6 Ways State Policymakers Can Build More Future-Focused Education Systems — from gettingsmart.com by Jennifer Kabaker

Key Points

  • Guided by a vision – often captured as a Portrait of a Graduate – co-constructed with local leaders, community members, students, and families, state policymakers can develop policies that equitably and effectively support students and educators in transforming learning experiences.
  • The Aurora Institute highlights the importance of collaborative efforts in creating education systems that truly meet the diverse needs of every student.

The Aurora Institute has spent years working with states looking to advance competency-based systems, and has identified a set of key state policy levers that policymakers can put into action to build more personalized and competency-based systems. These shifts should be guided by a vision–co-constructed with local leaders, community members, students, and families–for what students need to know and be able to do upon graduating.


Career Pathways In A Rapidly Changing World: US Career Pathways Story — from gettingsmart.com by Paul Herdman

Key Points

  • There has been a move away from the traditional “Bachelor’s or Bust” mentality towards recognizing the value of diverse career pathways that may not necessarily require a four-year degree.
  • Local entities such as states, school districts, and private organizations have played a crucial role in implementing and scaling up career pathways programs.

While much has been written on this topic (see resources below), this post, in the context of our OECD study of five Anglophone countries, will attempt to provide a backdrop on what was happening at the federal level in the U.S. over the last several decades to help catalyze this shift in career pathways and offer a snapshot of how this work is evolving in two very different statesDelaware and Texas.


U.S. public, private and charter schools in 5 charts — from pewresearch.org by Katherine Schaeffer
.

 

AI Policy 101: a Beginners’ Framework — from drphilippahardman.substack.com by Dr. Philippa Hardman
How to make a case for AI experimentation & testing in learning & development


6 AI Tools Recommended By Teachers That Aren’t ChatGPT — from forbes.com by Dan Fitzpatrick

Here are six AI tools making waves in classrooms worldwide:

  • Brisk Teaching
  • SchoolAI
  • Diffit
  • Curipod
  • Skybox by Blockade Labs in ThingLink
  • Ideogram

With insights from educators who are leveraging their potential, let’s explore them in more detail.


AI Is Speeding Up L&D But Are We Losing the Learning? — from learningguild.com by Danielle Wallace

The role of learning & development
Given these risks, what can L&D professionals do to ensure generative AI contributes to effective learning? The solution lies in embracing the role of trusted learning advisors, guiding the use of AI tools in a way that prioritizes achieving learning outcomes over only speed. Here are three key steps to achieve this:

1. Playtest and Learn About AI
2. Set the Direction for AI to Be Learner-Centered…
3. Become Trusted Learning Advisors…


Some other tools to explore:

Descript: If you can edit text, you can edit videos. — per Bloomberg’s Vlad Savov
Descript is the AI-powered, fully featured, end-to-end video editor that you already know how to use.

A video editor that works like docs and slides
No need to learn a new tool — Descript works like the tools you’ve already learned.

Audeze | Filter — per Bloomberg’s Vlad Savov


AI Chatbots in Schools Findings from a Poll of K-12 Teachers, Students, Parents, and College Undergraduates — from Impact Research; via Michael Spencer and Lily Lee

Key Findings

  • In the last year, AI has become even more intertwined with our education system. More teachers, parents, and students are aware of it and have used it themselves on a regular basis. It is all over our education system today.
  • While negative views of AI have crept up over the last year, students, teachers, and parents feel very positive about it in general. On balance they see positive uses for the technology in school, especially if they have used it themselves.
  • Most K-12 teachers, parents, and students don’t think their school is doing much about AI, despite its widespread use. Most say their school has no policy on it, is doing nothing to offer desired teacher training, and isn’t meeting the demand of students who’d like a career in a job that will need AI.
  • The AI vacuum in school policy means it is currently used “unauthorized,” while instead people want policies that encourage AI. Kids, parents, and teachers are figuring it out on their own/without express permission, whereas all stakeholders would rather have a policy that explicitly encourages AI from a thoughtful foundation.

The Value of AI in Today’s Classrooms — from waltonfamilyfoundation.org

There is much discourse about the rise and prevalence of AI in education and beyond. These debates often lack the perspectives of key stakeholders – parents, students and teachers.

In 2023, the Walton Family Foundation commissioned the first national survey of teacher and student attitudes toward ChatGPT. The findings showed that educators and students embrace innovation and are optimistic that AI can meaningfully support traditional instruction.

