4 Ways To Jump Start The College Application Process This Summer

By Vanessa Barbic, Advisor & Online Program Manager
Students Rising Above

Ask any college-bound high school graduate and chances are they will recommend starting the college application process before beginning senior year. For low-income, first-generation students, this is especially important. A strong support network and ongoing mentoring is needed to help navigate the unique challenges most will face while narrowing down and applying for college admission.

The good news is that resources such as the Students Rising Above (SRA) free College2Careers Hub are available to help incoming high school seniors successfully jump-start the process. Now is an ideal time, as summer begins to wind down, to become familiar with and start utilizing these resources. Getting an early start will not only help prospective college students stay organized, but also will make the overall application process less stressful and more enjoyable.

Below is a list of “To-Do” items college-bound high school seniors can begin working on immediately:

Tip # 1: Understand Your Prospective School’s Requirements
It’s important to know if your student profile (current grades, test scores, extra-curricular activities, etc.) is a good match for the schools you plan to apply to. You should first conduct research to determine if you meet all of the requirements for admissions before you begin drafting college applications.

During this information-gathering, brainstorm what the most important college categories are to you (location, class size, learning environment). Once you’ve determined your priorities and understand specific admissions requirements, then you can begin to research colleges that are a good match. You can also make plans to attend one of SRA’s free “Balanced College List” webinars in August, available through the College2Careers Hub.

Tip # 2: Narrow Your List Down
Once you create a wish-list of possible schools, it’s important to narrow it down by really doing your homework. Research your top choice schools by doing the following:

Review available “Fly-In” programs and apply to those that interest you. Be sure to plan ahead. Deadlines for these programs are often early, and some of the applications require multiple letters of recommendation in addition to essays.
Take a virtual tour of the schools that interest you on websites such as YouVisit.
Be honest with yourself. Does your list include too many “reach” schools? Are you playing it too “safe?” Are you considering too many schools? Make sure to fully research the requirements and understand the requested application information needed for each school that you put on your application list.

Tip # 3: Get Organized
Once your initial research is complete, it’s important to become as organized as possible, so you do not miss any important steps or deadlines. The following can help get you started:

Create accounts for your applications; remember to put together a page with your usernames and passwords.
Schedule to take (or re-take) the SAT or ACT; sign-up early and check-in with your high school counselor to see if you are eligible for fee waivers.
Research college application fee waivers in advance.
If you are interested in applying for a Math or Science major, research if you should take the SAT Subject tests.
Map out a timeline for campus visits.
Create a master calendar of key application and financial aid deadlines. If you will be a first-generation college student, acknowledge that you may face unique financial aid challenges.
Think about which teachers you would like to ask for recommendations; make sure you ask teachers who know you well.

Tip # 4: Get to Work!
Finally, compile essential information needed to complete your college applications. Below are things you can do now, while on summer break, to make the college application season more manageable:

Brainstorm and start outlining your personal statement; be on the lookout for upcoming SRA webinars on the College2Careers Hub about creating an effective personal statement.
Keep a file of all of your current high school and community activities/awards in one place on your computer for easy reference.
Apply to scholarships that are available to you and check the Financial Aid tab on SRA’s College2Careers Hub daily for scholarships and resources.
Create a scholarship file on your computer so you can reuse essays for other scholarships.

Spending just a few minutes each day over summer break to dream, plan and assemble information will result in a more successful college application process come fall. By taking advantage of the numerous available college application resources, you will be ready to seize the life-changing opportunities that the college experience– and ultimately a college degree– can offer.

Vanessa Barbic graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications, and earned her Master’s degree in Career Counseling from San Francisco State University. She joined Students Rising Above in 2013, and provides personal guidance, information and resources to low-income, first-generation college students from the initial college application process, through graduation and into the workforce. — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
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Chicago Teachers Want Their Governor To Know That They Definitely Know How To Read

Chicago teachers are most definitely not illiterate, and they want their governor to know it.
Emails released this week by The Chicago Tribune reveal that Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) called half of Chicago Public School teachers “virtually illiterate” in 2011, before he was governor. He apologized for the email during a press conference Friday, calling it “inaccurate and intemperate.”
When Rauner sent the email he was an executive at a private equity group that was involved with the Chicago Public Education Fund, a philanthropic education reform nonprofit that invests in local school initiatives. Rauner sent the email to several of the Fund’s wealthy leaders to advocate for a strong teacher evaluation system in the district. It was released after the Chicago Tribune sued for access to emails regarding a scandal involving Chicago Public Schools.
Per the Chicago Tribune, the email read:
“Teacher evaluation is critically important, but in a massive bureaucracy with a hostile union, where 50% of principals are managerially incompetent and half of teachers are virtually illiterate, a complete multi-dimensional evaluation system with huge subjectivity in it will be attacked, manipulated and marginalized — the status quo will prevail,” Rauner wrote.
In response, teachers have started a “teachers read” hashtag, detailing their reading selections. 

