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InformED Report 12/09/16

Girls outscore boys on inaugural national test of technology, engineering skills

Emma Brown | The Washington Post | Twitter

Girls outperformed boys on a national test of technology and engineering literacy that the federal government administered for the first time in 2014, according to results made public Tuesday.

Among eighth-grade students in public and private schools, 45 percent of girls and 42 percent of boys scored proficient on the exam, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP. Overall, 43 percent of all students were proficient.

The test was designed to measure students’ abilities in areas such as understanding technological principles, designing solutions and communicating and collaborating. Girls were particularly strong in the latter.

There also were large racial and socioeconomic achievement gaps, mirroring results on standardized tests in other subjects. Just 25 percent of students who received free and reduced-price lunch scored proficient, compared to 59 percent of more affluent students. Eighteen percent of black students and 28 percent of Latino students scored proficient, for example, compared to 56 percent of white and Asian students.

To read more visit The Washington Post

Gender pay gap to remain until 2060, report says

BBC News

The gender pay gap in the UK will not close until 2069 based on current salary progression, research suggests.

Accountancy firm Deloitte said the hourly pay gap between men and women of 9.4%, or about £1.30, was narrowing by just two-and-a-half pence a year.

It also found men were paid more than women at the start of their careers.

It said more women should be encouraged into science and technology jobs, where salaries are more balanced but women make up just 14.4% of the workforce.

The Deloitte analysis, based on data from the Office for National Statistics, found women earn an average of 8% less in graduate starting salaries than their male counterparts across all science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects combined.

To read more visit BBC News

Camp hopes to close tech-industry gender gap by teaching girls to code

Perry Stein | The Washington Post

To read more visit The Washington Post

Why we should bring back vocational training

Starre Vartan | MNN | Twitter

It used to be that everybody learned both academic and vocational subjects as part of their education. High school students would learn English literature and basic carpentry, physics and how to cook a well-balanced meal. Then, for a time, students were split into tracks by ability; the college-bound would take only academic subjects, and the others would take basic English, math and science classes plus shop class or home economics.

But because poorer or minority students were often pointed down the latter path, some parents objected, pointing out that just because their kids were working-class didn’t mean they shouldn’t get a shot at college. Which brings us to today, where most kids are on the college-prep path.

College isn’t for everyone. As of 2014, 66 percent of high school students enrolled in college. Data from previous years show that of the students who applied, were accepted and enrolled in college, only 60 percent graduated in six years. That means out of a theoretical high school class of 100, 33 people never went to college in the first place, and of the 66 who did, 26 didn’t graduate. That’s 59 out of 100 students whose high school program (or life situations) didn’t prepare them for the type of work they’ll be doing for the rest of their lives.

To read more visit MNN

Why We Desperately Need To Bring Back Vocational Training In Schools

Nicholas Wyman | Forbes | Twitter

Throughout most of U.S. history, American high school students were routinely taught vocational and job-ready skills along with the three Rs: reading, writing, and arithmetic. Indeed readers of a certain age are likely to have fond memories of huddling over wooden workbenches learning a craft such as woodwork or maybe metal work, or any one of the hands-on projects that characterized the once-ubiquitous shop class.

But in the 1950s, a different philosophy emerged: the theory that students should follow separate educational tracks according to ability. The idea was that the college-bound would take traditional academic courses (Latin, creative writing, science, math) and received no vocational training. Those students not headed for college would take basic academic courses, along with vocational training, or “shop.”

To read more visit Forbes

High school students face soaring cost of higher education

Natalie Martinez | KTXS | Twitter

Stephen Ford is one of many high school seniors with anxiety about college. He’s applied to several universities in the area but fears he won’t be able to afford them.

“It’s stressful because I’ve never really had anyone in my immediate family go to college,” Ford said. “I don’t know what to do, and they don’t know what to do, so we’re just trying to figure it out.”

Higher education costs are soaring–according to the Texas Tribune, they’re up 147 percent since 2002 at public universities in Texas.

We took a look at tuition rates of the three private universities in Abilene for 2016 and compared the costs listed on each of their websites to last year’s totals from college tuition compare.com.

Abilene Christian University is up to $32,020 compared to last year at $30,830; McMurry University is $26,100 compared to last year’s $25,763; Hardin-Simmons University is at $25,830 compared to last year $24,500. Figures were not available to compare the growth from 2002 with public schools in Texas.

The Abilene Education Program places college advisors at each Abilene ISD high school as a part of the COOL program, which helps students apply for higher education institutions and find an affordable path to attend school.

To read more visit KTXS

Action Needed To Boost College Enrollment Of Low-Income Students

Harold O. Levy | Forbes | Twitter

American colleges and universities do a good job helping the sons and daughters of middle and upper-income parents get the education they need for career success and economic security. But they do too little to help low-income students gain admission and graduate.

Colleges are supposed to be engines of upward mobility. They are designed to enable the poor and working class to develop their talents and work their way into the middle class and higher.

The land grant colleges and the state universities have this as an explicit part of their mission. Even the Ivy League schools profess to be about the business of helping the downtrodden. Yet the actions of colleges and universities, particularly those at the top, fail to live up to their lofty rhetoric.

To read more visit Forbes

InformED Report is brought to you in cooperation with American ED TV and MindRocket Media Group

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