A new survey conducted May 7-15, 2024, showed that knowledge of and support for AI in education is growing among parents, students and teachers. More than 80% of each group says it has had a positive impact on education.

 

 

Is College Worth It? — from pewresearch.org by Richard Fry, Dana Braga, and Kim Parker
As economic outcomes for young adults with and without degrees have improved, Americans hold mixed views on the value of college

 


From DSC:
I post items like this in the hopes that those working within the world of higher education will lower the price of obtaining a degree while moving much more aggressively to offer more affordable ways of learning throughout one’s life.


A relevant addendum on 6/6/24:


Universities Try 3-Year Degrees To Save Students Time, Money — from the74million.org by Elaine S. Povich
As states explore shorter degrees, some faculty say they undercut students’ education.

With college costs rising and some students and families questioning the return on investment of a four-year degree, a few pioneering state universities are exploring programs that would grant certain bachelor’s degrees in three years.

The programs, which also are being tried at some private schools, would require 90 credits instead of the traditional 120 for a bachelor’s degree, and wouldn’t require summer classes or studying over breaks. In some cases, the degrees would be designed to fit industry needs.

 

Why children with disabilities are missing school and losing skills — from npr.org by Cory Turner

The fact that a district could struggle so mightily with special education staffing that students are missing school – that’s not just a Del Norte problem. A recent federal survey of school districts across the U.S. found special education jobs were among the hardest to staff – and vacancies were widespread. But what’s happening in Del Norte is extreme. Which is why the Lenovers and five other families are suing the school district, as well as state education leadership, with help from the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund.

The district sits hidden away like a secret between Oregon, the frigid Pacific and some of the largest redwood trees in the world. It’s too isolated and the pay is not competitive enough, Harris says, to attract workers from outside Del Norte. Locally, these aides – like the one Emma requires – earn about as much as they would working at McDonald’s.

 

From DSC:
My wife does a lot of work with foster families and CASA kids, and she recommends these resources for helping children who have experienced adversity, early harm, toxic stress, and/or trauma. 


TBRI: Trust Based Relational Intervention — from child.tcu.edu by Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development

TBRI® is an attachment-based, trauma-informed intervention that is designed to meet the complex needs of vulnerable children. TBRI® uses Empowering Principles to address physical needs, Connecting Principles for attachment needs, and Correcting Principles to disarm fear-based behaviors. While the intervention is based on years of attachment, sensory processing, and neuroscience research, the heartbeat of TBRI® is connection.

The Connected Child by Karen Purvis

The adoption of a child is always a joyous moment in the life of a family. Some adoptions, though, present unique challenges. Welcoming these children into your family–and addressing their special needs–requires care, consideration, and compassion. Written by two research psychologists specializing in adoption and attachment, The Connected Child will help you:

  • Build bonds of affection and trust with your adopted child
  • Effectively deal with any learning or behavioral disorders
  • Discipline your child with love without making him or her feel threatened
 

Rise Of Homeschooling Is Making A Transformative Impact On Education — from forbes.com by Sarah Hernholm

In 2019, prior to remote learning, approximately 2.5 million students were homeschooled in the United States. This number has risen significantly, with estimates indicating that almost 4 million students are being homeschooled nationwide.

The homeschooling educational approach allows parents or guardians to educate their children at home rather than sending them to a traditional public or private school. Homeschooling families typically design their own curriculum or use pre-designed curricula tailored to their children’s needs and interests. In many cases, homeschooling is a choice made by families seeking more flexibility, personalized instruction, or alignment with their values and beliefs about education

 

 

Colleges are now closing at a pace of one a week. What happens to the students? — from hechingerreport.org by Jon Marcus
Most never finish their degrees, and alumni wonder about the value of degrees they’ve earned

About one university or college per week so far this year, on average, has announced that it will close or merge. That’s up from a little more than two a month last year, according to the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, or SHEEO.

Most students at colleges that close give up on their educations altogether. Fewer than half transfer to other institutions, a SHEEO study found. Of those, fewer than half stay long enough to get degrees. Many lose credits when they move from one school to another and have to spend longer in college, often taking out more loans to pay for it.

Colleges are almost certain to keep closing. As many as one in 10 four-year colleges and universities are in financial peril, the consulting firm EY Parthenon estimates.

Students who transferlose an average of 43 percentof the credits they’ve already earned and paid for, the Government Accountability Office found in the most recent comprehensive study of this problem.

