NY Education

RFP Posted: Assessment of Homeless ...

RFP Posted: Assessment of Homeless Education Programming for McKinney-Vento Grantee Districts

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is seeking proposals to design and conduct a statewide assessment of homeless education programs supported by McKinney-Vento grant funding. The study will focus on promising features of program implementation at the LEA level; outcomes for students experiencing homelessness; and academic and social-emotional program supports and resources provided by NYSED’s Homeless Education current technical assistance vendor, NYS-TEACHS.
News and Notes: New Professional De...

News and Notes: New Professional Development Materials

News and Notes: New Professional Development Materials
Funding Opportunity: 2014-15 Title ...

Funding Opportunity: 2014-15 Title I School Improvement Section 1003(a) - Basic School Improvement Grant Application

Section 1003(a) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) requires that State Education Agencies allocate funds to Local Education Agencies (LEAs) for Title I Priority and Focus Schools to meet the progress goals in their District Comprehensive Improvement Plan and School Comprehensive Education Plan(s) (DCIP/SCEP) and thereby improve student performance. These funds are to be used to support implementation of school improvement activities identified through the Diagnostic Tool for School and District Effectiveness (DTSDE) reviews or a school review with district oversight and included in the DCIP/SCEP.
RFP Posted: Special Education Media...

RFP Posted: Special Education Mediation Technical Assistance Center

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) P-12 Office of Special Education is seeking proposals to provide annual training to approximately 125 individuals who serve as New York State special education mediators, promote the use of special education mediation, provide reimbursement of mediation administrative costs to the State’s twenty one (21) Community Dispute Resolution Centers (CDRCs) and to collect and report data on the number and type of special education mediation sessions conducted throughout the State. NYSED seeks applicants for mediation training (Part I) with documented experience and expertise in alternative dispute resolution processes in special education and for data collection (Part II) with demonstrated experience in the collection and reporting of statewide data.
RFP Posted: State Performance Plan ...

RFP Posted: State Performance Plan Indicator 8; Parent Survey for Special Education Consumer Satisfaction

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) Office of Special Education is seeking proposals for the distribution, collection and analysis of a parent survey relating to special education.
RFP Posted: Evaluation of Categoric...

RFP Posted: Evaluation of Categorical Bilingual Education Programs

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is seeking proposals to design, develop, and conduct evaluations of all Categorical Bilingual Education Programs funded by New York State and managed by the Office of Bilingual Education and Foreign Language Studies (OBE-FLS). The selected vendor will design and develop protocols to assess implementation and effectiveness of all programs. Due to the variety of goals and objectives of each program to be evaluated, in addition to protocols that can be used for all programs (demographic data, evaluation elements that are common to all programs, etc.), each program is likely to also require evaluation components that are specific to that program’s evaluation (See Attachment C).

InsidehigherEd

Essay on dealing with rejection in ...

Essay on dealing with rejection in academic career

Nate Kreuter considers the realities of rejection -- and dealing with rejection -- in academic careers.

Essay on the importance of tracking...

Essay on the importance of tracking Ph.D. career paths

Melanie Sinche writes that there may finally be momentum for gathering data crucial to helping doctoral students understand their opportunities.

 

Essay on how tenure-track faculty m...

Essay on how tenure-track faculty members should treat adjuncts

Patrick Iber, working off the tenure track, considers the basics on how those who have tenure-track security should treat those who don't.

Essay on how to succeed on academic...

Essay on how to succeed on academic job market while A.B.D.

Melissa Dennihy offers advice on how to juggle the tasks.

Essay on how to succeed on academic...

Essay on how to succeed on academic job market while A.B.D.

Melissa Dennihy offers advice on how to juggle the tasks.

Essay on how to get the most out of...

Essay on how to get the most out of a conference

Conference coming up? Mandi Stewart offers tips for making the most of it.

BBC News Education

Children's social work faces change

Children's social work faces change

The government has announced changes to children's social work, aiming to restore confidence in the service.
Schools 'progressing too slowly'

Schools 'progressing too slowly'

There are "significant gaps" in raising standards in schools in England, a report by spending watchdog the National Audit Office says.
Private school graduates 'earn more...

Private school graduates 'earn more'

UK graduates who went to private schools earn thousands of pounds more, on average, than those who were state-educated, research finds.
Hidden school costs worry families

Hidden school costs worry families

Millions of UK families struggle to meet the extra costs of a state education, suggests research carried out by young people.
Morgan: I'd vote for gay marriage n...

