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La mujer que da la vuelta al mundo en avioneta para formar a niñas en ciencia

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Se levanta el paro de maestros: los niños colombianos vuelven a clase

El País - Educación - Vie, 16 Jun 2017 - 20:47
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El País - Educación - Vie, 16 Jun 2017 - 17:00
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Dr. Dre Pledges $10 Million Donation To Compton High School

Huffington Post - Vie, 16 Jun 2017 - 14:20

Dr. Dre has pledged to donate $10 million toward the construction of a performing arts center being built at Compton High School in 2020.

The center that Dre, a native of Compton, California, is investing in will be located in the Compton Unified School District and feature a 1,200-seat theater. 

“My goal is to provide kids with the kind of tools and learning they deserve,” Dre said in a statement to Variety. “The performing arts center will be a place for young people to be creative in a way that will help further their education and positively define their future.”

The donation is the result of a promise the rapper made a couple of years ago, Rolling Stone reported. In 2015, Dre said he would give the profits from his “Compton” album to the construction of a performing arts facility in his hometown.

Looks like he came through. 

The publication also reports that Dre collaborated with recently re-elected Compton Mayor Aja Brown on the decision. In a 2015 interview with Beats 1 Radio DJ Zane Lowe, he said Brown, the city’s youngest mayor, suggested he invest his money in the facility

“I’ve been really trying to do something special for Compton and just couldn’t quite figure out what it was,” Dre said during the radio segment. “She actually had this idea and she was already in the process of working on it. I said, ‘Boom, this is what we should do.’”

Leave it to the ladies.

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These Four Phenomenal Black Women Won Beyoncé's Formation Scholarship

Huffington Post - Vie, 16 Jun 2017 - 14:18

Four black women were fortunate enough to be named winners of Beyoncé’s Formation Scholarship.

The BeyGood foundation announced the winners on Thursday. Two winners come from historically black colleges: Maya Rogers, a graduate student studying music therapy at Howard University and Bria Paige, a junior studying English at Spelman College. The other two ladies come from art schools: Sadiya Ramos, a sophomore studying dance at Berklee College of Music and Avery Youngblood, a second-year student studying graphic design at Parsons School of Design. 

To receive the women-only scholarship, these students had to have a 3.5 grade point average and write an essay about how Beyoncé’s “Lemonade” inspired them in their educational endeavors. The scholarship, announced in April, was a part of the one-year celebration of the visual album. BeyGood partnered with each of these schools for the inaugural scholarship.

Rogers, Paige, Ramos and Youngblood will each receive $25,000 toward their education. 

All four of Beyoncé's Formation Scholars are Black Girls.

— Jasmyn Lawson (@JasmynBeKnowing) June 16, 2017

In a press release, Paige said “Lemonade” has inspired her to “pursue doctoral studies centered on black feminist thought.”

“Experiencing Beyoncé blur the lines between the personal and political and influence culture worldwide, while championing black women and our experience, empowers me to discover effective and culturally sound ways to see myself within the world and my academic future,” she said.

“As I prepare to enter into my junior year at Spelman College, I walk with new purpose as I work to redefine and transform academia, specifically infusing creativity, innovation and popular culture into scholarship,” she continued. “Similar to Beyoncé, I aim to merge two worlds, considered to be complete opposites, to create my own genre of scholarship.”

Congratulations to these four phenomenal scholars! 

H/T Vibe

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El largo verano de los niños de la llave

El País - Educación - Vie, 16 Jun 2017 - 12:04
ONG y expertos alertan de que faltan recursos y soporte institucional para atender a los miles de menores que pasan sus vacaciones escolares solos en casa

Elige carrera a través del móvil

El País - Educación - Vie, 16 Jun 2017 - 11:44
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After Rolling Back Transgender Student Protections, Here's What Trump Is Doing Next

Huffington Post - Vie, 16 Jun 2017 - 11:32

After the Department of Education and the Department of Justice rescinded Obama administration guidance regarding transgender students in February, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has received new guidance on how to deal with cases of discrimination against transgender students.

The instructions, issued to employees last week, say officials should rely on “Title IX and its implementing regulations ... in evaluating complaints of sex discrimination against individuals whether or not the individual is transgender.”

An employee familiar with the guidance ― which was obtained by HuffPost and can be read in full below ― says he interprets this to mean that officials should investigate issues of discrimination just as they would have before the Obama-era rules were implemented.

The Obama administration called on school districts to treat a student’s gender identity as their sex and to treat students in a way consistent with their gender identities, including when it came to bathrooms and locker rooms. After rescinding this guidance, Trump administration agencies sent a letter saying the issue should be decided at the local level.

The Trump administration guidance calls on OCR investigators to look into situations in which schools failed to protect transgender students who face sex discrimination, harassment or different treatment based on sex stereotyping. It specifically mentions instances of harassment in which transgender students are called the wrong pronoun or name.

However, groups that advocate for transgender students fear that the OCR is trying to shirk responsibility for protecting students against bathroom discrimination. 

Only one part of the instructions specifically mentions student bathrooms, in an example explaining that investigators should not dismiss an entire complaint because specific allegations have been rejected. Specifically, the instructions say that investigators should not reject gender harassment allegations in a complaint, even if they have dismissed allegations involving “denial of access to restrooms based on gender identity.”

“They are hinting that they are not enforcing the law,” said Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality.

While Keisling said her organization is still trying to figure out the exact legal ramifications of this memo, she “would not be surprised if this turns out for the worst.”