Also relevant:

 

Meeting Students’ Needs for Emotional Support — from edutopia.org by Zi Jia Ng
A new survey finds that a large percentage of students don’t feel that they have an adult to turn to at school when they’re troubled.

Only 55 percent of elementary school students (grades three through five), 42 percent of middle school students, and 40 percent of high school students in the United States have an adult at school they can talk to when they feel upset or stressed, according to a survey of more than 200,000 students across 20 different states. At every age, students benefit from a hand to hold, an ear to listen, and a heart to understand them.

Here’s one strategy for helping to ensure that every student has a trusted adult at school.


Getting Middle and High School Students With Low Grades Back on Track — from edutopia.org by Christine Boatman
By sitting down with students and laying out just what they need to do to pass, teachers can give them the tools to succeed.

AN ANTIDOTE TO PROCRASTINATION
There are effective preventive measures that teachers can take to support middle and high school students with time-management and organizational skills. Still, some students inevitably may find themselves behind at the end of the semester and need individualized Tier 2 interventions as a result of their procrastination.

A Tier 2 strategy that teachers can use to support student efforts to pass classes during the end-of-the-semester scramble is the creation of individual PDSA (plan, do, study, act) cycles. A PDSA cycle is a process in which teachers and students work together to create a plan for improvement; implement, or do, the plan; study if the plan’s actions were successful; and act to create long-term improvement actions based on the results of the plan.

In PDSA cycles, teachers work with their students to create plans for success. These plans can be used either with a whole group or on an individual basis. Through working one-on-one with students this way, I’ve seen large gains in student achievement and agency.


A Student’s Perspective on Career and Interview Readiness — from gettingsmart.com by Tyler Robert and Todd Smith

Key Points

  • Sharing experiences in real-world learning is an asset when interviewing for early career opportunities.
  • Building confidence in not only being interviewed but also speaking about your skills in common language is a key part of creating effective pathways.

Asking Students What They Would Do If They Were The Teacher — from thebrokencopier.substack.com by Marcus Luther
one of my favorite practices we’ve normed in our classroom

Though it had been a bit since our previous check-in, the major drop in how students were doing overall was staggering—yet also very much tracked with the “vibe” of the classroom of late: students still feel pretty good about what we’re doing, but overall are exhausted and stressed, each in their own way but collectively as well.

My plan on Monday, then?

To share these results with the entire classroom followed by a simple question:

“If you were the teacher and you saw this feedback, what would you think and, more importantly, what would you do?”

And then I’ll listen to what they have to say.

Reflecting back on my own classroom over the years, though, too often the collecting of the feedback became a dead end as far as how students experienced this: they gave their results and then those results disappeared into the digital ether, in their eyes.


 

 

Student perceptions of American higher education — from usprogram.gatesfoundation.org by Edge Research & HCM Strategists
Continued research exploring college enrollment declines

Overview of 2023 Findings
Despite our understanding of the value of higher education, perceptions among these audiences make it clear that institutions need to prove their value to them. In particular, why does the value of a 2-year or 4-year degree outweigh the value of credentials and job training programs? Both High Schoolers and Non-Enrollees see and select other paths that are shorter, cheaper, and/or more directly linked to specific job opportunities.

As part of that effort, these audiences want and need supports throughout their college journeys to reach the destination of acquiring a degree. These audiences feel anxious about making the wrong choices when it comes to college, and that those choices will impact the rest of their lives. Finally, it is also important to understand that the information received by these audiences differs by cohort. High Schoolers are at the epicenter of the college information network. Non-Enrollees, on the other hand, are forced to seek information about colleges, and the information they find tends to be less positive compared to what High Schoolers receive and consume about higher education.

Higher Education Must Prove Value to Potential Students, Who are Currently More Attracted to Immediate, Lower-Cost Options


Many Students Don’t Inform Their Colleges About Their Disability. That Needs to Change. — from edsurge.com by Stephanie A.N. Levin

After engaging in a policy review and coding a set of policy documents from disability service offices at colleges and universities across the U.S., it became clear to me that I wasn’t alone in my reluctance to seek accommodations at my college. It turns out that many higher education students with disabilities are hesitant to self-identify and pursue accommodations that could support them in their studies.

According to the most recent data published by the National Center for Education Statistics, about 20 percent of undergraduate students and nearly 11 percent of graduate students have a disability. There’s a discrepancy though, between the rate of students reporting having a disability, and those who are actually registering with their campus disability center. It turns out many students don’t inform their colleges of their disability and that has led to a support gap.The truth is, too many college and university students with disabilities decide to forgo a request for the accommodations that they may need to be successful.


