Posts Tagged ‘ global education ’

School’s Out?

Friday, August 10th, 2012

While cramming your child’s backpack with freshly sharpened pencils, unopened glue sticks, and clean notebooks in preparation for the starting school year, you can’t help but be giddy thinking of all the potential knowledge and useful life skills he’s going to gain soon. Meanwhile, he’s squirming in anticipation (and maybe anxiety) at the thought of new friendships, test prep, and recess.

portrait of a dreaming schoolboy in a classroom

However, the rest of the country isn’t up to par on education enthusiasm; a recent poll found that confidence in U.S. schools is at a new low. According to the survey, only 29 percent of Americans expressed “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in our public schools. A startling 30 percent said they have very little or no confidence in public schools at all.

Why such a gloomy outlook? It could be because of new reports that find the U.S. education system has ineffectively prepared kids for economic prosperity and global competition. Or, perhaps, the fact that general dissatisfaction in U.S. institutions is a common theme as of late, according to recent Gallup polls.

To guarantee your kid is getting the most out of his school year, take a peek behind the schoolhouse doors and into the minds of the real crusaders of classroom victory: teachers and school staff. Their confidential pearls of wisdom will pave the way to academic excellence — for students and parents.

Image: Portrait of a dreaming schoolboy in a classroom via Shutterstock

 

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Lengthened School Years Increase Scores (and Germs!)

Friday, August 10th, 2012

You’ve heard it before: Schools across the U.S. just aren’t at the same academic level as other global leaders, including China, South Korea, and Finland. Although some state-led initiatives have made their way into the mix, some schools are deciding to put the students’ — and our future leaders — fate into their own hands.

Cities such as Chicago, Boston, and Phoenix are lengthening their school days and school years in efforts to increase the amount of time students spend in the classroom. Lengthening the academic year by 10 days or more, schools hope shorter summer vacations will help kids better remember what they learned during the school year.

And according to a report from the National Center on Time and Learning, it’s starting to pay off. Schools with longer academic years report higher graduation rates and higher test scores than those still abiding by the 180-day year.

With all that extra time in the classroom, your child is bound to bring home an endless list of yucky germs. Take a look at our tips to keep him healthy here so he can spend more time at school and less time on the couch (and we know you like that idea!).

Image: Children at school classroom via Shuttershock

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