.@GovRauner I'm a CPS teacher & here's what I'm currently reading. #TeachersRead pic.twitter.com/cff22dR9E7— Jim Cavallero (@jcavallero) July 22, 2016

Rauner’s Friday mea culpa was preceded by the governor’s spokesperson Lance Trover releasing a statement Thursday apologizing, saying that the email was “sent out of frustration at the pace of change in our public school system.”
“Significant change can be frustratingly slow; this is especially true in public education. Many of us, at one time or another, have sent hastily crafted emails containing inaccurate or intemperate statements,” the statement said, according to DNAinfo. “The Governor regrets writing it and apologizes to CPS educators for making an unfair, untrue comment.”
Public education leaders in the city and state are deeply angered by the governor’s remarks. President of the Illinois Federation of Teachers, Dan Montgomery, called the governor’s words “a grotesque affront to the thousands of dedicated, hardworking, and talented educators and, indeed, the children who learn from them and love them,” reported DNAinfo.
Here’s how #TeachersRead is taking off on Twitter: 

This CPS teacher is literate in Spanish and in English. @GovRauner #TeachersRead pic.twitter.com/41XmBmqAfR— Cristen Chapman (@cristenmc) July 22, 2016

#TeachersRead …and more. Before I was CPS teacher, I was an editor at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. @GovRauner @BulletinAtomic— arlenegloria (@arlenegloria) July 22, 2016

.@GovRauner here's my summer reading getting ready for teaching World Studies/Humanities. #teachersread pic.twitter.com/n7WSHloadb— John C. Silva (@MrSilva) July 22, 2016

@GovRauner Still reading bc #teachersread @CTULocal1 pic.twitter.com/vEMwF429ON— Stacy (@stacydavisgates) July 22, 2016

My summer reading. @GovRauner #TeachersRead pic.twitter.com/6VJsPN9oY2— Cristen Chapman (@cristenmc) July 22, 2016

What this illiterate @ChiPubSchools teacher is currently reading. #teachersread @GovRauner pic.twitter.com/hQdiqHrCMf— AdamHeenan (@Adam_Heenan) July 22, 2016

.@GovRauner This is what I'm currently reading. Maybe you should check it out #teachersread pic.twitter.com/x7FQlGmhnG— im still waiting (@andintothenight) July 22, 2016

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In Baltimore, The Library Is Open

Classrooms are empty, desks are stacked in the hallways, and Baltimore’s students are halfway through a sixty-day layover in which they are expected to sustain their learning until the upcoming school year.

While summer can offer students the chance to learn through camps, family trips, or robust reading lists, access to these opportunities often falls upon socioeconomic lines: wealthier families have more means to discover and utilize summer learning activities, so richer students return to school in September better prepared than their low-income counterparts. One study estimates that 80 percent of the rich/poor achievement gap is attributable to the atrophy of reading skills over summer vacations.

Imagine if public schools left their libraries open during the summer for students to continue reading and exploring hands-on educational content. What would happen if media specialists remained on site so that students could check out books and access materials? Or if a city’s informal education and non-profit partners visited the libraries to lead STEM, drama, or environmental stewardship workshops?

Enter SummerREADS, a Baltimore City initiative, where ten public school libraries are serving hundreds of students in such a fashion.

SummerREADS is a free, drop-in program, managed by the Maryland Out of School Time Network, in which public school libraries renovated by the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation’s Baltimore Library Project remain open for six weeks during the summer. Hundreds of the city’s emerging readers (predominantly in grades K-3) spend summer vacation in their school’s library, which is visited by local partners such as The Maryland Zoo, National Aquarium, Young Audiences of Maryland, and Port Discovery.

