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Thursday, 17 August 2017

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News Briefs


New regulations in China force curriculum requirements
Amendments to Chinese government regulations for private schools announced recently will impact all schools offering international education to local Chinese children. It is believed the motivation for the new enforcements results from the increasing number of costly private bilingual schools, some of which have disregarded existing laws. The regulations will go into effect in September 2017. For-profit non-public schools will be prohibited throughout China for compulsory age children. Not-for-profit non-public schools are to be treated in the same way as public schools within China (ISC Research, 11/2016).

Teach for America helps undocumented educators
Teach For America will outline a contingency plan for its 146 undocumented teachers who might be affected by a Donald Trump presidency given his stance on immigration. “I am so hurt by this election,” one teacher wrote. “But I know we will come through this stronger. We have to, we have to” (Chalkbeat, 11/9/2016).

Preschool Linked to success on PISA global math test
New data suggest 15-year-olds who attended at least a year of preprimary school scored better on the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) for math in 2015 than those who did not go to preschool, but the country-to-country patterns are difficult to tease out. Overall, the top-scoring countries on PISA had higher shares of students with several years of preschool. In most countries, students who had attended two to three years of preschool performed 50 scale points better in math as 15-year-olds on the 2015 PISA than those who had attended less than a year (Edweek, 1/2017).

Number of college courses taught in U.S. high schools increasing
A rapidly growing number of school districts in California offer dual, or concurrent, enrollment programs, allowing high school students to take college courses during the school day as part of their regular class load in place of some electives. Some college courses could count for both college and high school credit (EdSource, 1/2017).

International students leery of Trump could cost U.S. billions
Leery of unclear policies and a potentially hostile social environment under a Trump presidency, international students may now be reconsidering higher education in the United States. Last year, more than one million international students (the majority from China, India, and Saudi Arabia) pursued higher education in the U.S., pumping $32.8 billion into the economy. A survey of students in more than 118 countries conducted in February by international student recruiting firms Intead and FPP EDU Media found that 60 percent said they were less likely to study in the U.S. under a Trump presidency. For some countries, like Mexico, that figure went up to 80 percent (NBC News, 12/10/2016).

Refugee students teach languages in London
A growing number of newly-arrived, degree-educated refugees in London are teaching their native languages to fellow students, workers and clients via Chatterbox, a U.K. social enterprise at the University of London. Participants in the tutoring sessions are learning Arabic, Farsi, Korean, and Swahili, among other languages (Thomson Reuters Foundation, 1/2017).

GLSEN report reveals need for PD for LGBTQ issues
A majority of educators (85%) participating in a survey by the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN) said they received professional development about bullying. However, just 33 percent received training in LGBTQ issues and only 24 percent in transgender issues. Those numbers leave LGBTQ students more vulnerable to victimization, the report states (District Administration, 12/2016).

Schools test free personalized learning platform
The number of schools piloting charter network Summit Public Schools’ free personalized learning platform, Basecamp, increased from 19 in 2015 to 132 this year. Basecamp is a Personalized Learning Platform, or PLP, a free, open-sourced learning management system that boasts a full curriculum for grades 6 through 12, including projects and online learning resources, as well as mentoring and troubleshooting (The Hechinger Report, 1/17).

Report shows broadband access gap in rural England
Students in rural areas of England may be at a disadvantage compared with their peers in urban areas. A report from Rural England found these students have less access to high-speed broadband internet and online resources. “Schools are increasingly using online learning materials,” said Brian Wilson, director at Rural England. “Children are expected to do a lot of homework online. A slow connection at home makes it harder to do homework, particularly research based tasks, projects which involve trying to download attachments or large document” (The Telegraph, 1/17/17).

Apps to connect teachers with parents
A recent study by Gallup found only 1 in 5 parents are fully engaged with their child’s school, meaning 80 percent of parents are either indifferent to or actively disengaged from their kids’ school. How do you improve parent-teacher communication? There are a number of apps for that, but the best may be Bloomz (eSchool News, 11/8/17).

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