A statement from the Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network expresses similar concern. 

“GLSEN calls on OCR to specify whether they will defend trans students’ access to safe and appropriate school facilities – regardless of where the student lives or what local protections may or may not exist. Forcing trans students to use restrooms that do not align with their gender identity puts those students at risk of harassment and violence,” GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard stated. 

Across the country, there have been a handful of high-profile lawsuits over whether or not students can use school bathrooms that are consistent with their gender identities. 

Groups that advocate for LGBTQ students met with Department of Education officials Friday morning in an off-the-record meeting. The Department of Education did not respond to requests for comment.

Read the full guidance below:

Ocr Instructions by rhklein on Scribd

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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Educación coordinará en Andalucía un plan de climatización de colegios

El País - Educación - Vie, 16 Jun 2017 - 09:51
El programa incluirá aires acondicionados, elementos aislantes y vegetación

Un 10 frente a la adversidad

El País - Educación - Vie, 16 Jun 2017 - 09:01
Carlota Monedero, que sufría burlas de sus compañeros por padecer un síndrome, ha obtenido la mejor puntuación en Selectividad en la Comunidad de Madrid

AAUP discussion centers on the many benefits of embracing students as both 'learners and teachers'

Inside Higher Education - Vie, 16 Jun 2017 - 02:00

WASHINGTON -- The case for student evaluations of teaching is obvious: students are (hopefully) at each class session, with a front-row seat to the good, the bad and the ugly of instruction. They may also have clear goals about what they want from a course.

Yet the validity of formal, end-of-semester teaching evaluations by students is politically fraught and empirically challenged: advocates say well-designed evaluations work, while opponents say most questionnaires reveal more about student biases than teaching. There are concerns, too, about how students’ evaluations should inform high-stakes personnel decisions about faculty members, such as tenure and promotion.

What if there was a different way, entirely focused on improving instruction, with ancillary benefits to student evaluators? There is, and it works, says Alison Cook-Sather, Mary Katharine Woodworth Professor of Education and director of the Teaching and Learning Institute at Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges.

Cook-Sather was on hand here Thursday at the annual meeting of the Association of University Professors to talk about the “pedagogical partnership” program she’s established on her campuses, called Students as Learners and Teachers. She noted other kinds of institutions, including community colleges and public universities, have adopted similar initiatives.

Students as Learners and Teachers

“Students who are not enrolled in courses visit faculty members’ classes, take observation notes, meet with faculty weekly to talk about their teaching,” Cook-Sather said, explaining the partnership program in which 216 professors and 137 students have participated since its inception in 2006, thanks in part of a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. “The student is not there to evaluate; they’re there to reflect back on what they see from the student’s perspective.”

Pedagogy-focused partnerships are between one instructor and one student not enrolled in the focal course, over the course of a year or semester. Students are compensated for their participation, either through stipends, work-study agreements or academic credit. They must apply for the program, but all are generally accepted, regardless of academic performance or other factors, as diversity of perspective is a deliberate goal.

Working through a central director, with whom they meet once a week, students visit their partner instructors’ classrooms weekly and take detailed notes about what they’ve observed. Did students know what was going on, for example? Did they seem engaged? It doesn’t really matter if student partners know anything about the course or discipline, and students have even observed courses in languages they don’t speak.

Student observers then meet with faculty partners weekly to discuss the observation. Principles underpinning these interactions, Cook-Sather said, are respect, reciprocity and a sense of shared responsibility. The student is not there to berate the instructor, and vice versa. They are, ideally, a team.

The program can also include curriculum-focused partnerships over a semester, in which faculty members and single students or groups of students who are not enrolled in the course at hand meet weekly or every other week to plan or revise the curriculum.

New professors may opt into the program but aren’t required to do so; Cook-Sather said it’s important that the partnership doesn’t “ossify” into something less worthwhile due to institutionalization or coercion. It’s also crucial that the program remain separate from promotion and tenure decisions, she said; professors can include notes from student partners in their files if they choose, but to make the program part of formal evaluation would corrupt its integrity.

The seed for the partnership program was a teacher-preparation program involving high school students years back. And the first iterations of the college-level program focused solely on improving instruction. But soon Cook-Sather saw new possibilities for students via their participation. Or, as she put it in a 2010 paper, “a more encompassing possibility: fostering in students a sense of and capacity for responsibility in ways that not only address existing educational ideals but that also point to both more transformative and more achievable notions of education and accountability than those currently in place.”

Affirming Students' Rights, Extending Their Responsibilities

Seven years (and a book on the topic) later, Cook-Sather is convinced that “pedagogical partnerships affirm students’ rights and extend their responsibilities,” which was, not coincidentally, the topic of her discussion Thursday. “The work that I’ve been doing in my practice and my research for about 20 years is really around how can students have more responsibility for their education, how can they take more responsibility for what happens in college classrooms and also when they’re not enrolled in those college classrooms.”

It’s admittedly “radical,” she said, especially in an era in which so many professors perceive a diminished role in the classroom, the university and academe more broadly. But, she argued, “this is really students and faculty each contributing to what happens in the classroom, but not in the same ways. Faculty bring a kind of expertise; students bring a very different kind of expertise. It’s not about delegitimizing faculty authority or expertise -- it’s really about bringing perspectives together.”

Both professors and students benefit from the program through increased engagement, metacognitive awareness and a stronger sense of identity, and improved classroom experience, Cook-Sather said, sharing the following comment from a student partner: “My preparation for and my discussions with my faculty partner have made me more self-reflexive about my own experience and responsibilities as a student.”

