Maximize Resume Impact: Associate Degree Listing Tips

Are you a recent graduate or currently pursuing an associate degree? Congratulations! You have taken the first step towards your career. As you start applying for jobs, one of the key elements of your resume will be listing your education. However, many individuals struggle with effectively highlighting their associate degree on their resume. In this article, we will provide you with valuable tips and strategies to ensure your associate degree stands out on your resume and sets you apart from other candidates. So, let’s dive in and learn how to make the most of your associate degree on your resume.

Tips for Listing Associate Degree on Resume

Earning an associate degree is a significant accomplishment that deserves to be highlighted on your resume. Whether you just graduated or have been working for a few years, including your associate degree can help showcase your education, skills, and qualifications to potential employers. However, with limited space on a resume, it is important to know how to properly list your associate degree in order to make the best impression. Here are some tips for listing your associate degree on a resume.

1. Choose the Right Section

The first step to listing your associate degree on a resume is to determine which section it should go under. Typically, education is listed after work experience on a resume. However, if you just graduated and do not have much work experience, you may want to list your education section first. Alternatively, if you have been working for some time and have relevant experience, you can include your education under a separate "Education" section. Ultimately, the key is to choose the section where your associate degree will stand out the most.

2. Use the Proper Formatting

When adding your associate degree to your resume, it is important to use the proper formatting. This includes using a consistent font and font size throughout the entire document. You can also bold, italicize, or use a larger font for your degree to make it stand out. Additionally, make sure to include the name of your degree, the name of the institution, and the date of graduation. If you are still completing your degree, indicate the expected graduation date instead.

3. Include Relevant Coursework

If you have taken any courses that are relevant to the job you are applying for, consider including them in a separate section or as bullet points under your education section. This can help showcase your knowledge and skills in a particular subject area and make you a more attractive candidate to potential employers. You can also include any significant projects or assignments that you completed as part of your coursework.

4. Highlight Any Achievements

If you have received any awards, honors, or achievements during your time as an associate degree student, make sure to include them on your resume. This shows that you are a dedicated and hardworking individual who has excelled in your academic pursuits. Some possible achievements to highlight include academic scholarships, Dean’s List recognition, or participation in a prestigious program or competition.

5. Be Honest

One of the most important things to keep in mind when listing your associate degree on a resume is to be honest and accurate. Only list degrees that you have actually earned from accredited institutions. Avoid any exaggerations or false claims, as this can damage your credibility and potentially cost you job opportunities in the future.

6. Use Keywords

In today’s job market, many resumes go through applicant tracking systems (ATS) which scan for specific keywords. To increase the chances of your resume getting past these systems, make sure to include relevant keywords in your education section. For example, if you have an associate degree in computer science, make sure to include words like "programming," "coding," or "web development" to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in the field.

7. Consider Adding a Link to Your Degree

If you have completed your associate degree online or through a remote program, consider adding a link to your degree on your resume. This can be beneficial for two reasons – first, it shows that you have obtained your degree from a reputable institution, and secondly, it gives the employer easy access to verify your degree if needed.

8. Keep it Concise

While it is important to highlight your associate degree on your resume, it is also essential to keep it concise. You want to make sure that your degree stands out, but you don’t want it to take up too much space or overshadow other important sections, such as your work experience. Keep your descriptions brief and to the point, and only include information that is relevant to the job you are applying for.


Earning an associate degree takes hard work, dedication, and a significant amount of time. It is an accomplishment that deserves to be showcased on your resume. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can effectively list your associate degree on your resume and make a strong impression on potential employers. Remember to be honest, use appropriate formatting, and highlight any relevant achievements or coursework. And for further guidance on how to write and format your education section on a resume, check out this article on how to learn various sciences while playing Minecraft – a unique and creative way to boost your education!

In conclusion, listing your associate degree on your resume can greatly enhance your job prospects. By highlighting the skills and knowledge you gained through your degree program, you can demonstrate to potential employers your qualifications for the job. Keep in mind the tips mentioned above, such as including relevant coursework and internships, and formatting your resume in a clear and organized manner. With these strategies, you can effectively showcase your associate degree and stand out to hiring managers. Remember to tailor your resume to each job application and continuously update it as you gain more experience and skills. By following these tips, you can effectively utilize your associate degree to advance your career.

10 Ways To Kickstart Your Writing Ideas

Are you struggling to come up with ideas for your next writing piece? Or perhaps you are experiencing writer’s block and can’t seem to find the right topic to write about. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Many writers face this dilemma at one point or another. The good news is, there are countless topics waiting to be explored and writing possibilities to be discovered. In this article, we will discuss some helpful tips and techniques for brainstorming writing topics, finding inspiration, and exploring different subjects for your writing. So, let’s dive in and unlock your writing potential!


1. What topics can we write about?

As a writer, one of the biggest challenges we face is coming up with new and interesting topics to write about. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced writer, it is natural to hit a creative roadblock and struggle to come up with fresh ideas. However, the good news is that there are endless possibilities when it comes to writing topics, and with some brainstorming and inspiration, you can come up with interesting and engaging topics for your next piece. In this article, we will explore the different topics that you can write about and how to find inspiration for your writing.

2. Ideas for writing topics

The best way to come up with writing topics is to think about your interests and passions. Writing about something that you are passionate about will not only make the process more enjoyable, but it will also result in a more compelling piece. Here are some ideas for writing topics that you can consider:

  • Personal experiences: Everyone has a unique story to tell, and your personal experiences can make for great writing topics. Think about a significant event in your life, a travel experience, or a lesson you learned, and turn it into a piece of writing. This will add a personal touch to your writing and connect with your readers on a deeper level.
  • Current events: Another source of inspiration for writing topics is current events. Stay updated with the news and write about something that is happening in the world. You can offer your opinions, insights, and analysis on the topic, making it a thought-provoking piece for your readers.
  • Hobbies and interests: Your hobbies and interests can also be a source of writing topics. Whether you are passionate about cooking, photography, or gardening, you can share your knowledge and expertise with others through your writing.
  • Opinion pieces: If you have strong opinions on any subject, consider turning them into writing topics. Opinion pieces allow you to express your thoughts and perspectives on various issues, making for a lively and engaging read.
  • How-to guides: If you are knowledgeable about a particular subject or have a skill that you can teach others, consider writing how-to guides. These can range from DIY projects and recipes to professional skills and career advice, making for informative and helpful content.

3. Brainstorming writing ideas

Now that you have some ideas for writing topics, the next step is to brainstorm and refine them. Here are some tips to help you with the brainstorming process:

  • Free writing: Set a timer for 10-15 minutes and jot down all the writing topics that come to mind. Don’t censor your thoughts and write whatever comes to you. This exercise will help you get your creative juices flowing.
  • Mind mapping: You can also make a mind map of your ideas, where you start with a central topic and branch out with related subtopics. This will help you see the bigger picture and identify potential writing topics.
  • Browse online forums: Online forums like Reddit and Quora are great sources of inspiration for writing topics. Look for questions or discussions related to your areas of interest, and you might find some interesting writing ideas.
  • Read other blogs and publications: Reading other blogs and publications in your niche can also spark ideas for your writing. Don’t copy their topics, but let them inspire you and put your own unique spin on it.

