Category Archives: Education System

Apple’s New Strategy

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The fact is that for the last few years, Apple has watched students and educators gravitate toward the Google and Microsoft brand-name in products and educational software. Now, Apple is gearing up to bring the students and educators back by introducing a new, less expensive iPad to the consumer market. Apple launched their new product at a Technical College Prep High School in Chicago. Apple is confident that this less expensive iPad will appeal to the educators and students that participated in the launch along with others across the country.

Apple Is Returning To Their Roots
Insiders state that Apple is simply returning to their roots. It is important to note that Steve Jobs placed a high priority on schools and Apple products. However, the company drifted away from their earlier educational roots and placed preference on mass marketing higher end products to the consumer market. The big three, which include Google, Microsoft, and Apple are in heated competition for the educational market. Google holds the highest percentage of the educational market, Microsoft holds second place, with Apple coming in third. Apple plans to conquer the educational market with their new, less expensive iPad and educational software.

New Apple Campaign
Apple is also in the middle of a new campaign that is designed to catch the attention of younger minds and introduce them to the iPad. Still, it seems like the message is not getting across to the targeted market. The demand for the iPad remains much lower than the competitor’s products.

May 4, 2018

U.S. Education System is Plagued by School Shootings, Protesting Students and Baffled Politicians

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The United States education system has come across some hard times. The Marjory Stoneman Douglas shootings that took place on February 14, 2018. This school shooting sent major shockwaves through the nation. Students, school districts, gun rights supporters, politicians and local communities are now divided over the issue of guns, school safety and what to do next.

The public education system within the United States is changing. The academic and learning side of the U.S. education system remains the same. However, the social and cultural side of education is starting to transform because people are fed up with the mass shootings that are taking place inside of America’s schools.

School shootings happen so much that many people do not know exactly what to do in response. One thing that students want is for politicians to change the gun laws which impact this country. They believe that if the laws were stronger, many of the wrong people who try to get guns would not be able to get them.

However, politicians have their hands tied because there are people who want to exercise their 2nd amendment rights to bear arms. Also, the NRA is providing a lot of funding to politicians who need the financing for their jobs. Fact is that many politicians are baffled about this situation.

Forbes featured an article that pointed out how politicians must come up with effective gun violence prevention strategies. These strategies must be effective enough to keep students safe in school, while allowing responsible Americans to own weapons. There is no easy solution to this problem and everyone will probably have to compromise before any real changes can take place.

May 2, 2018

Today’s College STEM Courses Need More Student-Centered Teaching

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In recent years, educational facilities around the world have been providing an increased focus on the STEM or science, technology, engineering and math programs that are offered at their institutions.

A recent article from the Reddit website tells of a comprehensive study of more than 700 STEM college classes that were taught by more than 500 faculty members. One of the main findings of this study is that lectures are still the most common form of teaching style and classroom interaction being utilized today.

The analysis of the STEM classes took place at 25 colleges throughout the U.S. and Canada, and was published in the journal Science in March of 2018. The study was done by a research team from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and several other universities.

The lead author of this study on undergraduate STEM education says that even though student-centered learning has proven to be a very effective method of teaching, most college faculty members are still not practicing it regularly.

One reason why student-centered learning is not being practiced as much as it could be, the study found, is because faculty members are now used to teaching large numbers of students. These faculty members may not possess the training that could allow them to work well with smaller class sizes.

With many classes now being taught in large facilities such as amphitheaters, lectures are often utilized because they are thought to be one way to reach lots of students simultaneously.

May 1, 2018

How High School Dropouts can Go Back to School

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According to https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-high-school-dropout-rates, about 1.2 million students drop out of schools every year in the United States alone. Most of these dropouts needed to pay the bills or take care of their child. With no high school diploma, a decent job is hard to find, and an expensive GED program isn’t possible. However, a new program launched by Goodwill industries is helping dropouts turn their life around.
Goodwill Industries is providing people with a second shot at school through its new program, Goodwill Excel. Goodwill excel accepts students of any age, unlike many similar programs that turn down anyone over the age of 25. This means that people who went their whole life with no high school diploma, no knowledge of higher level math or reading, can now complete these basic schools tasks.
Politicians tend to support these schools because they create more jobs. As any good politician knows, more unfilled jobs equals a better economy. Goodwill and independent philanthropists used to fund the schools themselves, but after lobbying for government funding, they eventually gained support.
The pioneering new program has schools set up all over the country, with locations in Arkansas, Washington, Texas, Tennessee, and several coming to five other states soon. At each school, students have access to a life coach, child care, transportation, and other services to make school more accessible to everyone.

April 27, 2018

Teachers Who Shell Out Their Own Cash For School Supplies Could See Tax Deduction Disappear

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There are 3.6 million teachers across America, and many of them claim they use personal cash during the school year to buy basic supplies for their students. Some of these include the most fundamental items like pencils and erasers. Other instructors who teach in some of America’s poorer neighborhoods have spent their own money for textbooks in the classroom.

Republicans on Capitol Hill might take this pittance or small deduction away from self-sacrificing teachers in the House Tax bill, according to a report in the HuffPost. The House bill budgets the savings of offering this tiny tax break at around $210 million a year.

To the average teacher out there, the small deduction doesn’t give one a king’s ransom. Instead, it is estimated that the current tax code gifts a teacher with an added $40 to $50 in their pocket. That’s it, but to most hardworking instructors around the nation, the wee tax write-off is something teachers look forward to.

On the other hand, the Senate GOP tax plan features an ironic twist by doubling the deduction for teachers to $500. Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine is considered a key swing vote on the tax bill, and she remains a big supporter of the teacher deduction.

Before the tax plan can be sent to the desk of President Trump, this issue and many others need to be hammered out into legislation that both chambers agree on.