Morgan: I'd vote for gay marriage now

Nicky Morgan, the education secretary and equalities minister, says she has changed her mind and now supports same-sex marriage.
School tests 'causing pupil stress'

School tests 'causing pupil stress'

Annual school tests for children aged seven to 14 are causing so much stress some pupils are refusing to go to school, a survey finds.

US Govt Dept of Education

Doing it for Me: A U.S. Department ...

Doing it for Me: A U.S. Department of Education Documentary Screening and Panel Discussion on Personal Struggle and Supporting Youth

School dropouts are saddled with so many preconceptions. The popular narrative is that they are either lazy, they give up, or they simply don?t want to go to school. To many students who decide to leave middle or high school, these stereotypes couldn?t be further from the truth.
Obama Administration Announces Fina...

Obama Administration Announces Final Rules to Protect Students from Poor-Performing Career College Programs

To protect students at career colleges from becoming burdened by student loan debt they cannot repay, today the U.S. Department of Education is announcing regulations to ensure that these institutions improve their outcomes for students—or risk losing access to federal student aid.
Investing in Evidence: Funding Game...

Investing in Evidence: Funding Game-Changing Evaluations

What major evaluations could have the biggest impact on preschool through Grade 12 (P-12) education?providing information that could drive significant improvement in the ways that teachers, principals, and policymakers provide education to American students?
U.S. Department of Education Announ...

U.S. Department of Education Announces Resolution of South Orange-Maplewood, N.J., School District Civil Rights Investigation

The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced today that it has entered into an agreement with the School District of South Orange & Maplewood, New Jersey, to resolve a compliance review that examined whether black students are provided an equal opportunity to access and participate in advanced and higher-level learning opportunities.
A Deeper Shade of Green: A District...

A Deeper Shade of Green: A District Sustainability Plan Encompasses Facilities, Operations, and Instruction

Note: The U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools program recognizes schools, districts and postsecondary institutions that are 1) reducing environmental impact and costs; 2) improving health and wellness; and 3) teaching environmental education.
Know It 2 Own It: National Disabili...

Know It 2 Own It: National Disability Employment Month

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month!

Yahoo

How U.S. Students Can Find College ...

How U.S. Students Can Find College Scholarships to Study in Europe

For many students, the ideal college is close to home. Others dream of moving out of state or across the country to start their higher education. For some, the perfect school is a little farther away.
Toronto schools reject tie-up with ...

Toronto schools reject tie-up with China's Confucius Institute

By Andrea Hopkins TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's largest school district ended a planned partnership with China's government-funded Confucius Institute on Wednesday, a move likely to irritate Beijing just days before Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is expected to visit. Trustees at the Toronto District School Board, which oversees public schools with 232,000 students, severed its ties to the language and cultural program after parents, teachers and students protested against any involvement of the Chinese government in Canadian schools. ...
For-profit colleges face 'gainful e...

For-profit colleges face 'gainful employment' rule

WASHINGTON (AP) ? For-profit colleges that don't produce graduates capable of paying off their student loans could soon face the wrath of the federal government.
U.S. education department gets toug...

U.S. education department gets tougher on for-profit colleges

An employee of the Department of Education arrives for work in Washington(Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Education will introduce stricter regulations next year in its latest attempt to improve the job prospects of those graduating from for-profit colleges and universities. Under new regulations unveiled on Thursday and effective July 1, for-profit colleges will be at risk of losing federal aid should a typical graduate's annual loan repayments exceed 20 percent of discretionary income or 8 percent of total earnings. This is lower than the current threshold of 30 percent of discretionary income and 12 percent of total earnings. The U.S. ...

College Students Around the U.S. Ar...

College Students Around the U.S. Are Carrying Mattresses to Fight Campus Rape

College students across the country are dragging some baggage behind them today. As part of the Carry That Weight National Day of Action against campus sexual assault, students are taking mattresses, pillows, and blankets with them to class.
NJ students' experiment destroyed i...

NJ students' experiment destroyed in rocket blast

NJ students' experiment destroyed in rocket blastOcean City High School students watched as a space-supply rocket exploded moments after liftoff in Virginia. An experiment they had designed was on board.

Independent

Privately educated graduates earn m...