Supporting library-based activities are volunteers from Americorps VISTA Summer Associates, National Civilian Community Corps, and Foster Grandparents who provide a unique blend of intergenerational mentors working with students every day during the program. Through the support of the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program, participants under 18 years of age are also eligible for a free breakfast and lunch in the school’s cafeteria.

The Baltimore Library Project and SummerREADS are initiatives born from the idea that zip code, family income, and other social determinants should not preclude youth from high-quality educational experiences. This is especially important in Baltimore City, where 85 percent of school-aged youth are eligible for Free and Reduced Meals (FARMS), and only 11 percent of 4th graders and 9 percent of low income children read at proficiency.

To step inside a SummerREADS library is not like stepping in a classroom or a summer academic intervention. The heart of the SummerREADS initiative is to provide a safe and fun (and, perhaps most importantly, air conditioned) hub for students to explore a wide variety of content, much of which is not available during the school year. On any given day, students are building circuits with LED lights, learning how classic jazz compositions have influenced modern music, or exploring folktales from around the world. Through this approach, over 90 percent of parent and student participants have indicated a positive experience in the library, and that they feel better prepared for the upcoming school year.

Not only are students having fun, productive summers in the library, but the corresponding academic outcomes are encouraging. An external evaluation completed by the Baltimore Education Research Consortium (BERC) following SummerREADS’ first summer in 2014 found that the program “had similar positive effects across grades.” First and second graders in 2014 made gains, or at least maintained their reading proficiency, as compared to a control group of demographically matched peers. In 2015, an internal pre and post benchmark using the DIBELS literacy test showed that 75 percent of matched assessments demonstrated maintenance or gains in reading fluency and accuracy across K-3 grade levels.

However insurmountable the achievement gap may seem, initiatives like SummerREADS should encourage school districts across the country, where a majority of students continue to lack summer learning opportunities. We have witnessed over the last three years what is possible through the simple act of leaving a school library open during the summer months. When community members, organizations, and philanthropy invest in our students as the Baltimore Library Project and SummerREADS have, we can do more than stop the summer slide. We can finally start to level the educational playing field for all our young people.

Paul Mincarelli is the SummerREADS Program Manager with the Maryland Out of School Time (MOST) Network, a Baltimore Corps Fellow, and specializes in more and better out-of-school time opportunities for Maryland’s young people. — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
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The Best-Kept Secret For Parents Of Deaf Children

I recently had the honor of doing a keynote presentation at the National Counselors of the Deaf Association conference. It was the first time in a while that I had presented to a predominantly Deaf audience. The topic was Madness in the Mainstream, based on the book of the same name.

The presentation focused on how Deaf mainstreamed students fly under the radar at their respective programs, doing well academically but struggling in other key areas that teachers and administrators might overlook.

Mainstreamed Deaf students put in a lot of effort to succeed. They have a vast array of survival skills that help them get through the day. But no matter how well they pull this off, they still have to deal with gaps in incidental learning, meaningful relationships, and self-esteem. There’s also the stigma that comes with being That Deaf Guy if you happen to be the only Deaf person in your school.

Most mainstreamed Deaf students willingly go through this. Based on perceived attitudes from teachers, classmates, families, and medical professionals, they internalize the belief that it’s entirely their responsibility to assimilate into the Hearing World. Sometimes, when it gets too frustrating, they actually fake it. They’ll utilize clever strategies such as social bluffing.

This takes an incredible amount of hard work. And many of these kids don’t realize how hard they’re working because they don’t have a frame of reference–they’ve never had the opportunity to be in a one hundred percent accessible classroom with other Deaf kids.

At most of my presentations, I’m greeted afterwards with “Thank you for sharing that.” Audiences are surprised when they find out how misinterpretation of Least Restrictive Environment in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has pushed Deaf education in the wrong direction.

There’s a reason I say LRE actually stands for Legislators Ruined Everything.

But with a Deaf audience at the NCDA conference, I was besieged with an entirely different reaction.

“OH… MY… GOD. I went through exactly the same thing.”

The Deaf professionals in the audience knew precisely where I was coming from. They had lived it.

Why don’t more people in mainstream society seek out the services of Deaf professionals, Deaf role models, and Deaf mentors? They are the best kept secret for parents of Deaf children. If you really want to know what it’s like to be Deaf, ask a Deaf person. There’s so much we can tell you.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of parents who have Deaf children don’t get the opportunity to connect with the Deaf community. Instead, they encounter medical professionals who focus primarily on auditory-verbal training. Which is frustrating, because auditory-verbal training is just one aspect of the Whole Deaf Child.

