Wednesday, August 03, 2016

This and That

In election results related to education, it looks like it will be Erin Jones versus Chris Reykdal in the general election for state superintendent of public instruction.  I think it will be an interesting race as they both are qualified and yet seem to be coming at the job in different ways.  There was not a huge difference between first and second place so it's a very competitive race.

One major focus for Reykdal is better Career and Technical Education (CTE, formerly vocational ed.) A very good article from Forbes explains why this is a good idea.
 Won’t all students benefit from a high-level, four-year academic degree program? As it turns out, not really. For one thing, people have a huge and diverse range of different skills and learning styles. Not everyone is good at math, biology, history and other traditional subjects that characterize college-level work. Not everyone is fascinated by Greek mythology, or enamored with Victorian literature, or enraptured by classical music. Some students are mechanical; others are artistic. Some focus best in a lecture hall or classroom; still others learn best by doing, and would thrive in the studio, workshop or shop floor.

In a situation where 70% of high school students do not go to college, nearly half of those who do go fail to graduate, and over half of the graduates are unemployed or underemployed, is vocational education really expendable? Or is it the smartest investment we could make in our children, our businesses, and our country’s economic future?
And from Colorado public radio:
The state has one of the most highly-skilled labor pools in the country, but businesses here still have to recruit out of state to find workers. And there's a particularly big shortage in "middle-skills" – which are needed for trade-type jobs that require more than high school education but less than a traditional bachelor's degree. 
“We’re not even close to filling the gap,” says Mark Alpert, chair of the board of the South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce, who heads up the organization’s STEM initiative. He heard recently from one employer who had openings for 100 tool and die makers. They could only fill one position locally. Ninety-nine new employees came from out of state.
As well, Chief Justice Barbara Madsen comes into the general election with a very commanding lead over her nearest competitor with 64% of the vote.  Wonder how much more Stand for Children will try to pour into the general election to oust her.  Good luck with that.

Speaking of the general election, there is movement towards an initiative to end the sale of rapid-fire large guns (like AR-15s.)  It appears Governor Inslee is increasingly concerned over shootings in Washington state.  As you may have heard, last weekend an 18-year old in Mukilteo bought an AR-15 after he became upset when the girl that he broke up with wouldn't take him back so he went to a party where he shot her to death (and killed two others and shot a fourth person.)  From The Stranger:
 "Passivity in the face of gun violence is unacceptable," Governor Jay Inslee told mourners during a vigil in Mukilteo on July 31. "Inaction is unacceptable." Speaking to reporters afterward, Inslee went one step further, saying the rifle used in the shooting carried 30 rounds. "Our state needs to think about whether that makes sense," Inslee said.

In November, Washington voters will consider Initiative 1491, which would establish extreme risk protection orders for gun violence. These orders would allow family members and law enforcement officers to request that a judge temporarily ban a person from possessing guns if that person is a threat to themselves or others.
From the PSYblog, what motivates us (and maybe students) best:
Thinking “I can do better” really can help improve performance, new research finds.
Self-talk like this increases the intensity of effort people make and even makes them feel happier as well.
The study compared the motivational power of self-talk, such as “I will do better” with imagery and if-then planning.
Imagery involved imagining doing better and if-then planning is making a plan to act in a certain way.
All three techniques improved performance, but self-talk was consistently the most powerful.
From the LA Times via the Special Education Facebook page about ADHD:
The U.S. Department of Education has issued guidelines aimed at preventing schools from discriminating against the growing numbers of students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
In a letter to school districts and a “know your rights” document to be posted on its website Tuesday, the department said schools must obey existing civil rights law to identify students with the disorder and provide them with accommodations to help them learn.


NO 1240 said...

"As well, Chief Justice Barbara Madsen comes into the general election with a very commanding lead over her nearest competitor with 64% of the vote"

There is a large margin between Chief Justice Madsen and her opponent. Stand On Children made significant campaign contributions to Madsen's opponent. Nice to know that money doesn't always win.

Litzow may get unseated, as well.

NO 1240 said...

Meanwhile, the lawsuit to challenge Washington state charters has been filed:

NO 1240 said...

"The complaint also challenges the legality of the state’s decision to temporarily fund a handful of charter schools in 2015-16, even after the Supreme Court overturned the law."

Perhaps we will finally see Dorn's scheme to fund charter schools using ALE dollars come into public light.