Privately educated graduates earn more - even with the same qualifications and job

Graduates from state schools earn less than their private school counterparts - even if they leave university with the same degree in the same subject and go into the same occupation.

Premium paid for houses near top st...

Premium paid for houses near top state schools soars (with dearest and 'best value' top 10s)

More than a million parents will be forced to negotiate a ?minefield? as they seek school places for their children, a parents' leader has warned - with some prepared to pay a £500,000 "premium" on houses that are closest to the most desirable school.

Premium paid for houses near top st...

Premium paid for houses near top state schools soars

More than a million parents will be forced to negotiate a ?minefield? as they seek school places for their children, a parents' leader has warned - with some prepared to pay a £500,000 "premium" on houses that are closest to the most desirable school.

Baroness Kidron interview: ?Childre...

Baroness Kidron interview: ?Children?s online safety is too vital to leave to Government?

First, an outburst. Baroness (Beeban) Kidron, who directed Renée Zellweger in her second movie outing as Bridget Jones, is horrified at the fuss stirred up over the actress?s face.

From the City to the classroom: ex-...

From the City to the classroom: ex-financier wins teaching prize

A City finance worker who took a £40,000 pay cut to pursue greater job satisfaction in the classroom has been named one of the best teachers in Britain.

Villagers act to evict flagship Sik...

Villagers act to evict flagship Sikh free school

A Buckinghamshire village is taking legal action to evict one of the Government?s flagship free schools, which aims to caters for up to 850 Sikh pupils .

Education Week

Waukegan schools, teachers reach te...

Waukegan schools, teachers reach tentative deal

LA school district suspends travel ...

LA school district suspends travel for employees

4 Kansas education commissioner can...

4 Kansas education commissioner candidates named

Marysville teacher releases stateme...

Marysville teacher releases statement on shooting

Education hot topic in New York as ...

Education hot topic in New York as election nears

Study: Teacher hiring should be mor...

Study: Teacher hiring should be more scientific

Educause

The Role of Campus Leadership in En...

The Role of Campus Leadership in Ensuring IT Accessibility

“Everyone should have an opportunity to participate in higher education.”

With those words, Michael K. Young, President of the University of Washington, opens a new video from his institution’s AccessComputing Project, IT Accessibility: What Campus Leaders Have to Say. Developed with support from the National Science Foundation, this video presents university presidents, chief information officers, and other higher education leaders who stress the importance to higher education of accessibility for persons with disabilities, and of having campus technology environments that support it.

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The Game is Changing. What Will Be ...

The Game is Changing. What Will Be Expected of You?

“When we were doing our studies for the National Academies, the typical first response of university presidents or CFOs or provosts was to say: ‘I understand things are changing very rapidly, but I'll ask my CIO to take care of it. The CIO usually can.’ We would then ask: ‘Suppose you wake up in the morning and come in to your office and nothing works anymore. You can't access e-mail. All of your course systems have collapsed. Who fixes the problem?’ They begin to scratch their heads, and pretty soon it's like the five phases of grief. They start off with denial and anger, move through bargaining and depression, and finally reach acceptance.” — James J. Duderstadt, Change and the Research University

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The Top-Ten IT Issues, 2012

The Top-Ten IT Issues, 2012

EDUCAUSE Top 10 IT Issues, 2012

The EDUCAUSE annual publication of top IT issues has long resonated as a yearly snapshot of the most pressing issues for IT leaders in higher education. At the top of list for 2012:

Updating IT professionals’ skills and roles to accommodate emerging technologies and changing IT management and service delivery models Supporting the trends toward IT consumerization and bring-your-own device Developing an institution-wide cloud strategy

 

Below are the EDUCAUSE Review article summarizing the IT Issues Panel's findings for 2012 and accompanying resources.

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Tune In June 5 -- Rolling Out a BYO...

Tune In June 5 -- Rolling Out a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Program

This free hour-long session, “Rolling Out a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Program,” will offer ideas, sample policy statements and guidelines, and lessons learned for campuses interested in implementing a BYOD strategy for mobile devices on campus.

Those unable to attend may wish to visit the archives after the event or browse related resources.

Interact on Twitter at #EDULive.

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Get Involved with EDUCAUSE -- Volun...

Get Involved with EDUCAUSE -- Volunteer Submissions Are Due June 1

As someone who has a vested interest in higher education IT, you are part of a dynamic and close-knit community where we share new ideas, network with peers, and work toward the common good of the profession.