4. How to find writing inspiration

Inspiration is the fuel that keeps a writer going, but it can sometimes be elusive. When you are struggling to find inspiration for your writing, try these tips:

  • Step away from your writing: Sometimes, the best way to find inspiration is to take a break from your writing. Go for a walk, read a book, or do something else that you enjoy. This will give your mind a chance to relax and recharge.
  • Observe your surroundings: Inspiration can be found in the most unexpected places. Pay attention to your surroundings and look for interesting stories or ideas that you can write about.
  • Talk to others: Engaging in conversations with others can also spark inspiration for writing topics. Ask people about their experiences, opinions, or perspectives on different subjects, and you might find a topic that interests you.
  • Reflect on your own thoughts and feelings: Self-reflection can also lead to inspiration for writing topics. Take some time to think about your thoughts, feelings, and experiences, and see if there is anything worth writing about.

5. Possible writing prompts

If you are still struggling to come up with writing topics, here are some possible writing prompts that you can use:

  • Write about a childhood memory that has stuck with you.
  • Describe your dream vacation destination.
  • Share an experience that challenged you and how you overcame it.
  • Write a review of a book, movie, or TV show that you recently enjoyed.
  • Create a fictional story based on a real-life event.
  • Write a letter to your future self.
  • Describe your favorite hobby and why you enjoy it.
  • Offer tips for managing stress and anxiety.
  • Compare and contrast two different cultures.
  • Write a persuasive piece on a topic you feel strongly about.

6. Subjects for writing

There are various subjects that you can write about, depending on your interests and expertise. Some popular subjects for writing include:

  • Personal development and growth
  • Health and wellness
  • Relationships and communication
  • Travel and adventure
  • Technology and innovation
  • Education and learning
  • Career and professional development
  • Parenting and family life
  • Arts and culture
  • Social and political issues

7. Content ideas for writing

In addition to writing topics and prompts, here are some content ideas that you can use for your writing:

  • Lists and guides: These can include top 10 lists, step-by-step guides, or resource roundups.
  • Interviews: Conduct interviews with experts in your field or people who have unique experiences to share.
  • Inspirational stories: Share stories of individuals who have overcome challenges or achieved success.
  • Personal essays: Write about your own experiences and reflections on different topics.
  • Reviews: Offer your opinions and critiques on products, services, or experiences.
  • Research-based articles: Conduct research and share your findings on a particular subject.
  • Humorous pieces: Use humor to add a light-hearted touch to your writing.

8. Exploring writing possibilities

As a writer, it is essential to keep exploring new writing possibilities and expanding your horizons. Here are some ways to do that:

  • Attend writing workshops/seminars: Participating in writing workshops and seminars can help you improve your skills and learn about different writing styles and techniques.
  • Join writing communities/groups: Online writing communities and groups provide a supportive environment where you can share your writing, give and receive feedback, and connect with other writers.
  • Read different genres: Reading different genres can broaden your perspective and inspire you to try new styles of writing.
  • Experiment with your writing: Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and experiment with your writing. Try different formats, styles, and genres to see what works best for you.

9. Finding a writing focus

With so many topics and ideas to choose from, it is essential to find a writing focus and stick to it. This will help you establish yourself as a writer and build a loyal audience. Here are some tips for finding a writing focus:

  • Identify your strengths: Think about what you are good at and what topics you are most passionate about.
  • Consider your target audience: Who do you want to write for? Understanding your target audience’s interests and needs can help you narrow down your writing focus.
  • Choose a niche: It is better to be an expert in one subject than a jack of all trades. Choose a niche or a specific area of focus for your writing.
  • Be consistent: Consistency is key when it comes to finding a writing focus. Stick to your chosen niche and produce quality content consistently.

10. What to write about next

Now that you have a plethora of ideas, topics, and prompts for your writing, the only thing left to do is to start writing! Remember to keep experimenting, exploring, and refining your writing skills, as there will always be something new to write about. And if you ever hit a roadblock, just remember to come back to this article for some inspiration.

If you are looking for more inspiration, check out this article on what it’s like to combine studying in college and parenting. This topic is a unique and insightful one, and it could spark some interesting ideas for your next piece of writing.

Happy writing!

In conclusion, there are countless topics and ideas that can be explored in writing. From brainstorming techniques to finding inspiration and using prompts, the possibilities for writing are truly endless. With a little creativity and a willingness to explore new subjects, anyone can find a writing focus and discover what they want to write about next. Whether it’s through personal experiences or research on different subjects, there is no limit to the content ideas that can be generated for writing. So don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and explore the vast landscape of writing possibilities. With determination and an open mind, you can find the perfect topic and create engaging content that will capture your readers’ attention. Happy writing!

How To Write An Enduring Issue Essay

In order to write an enduring issue essay, you need to first understand what an enduring issue is. An enduring issue is a topic or problem that continues to be relevant and important over a long period of time. It can be something that has been around for centuries, or it can be something that has been around for just a few years, but is still causing a lot of controversy.

Once you have a good understanding of what an enduring issue is, you need to choose one to write about. There are many different topics and problems that could be considered an enduring issue, so you should choose one that interests you and that you feel passionate about.

Once you have chosen a topic, you need to do some research on it. This includes reading articles, watching documentaries, and talking to experts on the topic. This will help you to develop a strong understanding of the issue and the different sides of the argument.

Once you have done your research, it’s time to start writing your essay. The first step is to introduce the topic and explain what an enduring issue is. Then, you need to discuss the different sides of the argument and give your opinion on the issue. Finally, you need to give your conclusion and explain why you think the issue is important.

Understanding the Concept of an Enduring Issue

An enduring issue essay is a type of essay that requires you to analyze and discuss a current issue that is likely to be debated for years to come. To write an effective enduring issue essay, you’ll need to understand the concept of an enduring issue and be able to identify and discuss the key factors that make an issue enduring.

An enduring issue is a problem or issue that is constantly debated and discussed by people. It’s an issue that has no clear solution and people have different opinions on how to address it. An enduring issue is typically something that is important to a lot of people and affects a lot of people.

There are a few key factors that make an issue enduring. The first factor is that the issue is important to a lot of people. An issue that is important to a lot of people is more likely to be debated and discussed for years to come. The second factor is that the issue is complex and has no clear solution. People have different opinions on how to address an issue that is complex and has no clear solution. The third factor is that the issue is divisive. An issue that is divisive is one that people have strong opinions about and they are not likely to agree on a solution.

When writing an enduring issue essay, you’ll need to identify and discuss the key factors that make an issue enduring. You’ll also need to discuss your opinion on the issue and why you think it is an enduring issue.

Identifying Key Themes and Historical Context

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An enduring issue essay is a type of essay that discusses a contemporary issue or event that has been around for a significant period of time. In order to write an effective enduring issue essay, you need to identify the key themes and historical context surrounding the issue. You should also discuss different sides of the issue and provide your own opinion on the matter.