Here’s a comment from a faculty partner: “For the first time, I was able to get the sense of how others experienced the class. Her perspective gave her access to specific insights which I remained blind to: she alerted me to students’ confusion, affirmed and/or challenged my choices of activities, and helped me identify the pedagogical practices that worked, even for the most withdrawn students.”

Participation has notable outcomes for underrepresented students, Cook-Sather added, sharing one student’s expression of increased belonging and empowerment. “Being a student consultant gave me a voice as a person of color when I was not in the role of student consultant … by reinforcing that not only did my perspective, assessment skills and commitment to make spaces safer for underrepresented groups deeply matter -- they could drive important transformation in classrooms and in the student-teacher relationship.”

Co-Creating a Course

Beyond one-on-one pedagogical and curricular partnerships, Cook-Sather also co-creates a course called Advocating Diversity in Higher Education with students enrolled in it. She designed the framework for the class with a student from Students as Learners and Teachers, and now asks the class to help her steer it as it unfolds.

Students complete forms to talk about individual needs concerning access and how their differences or disabilities might be a resource to them or fellow students, in addition to a course commitment form. The latter, used as a self-assessment, lists all assignments and asks students how they wanted to complete them, and for what share of their grades.

Activities include a radical listening activity in which pairs of students discuss how they feel listened to, and a “gallery walk” of the results of students interviewing students on relevant course topics. Assignments included weekly shared readings from a lengthy reading list, a co-created annotated bibliography, “field work” of facilitated conversations and interviews, and a research project on challenges to diversity in higher education with executive summaries delivered to senior college staff members. There's also a final portfolio. 

Students seem to enjoy the experience, based on their feedback. Here’s one comment: “This class has permanently altered the way I think and talk about diversity, higher education and the ways we define activism and advocacy. It’s impacted how I consider and navigate my whiteness in different spaces and without a doubt made me a better person and listener.”

Faculty members in the audience, too, seemed to like what Cook-Sather had to say Thursday, with several commenting that their campuses need this kind of student-faculty partnership. One professor of physics at a historically black institution said his university already had adopted such a practice, and that faculty participants benefit greatly in their promotion and tenure decisions. (In response, Cook-Sather underscored the importance of keeping partnerships separate from personnel decisions unless otherwise indicated by the instructor.)

One professor wondered doubtingly whether pedagogical partnerships could be replicated online, and Cook-Sather said the program does indeed highlight the importance of face-to-face student-faculty interaction. When another professor argued that such an adaptation could work, since so many courses that once seemed impossible to teach virtually are now online, Cook-Sather smiled and said, “You should start one online.”

Not a Replacement for Traditional Evaluations

Cook-Sather said after the session that students still fill out traditional course evaluations at the end of their courses, as is required at Bryn Mawr. But in her co-creation course, she said, she also gathers mid-term feedback from students.

As a result of the "ongoing dialogue" students "tell me that they feel far better able to complete those end-of-semester evaluations in a meaningful way," she said. Students also self-evaluate and assign themselves grades, she said, so various forms of reflection, assessment and evaluation "become intertwined and are, again, threads in an ongoing conversation based on respect and shared responsibility." 

The program is a "tremendous amount of work for the students, and a different kind of work for me than a traditional course, but it is also, students tell me, among the most gratifying work they have done because they have so much agency and accountability not only to themselves and to me but also to one another," Cook-Sather said. "This form of co-creation is equally gratifying for me because I can provide the space, structure, challenge and support that allow individual and also collective deepening of understanding and capacity around what advocating diversity in higher education might mean."

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Education Department suggests less expansive approach to OCR investigations

Inside Higher Education - Vie, 16 Jun 2017 - 02:00

The Department of Education last week outlined changes to civil rights investigations that advocates fear will mean less consistent findings of systemic discrimination at colleges. 

Under the Obama administration, certain types of civil rights complaints would trigger broader investigations of whether a pattern of discrimination existed at a school or college.

But Candice Jackson, the acting assistant secretary for civil rights, told regional directors for the Office for Civil Rights in a memo that the Department of Education would no longer follow those guidelines. In detailing the latest civil rights shift under Secretary Betsy DeVos, Jackson wrote that the department was setting aside existing rules and empowering investigators with more discretion to clear case backlogs and address complaints in a timely manner.

“There is no longer a ‘one size fits all’ approach to the investigation of any category of complaints,” she wrote in the memo, which was first reported by ProPublica.

The shift is significant because many of the violations OCR has found in recent years have involved systemic issues that go beyond the original complaint that prompted investigators to look into a college or school.

Former department officials and advocates for victims of discrimination say it’s critical to examine individual cases in the context of wider practices at an institution -- and to apply that standard consistently across various OCR offices.

Alexandra Brodsky, a co-founder of Know Your IX and a fellow at the National Women’s Law Center, said the OCR process is designed to be friendly to students and families who don’t have access to lawyers. And those complainants don’t typically have the knowledge of the legal language or their institution’s track record to make the case for a broader investigation, she said.

“Looking at context is the opposite of ‘one size fits all,’” Brodsky said. “What it’s acknowledging is a single student’s complaint can only be understood in the broader context of a university’s respect or lack thereof for civil rights.”

The memo doesn’t preclude investigative teams and regional directors from conducting that kind of broad review, including an examination of past complaint data at an institution. Instead, investigators would have more discretion to determine what additional records are necessary to find if other students from similar backgrounds were mistreated.

