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Rocketship Education; Aiming At Provision of Quality and Equity in Education

Rocketship Education is a charter group of schools. The first one of this schools was opened ten years ago in San Jose in the state of California. Since then the Rocketship Education has developed exponentially, it has brought many developments to the community. The group of schools is renowned as one of the starters of personalized learning. The school has been at the forefront of combining both technologies and also focused modern methods of ensuring effective education is offered to the students. Through home visits as a strategy of the personalized learning model. This has been a way of making sure that every student gets the best experience and stronger relationship has been established between the school and the home, making the parents to be fully involved in the education of their students.

The education at Rocketship is elementary, and sometimes it’s often tempting to give in to the pressure by parents and also other people for the demand of the K-12 system. It is always a sad goodbye for the Rocketeers to leave at a fifth grade not having a clear picture of what will become of them afterward. However, it comes down to one thing that Rocketship is trying to establish equity in the public education system by stabling a quality way of giving quality education to the students and therefore consequently building the community at long last.

The parent’s involvements are actually important to a great extent as it helps the families to have a political voice and say when it comes to the provision of education which is of high quality. It is also important to note that Rocketship Education does not discriminate the students entering into their systems. At Rocketship, there is no discrimination according to the race, ethnic background or even their social class but there is a lot of fairness accountability and transparency in the intake of students. In addition to that also the school ensures that there is teacher diversity in the school, whereby the teachers have different diverse backgrounds. This makes learning a great experience for the students.

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 (https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2017/07/17/easy-a-nearly-half-hs-seniors-graduate-average/485787001/).

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.

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.

Is Betsy Devos a closet reality-based education tzar?

With her ascension to the highest post in education, Betsy DeVos, a longtime conservative from Michigan, who has spent a great deal of her career studying education policy, is finally in a position to make real changes to the nation’s woe-stricken education system, if she can overcome the bureaucratic inertia that famously afflicts all D.C. institutions.

 

Many in the reality-based community, who freely acknowledge the intractable nature of things like the achievement gap and the disparate outcomes regarding school discipline, have expressed grave concerns at various points in the past that DeVos is a fantasy-prone ideologue not much different from the career progressive educrats that have preceded her.

 

However, there are reasons to believe that Mrs. DeVos may be a bit wilier than some have given her credit. She has been coy about exactly how the Department of Education would ensure against “school discrimination”, a time-honored canard that has destroyed thousands of schools across the country and wasted trillions of dollars since 1965. The Education Secretary refused to acknowledge that discrimination is a problem or say what the Department of Education would be willing to do to combat it.

 

After the infamous case of Judge Russell Clark attempting to engineer the closure of black versus white achievement gaps in Kansas City, to the tune of $2 billion and locally ruined schools, as well as hundreds of other such cases over the years, the evidence, which includes a large body of literature from sociology, phychometrics and other fields, is in. There is no way to close the achievement gap, because it’s innate.

 

That hasn’t stopped judges, including Clark, from trying. Another infamous case was that of forced busing in the Boston Public Schools, which ultimately ruined that city’s public schools as well. With Mrs. DeVos as Secretary, the Department of Education may have its first chance to escape the fantastic thinking that has led to so much waste.

 

Student Loan Forgiveness is Highly Doubtful

President Obama might have promised loan relief to the millions of students around the country that have crippling student loan debt. However, with the election of President Donald Trump comes big surprises in the budget.

 

A survey of college students showed that approximately 50% expected some kind of student loan forgiveness program from the federal government.

 

Analysis conducted by the US Department of Education projects that borrowers who enroll in any kind of loan forgiveness program would repay every penny that they borrowed and then some. Some of the debtors found within the programs offer monthly payments that are capped to their earnings. Even when this is in place, those who are making payments are projected to pay around 76% more than what they actually borrowed. What is being forgiven is the interest that could be 20 years old or more depending on how long a student has been making payments.

