The Deuche Report
We couldn't think of any other way to express ourselves when learning about depressing news, wrong-minded policies, voting against STEM, or school closings. And this recent BBC report will tell you why, and you may not of heard about this anywhere else! Toy companies, Hasbro, Mattel, TV, Nick Jr have been fined after they were found to be tracking the under 13 crowd. If we are working so hard to change the systems, why are there so many still stuck in the pre-digital world? So many who don't get it. We mean politicians, school boards, policy makers, those who can make a difference. But they're reluctant to acknowledge STEM or computer science as a required subject in school. Digital skills and tech tools are here. The need for digital and cyber literacy are here. Who will make sure the robots work? Keep transport running? We are desperate for smart kids with a love and passion for coding, for design, and the talented ones who put it all together, build teams, and solve the problems. Our Douche Meter is on!
:-( This recent report in The Washington Post documents one girls life after she and boyfriend were sexting. 11-year-olds sexting. :-(
:-( We all know how much Texas families love football, but this district is spending upwards of $70 million to build a new stadium! We can't help but wonder what they spend on STEM and computer science courses and equipment. Oh, and we'd like to know how they encourage female students to study STEM and CS as well. :-(
:-( Since I'm not an education administrator, don't really understand all the issues around standardized testing. This report, Who Opts Out and Why, seems like a good thing to read about testing and standards from The Teachers College at Columbia. :-(
:-( Spending on Corrections (prisons), is up three times (3x) over Education. This is so sad, for a number of reasons: we're not reaching kids in school, we're not identifying and teaching the mechanically talented kids, we've taken away the skills classes, (except in forwarding-looking districts); we're not recognizing that diverse groups may have different learning requirements. Here's the PDF of the actual report from the U.S. Department of Education. :-(
Moms & Dads Make the Difference
We now know that moms and dads get the importance of Careers, Tech, and Skills ed, thanks to the 48th Annual PDK Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools.
Low confidence steers girls away from STEM fields. Science Magazine covers this topic very well. It's up to you, Mom or Dad, to make a difference early and constantly. Buying clothes? 30% off? Let your daughter figure out how much it will cost. Cooking? Show her how math lurks in the kitchen! We all do math, maybe not calculus, but basic math. Maybe we need to redefine math, and separate higher math from fundamental math learning in our marketing plans.
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Robots in Middle School - Mulholland Robotics Middle School, a Magnet School in Los Angeles starts with a warm welcome. Students are thrilled and anxious to develop future-ready skills.
Charter Schools are gaining attention these days, and not just from parents. Brown University's Annenberg Institute for School Reform has its Charter School Report online. To let legislators know how you feel about Charter School Accountability, visit Action Network's Charter School page.
Please stay connected to your Representatives and Senators. Computer Science Education Coalition has a petition to sign, online. Check it out, here.
Although not STEM specific, The Education Trust is an advocacy organization that promotes high academic achievement for all students. If you have deeper interest in better education for ALL, it's definitely worth a click. Some excellent resources too!
A new report, just out, Understanding Gender Identity in Young People is aimed at After School Programs, but it serves as a guide for anyone wanting to know more about gender issues. Helpful for discussions.
New York State Representative Elise Stefanik, District 21, is one of our heroes. A member of the House Education and The Workforce Committee, Rep. Stefanic added the term STEAM, or to include "the arts" in STEM education, where applicable. This is farsighted and an important recognition of the multi-disciplinary aspects of careers today.
Maryland's first Pathways in Technology Early College High Schools, or P-TECHS will open this fall thanks to a collaboration between business, academia, and government partners. Gov. Larry Hogan recently made the announcement and promises more P-TECHs are in the works. Developed by IBM and launched in NYC, the schools offer vocational training and apprenticeships with the skills used in the workplace. Graduates will have waiting employers, ready to hire them with the skills needed to succeed in the workplace.
Texas boarder city, Pharr, has a successful program called, Early College School District which allows high school students to earn college credit. And, the district's Superintendent, Daniel King, has another aspiring school: College Career and Technology Academy for older students, up to age 26. These students may have dropped out of high school or delayed getting a diploma. Supt. King recognizes the importance of relevance, i.e. start toward a real career. Sounds like a remarkable program that can work in many states. THX to our friends at the Center for Digital Education for this.
More Good News
Yale University provides local high school students a STEM summer program. Pairing diverse STEM careers with local professionals brings the much needed role model to sophomore, junior, and senior high school students.
We love this: Linking STEM with Careers for Girls. Pepperidge Farm, Bayer Pharmaceuticals, and Firmenich, the world’s largest flavor and fragrance company, all sponsoring this new program in New Jersey. Called the Dream Girls Initiative, a not-for-profit, inspires girls to explore STEM options beyond the traditional career choices for girls.