Civil rights investigators will only apply a systemic or class-action approach where individuals making complaints allege those issues or where an investigative team determines that approach is called for.

The instructions from Jackson also drop requirements that regional offices automatically confer with OCR headquarters in Washington on certain kinds of cases.

Catherine Lhamon, former assistant secretary for civil rights and now chair of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, said under her tenure at the department regional offices would notify headquarters when they received a complaint that qualified for that sensitive-case list. Collaborative discussions would follow about what information was sufficient for an investigation, what proposed resolutions might include and whether sufficient work had been completed to resolve an investigation.

“Typically, the issues on the sensitive-case list were issues in developing areas of law and developing areas of expertise across OCR,” she said. “The offices benefited from those conversations with each other.”

Lhamon said dropping the sensitive-case list could mean fewer of those discussions at the department. More worrisome, she said, is the possibility Jackson’s memo would make it more likely for OCR to miss or ignore systemic problems when there are already powerful incentives to close complaints without sufficient review.

“When you start an investigation, you don’t know what you don’t know,” she said.

Lhamon pointed to multiple resolution agreements between the department and universities over the past two years that found systemic issues or serious problems not brought to investigators’ attention in an original complaint. Those expansive reviews can also reveal where an institution is doing a much better job than realized. A June 2016 resolution of a sexual violence and harassment complaint at Occidental College found “a campus actively engaged in important work to satisfy Title IX responsibilities” that had not been transparent about that work with students.

Education Department spokeswoman Liz Hill said the changes are about ensuring every individual complainant gets the care and attention they deserve.

“In OCR, processing times have skyrocketed in recent years, and the case backlog has exploded. Justice delayed is justice denied, and justice for many complainants has been denied for too long,” she said in an email. “These internal enforcement instructions seek to clear out the backlog while giving every complaint the individualized and thorough consideration it deserves. There is no longer an artificial requirement to collect several years' of data when many complaints can be adequately addressed much more efficiently and quickly. These new instructions also direct that all civil rights violations be given equal care and importance, and every type of civil right to be enforced with equal vigor and vigilance.”

Broader Context of Policy

Although Jackson’s letter laid out instructions to OCR staff and not institutions, it’s the second time since DeVos came on at the department that it has apparently changed course on civil rights, to the consternation of advocates. Citing ongoing legal challenges, in March DeVos withdrew 2016 guidelines from the Obama administration involving how universities and school districts should handle discrimination against transgender students.

DeVos also received criticism from LGBT advocates when she suggested in a Senate budget hearing this month that there is unsettled law on civil rights enforcement in those areas. And civil rights groups and Democratic lawmakers have criticized a 40-position staffing cut to the Office for Civil Rights in the Department of Education’s proposed 2018 budget.

Lhamon wrote to the office’s regional directors that OCR’s core mission is “to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence through vigorous enforcement of civil rights in our nation’s schools.” But advocates said the memo sets up a false dichotomy between making remedies to systemic problems and reaching timely resolution of individual complaints. Brodsky said the best answer to large case backlogs and wait times isn’t a change in approach to investigations.

“The answer is full funding for OCR,” Brodsky said. “It can’t do its job when it’s short staffed.”

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Area job losses can keep students from attending college, research finds

Inside Higher Education - Vie, 16 Jun 2017 - 02:00

The ripple effects of large-scale job losses linger for years and can keep adolescents from attending college later in life, according to new research carrying significant ramifications for policy makers, college recruiters and counselors.

Poor middle school and high school students who live through major job losses in their region attend college at significantly lower rates when they are 19 years old, according to new research published in the June 16 issue of the journal Science. A 7 percent state job loss when a student is an adolescent is tied to a 20 percent decline in likelihood that the poorest young people will attend college.

Local job losses hurt adolescent mental health, researchers found. Job losses also cut academic performance. The negative impacts are not limited to children from families where parents lost jobs -- they extend to those who witness their friends, neighbors and others in the community being affected by layoffs.

The effects are particularly strong among students from the poorest families and among African-American students. Those students have the lowest levels of family wealth to fall back upon when they lose a job and the income it brings. African-Americans also tend to face the highest barriers to employment.

Researchers argue that large-scale job losses are not simply economic events touching directly affected families. They are community-level traumas, said Elizabeth O. Ananat, an associate professor of public policy studies and economics at Duke University who is one of the lead authors of the paper appearing in Science.

“Worse mental health and worse test scores, they are all going to be blows to you that knock you off the path,” Ananat said. “That was a difficult path to begin with.”

The findings shed important light on the fate of communities and young students affected as new technology and globalization brought economic upheaval and blue-collar job losses in recent decades. The research should also carry weight for colleges and universities, which are expected to have to recruit increasing numbers of poor and minority students as income inequality rises and the population of prospective students grows increasingly diverse in coming years.

“High-income kids are largely going to go to college regardless,” said Anna Gassman-Pines, another of the paper’s authors who is an associate professor of public policy, psychology and neuroscience at Duke.

“Where we’re really seeing this decrease is concentrated among the lowest-income kids,” Gassman-Pines said. “That’s increasing inequality.”

Many college leaders argue they need to attract students by making a better argument for the value of higher education. That outlook aligns with the predominant economic theory for how a middle or high school student who has experienced job loss in the community should rationally act.

