Study: Community colleges lack rigor, but incoming students ill prepared

There’s been a lot of talk lately of college- and career-readiness for high-school graduates, but according to a study released Tuesday, what community colleges actually require is less rigorous than we think – and many high school graduates aren’t meeting even those low standards, Christian science Monitor reports. What is being taught and emphasized in high school math and English, moreover, is out of alignment with what is needed to succeed in community college, the report concludes…

Read the full story

…Read More

Why America’s ‘hacker generation’ can thrive as teachers

Nearly half of all teachers leave the profession within the first five years, Christian Science Monitor reports. Recently, two veteran teachers – Gerald Conti in New York and Randy Turner in Missouri – have decided to call it quits with recent public resignations on Facebook and in the Huffington Post. Their high-profile statements speak to their frustration and disillusionment with teaching. Both of their resignations contain numerous unfortunate truths about the challenges facing today’s public school teachers. I have been teaching high school science for five years and I, too, have experienced the stress and devaluation they describe so poignantly..

Read the full story

…Read More

Teachers in Mexico break windows, torch offices to protest anti-union reforms

Mexican teachers and teachers-in-training once again abandoned lesson plans to protest education reform in the southwestern state of Guerrero this week, the Christian Science Monitor reports. The individuals charged with educating Guerrero’s children, and helping build a brighter future for a country lauded for its economic promise, have been on strike since a federal education reform bill was introduced almost two months ago. The bill is part of a wider reform agenda by President Enrique Peña Nieto which aims to feed economic opportunity and growth in Mexico. Other initiatives discussed include boosting competition in the telecommunications industry and increasing bank lending rates…

Read the full story

…Read More

Pakistan’s education crisis: What ever happened to Malala’s friends?

When 16-year-old Malala Yousafzai was shot point-blank on her school bus in October for her vocal support of girls’ education in Pakistan, it provoked an outcry in Pakistan and around the globe, but it also changed the lives of the two girls sitting next to her on that bus, the Christian Science Monitor reports. Almost half a year after the Taliban attack, the two girls injured alongside Malala struggle to deal with the not-so-pleasant notoriety that came with being associated with the young female education activist. Kainat Riaz, 16, and Shazia Ramzan, 14, were squeezed on either side of Malala on the bench of the school bus when a Taliban gunman boarded the bus and shot the teenage activist. Malala was shot in the head and neck. Kainat was shot through her upper right arm and required four stitches. Shazia was injured in her left hand and shoulder…

Click here for the full story

…Read More

Why promising minority students aren’t signing up for AP exams

The number of high school students passing at least one Advanced Placement (AP) exam is up overall this year, but students from minority groups still lag behind their white peers, particularly in math and science, the Christian Science Monitor reports. Among members of the class of 2012, more than 32.4 percent (950,000 students) took at least one AP exam, up from 30.2 percent in 2011. A decade ago, the number was 18 percent, according to an annual report released Wednesday by the College Board, which administers the tests. But the College Board also finds that many minority and low-income students, even those with a high likelihood of succeeding on AP exams, aren’t taking them. For students deemed likely to pass an AP mathematics exam, only 30 percent of African-American and Hispanic students and 20 percent of American-Indian students signed up for the test, compared with 40 percent of white students and 60 percent Asian and Pacific Islander students…

Click here for the full story

…Read More

Israel offering bonuses to teachers who boost student enlistment

Israel is offering new salary bonuses to high school educators based on criteria including their success in motivating pupils to perform their army service, fueling criticism of alleged militarism in its education system, the Christian Science Monitor reports. The decision to give such ”differential rewards” to school staff was first reported by the Haaretz newspaper late last year, and was confirmed this week to the Monitor by the education ministry. Critics say the move, and other recent steps, could inculcate a hawkish worldview among Israeli youth and thereby make future Middle East peacemaking even more difficult. But defenders of the step say keeping draft rates high is essential for Israel’s security in a dangerous regional environment. An education ministry circular, dated Oct. 21, 2012, and sent to principals, outlines a new policy of giving bonuses as of the close of the current school year. The extra payments to teachers are to be determined according to “achievements in learning,” “social achievements,” and “achievements in values” by schools…

Click here for the full story

…Read More

Opinion: How to keep talented teachers from leaving

Imagine a profession whose influence on individual lives is more significant than that of nearly any other occupation, whose role in society is universally acknowledged to be among the most critical to the future, and whose practitioners are often described as “heroic,” “beloved,” and “admired,” says the Christian Science Monitor.  Now imagine that this profession cannot recruit and retain the best people because it is seen by many as a dead end, neither financially remunerative nor socially and creatively fulfilling. This destructive paradox describes the profession of teaching in the United States. Soon the education priorities for President Obama’s second administration will begin to take shape. They will no doubt include, as they did during his first term, recruiting and retaining strong teachers who can prepare young people for the contemporary workforce. They should also include renewing our national commitment to teaching as a profession of status and a life of consequence…

Click here for the full story

…Read More

Why Miami-Dade schools won prestigious Broad Prize for urban districts

In Florida’s Miami-Dade County Public Schools, schools are slowly but steadily chipping away at the achievement gap, especially for Hispanic and black students, the Christian Science Monitor reports. The district, which on Tuesday was awarded the Broad Prize for Urban Education, has increased black and Hispanic graduation rates at a faster rate than other urban districts in the United States; has increased the percentages of Hispanic and black students reaching the highest achievement levels; and has increased the percentages and scores of students participating in college-readiness exams more than other districts. It’s the fifth time that Miami-Dade has been a finalist for the prestigious Broad Prize, which honors urban districts for their success in reducing achievement gaps for low-income and minority students, as well as for high overall performance and improvement in student achievement…

Click here for the full story

…Read More

The 5 most educated countries in the world

The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development recently released its Education at a Glance 2012 report, the Christian Science Monitor reports. The report examines OECD and G20 countries where the data was available. According to the report, which includes vocational training as part of higher education/post-secondary education, here are the five most educated countries in the world…

Click here for the full story

…Read More

Traditional or charter schools? Actually, they help each other, study says

Charter schools are not a silver bullet for education reform, a new report says, but applying the best practices from some charter schools to low-performing public schools may increase student achievement, the Christian Science Monitor reports. Early data show that the strategy – applied in Houston and Denver pilot programs – yielded “promising” results, according to the report, titled “Learning from the Successes and Failures of Charter Schools” and released Thursday by the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution. The study could help improve cooperation between charter schools and traditional schools, which have often viewed each other as competitors. The debate about whether charter schools or traditional schools are more effective is a false one and misses the central point, said secretary of Education Arne Duncan at the Hamilton Project’s education forum Thursday in Washington…

Click here for the full story

…Read More