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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Jul. 25, 2012

White House announces $1 billion 'master teacher' program
U.S. News & World Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For years, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has said teachers have to be more respected in the United States. The Obama administration plans to form a corps of "master teachers" who will specialize in science, technology, engineering and math and will receive annual bonuses of up to $20,000. "If America is going to compete for the jobs and industries of tomorrow, we need to make sure our children are getting the best education possible," Obama said in a statement. More
Related story: Will master teachers help kids master science or science tests? (Discover Magazine)

House panel OKs bill to scrap Race to the Top, SIG, i3
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
President Barack Obama's signature education programs would be scrapped under a bill approved this morning by the House Appropriations Committee panel that oversees education spending. The measure would cut about $1.1 billion from the U.S. Department of Education's roughly $68 billion budget, according to an analysis by the Committee for Education Funding, a lobbying coalition. The bill covers fiscal year 2013, which starts on Oct. 1. The Senate Appropriations Committee has already passed a similar measure. More

UN launches NGO blog to foster intergenerational dialogue
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The United Nations Department of Public Information–Nongovernmental Organizations has recently launched an effort to keep the international NGO community informed about the work of the U.N. As part of that effort, the DPI/NGO has launched an NGO relations youth blog called the UN DPI-NGO Youth Exchange. Although it's a youth blog, the organization sees it as a platform for intergenerational dialogue. You are invited to read the blog and leave your comments.

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What's happening in the TESOL Community?
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
If you haven't visited the TESOL Community lately, you have missed discussions on the Higher Education Interest Section listserv about support for nursing students, on the Second Language Writing Interest Section listserv about American writing style, and on the Intensive English Programs Interest Section listserv about tips for boosting speaking scores on the TOEFL. The TESOL Community is open to members only. To join the conversation, log in or become a TESOL member and join a supportive online community where you can discuss your everyday professional issues with your peers.

6 more states, DC, granted No Child Left Behind waivers from key provisions of education law
The Associated Press via The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Six more states and the District of Columbia have been granted waivers from key provisions of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law. The Education Department will announce Thursday that Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Oregon and South Carolina, along with Washington, D.C., are being exempt from some of the law’s most rigorous requirements. All told, 32 states have now been granted waivers; four others have outstanding requests. More

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Report: US failing to track schools in visa process
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
More than one-third of the flight schools in the United States that cater to foreigners are not certified by the Federal Aviation Administration, according to the Government Accountability Office, raising concerns that the schools are illegally backing student visas although they have no intention of teaching the students to fly. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, which oversees the student visa program, keeps such sloppy records that it does not know how many of the 10,000 schools that can submit paperwork for such visas are accredited by the states where they do business, according to a new G.A.O. report. More

Survey: Stimulus funds saved education jobs, but states still slow to implement reforms
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act showed promise to assist education, but some of its results have yet to be realized. While education stimulus funds largely saved or created jobs in public education, ongoing state budget deficits have slowed the implementation of reforms tied to federal stimulus money, according to a report by the Center on Education Policy. Still, federal support blunted the recession's effects on K-12 education. More

Kenya's free schools bring a torrent of students
NPR    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Kenya: Parents of U.S. students often complain about things like too many standardized tests or unhealthful school lunches. Kenya wishes it had such problems. Kenya dropped or greatly reduced fees at public schools nearly a decade ago in an effort to make education available to all children. On one level, it's been a success — school attendance has soared. Yet this has also exacerbated chronic problems that include shortages of qualified teachers, books, desks and just about every other basic need. Kenya is struggling to have universal primary education by 2015, but its experience highlights the frustrations of a poor country trying to meet such goals. More

Language learning has benefits for children
The Daily Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Does the acronym FLES mean anything to you? It stands for Foreign Language in Elementary Schools, and Dr. Arlene White of Salisbury University's Department of Education Specialties would be beyond delighted if you took an interest in FLES. Since she knows the benefits of early language education, White is passionate about encouraging both parents and school boards to have more students study languages at an early age. What are these benefits? "Studying languages provides unparalleled life advantages," she said. "These begin with brain training. Research shows that studying a second language activates areas of the brain that foster creativity." She also points to other research that shows students do better on standardized tests in English and other subject areas when they study a second language. More

Teaching kids a 2nd language gives them a cognitive advantage
Hartford Courant    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
There's a rule in Ingrid Prueher's house: when at home, speak only in Spanish. Why? This Fairfield mom wants to preserve her two sons' Guatemalan heritage so that they are always in touch with their culture and ancestry. But she also wants to help them become smarter and more diverse. Increasingly, studies are showing that being bilingual improves cognitive skills, such as problem solving and multi-tasking. For Prueher, who moved to the United States when she was an infant, this desire comes naturally. She's mirroring her parents' traditions. More

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How food keeps Nepalese children in education
BBC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Nepal: In Nepal, 85 percent of the population works on the land. But despite its high dependency on agriculture, it struggles to grow enough food to feed its people. This year, the monsoon rains have come late and crops have failed, adding extra pressure. The U.N. says people living in the remote west of the country have only enough food to last three months. The BBC's Ben Thompson traveled to Doti, in the far west of Nepal, to see how schools can play an important role in keeping children nourished. More

English language important for students to survive
Deccan Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Bangalore: Udupi-Chikmagalur MP Jayaprakash Hegde said English language is important for the students to survive in the era of modernization. Retorting to a query at an interaction program organized by Udupi taluk Consumer Forum, the MP said rural children should be educated with English language. The demand for uniform pattern of education is justified and at the same time it is essential to concentrate on English subject right from first standard. More

