NY Education

Funding Opportunity: FY 2015 Nation...

Funding Opportunity: FY 2015 National School Lunch Program (NSLP) Equipment Assistance Grant for School Food Authorities (SFAs)

The School Food Service Equipment Grant is intended to improve the infrastructure of the NSLP. This will be achieved by providing the opportunity for schools to purchase equipment to serve healthier meals that meet the updated meal patterns, improve the overall quality of meals, improve efficiency of production and service and expand participation.
RFP Posted: New York City Preschool...

RFP Posted: New York City Preschool Provider Bilingual/English as a New Language Professional Development Center

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) Office of Special Education is seeking proposals for the establishment of a New York City (NYC) Preschool Provider Bilingual/English as a New Language Professional Development Center (Preschool Bilingual/ENL PDC). The purpose of the Preschool Bilingual/ENL PDC will be to provide in-service training which section 4410 preschool special education programs can include in their Interim Alternative Bilingual Placement (IABP) plans so they can continue enrolling English language learners (ELLs) with disabilities. The project is intended to increase the capacity of preschool providers in NYC to serve preschool students with disabilities who are ELLs by providing professional development to administrators, paraprofessionals1, teachers and related service providers employed by approved preschool programs on topics including, but not limited to, bilingual and ENL methodology, cultural and linguistic diversity and the integration of bilingual programming throughout a school. The Preschool Bilingual/ENL PDC will also develop procedures to ensure that the paraprofessionals and professionals participating in the above training have information on tuition assistance provided by the Intensive Teacher Institute in Bilingual Special Education (ITI-BSE) and registered ITI-BSE programs leading to a bilingual extension or certification in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) or Teaching Students with Disabilities from Birth to Grade 2 (TSWD).
RFP Posted: NYS Statewide Center fo...

RFP Posted: NYS Statewide Center for School Health

The Office of Student Support Services of the New York State Education Department (NYSED) is seeking proposals to operate a Statewide Center for School Health (the Center). The Center will work in collaboration with the New York State Education Department as a resource center to provide professional development and ongoing technical assistance to all school health personnel employed in all schools throughout the State (inclusive of both health and mental health personnel), and all school personnel that are involved in coordinating and/or delivering school health education.
RFQ Posted: Teacher and Principal E...

RFQ Posted: Teacher and Principal Evaluation: Qualifications for Supplemental Assessments and Corresponding Growth Models and/or Assessments for Use with SLOs to Be Used by New York State School Districts and Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BO

In order to implement the provisions of Education Law §3012-d, relating to annual professional performance reviews of classroom teachers and building principals, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) is soliciting applications for assessments that will be used as measures of student growth, either through supplemental assessments in conjunction with a growth model for use in the Optional Student Performance Subcomponent or through an assessment used with a Student Learning Objective (SLO) that will generate a growth target for one year if expected growth for use in the Required Student Performance Subcomponent and will subsequently contribute to teachers’ and principals’ annual performance appraisals. Such assessments include those previously placed on the “List of Approved Student Assessments for Use by School Districts and BOCES in Teacher and Principal Evaluations.” Assessments approved under the previous list are only eligible for use under Education Law §3012-c. Assessment providers must apply to this RFQ in order to be approved for use under Education Law §3012-d. THIS SOLICITATION WILL NOT RESULT IN A CONTRACT WITH THE NEW YORK STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT.
Funding Opportunity: 2015-16 Title ...

Funding Opportunity: 2015-16 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 as required in the 2015-2019 ESEA flexibility waiver. More information regarding the approved four-year flexibility renewal can be found at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/accountability/ESEAFlexibilityWaiver.html.
Funding Opportunity: New York State...

Funding Opportunity: New York State Career and Technical Education Technical Assistance Center (NYS CTE TAC)

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is seeking proposals from organizations to provide research and support services that build effective communication links with Career and Technical Education (CTE) and academic programs at the secondary and post-secondary school-levels. The purpose of the NYS CTE TAC is to assist the NYSED in carrying out the Board of Regents reform agenda and CTE team’s mission of improving the quality, access, and delivery of CTE through research-based methods and strategies resulting in broader CTE and career readiness opportunities for all students.


Essay on making the most of a relat...

Essay on making the most of a relationship with a dissertation adviser

Sonja K. Foss and William Waters provide guidance on how to create the best relationship with your dissertation adviser.

Essay on developing the concept for...

Essay on developing the concept for your dissertation

How can you best choose a dissertation topic and then create a plan for developing it? Sonja K. Foss and William Waters recommend that you embark on a conceptual conversation.

Essay on a year's worth of advice f...

Essay on a year's worth of advice from an Inside Higher Ed blog on careers

Joseph Barber reviews 12 months' worth of career advice.

Essay on how women in academe can a...

Essay on how women in academe can avoid being pulled in too many directions

Frantic? Stressed? Overwhelmed? Rena Seltzer recommends five ways that women in academe can avoid being pulled in too many directions.

Essay on how women in academe can a...

Essay on how women in academe can avoid being pulled in too many directions

Frantic? Stressed? Overwhelmed? Rena Seltzer recommends five ways that women in academe can avoid being pulled in too many directions.

Essay on avoiding depression after ...

Essay on avoiding depression after being awarded tenure

Some people struggle with disappointment and disengagement when they move from one rank to another. Kerry Ann Rockquemore gives advice on how to avoid that.

BBC News Education

Children seek mental health help on...

