Class Mobs

Become smarter

Startup Rethinks High-Tech Grade Schools

Startup firm AltSchool has announced that they will be closing their Palo Alto branch and cancelling plans for further expansion. The school’s $30,000 tuition price tag has not been enough to offset company losses of $40 million per year. One of AltSchool’s main projects has been developing educational software for children. Founder Max Ventilla says that the company will turn its focus away from opening more schools and concentrate on distributing their software instead.

AltSchool seemed destined for success from the start. After leaving Google in 2013, Max Ventilla was determined to create the ideal high-tech American school. He launched the educational startup in 2014, raising $33 million in venture capital funding. Ventilla’s vision gained further backing in 2015 when he attracted the attention of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. With the support of Zuckerberg and other venture capitalists, Ventilla was able to raise an additional $100 million in funding. Backed by this extra capital, AltSchool set up nine different schools across the United States.

AltSchool attempted to shake up the typical grade school curriculum by integrating technology into everyday education. Students use tablets to sign in to their classes and create new projects. Creativity and software literacy are built into the curriculum. AltSchool classrooms are different from traditional grade schools in that they have no grade levels, but are divided into lower and upper elementary school; older students are placed in the middle school category. Also, students do not use desks, but sit on the floor or in bean bag chairs. Ventilla believed that this hands-on, personalized educational experience would revitalize the field of education. However, after the announced closures, industry experts have acknowledged that Silicon Valley has yet to crack the tough nut of the American school system.

Gates Foundation Invests Billions to Improve American Education

Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, is well-known for his philanthropy in the education sector. He recently earmarked an additional $1.7 billion in funding through the Gates Foundation in order to increase the availability of quality education. The primary focus of the investment centers on people of color and low income families. The Gates Foundation plans to utilize the resources in five key areas.

The first part of the plan will focus on collecting quality data. As a technology professional, Bill Gates understands the importance of information analysis in making good business decisions. The key metrics will center around student and teacher performance. The funding will be spent on establishing effective information systems in schools.

The second section of the plan includes offering local school officials control over how programs are implemented in their respective areas. This will create an environment that recognizes that what works well for one school may not flourish everywhere. Resources will then be able to be spent on programs that work best.

The third piece of the plan will focus on improving the curriculum within the schools. An emphasis will be placed on Common Cores standards. Gates points out that teachers have limited effectiveness when they work from poor quality materials. Providing teachers with standardized resources will help to produce better student outcomes.

The fourth concern that will be addressed is improving opportunities for special needs students. The efforts will center around supporting charter schools. Charter schools will receive grants specifically for programs for special needs students.

The final initiative will focus on funding research on the American education system as a whole. The hope is that Americans will come to a better understanding of the problems that students face.

The Gates Foundation will invest heavily in the American education system in the coming years in order to create positive change. Ultimately, the Gates Foundation’s goal is to provide a quality public education to every student regardless of their financial background or race.

Betsy DeVos under fire for schedule oddities

Since she was first nominated by President Donald Trump to be the United States secretary of education, Betsy DeVos has come under fire for one reason or another. This week, the problem with DeVos, who has been known to be hostile to public schools for decades is that her published schedule doesn’t seem to mirror her actual schedule.

US News is reporting there are quite a few people noticing this little anomaly. It also doesn’t appear the secretary is letting people know what she is planning on doing from one day to the next. Devos’ most recently updated schedule ends on October 20. The schedule being slow to update is only part of the problem.

On the last week that the office has published every day is notated as “There are no public events scheduled at this time.” The problem is that it appears she was making plenty of appearances.

On October 27, DeVos gave a speech at the Future Farmers of America convention. She also made an appearance at a round table that was geared towards figuring out how the department of education could better serve children with special needs.

The most interesting thing about both of these tidbits is that DeVos’ appearance at either one of these events would not be considered even a little bit controversial. So why is she hiding them?

Those who have been studying the way DeVos carries herself say that she simply does not go out of her way to make sure the public knows where she’s going to be. While this is not the biggest problem the federal government has ever faced, it’s clear that there are plenty of watchdog groups that aren’t happy her schedule is being kept off the books.

For now, the people looking into her schedule would just like the secretary of education to do a better job allowing the public to now her schedule.


A peaceful demonstration has been organized against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on later this week. The rally, hosted by the Colorado Education Association is planned for Wednesday in Denver where the secretary is set to appear on this week. According to this article, on The Hill, Ms. DeVos will be speaking at the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) on Thursday this week. The teachers’ union has planned its protest for Wednesday, a day before Ms. DeVos makes her appearance to make her speech.