Florida students born to undocumented parents fight tuition policy
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Since last fall, a group of students who are United States-born and, in most cases, lifelong residents of Florida, has been waging a legal and legislative battle in the Sunshine State to overturn a policy that charges them out-of-state tuition for public colleges and universities because their parents do not have legal immigration status. The Southern Poverty Law Center — which filed the class action lawsuit last fall on behalf of five such students in a federal court in Florida — is now asking the court to strike down two state policies that were enacted since 2010 by the Florida State Board of Education and the Florida Board of Governors. More

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The recruitment-agent debate goes another round
The Chronicle of Higher Education    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
"My perspective," said James L. Miller, past president of the National Association for College Admission Counseling, "is we're not going to say that agents are a good thing. This is not a desirable approach." Miller was speaking of the use of commissioned agents to recruit foreign students. Under his watch, the board of the admissions organization, which is known as NACAC, first proposed banning the practice, then, last fall, instead appointed a panel to examine the issue. More

Report criticizes US oversight of student visas
Inside Higher Ed    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. agency charged with overseeing the student visa system has inadequate processes in place to investigate, identify and combat fraud, the Government Accountability Office said in a report to Congress. GAO said that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which manages the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, has not done enough to ensure that 10,000 schools and colleges that enrolled a total of 850,000 foreign students as of January have done so legitimately. More

English test scores show inadequacy of teaching
Taipei Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Taiwan: The College Entrance Examination Center announced the results of the Department Required Test. I have been grading English exams in the Joint College Entrance Examination, General Scholastic Ability Tests and the Department Required Test for more than 10 years. From grading the writing section of these tests, I have seen that many test takers score poorly in both translation and composition. They often make basic spelling and grammar mistakes, not to mention errors in more advanced areas of examination such as rhetoric, structural organization, arguments and reasoning. Some even give up completely and score a "zero." More

New teacher placement, retention can exacerbate achievement gaps
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It's well known that novice teachers are, on average, less effective at the very start of their careers and most likely to leave the profession in their first three years on the job. Yet the latest indicators of school district effectiveness by Harvard University's Strategic Data Project at its Center for Education Policy Research show many districts do not know how to place and retain these teachers to help them succeed. More

Minority enrollment: Black and Hispanic students underrepresented at highly selective colleges, Stanford study finds
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Black and Hispanic students remain significantly underrepresented in the most selective colleges, according to a new report. The study, released by Stanford University's Center for Education Policy Analysis, analyzed race, income and enrollment patterns at top-tier universities from 1982 to 2004. Researchers found that as recently as 2004, white students were five times as likely as black students to enroll in a highly selective college, and two to three times as likely to gain admission — even after accounting for income differences between black and white families. White students were also three times as likely as Hispanic students to enroll in a selective college. More

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Higher ed's other immigrants
Inside Higher Ed    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
President Barack Obama's announcement of a new policy that would allow most students who lack the documentation to reside legally in the United States to avoid deportation was the latest high-profile development regarding what is by most accounts a very small segment of the college population. The political and cultural flashpoints over illegal immigration tend to distract attention from the much larger number of immigrant students who study on American college campuses. A study by the Education Department's National Center for Education Statistics aims to remedy that a bit, mining longitudinal student databases to examine the higher education experiences of first- and second-generation college students. More

Grad student diversity at risk?
Inside Higher Ed    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Graduate professional enrollments of black, Latino and Native American students could drop significantly if the Supreme Court bars colleges from considering race in admissions, warns a new report. The fall could be particularly significant in engineering, where these enrollments are notably small. The study — released by the Civil Rights Project at the University of California at Los Angeles — arrives as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to consider in its next term whether colleges can consider race and ethnicity in admissions decisions. More

Infants can use language to learn about people's intentions
ScienceDaily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Infants are able to detect how speech communicates unobservable intentions, researchers at New York University and McGill University have found in a study that sheds new light on how early in life we can rely on language to acquire knowledge about matters that go beyond first-hand experiences. Their findings appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. More

What's the best way to practice project based learning?
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Project Based Learning can mean different things to different people, and can be practiced in a variety of ways. For educators who want to dive in, the good news is that a rich trove of resources are available. In order to create your own definition and practice, here are some parameters to consider. This diagram, enhanced by the critical eye of Brenda Sherry, can help you figure out what's important to you and your students. More

Why is cheating more common in schools today?
San Jose Mercury News (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Cheating was, is and probably always will be a fact of life. Recently, technology has provided new ways to cheat, but advanced electronics can't be blamed for our increasing willingness to tolerate it. Once upon a time, being an honorable person included the notion that your word was your bond and integrity was a crucial element in establishing a good reputation. Teaching experience shows educators, however, that lying and cheating are seen by a lot of kids today as a crucial part of any path to success. The only shame is in getting caught. More

Facebook and classroom community
Inside Higher Ed (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Although it is often said that the academy moves slowly, very slowly, I never really thought about myself as a "slow mover" with regard to pedagogy in the classroom. But when the idea of using social media (e.g., Facebook) as part of my face-to-face classes was suggested to me about two years ago, I found myself in the slow lane. I remember thinking that a professor like me, with 24 years of experience, was not going to use social media just to impress my students. As I talked to colleagues about the social media possibility, I grew more determined to hold the line against these newfangled "teaching tools" and to continue to teach my classes, especially the largest one, as I had done in the past. More
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