The old either/or model of college-prep or vocational education is out of sync with the needs of 21st-century America. Career pathways offer a way out of this bind. They help high school students gain secondary and postsecondary education, training, and support services while they acquire marketable skills, industry-recognized credentials, and eventually good jobs aligned with labor market needs. In this blog post, Jessica Giffin highlights how career pathway systems combine rigorous academics with workplace experience using the latest technologies.
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11 May 2016
Federal, state, local, and philanthropic dollars are pouring into personalized learning: ESSA supports personalized learning by allowing states to use federal funding for tests in new ways, such as digital adaptive testing. But will it have a positive impact for kids? In this blog post, Eleanor Fulbeck says we need a common understanding of what personalized learning is (and isn’t) so that we can say something useful about where and how it is (or is not) working.
10 May 2016
Each year, 700,000 people are released from federal and state prisons. For many, the transition home is not easy. They face obstacles including poverty, drug abuse, family dysfunction, and lack of access to services and treatment. Failure to reconnect can mean that many end up back in prison. AIR's Peter W. Cookson, Jr. and Roger Jarjoura spoke about the role education plays in helping ex-offenders stay out of the justice system.
9 May 2016
NAEP results are Rorschach Tests for policy wonks—a golden chance for free-association policy speculation. Small fluctuations in average scores on NAEP give rise to big explanations. Forget the quibbling over tiny differences in test scores; it’s time to rebuild schools on evidence-based, comprehensive policies that have been shown to work in the real world for all students. In this blog post, Peter Cookson says to fix inequities we need to get over our policy taste for quick fixes and silver bullets.
3 May 2016
New figures released today show that overall reported crimes on college campuses decreased by 34 percent between 2001 and 2013. However, reports of forcible sex crimes on college campuses increased by 126 percent over this same period. Between 2012 and 2013 alone, the reported number of forcible sex crimes rose almost 25 percent, from 4,000 to 5,000. In this blog post, Anlan Zhang and Jizhi Zhang share what we’ve learned from the Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2015 Report.
25 Apr 2016
What is summer STEM? Hands-on programs that teach science, technology, engineering, and math in ways that engage young people and fight the summer learning loss that especially affects the nation’s most vulnerable children and youth. In this blog post, Elizabeth Devaney and Courtney Tanenbaum share what we’re learning about successful summer STEM programs.
21 Apr 2016
The bachelor’s degree is America’s most commonly granted postsecondary degree—and most people equate it with a college education. Yet the associate’s degree is often a far more efficient route into good jobs than the longer, more expensive bachelor’s degree path. In this blog post, Mark Schneider shares recent data that suggests many associate’s degrees put graduates firmly in the middle class.
14 Apr 2016
The School Improvement Grant (SIG) program will expire as ESSA is implemented, but the challenges of low-performing schools have not. SIG provided some promising examples, as well as caveats that can challenge and inform those of us who believe our nation’s most disadvantaged students deserve better. In our latest blog post, Kerstin Carlson Le Floch shares what we’ve learned from case studies of 25 schools included in the Study of School Turnaround.
13 Apr 2016
A large body of research supports the idea that Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawai'ian students thrive in instructional environments that honor their unique cultural and linguistic heritages. In this blog post, Erin Haynes says the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) promises unprecedented opportunities and funding for incorporating our nation’s many indigenous cultures and languages into public schools if implemented properly.
6 Apr 2016
English learners (ELs) are an increasingly significant student population, outpacing the demographic growth of non-EL students by more than 40 percent nationwide, and growing by as much as 800 percent in some states. In this blog post, Diane August and Erin Haynes take a look at how the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) helps or hinders this critical student population.