Report warns a decline in language learning could spell bad news for U.S.

A diminishing share of United States residents speak languages other than English–a trend that could have important consequences for business, international affairs, and intellectual exchange, according to a new report from American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The Academy’s new report, The State of Languages in the U.S.: A Statistical Portrait, summarizes the nation’s current language capacity, focusing on the U.S. education system. A joint venture of the Academy’s Commission on Language Learning and Humanities Indicators, the report draws on the most recent national, state, and local data sources available to draw a more complete picture of language use in the nation.

“This very important work is ongoing and we look forward to the Commission’s final report and recommendations that will be available in February [2017],” said Jonathan F. Fanton, president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.…Read More

Hawaii partners on statewide STEM, energy curriculum

Defined STEM Curriculum aims to engage students in statewide renewable energy initiatives

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) is moving to further support Ka Hei, its statewide strategic program kicked off in 2014 that educates students about sustainable energy transitions happening across schools throughout the state, through partnerships with Defined STEM, the flagship curriculum supplement of Defined Learning, and OpTerra Energy Services.

Hawai’i is the most fossil-fuel-dependent state in the nation, and the state’s schools spend $48 million a year on electricity alone. The Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative aims to relieve the state’s dependence on oil by using 100 percent clean energy by 2045.

The goal of the Ka Hei program is to integrate innovative energy technology with meaningful learning experiences, all while reducing energy costs.…Read More

SC online schools fear becoming “dumping ground’

Leaders of the state’s charter school district fear its fledgling online schools are becoming a “dumping ground” for the state’s most at-risk students, The State reports. Students in danger of failure or, in some cases, expulsion are quitting their traditional public schools midyear to enroll in online charter schools – sometimes at the recommendation of guidance counselors and teachers, they say. “Kids say, ‘We were told to come to you,’” said Stephanie Cagle, principal of S.C. Provost Academy, a statewide online charter school in its fifth year of operation. “The perception is we’re an alternative setting (for students struggling behaviorally), and that can’t be further from the truth.”

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