Children seek mental health help on web

England's Children's Commissioner says young people are not confident enough to go to a doctor or school nurse for mental health advice.
Soft skills give public school edge

Soft skills give public school edge

It is not good grades but a "grounding in soft skills" that gives people who went to independent schools their edge, claims a former public school head.
Student leader rules out Cage link-...

Student leader rules out Cage link-up

The president of the National Union of Students has emphatically ruled out working with the controversial advocacy group, Cage.
Cardiff Uni develops virtual assist...

Cardiff Uni develops virtual assistant

Cardiff University has developed a virtual assistant that will ask questions as well as answer them
Exeter University plans online degr...

Exeter University plans online degrees

Masters students could have the option to study online at a leading UK university from next year.
UK 'stands out' in university ranki...

UK 'stands out' in university rankings

The UK has 34 universities in the Times Higher Education ranking of the world's top 200 institutions, with Oxford climbing to second best globally.

US Govt Dept of Education

An Inspiring New Leader for Our Ext...

An Inspiring New Leader for Our Extraordinary Team

Earlier today, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan sent the following email to U.S. Department of Education staff: Dear colleagues, I?m writing to tell you two things. First, what is for me some bittersweet news: after several months of commuting between my family in Chicago and my job here in DC, I have made the decision to step down in December.
HBCU All-Star Reflects on the 2015 ...

HBCU All-Star Reflects on the 2015 National HBCU Week Conference: A Movement of Change, a Message of Hope

The recent White House initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) Conference Week (Sep 21-22) was a gathering of institutions, organizations, agencies, and supporters committed to academic excellence and sustainable growth for African American institutions of higher learning.
U.S. Departments of Education and H...

U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services Award $237M in Early Education Grants to 18 States

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced today that 18 states will receive second year awards under the Preschool Development Grant program to continue their work in expanding access to high-quality preschool for all children.
Statement from U.S. Secretary of Ed...

Statement from U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on Mass Shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon

"Tonight, my thoughts are with the students and families at Umpqua Community College. We have lost bright students and dedicated educators to gun violence in more than 30 school shootings this year alone - an unconscionable reality of American life. We must do more to keep our students and communities safe, and I pledge the full support of my Department to the Roseburg community during this heartbreaking time."
U.S. Department of Education Releas...

U.S. Department of Education Releases Report on Strengthening the Student Loan System to Better Protect All Borrowers

As part of a continued effort to protect student loan borrowers and in response to President Obama's Student Aid Bill of Rights, the U.S. Department of Education (Department) today released a new report outlining a series of statutory, regulatory, and administrative recommendations to safeguard student borrowers.
U.S. Department of Education Approv...

U.S. Department of Education Approves ESEA Flexibility Renewal for Texas

Building on the significant progress seen in America?s schools over the last six years, the U.S. Department of Education announced today that Texas has received continued flexibility from provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Texas is implementing comprehensive, state-designed plan to ensure student success and a continued commitment to college- and career-readiness for every student.


NYC celebrates 150th anniversary of...

NYC celebrates 150th anniversary of 'Alice in Wonderland'

NEW YORK (AP) ? New York City is marking the 150th anniversary of "Alice in Wonderland" with an array of events celebrating the adventures and characters in the beloved children's tale.
Students get tutoring, encouragemen...

Students get tutoring, encouragement at Santa Ana PAAL program

Students get tutoring, encouragement at Santa Ana PAAL programMore than 160 elementary, middle and high school students attend Santa Ana's Police Athletic and Activity League's after school program.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan ste...

Education Secretary Arne Duncan steps down after 7-year term

In this Sept. 14, 2015 file photo, Education Secretary Arne Duncan speaks during a town hall meeting in Des Moines, Iowa. Duncan is stepping down in December after 7 years in the Obama administration. Duncan says in a letter to staff that he?s returning to Chicago to live with his family. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)WASHINGTON (AP) ? Arne Duncan, who followed President Barack Obama to Washington to serve as his education secretary, announced Friday he will step down following a seven-year tenure marked by a willingness to plunge head-on into the heated debate about the government's role in education.

Acting education secretary says tea...

Acting education secretary says teachers saved him

Senior Education Department official, John King Jr., left, accompanied by President Barack Obama, speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Oct. 2, 2015, after Obama announced that Education Secretary Arne Duncan will be stepping down in December after 7 years in the Obama administration. Duncan will be returning to Chicago and Obama has appointed King, to oversee the Education Department. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)WASHINGTON (AP) ? The Education Department's incoming secretary, John King Jr., recognizes that education can be the difference between life and death. After all, he said Friday, it was for him.

Arne Duncan to resign: Who will hea...

Arne Duncan to resign: Who will head Department of Education?

Arne Duncan, one of President Obama's longest-serving advisors announced Friday that he will step down in December. Education Secretary Duncan sent an email to his staff saying that he is moving back to Chicago to live with his family. With the departure, Mr. Obama is losing one of his remaining original cabinet members.
Cairo University bans teachers from...

Cairo University bans teachers from wearing face veil

CAIRO (AP) ? The recent decision to ban all female staff from wearing the full face veil aims to put an end to student complaints of "poor communication" in class, the head of Egypt's Cairo University said Friday.


University of Central Lancashire la...

University of Central Lancashire launches medical degree that is only open to overseas students

Hospitals may be struggling to overcome immigration laws to recruit new nurses, but for the university sector it is a different story.

Leicester University set to offer U...

Leicester University set to offer US-style flexi-degree courses

A leading university is to offer all its students the chance to study new US-style flexi-degree courses from next September.