One of the most important things to do when writing an enduring issue essay is to make sure that you understand the issue well. You should read up on both sides of the debate and make sure that you have a solid understanding of the key points of contention. This will help you to develop a well-argued opinion on the issue.

Once you have a good understanding of the issue, you need to identify the key themes that are involved. Each issue has a number of different themes that can be discussed. You need to select the ones that are most relevant to your essay.

The historical context of an issue is also important to discuss. Each issue has a specific historical context that needs to be taken into account. This will help you to better understand the issue and the debate surrounding it.

Finally, you need to provide your own opinion on the issue. This is your chance to state your opinion and back it up with evidence. You should also discuss the possible implications of your opinion.

Crafting a Strong Introduction with a Clear Thesis

Thesis statements are important for two reasons: they state the main point of your essay and they act as a guide for your reader. A well-crafted thesis statement will help your reader understand the main point of your essay and the evidence you will use to support it.

There are three steps to writing a strong thesis statement:

1. Choose a topic

2. Narrow your topic

3. Draft a thesis statement

Choosing a topic can be difficult, but it is important to choose one that you are interested in. Once you have a topic, you can begin to narrow it down. This can be done by asking yourself questions about the topic, such as:

-What is the main point of this essay?
-What are the specific aspects of the topic that I want to discuss?
-What questions am I trying to answer about this topic?

Once you have a good understanding of your topic, you can begin to draft a thesis statement. A thesis statement should be clear and concise, and it should state the main point of your essay. It is also important to make sure that your thesis statement is supported by evidence.

There are a few things to keep in mind when writing a thesis statement:

-Make sure your thesis statement is specific
-Make sure your thesis statement is supported by evidence
-Make sure your thesis statement is clear and concise

It can be helpful to revise your thesis statement as you write your essay. This will help make sure that your essay stays on track and that your main point is clear.

Analyzing Evidence and Its Relation to the Enduring Issue

In order to write an effective issue essay, it is important to first understand what an enduring issue is. An enduring issue is a problem or concern that has been around for a long time and is likely to continue to be a problem in the future. It is important to analyze evidence and its relation to the enduring issue in order to develop a strong essay.

There are several steps that you can take to analyze evidence and its relation to the enduring issue. First, you should identify the types of evidence that are available. Next, you should analyze the relevance of the evidence to the issue. Finally, you should discuss the implications of the evidence.

When identifying the types of evidence that are available, it is important to consider all forms of evidence, including primary sources, secondary sources, and expert testimony. It is also important to consider the quality of the evidence. The more reliable and credible the evidence is, the stronger your argument will be.

When analyzing the relevance of the evidence to the issue, it is important to consider how the evidence supports or contradicts your position on the issue. The more relevant the evidence is to the issue, the stronger your argument will be.

When discussing the implications of the evidence, it is important to consider how the evidence affects your position on the issue. The implications of the evidence can either support or discredit your argument. It is important to consider all of the implications of the evidence in order to develop a strong argument.

By following these steps, you can effectively analyze evidence and its relation to the enduring issue. By doing so, you will be able to develop a strong and well-supported argument for your position on the issue.

Structuring Body Paragraphs for Coherence and Depth

When writing an issue essay, it is important to structure your body paragraphs in a way that will help you to develop your argument and provide your reader with depth and coherence. One way to do this is to use a three-part structure for your body paragraphs.

The first part of your body paragraph should introduce your argument and provide your reader with some background information on the topic. The second part of your body paragraph should develop your argument by providing your reader with concrete evidence or examples. The third and final part of your body paragraph should wrap up your argument and provide your reader with a sense of closure.

In addition to using a three-part body paragraph structure, it is also important to make sure that your body paragraphs are well-organized and coherent. One way to do this is to use sentence starters to introduce your arguments and evidence. Some common sentence starters include:

– "This essay will argue that…"
– "The problem with this argument is that…"
– "There are several reasons why I believe that…"
– "One reason why I think this is a problem is…"
– "For example,…"
– "Another reason why this is a problem is…"
– "To conclude,…"

Incorporating Multiple Perspectives and Interpretations

An enduring issue essay is one that incorporates multiple perspectives and interpretations to argue a point. Unlike a traditional essay, which might take one perspective on an issue and argue it, an enduring issue essay allows for different interpretations of the issue to be explored. This type of essay is particularly useful for topics that are controversial or that have multiple interpretations.

To write an effective enduring issue essay, you first need to choose a topic that has multiple interpretations. Then, you need to do some research to understand the different perspectives that people have on the topic. Once you have a good understanding of the different perspectives, you can begin to develop your own argument.

Your essay should start by introducing the topic and explaining the different perspectives that people have on it. Then, you should argue for your own interpretation of the issue. Be sure to back up your argument with evidence from your research. Finally, you should conclude your essay by summarizing the different perspectives and your own argument.

Drawing Conclusions and Linking to Contemporary Implications

When writing an issue essay, one of the most important tasks is to draw conclusions and link them to contemporary implications. To do this effectively, you need to provide a clear and concise thesis statement, develop your argument using strong evidence, and make sure your conclusions are logical and relevant.

Your thesis statement should summarize your entire argument in a single sentence. It should be clear, concise, and specific. For example, if you are writing an essay about the death penalty, your thesis statement might be "The death penalty should be abolished because it is cruel and inhuman punishment."

Your argument should be based on strong evidence. This evidence can come from a variety of sources, such as scholarly articles, statistics, personal experiences, or expert opinions. Make sure to cite your sources correctly in order to avoid any accusations of plagiarism.

Your conclusions should be logical and relevant to your argument. In other words, they should flow naturally from the evidence you have presented. For example, if you are arguing that the death penalty should be abolished because it is cruel and inhuman punishment, your conclusion might be that it is unethical for the government to sanction such a practice.

When writing an issue essay, it is important to remember to stay neutral and to avoid taking sides. Your job is to provide a clear and objective analysis of the issue at hand, and to draw logical conclusions based on the evidence you have presented.

Refining and Polishing the Essay for Maximum Impact.

When writing about an enduring issue, it is important to think about how to make your essay as impactful as possible. There are a few things you can do to refine and polish your essay so that it has maximum impact.

One important thing to keep in mind is that your essay should have a clear thesis statement. Your thesis statement should be something that you can argue for or against, and it should be succinctly stated.

You should also make sure that your essay is well-organized. Make sure that your paragraphs are clear and concise, and that your argument is easy to follow.

In addition, it is important to make sure that your essay is well-written. Make sure that your sentences are clear and concise, and that your grammar and spelling are correct.

Finally, you should make sure that your essay is edited and polished. Make sure that all of your ideas are clearly expressed, and that your essay is free of errors.

When you follow these tips, you can be sure that your essay will have a maximum impact on your reader.

What Happens If NYC Eliminates Screened Schools? Amid A Pandemic And Canceled State Tests, Parents Worry About Equity In The District — And Being Locked Out Of The Discussion

What Happens If NYC Eliminates Screened Schools? Amid a Pandemic and Canceled State Tests, Parents Worry About Equity in the District — and Being Locked Out of the Discussion

The initial concern among parents in New York City when the 2019-20 state tests were indefinitely postponed and numeric grades were abolished due to the coronavirus crisis was how fifth- and eighth-graders would apply to screened middle and high schools without their fourth- and seventh-grade test scores and GPAs.