In the economic theory, a student may have watched their father lose his job when a mine closed. Or they watched a friend’s mother be laid off when the local factory downsized. Those students should then be drawn to a college education because of the promise of larger financial returns and more stable employment in the newly developing knowledge economy.

In other words, economic theory has tended to focus on the idea that a shrinking pool of blue-collar jobs increases the relative return on investment of a college education. But it’s not working that way in the real world.

“Economists tend to think about it as a change in relative prices -- the return changes,” Ananat said. “They miss the fact that it’s an emotional blow, like another kind of community trauma would be.”

Researchers analyzed statewide job losses from 1995 to 2011. Their data included all 50 states. They also examined data on educational mobility that show how much a person’s college attendance at the age of 19 is predicted by their parents’ income.

They found no evidence that families moving out of depressed areas in response to job losses impacted their results. Nor was lost family income enough to explain the drops in students’ educational mobility. Variations in state college tuition levels did not change the effects of job losses on students’ attendance.

“It’s not to say that affordability isn’t an issue,” Ananat said. “We’re saying it’s not the mechanism by which job losses drive inequality.”

Researchers did find that job losses to 1 percent of the working-age population decreased eighth-grade math achievement test scores. The effect was too large to be limited only to students whose parents had lost their jobs. An indirectly impacted group experienced learning losses about one-third of the size of losses among children whose parents lost jobs, they found.

Similar effects were found for students’ mental health -- those affected by job loss showed poorer levels of mental health. The effects of job losses on mental health were most pronounced among young African-Americans, whose reported thoughts of suicide increased by 2.33 percentage points in response to statewide job losses. Again, the change was too large to be prompted only by those whose parents had experienced job losses.

“This is not a story where there needs to be two sets of solutions for some imagined different set of problems,” Ananat said. “Whether you’re from France or Nebraska or Baltimore, this is a traumatic thing that is happening to everybody who is not sort of in this robust knowledge economy.”

There is evidence that the negative effects of job losses are blunted by other jobs being readily available. College attendance is higher across income levels after job losses in states with low unemployment levels, researchers found. Declines in test scores and mental health were also smaller.

Researchers suggested exploring policies like rigorous job training for workers receiving unemployment compensation. They also suggested evaluating whether re-employment policies can soften the effects of economic disruption on student outcomes.

For colleges, the findings could affect recruiting in areas experiencing economic upheaval, Ananat said. She also said colleges may want to explore additional outreach to students who have been affected by job losses. “It’s understanding the experience of kids who aren’t the stereotypical college student,” Ananat said. “It’s not just money.”

The findings could also indicate more investment is needed in local community colleges and states’ nonflagship institutions, particularly those located near areas hit by job losses. Students tend to go to local institutions.

The research could have additional ramifications for colleges after students arrive on campus, Gassman-Pines said.

“Certainly mental health on college campuses is a really big issue right now,” she said. “Job losses in those communities may not be on the radar.”

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White House seeks to expand apprenticeships with a bigger role for industry

Inside Higher Education - Vie, 16 Jun 2017 - 02:00

President Trump on Thursday signed an executive order that seeks to expand apprenticeships, in part by opening the door to alternative education providers and giving industry groups a more active role with the federal apprenticeship program.

“Apprenticeships place students into great jobs without the crippling debt of traditional four-year college degrees,” Trump said at the White House event. “Instead, apprentices earn while they learn.”

The administration did not mention any new money Thursday, but sources said it plans to announce an allocation of up to $200 million, which would be more than double the $90 million for apprenticeships in this year’s federal budget.

The White House has said it wants growth industries that historically have not focused much on apprenticeships, including health care, IT and manufacturing, to expand their offerings.

As expected, the executive order calls for the creation of a federal task force to help promote apprenticeships. Among other goals, the committee has been tasked with how best to bring industry into the quality-control and oversight side of federally recognized apprenticeships, which have a required educational component and typically last more than two years.

“We will be removing federal restrictions that have prevented many different industries from creating apprenticeship programs,” Trump said at the Thursday event. “So we're empowering these companies, these unions, industry groups, federal agencies to go out and create new apprenticeships for millions of our citizens.”

Roughly 505,000 people work in federally registered apprenticeships. Employers must apply to participate in the program, and many say the registration process is needlessly cumbersome. In addition, they receive little or no federal subsidies for their apprenticeship programs. As a result, critics say the process has helped keep employer participation relatively light -- just 0.3 percent of the work force are apprentices.

However, the federal program also includes a range of standards designed to ensure the quality of the work and learning experience, in addition to protecting apprentices. The rules include wage requirements and minimum time at work sites and on the related learning side, which occurs at community colleges, four-year institutions or at unaccredited education providers such as labor unions and industry associations.

The new executive order encourages federal agencies to help nongovernmental and noncollege organizations create apprenticeship programs that could be fast-tracked for federal registration status.

“These third parties may include trade and industry groups, companies, nonprofit organizations, unions, and joint labor-management organizations,” the order said.

While a broad range of experts and industry groups praised the administration’s focus on apprenticeships, some worried about opening up the federal process to outside players.

“What is the purpose of this alternative system? It’s not clear that they’re solving any problems with it,” said Mary Alice McCarthy, director of the Center on Education and Skills with the education policy program at New America and a former official at the U.S. Education and Labor Departments. “Apprenticeship has some very clear standards. That’s why it works so well.”

