Schools amplify inequity with failed solutions to teacher shortage

We’re racing against a ticking clock to resolve the teacher shortage for our students’ futures as the number of unfilled positions at schools and districts hits record levels.

Every unfilled staff vacancy at a school means that students are not receiving a high-quality education, which has a resounding effect on outcomes. One study shows that 10 additional teacher absences per year lead to 1.2 percent and .6 percent of a standard deviation decrease in math and English test scores, respectively. This principle applies to core subjects, which give students a solid foundation for academic and career success, and enrichment classes, which expand their skill sets and understanding of the world.

The teacher shortage is even more detrimental to students in underserved districts, where teacher absences tend to run higher than the national average of 11 days per year.  …Read More

How to fund your CTE program

Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs provide students with relevant tools and skills that set them up for success in life and their careers, including those not typically part of traditional academic programs.

These programs offer something unique and, in many cases, tap into a student’s personal interests – even as they still provide a valuable education experience. CTE programs have countless benefits to students, and funding to implement, sustain, or grow your existing CTE programs is crucial. While there are many free resources available, having the funds to purchase basic equipment or upgrade to premium services can make a huge difference.

So where do you start when looking to fund your CTE program? The most significant source of United States government funds for CTE comes from The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, also known as “Perkins V” or “Perkins CTE grants.” It’s a grant, meaning you don’t have to pay it back, but the application process is competitive, and you’ll need to satisfy requirements as part of the grant.…Read More

New Education Policy Roadmap Aims to Ensure High School Graduates in Every State are ‘Future-Ready’

CHICAGO – Parents and educators agree that a key goal of K-12 education is to ensure that students are “future-ready”—with the knowledge, skills, and drive to navigate their careers and lives. Americans look to the education system to equip young people to succeed in this environment, but traditional approaches have often fallen short with the rapidly changing future of work. Employers and the evidence point to a need for social and emotional skills within career and workforce education. So, how can policymakers, educators, business leaders, and community leaders come together to nourish students’ real-world competencies and help them succeed after graduation on their own terms?

To address this need, Civic, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) and the Coalition for Career Development (CCD) Center have released a new report featuring a state policy roadmap for K-12 education that prepares students to succeed in a rapidly changing world. This groundbreaking report reframes what it means for students to be “future-ready” by integrating essential social and emotional learning (SEL) with career and workforce development (CWD). 

Access the full report: Educating Future-Ready Students: Bridging Social and Emotional Learning and Career and Workforce Development …Read More

How to implement a districtwide K-12 computer science program

With recent research showcasing the growing number of STEM-related jobs that will be available to our graduates in Indiana in the coming years, teaching computer science skills has become as important as teaching students how to read or do math. The state has recognized this importance by mandating that all schools incorporate computer science for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

As the career and STEM academy director for Barr-Reeve Community Schools, I helped our district integrate computer science into our K-12 students’ school days. Our program helps students develop essential skills for academic and professional success. I’ve learned a number of lessons along the way and hope districts across the nation can benefit from my experience.

Starting small…Read More

STEM careers are among students’ top choices

Students’ interests in various career fields had an overwhelming STEM and digital focus, according to a survey from the nonprofit American Student Assistance (ASA).

ASA, which aims to change the way middle and high schoolers learn about careers and navigate education-to-career opportunities, used its free immersive digital Futurescape platform to survey more than 2,000 students as they explored real-world careers beyond the classroom.

“We need to set students up for success by exposing them to career choices that they can explore where they live, which is on their mobile devices. We also have to reach them as early as middle school, before a world of career and postsecondary options begins to narrow,” said ASA President and CEO Jean Eddy. …Read More

VHS Learning Supports Students’ College and Career Readiness via Expanded Catalog and New “Exploring College & Careers” Infographic

Boston – April 14, 2022 – Giving students the chance to explore subjects beyond those in a standard core high school curriculum is a crucial step in readying them for college and careers. Students taking online high school courses through VHS Learning will start the 2022-2023 school year with many unique for-credit options, from Python Programming to Law, thanks to the nonprofit’s newly expanded course catalog. These new courses add to the more than 300 courses already available.

VHS Learning’s new courses for the 2022-2023 academic year include the following:

  • AP® Chinese Language and Culture
  • Business Law
  • Career Exploration and Readiness
  • Chinese 3
  • Civics and U.S. Government
  • Law and the U.S. Legal System
  • Python Programming
  • Spanish 1 Credit Recovery
  • Spanish 1 Summer
  • Studio Art
  • Veterinary Medicine

AP® Chinese Language and Culture runs 33 weeks, while the other new courses are semester-length and run for 15 weeks. These new courses enable students to discover subject areas that might not otherwise be available to them at a high school level.…Read More

State of Utah Approves Funding for Continued Use of YouScience Discovery Statewide

AMERICAN FORK, Utah, March 30, 2022 /PRNewswire/ —  YouScience, the only provider of a fully-integrated platform for aptitude-based assessments, personalized career guidance, and industry-recognized certifications, today announced that the Utah State Legislature has approved funding for the continued use of  YouScience Discovery through the 20222023 school year. As part of Utah’s  Student Credential Account and Aptitude Assessment, nearly 300,000 middle and high school students as well as teachers, counselors, and administrators will have access to  YouScience Discovery in addition to  Precision Exams by YouScience.

