CoderZ Encouraging Title I Schools to Sign-up Students for the Amazon Cyber Robotics Challenge

The Amazon Cyber Robotics Challenge has passed the halfway mark, but it’s not too late for teachers and students to sign up. Since the fall, CoderZ and Amazon Future Engineer have been bringing real-world industry to Title I classrooms with this free, three-hour virtual learning experience. Students can sign up for the challenge to learn the basics of computer science at any time until the end of the current school year. They will also uncover how Amazon uses computer science and robotics daily to deliver customer goods.

Schools that support students from underserved communities who finish the challenge will have the chance to keep learning on CoderZ’s cloud-based platform with its virtual robots and game-like “missions.” For teachers who want to continue with CoderZ, Amazon will also sponsor free access to the yearlong curriculum for 100,000 students from underserved communities within the United States for a full semester during 2020 – 2021.

“We’re truly delighted to be partnering with Amazon Future Engineer,” said Ms. Yaarit Levy, VP Business Development at CoderZ. “This challenge has proved to be an excellent way to keep students engaged and learning even if they can’t be together with teachers at this time.”…Read More

Duncan: Cuts to education would ‘jeopardize’ nation’s ability to compete

Sequestration would “jeopardize our nation’s ability to develop and support an educated, skilled workforce that can compete in the global economy,” Duncan told a Senate panel. (Albert H. Teich/

Services would have to be slashed for more than 1.8 million disadvantaged students and thousands of teachers and aides would lose their jobs if automatic, across-the-board cuts to the federal budget kick in as a result of lawmakers’ failure to agree on deficit-reduction measures, Education Secretary Arne Duncan warned July 25.

He urged Congress to find an alternative deficit-reduction plan that won’t undermine the Education Department’s ability to serve students in high-poverty schools and improve schools with high dropout rates.

Duncan said the automatic cuts, referred to by many in Washington as sequestration, also would adversely affect financial aid programs for college students.…Read More

Rural schools need more federal attention

The report helps dispel common myths about rural schools.
The report helps dispel common myths about rural schools.

According to a new report, one out of every four rural students fails to graduate from high school, a problem that owes largely to a lack of attention to the needs of rural schools. From changing Title I formulas to providing cutting-edge technology, it’s time to provide more support to those who need it most, the report says.

Called “Current Challenges and Opportunities in Preparing Rural High School Students for Success in College and Careers: What Federal Policymakers Need to Know,” the report was released by the Alliance for Excellent Education (AEE), a national policy and advocacy organization with a commitment to ensure that all students graduate from high school prepared for success. It was funded by the Walmart Foundation.

According to the report, approximately 3.4 million students attend rural high schools, yet one out of four students fails to graduate. Overall, rural school enrollment is on the rise—up 15 percent over the past several years—but more than 20 percent of the nation’s poorest-performing high schools are located in rural areas.…Read More