Yes, there’s more to it than that. Lots more.

Soon after the NCDA conference, I came across a powerful video by Rikki Poynter, a dynamic 24-year-old woman who only recently came to terms with her Deaf identity.

The video hit me to my very core. My reaction?

OH… MY… GOD. I went through exactly the same thing.

Rikki’s experience at age 24 is uncannily similar to what I went through many moons ago when I was 23. Which begs the question:

Why do we have to wait so long to find ourselves?

When you take an entirely pathological approach to deafness, the goal is fixing the ears. I get that. But this approach comes with a price. As I said in my presentation:

Their minds are so full of who they want us to be, they don’t see who we really are.

If you want to unlock the full potential of Deaf children, the quickest path is to connect them with other Deaf people. Deaf people from all walks of life. It’s as simple as that. We have gone through what your child is going through now. If you give us the opportunity to share our knowledge and expertise, it becomes easier for the next generation to navigate through life’s inevitable roadblocks.

One of the best resources of them all is Turning the Tide: Making Life Better for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Schoolchildren by Deaf authors Dr. Gina Oliva and Dr. Linda Lytle. It’s the most comprehensive book on issues affecting mainstreamed Deaf students. Read it, and you’ll gain a full understanding of what it’s like to be a Deaf child in today’s school system. It’s a must read for parents, teachers, educational administrators, and those aforementioned legislators who ruined everything.

Awareness is the first step towards positive change. There are so many Deaf people working hard to create this awareness. Oliva, Lytle, and Poynter are just the tip of the iceberg. Check them out, as well as countless others who share the same message.

We’re here, and it’s time to turn the tide. — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
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Here's What Happens When Teens Don't Get Enough Sleep

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Being a teenager is hard, but being a sleep-deprived teenager is even more difficult, according to sleep expert Els van der Helm and clinical sleep psychologist Ellie McGlinchey.
In the HuffPost Rise video above, van der Helm detailed some of the negative effects of sleep deprivation in teens. They’re no joke: A lack of Zs can lead to difficulty staying focused and a harder time regulating emotions. 
“When a teenager is sleep-deprived, they’re not equipped to deal with adolescence,” van der Helm said.  
Teenagers should get between eight and 10 hours of sleep per night, according to the National Sleep Foundation. But a 2014 survey found that 58 percent of 15- to 17-year-olds sleep seven hours or fewer each night.
“American teens are getting far less than the nine hours of sleep that is recommended, because there’s a lot of pressures on them as they’re developing,” McGlinchey said. “They’re not functioning at their optimal level physically, mentally, cognitively, academically.”
The prefrontal cortex in a teenager’s brain is still developing, making it already difficult to regulate their emotions. But being sleep deprived, according to van der Helm, adds insult to injury.
“So the effect is that you’ll just lash out, respond immediately, impulsively and very emotionally,” van der Helm said. 
It can be difficult to recognize the signs of sleep deprivation, McGlinchey said, as many teens look “normal, happy, healthy.” But, she added, “they may not be functioning at the level they could if they were fully rested.”
Watch the video above to learn more about sleep deprivation in teens.
This video was produced by Rebecca Halperin and Katrina Norvell. — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
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Meet Graham — The Superhuman Evolved To Survive Car Accidents

We humans are always pushing limits ― skydiving, downhill skiing, car racing.
The stark reality, however, is that our bodies are not built to survive accidents involving many of the technologies we’ve come to love and rely on, namely automobiles.
Then there’s Graham ― a bulging, unsightly and very crash-proof specimen.

Developed as part of a new road safety campaign in Australia, the lifelike sculpture highlights our own vulnerabilities, “designed with bodily features that might be present in humans if they had evolved to withstand the forces involved in [car] crashes,” according to the Transport Accident Commission in the state of Victoria.
Graham was produced by Melbourne-based artist Patricia Piccinini, with help from road safety engineer Dr. David Logan and trauma surgeon Christian Kenfield. His superhuman features include a massive skull to protect the brain; a flat, fatty face capable of absorbing the energy of an impact; no neck, eliminating the possibility of it being broken; stronger, thicker skin: ribs fortified with their own air bags; knees capable of bending in all directions; and an extra leg joint that allows him to jump out of the way of a moving vehicle. 
In short, Graham would have no trouble walking away from a high-speed, head-on collision. 