Refugee crisis: British universitie...

Refugee crisis: British universities should create scholarships and bursaries for students fleeing violence, say academics

Every university in Britain is being urged to play its part in tackling the migrant crisis by helping make it easier for refugees and asylum-seekers to access higher education.

Cambridge University may bring back...

Cambridge University may bring back entry exam as too many acing A-levels

Cambridge University is considering reintroducing an entrance exam because too many applicants get top marks in their A-levels, in a move that has raised concerns that state school pupils would be put at a disadvantage.

Free school meals for infants 'set ...

Free school meals for infants 'set to be scrapped' under Osborne's spending review

Free meals for infant school pupils are likely to be scrapped in George Osborne?s November spending review, it has been reported.

Parents prepared to pay average fin...

Parents prepared to pay average fine of £210 for taking children on holiday during school term, survey finds

Half of parents from across the UK are prepared to face fines over the next year after admitting they will be taking their children out of school to go on holiday, according to an online travel agency?s research.

Education Week

Is Collaborative PD Time Being Wast...

Is Collaborative PD Time Being Wasted in Schools?

Kathryn Parker Boudett, co-author of Meeting Wise: Making the Most of Collaborative Time for Educators, offers ideas on what makes school-based meetings work well?and why they often don't.
Long Beach District Sets Course to ...

Long Beach District Sets Course to Personalize Teacher PD

The closely watched California district recently launched a "myPD" platform to help teachers select their own training paths.
Math-Modeling PD Takes Teachers Bey...

Math-Modeling PD Takes Teachers Beyond the Common Core

A pilot professional-development program funded by the National Science Foundation introduces elementary school teachers to a method of advanced problem-solving.
The Common Core Raises Questions Ab...

The Common Core Raises Questions About Teachers' Questioning Skills

A number of new PD initiatives aim to help teachers elicit more complex responses and interpretations from students.
Lesson-Sharing Sites Raise Issues o...

Lesson-Sharing Sites Raise Issues of Ownership, Use

Key sources of common-core related PD, online lesson sites for teachers come with fine-print complexities.
Video Gaining as Key Tool in Teache...

Video Gaining as Key Tool in Teacher-Learning Plans

As platforms evolve, more districts are using video to boost teacher collaboration and refine classroom practice.


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:

read more


Here Is What We Know About John Kin...

Here Is What We Know About John King, The Next Secretary Of Education

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is stepping down from his post in December to spend more time with his family, he announced Friday. President Barack Obama has already tapped John King Jr., former New York State education commissioner, to take Duncan's place.  

King will serve in an acting capacity, meaning he was able to forgo a formal nomination process in the Senate. 

King most famously served as the New York State education commissioner from 2011 until 2014. Last year, he moved over to the Department of Education, where he's currently a senior official. 

Here are a few other important things we know about the next acting secretary of education:

1. He Is A Fierce Supporter Of The Common Core

As commissioner, King made it a priority to quickly implement the Common Core State Standards.

These standards, developed by a group of governors, state education chiefs and education experts, are designed to make sure kids around the country are being held to the same rigorous math and literacy benchmarks. The Department of Education incentivized states to adopt the standards via federal grant money. New York adopted them before King's tenure, but he was the one to align the state's classroom curriculum and high-stakes tests with the benchmarks.  

 2. His Tenure As New York State Education Commissioner Was Riddled With Controversy

As a result of his dedication to the Common Core, King became a polarizing figure in New York.

Standardized tests associated with the Common Core are notably more rigorous than the ones previously given to the state's children. Parents decried the new system as their children's scores plummeted, and shared anecdotes about their newly anxious children. Many complained the state moved too quickly in its implementation of the standards, saying teachers and schools didn't have adequate time to prepare for the switch.

A coalition of education and parent groups called on King to resign. When he spoke to students and parents in forums around the state, thousands poured in and often criticized his policies

At the time, King said he understood parents' concerns, but stood steadfast in his commitment to the Common Core.

We understand that implementation of the Common Core and teacher/principal evaluation in a time of limited resources has come with significant challenges,” King wrote in a 2014 letter to state education leaders. “The Board of Regents and I knew we would encounter a good amount of concern in the public forums. We want -- and need -- to hear from teachers, parents, and students as these important changes in practice occur in classrooms, schools, and communities across the State." 

3. He Is Committed To Diversity In The Classroom

 At a recent National Coalition on School Diversity conference, King emphasized the importance of integrated, racially diverse schools, according to Chalkbeat New York.

“Schools that are integrated better reflect our values as a country,” King said.

Under Duncan, the Education Department did not take action to desegregate the nation's increasingly racially segregated schools. But King told Chalkbeat that integration “has a long history and substantial evidence” of success.

4. He Has Experience In The Classroom

King, whose father was the first African-American school principal in Brooklyn, spent three years teaching social studies before he helped start a charter school in Boston. Later, he became one of the founders of Uncommon Schools, a charter school network that now has 24 institutions, according to the New York Times. 

Both of King's parents died by the time King was 12, and he attributes his success to the help of teachers.

"I grew up in Brooklyn, I lost my mom when I was 8, my dad when I was 12," King said Friday at a press conference. "New York City public school teachers are the reason that I am alive." 

"John was one of those kids that probably shouldn’t be in a room like this," Duncan said at the press conference. 

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Louisville Probing Claim Staffer Hi...

Louisville Probing Claim Staffer Hired Escorts For Recruits

Louisville said Friday it has launched an investigation into allegations that former Cardinals staffer Andre McGee paid an escort service to provide sex for recruits.