Mayor Bill de Blasio responded by stating that they were not planning to return to the previous status quo and instead were seeking to implement changes that would promote equity. He also mentioned that the evaluation of screened schools was being reconsidered.

In New York City, only a few middle and high schools admit students solely based on their address. To apply to screened schools, students must rank up to 12 choices, submit grades and test scores, and sometimes, undergo additional tests, interviews, or present portfolios of previous work.

Both Mayor de Blasio and Richard Carranza, the schools chancellor, have expressed their belief that screened schools are immoral. Interestingly, this opinion emerged after both their daughters graduated from such schools. They also argue that screened admissions contribute to the segregation in NYC’s school system, which is predominantly Hispanic, black, and low-income, while the majority of students in screened schools are commonly assumed to be white, Asian, and middle-class. However, a report by The Center for New York City Affairs reveals that over half of students in academically screened public high schools are black and Hispanic, approximately 60 percent of students come from low-income households, and two-thirds of screened-admission middle schools have predominantly black and Hispanic student bodies.

NYC parents from diverse ethnic groups are convinced that de Blasio and Carranza are exploiting the pandemic as an excuse to remove grades and test scores, effectively unscreening these schools without engaging in the appropriate democratic processes or consulting with parents and students.

Advocacy groups argue that if grades and test scores are eliminated from the admissions process, schools will become more integrated, offering improved access to black, Hispanic, and low-income students who were previously underrepresented in schools dominated by white, middle-class students. They believe that white, middle-class students will willingly attend schools with low performance levels, where only a small percentage of students are performing at grade level. This is expected to equalize test scores across all NYC schools, promoting equity.

However, unless de Blasio plans to take full control of admissions and randomly assign students to schools, families will still need to rank their preferences, and schools will continue to rank their applicants.

Advocates argue against this practice as well. The Fordham Law School Feerick Center for Social Justice released a report titled "Public Schools, Public Oversight: Principles and Policy Recommendations During COVID-19 and Beyond," which proposes eliminating screening by requiring centralized offices to calculate composite admissions scores for students. Currently, many schools have the responsibility of ranking students for admission, contributing to inherent inequality in the system.

It is evident that true equality cannot be achieved as long as schools have the power to rank students, even without considering grades and test scores.

For instance, as long as district priority is in place, prestigious schools like Eleanor Roosevelt will continue to admit only students from Manhattan’s District 2, which encompasses affluent areas such as the Upper East Side, Tribeca, and Chelsea, while excluding students from nearby neighborhoods like East Harlem. Similarly, Bedford Academy will predominantly fill its seats with students from District 13 in Brooklyn Heights, leaving limited spots for applicants from low-income neighborhoods such as Brownsville.

And even if they do, what happens next? Supporters of a lottery system compared to a selective admissions process refer to the success of Brooklyn’s District 15, where all middle schools had a fair admissions process, and District 3, where 25 percent of seats in high-performing middle schools were reserved for students with low scores on state tests (1’s and 2’s), as examples to be followed by all schools.

These districts may have achieved demographic success, but is it truly a success for the students? At a Community Education Council meeting in District 3, one mother expressed her frustrations, saying, "They have no idea how to support the low-scoring kids who got into these ‘great’ schools. They don’t return my calls. They don’t have a plan for my daughter!"

Another parent shared with me, "Our teachers used to think they were amazing until they had to teach students who didn’t have prior knowledge of the material and couldn’t receive help at home or from a tutor."

So, even if we distribute the same number of failing students across more schools, the problem of failure still persists. However, by doing so, we can at least ensure that failure is distributed equitably and is easier to conceal.

Furthermore, in order for students and their families from underperforming elementary and middle schools to apply to high-performing middle or high schools, they first need to know that these schools exist. But how will they find out? The Department of Education no longer publishes paper directories; everything is online!

Wasn’t one of the main reasons for eliminating grades during remote learning to address the inequality in internet access among families? So how will the students who are supposedly going to benefit the most from unscreening even learn about the sudden availability of these schools?

Do you know who will benefit the most from unscreening? Students from well-off households who are currently earning average grades (C’s and B’s) at their "good" schools. These students, under traditional selective admissions methods, would have to compete with A students for the top spots.

Without grades, all students will be on an equal academic level, but they will still be unequal in terms of their families’ knowledge and ability to research their new options. I’ll be honest: my seventh-grader will be one of those privileged students. Her grades are good, A’s and B’s. Her test scores are satisfactory. Under normal circumstances, she would have a chance at the schools of her choice. But under these circumstances, she has the same chance as students with perfect grades and test scores. She also has me, and I know what I’m doing.

Unscreening all schools in NYC will primarily benefit parents who are knowledgeable about the process and will do very little for those who are already being underserved.

Alina Adams, a bestselling romance and mystery writer, author of "Getting Into NYC Kindergarten" and "Getting Into NYC High School," blogger at New York School Talk, and mother of three, believes that true school choice can only exist when all parents are aware of their options and know how to navigate the system. Visit her website,

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Rotherham: Cardona A Deft Pick For Ed Secretary At A Time When Political Fights Should Be Secondary To The Disaster Facing Millions Of Students

Rotherham: Cardona a Deft Pick for Ed Secretary at a Time When Political Fights Should Be Secondary to the Disaster Facing Millions of Students

Updated, December 23rd

President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team made a late announcement on Tuesday, revealing that Miguel Cardona, the Education Commissioner of Connecticut, is nominated as the Secretary of Education. Biden will formally present Cardona at a live event in Wilmington, Delaware at 11:15 a.m. on December 23rd.

If you were tasked with creating an ideal Education Secretary for President-elect Joe Biden, you would likely envision someone like Miguel Cardona. Cardona, who currently serves as the education commissioner in Connecticut, possesses all the qualities desired for the position.

Cardona’s background as a teacher and principal tick the necessary boxes for this role. Furthermore, his selection as a K-12 educator does not generate significant division within the political parties.

Cardona’s personal story is truly inspiring. As a first-generation college student who grew up in public housing, he charted a different path after completing high school by pursuing a university degree. Like President-elect Biden, Cardona understands that life doesn’t always go according to plan. Additionally, he did not attend elite institutions, making him relatable to many individuals.

Despite his competence and established reputation, Cardona will not overshadow the educational accomplishments of incoming First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, who has her own prominence in higher education.

Cardona’s experience extends to crucial issues such as English learners, equity, and achievement gaps. He even co-chaired a state task force dedicated to addressing these challenges, which are particularly acute in Connecticut. He genuinely cares about the students who are frequently neglected and furthest from accessing opportunities and equity. However, he does not neatly align with either the reform or anti-reform camp.

In terms of education reform, Cardona has taken initiatives towards desegregating schools, aligning with President-elect Biden’s agenda. Additionally, his stance on charter schools is moderate, neither fully endorsing nor opposing them. While not actively promoting the opening of new charter schools, he has renewed existing ones during his tenure as commissioner. Charter leaders have spoken positively about Cardona, even though his primary focus is on district-run schools.