In an announcement about TAC’s new safety campaign, chief executive Joe Calafiore said cars have evolved much quicker than human beings. 
“Graham helps us understand why we need to improve every aspect of our roads system to protect ourselves from our own mistakes,” he said. 
In 2013 alone, 1.25 million people died globally in road traffic accidents, according to the World Health Organization.
Graham will be on display at the State Library of Victoria until August 8 and TAC has set up a website where people can interact with the superhuman. 
“We have to accept people will always make mistakes, but modern vehicle safety technology and safe road design can drastically reduce the forces involved when a crash happens, making them more survivable,” Calafiore said.

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Giving Refugees A Future With Free Education

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The Global Search for Education: From Local to Global

“For this back-to-school season, we are focusing on making communication, collaboration, resource sharing and discovery even simpler and more relevant at a local, regional and global level.”  —  Manish Kothari 

Who hasn’t heard of Edmodo, aka the “Facebook for schools” that boasts over 65 million users in 370,000 schools around the world; where teachers and learners experience classrooms without borders and without limitations – from local to global in just one click!

Resource-sharing collaborations and projects between like-minded educators on the Edmodo network are known to spark deeper learning engagement for students. One example we really liked was high school teacher in Italy Lucia Bartolotti’s organic development of an Edmodo pen pal program with teacher Dimitris Pallas from Kalyvia near Athens to bring their global education project to life.

“For this back-to-school season,” says Manish Kothari, Edmodo’s General Manager of Platform, “we are focusing on making communication, collaboration, resource sharing and discovery even simpler and more relevant at a local, regional and global level.”

In this Global Search for Education interview with Kothari, he discusses the innovative new tools from Edmodo, the benefits of social learning and the additional value that teachers, parents and students can expect from his company in the upcoming school year.

Describe in a nutshell the major features offered by Edmodo’s updated solutions and the additional value it provides for your users.

Specifically, we have introduced features such as threaded discussions, in-post translation (via Google Translate), public conversations and better search for our users. We now have integrations with both Microsoft’s Office Online and Google’s Apps for Education; this way, the platform serves as a neutral, nimble launch pad for any solution a school or district selects.

For students, we have introduced Play, which encourages them to answer high-quality questions in a self-guided environment with no time pressure or grades, and learn through a positive social experience.

For administrators and district personnel, we have introduced Group Directories, which is an easy way for teachers in a district to see all available Groups, teacher Badges and instant PLC’s to enhance the district’s professional development to increase teacher capacity.

Finally, for parents, we have introduced new and more relevant forms of communicating so that they can participate in their child’s progress at school.

“We now have integrations with both Microsoft’s Office Online and Google’s Apps for Education; this way, the platform serves as a neutral, nimble launch pad for any solution a school or district selects.”  —  Manish Kothari

How does the Microsoft Office integration work? What additional features does it provide users?

Our integration with Microsoft’s Office Online allows users to create, open, edit and save any Office document from within Edmodo for free. Users can save their documents on OneDrive, or, in their Edmodo Library. Finally, users can login with their Microsoft O365 credentials.

How does the Google integration work?

Users with Google Accounts can seamlessly create and login to their Edmodo Accounts with Google Credentials. Teachers and students can view Google Drive items directly from the Edmodo Library / Backpack and attach them to assignments and notes. We recently updated the look and feel of this integration so it’s easier than ever to see and organize Google Folders. And soon, there will be improved ability to change permissions and create copies of Google Docs when sending them out.

How does Edmodo Topics help teachers?

Edmodo Topics are public conversations that allow teachers who are interested in a specific topic to easily and quickly set up and have a conversation (on that topic). These conversations can be ongoing; for example, the best ways to teach Shakespeare to middle school children; or ephemeral (around a specific workshop at a trade show). Topics are searchable.

“Continual Professional Development is a core use for many teachers on Edmodo.”
—  Manish Kothari 

What is the benefit of allowing Edmodo Topics to evolve organically? What kinds of connections does that allow for?

Since Topics are public, searchable and flexible, anyone can start or participate in a conversation. Once teachers participate in a Topic, they can request to connect with other members within that conversation/topic. Here we are promoting the importance of the connectivity among our network as teachers share insights that transcend classroom borders.