The protest is staged against what the union members and teachers view as a plan to dismantle the public institutions which they believe create and support many opportunities for the state’s students, educators and families. These sentiments have borne out of the Secretaries long standing position that the federal government funds alternative education options different from the traditional schooling system. She has also long held that parents should be allowed to seek educational opportunities for their children if the nearby schools are poor. These positions, the protesters argue, undermine the public education system and jeopardize the education goals and opportunities created by these institutions for their students.

Ms. DeVos has, however, been steadfast in her position and believes that those opposed to it are the ones in the wrong. She has previously described them as flat earthers and having chilled imagination. She believes that the current education system has been faulty and has had great negative impacts on American society. To ensure a return to the glory that was associated with American school system, she believes that the current public system should be overhauled, or at least people given options to opt from it for better systems. This, she believes, is a necessity and the federal government should bear the full weight. Ms. DeVos has not made a statement concerning the planned protest.

Law allows Religious College to Uphold their Contraceptive Norm

Generally, colleges like Loyola have been required to guarantee contraception scope is accessible through an outsider supplier, however the proposed bill could extend the extent of the exclusion strategy. That could drive numerous ladies who beforehand had full scope to pay for their medicine out of pocket.

Then, the defunding of Planned Parenthood would make it more troublesome for understudies on religious colleges’ protection intends to get to anti-conception medication, says DiMaggio. A Planned Parenthood focus close Loyola-Chicago’s grounds, DiMaggio says, is “totally the most reasonable human services focus that spends significant time in conceptive medicinal services any place close grounds.”

At Georgetown University, another Jesuit school, the chief arrangement financed by UnitedHealthcare covers around 20% of students incorporates anti-conception medication to avoid pregnancy, as per regenerative equity understudy assemble H*yas for Choice. At the Student Health Center, anti-conception medication can be endorsed just for restorative reasons other than the counteractive action of pregnancy, for example, endless skin inflammation, unpredictable periods or polycystic ovary disorder.

“We realize that a large portion of our group individuals depend on this scope,” says Kory Stuer, a rising junior at Georgetown and the correspondences executive for H*yas for Choice. “The discussion we’re having is about how on our grounds would we be able to ensure our own group. Furthermore, would we be able to ensure that Georgetown keeps on giving the scope that it is as of now giving?”

However, working without formal acknowledgment by the college, H*yas for Choice can just assemble to challenge or appropriate free condoms — which are not permitted to be sold on grounds — in assigned free-discourse zones on grounds. Actually, they utilize a bullet in their name so as not to give off an impression of being formally connected with the school.

Amelia Irvine, an individual from Georgetown’s Right to Life club and leader of Love Saxa, a gathering that advances sound connections on grounds, said she trusts understudies ponder their sexual decisions in light of the conceivable change in the law. “It’s dependably a feasible (and free) choice to pick not to engage in sexual relations while in school,” she says. “Anti-conception medication can make a general public in which pregnancy is dealt with like an infection to be cured, as opposed to a blessing.”

A Georgetown representative said in an email to USA TODAY College that the college medical coverage design won’t change in the coming school year. The college will keep on complying with social insurance laws and screen any progressions to them.

Grades Up but Test Scores Down

Doing well in high school is a very important step in anyone’s overall education progression. Those that do well in high school and get good grades will have a better chance of getting into a top college which could then lead to more career opportunities. Over the past twenty years, more and more students are getting better grades. However, a recent study has found that this may not necessarily mean that they are learning anything (

The recent study pointed out that in 1998 about 39% of all high school students had a GPA with an A grade average. By the 2016, this level had increased to more than 47%. At the same time, the overall graduation rate for high school students is at an all-time high.
While this would seem to point to the fact that students are doing better in school and learning more, recent standardized test results point to the opposite. In fact, in the same time period the average SAT test score has fallen from 1,026 to 1,002, on the original 1,600 point scale.

The reason for this is not fully known, but the results have been fairly surprising. Most would have expected that the test scores would remain flat at a minimum. Many believe that this points to the fact that grade inflation is rampant in many areas across the country. This could help the average student graduate from high school with a higher GPA than they would have decades ago.

Another fact that was pointed out in the survey is that the highest level of grade inflation is taking place in larger schools in more affluent areas. At the same time, the average GPA of students in less affluent areas are seeing that their overall grades are about the same, but scores have ticked up.

New York City and its plans for establishing a School for three-year-olds

Ever fancy a class for three-year-old babies? Then fancy no more as the New York City will soon roll out its ambitious plan to have three-year-old children attend their school. This plan is going to be offered for free to the many residents with the kids in New York. The plan itself scheduled to be implemented for the next four years to be able to cater to the many residents with three-year-olds. The three-year-olds to attend the schools will visit it for a whole full day and enjoy the programs lined up for children at that age.