Regarding the reopening of schools during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cardona is supportive of returning to in-person instruction. However, his alignment with teachers unions allows him to navigate the debate and find a common ground that fulfills President-elect Biden’s commitment to reopening a majority of schools for live instruction in the spring. Cardona’s appointment also helps Biden avoid potential conflicts within the teachers unions.

It was no secret that Biden and his team were inclined towards choosing a Hispanic nominee for this position. Cardona’s nomination satisfies this preference.

While it remains unknown if Cardona shares President-elect Biden’s passion for automobiles, it is one of the few missing pieces in a virtually tailor-made biography for this moment.

Critics may argue that Cardona lacks a personal relationship with the president-elect, a rarity among cabinet nominees. However, this is indicative of the lower priority placed on the Department of Education in Washington. On the bright side, his selection is based on merit rather than political connections. Some individuals express disappointment that, given the talent pool and the underrepresentation of women in the role of Education Secretary, the position once again went to a man, particularly within the Democratic Party and considering the demographics of the education sector.

If there is any potential risk, it lies in the significant leap from being an assistant superintendent in a small district, a position Cardona held less than a year and a half ago, to becoming the Secretary of Education for the entire United States. However, this challenge is manageable for an individual willing to put in the necessary effort.

It was clear from the start that Republicans were unlikely to have their preferred nominee. At best, they could have hoped for someone like former National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen García, who shared their views on local control and flexibility. However, Republicans could not expect their desires for school choice and funding to be fulfilled by any of Biden’s picks. Nevertheless, it is unlikely that Senate Republicans will oppose this nomination, especially when there are higher-profile targets for them to focus on.

Basically, Cardona represents Biden’s attempt to bring an end to the education wars, particularly the conflicts within the Democratic party. However, the true test will be when specific policy questions arise. This is a strategic choice, especially during a time when political battles should take a backseat to the ongoing disaster facing millions of American students.

Andrew J. Rotherham is a founding member and partner at Bellwether Education, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting educational innovation and enhancing the academic outcomes of disadvantaged students. He also serves on the board of directors for . Additionally, he contributes as an editor at U.S. News & World Report, maintains the blog, teaches at The University of Virginia, and acts as a senior advisor at Whiteboard Advisors.

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South Carolina Announces $250,000 Fellowships For Educators To Launch Top-Notch Charter Schools

South Carolina Announces $250,000 Fellowships for Educators to Launch Top-Notch Charter Schools

Attention, ambitious leaders interested in starting charter schools: South Carolina policymakers are seeking to provide substantial funding to exceptional educators with the expertise to establish their own charter schools.

The South Carolina Public Charter School District has initiated an incubator program with the goal of nurturing high-performing charter schools that cater to underserved populations, specifically those from low-income backgrounds and minority communities.

While some of the state’s current charter schools have shown promise and employ effective strategies, they do not reach the same level of success as renowned networks in other regions of the country, such as those recognized with the prestigious Broad Prize for Urban Education. Superintendent Elliot Smalley of the South Carolina Public Charter School District expressed, "We do not currently have schools of that caliber here."

In 2019, the district intends to award two or three charter school leaders with a fellowship of $250,000 each, enabling them to establish schools in underserved communities. The funds would be allocated towards salary, curriculum development, and the creation of a school model. The fellowship winners would also have the opportunity to travel to other parts of the country to visit successful charter schools.

Interested applicants for the incubator program can propose expanding an existing charter school in South Carolina, bringing a successful charter school or charter management organization to the state, or founding an entirely new one.

The selected fellows will spend one year designing the structure and curriculum of their schools. A significant portion of their time will be devoted to studying the specific needs of the communities they plan to serve, according to Rich Richards, the district’s chief of staff. Richards emphasized, "We will not place even a proven CEO in a community that does not welcome them."

Applications for the fellowship were made available online on June 16 and will close in mid-July. The district anticipates conducting interviews and announcing the winners by early August.

Smalley believes that successful outcomes from this investment will involve the establishment of two to three schools that have a transformative impact on the lives of students from impoverished backgrounds and minority populations.

How Republicans’ Bill To Replace Obamacare Could Cut Billions Of Dollars From America’s Schools

How Republicans’ Bill to Replace Obamacare Could Cut Billions of Dollars From America’s Schools

As of May 4th, the House of Representatives voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act with a close 217-213 vote. CNN has reported that the bill to replace Obamacare faces significant obstacles in gaining approval from the Senate.

Following a recent landmark ruling by the Supreme Court, schools across the country are being asked to provide more support for disabled students. However, if the Republican proposal to eliminate the Affordable Care Act is signed into law by President Trump, schools may have to face the challenge of doing more with less resources.

The bill has the potential to result in nearly $840 billion in cuts to Medicaid over the next ten years. This puts at risk healthcare coverage for over 30 million children, which amounts to roughly 40 percent of Americans aged 17 and below. The White House is expecting the House to vote on the healthcare bill within this week.

If the bill becomes law, schools may experience reductions in funding for special education services, such as speech therapy, as well as cuts to salaries for school nurses and counselors. Additionally, services like eye exams, hearing tests, dental screenings, and regular check-ups for low-income children may also suffer. These potential consequences were highlighted in a recent analysis conducted by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a progressive think tank based in Washington.

A survey conducted by the School Superintendents Association in January revealed that 69 percent of school chiefs use Medicaid funds to cover health professionals’ salaries, while 45 percent use these funds to expand health services offered to children at school.

According to the center’s analysis, Medicaid funded nearly $4 billion in healthcare services in schools back in 2015, which accounted for less than 1 percent of the total Medicaid expenditure. However, this funding represented a third of the $12 billion spent by the government in 2015 for Individuals with Disabilities Education Act services. This funding enables schools to partially cover the costs of special education and other healthcare services, allowing for budget allocation to other priorities in education.

Jessica Schubel, a senior policy analyst who authored the report, warned that these cuts could also harm student performance. She emphasized the long-term benefits of having Medicaid coverage as a child, which leads to better health, fewer hospitalizations, higher earnings, increased tax payments, and a higher likelihood of high school and college graduation. Schubel argued that investing in children early on produces long-term benefits for them as adults and for society as a whole.

The proposed replacement for the Affordable Care Act, known as the American Health Care Act, faced significant opposition from Democrats and some Republicans in March, causing it to be put on hold. However, the legislation was revived last week with an amendment that shifted it further to the right. The changes included a state waiver from key Obamacare regulations, such as the requirement for insurers to charge the same rates to people with pre-existing conditions as the general population, and the mandate to cover essential health benefits like emergency room visits, maternity care, newborn care, and mental health services.

The updated proposal, written by Republican Representative Tom MacArthur of New Jersey, maintains the deep cuts to Medicaid that sparked opposition from moderate Republicans in the original bill. It is projected to reduce Medicaid spending by $839 billion over the next ten years, resulting in the elimination of services for 14 million people, according to a report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. This plan contradicts President Trump’s campaign promise to replace the Affordable Care Act without cutting Medicaid.