How can teachers to share their expertise with other teachers and students?

Primarily through resources that they can upload to share (or sell) on Edmodo’s marketplace, Spotlight. These resources can be worksheets, lessons, videos, or apps.

How does your new system change how professional development for teachers can be done? What is the future for teachers wanting to share resources and better hone their craft?

Continual Professional Development is a core use for many teachers on Edmodo. We have enhanced this experience in a few ways: districts can easily create Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) to share/distribute specific resources, and award badges as certifications.

Teachers and publishers can upload professional development resources on Edmodo’s marketplace, Spotlight, to share with (or sell to) other teachers. These resources can be worksheets, lessons, videos, or apps.

With budgets getting cut and teachers having limited resources, making it difficult to travel for professional development opportunities, there is a real need for interactive professional development.

“We believe that the social component of learning is significant in terms of boosting learning outcomes.”  –Manish Kothari

What makes your platform better able to address the needs of users than other platforms available?

Edmodo is a comprehensive yet intuitive platform designed for connecting school communities at a local and global level. We provide schools with the ability to provide classroom instruction, communication outreach, and share resources with one another. We believe that the social component of learning is significant in terms of boosting learning outcomes, and Edmodo is the global social learning platform that comprises the largest network of students, teachers, and parents in K-12. Our network offers the safety and security designed to protect the privacy of students and teachers by providing a safe alternative to open, consumer social networking sites.

Where do you see platforms like Edmodo going?

We believe that social learning, where students and teachers learn by collaborating/learn by doing will increasingly be a strong driver for outcomes. Additionally, “implicit” signals that track activities like resources created, viewed, commented on, problems solved (to help others), etcetera will become more important proxies for learning than the “explicit” signals, such as grades, test/quiz scores, etcetera.

What’s the future of communication on a platform like Edmodo between teachers who are from different countries and backgrounds, and who speak different languages?

As communication platforms such as WhatsApp and Slack have shown, communication is a core need for billions across the globe. Having a global network enhances the discovery of people and resources that are relevant. Tools such as Google Translate, which is enabled within Edmodo’s stream, can help make global communication and collaboration more practical.

(Photos are courtesy of CMRubinWorld and Edmodo)

C. M. Rubin with Manish Kothari

Join me and globally renowned thought leaders including Sir Michael Barber (UK), Dr. Michael Block (U.S.), Dr. Leon Botstein (U.S.), Professor Clay Christensen (U.S.), Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond (U.S.), Dr. MadhavChavan (India), Professor Michael Fullan (Canada), Professor Howard Gardner (U.S.), Professor Andy Hargreaves (U.S.), Professor Yvonne Hellman (The Netherlands), Professor Kristin Helstad (Norway), Jean Hendrickson (U.S.), Professor Rose Hipkins (New Zealand), Professor Cornelia Hoogland (Canada), Honourable Jeff Johnson (Canada), Mme. Chantal Kaufmann (Belgium), Dr. EijaKauppinen (Finland), State Secretary TapioKosunen (Finland), Professor Dominique Lafontaine (Belgium), Professor Hugh Lauder (UK), Lord Ken Macdonald (UK), Professor Geoff Masters (Australia), Professor Barry McGaw (Australia), Shiv Nadar (India), Professor R. Natarajan (India), Dr. Pak Tee Ng (Singapore), Dr. Denise Pope (US), Sridhar Rajagopalan (India), Dr. Diane Ravitch (U.S.), Richard Wilson Riley (U.S.), Sir Ken Robinson (UK), Professor Pasi Sahlberg (Finland), Professor Manabu Sato (Japan), Andreas Schleicher (PISA, OECD), Dr. Anthony Seldon (UK), Dr. David Shaffer (U.S.), Dr. Kirsten Sivesind (Norway), Chancellor Stephen Spahn (U.S.), Yves Theze (LyceeFrancais U.S.), Professor Charles Ungerleider (Canada), Professor Tony Wagner (U.S.), Sir David Watson (UK), Professor Dylan Wiliam (UK), Dr. Mark Wormald (UK), Professor Theo Wubbels (The Netherlands), Professor Michael Young (UK), and Professor Minxuan Zhang (China) as they explore the big picture education questions that all nations face today.
The Global Search for Education Community Page

