This week in education news, new project looks to promote family math; California schools are making progress in implementing environmental education standards; study finds that the U.S. not doing enough to prepare students for the automation age; growing STEM skills gap is causing the outsourcing of high-paying technical jobs; teacher pay is so low that some school districts are now recruiting overseas; and President Trump honors the nation’s top teachers.
My Forbes articles are inspired by many different things. This one was inspired by browsing social media and seeing that my colleague Brian McNoldy had posted a really neat analysis of near-surface ocean winds from NASA’s Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS). It is a mission that could improve our understanding of hurricanes. What caught my eye is that one of his friends playfully commented, “Nerd.” In that instance, it was certainly light-hearted banter between friends. However, it made me reflect on my own personal observations, and how such terms may impact kids’ desire to purse STEM. Read the article featured in Forbes magazine.
“I’m just not a math person.” We’ve all heard that phrase from friends, family, or colleagues. Though usually presented as a harmless personality quirk, it conceals math anxiety, insecurity, and potentially a belief that math isn’t as valuable as other areas of study. This has real implications: Research shows that merely expressing math anxiety can damage math performance. Read the article featured in The 74.
As Californians celebrate Earth Day and the ecology movement over the past month, the state’s public schools are making steady progress in implementing some of the most comprehensive environmental education standards in the country, educators and environmentalists say. Buoyed by $4 million in the current state budget for K-12 environmental education, teachers are planning field trips to mountains and beaches, creating lessons on ecosystems and watersheds and showing students how human activity affects the planet. In April, thousands of students turned out for Earth Day events, picking up trash, pulling weeds and planting trees. Read the article featured in EdSource.
The United States is lagging behind other wealthy nations when it comes to preparing students for workforce changes wrought by automation, according to a new study by a research group affiliated with The Economist magazine. Read the article featured in The Hechinger Report.
Our government wants businesses to stop outsourcing. It creates incentives to encourage the hiring of American workers. It implements policies to keep jobs and factories here in the U.S. And while these measures are all well-meaning, none of them ultimately tackle what is the greatest threat to our nation’s long-term economic prosperity—the technical skills gap in our workforce. Couple that with restrictions on immigration, and particularly H1-Bs, and we’re on the brink of a talent vacuum here in the U.S. Read the article featured in The Hill.
The latest wave of foreign workers sweeping into American jobs brought Donato Soberano from the Philippines to Arizona two years ago. He had to pay thousands of dollars to a job broker and lived for a time in an apartment with five other Filipino workers. The lure is the pay — 10 times more than what he made doing the same work back home. But Mr. Soberano is not a hospitality worker or a home health aide. He is in another line of work that increasingly pays too little to attract enough Americans: Mr. Soberano is a public school teacher. Read the article featured in The New York Times.
From chess figures to architectural models, something is always cooking inside Adam Gebhardt’s classroom at Jefferson Elementary School in Jefferson Hills, Penn., where a LulzBot 3D printer whirls away making models designed by his 5th-grade students. As the school’s art teacher, Gebhardt started experimenting with 3D printers, where students now create objects for the chess club as well as complete their class assignments. He sees 3D printing as a way to help students build not only models, but new skills that they’ll use in their education — and, potentially, in a future career. Read the article featured in Education DIVE.
President Donald Trump thanked teachers for their dedication in a short speech in the historic East Room of the White House on Wednesday. He was speaking to a crowd of renowned teachers and their family members. The teachers had all received their state’s highest honor in 2018. The National Teacher of the Year, Mandy Manning, stood behind Trump as he delivered his remarks. Read the article featured in Education Week.
In the past decade, most states have adopted college and career readiness standards that are more rigorous than previous standards, and most of those standards are closely aligned with key tenets of the Common Core State Standards. Although researchers know something about teachers’ perspectives and implementation of newer state standards, they know less about how schools support teachers’ implementation of state standards. This report examines two key school supports that could help teachers address state standards in their instruction: curriculum requirements and school leader knowledge of standards. Read the brief by the RAND Corporation.
Stay tuned for next week’s top education news stories.
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