The allegations by Katina Powell are in an upcoming book, "Breaking Cardinal Rules: Basketball and the Escort Queen" from a publishing arm of the Indianapolis Business Journal. Some details of the book were published on the Journal's web site, and said that McGee hired Powell to provide strippers and prostitutes for recruits and some of their fathers during a four-year period.

Louisville issued a statement saying it learned of the allegations in August and immediately notified the NCAA. McGee left Louisville in 2014 to become an assistant at Missouri-Kansas City. The school did not immediately comment Friday evening.

Cardinals coach Rick Pitino said the situation caused sleeplessness when he first found out and said that he tried to conduct his own investigation before being rebuffed by the school's compliance office.

He said McGee denied the allegations in a brief conversation.

Louisville retained Chuck Smrt of the Compliance Group, which assists schools in NCAA cases, to review the claims.

"We're an open book. We want to get to the bottom of it," said Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich.

The Journal's summary of the book said that Powell brought women to 22 parties from 2010 to 2014 at Billy Minardi Hall, which houses Cardinals basketball players.

The woman said that she and three of her daughters, along with other women, danced and stripped for Louisville recruits and players and performed sex acts with them, according to the book.

McGee played for Louisville from 2005-09 and started 57 games during his career. He played professionally in Europe before becoming a program assistant in 2010 and was promoted to director of basketball operations in 2012.

Both Jurich and Pitino said they believe that money was the woman's motivation for writing the book. Powell was paid for the book, but said in an interview with the Journal that she felt it was important to tell the story. The publishing company said it paid investigators and Pultizer-Prize winning reporter Dick Cady to vet Powell's story, and based much of it on journal entries, photos and text messages.

The allegations come on the eve of Louisville's first Red-White scrimmage. The Cardinals reached the NCAA West Region final last season.


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Higher Education from Transactional...

Higher Education from Transactional to Transformational

For the past two centuries, American colleges and universities have approached higher education from a purely transactional leadership style where the focus has been on maintaining the status quo. As a result, students armed with laptops and cell phones could very well find themselves in the same classroom learning Mandarin where their great grandfathers studied Latin. While the curriculum has become more varied, and a more progressive view of education has been adopted, the model of education and its delivery method for the most part remained unchanged despite the mind-boggling technological advancements of the same period. Although the degree offerings expanded from a handful of professions to literally hundreds of careers, higher education has been largely reactionary to the marketplace. Rightfully, drastic changes were viewed as unnecessary because this model had been highly successful for over four generations. Throughout most of the 20th century, higher education was viewed as more of an option than a necessity, an extension of a high school diploma required for only certain careers. Today's passionate debates about tuition and student loans didn't exist because a degree along with the requisite skills it guaranteed were not yet viewed as a requirement to enter the workforce for a job paying above minimum wage. High school graduates could still find meaningful employment, often working at the same company for their entire careers while earning enough to support their families and leaving with a gold watch and pension. Graduates with a degree would enter into the careers deemed "professional", where they could expect to receive greater compensation for their investment of time, and move freely to other companies willing to offer higher pay and greater benefits. This career course worked for Dad, Grandfather and Great-Grandfather, so it should work for everyone who could afford it. Steeped in tradition, colleges and universities were venerated institutions that often made decisions about higher education from a lofty vacuum where the schools alone dictated what students would learn. For hundreds of years, this approach worked because small course corrections could be made that kept up with the changes in the marketplace. Even though new careers emerged, schools could address the demands of the employers on a degree by degree basis while the majority of workers could rely on their education taking them through their entire life's work. With the adoption of computers in most businesses from the 1980s and beyond, technology rapidly transformed a brand new marketplace which required knowledge of emerging industries and mastery of wholly unique skill sets. Not only did the entire job market shift to requiring workers trained in new technologies, the changes came so quickly that schools found remaining relevant in this unfamiliar landscape challenging as they attempted to predict what knowledge would be required in most degrees by the time an incoming freshman graduated. Entire new areas of studies emerged simultaneously. On top of that, most schools were slow to incorporate technology into learning, still relying on the time honored classroom model. Higher education must abandon its transactional leadership style and embrace a transformational one if they are to remain the arbiter of knowledge and workforce training. In order to achieve this, colleges and universities must become bridge builders by establishing long-term relationships and removing barriers for workers to return to education no matter what stage they are in their careers. This can be accomplished by bringing together all parties to the table for a voice in the future direction of education. Forward thinking institutions will not only include students and employers, but community leaders as well. To accomplish these goals, universities and colleges must expand their view of their customers from the traditional student to those of all ages and levels of knowledge. They must be inclusive, opening doors to learning to those who are already established in their careers, and older workers who seek advancement. They must embrace the new technology and offer real options for workers to improve their skills while juggling work and family life. Higher education must reach out to the communities and industries that best match the institution's unique strengths in order to develop a curriculum that meets the needs of all involved. When building a bridge, the result is that sometime both sides walk on you. The way to have a strong structural makeup is to build a strong foundation. If we identify who we are as educational institutions, then we can do our best to find partners that best match our strengths. I am beginning my time as president of Cleary University this fall with a sense of optimism on the difference small private colleges and universities can make in connecting students, businesses and the local economy together. To be fully engaged, we must seek to see rather than to be seen. So much need and value can be brought forward if we are agile and bring quality, integrity and value to the relationships we cultivate as leaders in Higher Education. When our focus is living our mission to change lives, help industry, create better citizens, and serve rather than be served, that is transformational leadership at its core.