C. M. Rubin is the author of two widely read online series for which she received a 2011 Upton Sinclair award, “The Global Search for Education” and “How Will We Read?” She is also the author of three bestselling books, including The Real Alice in Wonderland, is the publisher of CMRubinWorld, and is a Disruptor Foundation Fellow. — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Source: huffingtonpost

Earning Less Money Isn't A Choice That Women Just Make

Women don’t choose to make less money than men. But that’s often the criticism leveled when we talk about the gender pay gap, or the fact that women, on average, make only 79 cents for every dollar a man earns.
The argument typically is: Women look for work in lower-paying professions, so of course they make less than men.
Elise Gould, a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, has heard that claim a lot since she published research showing that women earn $4 an hour less than men right out of college. Gould and EPI researcher Jessica Schieder published a paper on Wednesday explaining why the pay gap has little to do with real choice.
“People were not understanding the full picture,” Gould told The Huffington Post.

It’s true that many women do not pursue higher-paying jobs in engineering or science ― fields that are dominated by men. But that’s not the main reason the pay gap exists. In fact, 68 percent of the gap can be explained by the fact that women make less than men within the same occupations, as Gould and Schieder note.
“Leaving aside the fact that women’s career choices are shaped by gender norms and expectations, the fact is that most of the gender wage gap can be explained by the fact that women, on average, are paid less than men in the same occupation,” Gould said in a statement Wednesday morning.
Female doctors, for example, earn $51,000 less than male doctors on average, a study recently published in JAMA Internal Medicine found.

A few enlightened companies are looking at their payrolls to determine if there’s a problem. Recently, the software company Salesforce found a pay gap among its employees and spent $3 million to rectify it. A few other firms have published the results of internal audits. Amazon recently said that it pays women and men equally, though it didn’t explain how it arrived at that conclusion.
Other industries aren’t so forthcoming. The union that represents reporters at The Wall Street Journal recently revealed that women at the paper make 87 cents for every dollar a man earns there. Though the company has pledged to address the problem, there’s been no action announced yet on this front.
“A company can look at their policies, but the vast majority are not,” Gould told HuffPost. “That’s an easy solution but it’s not happening.”
Of course, there’s more to the gap. Women and men do tend to get steered toward certain educational and professional paths. More men than women become engineers, for example, and more women than men choose social work. Those decisions, Gould and Schieder write, are influenced by cultural forces that cry out for further examination.
For example, at a very young age girls are often steered away or discouraged from pursuing math and science. It happens at toy stores where science kits are stocked in the boys’ aisle, and in classrooms where girls receive less attention than boys and teachers underestimate their female students.
Even if women do make it into the higher-paying tech industry later on, they often feel alienated from a male-dominated culture.
One 2008 study found that 63 percent of women who work in science, tech and engineering experience sexual harassment. Women leave these industries at higher rates than men.
“Decisions women make about their occupation and career do not happen in a vacuum,” Gould and Schieder write. “They are also shaped by society.”
The authors also point to a recent study showing that once women do enter a field, wages in that profession actually tend to fall.
When women come onto the scene, “it just doesn’t look like it’s as important to the bottom line or requires as much skill,” Paula England, a sociology professor at New York University, told The New York Times earlier this year. “Gender bias sneaks into those decisions.”
But wait ― there are yet more layers baked into this cake. Because domestic responsibilities are still overwhelmingly coded as female, women often have to work the equivalent of two jobs ― acting as caregivers of children or elderly relatives while also working for an actual salary. That puts them in a bind when it comes to taking on work that demands long hours. 
This, in part, helps to explain why there are so few female partners at prestigious law firms and in demanding fields like investment banking. And even at the highest levels of business, women’s salaries tend to suffer more than men’s when times are tough. — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Source: huffingtonpost

A Textbook That Paints Mexican-Americans As Lazy Could Be Coming To A School Near You

