Fame Kids Light the Way for the Next Generation of Names in Lights

High school students from LaGuardia High School, aka the Fame School, have been hosting a series of free public information sessions for New York middle school students. These sessions are designed to help the next generation of young artists determine whether, and how, to pursue admission into LaGuardia, New York’s only public specialized high school for the arts. The first information session, hosted online over Zoom, had over 220 families attending, including kids from all five boroughs who are interested in seeking admission to the exclusive and storied school, which last year had an acceptance rate under 6%. Tomorrow, August 20th, will be the next online session, which already has over 270 families registered.

The info sessions are hosted by LaGuardia’s student-run organization, Take pART, which has a mission of increasing access to, and inclusion in, the arts for young New Yorkers. In pre-COVID days, the club was founded to distribute free “house seat” tickets to LaGuardia’s marquee shows, like its legendary annual All School Musical, to middle school kids. The All School Musical takes place in LaGuardia’s 1000-seat Concert Hall, which is officially licensed as a Broadway Theater, and features the stars and working artists of tomorrow. Golden Globe-nominee Ansel Elgort starred in one such LaGuardia musical; Timothe Chalamet, the youngest Best Actor nominee for an Oscar in history, quipped that he never was cast in a LaGuardia musical because the talent pool was too deep. With live performances at LaGuardia indefinitely suspended due to COVID, Take pART decided that the best way to encourage young New Yorkers to embrace the arts is to recruit them.

The club, founded by Elena Critelli (President, and Violist) and Eason Rytter (Vice-President, Actor and Singer), are giving middle school students and their families an online overview of each of LaGuardia’s artistic studios: Dance, Drama, Instrumental Music, Technical Theater, Visual Art, and Vocal Music. Student representatives from each artistic discipline spoke about their artistic and academic experiences, their audition processes, and answered live questions from the attendees at their recent session on August 13th. LaGuardia’s audition process can be a grueling and nerve-wracking day for aspiring 8th grade artists under the best of circumstances, but this year, concerns of safety and distancing have made the logistics around auditioning an additional source of concern and uncertainty for students applying to LaGuardia. Take pART is trying to help alleviate the worries of this next generation of artists by lighting the way for them. The next free information session will be held August 20, 2020 at 7:30pm. Registration is available through the Take p’ART instagram account, @lagtakepart.…Read More

Bridging the gap in cybersecurity education

Experience Education (ExperienceAmerica.com), a leading organization in experiential learning, has partnered with Education Service Center (ESC) Region 20 in Texas to bring inspiration and innovation to children during a time of crisis. With kids across the country feeling increasingly isolated and disconnected from their friends, as well as their regular routines, Experience and ESC-20 have come together to give young minds a sense of purpose and connection through a one-of-a-kind virtual Cybersecurity Summer Camp. The goal: to merge the children’s love of technology with the national demand to fill tens of thousands of Cybersecurity roles.

Currently employing more than 900,000 Americans from coast-to-coast, Cybersecurity is one of the fastest growing job sectors in the nation. According to a recent study, the U.S. Cybersecurity workforce needs to grow by 62% in order to meet the current demand. Yet less than half of schools in the country offer any education on the subject. What’s more is that access to Cybersecurity education is uneven and seemingly dependent upon geographic location and socio-economic status. Students from small and high-poverty districts are less likely to have any exposure to the field, causing a disproportionate percentage of youth to bypass an industry that is hungry for skilled professionals.

The strategic partnerships Experience is building with ESC-20 and other districts across the country will ensure the Cybersecurity career pathway is accessible for students from all backgrounds. “We’ve secured funding at the state level to offer full scholarships to 45 deserving students, along with Chromebooks to ensure all kids, regardless of socio-economic status, will be able to get the most out of the program,” explains ESC-20 College and Career Military Readiness Coordinator, Naomi Woods. “Together with Experience, we’ll also be providing an additional 55 scholarships. That way, 100 eighth graders in total will be able to take part in this unique virtual summer learning camp.”…Read More

5 things to avoid saying to students suffering from anxiety

[Editor’s note: Don’t miss our companion piece, “5 things to say to students suffering from anxiety.”]

Currently, schools are being inundated with cases of anxiety in young adults. Although the dramatic increase in attention being paid to the illness has been beneficial to those suffering, the difficulty lies in the fact that everyone thinks they understand anxiety and how to overcome it.

As a public high school administrator, I lead interventions for students in poor academic standing. Although many students have logistical circumstances keeping them from being successful—homelessness, employment, learning disabilities, etc.—many of them are school avoidant because of anxiety that is, quite frankly, debilitating.…Read More

Disrupting opportunity gaps will hinge on networks

Recently, Stanford researcher Raj Chetty came out with yet another new study on the jagged landscape of opportunity facing America. Analyzing the relationship between young people’s exposure to innovation and the likelihood that they would go on to become inventors, the study highlights an alarming rate of what the authors dub “lost Einsteins”: young people who show promising potential but who, due to lack of exposure to innovation, appear far less likely to pursue careers as inventors. Perhaps unsurprisingly these gaps fall along demographic lines. Children from high-income (top 1%) families are ten times as likely to become inventors as those from below-median income families.