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Meet Two People Who Are Addressing ...

Meet Two People Who Are Addressing The Cause Of Teen Stress

Generation Z has more access to information, technology and entertainment than any group of humans before. But why are stress levels in these teens and college students higher than ever?

Musician Caroline Jones and best-selling author and leadership expert Stedman Graham have come together to offer a one-word answer: identity. And to explore this, they've taken this concept of the personal journey on tour. 

To help students discover their identities, Jones and Graham work with high school students to tackle questions including, "Who are you?", "What are your core beliefs?" and "What do you dream of doing?" Self-awareness is at the key of their message.

Next week, the two will embark upon their second year of the Live Somina Tour -- a full-day workshop for students that focuses on self-empowerment and the cultivation of identity through performing arts and character development.

This year, they will travel through 12 cities and reach approximately 65,000 high school students at 100 different schools along the way. The two-part program first features a mix of Jones’ acoustic music performances and her inspirational storytelling sessions, which help urge kids to pursue their talents and passions. This is followed by Graham’s identity workshop.

Jones, 25, studied classical music growing up and attended NYU before embarking upon a career as a singer-songwriter. She performs for students on stage with an acoustic guitar, banjo and piano. Graham has written 11 books about identity development and is convinced that a lack of identity and self-awareness is what’s behind youth stress today.

The two spoke with The Huffington Post about the growing beast that is technology, where the education system is failing and how kids can develop a stronger sense of self despite it.

The Huffington Post: Caroline, you started bringing your music to boarding schools, high schools and colleges about five years ago while you were still in college yourself. In what ways do you think your musical program has resonated with students who are around your age?

Caroline Jones: My show is acoustic -- it’s just me up there with my guitar, banjo, piano and some other instruments. I think it’s the artist in me, but I focus very heavily on storytelling in between songs. I talk about the inspiration behind my songs and my journey as an artist. I am a very spiritually and emotionally curious person. At a young age, I amassed this wealth of spiritual and philosophical knowledge that has helped me live a fulfilling and self-empowered life. I just can’t help but talk about that. It fulfills me and it seeps into my show.

If a kid asks me about stage fright and says he’s scared to perform in front of people, the answer is almost entirely emotional. It’s as much about technique and craft as it is about how do you get yourself to a place where you can be in deep feeling of the song -- independent of how other people are going to think about it (which you can’t control)? That’s more important than making sure you have good breathing technique.

This will be the second year of the Live Sonima Tour and this time around, you guys are going big. You have rented out bigger venues -- some which seat between 2,000 and 5,000 students. What are some of the biggest themes you touch on in your program?

Jones: In between our two sessions, Stedman and I talk on stage to tie everything together. We talk about topics like self-reliance, happiness and fulfillment, the true purpose of education and what education actually should do for you. Like how you can empower yourself to make your education work for your dreams and your goals -- instead of just thinking about what job to get when you finish your education.

Stedman Graham: The school system often teaches you how to take tests and repeat the information back. You get labeled with a grade and two weeks later, you forget the information. It’s limited learning for students. But it’s never too early to get students to decide what they love, what they are passionate about and what they want to focus on. You want to teach them how to focus on the self and create leadership skills around the self first. It’s hard to lead others if you can’t lead yourself first. 

Stedman, you have been teaching identity workshops to students for nearly 20 years now. What are the biggest changes have you noticed in teens over the past two decades, especially with rapid advances in technology?

Graham: They have less control over their lives. They are not able to make good decisions about what they want to do in their lives. There’s so much information and so much confusion. They’re not as focused as they should be in school and I would say a lot of them just aren’t prepared to compete globally.

Jones: The Internet and the technological revolution of the past decade has made it so that information is no longer in the hands of a few people. Information and knowledge is power. Now everyone has the information literally at their fingertips at all times. We really need to make sure that our education system is preparing people to be innovative, creative and self-reliant. Those are the things that are going to make you successful. It’s not about memorizing information anymore.

Graham: Technology is changing everything. What they learn is not enough to prepare them for the jobs coming up. Things are constantly changing and courses and information become outdated quickly. It’s hard to keep up. They can be taught the basics in the traditional learning environment, but the basics just aren’t enough anymore.

How else do you think technology is affecting Generation Z?

Graham: The students come in with an entitlement attitude because they are empowered by the technology. They are empowered to think that they are ‘all that.’ But then the rude awakening comes when they can’t afford to go to college or they have to go back and live at home as adults. They have wasted a lot of time on their smartphones talking about nothing. There is a lack of focus. If you don’t know who you are, you can’t source the right information and apply it to your development -- so there’s no growth. The school system is set up for people to be average, not to be exceptional. It’s a cookie cutter.

Jones: I can say that this generation, more than any other generation, has an awareness and a hunger to empower themselves. I think people misread it as entitlement. Entitlement is a misunderstanding of power. And I think a lot of kids are ambitious and have big dreams. They have grown up in a world where all of the information in the world is at their fingertips. I think the reason that so many feel stressed or lost or overwhelmed is because they don’t have a strong sense of self to apply all of that to.

We are telling the kids that we know you have all this information, we know you’re overwhelmed and stressed and that you have people telling you what to do. But you need to have a core sense of yourself -- whether it’s a creative outlet like writing or sports or music or your own personal philosophy and beliefs. That’s why I call my program The Heart Is Smart. If you can just get in touch with your heart, yourself and identity, then almost anything is possible. There are infinite possibilities for what you can achieve.

