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Killexams : Arizona-Education Proficiency exam - BingNews Search results Killexams : Arizona-Education Proficiency exam - BingNews Killexams : Cienega High School No result found, try new keyword!High school students take AP® exams and IB exams to earn college credit and demonstrate success at college-level coursework. U.S. News calculated a College Readiness Index based on AP/IB exam ... Tue, 02 Aug 2022 12:00:00 -0500 text/html Killexams : Flagstaff High School No result found, try new keyword!High school students take AP® exams and IB exams to earn college credit and demonstrate success at college-level coursework. U.S. News calculated a College Readiness Index based on AP/IB exam ... Tue, 02 Aug 2022 12:00:00 -0500 text/html Killexams : Children's low science proficiency worries leaders

Just 1 out of every 100 U.S. schoolchildren excels at science, while less than a third of their peers reach grade-level proficiency in the subject, according to the Nation's Report Card released Tuesday.

The scores are not nearly good enough given the demand for innovators, inventors and problem solvers required to keep the country on the cutting edge of industry and enterprise, education officials said.

"In a world that is increasingly dependent on science, we are failing to educate our kids in science," said Tom Luce, CEO of the National Math and Science Initiative, a nonprofit that awards grants to Improve education. "That's putting them at risk and putting our country at risk," he said in a statement.

California students fared worse than the national average on the standardized tests, with fourth-graders, for example, lagging behind 43 jurisdictions - 42 states and the Department of Defense schools - on the science test and in a dead heat for last with three others: Hawaii, Arizona and Mississippi.

Four states did not participate in the voluntary testing, administered in 2009 by the National Assessment Governing Board, an independent and bipartisan group that has members appointed by the U.S. secretary of education.

California education officials called the scores troubling.

Challenging the test

San Francisco science teacher George Cachianes, however, had a different take, calling the test itself troubling, not the state of science education - especially at Lincoln High School.

The mostly multiple-choice test "fails to test creativity, thinking and the ability to solve problems," he said. "At Genentech, they cherish those qualities."

Cachianes would know. He was a researcher for 15 years at the biotech company and Columbia and Stanford universities before becoming a public school teacher.

His high school course syllabus includes lessons on the "function of restriction endonucleases (vs. exonucleases)" and "prokaryotic vs. eukaryotic gene expression." Class lab work rivals that in university graduate school programs, he said.

Cachianes doesn't focus on memorization of scientific principles or formulas, but instead on the ability to think - something that is not easily tested by filling in the bubbles on a standardized test, he said. Students or scientists can always look up facts or formulas, he added.

"If we're teaching to the test, you're going to reward people who memorize well and you're going to turn off people who like to think and apply knowledge," he said.

How they scored

The National Assessment of Educational Progress, the Nation's Report Card, was given to about 150,000 each of fourth- and eighth-grade students nationwide.

About 11,000 12th-graders also took the test, with national results indicating that 2 percent tested at an advanced level while 21 percent were considered proficient. State-by-state results were not available for the high school students.

In 2009, 34 percent of fourth-graders, 30 percent of eighth-graders, and 21 percent of 12th-graders were considered proficient in science.

A greater number demonstrated a partial mastery of the subject, with 72 percent of fourth-graders, 63 percent of eighth-graders, and 60 percent of 12th-graders performing at or above the basic level.

Black, Latino and low-income students lagged behind their white, Asian and wealthier peers, yet another indication of a pervasive achievement gap, officials said.

The results released Tuesday could not be compared with those from previous years because of a new testing format.

The test, which is administered every four years, focused on physical, life, Earth and space sciences, as in the past. But the new exam, which included some written-response questions, emphasized a student's ability to use his or her scientific knowledge rather than regurgitate it, a little more in line with what teachers such as Cachianes would like to see on such exams.

California lags

California's lagging test scores indicate a lower level of proficiency in the content appearing on the national exams, but they also reflect a significant difference in the population of students tested compared with those in other states.

In California, 22 percent of fourth-graders and 20 percent of eighth-graders tested at proficient or above, while 58 percent of fourth-graders and 48 of eighth-graders tested at a basic level or above.

Fifty-one percent of the California students who took the national assessment test were Latino, compared with 22 percent nationally. The state also has a greater percentage of poor students than any other state.

Latino students nationally score lower than all other ethnicities, except for black students. Poor students also lag behind their peers.

It's not an excuse but an explanation, state officials said.

