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11-23-16 Education in the News

Philadelphia Inquirer--10,000 NYC schoolchildren to get college savings accounts

NEW YORK (AP) - Some 10,000 New York City children will start kindergarten with $100 in a college savings account thanks to a public-private partnership intended to boost the number of students attending college.

Under the three-year pilot program announced Tuesday, about 3,500 kindergartners will get so-called 529 college savings accounts next fall.

Another 3,500 kindergartners will get the accounts in the fall of 2018 and a third group in the fall of 2019.

Families that meet savings benchmarks will get up to another $200 in matching funds.

http://www.philly.com/philly/education/20161122_ap_fd3e60100eff4bd6890d66509cf10484.html

The Associated Press| Updated: November 22, 2016 — 2:01 PM EST

 

The Press of Atlantic City--Get ready to build! Hands-on toys that teach are hot

NEW YORK (AP) — Toys that teach aren't a new thing, but a growing number are calling for kids to build with blocks, circuits or everyday items before reaching for a tablet screen.

Play is how kids learn about the world around them, whether it's a toddler throwing a ball or teens playing video games. It's about seeing how things work and what happens when they do something. And over the years, toys have gotten more high tech to keep screen-obsessed children engaged with such play.

But there's growing worry among parents and educators that toys are moving too far in that direction. Educational toys that have a math and science bent — marketed under the umbrella of STEM — are now trying to get back to the basics: less screen time, more hands-on activities.

"When kids use their hands, your outcomes are much higher," said Pramod Sharma, CEO of one such toy company, Osmo. "It's very different than if they're just staring at a screen watching TV."

With Osmo, kids learn everything from spelling to coding not by touching a screen, but by snapping together magnetic blocks. A screen is still part of it; an image is beamed onto an iPad through its camera. But the idea is to have kids learn first with their hands, then see their creation move to the screen.

LEARN BY BUILDING

Educators agree that whether you're talking about a toddler playing with blocks, or a teen building a computer from scratch, the act of putting something together helps educational concepts sink in.

"The way the world comes to us is actually through tactile activities, so tactile toys where we build stuff are incredible helpful," said Karen Sobel-Lojeski, who studies the effects of technology on children's brain development at Stony Brook University on Long Island, New York.

Bloxels attempts to bridge the physical and the digital. Kids build their own video games by putting plastic blocks in a special tray, instead of writing out code. Using a phone or tablet's camera, an app transforms the shapes created with the blocks into digital characters and scenery.

Makey Makey, a startup founded by a pair of MIT students, asks kids to come up with their own electronic creations by combining software, circuits and everyday items like bananas and doughnuts.

http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/business/technology/get-ready-to-build-hands-on-toys-that-teach-are/article_16e7f627-7c68-548b-9c08-554e4caf7210.html

By BREE FOWLER AP Technology Writer|Updated 12 hrs ago

 

Education Week--Many Students 'Stop Out' of High School, Studies Find

For many students, dropping out of high school isn’t the end of the line but a “stop out” along the path to a diploma, new federal and state data suggest.

Of the students who entered high school in 2009, fewer than 3 percent were no longer in school when researchers from the National Center for Education Statistics’ High School Longitudinal Study checked in 2012. But nearly 7 percent of the 2009 freshmen had “stopped out”—left school for four weeks or more at some point in grades 9-11, only to have returned by 2012.

The federal study found that students in the poorest 20 percent of families nationwide were generally more likely than those from other income groups to both stop out or drop out. They were more than twice as likely to stop school briefly, 12.2 percent versus 4.7 percent who left school permanently.

“Dropping out is not a final event. ... There is still a lot we can do besides saying, ‘Oh, they’ve dropped out—it’s over,’ ” said Vanessa Ximenes Barrat, a senior research analyst at the research group WestEd who led a similar new study of dropout and re-engagement rates in Utah. “What this shows is we also need to turn an eye to when those dropouts come back to school.”

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2016/11/22/many-students-stop-out-of-high-school.html

By Sarah D. Sparks|November 22, 2016

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Garden State Coalition of Schools
160 W. State Street, Trenton New Jersey 08608
609-394-2828