Science education: US students gain a bit, but still lag

Christian Science Monitor | Science

The Nation's Report Card is here, and the results are a mixed bag. Girls and minority students have made modest improvements in science classes, according to the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress, but most US students still struggle in STEM. The report, released Thursday, found that only about a third of fourth and eighth graders showed "strong academic performance" in the sciences. And among high school seniors, just one in five demonstrated proficiency. "We still are not at a place as a country where we are preparing the future STEM workforce that we need," Education Secretary John B. King Jr. said.


Mourning an almost-graduate, picking Betsy DeVos, a sixth-grade food show host: What's new in education

Los Angeles Times

Essential Education: L.A. Unified approves $7.5 billion budget Welcome to Essential Education, our daily look at education in California and beyond. The L.A. Unified board approved a budget that includes some layoffs, an acknowledgement by officials that the nation's second-largest school district has to downsize. Students and Jewish community members are alleging that San Francisco State University has long cultivated a hostile environment in which Jewish students "regularly text their friends to describe potential safety issues." The L.A. Unified board approved a budget that includes some layoffs, an acknowledgement by officials that the nation's second-largest school district has to downsize. Students and Jewish community members are alleging that San Francisco State University has long cultivated a hostile environment in which Jewish students "regularly text their friends to describe potential safety issues."


High schools that get grads to college, Berkeley class disruptions, the mystery of Frida Sofia: What's new in education

Los Angeles Times

Essential Education: Ref Rodriguez gives up L.A. school board presidency Welcome to Essential Education, our daily look at education in California and beyond. Friends and foes of L.A. school board president Ref Rodriguez are puzzled about why he allegedly engaged in a campaign money-laundering scheme when he could have simply written himself a check. Rodriguez is stepping down from the role of president, but he'll stay on the school board. Friends and foes of L.A. school board president Ref Rodriguez are puzzled about why he allegedly engaged in a campaign money-laundering scheme when he could have simply written himself a check. Rodriguez is stepping down from the role of president, but he'll stay on the school board.


Pot opponents question validity of Colorado study

Los Angeles Times

When Colorado legalized marijuana for recreational use in 2012, opponents of the new law warned that more teenagers would start using the drug. But teen use of marijuana has held steady, according to a new survey of nearly 17,000 high school and middle school students by the state department of public health and environment. The study, released this week, also found that "Colorado does not significantly differ from the national average in lifetime or current marijuana use." Colorado, which has some of the most liberal marijuana laws in the country, is something of a test case for legalization, as 25 states now allow medical or recreational use of the drug to varying degrees. Legalization advocates have seized on the findings to bolster their position.


Take College Classes in High School, and Let the Government Pay for It

U.S. News

The move is just the latest in a series of experiments rolling out of the Obama administration aimed at increasing access to higher education, especially for low-income students. "Many students from low-income backgrounds don't have the opportunity to take the courses that will prepare them for college," Education Secretary John King said on a press call Monday. "And in all but a handful of states, students and their parents must bear some or all of the costs [of dual enrollment programs]." The Education Department sees dual enrollment arrangements, in which students enroll in postsecondary coursework while also enrolled in high school, as a potentially promising approach toward improving academic outcomes for students and increasing their odds of earning a degree. The department is hoping that's especially true for poor students, who disproportionately lack access to rigorous coursework and other types of support services that prepare students for college.