Medicaid currently supports approximately 73 million people, or about one in five Americans, with healthcare. In 2015 alone, it cost taxpayers $532 billion. Some conservatives have argued that Medicaid is an overfunded program that surpasses its initial mandate of providing coverage to only the truly destitute and needy.

The Republican bill aimed at repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act would eliminate the 2010 extension of Medicaid eligibility and change the program’s financing structure. Instead of providing funds according to eligibility, it would grant states a block grant or a fixed amount per beneficiary.

If passed, the proposed legislation would contradict the more stringent criteria established by the unanimous Supreme Court decision in March regarding the provision of services to disabled children in educational institutions. The report from the center argues that Medicaid cuts could compel school districts to significantly reduce special education services at a time when they are already being asked to do more for students with special needs.

The association of superintendents concurred, stating in their survey that schools bear a significant responsibility to offer educational opportunities to children, especially those who are impoverished or have special needs, in order to ensure their development into productive members of society who are actively engaged in civic matters. The survey further emphasizes that addressing the health and well-being needs of students within the school setting is a necessary and effective approach to eliminating educational barriers for children and safeguarding America’s economic supremacy in the 21st century.

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LISTEN — Class Disrupted S4 E5: Why Aren’t There More Innovative Schools?

LISTEN — Class Disrupted S4 E5: Why Aren’t There More Innovative Schools?

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Class Disrupted is a bi-weekly podcast in the field of education, hosted by Michael Horn and Diane Tavenner from Summit Public Schools. In each episode, they engage in conversations with educators, school leaders, students, and other members of school communities. Together, they explore the challenges that the education system is currently facing during the pandemic and discuss potential directions for the future. You can find all episodes on our dedicated Class Disrupted page or subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or Stitcher for new episodes every other Tuesday.

During a recent visit to the Anderson Institute of Technology in South Carolina, Diane Tavenner shares her enthusiasm with Michael Horn. This prompts the question of why there aren’t more schools like the one she witnessed.

Listen to the episode below, followed by a complete transcript.

  • Class Disrupted S4 E5: Exploring the Lack of Innovative Schools

Diane Tavenner: Hello, Michael.

Michael Horn: Hi, Diane. How are you doing?

Tavenner: Michael, I am absolutely thrilled to discuss a recent school visit I embarked upon. It has given me so much hope for what is achievable.

Horn: Well, Diane, I must say that you don’t usually get this excited about school visits. Perhaps a decade ago, but now you seem to have become more skeptical and jaded. However, this sounds intriguing and even promising. The underlying premise of our podcast is that the crisis caused by COVID-19 could potentially lead to the reinvention of schools. Yet, after four seasons, we are still waiting to witness this transformation. I am eager to learn about what you found promising and what has ignited your excitement. Let’s dive in. Please tell me about your visit.

Tavenner: Wow, where do I begin? So, I had the opportunity to visit the Anderson Institute of Technology, also known as AIT, in South Carolina. Let me start by saying that hosting visitors is a lot of work, and I am incredibly grateful to Dr. Couch, Kelly, Cecil, Dana, Stephanie, and the entire AIT team and their students for their remarkable hospitality. They were truly amazing, Michael. They were open-minded and generous with their time. As you mentioned, I am not easily impressed by school visits these days, but this one ignited a sense of inspiration within me. AIT is a young institution, only four years old. It opened its doors in the fall of 2019, and, as you can imagine, they had barely completed one year of operation when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. It was definitely a challenging time to be launching a school.

Horn: Absolutely, not an ideal situation at all.

Tavenner: Despite the difficulties faced by everyone, they have persevered and overcome the obstacles. AIT functions as a school where high school students from three different school districts come to attend half-day or full-day sessions in any of the 18 available career pathways. The school’s main focus is to prepare students for college and career readiness. Now, I know that many schools claim to prioritize this, but AIT truly stands out because of its highly interactive learning experiences. They emphasize hands-on activities that revolve around solving real-world problems and engaging in meaningful projects.

Horn: Those are some impressive assertions you’re making. When I hear you speak, I can’t help but think of other schools that have excelled in this area. Take for example Big Picture Learning schools, which have a long history of success. They provide students with real-world internships as part of their educational experience, allowing them to work on fascinating projects. Another example that comes to mind is Korea, where I witnessed the Meister Schools, led by a former semiconductor company CEO. These schools even have real semiconductor plants. Although they may not offer the same level of choice as you mentioned, they are certainly noteworthy in their own right.

Furthermore, I consider vocational high schools near me, as well as those in New Jersey, which have gained prestige over time. However, your proposal appears to be distinct and much more diverse than the traditional vocational education system. It goes beyond just being associated with blue-collar work. I agree that there is currently a lot of talk and momentum in this direction. Therefore, I’m curious to understand what sets your approach apart from other initiatives that aim to prepare students not only for college but also for their careers. It seems that your approach takes this objective more seriously. I would appreciate it if you could provide further insights.

Tavenner: Absolutely, let’s start by acknowledging that some people do recognize the need for a value proposition for students in their educational journey. To some extent, we also incorporate this idea into our approach. However, it seems that AIT has truly embraced this concept. They offer students dual enrollment or dual credit options with colleges, industry certifications, honors credit opportunities, and even apprenticeships and internships. These additional opportunities create tangible benefits for students beyond just acquiring knowledge and skills. They result in valuable credentials, certifications, and credits. Many institutions strive to provide similar advantages, but what sets AIT apart is the depth and extent to which they offer these opportunities. It’s truly remarkable.

Additionally, I want to address a point you mentioned earlier. AIT is not the vocational education system that people often fear. Many individuals have reservations about vocational education due to its history of limiting students’ options and leading to dead-end experiences. However, AIT is different. Every pathway at AIT explicitly outlines the various possibilities for students who choose not to pursue further education after high school, as well as the opportunities available with an associate’s, bachelor’s, and even higher degrees. The career prospects and salary ranges are clearly displayed on the walls and in the catalogs. This transparency is commendable.

Let me provide an example to illustrate this further. AIT offers an electrical design and integrated smart systems pathway. It’s particularly interesting because people often use electricians or plumbers as examples of lucrative careers in trades. According to AIT’s catalog, upon graduating from high school, students can begin their careers as electrician’s helpers or apprentices, earning approximately $46,000 per year, which is quite impressive, especially considering the region. With an associate’s degree, opportunities expand to become an electrical technician, controls technician, or smart system network technician, with income in the range of $78,000. A bachelor’s degree can lead to roles such as electrical engineer, project manager, or engineering maintenance management, earning around $90,000. This level of detail is provided for every pathway, outlining the necessary steps and responsibilities involved.

Horn: This is very interesting. Please continue. I am quite curious about this. So, these pathways, how are they structured? What is the level of rigor involved? How do they ensure that these experiences provide options and skills rather than pigeonholing students into specific pathways?

Tavenner: Absolutely, and what I find intriguing is the wide range of pathways they offer. There are a total of 18 different pathways, including electrical engineering, digital art and design, health sciences, biomedical sciences, and pre-med. We spoke with several students who are pursuing the pre-med pathway. They also have pathways in cybersecurity, network fundamentals, computer science, and aerospace engineering. They even have flight simulators where students can practice simulated flights. They also have simulators for driving tractors, which I found surprising but necessary for learning how to operate such machinery.