McCarthy said possible problems with relaxing and outsourcing federal standards for apprenticeships include confusion, fragmentation and potentially registering programs that are too short term or that fail to yield portable credentials. Likewise, U.S. Representative Bobby Scott of Virginia, who is the top Democrat on the House education committee, said in a written statement that the order fails to "maintain necessary quality controls and accountability requirements."

Business groups welcomed the administration’s move, however. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce in a written statement applauded the White House for “offering solutions that bring the business community to the table.”

The Business Roundtable had a similar message.

“Work-and-learn models, including internships and apprenticeships, are powerful tools to close the skills gap and meet our nation’s work force needs. We support the president’s challenge and look forward to partnering with government at every level as we work together to rebuild the pipeline that generates top talent,” Wes Bush, the chairman, CEO and President of Northrop Grumman Corporation and chair of the Business Roundtable’s Education and Workforce Committee, said in a written statement.

The National Skills Coalition said it appreciates that the executive order includes a public comment period on new regulations from the Labor Department that relate to the apprenticeship push.

“NSC hopes to work with the administration to make sure the new system offers the protections and transparency necessary to ensure that new apprentices will receive the necessary wage gains and industry certifications that will put them on a path to a family-supporting career,” Andy Van Kleunen, the coalition’s CEO, said in a written statement.

The Trump administration has taken plenty of heat from congressional Democrats and others, including a few Republicans, by calling for deep cuts to federal job-training programs while also seeking to expand apprenticeships.

“It cannot be ignored that the president’s proposed 2018 budget slashed funding to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, to the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, and to adult education,” Van Kleunen said. “These federal programs have strong bipartisan support in Congress and are being reformed to be more responsive to the needs of business through local industry partnerships.”

Yet Trump’s executive order appeared to defend that philosophy: “Finally, federally funded education and work force development programs that do not work must be improved or eliminated so that taxpayer dollars can be channeled to more effective uses.”

Editorial Tags: Federal policyJob trainingImage Source: GettyImage Caption: President Trump, Representative Virginia Foxx (in white) and others at executive order signing eventIs this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 0Is this Career Advice newsletter?: 

Florida colleges take hit on remediation, veto cap on B.A. degrees

Inside Higher Education - Vie, 16 Jun 2017 - 02:00

The last couple of months has been difficult for Florida's two-year colleges.

They’ve been faced with a Legislature that has sought to fundamentally change how the state’s two-year colleges operate, in addition to the potential loss of millions of state dollars.

On Wednesday, Governor Rick Scott vetoed a higher education bill that would have capped bachelor’s degree enrollments at the colleges, removed the two-year institutions from the purview of the State Board of Education and renamed the state institutions “community colleges,” as they were called eight years ago.

Part of Scott’s reasoning for vetoing the bill was his approval of about $25 million in cuts to the two-year college system, of which most of the money cut was earmarked for remediation programs. Those cuts were part of the annual 2017-18 state budget that Scott signed off on June 2. Scott said that for the past four years, the state has maintained tuition at the 28 state colleges to make them affordable for families, but that legislation created unnecessary red tape.

“We’ll continue to do the best we can with what we have,” said Jesse Coraggio, vice president of institutional effectiveness and academic services at St. Petersburg College. “The important thing is our students. They come first, and that’s where we’ll put our resources. And when we have less funding, we have to make adjustments in other areas.”

St. Petersburg, which was one of the first of the state colleges to make developmental education adjustments following the state Legislature’s decision to reform remediation, would lose about $1.8 million in funding. In 2014, Florida lifted a mandate on requiring the least college-ready high school graduates to take developmental education. Subsequently, enrollment in those courses decreased, which some legislators saw as an invitation to reduce funding for remediation.

But the governor’s veto could work out favorably for colleges like St. Petersburg. The institution anticipated exceeding the proposed cap on bachelor’s degrees by the end of this spring. The cap would have meant enrollment in bachelor’s degree programs could not exceed 15 percent of an institution’s total student population. St. Petersburg was the first two-year college in the state to offer bachelor’s degrees.

“We’re experiencing declining enrollment, but one area that continues to grow for us is bachelor's degree programs,” Coraggio said. “When you look at the enrollment percentage relationship, it would’ve made it more difficult for us.”

In his veto letter, Scott acknowledged that the legislation would have made positive changes to the several university systems, but “it does so at the expense of the Florida College System.” For instance, the legislation would have expanded financial aid programs that benefit college and university students, however, Scott said programs like the Florida Bright Futures Academic Scholars are not harmed by the veto because they were already included in the full state budget. The Bright Futures program is a non-need-based scholarship.

But the concerns surrounding remediation in the state continue.

“The governor should be applauded for vetoing the bill,” said Davis Jenkins, a senior research associate at Community College Research Center at Columbia University's Teachers College. “However, the proposed … cut for the state colleges is a concern. Since Florida is not facing unusually bad budget pressures this year, the question is why the state colleges would be cut when the universities are not. Both are essential for the vitality of the state.”

A new report by Florida State University’s Center for Postsecondary Success found a decline in the percentage of administrators who think the law that lifted the mandate on remediation is working. The researchers found that the proportion of administrators who agree or strongly agree that the policy has been effective has decreased from 74 percent in 2015 to 39 percent in 2017.

“They could become more concerned because there are real budget cuts this year,” said Shouping Hu, a professor of higher education and director of the center.

The legislation certainly helped students who found they could succeed without remediation, Hu said, adding that these students tended to be disadvantaged or minority students who were more likely to be mistakenly placed in remediation in the past.