EDUCAUSE provides opportunities to be an active member by volunteering in a variety of roles, either short- or long-term, throughout the year. These opportunities include:

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Is Agile the Future of Project Mana...

Is Agile the Future of Project Management?

Gartner predicts that by the end of 2012, agile development methods will be used on 80 percent of all software development projects. Project Management Institute’s research shows that agile project management tripled from December 2008 to May 2011, and can help decrease product defects, improve team productivity, and increase business value.

Read the latest article release on agile project management from the Project Management Institute.

To help you apply project management processes at your organization, EDUCAUSE members have access to a selection of professional development resources:

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Huffingtonpost.com

Survey Surprise: Black Parents Embr...

Survey Surprise: Black Parents Embrace Higher Educational Standards

Black families want more for their kids and would embrace more challenging PK-12 paths to achieve it. This is evidenced in the latest Education Post poll on how parents and grandparents feel about educational standards for their kids. Some of the highlights from Black respondents that were the most powerful: 88 percent said that they support "higher standards and a more challenging curriculum" for students. 93 percent said that they support "more accountability for teachers and principals." 84 percent said that they support "teacher evaluations that use test scores, classroom observations, and surveys from parents and students to help teachers improve." It's clear that Black families want stronger academics to prepare their students for college, the workforce and an better quality of life. To get there we have to reject the idea that low-income students automatically translate into low-performing schools. There are examples like George Hall Elementary School in Mobile, Alabama proving that higher standards can have outstanding outcomes for students. At Hall, 99 percent of the 549 students in grades PK-5 are African American. 99 percent of them are categorized as low-income. Still, they outperformed the state average in 4th grade reading, 96 percent to 83 percent, in 2011. Ninety-seven percent of the students exceeded 5th grade math standards in Alabama that year (compared with just 69 percent of white students). Another school, Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary School in New Orleans, has achieved similar outcomes. Of the 376 PK-6 students, 94 percent are African American, and 95 percent are low income. In 2012, Bethune was in the 76th percentile for the entire country for the academic achievements of 6th graders. The state average of 6th graders put Louisiana in just the 51st percentile. The list of schools could go on. These two schools are among many across the country - district, charter, and private - that are disproving the "imminent failure" narratives that use race and poverty to assign black and brown students to lowered expectations. These success stories are proof that despite challenging circumstances outside the classroom walls, these students are succeeding -- and at a higher rate than peers that have other advantages. Eric Mahmoud, the successful school leader of the Harvest Network of Schools in Minnesota talks broadly about closing "belief gap." In his report on the belief gap, he suggests we need to combat low expectations by highlighting success stories and countering the "myth that our children cannot succeed." When one school succeeds, the others will believe that they too can rise to that level too. How can we do it? Beyond developing a community-wide belief that these schools can in fact succeed, what tangible ways are successful African American schools making strides? And how can these tactics be applied to the educational community as a whole? In the case of George Hall, several initiatives have contributed to the upswing in students success, including complete restaffing, accelerated reading programs, extended school days, and increasing experiential learning opportunities. At Bethune, an emphasis on recruiting experienced teachers and building-wide accountability has helped lift scores and overall achievement. This wasn't easy in the years following the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. There are likely many methods for lifting academic outcomes for African American children. But, they pathway there probably mirrors the poll findings for African Americans: higher standards, strong teaching and curriculum, and accountability for outcomes at all levels. That, and the belief that our schools can meet the aspirations black communities know their kids deserve.
Why I Am a Better Teacher Than a Co...