A vote could take place on the Senate floor on Thursday.

December 21, 2017

Teachers Are Losing It And No One Is Surprised

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It feels like the world’s worst math problem: what happens when you add an unqualified education secretary, a volatile political climate, and an already stressful profession?

The answer: You get educators all over the country reporting serious declines in their own mental health.

A survey of 5,000 teachers released by the American Federation of Teachers found that 86% of those surveyed do not feel that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos appreciates them. DeVos’s main focus has been to expand private and charter school options at the expense of the public school system, and teachers are feeling the crunch.

“People get what she’s doing,” said AFT president Randi Weingarten. “She’s doing the same thing nationally as she tried to do in Michigan … which is to completely disrupt public schooling, find ways to undermine it, defund it, destabilize it, at the same time actively promoting private alternatives, even though the private alternatives don’t have a good track record.”

Essentially, DeVos’s strategy to improve American education is to use techniques proven to fail. Is it any wonder that 58% of teachers are reporting their work “often” or “always” stressful? Are we surprised that teachers describe their mental health as “not good” for more than 7 of the previous 30 days?

Sleep deprivation complicates the issue of poor mental health among teachers. Only one in five report getting a full eight hours of sleep a night.

The 58% reporting their mental health “not good” is a whopping 24% increase over a similar study conducted in 2015.

December 15, 2017

Old Education Guidance Rules to Be Removed

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The Department of Education will withdraw around six hundred documents with guidance for educators on specific topics, according to US News and World Report. The reason for this is that these documents are out of date, either because new laws have been put in place that make them irrelative, or because the way people understand education has changed and the techniques are no longer supported by educators.

In addition, Betsy Devos, the Secretary of Education, has been looking into cases where the federal government has overstepped its bounds in regards to determining issues in state and local education systems. She has been directed to do so by Donald Trump, and has been given three hundred days to complete this task.

As part of her review, she discovered these old guidance documents. Some of the guidance directives issued in those documents just do not apply anymore, as they apply to old education laws that are not in place anymore. Some of the guidance rules even relate to time limited issues that are already part of history. For example, one law had to do with how the states dealt with funds after natural storms that occurred in the 1990s. There just is no longer a reason to have these guidance rules in place anymore.

There are many updates happening in the Florida education system as well. Members of school boards can currently serve forever, or until they no longer win their seats in local elections. A bill has been introduced that would introduce term limits for people who sit on school boards.

December 14, 2017

Higher Education to Be Hurt by GOP Tax Plan

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The Republican party has proposed a controversial tax plan that is expected to negatively impact higher education. Current and former college students already struggle with the high cost of secondary education, but the new tax legislation could make it even more expensive.

Critics have pointed out that the tax reforms will discourage people from seeking certain forms of higher education. Advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, will become more unattainable as costs for these fields become unaffordable for many. In addition to raising taxes on college graduates, the House wants to remove the student loan interest deduction, adding to student debt.

Louisiana State University President F. King Alexander is just one of many educational leaders who has spoken out against the tax plan, saying, “They’re willing to throw higher education and our students under the bus to get a win on tax reform.”

“It’s a very discriminatory, ill-thought-out proposal,” remarks Rise president Leebron. “The proposal literally makes no sense, as a coherent addition to the tax code.”

Political commentators have observed that the tax legislation is apart of a bigger cultural war against higher education institutions. According to Politico, Americans are increasingly apathetic to the problems of graduate students. Colleges and universities are seen as catering to elite and wealthy U.S. citizens while overlooking lower or middle-income people. While it may be difficult to get citizens to care about the tax plan’s impact on higher education, the plan has been criticized in a number of other ways.
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December 9, 2017

The Secret to Taking Special Education Students to the Next Level

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Education is critical in life. Anyone who achieves can attest that education, along with experience and other soft skills, is the fuel that often propels individuals to the top of their game. However, dropping out of school early can destroy one’s career potential. Dropping out often sets a person up for what else will follow in life.

Take for instance Ryan Parry of Covina, California, who believes he has solved the dropout rate for special education students. Nineteen years ago, his career began as a special education teacher at Covina High School. While the school stocked geometry and algebra books, the books Parry used to teach his class looked like something one would find in an elementary setting.

The key for increasing the graduation rate of special education students is to give them more challenging assignments, and reducing stigmas surrounding special education. For anyone interested in becoming a special education teacher, Forbes lists the profession among the most gratifying and one of the happiest jobs. It is important for special education instructors to interact with those who teach general education. It is amazing what can happen when special education students have access to some of the same material as those of regular students.

Like anything, or anyone in life, special education students improve performances when they feel connected to things. Good things happen when caring people push for change. Such is the case when district administrators listened and made sure their students with disabilities connected with the main stream curriculum.

December 7, 2017

In Mexico, Integrating English Speaking Students is a Challenge

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The media and American audiences are familiar with stereotypes about migrant children from Mexico entering the United States, and struggling without bilingual integration programs in their academics. But many don’t know of a similar story that is occurring on the other side of that border, involving children born in the United States migrating to Mexico and struggling to adapt.

A number of these children are deported from the United States with their parents, but many know no other language but English. This is compounded by many migrants headed to the United States come from the more rural, less affluent areas of Mexico. When they end up deported from the United States, they wind up back with distant relatives in these communities where their unique multicultural upbringing is not appreciated or even capable of integrating their native-English speakers into the classroom.

Looming over this problem is the fact that many of the young immigrants in the United States under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, now have their own children which they might be forced to take with them if the gavel comes down on deporting them in the future.

Many of these students yo-yo over the border with their parents, following work and getting by as they can, without a solid home to call their own. While Mexican educational authorities do have programs established to help these returning students, a significant problem is finding enough teachers who are themselves bilingual, leaving the program greatly undermanned.

December 6, 2017