But at the same time, a number of institutions added support services and reformed their remedial courses to better support students, he said.

“And all of those services cost money, particularly in the early years,” Hu said. “Institutional leaders may be very worried about this situation. They want to help students succeed, but they also have to deal with the budget situation.”

The report revealed that colleges have tried increasing the workload of advising staff without extra pay and using faculty for advising as a way to lower the expense of the remedial reforms. The college leaders surveyed felt they had made numerous improvements to the advising process, but fewer than a third of respondents said advisers had enough time to meet with students.

“Florida has done a lot of work trying to rapidly reform developmental education, and they did enthusiastically move forward on a lot of efforts to help students be college ready faster,” said Karen Stout, president and chief executive officer of Achieving the Dream. “They hired new advisers, set up tutoring centers, aligned tutoring with content, did corequisite courses, and it all has initial costs and continuing costs.”

Corequisite remedial courses combine college-level classes with additional supports like tutoring.

In St. Petersburg, the college responded to the initial remedial reforms by redesigning software systems that collected more detailed high school record information and created an early prediction model, so that even if students opted out of the placement exam, they could make a more informed decision about whether or not they needed a developmental course, Coraggio said, adding that the college also added support services to gateway courses.

“Bottom line is revenue saved through declines in remedial enrollment should not be considered a savings, but rather reallocated to support students in college-level gateway courses,” Jenkins said.

Community CollegesEditorial Tags: Remedial educationState policyFloridaImage Caption: St. Petersburg CollegeIs this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 0Is this Career Advice newsletter?: 

El asesinato de 8 personas en una guardería de China fue un ataque con bomba

El País - Educación - Vie, 16 Jun 2017 - 01:44
La policía asegura que el autor del "acto criminal" ha muerto y refuerza la seguridad en la zona

Missing Teacher's Husband Clams Up And Police Suspect Homicide

Huffington Post - Jue, 15 Jun 2017 - 18:12

Theresa Lockhart’s home doesn’t look much different from any other along a quiet cul-de-sac in Portage, Michigan. But looks can be deceiving, according to police, who say the house may unlock the mystery surrounding the 44-year-old teacher’s disappearance.

Lockhart, a Spanish teacher at Schoolcraft High School, has been missing since May 18. She was last seen leaving her gym that night.

Christopher Lockhart, 47, her husband of nine years, did not report her missing when she failed to come home that night, or the following day.

It was not until May 20 that Schoolcraft Community School Superintendent Rusty Stitt notified Portage police that Theresa Lockhart’s coworkers had not heard from her. Later that day, police found Theresa Lockhart’s car abandoned at a car pool lot not far from her home.

“We conducted aerial searches, K9 searches and ground searches, which we are still doing,” Senior Chief Deputy John Blue of the Portage Police Department told HuffPost.

Based on the information and lack of communication with the spouse ... [it] makes us suspect a homicide.
Senior Chief Deputy John Blue, of the Portage Police Department

Joan Mullowney, Theresa Lockhart’s sister, said she contacted Christopher Lockhart when she heard about her sister’s disappearance.

“He wasn’t very forthcoming with information,” Mullowney told HuffPost. “To be truthful, he seemed rather lackadaisical in his attitude ... definitely not the attitude of a loving husband whose wife is missing.”

Mullowney is not the only one who found Christopher Lockhart’s behavior suspicious. According to police, he’s been uncooperative and refused to let them search the home until authorities obtained a search warrant. 

“Based on the information and lack of communication with the spouse ... [it] makes us suspect a homicide and the spouse is a person of interest in that,” Blue said.

Christopher Lockhart’s criminal record includes convictions for window peeping, obscene phone calls and assault with a dangerous weapon. He was arrested in November in a domestic violence case involving his wife, and pleaded guilty to simple assault, Blue said.

“That was definitely a shocker for me,” Mullowney said of her brother-in-law’s criminal record. “But then, a lot of what I’ve been learning about him has shocked me.”

Mullowney said her sister and Lockhart met on an online dating website in 2006.

“They became engaged after six months and by Oct. 16, 2007, they were married,” Mullowney said. “She had asked me to be maid of honor at her wedding, which was a great honor for me. They would be 10 years married this coming October.”

Christopher Lockhart is an engineer at the drugmaker Pfizer and oversaw the development of a gel foam medical device that can absorb up to 45 times the weight of whole blood. according to Kalamazoo’s WWMT-TV.

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The couple’s relationship, according to a neighbor, was volatile. Christopher Lockhart would regularly scream at his wife so loudly that the neighbor said he began making recordings. 

The neighbor, who asked not to be identified, shared some of those recordings with Grand Rapids’ WOOD-TV. In one of them, from about a year ago, a man who neighbors say is Christopher Lockhart can be heard shouting, “I’ll fucking kill you.”

Theresa Lockhart’s mother, Loretta Huyge, said she also suspected domestic abuse. She told WOOD-TV that Christopher Lockhart was charming and funny prior to marrying her daughter, but then began acting differently. She said it’s because of her son-in-law that she hasn’t seen her daughter in four years.

“He controlled her and wouldn’t let anybody see her,” Huyge said.

Authorities declined to comment on the audio recordings or the family’s suspicions.

They’re also tight-lipped about what they found when they served a search warrant on the Lockharts’ home last week. Detectives spent 30 hours combing through the residence, and were spotted using metal detectors in the yard.

“I don’t want to release any information as far as the results of that until we’re comfortable doing that,” Blue said. 