5 ways to support today’s online learner — from insidetrack.org

  1. Make online learning learner-centered, demand-driven and career-advancing
  2. Help cultivate a sense of belonging
  3. Reduce barriers to online learning
  4. Encourage investment in planning and support structures
  5. Build up online learner confidence

 

With an incarcerated parent, pursuing a law degree was the natural choice — from opencampusmedia.org by Charlotte West
.

Mick Guile is a first-year law student studying at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law in Baltimore. As an undergraduate at Temple University, she received a scholarship from ScholarCHIPS, a nonprofit organization that supports the children of incarcerated parents. Guile graduated from Temple with a degree in criminal justice in 2023, inspired by growing up with a father who is incarcerated.

Guile, who uses she/they pronouns, explained the complications of navigating a parental relationship in 15-minute phone calls, and how family incarceration impacted their choice of careers. They last saw their dad, who is in prison in Michigan, during senior year of high school.

[Their conversation was lightly edited for length and clarity.]

 

The New Academic Arms Race | Competition over amenities is over. The next battleground is technology. — from chronicle.com by Jeffrey J. Selingo

Now, after the pandemic, with the value of the bachelor’s degree foremost in the minds of students and families, a new academic arms race is emerging. This one is centered around academic innovation. The winners will be those institutions that in the decade ahead better apply technology in teaching and learning and develop different approaches to credentialing.

Sure, technology is often seen as plumbing on campuses — as long as it works, we don’t worry about it. And rarely do prospective students on a tour ever ask about academic innovations like extended reality or microcredentials. Campus tours prefer to show off the bells and whistles of residential life within dorms and dining halls.

That’s too bad.

The problem is not a lack of learners, but rather a lack of alignment in what colleges offer to a generation of learners surrounded by Amazon, Netflix, and Instagram, where they can stream entertainment and music anytime, anywhere.

From DSC:
When I worked for Calvin (then College, now University) from 2007-2017, that’s exactly how technologies and the entire IT Department were viewed — as infrastructure providers. We were not viewed as being able to enhance the core business/offerings of the institution. We weren’t relevant in that area. In fact, the IT Department was shoved down in the basement of the library. Our Teaching & Learning Digital Studio was sidelined in a part of the library where few students went to. The Digitial Studio’s marketing efforts didn’t help much, as faculty members didn’t offer assignments that called for multimedia-based deliverables. It was a very tough and steep hill to climb.

Also the Presidents and Provosts over the last couple of decades (not currently though) didn’t think much of online-based learning, and the top administrators dissed the Internet’s ability to provide 24/7 worldwide conversations and learning. They missed the biggest thing to come along in education in 500 years (since the invention of the printing press). Our Teaching & Learning Group provided leadership by starting a Calvin Online pilot. We had 13-14 courses built and inquiries from Christian-based high schools were coming in for dual enrollment scenarios, but when it came time for the College to make a decision, it never happened. The topic/vote never made it to the floor of the Faculty Senate. The faculty and administration missed an enormous opportunity.

When Calvin College became Calvin University in 2019, they were forced to offer online-based classes. Had they supported our T&L Group’s efforts back in the early to mid-2010’s, they would have dove-tailed very nicely into offering more courses to working adults. They would have built up the internal expertise to offer these courses/programs. But the culture of the college put a stop to online-based learning at that time. They now regret that decision I’m sure (as they’ve had to outsource many things and they now offer numerous online-based courses and even entire programs — at a high cost most likely).

My how times have changed.


For another item re: higher education at the 30,000-foot level, see:


Lifelong Learning Models for a Changing Higher Ed Marketplace — from changinghighered.com by Dr. Drumm McNaughton and Amrit Ahluwalia
Exploring the transformation of higher education into lifelong learning hubs for workforce development, with innovative models and continuing education’s role.

Higher education is undergoing transformational change to redefine its role as a facilitator of lifelong learning and workforce development. In this 200th episode of Changing Higher Ed, host Dr. Drumm McNaughton and guest Amrit Ahluwalia, incoming Executive Director for Continuing Studies at Western University, explore innovative models positioning universities as sustainable hubs for socioeconomic mobility.

The Consumer-Driven Educational Landscape
Over 60% of today’s jobs will be redefined by 2025, driving demand for continuous upskilling and reskilling to meet evolving workforce needs. However, higher education’s traditional model of imparting specific knowledge through multi-year degrees is hugely misaligned with this reality.