Why I Am a Better Teacher Than a Computer

Some years ago I heard a talk by astrophysicist Clifford Stoll. Now you would expect an astrophysicist to be a nerd's nerd, a real computer geek. Maybe he is, but he gave us a warning: Technology is no substitute for teaching. He asked us to think back to our school days. In the '50s and '60s, when people my age were in school, the primary educational technology was the film strip, which was generally of comically poor quality, ancient, and shown with an equally antiquated projector that was guaranteed to break down at least once every showing. Stoll asked us how many of these film strips we remember. I remember one, "Our Mister Sun," about solar science. That one was great, but the rest of the films they showed us are now blanks in my memory. Then Stoll asked us whether we could recall any great teachers. Oh yeah. Some of those I will never forget, like Mr. Pierce (not his real name), who had the unenviable job of teaching 8th grade science. I lived for that class. At a time of life when you are clumsy, self-conscious, and making your first tentative forays away from childhood, I knew that for an hour each day I could escape into a world of beauty, majesty, and mystery -- the world of science. This was a world where there were deep, beautiful answers and the answers led to even deeper and more beautiful questions. One day we were studying gravity and its effects, and I asked Mr. Pierce "But what is gravity?" His answer was immediate and emphatic: "I don't know. I will leave that for you to find out." To this day, through a life in academe, that is the most brilliant answer to a student's question I have ever heard. You remember the great teachers because they touched something inside you. They opened vistas and cleared new pathways. They made your world larger and richer. Can you get that same experience from a computer? Teaching, when it is done the way it should be, is a performance -- every bit as much as playing Hamlet. More so, in fact. An actor has to create a convincing character. The good teacher has to ad lib, improvise, read body language, deal with unanticipated questions, and change the pace, tone, or content depending on how the class is responding. In other words, the teacher has to interact with a class far more than an actor with an audience. It is therefore even more absurd to think that an online course can capture the experience of having a great teacher than to think that you could text a performance of Hamlet (I guess it would go like this: "2 B or not 2 B. OMG. LOL."). The biological facts are clear: We primates are adapted for social interaction. Millions of years of evolution have equipped us for the subtleties, dangers, and rewards of face-to-face (FTF) communication. Personal computers have been around for about 35 years. In short, we have a million generations of preparation for interacting with members of our own species, and about one generation of preparation in interacting with a computer screen. Of course we learn a lot faster than we evolve, so even those of us in middle age have learned a little bit about using computers. However, though the mill of natural selection grinds slowly, it grinds exceedingly fine, and the effects of a million generations' evolution can be profound. One obvious yet profound truth about human beings is that we are adapted for FTF interaction. Anything else is a distant second best. Anything that comes between two people who are trying to communicate will unavoidably diminish the experience. You can learn more in five minutes talking FTF than you can in an hour of e-mailing back and forth. This is a deep truth that our world of tweeting and texting has forgotten, to the woeful impoverishment of our lives. FTF instruction has a track record going back to when Stone Age hunters taught tool making and animal tracking, and it has worked just fine. In short, I am a much better teacher than a computer. I teach philosophy, history, and humanities, and I think I do so pretty well (with awards to back up the boast). I will not put my courses online. Ever. To do so would be lazy and irresponsible in the extreme, a repudiation of my basic values as a professional in higher education. It would also cheat the students who took such courses, because for their money they would be getting only an inferior imitation of a real course. Why then do administrators around the country put pressure on professors to replace their FTF courses with online ones? You get one guess. Yep -- money. An online curriculum is much cheaper than FTF courses. Also, some students like online courses because they can work on them at home in their pajamas between episodes of Naked and Afraid and America's got Talent. Tough. Some things worth doing are inconvenient, and coming to campus to take a class is worth it. I am not a Luddite who would junk technology. On the contrary, I love my office computer so much that I am a bit sad when the university takes away my old one to give me a new one. Undoubtedly, computers have their uses and can do some things far better and inconceivably faster than humans. Indeed, some information is much better presented with computer graphics than anything I could possibly draw on a blackboard or explain verbally. So, I am not saying that computers cannot be used to help a good teacher to teach even better. I am saying that when you get to the point where you use technology not to enhance communication, but to substitute for real communication, then things are badly awry.
5 College Tuition Hacks That Will S...

5 College Tuition Hacks That Will Save You Thousands

November is National College Application Month and the admissions process, now in full swing, is a time of high anxiety for students and parents. There are essays to write, test scores to report and, for the vast majority of American families, a complex web of tuition pricing and financial aid information to untangle.

At a time when Americans collectively owe $1.2 trillion in student loan debt -- and with tuition rates roughly 12 times higher than they were a generation ago -- the stakes in selecting the right school have never been greater. And yet the true cost of college, after grants and scholarships, often remains a mystery until the very end of the admissions process. In fact, most students don't know what their financial options will be until after they've received their acceptance letters in the mail. This is a hurdle to cost transparency that has prevented thousands of families from identifying schools that could give them a tuition break.*

Families shouldn't be left in the dark about what they'll pay for college. With admissions deadlines rapidly approaching, here are five things you need to know:

1. Understand the Difference Between Early Decision and Early Action. There are two types of early admission: applicants who choose Early Decision apply to a single college and, if accepted, are committed to enrolling. Early Action, on the other hand, is non-binding and gives you the opportunity to compare multiple financial aid packages. If you will be relying heavily on financial aid, Early Action is a better option than Early Decision.