Dubbed the “3-K” schools the estimated number of children from the city who will be eligible to attend the school is about 62,000 kids. The new schools are being hoped by many of the children parents to be a way to help their children learn new vocabularies, to help them articulate their words more well, engage in creative play with other children. Hey also hope that the schools will help their children learn to navigate their emotions and learn to start being independent enough when they are away from their parents.

The decision to come up with such schools for children at the age of three was announced by New York’s Mayor Bill de Blasio at a press briefing

This decision was reached at after they had considered the decades of data that had been collected by researchers on such K-programs that have seen such children schooled away from their parents. In the programs, the children after reaching the schools in the morning would undergo a small warm up session in different play areas. Learning then would then commence with through play and hands-on activities, storytelling, art works, dress-up and pretend play, math-based games with things such as blocks and many other creative and engaging activities. Before ending their day, they would get a period of rest before later being picked up by their parents.

Tulsa Oklahoma Teacher Is Taking School Supply Needs into Her Own Hands

As the need for teachers that care about what they do and the students they teach, grow. This story was touching a teacher that thought it was not too much to try and get school supplies for the classroom. As we know the government has been pulling lots of grants and money that would usually help fund schools and organizations. This story is just another example of what our schools are going through when it comes to getting an education. Aside from jobs going overseas and closing over here in the U.S.

It has been tough for parents to keep their kids with the right school supplies continually. The school system normally helps with that, but with strained budgets, It has gotten hard. As we continue to move forward and our kids progress through school, we all must pull together to make this happen, or we will all lose if we don’t. Even though, it’s easy for people to point to others when they aren’t doing their part. The truth is we all are to blame for this we need to ban together in where ever we are and make sure that our communities are coming together to help the schools. Our kids are the leaders of tomorrow, and we must set them up for success.

While we can blame the government for a lot, we must make sure we are all on the same page as a community because if we can’t do that schools will take more hits and students and teacher around the country will feel this strong strain around the schools. This story is an excellent example of what we should all be doing not just the teachers but the communities throughout. If we are trusting the schools with our kids we should help the teachers prepare them.

American Education: All American and Nothing Else

According to Huffington Post’s Roque Planas, Tom Horne, a former head of the Arizona Education Department, had stated that he was hoping that a law from 2010 would ban all ethnic studies.

This had led to the controversial banning of the Mexican-American studies class that had students and teachers believing that this was due to discrimination. Republican officials had claimed that the study was discriminatory towards white people and that the teachers had been influencing students politically. Although, this would also mean that the law would ban African-American studies, Asian-American studies, and many more. However, Horne was specifically targeting the Mexican-American studies.

It’s important for ethnic studies to be implemented in schools because it’s important to understand how the American Dream came to be. Sure, students might be upset at others because of how we’ve treated each other previously. However, it’s the teacher’s responsibility to show students that with time and with the knowledge of others’ cultures, we can make reasonable change with how we perceive each other. Banning these kinds of studies only further prove that some aren’t tolerant enough to understand that people, including their own race, have done things that we aren’t proud of. As most of us know, we can’t change the past, but we can change our future.

Horne and the Republican officials do not understand that to embody the American Dream and for our future Americans to grow strong and proud of the country they live in, a school needs to be the foundation for seeking the identity of self, others, and our country. That means learning about the cultures of all Americans, including the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Universal College Admission Test Are Becoming More Universal

The, ACT, which score indicates what a student knows and the SAT, which score indicates what the student is capable of learning is recognized as universal college admission tests. Although some of the most talented students are not taking either of these tests and as pointed out by the New York Times less than a week ago at this trend has recently taken a turn for the better.

There are many obstacles in the way of low income students when considering attending college. There are entry essays, fees, admissions testing, and most of the low income students do not have the resource of a parent who has been through this process before. School counselors deal with a high student to counselor ratios. ACT and SAT fees can be waived for students on the reduced or free lunch program but receiving this waiver takes the assistance of overworked school counselor, who is not always available. Students often choose to skip the test rather than go through the hassle of receiving a financial waiver.

The good news is several schools are now offering ACT and SAT during regular school hours for free. The results are nothing less than amazing. A number of the students who have previously chosen not to take the tests are receiving high scores. Schools are able to easily identify low incomes students with great academic potential. They are then able to match these students with the resources available to them in order to mentor them about their chooses regarding college admission. Low income students who would have not gone to college are now able to attend an elite university or college. This trend is breaking some of the buriers of higher education to low income students. Universal free testing of ACT and SAT can be life changing and should continue to be offered in more states. It has resulting in a greater diversity of students in the regions it has been offered making the true of universal shine.