 

Only about half of the people who enroll in the plans within the 2018 fiscal year would even receive any kind of forgiveness. Some government figures suggest that even that estimate is too high.

 

There is a lot of paperwork that needs to be completed in order for a borrower to apply for a loan forgiveness program. If they qualify, it’s likely that they will get lower payments, but after making so many payments, it is likely that they will have paid off everything that they initially borrowed to begin with. The debt is too high and students simply can’t make all the payments.

 

The programs are less than desirable, which also leads to students demanding something better than the never-ending cycle currently in place.

 

 

Student Loan Issue Reaching Crisis Levels

Getting a college degree is a requirement for success in many industries in the United States. While the need for a college degree, and even a further degree, continues to grow in demand, the costs of going to college have increased rapidly as well. Since the costs of going to college are outpacing the rate of inflation in the country, this is making it unaffordable for many people to go. Instead of paying for college at the time, many students are now tasked with having to take out student loans.

 

According to a recent news article, the amount of debt that students are accumulating has grown significantly and the situation is now approaching crisis levels (http://www.wdel.com/blogs/on-the-money/watch-out-for-the-growing-student-loan-bubble/article_fba41ab2-3efc-11e7-9b57-cfa2f9a3f7cb.html). In the past 12 months alone, the 44 million student loan borrowers across the country had more than $1.3 million in outstanding student loan debt. Further, the amount that is borrowed is increasing rapidly. The average student loan balance today is nearly $37,000, which is 70% higher than it was only 10 years ago. Further, more than 2 million student loan borrowers now have debt balances in excess of $100,000, which is unaffordable in many cases.

 

What has a lot of people more concerned is that more than 11 percent of student loan debt is in default. This is by far the highest level of debt of all types of consumer loans. Furthermore, the rate is increasing as thousands of more borrowers are going into default every day. The reason for the increased rise in debt is attributed to a lot of different factors. Some of these include the ease of obtaining student loans, the rapidly increasing costs of going to college, and even some schools taking advantage of the ease of debt to charge far more to students than they would have been able to otherwise.

 

 

Charter School Network Tackles Problem of Poor College Performance

Charter schools throughout the United States have amassed an impressive rate of success when it comes to graduating students and sending them on to college. Unfortunately, it is while in college that many charter school graduates start to have problems. Fortunately, one educational network has begun tackling this menacing issue.

Publicly funded but privately run charter schools are becoming increasingly popular in the United States, with choice and improved academic performance the two major selling points of these educational facilities. In one charter network, an incredible 95 percent of its students not only graduate but go on to college. Among these same students, however, only about 25 percent have actually received an advanced degree within six years of their graduation from high school. According to some observers, the problem is related to the fact that charter schools fail to prepare their students for aspects of higher education that are both academic and social in nature. More information about the difficulties facing students after they attend charter schools is available at www.reddit.com/r/education.

Achievement First, which is a national charter school network, has introduced a new system that promises to better prepare its students for the college experience. Its so-called “Greenfield” system uses a personalized technique that allows students to learn in stages before they advance. The program offers two classes that provide art and dance instruction. Additionally, students will be given the opportunity to experience subjects that are normally not part of the primary or secondary school curriculum, such as architecture.

The new system will be utilized during the coming year in the schools that are operated by Achievement First in Brooklyn, N.Y. A school in Connecticut that employed the same system has shown promising results, with improvements in both math and reading skills among its students. However, it will take time to determine whether this translates to improved performance at the college level.

 

College Administrators Grapple With Free Speech Issues

Throughout the country, colleges have been swamped with incidents involving students and others vocally opposing the appearance of various speakers. This has usually taken the form of right-leaning speakers having their platform denied by hecklers or other aggressive activism on the part of student groups. However, in some cases it has been avowedly liberal administrators and staff themselves who have become the targets of anti-free speech activism.

 

This has befuddled a number of administrators, many of whom recall no precedent for the current level of tension and angst surrounding the right of speakers with challenging or unpopular views to be given space to address college campuses.