2. Do Your Homework to Finalize a List. Most experts recommend applying to anywhere between five and eight different schools and, with application fees running as high as $90 a piece, students can end up spending hundreds of dollars on admissions costs alone. Before you finalize your list, do enough research to make sure you've included the right mix of reach, target and safety schools, but also make sure you're getting the whole story on factors like graduation rates and student loan defaults rates -- information that is available on the Department of Education's College Navigator.

3. Compare Costs to Get Your Real Number. Most families assume their FAFSA-calculated EFC's (Estimated Family Contributions) are the final word on what they'll pay for college. But this is almost never the case. Every school uses its own formula to allocate financial aid and those net prices are often lower -- much lower -- than a family's EFC. Net Price Calculators, now posted on every college website, are the only way to uncover your actual bottom line. Get your true number by using the net price calculators posted on individual schools' websites, or save time by accessing them all in one place at CollegeAbacus.org.

4. Put Financial Aid Front and Center. If you think you're going to need financial aid, make it a central part of your search from the beginning. Know what level of tuition you can afford, and how much aid you might need, by listing out income sources and estimated college expenses for each month. Also be prepared to file your FAFSA forms early (as soon after Jan. 1 as possible) to increase your chances of getting the most financial aid.

5. Never Assume a School is Beyond Your Financial Reach. Tuition sticker prices don't tell the whole story. Financial aid can vary widely at similar schools, and elite schools can be more affordable than you might think. At College Abacus, we often use fictional characters to illustrate this fact, including Bella Swan from the Twilight Saga series. In the books, Bella's boyfriend wants her to go to Dartmouth but Bella assumes (based on sticker price) she can't afford it. We ran the numbers based on what her father probably earned as a sheriff in a small town and what their assets would have been. It turns out Dartmouth would have cost Bella almost $11,000 less per year than her alternate choice, the University of Alaska Southeast. To make sure you're not leaving opportunities on the table like Bella, use online tools to calculate financial aid estimates for the schools that top your wish list -- and don't rule anything out until you do!

* This is why I created College Abacus, a free online tool offered by the education nonprofit ECMC that allows students and parents to calculate and compare their personalized, bottom-line tuition costs at over 4,000 U.S. colleges and universities -- all in one place, all at one time, before they've submitted applications or committed to schools they can't afford.

______________ Abigail Seldin is the founder of College Abacus and vice president of innovation and product management at ECMC, a nonprofit corporation providing services in support of higher education finance.
States Are Prioritizing Prisons Ove...

States Are Prioritizing Prisons Over Education, Budgets Show

If state budget trends reflect the country's policy priorities, then the U.S. currently values prisoners over children, a new report suggests. A report released this week by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows that the growth of state spending on prisons in recent years has far outpaced the growth of spending on education. After adjusting for inflation, state general fund spending on prison-related expenses increased over 140 percent between 1986 and 2013. During the same period, state spending on K-12 education increased only 69 percent, while higher education saw an increase of less than six percent. budgets State spending on corrections has exploded in recent years, as incarceration rates have more than tripled in a majority of states in the past few decades. The report says that the likelihood that an offender will be incarcerated has gone up across the board for all major crimes. At the same time, increases in education spending have not kept pace. In fact, since 2008, spending on education has actually declined in a majority of states in the wake of the Great Recession. According to the brief, rates of violent crime and property crime have actually fallen over the years, even while incarceration rates have risen. Therefore, it appears that states' more aggressive incarceration policies are behind the higher prison rates. Michael Mitchell, a co-author of the report and a policy analyst with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, suggested that education spending could actually help lower incarceration rates. ?When you look at prisoners, people who get sent to prison and their educational levels, [the levels are] typically much lower than individuals who are not sent to prison," he told The Huffington Post. ?Being a high school dropout dramatically increases your likelihood of being sent to prison.? ?Spending so many dollars locking up so many people, those are dollars that inevitably cannot be used to provide pre-K slots ? or financial aid for those who want to go to college,? Mitchell added. The report suggests that states' spending practices are ultimately harming their economies, while not making the states especially safer. The authors ultimately conclude that if ?states were still spending the same amount on corrections as they did in the mid-1980s, adjusted for inflation, they would have about $28 billion more available each year for education and other productive investments.? ?The types of investments to help people out of poverty and break that school-to-prison pipeline are investments in early education, helping youth stay in school and getting them college campuses,? said Mitchell.
3 Things You Should Know About Lear...