What do you feel are the biggest causes of such high stress levels in high school students today?

Graham: There is so much information coming at you. A smartphone allows you to look at any movie or research anything you want at any time. You can Google anybody and find out who they are and what they’re doing. You never had that much access to information before. There’s so much noise. We aren’t focused on things that matter and we haven’t prioritized the things that are important. Our brains can’t handle so many things at a time.

Jones: Stress stems from a disconnect between who you are now and who you believe you should be. Self-love, fulfillment, passion, joy, creativity, excellence, effectiveness -- these states represent the opposite of stress. The best way to soothe stress is to evoke these positive emotions, and for me, music is that avenue.

Graham: It all comes down to having a stronger sense of identity. What we are trying to do is keep you focused on who you are and help you organize all of the things that are happening in your life. If you organize everything around you, you can empower yourself.

Jones: In the grand scheme of things, if we look at the previous generations, it’s actually a huge step forward that this generation even recognizes that stress is optional -- and can recognize that they’re stressed.

How are you able to get these really important themes across in a one-day workshop?

Graham: I try to give them some awareness, to raise their consciousness, to let them know it’s about self-development. It’s about what you do extra. It’s about excellence -- not only in school, but everywhere you go. Take charge of you and don’t fall into the habit of mimicking everything you see around you.

Jones: It reminds me of a Buddhist quote that talks about how you climb up a mountain to see the view from the top. When you climb down, you can’t see the view anymore -- but having seen it is infinitely beneficial because you’ll always have it in your mind. These kids have such impressionable minds. If they are able to be inspired, even for one day, by someone who knows who they are and is offering their gifts to the world, then I think that is really powerful. Even if it’s one hour or one moment where they felt really inspired and heard -- or we helped reveal something within them that they didn’t know they had -- that’s the lasting impression we are going for.

The Live Sonima Tour kicks off on Oct. 6 in Memphis, Tennessee. Other cities this fall include Beaufort, South Carolina; Charlotte, North Carolina; Miami and Daytona Beach, Florida.

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The Brief Wondrous Life of Teachers...

The Brief Wondrous Life of Teachers' Mental Health

Fresh chalk and clean seats line the classroom as the promise of changing lives fills the heads and hearts of new teachers prepping their first lessons. The fresh car smell enveloping the next few months inevitably will fade and an aroma filled with the demands of teaching --from ensuring students pass standardized tests to addressing their behavioral challenges -- lingers in the air. As a clinical psychologist who has worked in school-based clinics and as the son of educators, I found the data from two studies -- the federal review of teacher job outcomes and survey results from the American Federation of Teachers -- particularly intriguing. Findings from that research indicate that 78 percent of teachers express overwhelming levels of stress, but only 17 percent of teachers leave the profession within the first five years. These findings provide a nuanced picture for understanding an important contributor to our students' academic success: teachers' mental health. The journey leading teachers to emotional burnout is multifaceted and influenced by both how teachers deal with stress and how stress shows up in the classroom. Christina Maslach, a trailblazer for understanding professional stress that overwhelms teachers, defines burnout as a person having emotional exhaustion, feeling disconnected from others and her work and difficulty feeling accomplished in her job. Few antagonists to teachers' mental wellness contribute to burnout as much as feeling incapable of successfully fulfilling teaching responsibilities -- also known as low teacher self-efficacy. Having difficulty connecting with students, classroom behavior problems, perceptions of limited support from administration, and little time to recharge outside of work can undermine the most resilient teachers' mental health. Equally important, teachers' struggling to manage stress can unintentionally create tense classroom environments that model unhealthy stress-reduction strategies for student's learning how to become socially and emotionally healthy people. Building mentally healthy teachers, who can subsequently build emotionally healthy students, is a benefit that many in the education community have taken seriously. While programs such as School Climate Teams and collaborative groups focusing on social-emotional learning appear to be growing, the scattered approach to implementing these support systems nationwide brings into question how well teacher mental health and stress management is systemically addressed, particularly for teachers in classrooms with significant behavior disruptions. Integrating additional resources into already-packed professional development days and extra-curricular laden school years may be difficult, but an opportunity may lie in plain sight with targeted approaches to building teacher self-efficacy. Helping teachers feel competent in managing classroom behavior and connecting with students in meaningful ways are core intangibles that both facilitate healthy learning environments and anecdotally have provided teachers rejuvenating moments to press beyond mentally draining work days. At minimum, training on basic classroom management is already integrated into teacher's professional development, but what if a holistic approach was adopted that addressed how healthy management of behavior and emotionally overwhelming situations impacted both teacher and student mental wellbeing? An approach that acknowledges the multifaceted identities of the teacher and student as well as the seen and unseen stressors they face -- the burden of being a single parent and a teacher or the weight of feeling the stereotypes of gender or race in the classroom but having no outlet to express it. Whether it's mindfulness-based lunch breaks for teachers or employing culturally competent approaches that encourage classes to dissect a book by Junot Diaz that facilitates discussions about race, finding practical and healthy ways for teachers and students to unload these stressors may provide a foundation for greater systemic change that addresses teacher stress beyond the classroom. In the process, we give teachers the chance to better connect with students by modeling healthy ways of dealing with stress and extend the longevity of their mental wellbeing by helping them fully believe they are the dynamic teachers they are capable of becoming.

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Are the PISA Data for Shanghai Flaw...

Are the PISA Data for Shanghai Flawed?