"This test is a less-than-precise measure of student performance in California, but it is one more signal about where we stand and where we're headed," said state Superintendent Tom Torlakson. "Like other educators and business leaders across California, I have become increasingly concerned about this issue - and more determined than ever to see more science taught in our schools."

2009 Nation's Report Card

Examples of the skills required for proficiency in science:

Grade 4

Recognize that gravitational force constantly affects an object.

Grade 8

Relate characteristics of air masses to global regions.

Grade 12

Evaluate two methods to help control an invasive species.

Source: National Assessment of Educational Progress

Tue, 26 Jul 2022 12:00:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : Best Helicopter Pilot Jobs in Arizona

Editor’s note: The following article is not intended to be a ranking, but is only to serve as a list of possible options. As the saying goes, your mileage may vary.

The beautiful desert landscape and mountains of Arizona may be coaxing you to enjoy the great outdoors and look for a new career in the state. Being a helicopter pilot in Arizona can come with many benefits. 

Here, FLYING examines Arizona-based helicopter pilot jobs that stand out as having high rewards and healthy salaries.


Quicklook: Best Helicopter Pilot Jobs in Utah

  • Best for the views: Helicopter Tour Guide Pilot
  • Best pay: Corporate/Private Helicopter Pilot
  • Best for internal satisfaction: Emergency Medical Service/Air Ambulance Helicopter Pilot
  • Best for job security: Military Helicopter Pilot
  • Best public service career: Law Enforcement Helicopter Pilot

5 Best Helicopter Pilot Jobs – Arizona

When choosing the best helicopter job for you in Arizona, it is best to understand what kind of industry you are looking to get into, if this is a time-building stepping stone and the size of the company. Once you have gauged these metrics, you can look into jobs that fit the bill. Here are our top picks for the best helicopter jobs in Arizona.

Helicopter Tour Guide Pilot

Arizona is home to many busy tourist destinations, such as the Grand Canyon. This means there is plenty of opportunities to gain experience and earn money as a tour guide helicopter pilot. As a tour guide helicopter pilot, you will fly clients over popular locations and explain the scenery below. Popular sites to see include the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam.

Location: Major tourist locations.

Salary or Per-Trip Price: Helicopter tour guide pilots in Arizona make an average salary of $45,109 per year.


  • Interacting with new people daily
  • Great for time building


  • Low-paying pilot job
  • No set schedule
  • Repetitive work

Corporate/Private Helicopter Pilot

Corporate/private helicopter pilots are hired by an entity or person to fly them from place to place. This career pathway can be very lucrative and is one of the highest paying pilot jobs in Arizona because of the large presence of major corporations in Phoenix. 

Location: Large cities such as Phoenix.

Salary or Per-Trip Price: Corporate/private helicopter pilots in Arizona make between $150,000-$200,000 per year.


  • High pay and benefits
  • Meet the wealthy, famous, and interesting


  • On call by the owner of the aircraft 
  • Low job security
  • High time required for hiring

Emergency Medical Service/Air Ambulance Helicopter Pilot 

Emergency medical service helicopter pilots are a top job in Arizona and those that do it are an essential part of the emergency service department. 

Location: All major cities within Arizona house an air ambulance division.

Salary or Per-Trip Price: The average salary for medical services pilots in Arizona is $72,000, with the potential to make more in large metropolitan areas.


  • Most emergency service or hospital air ambulance divisions offer comprehensive health benefits packages with medical/hospital coverage
  • Supporting emergency medical services can provide intrinsic rewards


  • High stress 
  • High risk  
  • On call for long hours

Military Helicopter Pilot 

Arizona is home to seven military bases. They include bases for the Army, Marines, and Air Force. Military helicopter pilots are part of an elite group of service members who are trained to fly helicopters during times of war and peace. The military has different types of helicopters depending on the branch of service. For example, the Army flies AH-64 Apaches, UH-60 Black Hawks, and more.

Location: Military stations in Arizona, such as the Yuma Proving Ground

Salary or Per-Trip Price: Military pay is based on time in service, job assignment and location. 


  • Job security, health, and housing benefits for you and your family
  • Opportunity to travel the world  
  • Paid education benefits 


  •  Contractual obligations
  •  Possible separation from loved ones for extended periods of time

Law Enforcement Helicopter Pilot 

Law enforcement helicopter pilots, similar to medevac pilots, are at the front line in emergencies. Being a law enforcement helicopter pilot in Arizona is a highly skilled position that requires the ability to maneuver and land in metropolitan areas as well as in remote terrain. Law enforcement helicopter pilots can be employed as a deputy sheriff for a county, as an officer for a city police department, or as an agent for a national organization, like the Border Patrol or the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Location: All major cities in Arizona will have law enforcement helicopter jobs.