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Christopher Lockhart has reportedly retained criminal defense attorney Frederick J. Taylor, who did not respond to HuffPost’s request for comment. Calls to Christopher Lockhart’s cellphone went unanswered.

WOOD-TV interviewed Christopher Lockhart earlier this month. He denied any involvement in his wife’s disappearance, and said she has a history of anxiety and depression.

“When she left, I assumed she was going to get herself some help,” he said. “That’s why I wasn’t really too worried about it at that point in time.

Police still on scene of Lockhart home. Search warrant executed 3 weeks after Theresa Lockhart went missing. Husband person of interest.

— WalterSmith-Randolph (@WalterReports) June 8, 2017

Mullowney said her sister would not leave her home without good reason.

“Theresa is a loving, caring and moral woman,” Mullowney said. “If Theresa disappeared of her own accord, then there’d have to be a very strong ― and I mean strong  ― reason for her to do so ... If she left of her own accord, then something so bad happened at home that she had to leave.”

She added: “I have plenty of theories as to what may have happened to her ― positive as well as negative theories. As for the negative theories, I don’t want to face that path if I can help it. That’s a dark road to go down and a road that would lead to the destruction of my peace of mind.”

Theresa Lockhart is described as a white female, 5 feet 5, 115 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. Friends and family members have created the “Help Us Find Theresa Lockhart” Facebook group.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Portage police at 269-329-4567, or Silent Observer at 269-343-2100.

David Lohr covers crime and missing persons. Tips? Feedback? Send an email or follow him on Twitter.

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America Spent Centuries Mistreating Native American Children. Trump Is Making It Worse.

Huffington Post - Jue, 15 Jun 2017 - 17:36

A century ago, the U.S. government forced hundreds of thousands of Native American students to attend boarding schools where authorities shaved their heads, banned their traditional languages and gave them Western names. Today, these students still attend schools in crumbling buildings with white-washed curriculum and dismal resources.  

So when recent college graduate Teddy McCullough went to the White House’s first ever Tribal Youth Gathering in 2015 and listened to Michelle Obama celebrate the beauty of his people, he finally felt recognized.

“It was one of the most inspiring events I’ve been to,” said McCullough, a member of the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians. “To have the First Lady of the United States talk about her own experiences growing up and relating it to some of the things a lot of Native youth face … it felt personal.”

Former President Barack Obama made unprecedented investments in Native American youth. He budgeted millions of dollars to repair and replace dilapidated Native American schools. He launched a cross-agency initiative to help Native American students become future leaders. And he invited over 1,000 Native American students to D.C. for a gathering to celebrate their potential.

But President Donald Trump, who released his full budget proposal in May, plans to dismantle all of that.

The cuts proposed in Trump’s budget to Native American youth initiatives have received little attention on a national scale. But community leaders say that if the budget passes in its current form, the results will be beyond devastating for their children.

“This budget as it’s been proposed would absolutely decimate Indian education,” said Ahniwake Rose, executive director of the National Indian Education Association and member of the Cherokee and Muscogee Creek Nation. “They’re not just numbers. These are real kids going to be affected everyday by these slashes.”

This budget as it’s been proposed would absolutely decimate Indian education.

The stakes are high for Native American students, who post some of the lowest achievement rates of any student group in the country. Of the major racial and ethnic groups, Native American/Alaskan Indian students have the lowest average high school graduation rates and the highest high school dropout rates. They lead the nation in numbers of 20 to 24 year olds who are neither working nor in school. A staggering number of Native American young people have committed suicide in recent years.

In other words, students are some of the nation’s most vulnerable. But instead of investing in this group, the Trump budget proposes over $303.3 million in cuts to the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs, including a $64.4 million cut to Indian education programs. The Department of Interior budget also proposes nearly $60 million in cuts to education construction projects that help replace and repair dilapidated Bureau of Indian Education schools. (Many are in a notorious state of structural disrepair.) Additionally, the Department of Education proposed budget eliminates a $32.4 million program for Alaska Native education.

Across agencies, there are also broad cuts to civil rights initiatives that could harm Native American children.

If passed, the cuts mean “students are going to continue to go to schools with exposed wiring and air conditioning not working, heat not working, and get taught by teachers who are not trained in best way to teach Native students,” said Rose, who is confident that Congress will work to revise the budget from its current form.  

McCullough, who is now 23 and who just recently left his job at the Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute, said he has spoken to young people who are “devastated” by the Trump administration’s setbacks after seeing so much progress under Obama.

“Its pretty unique to have that amount of energy coming out of the White House towards Native issues,” McCullough said. “Kids are struggling with the idea that there had been progress, and now it seems like there’s not going to be anything.”

Another recent college graduate, John Petoskey, doesn’t see Obama’s tenure in such a rosy light, although he says Obama generally had a pro-Native American agenda. Petoskey, a member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians who was involved in the White House’s initiatives for Native American students, said Obama could have done better when it came to supporting Dakota Access Pipeline protesters who faced harsh police treatment.

“There was a recognition that things aren’t perfect. And here is a person who had the ability to take a stand on behalf of Indian people and they did not take that stand,” Petoskey told HuffPost, currently a student at the University of Michigan School of Law.

Still, Petoskey worries that Trump could be uniquely bad for Native Americans.

“They can’t walk all over us and we’re not going to go away. I think 500 years of indigenous resistance is much stronger than temporary politics. And we matter. They need to recognize that going forward,” he said of the Trump administration.

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