Introduction Cross-national comparison of educational performance has become an important building block for national educational policies (Martens, Rusconi, & Leuze, 2007; Meyer & Benevot, 2013). The PISA data, collected by the OECD, has become one of the main tools for this cross-national comparison, and the number of participating countries outside the OECD has increased strongly since the first PISA wave of 2000. The participation of Shanghai in the PISA measurement since 2009 has opened a debate whether the published outcomes for Shanghai are representative for the 15 year old pupils living in Shanghai. Some authors (for instance Loveless, 2014) suggest that only pupils who are legally living in Shanghai are sampled and thus a very substantial proportion of the 15-year-old pupils without Hukou (permission to migrate from the Chinese countryside into cities like Shanghai, and which is obligatory for entrance into high school) are omitted from the sample. It is clear that Hukou is still relevant in modern China and that is influences educational and occupational opportunities of immigrants from the Chinese countryside into the cities (see for instance Zhang & Treiman, 2013). But the relevance of Hukou in modern China is no prove of the omission of pupils without Hukou from the Shanghai PISA sample. This research note adds to this debate by comparing the educational performance and social background of pupils of first and second generation immigrants from China mainland into Hong Kong, Macao en Shanghai. All three cites have substantial number of these pupils. Immigration into these three cities from mainland was and still is difficult, due to economic en legal obstacles to establish oneself in these cities. But an immigrant needs also a Hukou as an additional requirement for a legal settlement in Shanghai, while a Hukou is not needed for Hong Kong or Macao. If the PISA sample of the Shanghai pupils is representative for the whole population of 15-year-old pupils, one would expect minor differences in educational performance and social background, especially of first generation pupils (= born in mainland China, thus not born in Hong Kong or Macao), because it is equally difficult to enter each of these cities, migrating from the countryside. If the PISA sample of the Shanghai pupils contains only the pupils, who lives legally in Shanghai, one would expect major differences in educational performance and social background of first generation pupils (= born in mainland China, outside test-city) and second generation pupils (=parent(s) born in mainland China, outside test-city), and these differences would be in favor of Shanghai pupils. Data I use the PISA 2009 wave and selected only those pupils in the test-cities Hong Kong, Macao en Shanghai who were born in mainland China outside these three test-cities or of whom at least one parent was born in mainland China outside these three test-cities. If both parents are born in one of the test-cities, the pupil was excluded from the analysis. First generation means that the pupil is born in mainland China and not in the test-city. Second generation means that the pupils in born in the test-city but at least one of the parents is born in mainland China outside the test-cities. I follow the method and data-coding more elaborately described in Dronkers & Kornder (2014). Reading and math scores are the averages of the five plausible values at the reading and math test. 500 is the average score of the test of the OECD pupils, with a standard deviation of 100. Mixed marriage means that one parent is born in the test-city and another parents outside the test-city. ESCS is the index of the economic, social, and cultural status of the parents. This variable represents a composite index created in the PISA dataset of the parents' occupational status (Ganzeboom, de Graaf, Treiman and de Leeuw, 1992), the parents' educational level (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, 2006), and the presence of any material or cultural resources at the pupils' homes. This combination of the parents' occupational status and educational level together with resources at home produces the strongest indicator of parental environment (OECD, 2010). The ESCS score was standardized such that the OECD average was set to zero, with a standard deviation of 1.00. Native reading or math scores. These indicators are the average PISA score of the total native population of the three test-cities. This variable serves to approximate the quality of the destination country's educational system. Results Table 1 shows simple descriptive statistics. First generation migrant pupils from mainland China in Shanghai have substantially higher readings and math scores (546; 589) than first generation pupils from mainland China in Hong Kong (515; 526) or Macao (489; 520). These Shanghai pupils hardly come from mixed parents (9%), in contrast to those in Hong Kong (24%). The socio-economic background of these Shanghai pupils is much better (-.38) than those in Hong Kong (-1.40) and Macao (-.87). The same holds even more for the second generation. Second generation migrant pupils from mainland China in Shanghai have substantially higher readings and math scores (570; 619) than second generation pupils from mainland China in Hong Kong (545; 565) or Macao (489; 529). However, these second Shanghai pupils come very often from mixed parents (61%), in contrast to those in Hong Kong (33%) or in Macao (16%). The socio-economic background of these Shanghai pupils is much better (-.44) than those in Hong Kong (-1.04) and Macao (-.81). 2015-10-02-1443811503-8999200-Table1.png Table 2 tests whether the background variables have the same impact on the educational performance of migrant pupils from mainland China in Hong Kong, Macao and Shanghai. The impact of parental socio-economic background on the reading score is stronger in Shanghai (30,9) than in Hong Kong (17.1= 30.9-13.8) or in Macao (12.6=30.9-18.3). The same holds for one-parent born in test-city (16.8 versus -7,3 and -5.9) and only for Macao the second generation (18.0 versus 24,3 and -0.8). The results for the math scores are analogous. 2015-10-02-1443811708-1126950-Table2.png Conclusion The PISA migrant pupils in Shanghai originating from mainland China have substantial higher educational performance and a better socio-economic background than comparable migrant pupils in Hong Kong or Macao. Also the impact of the background variables on educational performance of migrant pupils is substantially stronger in Shanghai and in Hong Kong or Macao, which means that the PISA migrants in Shanghai fits better within the local inequality structure than the PISA migrants in Hong Kong and Macao. On average the impact of background variables is smaller for immigrant pupils than for native pupils (OECD, 2010). Given that is was and still is difficult to migrate to these three cities from mainland China, these differences suggest unmeasured selectivity of the PISA Shanghai migrant pupils. The importance of possessing Hukou for establishing oneself in Shanghai and thus being allow to attend better primary and secondary schools might be a sufficient and economical explanation of this unmeasured selectivity of the PISA Shanghai migrant pupils. The surprising high percentage of mix marriage for the second generation supports this Hukou interpretation: marrying a local with a permit is the golden way for any illegal immigrant to settle legally after migration. This unmeasured selectivity of the PISA Shanghai migrant pupils does not mean that Chinese migrant pupils do not score on average high on the PISA tests. Also outside Asia Chinese migrant pupils are high performers (see Dronkers & Heus, no year). But the unmeasured selectivity of the PISA Shanghai migrant pupils makes also the high reading and math scores of the native Shanghai pupils (555; 599) in comparison with the scores of the Hong Kong native pupils (537; 562) and the Macao native pupils (480; 522) questionable. It might be that third generation Chinese migrants without Hukou are not included in the Shanghai PISA sample in contrast to Hong Kong and Macao. This unexplainable selectivity of the PISA Shanghai data does not invalidate the whole PISA data collection, but it should make us aware of some important limitations of the PISA data (Mortimore, 2009). Moreover, governments and interest groups use these cross-national data to promote their own interests and the OECD as intergovernmental organization might have other goals than only scientific research. References Dronkers, J. & Heus, M. de (no year). The higher educational achievement of Chinese pupils, inside and outside of Asia: the higher transparency of Chinese numbers or a higher value of learning within Chinese culture? Unpublished manuscript. www.eui.eu/Personal/Dronkers/English/Heus3.pdf Dronkers. J. & Kornder, N. (2014). "Do migrant girls perform better than migrant boys? Deviant gender differences between the reading scores of 15-year-old children of migrants compared to native pupils" Educational Research and Evaluation: An international Journal on Theory and Practice, 20:1 44-66. Ganzeboom, H. B. G., de Graaf, P., Treiman, D. J. & De Leeuw, J. (1992), "A standard international socio-economic index of occupational status". Social Science Research, 21, 1-56. Loveless, T. (2014). Lessons from the PISA-Shanghai Controversy. Part I of the 2014 Brown Center Report on American Education. Brookings Institute, Washington D.C.: www.brookings.edu/research/reports/2014/03/18-brown-center-report-loveless Martens, K., Rusconi, A., & Leuze, K. (Eds.) (2007). New arenas of education governance - The impact of international organisations and markets on educational policymaking, London: Palgrave Meyer, H.-D. & Benevot, A. (eds.) (2013). PISA, Power, and Policy: the emergence of global educational governance, Oxford: Symposium Books. Mortimore, P. (2009). Alternative models for analysing and representing countries' performance in PISA. Brussels, Belgium: Education International Research Institute. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (2010). PISA 2009 Results: What Students Know and Can Do. Paris: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (2006). ISCED 1997: International Standard Classification of Education. Re-edition. Paris: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Zhang, Z. & Treiman, D.J. (2013). "Social Origins, Hukou Conversion, and the Wellbeing of Urban Residents in Contemporary China". Social Science Research 42(1):71-89.