Salary or Per-Trip Price: The average annual pay for a law enforcement helicopter pilot in Arizona is $73,000 a year.


  • Job security
  • State and/or federal government benefits, i.e.: paid holidays, 401K matching, etc.
  • Public service career


  •  High-risk environment with exposure to criminal activity

Commercial Helicopter Pilot Requirements in Arizona

To become a commercial helicopter pilot in the state of Arizona you must:

  • Hold a current commercial helicopter pilot certificate
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Read, speak, write, and understand the English language
  • Hold at least a second-class medical certificate
  • Obtain a minimum of 40 hours of helicopter flight training and 10 hours of ground instruction
  • Satisfactorily pass an FAA-required flight test

After all the requirements are completed, you may apply to helicopter jobs within the state.

How Long Does It Take To Become a Commercial Helicopter Pilot? 

The timeframe it takes to become a helicopter pilot depends a lot on how much time you devote to training and where you complete your training. It can take six to 12 months to earn a commercial helicopter pilot certificate from start to finish if you are training full time. For part-time student pilots, a commercial helicopter pilot certificate can take longer, up to 12 to 24 months.

What To Consider When Looking for Helicopter Pilot Jobs

When determining if a helicopter pilot job is right for you, there are several basic questions you should ask: 

1. Does the company offer job security? 

2. What are the safety protocols? 

3. How much will you make? 

4. What is the location of the position? 

Choose the position that best meets your requirements in each of these areas before applying.

Job Security

Helicopter pilot jobs normally come with inherent job security due to the high-demand for skilled and experienced pilots, and the technical skills the job requires, but it is important to understand your potential employer’s industry and operations, as these may affect job security. Job security is important to take into consideration when applying for a helicopter pilot job because you do not want to be stuck looking for a new position, in cases of company closure, bankruptcy, or a recession. Look for long-standing companies that have years of experience hiring and training pilots. Ask current and former employees their opinions or look at reviews online to gauge job security.


It’s important to show that you put safety first in any aviation profession, but especially as a pilot. Safety in the aviation industry should be at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Companies that hire helicopter pilots should be dedicated to the safety of the pilot as well as the passengers. Research the safety protocols of the companies you apply to online or by asking current and former pilots. During your interviews, ask the hiring manager if there are any specific safety protocols you should be aware of before taking the position.


Salary is one of the most important metrics when applying for a new position. Set a guideline for yourself and your family and apply to companies and positions that meet those guidelines. If you are right out of flight school, do not have unrealistic expectations of salary, but find the best position to fit your needs in the short term. The more experience you get, the higher the salary you can ask for. Salaries for helicopter pilot jobs average between between $84,423 and $127,987 a year, or more; however, Arizona helicopter pilots are among the highest paid in the U.S. around $99,546 per year.


When searching for a pilot job, focus on the area you want to live in. Whether that be Arizona or another state, helicopter pilot jobs are everywhere, so choose a location you will be happy to live in for the long term. 

Desert Takeoff

Applying to a new job can be daunting but in Arizona you have options. Choosing the best helicopter job in Arizona for you can be easy if you take into consideration the most important metrics, safety, salary, location, and job security. Learn more about helicopter pilot jobs and stay up to date on the top news in aviation by subscribing to FLYING Magazine.


What are the best Grand Canyon helicopter tour companies?

There are quite a few helicopter tours to choose from near the Grand Canyon. Our top picks are Maverick Helicopters and Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters.

How much do helicopter pilots make?

The average salary of a helicopter pilot in the U.S. is about $94,519 a year. On average, helicopter pilots make anywhere from $80,148 to $121,547 a year

Tue, 02 Aug 2022 14:41:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : Opinion: Education Choice is Benefiting Rural Arizona – Dr. Matthew Ladner

Since 1994, Arizona’s public charter schools have allowed educators to create their own vision of K-12 education and families all across the state – including in rural communities – the opportunity to choose the education that best meets their needs.

According to the 2020 U.S. Census, out of Arizona’s total population of over 7 million people, approximately 340,000 Arizonans live in rural communities. Rural Arizonans have access to 64 public charter schools – more than the total number of charters statewide in 24 states. Of course, all of these states have substantially larger populations than that of rural Arizona.