Horn: That’s amazing.

Tavenner: Yes, and what struck me while talking to the students is their excitement and curiosity about the various pathways available to them. It was clear to me that they were being exposed to and exploring different possibilities. I also met some students who had changed their pathways. They initially started in one pathway but discovered a more appealing one while in the program, so they switched. I think this flexibility is great. However, the question of rigor always comes up. Personally, I find it fascinating to observe how teenagers respond when adults express trust and belief in them. The professionalism and the use of industry-standard machines and technology in the program create an environment where students can thrive. The instructors, who have been carefully selected for their teaching approach, are industry professionals themselves. The learning style is very hands-on and self-directed, with an emphasis on problem-solving.

I particularly enjoyed a specific experience we had during our visit. We witnessed a group presentation by students in the networking pathway. They noticed that their teachers were faced with the challenge of taking attendance from multiple high schools. Each teacher had to log in to PowerSchool for each school, which was inefficient and cumbersome. I was impressed that the students recognized this issue. They decided to tackle the problem by utilizing the thumbprint scanners that are used throughout the building. These scanners are used to log hours needed for industry certifications in many of the pathways. The students proposed using these scanners for attendance purposes and began contacting the company responsible for the fingerprint scanners, as well as PowerSchool. They realized that a connector was needed to integrate the two systems. I typically find that programs like this focus on teaching students to become entrepreneurs and build multimillion-dollar companies. However, in this case, the students were tackling a real problem creatively, cost-effectively, and collaboratively, while maintaining an appropriate level of rigor for their current stage in life. This, to me, is exactly how it should be.

Horn: That’s incredible. Truly incredible. How do the students view traditional aspects of high school, such as athletics?

Horn: Wow, this is really different from anything I’ve encountered before. It’s comprehensive in a unique way, providing students with the opportunity to test and apply what we’ve been discussing throughout this season of Class Disrupted in relation to themselves.

Tavenner: That’s correct.

Horn: I’m curious about where it fits for me as I enter this field. Will I develop a passion for it? I don’t believe that we are limited to a fixed number of passions, so can I cultivate one for this? If it doesn’t resonate with me, can I explore other options? I also want to point out that I didn’t realize until you mentioned it that students can enroll part-time while still being part of their home high school, which I find to be quite unique. It seems like there might be a growing interest in this area, Diane, so perhaps we will see more schools like this in the future. What are your thoughts?

Tavenner: Well, that’s the part that caught my attention during my visit. As you can imagine, Michael, I had many questions about why more people aren’t doing this and how it came about. It’s important to discuss the school’s leader and founder, Dr. Couch, as he seems to be quite exceptional, which might explain the lack of similar schools. He had a successful career as an educator and then moved on to the Department of Education in South Carolina, where he spent 20 years. It was during this time that he learned about these models and even led a delegation to Europe to study them, which greatly influenced his work. He played a key role in the passage of legislation in South Carolina that supports this type of school and learning.

However, after the legislation was passed, no one in the state took action. Schools weren’t opening and programs weren’t being implemented. This is where I greatly admire Dr. Couch. He didn’t just sit back and accept the lack of progress. Instead, he rolled up his sleeves and started a school that aligns with the legislation. He experienced some challenges along the way, which led him to pursue AIT. But my concern, Michael, is whether someone who isn’t as knowledgeable as Dr. Couch, who doesn’t have the same connections and understanding of the legislation and hasn’t had the opportunity to visit Europe or establish relationships with companies and community organizations, can actually open a school like this. When I delved deeper, it became evident that his extensive background and personal connections played a significant role in making this happen.

Horn: That’s incredibly interesting. Before I share my thoughts, I’m curious to hear what else you believe might be hindering others from embarking on similar endeavors or what other aspects of Dr. Couch’s background make him unique in this context.

Tavenner: Policy is another factor that comes to mind. Through my experiences in various states, I’ve noticed that policymakers at the state level genuinely believe that they have policies in place that encourage and enable individuals to pursue initiatives like this. It seems like that’s what they want to see happen. However, they often feel frustrated when no one takes action. Some states even offer waivers for such initiatives, granting flexibility. Yet, no one seems to be taking advantage of these opportunities or utilizing the allocated funding in the desired manner. To me, there seems to be a disconnect between the reality on the ground and the policymakers. I’ve pondered this extensively, and it seems that when these policies are enacted, they fail to address the existing demands and requirements adequately.

Horn: It absolutely makes sense. My belief is that innovation in education should be the norm, not something that requires navigating through regulations and seeking permission. Recently, I had a discussion with state policy makers who were focused on assisting districts in implementing innovative practices through waivers. They were proud of their efforts, such as simplifying the application process and providing consulting support. While I appreciate their intentions, I want to emphasize that innovation is a challenging and time-consuming endeavor. It shouldn’t be burdened with excessive bureaucracy and uncertainty. It’s mind-boggling to think that a waiver process can truly foster innovation. Instead, innovation should be embedded in our approach to improving student outcomes without needing permission. I also want to address a common misconception I heard at the conference. Some individuals in the innovation world suggest that innovation and positive outcomes are incompatible. Let me clarify: true innovation is only valuable if it helps students or stakeholders make progress.

Tavenner: Michael, I completely agree with you. After reviewing the waiver processes in various states, I have decided against pursuing that route. Even though we have the resources and determination to do so, it doesn’t seem like a feasible option. I want to point out a telling moment during my conversation with Dr. Couch. When I asked him about his peers and sources of inspiration, he struggled to name anyone other than a couple of schools he had visited. It was evident that he lacked a network of like-minded individuals to collaborate and share ideas with. As someone involved in innovative education initiatives, I understand the feeling of isolation and the desire to keep things under the radar to avoid negative reactions. However, it is concerning that the education industry, which spans across 50 states, isn’t utilizing waivers to promote innovation. There seems to be a lack of incentive and connectivity among educators. If we genuinely want to drive innovation, we must explore different approaches.

Tavenner: Well, Michael, I have a surprising choice for my current read. I’m delving into Good Economics for Hard Times, a book written by the esteemed economist and Nobel Prize winner, Abhijit Banerjee, and co-authored by Esther Duflo. I must admit, I may have mangled their names a bit, and for that, I apologize. It’s hard to believe that the 2024 presidential cycle is already underway, but I felt compelled to educate myself on the pressing challenges confronting our country and the world. I wanted to approach these issues from a fresh perspective, and this book certainly provides that. I’m already gaining a wealth of knowledge and find it utterly fascinating. So, that’s what I’ve been engrossed in lately. How about you?

Horn: I’m delighted that you’re diving into that, Diane. As for me, I’ve immersed myself in the world of fiction. I finally completed Anna Karenina, the lengthy novel by Tolstoy that you playfully teased me about when I first started reading it. But I persevered and managed to finish it. This is a personal triumph for me, spanning not just a week but several months, I must say, Diane.

Tavenner: Congratulations! That’s quite an accomplishment.