3 Things You Should Know About Learning Disabilities

What do you think of when you hear the phase "learning disability"? Many people associate learning disabilities with low intelligence, laziness, lack of success, and not being able to learn. Sadly, the people who make these associations include the very children and adults that have been diagnosed with a learning disability. As a special education teacher, I know these stereotypes are not true. I recently read a post from someone who was told in his youth that he had a learning disability, but who went on to achieve great career success -- even becoming involved in the education of children. He mentioned that it was funny how the same public education system that told him he was learning disabled when he was in elementary school has him speaking to their state education leaders. The bitterness and in-your-face tone I got from his post was an unfortunate detraction from his otherwise inspiring message. Most teachers choose what they do not because of the big pay checks, or the glamorous surroundings, and definitely not for the short hours. Contrary to popular belief, a teacher's work day does not end when their students go home. Most teachers choose what they do because they want to make a difference and help kids reach their full potential. So when I read someone's negative take about how he was told he was learning disabled, when all teachers are trying to do is help kids as much as they can, it upset me. Why would anyone think we want to "label" children learning disabled just because? The only reason why any competent teacher would want a student to be "labeled" is to get them the support that will let them reach what we know they are capable of. Then it dawned on me. This is a person that was impacted by that "label". This person once felt inferior because he was told he was different and then succumbed to the thought "I'm not good enough." It dawned on me that someone did not do their complete job as a teacher. I think our job as special education teachers (apart from individualized education plans and all the paperwork) is not only to find out how a child learns best, but also to teach them how to learn and be curious, to teach them the curriculum, to build self-confidence, to make sure they know they are not any less because they learn differently, to find what they are good at and incorporate that in all learning environments, and to work with parents so they understand their child's learning difficulties and how they can support them at home. Obviously some of these lessons were neglected if this person felt inferior and that he had to prove something. Someone did not make it clear to him that having a learning disability does not stop you from learning, or doing fantastic creative work, or being able to work hard to reach your goals, or become extremely successful. So, here are three things everyone should know about Learning Disabilities: 1. Many children who qualify for special education services under learning disability have average or above average IQs. To put it as simply as possible, having a learning disability means that a child's academic performance is lower than what he is capable of doing. There has to be a gap between these two variables. In this case, the school tests the child's IQ and their educational performance. If there is a large enough discrepancy, then the child is eligible to receive help to find out how this child can have a more successful education. To have a big enough gap between these variables, IQ usually needs to be average or above average. The saddest cases I have come across are those where the student's test results come back and their IQ was too low to not have a sufficient gap, leading the student to not receive special education services and the individualized help that might help their education turn around. Instead they continue to be in a classroom with 20 other children trying to survive and hoping to be invisible throughout the school day. 2. Having a learning disability does not mean you cannot learn, it means you learn differently. A large classroom with 20 other students and one teacher who needs to deliver the curriculum as fast as possible and as broad as possible so every single child in her classroom can understand the content is not an ideal learning environment for anyone. That being said, some students have a harder time learning in this setting and with this amount of educational support than others. Students with a specific learning disability might learn best when in a smaller group, when given more repetition of the content, when given more time and engagement opportunities during the lesson, or other accommodations or modifications they might need to be able to learn and retain the content being taught. These small changes can make a huge difference in a child's learning experience and lead the student to having academic success. 3. Students can have difficulties in one area and excel in others. A student who has difficulties in reading, can be very good at math, and vice versa. A child who struggles with reading comprehension can be a fabulous artist, mathematician, or public speaker. Many people focus so much on what the child is struggling with that they forget to foster what the student is talented in. Yes, the difficulties need to be addressed and supported, but if anyone spends their whole school day focused on what they "can't" do, learning becomes very difficult. Instead, incorporate those talents into the struggles and let the students learn how they learn best. Also, let the student foster what they are good at, since in the long run it builds self-confidence and a happier, more successful educational experience. Having a learning disability comes with so much baggage -- most of which comes from misinformation and not knowing how to help these students achieve their goals. Let's change our negative ideas about this topic so more children can believe in themselves and get the support they need to reach their potential. Karem Ensley is an educator, consultant, and children's book author with a B.A. in Psychology and a M.Ed. in Special Education. She is an advocate for a child's right to a complete education, including curriculum as well as life skills. Her new book, I Am Grateful, introduces the meaning of gratitude and practical ways to experience it more in our daily lives. More on her books, blogs and services can be found at www.KaremEnsley.com.
Around the World in 30 Days - Octob...

