education reform

education reform

Public Schools Receive an “F” Among Parents and Community

An August Gallup poll reveals that more than half of Americans are dissatisfied with the public education system, with only 7 percent of parents of school-aged children believing that public schools provide an excellent education. Home schooling rated higher by the general public than public schools for quality, but private schools received the overall best ratings.

The poll reported that 78 percent of Americans said children in private schools received an excellent or good education. Parochial schools came next with a 69 percent rating, then came charter schools (60 percent), home schooling (46 percent) and public schools (37 percent).

Although 83 percent of parents polled said their oldest child attends public school, only 47 percent thought their child was receiving an excellent or good education. Among parents of K-12 students, the results were similar to the public at large, but they gave public schools a slightly higher rating than home schooling. Read the rest of this entry »

Steve Jobs’ Spouse Recognized as Education Advocate

Laurene Powell Jobs, Co-Founder of College TrackWhen Steve Jobs died in early October, he not only left behind a line of innovative Mac products, he also left behind a philanthropic wife. Laurene Powell Jobs’ good deeds in education reform have finally reached the spotlight in light of her husband’s death.

Her largest contribution to education is College Track. It is a program that started in 1997 and offers coaching, tutoring and guidance in finding financial assistance for high school students that may find it difficult to attend college.

Ms. Jobs, who worked for Merrill Lynch Asset Management and Goldman Sachs in the late 1980s, had a well-rounded education and upbringing, unlike the students she seeks to help out.

Students, who are often black or Latino, that need College Track’s help “Think, ‘you don’t know my story,'” said Carlos Watson, who co-founded College Track. Watson said that despite the differences Ms. Jobs has with these students, she always finds a way to connect with them.

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Obama Offers Waivers to States Struggling to Meet No Child Left Behind

Secretary of Education Arne DuncanIn a speech this morning, President Obama announced large-scale changes to the federal No Child Left Behind education law, alongside Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. States will now be allowed to receive waivers from certain parts of No Child Left Behind, as long as they agree to take steps towards improving schools and increasing accountability.

“The goals behind No Child Left Behind were admirable … but experience has taught us that in its implementation, [it] had some serious flaws that are hurting our children,” said Obama. Some states have relaxed their standards in order to meet the requirements dictated by No Child Left Behind and many educators feel that learning suffers when teachers are pushed to “teach to the test, two problems the new policy hopes to amend.

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The U.S. Should Take Pointers From Top Scoring Education Systems

For many years now, teachers in America have been overlooked for their hard work and passion for educating students. Lately there has been a heavy focus on education practices and teachers in America which has caused education areas to be highlighted.

McGraw-Hill has conducted some research on the most successful education systems in the world. According to their results, raising the status of the teaching profession can make a huge difference in the quality of education that the country’s children receive. The top scoring education systems were found in South Korea, Singapore and Finland. These countries search for top graduates to fill teaching positions. They also offer higher pay and give teachers mentors.

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White House Aims to Revamp No Child Left Behind Law

A goal has been set to revamp the No Child Left Behind law prior to when students start their school year this fall by the Obama administration. This timeframe is likely to interfere with the priorities of congressional Republicans. The administration believes that the law needs to be more flexible and reduce Washington’s role in setting educational standards in some cases. The focus right now for GOP lawmakers is jobs and the state of the economy. This means that the White House will have to persuade GOP lawmakers to move the No Child Left Behind Law up on their priority list. President Obama has made it known that he believes reforming the law this year is a key priority. The president wants the law redefined so that it focuses more on responsibility, reform and results.

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Low Graduation Rates for Community College Students Has Many Calling for Reform

graduation ratesOnly 25 percent of community college students earn degrees within six years. This statistic is not only shocking, it’s bad news for our recovering economy. Why are community college students not succeeding? A large part of the problem lies within developmental education. A conference was held at the Teachers College of Columbia University to delve deeper into this subject.

Developmental education is the term used for sub-college level courses. Remedial course is another phrase used to describe these classes. Remedial courses include classes that teach basic reading and math, skills students should have learned long ago. These courses provide students with the skills needed to succeed in their college-level coursework and are often required for new students who do not score high enough on placement tests.  Read the rest of this entry »

Matt Lauer Interviews Obama About Education [VIDEO]

obama-interview-matt-lauerMatt Lauer sits down with President Barack Obama this morning for an in-depth interview, as part of NBC’s week-long special on education, “Education Nation.”

NBC describes Education Nation as “a nationally broadcast, in-depth conversation about improving education in America.” The news network is hosting a two-day summit in New York City. Notable guests at the event include U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Harlem Children Zone’s CEO Geoffrey Canada, and president of MIT Susan Hockfield.

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How the CEO of Xerox Thinks We Can Improve US Education

ursula-burnsUrsula Burns, CEO of Xerox, addressed the question of education reform in a speech at the Detroit Economic Club this week. She said that schools need to focus on effectively teaching math and science, in order to make the US economy competitive on a global scale. She pointed out that 150,000 engineering jobs with salaries over $60,000 went unfilled two years ago, due to the lack of qualified applicants.

She decried the amount of money that is donated to educational institutes every year, yet results are still poor. “If you ran a business that invested a billion dollars with so little progress, you’d shut it down,” Burns said. She also said that young people need better mentors, who would be able to direct students towards careers that are not only interesting, but also needed and lucrative.

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Obama’s Education Reform Act Might Cost Us More Than We Thought

student loanAlright everyone, I have a confession to make. I am a Conservative. Especially when it comes to how our government spends money. I don’t think there should be government incentives to buy new cars or new houses. I don’t think there should be millions of government handouts. It makes me ill to see how high our national debt is. (It’s almost $13,000,000,000,000.00 right now, and rising every day.) And, I hate to say this, because I know how many people are excited about the new government regulation of student loans, but I can see it easily driving up our national debt even more.

The new Education Reform Act places the government in charge of regulating student loans. As part of the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, the federal government will lend directly to students, according to This is really good for students who take out loans in order to attend college because it will put a cap on the amount of loans they must repay each year and will lessen the financial strain of earning a higher education. It also provides funding for minority and community colleges that desperately need it. Those are definitely good things. Read the rest of this entry »

Minority and Community Colleges Helped by Education Reform Act

male college studentsOn March 30, 2010, President Obama signed the Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.

Two major goals of this act are increasing financial assistance to minority students and investing in community colleges.

A big part of this act will be to increase funding to America’s Historically Black Colleges and Minority-Serving Institutions. Almost 60 percent of the nation’s 4.7 million minority students attend these schools; however, these schools have not received any addition funding to help offset expenses.

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