Arizona families have greater access to education options than any other state, with 22% of the state’s students attending public charters and even more utilizing open enrollment to choose between district schools. Arizona families and educators continue to shape the K-12 space, with low-demand charters closing over time, and growing waitlists at high-demand schools enabling leaders to access capital needed to replicate and/or expand.

Along with increased choice, the academic benefit to students has been substantial. When Stanford scholars linked testing data from across the country, they found that students in Arizona public schools learned more than students in any other state between 2008 and 2018. This was true both overall, for low-income students and for middle- and high-income students.

Arizona has a large number of low-income students, who tend to score lower on standardized tests. Regardless, Arizona students show faster rates of academic improvement than Massachusetts or any other state.

Some argue that public charters harm rural districts, but that hasn’t been the case in Arizona. The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests statewide samples of students in six subjects: 4th and 8th grade Mathematics, practicing and Science. When comparing test scores over time, Arizona’s rural students demonstrated greater improvement on 5 out of the 6 NAEP exams, often by wide margins.

Charter schools are clearly contributing to this improvement. Academic achievement data from the Stanford Educational Opportunity Project shows that, among the 25 rural Arizona charter schools with available scores, 21 met or exceeded the national average in academic growth.

There is, of course, more to charter success than just test scores. While academic achievement is crucial, a diverse offering of schools allows students to attend specialized schools that vary in mission and model – from classical education to the arts, or from STEM to agribusiness and equestrian arts.

As the number of charter schools has increased, Arizona families have more opportunity to select a school that matches their child’s aspirations and needs. When students attend schools that fit, they are happier and learn more. Arizona’s overall academic performance has improved as this process unfolded.

Rural students benefit from choice in education. The evidence is crystal clear after nearly 30 years of charter schools in Arizona.

Wed, 27 Jul 2022 19:14:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : Glastonbury Public Schools Foreign Language Program

Serves students in grades pre-k–12

Program Leader

Rita A. Oleksak, Director, Foreign Languages/ELL

Program Description

The Glastonbury Public Schools' Foreign Language Program in Glastonbury, Connecticut, has been in existence for almost 60 years. The mission is to cultivate students' understanding and appreciation of their own and other cultures and to empower them to communicate and participate successfully as informed citizens in a global society.

In collaboration with the Glastonbury-East Hartford Magnet School (GEHMS), Mandarin Chinese has been phased into the foreign language curriculum (grades pre-k–12) beginning in 2005. In the 2015–2016 school year, 686 students are enrolled in Mandarin Chinese classes in the Glastonbury/GEHMS program. See Mandarin enrollment from 2007 to 2017.

Students in grades pre-k–5 participate in a Foreign Language in Elementary School program that is enriched in an immersion-like environment in learning centers. Students in grades pre-k–1 studying Mandarin Chinese meet for 40 minutes per week; grades 2–5 meet 80 minutes per week; and grades 6–12 meet 45 minutes per day. Below is a brief video that shows how a Chinese teacher uses only Chinese when working with students in a center:

Students in middle and high school have the option of studying two languages in addition to English, and 10 percent of the 7th and 8th grade students study a second language through the elective track. In high school, languages are considered an elective in Connecticut, and students may choose to study a language to meet their graduation requirements; 96 percent of the students at Glastonbury High School study at least one foreign language, 15 percent are studying two, and 10 percent are studying three. Of the top 15 students graduating from Glastonbury High School in June, 13 have noted accomplishments in foreign language as part of their dossiers.

Four full-time teachers teach Mandarin Chinese at GEHMS, Gideon Welles School, Smith Middle School, and Glastonbury High School. All teachers are certified by the State of Connecticut and have met the requirements for World Language Instructor or Elementary Education. Teachers have the opportunity to attend state, regional, and national conferences. There is also a strong Chinese teacher network in Connecticut, and Glastonbury's teachers have made connections through STARTALK teacher training and professional development opportunities. The district offers targeted professional development in the areas of 21st-century skills, iPAD integration, and content-based instruction. Curriculum development opportunities are provided regularly for the Chinese teachers to come together and discuss Topics of mutual interest.

A number of factors promote the success of the program. There is strong collaboration and networking among teachers across languages and levels within the Glastonbury school system; the district embraces a standards-based approach delivered through thematic units and backwards design; and opportunities to grow and expand are the result of coordination among the district curriculum team, STARTALK initiatives, Asia Society, and ACTFL, all of which have helped to shape and define the program.