Horn: Thank you. With that, we’ll conclude on a hopeful note. We appreciate your presence in this episode of Class Disrupted.

Michael B. Horn is dedicated to creating a world where individuals can pursue their passions and fulfill their potentials. He achieves this through his writing, public speaking, and involvement with various educational organizations. He is the acclaimed author of multiple books, including Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Revolutionize Education and the recently published From Reopen to Reinvent: (Re)creating Schools for Every Child. Additionally, he is a co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute, a nonprofit think tank.

Diane Tavenner serves as CEO of Summit Public Schools and is a co-founder of the Summit Learning Program. With a lifelong commitment to education and innovation, she has made significant contributions to the field. Tavenner is also the author of the book Prepared: What Kids Need for a Fulfilling Life.

Maine Sen. Susan Collins Reelected, Bolstering Republican Fight To Retain Senate Control

Maine Sen. Susan Collins Reelected, Bolstering Republican Fight to Retain Senate Control

Gain access to comprehensive coverage of the 46 races that have the potential to bring about significant changes in America’s education system post-election day by subscribing to Newsletter. Stay informed about the latest developments in state policies and the challenges faced by students during the pandemic.

Maine Senator Susan Collins, a moderate politician whose position was at risk, emerged as the winner in her bid for a fifth term. This victory holds immense importance for Republicans as they strive to maintain control of the Senate.

Collins secured the win with 51 percent of the votes, while her Democratic opponent, Sara Gideon, lagged far behind with 42.5 percent. The pre-election polls had predicted a much closer race.

Her reelection carries significant implications for federal education policy. Not only does it dash Democratic hopes of obtaining a majority, but Collins is also a member of the Senate education committee. With the current committee chairman, Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, retiring, the position is up for grabs among senior GOP members.

Throughout the campaign, Gideon launched aggressive attacks on Collins for voting in favor of confirming Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who faced allegations of sexual misconduct during his high school years. However, Collins took a different stance by choosing to vote against confirming Justice Amy Coney Barrett, arguing that the timing of the nomination process was too close to the election.

In an article titled "How Susan Collins Survived," The Atlantic highlighted Collins’ campaign strategy. She emphasized her independence and seniority, reminding the people of Maine that she had secured significant funding for their state over the years. By reelecting her, they would enable her to chair the Appropriations Committee and bring in even more substantial funding.

By subscribing to Newsletter, you can gain access to comprehensive coverage of the key education votes of 2020. Stay updated on the outcomes of these races that have the potential to reshape America’s schools. Additionally, stay informed about state policies and the ongoing challenges faced by students during the pandemic. Sign up today to receive all the latest updates.

Educator’s View: What Good Is Technology If Teachers Aren’t Trained To Use It?

Educator’s View: What Good is Technology if Teachers Aren’t Trained to Use It?

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During my tenure as the principal of Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy in Chicago, I successfully upgraded the school’s technology infrastructure by introducing new devices, computer labs, and faster internet connections to enhance students’ learning experiences. However, I was surprised to find that only a few teachers took advantage of these new tools. Some perceived the improved technology as a criticism of their teaching abilities, while others lacked the necessary skills and confidence to effectively utilize it. There were also a few teachers who were comfortable using technology in powerful ways and were willing to support their colleagues, but there was no expectation for them to do so. The missing piece for my teachers was a comprehensive schoolwide vision for the purposeful use of technology, as well as the necessary support to implement it.

Digital equity has become a prominent concern over the past three years, particularly in light of the pandemic. However, it is important to understand that digital equity goes beyond providing devices to students or improving access to broadband. Although skilled educators are crucial to unlocking the potential of technology in the classroom, 50% of schools consider the learning curve for teachers in adopting technology to be a significant challenge. Additionally, half of all teachers feel that a lack of training is a major obstacle.

Truly achieving the goals of digital equity requires equipping teachers with the tools and training they need to confidently and effectively use technology. Based on Digital Promise’s research and collaboration with school and district leaders, here is a roadmap to accomplishing that objective.

School staff members require support in effectively utilizing available technology. School leaders play a vital role in setting the vision for their schools, which includes determining how technology should be integrated to enhance teaching and learning. Prior to the pandemic, there was already a need to better incorporate technology into education, particularly for students in underserved communities. The pandemic has only accelerated this shift. Now, principals need to establish a vision for their school’s use of technology, identify areas where their faculty lacks digital skills, and work with teachers to address those gaps.

At Brooks College Prep, my team and I communicated the rationale behind our focus on technology and established a committee to facilitate peer-to-peer learning among teachers. Once the vision and expectations for technology were established, and teachers successfully integrated technology into their classrooms, student outcomes significantly improved. We observed a 21% increase in students meeting all four ACT College Readiness Benchmarks, and we were recognized for achieving the highest year-to-year growth in the average ACT composite score (21.8 to 23.2) among all high schools in the city of Chicago. In 2018, the U.S. Department of Education awarded our school the Blue Ribbon distinction, making us the first high school on the South Side of Chicago to receive such an honor.

School and district leaders must prioritize high-quality professional development opportunities. One strategy for designing personalized professional development is through the use of micro-credentials. These digital badges allow teachers to demonstrate their proficiency in specific digital skills, such as creating inclusive and accessible learning experiences. Micro-credentialing enables educators to focus on the areas they need or want to improve and validates their growth in those areas.

Digital Promise collaborated with the Kettle Moraine School District in Wisconsin to redefine the concept of professional learning within the district. Teachers self-assessed their strengths and weaknesses in terms of technology proficiency, using the results to set goals and benchmarks for their own learning. They then showcased their competencies through examples of their work, student assignments, and personal reflections, all of which were evaluated by their peers. This commitment to high-quality professional development at the district level provides personalized and meaningful learning experiences, supporting educators regardless of their current level of proficiency.

School and district leaders can also collaborate with teacher preparation programs to communicate their needs and expectations from graduates. Ideally, teachers should enter the classroom already equipped with firsthand experience of utilizing technology effectively for learning purposes. They should have a clear plan for implementing these practices with students and be able to hit the ground running. Teacher preparation programs have the power to make this ideal scenario a reality for their graduates. This is especially important for schools that struggle to attract and retain teachers, particularly those serving high numbers of children of color and students from low-income backgrounds, as well as schools located in rural districts.

The objective is to fully prepare students to be the future workforce. When students are effectively educated using technology and their teachers demonstrate how to effectively utilize it in meaningful and significant ways, they become better equipped to employ it themselves. This is important because there is a strong connection between digital skills and income. The National Skills Coalition reveals that only 10% of individuals with limited or no digital skills fall within the top 20% of earners. The future holds job opportunities, economic mobility, and, perhaps most importantly, personal fulfillment, all of which are at stake when it comes to assisting students in becoming proficient in digital skills. Teachers play a crucial role in guiding them toward this goal. As I discovered during my time as a principal, investing in teachers’ effective utilization of technology is just as important for student learning as providing them with the latest technological resources. Throughout teachers’ careers, starting from preparation programs to the classroom and the district office, there are multiple opportunities for them to acquire the necessary training and professional development that will equip them with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to incorporate technology and personalize learning for all their students.