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University of Kentucky Eliminates T...

University of Kentucky Eliminates Their Early Assurance Program

We have been notified that the University of Kentucky has eliminated their B.S./M.D. Accelerated Course of Study Program effective immediately. They are not taking applications at this time. This was technically an early assurance program where students applied in high school but weren’t formally accepted into the medical school until after sophomore year. There are...Continue Reading >

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University of Kentucky Eliminates Their Early Assurance Program

Brown PLME Eliminates Early Decisio...

Brown PLME Eliminates Early Decision Option

In the past, Brown University and the Program in Liberal Medical Education, PLME, has had an early decision (ED) option for students applying. Students liked the option because they thought that applying ED to PLME gave them a higher chance of acceptance into the program. This option also provided that if you were not accepted...Continue Reading >

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Brown PLME Eliminates Early Decision Option

Order of Colleges Will No Longer be...

Order of Colleges Will No Longer be Listed on the FAFSA

If you want to receive need based aid from a college you need to file a FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid each year. As part of that form you have to list each of the colleges you are applying to for aid. Most students put their first choice college down first, then their...Continue Reading >

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Order of Colleges Will No Longer be Listed on the FAFSA

Is the Asian Bias Real? Does it Mat...

Is the Asian Bias Real? Does it Matter?

We work with a large number of Asian students that are interested in BS/MD programs and medical school admissions. And we constantly hear about the Asian bias in college admissions. But what does that mean in practical terms? No college wants to see a bunch of kids that all look alike. Yes, colleges want smart students...Continue Reading >

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Is the Asian Bias Real? Does it Matter?

New Medical School with CUNY

New Medical School with CUNY

The City University of New York (CUNY) has announced that they will be starting a new medical school in partnership with St. Barnabas Hospital in New York City.  The first class will start at the medical school in the Fall of 2016.  This will be an expansion of the BS/MD program that CUNY currently has...Continue Reading >

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New Medical School with CUNY

The New SAT and the Khan Academy

The New SAT and the Khan Academy

I assume most of you know by now that the SAT is undergoing a major revision and the new version will be given for the first time in March, 2016. Many people who have just finished sophomore year have been wondering how they should prepare for this new test or whether they should take the...Continue Reading >

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The New SAT and the Khan Academy


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