The consequences of Chetty’s specific findings are profound. Society is passing up entire reservoirs of latent innovation potential in the next generation.

The findings are also a microcosm of a broader reality facing the education establishment in an age of stark income and geographic inequalities. If Chetty’s research tells us something about schools, it’s that all the academic interventions in the world may not add up to tackling opportunity gaps that shape students’ ability to realize their potential as inventors or otherwise. In recent years, education reformers have focused relentlessly on K-12 achievement gaps and college graduation rates as proxies for leveling the playing field. But Chetty’s data suggests that opportunity gaps don’t merely spring forth from gaps in achievement or attainment—they are based on exposure. They are also social and geographic in nature.…Read More

The other gap that schools aren’t talking about—relationships

The NAEP scores released in April set off a flurry of headlines about the sobering state of achievement gaps across the nation. The general consensus? Despite pockets of promise, and slight declines in gaps by race, achievement data reveal that gaps by income have remained relatively flat, or uneven at best.

The news for young people on the wrong side of these gaps, however, may be worse. Measuring opportunity in terms of household income or school quality, as education reformers are prone to do, doesn’t paint the whole picture. Students today are competing on an even more complex playing field, one that’s often masked by statistics on income and achievement gaps. A well-resourced childhood introduces a whole new set of inequities between rich and poor students, and those whose parents have or have not earned college degrees: social gaps.

Gaps in students’ networks matter immensely in both immediate and longer-term measures. Research groups like the Search Institute have shown that developmental relationships drive everything from higher grades to persistence in school. Down the line, an estimated 50 percent of jobs come through personal relationships.…Read More

Survey: Boys have waning interest in STEM careers

Boys’ interest in STEM careers has dropped over the past year, while girls’ interest remains the same, according to an annual survey from Junior Achievement and Ernst & Young LLP.

Last year, 36 percent of surveyed male high school students said they wanted a STEM career, but this year, only 24 percent reported the same. For two years straight, just 11 percent of female high school students say they want to pursue a STEM profession.

Girls’ low interest in STEM education and careers isn’t exactly new–by middle school, many girls lose interest in and enthusiasm for STEM subjects for a variety of reasons, including the false perception that science, math, and technology classes aren’t “cool,” as well as a lack of female representation in STEM professions. Still, many initiatives and schools are working to combat this trend.…Read More

Blog: Technology Creates Dynamic Insights at Tampa Preparatory School

At the Tampa Preparatory School, the mission is to provide students “a preparation for life with a higher purpose than self.” Each classman must abide by an honor code and resolve to make a positive difference both in the school and outside world by being honest, respectful, trustworthy, and fair.

Conversely, the educators and staff at Tampa Prep promise to create a place where young people can Think, Create, Be Themselves, Aspire to Excellence and Go Beyond. Students are encouraged to reflect and analyze on the path to personal understanding. They are asked to celebrate the imagination in geometric proofs and formal essays, on canvas, the computer, and stage, in poetry readings and morning assemblies. They are taught to respect people’s differences. And, they are guided toward winning attitudes in academics, athletics and arts so that they may meet the challenges that exist beyond their communities and experiences.

The academy offers concentrated studies in the academic areas of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), Global Studies and Art.…Read More

We Are Teachers 2017 Teacher Appreciation Giveaway

It’s May! Time to give yourself a high-five for everything you’ve done to help nurture and grow young minds in your classroom this year. And we want to show you just how amazing you really are with this 2017 Teacher Appreciation giveaway of gift cards and gift baskets piled high with goodies for you and your classroom. The winners will go on a $100 Teacher Created Materials shopping spree for books, decorations, lesson plans—the works! Plus you’ll get lots of other fun stuff like an inspirational classroom poster, a Disney Earth DVD, and plenty of goodies.

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Scholastic News Kid Reporters

The Scholastic News Kids Press Corps is a group of talented young reporters, ages 10–14, from across the country. For more than 17 years, Scholastic News Kid Reporters have covered “news for kids, by kids.” Their stories appear online at the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps website and in select issues of Scholastic classroom magazines, which reach more than 25 million students in classrooms nationwide. The Kid Reporters have made news by interviewing journalists, politicians, entertainers, authors, and sports stars. The annual selection of Kid Reporters is based on writing ability, interviewing skills, and attention to detail.


…Read More

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The 2 edtech fields with the most potential under Trump

The tumultuous early weeks of the Trump administration have produced plenty of headlines and controversy, but almost nothing on higher education. The nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, has only recently been confirmed, and given her background in K-12, higher education was not a major theme of her Senate hearing. The announcement of a task force to reform higher ed, to be led by Liberty University President, Jerry Falwell, Jr., gave little detail about its policy priorities or objectives but remains the young administration’s only substantive action on higher ed to date.

Why the Administration Matters

Ultimately, public policy is just one of many factors shaping the edtech environment; and, regardless of policy direction, any administration should provide consistency and stability for the institutions and investors that purchase our products and services.…Read More