2017 SOTU Backdrop Part VIII – Education

Three-quarters of the fastest-growing occupations require education beyond a high school diploma; with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers prominent on the list.

Charter Schools: Public schools that are allowed the freedom to be more innovative while being held accountable for advancing student achievement. They are open to all children; do not charge tuition; and do not have special entrance requirements. The federal Charter Schools Program (CSP) provides money to create new high-quality public charter schools, as well as to disseminate information about ones with a proven track record.

The Office of Educational Technology: Has developed a national policy and vision to transform teaching and learning. The objective is to make everywhere, all-the-time learning possible for k-12, higher education, and adult education. The National Education Technology Plan is a central component of the policy. The Plan articulates a vision of equity, active use, and collaborative leadership to make everywhere, all-the-time learning possible.

Openly Licensed Educational Resources: The technology plan uses openly licensed educational resources for teaching, learning, and research that reside in the public domain. These resources have been released under a license that permits free use, reuse, modification, and sharing with others. Digital openly licensed resources can include complete online courses, modular digital textbooks as well as more granular resources such as images, videos, and assessment items.

GoOpen District Launch Packet: Designed for districts that have decided to implement a systematic approach to incorporating openly licensed educational resources into their curriculum by becoming a GoOpen District.

Following is a nutshell explanation of the GoOpen implementation plan.

GoOpen: The package is a logical representation of past and current activities by school districts and teachers in the education world, to convert the historically static learning environment into a dynamic, open, interconnected digital learning experience for students and teachers.

GoOpen Viewed Correctly: Summarizes, orders, and explains how past and current activities, were and are accomplished, and offers documentation of those activities as a plan for use by school districts to follow. In other words, it is a lessons learned, purified, ordered and presented for your consideration.

GoOpen Focus: Conversion of existing courses, or creation of new courses for the interconnected digital learning environment, with a recommended sequence of activities. Activities start at the course level by teachers with subject matter knowledge, and work up the recommended sequence of activities and checklists, culminating with approval at the school district level.

GoOpen and INFORM Journeys: Provides the synergy of simultaneous application of integrating curriculum development, assessment and advising as a complete concept.

Assessment:

Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) Day: Global Lessons for the U.S. Education System and Economy: Published on Dec 8, 2016.

Andreas Schleicher, director for education and skills and special advisor on education policy to the Secretary-General at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), presents a detailed analysis of the newly released PISA results and lessons learned from deeper learning applications in high-performing nations. The report has significant implications for educational achievement and recommendations for future actions. The survey and report are conducted every three years covering seventy-two nations.

Latest PISA Results: Demonstrates current standing of U.S. students as holding steady in reading and science performance, and slipping significantly in math. U.S. students score at or below average in all categories. The following PISA Video Report is extensive and informative. 1 hr. 34 min.

Some comments for consideration from the series of PISA videos:

4.5 percent of U.S. GDP spent on education. Highest of all nations.

Students in Singapore and Japan score significantly higher than U.S. students. There is an exception to the U.S. outcome, and that is Massachusetts, which scores much higher. Massachusetts has been on the forefront of the STEM initiative with the University of Massachusetts leading the way on assessment and program improvement. Also, Building products for export provides significant learning experiences.

Teachers must change schools every three years – Japan.

Teachers must demonstrate progress on moving to more difficult schools and curriculum throughout their career – China.

Improving teacher quality is very important. U.S. schools are focusing on now, not planning for the future.

Teacher's degree, certification, preparation, and professional development do not guarantee outcomes.

Class size varies. Higher degree of success achieved in countries with large class size.

U.S. places too much emphasis on faculty evaluation by students. Most countries evaluate faculty via student outcomes.

U.S. teachers have too many out-of-class activities which do not lend to student learning.

Charter Schools are a solution for removing the handicap U.S. education has in improving outcomes for students. Current models for managing and administering schools, teachers and students originate at federal and state levels of government. This approach creates an inflexible model which places a ceiling on growth and excellence by establishing manage-to and teach-to values. It is the same problem industry had thirty years ago regarding quality of products. Focus on the process to improve the product at the process level, the classroom and school.

Students learn and score higher when traditional methods are used. Open classrooms and technology can be used, however, must support structured learning to objectives with the teacher in control.

Student success improves when involved in apprentice programs with industry while attending school.

Student success increases with more time on the subject for deeper learning to solve complex problems.

U.S. teaches in a circular model, coming back to the subject at varying times in the curriculum rather than extended time on subject.

Posted in SOTU Backdrop.