“College and career success starts with a student understanding their aptitude at an early age. This information can help eliminate biases and remove career exposure gaps impacting the trajectory of students today,” said Edson Barton, Founder and CEO, YouScience. “We would like to thank the State of Utah for recognizing the importance of YouScience Discovery along with Precision Exams by YouScience. We are honored to continue our work together during the next school year to empower students throughout their academic journey.”

YouScience Discovery has been in use across Utah since the beginning of the 2021–2022 school year, and has already helped more than 35,000 middle and high school students better understand their own talents and identify future opportunities. The aptitude assessment, which is built on learnings from 50-plus years of scientific research, helps students identify where they have a natural talent, and matches these talents with in-demand careers and educational pathways. As a result, students are more aware of their natural strengths and the opportunities they may afford.…Read More

YouScience Releases Career Insights Report on Women, STEM, and the Talent Shortage

AMERICAN FORK, Utah, March 9, 2022 /PRNewswire/ —  YouScience, a leader in aptitude-based assessments, personalized career guidance, and industry-recognized certifications that support college and career success, today announced the release of a new national report,  Career Insights: Women, STEM, and the Talent Shortage. The insights are based on data gathered from the test results of more than 100,000 female high school juniors and seniors across the nation who completed a  YouScience Discovery assessment. The findings uncover a significant career exposure gap for women, as their aptitude scores for STEM-related occupations far outweighed their self-defined interest in them.

According to a 2021  ManpowerGroup survey, talent shortages in the U.S. have more than tripled in the last ten years, with 69% of employers struggling to fill positions, up from just 14% in 2010. Globally, estimates show that by 2030, the talent shortage could reach 85.2 million people, resulting in the loss of trillions of dollars in economic opportunity for companies.

YouScience garnered the insights by analyzing student’s self-defined interest in top careers versus their aptitude for success in those careers, including STEM and other high-paying opportunities. The data includes the top 50 most frequent career matches from a selection of 500.…Read More

Building a Career in EdTech: SmarterServices Team Member Celebrates 15 Years

PITTSBURGH, PA –  The landscape of education has changed in the last decade, and even more so in the last 24 months. Technology has become integral to education, 71% of US students claim to use laptops in the classroom ( McKinsey). In 2016, the self-paced eLearning industry made up $46.67 billion of the global market share, and by 2022, that number is projected to exceed $243 billion ( Statista). It’s clear that education technology, also known as EdTech, has seen many changes and challenges but one thing stands out — the industry is expected to continue to grow with an even stronger focus on technology, which means there will be a high demand for individuals who can support it. 

SmarterServices has been at the forefront of EdTech for two decades, serving unmet market challenges facing learners, instructors, institutions, and organizations. They have provided continued support over the last two decades, as one employee, Rachel Sipper, celebrates her 15th anniversary at SmarterServices within her EdTech role as Tech Support Specialist. 

Sipper has a background in website design and was referred to SmarterServices based on her design work. She has been with SmarterServices since the company’s inception and has seen it from a company of fewer than 5 employees to over 50 employees nationwide. When Sipper first took on her role, she started providing support through an email-based ticket submission process, providing technology solutions to teachers and students alike. As the SmarterServices team grew and product offerings expanded, the support team’s workload increased from 1,000 tickets per month to 500 tickets per day. But that never deterred Sipper.…Read More

KIPP Public Schools Expands Partnership with YouScience Bringing Student Aptitude Assessments to 48 Schools Across the Nation

AMERICAN FORK, Utah, March 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Today,  YouScience announced its career guidance tool,  YouScience Discovery, is now available for students in 48  KIPP Public Schools, a network of national public charter schools. With the recent expansion, YouScience Discovery now reaches over 3,000 high school and 200 middle school students. Nearly 19,000 KIPP Public School students have taken the YouScience Discovery Assessment since the partnership began in 2016.

YouScience is the only provider of a fully-integrated platform that delivers highly accurate aptitude-based assessments, personalized career guidance, and industry-recognized certifications. With YouScience Discovery, KIPP students are provided with a proven, research-based assessment that empowers them to discover their aptitudes, eliminating their natural bias and showcasing opportunities for success.

“Knowing what students are good at, or their natural aptitude, is one of the most accurate measures of which careers they will excel in. It’s critical we help students understand this as early as possible, so that they can select the best educational pathway for themselves. In return, this will help combat the country’s current talent gap,” said Edson Barton, Founder and CEO of YouScience.…Read More