Soaring education costs have fueled a consumer mindset shift, with learners demanding a clear return on investment directly aligned with their career goals. The expectation is to see immediate skills application and professional impact from their educational investments, not just long-term outcomes years after completion.


 

It’s Time Higher Ed Become Financially Literate — from forbes.com by Brian Curcio

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The Alarming Reality
Over the past 12 years, US student loan debt has quadrupled to a staggering $1.7 trillion. Nearly 44 million Americans carry an average debt of $37,718, and over 11 percent of aggregate student loan debt (pre-COVID) is more than 90 days delinquent.

This past year, the average public university student borrowed over $32,000 to receive a bachelor’s degree. However, only 11 percent of employers believe that a degree prepares students for the workforce. It’s a cruel irony: a $32,000 loan – not counting interest – for a degree that doesn’t prepare you for the career needed to repay the debt.


Another higher education-related item:

The IT Leadership Workforce in Higher Education, 2024 — from library.educause.edu by Mark McCormack

The IT Leader Workforce in Higher Education, 2024, aims to map the current contours of the IT leader workforce, understand its current challenges and opportunities, and reflect on what it all might mean for building a stronger workforce and—ultimately—a stronger higher education for the future.


 

 

The new kids on campus? Toddlers, courtesy of Head Start — from npr.org by Elissa Nadworny

Now that Sarah Barnes’ son, Samuel, 2, is enrolled in Head Start, it’s lifted an extra stress off Barnes’ shoulders. “It just makes life a little bit easier having child care right on campus,” she says. “I can literally walk over here between classes and check on him.”

Barnes is among the nearly 4 million U.S. college students raising children while getting a degree. More than a third of those students attend community colleges.

Single mothers, like Barnes, account for almost half of student parents, and the vast majority of them have incomes at or near the poverty line, which means they’d qualify for Head Start.

But it’s hard to take advantage of that program if you don’t know about it, and if there isn’t a center with a convenient location.

 

Hackers are targeting a surprising group of people: young public school students — from npr.org

“This breach was actually really huge,” Gravatt says. “And it wasn’t just school records. It was health records, it was all sorts of things that should be privileged information that are now just out there floating around for anybody to buy.”

It’s an example of a growing nationwide trend in which hackers are targeting a surprising group of people: young public school students.

As school districts depend more on technology, cyberattacks against those systems, and the sensitive data they store, are on the rise. While it’s hard to know exactly how many K-12 school systems have been targeted by hackers, an analysis by the cyber security firm Emsisoft found 45 districts reported they were attacked in 2022. In 2023, that number more than doubled, to 108.

He says stealing a child’s identity may seem counterintuitive because they don’t have resources of their own, but it can cause “a lot of havoc.” Parents don’t necessarily monitor their children’s credit and bad actors can easily open up bank accounts, rack up debt and apply for loans in a child’s name.

“And as a result, cyber criminals can abuse the credit records of minors for many, many years before the victims learn about it,” Levin says.

From DSC:
This is a deeply troubling situation, and yet another example of what occurs when people don’t care about each other. They only want to make money — and they don’t care about how they go about doing that. (LORD, help us!) 

As the article suggests, the impacts of these breaches can last for years. When sensitive information is lost in a breach, that information can come back to haunt young people as they try to get jobs, get into colleges, build positive credit reports, and more.

So we need to invest in the hardware, software, and people to protect that data.

 

…that doesn’t mean everyone is having an easy time of it. Some Americans feel increasingly pressured by the surge in the cost of carrying their debt. Delinquency rates on their credit card debt and auto loans are now at the highest in more than a decade.

Just a serious note of caution for you and for your future families. 


And speaking of youth and personal finances — and seeing as it’s tax time — also see:

Topic no. 501, Should I itemize?

Deductions reduce the amount of your taxable income. In general, individuals not in a trade or business or an activity for profit, may take a standard deduction or itemize their deductions.

You should itemize deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040), Itemized Deductions if the total amount of your allowable itemized deductions is greater than your standard deduction or if you must itemize deductions because you can’t use the standard deduction. You may also want to itemize deductions if your standard deduction is limited because another taxpayer claims you as a dependent. Itemized deductions, subject to certain dollar limitations, include amounts you paid, during the taxable year, for state and local income or sales taxes, real property taxes, personal property taxes, mortgage interest, disaster losses, gifts to charities, and part of the amount you paid for medical and dental expenses.

 
© 2024 | Daniel Christian