 

At Middlebury College, one such incident unfolded when Charles Murray, a liberal-leaning libertarian social scientist, attempted to give a speech in the college’s auditorium. The speech was emceed by Allison Stanger, one of the colleges most progressive and liberal professors with a long record of fighting for social justice causes. Still, the speech was shut down when a group of students declared that Mr. Murray was a racist, based on a small subsection of a book which he and a fellow social scientist had published over 25 years before.

 

Mr. Murray repeatedly tried to give his speech to the assembled audience but was heckled and shouted down with such vigor that Mrs. Stanger opted to move the speaker into a closed room, from which he broadcast the speech over a closed circuit television system.

 

But things came to a head when, upon leaving through a back door, a mob descended on Murray and Stanger, who was accompanying him to his car. In the ensuing melee, Mrs. Stanger was struck so violently that she required hospitalization and is currently in neck brace. Mr. Murray was unharmed.

 

Such is the level of hysteria that even liberal speakers are causing on today’s campuses.

A Report Card for Trump’s Education Plan

United States President Donald Trump has taken considerable flack from just about every direction during his first 100 days in office, but not much has been mentioned with regard to public education.

 

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos did not start off on the right foot as she brought on more political opposition than any other cabinet member appointed by Trump. Since then, critics have mentioned that DeVos is set to “destroy” American public education. This, of course, can be easily considered hyperbole; nonetheless, national news broadcaster Univision recently published a sort of report card on what the Secretary really has planned for her term.

 

Although DeVos is one of the most powerful advocates of vouchers to allow students to enroll in private schools at a cost to taxpayers, there is not much she can do to advance this intention.

 

DeVos has said she will not impose voucher programs because she cannot technically do so; however, she keeps talking about the value of religious education, and this is something that makes some people nervous.

 

A broader impact could come from policies pushed by a lobby group associated with DeVos: a tax credit program for families to contribute towards private school scholarships for their children. This approach is already practiced in 17 states, and DeVos could push towards greater adoption at the cost of making political enemies not just for herself but also for Trump.

 

The White House does not seem to worry about education or about DeVos, and there really should not be many reasons to worry anyway; after all, prior policies from the Obama administration gave more power to individual states than to the Department of Education.

 

By the standards of the Bush administration, Trump would get an F in education, but times and policy have changed. The less the White House gets involved in education, the easier it would be for states to determine what should be done. In the end, Trump gets a C.

 

Campus Skirmishes Raise Questions About Colleges’ Role in Ensuring Speech

Over the last two years, various incidents have taken place at American universities that have brought to the forefront a number of serious questions about the scope and limitation of freedom of speech on the nation’s campuses. From Berkeley to the University of Missouri, students, faculty and outside speakers have tangled, at times violently, over who should be permitted a public venue and what they should be allowed to say.

 

While this may seem little more than fodder for amusing op-eds to the great mass of Americans, it has far-reaching consequences. Few things have been more important to the creation of modern society than freedom of academic inquiry. In fact, it is often precisely the suppression of ideas that is pointed to as the chief reason that the Dark Ages persisted for so long. Figures like Galileo and even Leonardo Da Vinci once faced the possibility of burning at the stake for countervening the teachings of the Church. Some fear that our modern society has gotten to the point where political correctness is taking on some of the worst characteristics of the Catholic Church of old.

 

But on a more practical level, the administrators grappling with these issues face immediate and stark consequences. The University of Missouri is an example of campus unrest causing real damage. In 2016, Melissa Click, a professor there, was fired over controversial speech. The following semester, applications dropped by nearly 30 percent.

 

In Berkeley, Nicholas Dirks, the chancellor, had attempted to give controversial speaker Ann Coulter a venue in which to address the campus. His plan called for up to 100 extra police officers, a number that would have cost the university tens of thousands of dollars for a speech lasting just a few hours. Ms. Coulter ultimately rejected the offer and the university is currently being sued by a student group.