Around the World in 30 Days - October 2014

2014-10-30-cmrubinworldoutofafrica50072copy.jpg C. M. Rubin's global education report from Latin America, Canada, Africa and China This past month in The Global Search for Education, I talked to global education leaders working at the frontiers of their fields to gather new perspectives on some of our greatest concerns in education today. Talking to educators from Latin America, Canada, Africa and China gave me a richer perspective on a number of the debates that we are having in order to find solutions in the United States. A common thread connects these thought leaders, which is a commitment to using innovative, hands-on methods to solve the problems of inadequate education programs. From Latin America, I talked to several mathematics professors about imaginitive new techniques for teaching math in their classrooms. Dr. Claudia Maria Lara Galo (Universidad Panamericana, Guatemala) told me of "the importance of using simple objects as teaching material; as most schools are in very poor surroundings, they should creatively recycle objects that may be considered trash to design useful tools for learning." This original solution allows for hands-on exploration while also cleverly dealing with impoverished living conditions that might seem insurmountable. It's this kind of resourcefulness, along with teaching of math as it relates to Latin American history and to everyday life, that have helped Brazil show marvelous growth in its mathematics programs in recent years. The professors I spoke to all agreed that in celebrating math as part of Latin American heritage and culture, it will also benefit Latino students who have recently immigrated to America. As for what not to do, Professor Eliana Rojas (Neag School of Education, University of Connecticut) cautions that it is important to make sure that students from lower economic backgrounds don't end up in schools where math is taught in "drill to kill" fashion without offering conversation and context. From Canada, I talked to several experts about the growing need for study abroad programs. According to research conducted by Karen McBride (President and CEO of the Canadian Bureau for International Education), college students weren't interested in studying abroad for financial reasons or because they had not had experience studying abroad in high school. However, as study abroad programs and international experience are so crucial to personal development, I was glad to see that strides were being made to explain the merits of study abroad. As Andy Jkrawczyk (former secondary school principal, international baccalaureate leader and education advisor to Global Study Pass) said, "Programs such as Global Study Pass offer an important step towards independent travel at an age that is hugely influential for young people. In addition, the cross-cultural learning focus and the leadership development that are provided help students to develop skills and perspectives at an influential time." From Africa, the leaders I spoke with shared profound perspectives on the interrelation of poverty, faulty education systems, and the cultural woes of this developing continent. As Dr. Sara Ruto (Regional Manager of Uwezo, a literacy and numeracy initative in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda) put it: "Arguably the most dysfunctional education systems, especially public schools, are to be found in Africa. This is related to a bigger problem that is twofold: a washed away value system and lack of imagination." I learned that there is much change being fostered in curricula as economic growth occurs in certain regions, but that not enough attention is being paid to the professional development of teachers, the teaching profession, and the imagination of the community. Last but not least, from China, I talked with two education leaders who were visiting New York for a conference honoring Kuo Pin Wen. Wen studied with the education pioneer John Dewey at Teachers College, Columbia University, and went on to become the founder of the modern Chinese university. His desire to provide China with top-level higher education continues to be a significant influence to the present day. As for what Chinese education needs to do to achieve this goal in the near future, Yaqun Zhang (Professor, Institute of Education and Vice Director, Examination Research Center, Xiamen University) suggested: "increasing core courses in natural sciences, social sciences and humanistic studies, enhancing general education, expanding the choice of courses, developing professional proficiency of teachers, and improving the assessment for courses and management systems." Perhaps, such changes would make the unequal rate of exchange between China and America (more students travel to study here than go there) ultimately even out. 2014-10-30-cmrubinworldtwitter2300.jpg C. M. Rubin (African photo is courtesy of Dr. Sara Ruto) For More Information C. M. Rubin is the author of two widely read online series for which she received a 2011 Upton Sinclair award, "The Global Search for Education" and "How Will We Read?" She is also the author of three bestselling books, including The Real Alice in Wonderland, is the publisher of CMRubinWorld, and is a Disruptor Foundation Fellow.

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Is that BS/MD Program a Guaranteed ...

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