A proposed Mexican-American studies textbook has drawn harsh criticism for what Latino educators and scholars in Texas are calling a lack of scholarly expertise, major factual inaccuracies and demeaning characterizations of Mexican-Americans. 
“What we have now is a deeply flawed and a deeply offensive textbook,” Celina Moreno, of the Texas Latino Education Coalition, said at a Monday press conference.
Groups like Moreno’s came together with professors who specialize in Mexican-American heritage, and who had been independently scrutinizing the textbook, to share some of their disturbing findings.
Emilio Zamora, a professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin, reviewed material that covered the U.S.-Mexican War of 1846-48 to the present. He said he found “five to seven serious, serious errors per page,” which render the entire publication “useless and even counterproductive.” 
The Texas State Board of Education is currently reviewing the book for potential approval. Although the book’s fate is far from clear, the board has previously approved textbooks and curricula that deny climate change, promote creationism, whitewash historical events and maintain that the roots of Western democracy are found in the Bible. 
And last year, the board rejected a proposal that state-approved elementary and high school textbooks be fact-checked by academics. 
Because of the state’s tremendous clout in the educational publishing world, Dan Quinn of the nonpartisan educational watchdog group Texas Freedom Network told HuffPost that content that makes the grade in the Lone Star State is likely to be adopted ― in some form or another ― well beyond its borders.

This text has the look of a task given to an intern who has been told to cobble together what they can using the Internet.
José María Herrera, a professor at the University of Texas at El Paso

The Latino educators at Monday’s press conference were originally hoping that they’d be celebrating a victory, not fighting a battle. 
The state board had rejected prior calls to formalize a Mexican-American studies curriculum, even though Latinos make up the largest percentage of Texas public school students (almost 52 percent) and advocates cite research indicating that such a curriculum would help boost student performance.
Then, a 2011 state law that enabled school districts to buy whatever materials they wanted with state money ― as opposed to just those approved by the board of education ― opened up the possibility of districts embracing Mexican-American studies. But only a handful of schools created their own curriculum to teach Latino heritage.
“In practice, [schools] almost always buy the materials the state board approves” as that makes it easier to comply with the state’s education requirements, Quinn said. So the thinking was that if there were an approved textbook on Mexican-American heritage, “schools would be more likely to adopt a course of study.”
But with the market still small, he said few publishers were willing to submit to the arduous process of Texas State Board of Education review.

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The lone proposal for a Mexican-American heritage textbook came from Momentum Instructions, a company linked to Cynthia Dunbar, a former education board member known for her extreme conservative views. Quinn described her four-year term on the board as “one culture war after another.” 
In a 2008 book titled One Nation Under God ― released while Dunbar was still serving on the state board ― she called public education “tyrannical” and a “subtly deceptive tool of perversion,” according to the Texas Observer. 
As for the proposed textbook, Quinn suggested that Dunbar and its authors were seeking to “promote their own political and personal ideas.” He said the authors lack credible expertise in the field of Mexican-American studies.
Emails and calls to Momentum Instructions were not immediately returned. 

Members of the Responsible Ethnic Studies Textbook Coalition agreed with Quinn’s assessment of the authors’ expertise, stating at Monday’s press conference that they failed to accurately or comprehensively portray either Mexican-American culture or history. 
“This text has the look of a task given to an intern who has been told to cobble together what they can using the Internet,” José María Herrera, an assistant professor in education at the University of Texas at El Paso, said in a statement linked to the press conference.
The textbook doesn’t even bother to distinguish Mexican-Americans from other Latino or Hispanic communities, conflating Spanish and Colombian traditions with those of Mexico, according to Herrera. 
Zamora highlighted inaccurate and just plain offensive characterizations of events and figures. “The authors characterized most Mexican-American civil rights and labor leaders as social and political threats to American society,” he said.
One such passage described the Chicano movement, a 1960s push for the empowerment of Mexican-Americans, as an effort that “opposed Western civilization” and aimed to “destroy this society.” 
Another particularly glaring passage from the discussion of labor relations during the 1800s described Mexican workers as lazy:

“Industrialists were very driven, competitive men who were always on the clock and continually concerned about efficiency. They were used to their workers putting in a full day’s work, quietly and obediently, and respecting rules, authority, and property. In contrast, Mexican laborers were not reared to put in a full day’s work so vigorously. There was a cultural attitude of ‘mañana,’ or ‘tomorrow,’ when it came to high-gear production.” 

“It is simply unworthy of consideration as a textbook,” Zamora said. 
Their frustration is that a much better book would benefit not only Texas schoolchildren but the growing Latino population across the U.S. 
“It’s not that people want to teach these courses out of separatism ― it’s so the students can see themselves in the cultural fabric of the American experience,” Quinn told HuffPost. “And right now, in a lot of ways, they don’t see themselves in these history textbooks.” — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Source: huffingtonpost