
By Josh Constine

Only 18% of computer science majors are women. To help fix this “funnel problem” and balance the genders in tech, Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In project is starting a “CS&E Chapter”. Potential and current women in computer science and engineering can join the chapter to connect with each other for advising and support.

Schools Test Impact of Blending Technology, Longer School Days (Education Week)
By Michelle R. Davis

Students at Grant Beacon Middle School in Denver spend much of the school day in a blended learning scenario, using Chromebooks to access digital curricula and working face to face with their teachers. Students also have a longer school day—an extra hour that allows for more enrichment and electives.

A new guide for educators says the pairing of blended learning and an expanded school day—much like what is happening at Grant Beacon—hits the educational sweet spot, providing opportunities for better teacher collaboration, personalization of education, and student engagement.

Fewer Top Graduates Want to Join Teach for America (New York Times)
By Motoko Rich

Teach for America, the education powerhouse that has sent thousands of handpicked college graduates to teach in some of the nation’s most troubled schools, is suddenly having recruitment problems.
For the second year in a row, applicants for the elite program have dropped, breaking a 15-year growth trend. Applications are down by about 10 percent from a year earlier on college campuses around the country as of the end of last month.

U.S. Department of Education Remakes School Improvement Grant Program (Education Week)
By Alyson Klein

Congress ordered the U.S. Department of Education to make the School Improvement Grant program much more flexible for states. And under final regulations for the program, slated to be published tomorrow, states can cook up their own turnaround interventions for low-performing schools using federal SIG dollars and submit them to the U.S. Secretary of Education for approval. These remedies would not neccesarily have to comply with the turnaround principles in the department’s waivers, a big change from draft regs on the program the department issued earlier this year.

Feds Plan to Bring New STEM Partnerships To Students (eSchool News)

New federal interagency partnerships will bring hands-on STEM learning opportunities to high-need students during after-school and out-of-school time.
Through this collaboration, the Department of Education’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) will expand an existing pilot program with NASA and build new partnerships with the National Park Service (NPS) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
These partnerships will create opportunities for students to engage in solving real-world STEM challenges with scientists and experts in their field. Overall, the number of participating 21st CCLC sites will increase from approximately 20 last year to over 100.

The College Completion Gap Between Rich And Poor Students Has Doubled, Study Says (Huffington Post)
By Christine Amario

The gap in bachelor-degree attainment between the nation’s richest and poorest students by age 24 has doubled during the last four decades, according to a report released Tuesday.
The percent of students from the lowest-income families – those making $34,160 a year or less – earning a bachelor’s degree has inched up just 3 points since 1970, rising from 6 to 9 percent by 2013.

Every Mom and Dad a STEM Mentor (Huffington Post)
By Julie Kantor

The administration was focused on what they could do with engaged parents to give their students every edge at both the middle school and high school level. I was impressed, very impressed with these parents stepping up with the school to be mentors, find mentors and champion their kids for in school and out of school opportunities.

Technology Leadership Requires a Walk in Another’s Shoes (Education Week)
By Jill Berkowicz and Ann Myers

How can leaders, cautious about stepping into a digital environment, lead teachers to use that digital environment to prepare students to be college and career ready?  The use of digital tools, for research, learning, creating, presenting, playing, and sharing is an expectation for learning in and outside of classrooms. Blended and flipped learning, the use of gaming, drafting of writing, keeping records of learning as it develops, grading, learning, presenting, and sharing through the use of software and tools are essential in today’s learning environment. There are teachers who are adept in this environment and those who are reticent.
If the use of technology is not part of a strategic plan, and exists as a suggestion or a nudge, the result will be students who have inconsistent experiences.  Unless a planned rollout of the use of technology throughout the teaching and learning process is in place, only some students will be properly prepared in this arena for college and career. Our aim is for ALL students to be prepared.

Teachers Mixed on Common Core, Support Blended Learning (THE Journal)
By Dian Schaffhauser

More than nine out of 10 teachers in America report using technology in the classroom. Two-thirds said they support the idea of a blended classroom, where students spend part of the school day working with a teacher and part working on a computer. A similar number of teachers said they like the idea of requiring students to take at least one online course before they graduate.


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