Expect Education To Be Big Issue In 2016 Presidential Campaign, Survey Shows  

What's the most important issue facing the country? As usual, it's the economy and jobs, according to the latest annual survey from the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. But education is the second issue on the minds of Americans who have been bombarded over the past year with news about Common Core curriculum standards, soaring student debt and standardized test opt-out movements in schools across the country.


The foundation's recent Schooling in America Survey found that 17% of respondents said education was the most important issue facing the nation. That compares with 31% who put economy and jobs at the top of their list of concerns. Healthcare was the most important issue for 13% of those surveyed.


Education is certainly on the mind of the 21 candidates who have declared their intentions in the Democrat and Republican presidential primary races. Most of them have made a point of mentioning education issues in their launch speeches and on the stump. Democrat front-runner Hillary Clinton has already been endorsed by the American Federation of Teachers. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders advocates for free college tuition. Billionaire Donald Trump assailed former Florida Governor Jeb Bush for his support of Common Core. "How the hell can you vote for this guy?" Trump asked the crowd at his launch last month.   >>READ MORE 

Initiatives to Draw More Girls to STEM Subjects Grow

Stamford, Conneticut middle school girls will participate in a STEM summer school this year, an initiative that aims to expose girls to science and technology fields and their vast career opportunities for women. At the same time, a postdoctoral student in collaboration with University of Florida's WiSE program is running a five-day STEM campus for young girls - and they're two of many similar efforts across the US.


About thirty girls from Stamford schools will get a chance to interact with academic leaders, initiate mentoring relationships with successful women and explore STEM activities during GE Girls at UCONN, a week-long STEM program.


The five-day program takes place from July 20 to 24 and is sponsored by the GE Women's Network of GE Corporate and GE Capital and developed is in collaboration with the University of Connecticut.   >>READ MORE 

Where to Find the Best Back to School Deals

It's not August yet, but back-to-school shopping season is already in full swing. Or at least the back-to-school promotional deals are. The circulars from this week's Sunday newspapers were full of retailers pushing back-to-school merchandise in the hopes of beating the competition to families' limited school supply dollars.


As for shoppers themselves, there seems to be no rush to stock up for a school year that isn't starting for a few weeks. In a new survey conducted by Deloitte, 38% of parents said back-to-school shopping is less important than it's been in the past because they tend to stock up on needed supplies throughout the year. What's more, 31% say they'll complete back-to-school shopping after the school year begins, up 5% over last year.


More parents are also reusing last year's school supplies to save money: 39% said they'll do so in 2015, up from just 26% in 2011. That may partly explain how families expect to scale back on overall back-to-school spending this year. According to National Retail Federation data, the average family with a child in grades K-12 will spend $630 this season, down 6% from a year ago. The number of families that will shop last minute-a week or two before the first day-rose too, from 25% to 30%.   >>READ MORE 

Two researchers at American Enterprise Institute have released a paper, Measuring Diversity in Charter School Offerings, in an work to address the query of the diversity of charter school choices across the country.


Michael Q. McShane, a analysis fellow in education policy studies at American Enterprise Institute (AEI), editor of New and Greater Schools and author of Training and Chance, and Jenn Hatfield, a investigation assistant in education policy studies at AEI, discovered that charter schools themselves are varied in construction. They discovered that there is an even split amongst common and specialized charter colleges, with the most frequent types of specialized charters currently being "no-excuses" (stringent discipline, high expectations) and "progressive" (task or inquiry-based mostly) colleges. The higher the percentage of black residents a city has, the more substantial the enrollment in no-excuses  schools, whilst poorer cities are more very likely to have specialized charters. The researchers say the factors for this may consist of that academic achievement is typically the major concern for low-revenue communities, which outcomes in more no-excuses and STEM schools in poorer locations.


In wealthier communities, families have the advantage of searching for specialized options like international and foreign language colleges. It may also be accurate that operators and authorizers wish to assistance established designs more than revolutionary models that are more challenging to apply, major to easier replication of verified no-excuses models such as KIPP. Perhaps, say the authors, as more varied colleges show good quality, the more diverse the bigger pool of schools will grow to be.   >>READ MORE 

STEM Sisters: Pair Build Pi-Bot to Make Engineering Accessible to All

As children, instead of playing with their toys, sisters Melissa and Lavanya Jawaharlal were constantly taking apart their toys to try to figure out how they worked. Their curiosity led to years of robotics competitions, then studies in mechanical engineering at university.


They wanted to help young people develop the same passion they had for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), however, knowing that most introductory robotics kits were either too hard or too easy, and all were too expensive, they decided to build a better robot. They named it Pi.


"My sister and I created the Pi-Bot to make robotics and engineering more accessible to students everywhere," Lavanya Jawaharlal told NBC News. "The Pi-Bot allows users to explore various types of engineering including mechanical, electrical, and software. We believe a comprehensive experience is vital for students to determine which aspects they are most interested in."    >>READ MORE 

M. H. West & Co., Inc.'s (WEST) Young Entrepreneur Program wrapped up its third year of summer education with Norfolk Public Schools. This year's program was implemented at Ingleside Elementary School over a five week period. Teachers, administrators and students remarked that this was "the best year yet." The program, which won a Collaboration Award from the Norfolk Education Foundation continues to gain momentum.  Below are links to coverage of yesterday's Grand Opening of the Business.  


Ingleside Elementary Boosts Young Entrepreneurs  


 Ingleside Elementary Students Demonstrate Their Entrepreneur Skills  


Ingleside Students Show Off Entrepreneurship Skills in Norfolk  


Norfolk Public Schools Facebook Page  


>> Read More
Little Lonnie Little Liked Licorice


Corey Crook Cook Cooked Cabbage


Creepy Critters Crammed Clara's Clutch


Mary Merry Met Merry Mary Marian


Our suite of education programs, our experience and our innovation are never on vacation. Give the M. H. West & Co., Inc. education team a call and learn how we can help your school this summer, next academic year and beyond!

Phone: 888.937.8904

Email: consulting@mhwest.com

Christina Draper has a son in high school who does very well on his Standard of Learning tests, but his grades tell a different story.


Her son, a student at Eastern View High School in Culpeper County, is smart, she said, but is easily distracted and can become a distraction to other students.


"He has trouble sitting still in class, and because of that, he gets easily distracted and then he becomes a distraction to others, and then the teachers have to interrupt their lesson to get him to quiet down," she said.  >>READ MORE 

A new study has found that the use of social media correlates with "poor psychological functioning" among school-age children and adolescents.


The study measured the time spent on social media sites (including Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and Instagram) against the need for mental health support and self-rated psychological health, distress, and suicidal ideation. The daily use of social media for more than two hours was associated with an unmet need for mental health support, poor self-rating of mental health, high stress levels, and thoughts of suicide.

Originally developed by Mojang and then bought by Microsoft for $2.5 billion in 2014 after an immense rise to popularity, the sandbox-style game Minecraft has been put to creative use by educators. Players collect and then use a variety of Lego-style blocks with different properties to build structures and protect themselves from enemy creatures, writes Chris Wilton of Gear Burn. The game encourages creativity, collaboration, experimentation, and STEM skills and thinking styles.   >>READ MORE 


Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. - Mahatma Gandhi