One challenge is finding time to bring the Chinese teachers from the different levels together to discuss curriculum, instruction, and assessment in an articulated program. The goal is that each of the six district elementary schools will offer Mandarin Chinese. There is strong belief in the district that what is offered in one elementary school should be offered in all elementary schools.

Program Features

Exchange Program

Students enrolled in every language offered at Glastonbury High School have the opportunity to participate in a two-way reciprocal exchange experience. The Glastonbury/China exchange was established in 2005, and the 2016–2017 school year will be the fifth reciprocal exchange between Tai'an No. 1 Middle School in Shandong Province and Glastonbury High School. Tai'an #1 Middle School, located near Mount Tai in Tai'an, has approximately 3,000 students and 200 teachers. (Students from Tai'an typically visit Glastonbury in conjunction with Chinese New Year and combine the visit with their vacation to avoid missing too much school, given the pressure of high-stakes testing in China. Glastonbury students visit China for two weeks during spring vacation in April.) While in China, in addition to class visits at the school, students participate in many excursions, which include a tour of Beijing and Shanghai and a visit to Xian. The video below shows activities at the state's sister province, Shandong, where Tai’an #1 Middle School is located.

External Assessments

The program uses the following assessments:

  • ACTFL Assessment of Performance Towards Proficiency in Languages (AAPPL): Interpersonal Listening and Speaking (ILS). All 8th grade students studying Mandarin Chinese participate in this test. Student scores range from N3 to I1.
  • Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK) or the Chinese Proficiency Test: Glastonbury is a host site for this test. Each year, Glastonbury High School students show steadily increasing proficiency.
  • Oral Proficiency Interview Computerized (OPIc): All seniors studying Mandarin Chinese participate in this speaking proficiency exam. Student scores continue to rise within the intermediate range, from intermediate low to mid to high, peaking into advanced.
  • Writing Proficiency Test (WPT): All seniors studying Mandarin Chinese in high school participate in this writing proficiency exam. Student scores continue to rise within the intermediate range, from intermediate low to mid to high, peaking into advanced.

Review results from these assessments.


Glastonbury is entering its 10th very successful year of summer Chinese STARTALK student and teacher programs for grades 1–12. Each year the curriculum is based on a different theme, which becomes the focus for the summer immersion program. STARTALK principles are intertwined with ACTFL's World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages. Use of the target language and authentic materials are hallmarks of the Glastonbury/STARTALK program.

Learn more about the program for different grades:

Community Outreach and Collaboration

Glastonbury Public Schools has had a longstanding partnership with the University of Connecticut, NEAG School of Education to provide opportunities for student teaching and internships as well as professional development for teachers.

Glastonbury teachers regularly present at state, regional and national conferences, including Central Connecticut State University's (CCSU) spring language conference. The Director and Mandarin Chinese teachers work together with the Confucius Institute at CCSU to provide field trip experiences for students to celebrate Confucius Day and the Chinese New Year.

Local heritage language schools collaborate with Glastonbury to provide materials and native language expertise in the classes.

Awards and Recognition

Glastonbury Public Schools was one of the first cohorts of 20 schools to be recognized as a Confucius Classroom in 2009.

In 2015, a Glastonbury High School graduate was honored as a student ambassador by the 100K Strong Foundation. This recognition is for U.S. students who are studying Mandarin or have studied in China, and they share their transformative China experiences with both their peers and stakeholders in their local communities. This student is also teaching in the STARTALK elementary school program in the summer, 2016.

In the 2015–2016 school year, Jen Lin, a high school teacher, was selected by Asia Society to participate in the Chinese Language Teaching Fellow project. A lesson that she taught was videotaped and will be featured on the Asia Society website.

Program Contact

Rita A. Oleksak, Director of Foreign Languages/ELL

Fri, 17 Jun 2016 13:38:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : Arizona's expanded school voucher system shares less data about users than other states' programs cannot provide a good user experience to your browser. To use this site and continue to benefit from our journalism and site features, please upgrade to the latest version of Chrome, Edge, Firefox or Safari.

Sun, 24 Jul 2022 01:00:00 -0500 en-US text/html
Killexams : What A Difference A State Makes

My nephew Steve recently informed me that he and his wife Andrea – lifelong New Yorkers –want to move west. Highest on their list of priorities for a future home is fulfilling the educational needs of their kids, 5-year-old Danny and 4-year-old Molly. Having lived in the Golden State for almost 40 years, they sought my advice. The conversation went something like this:

Steve: So how are the schools in your neck of the woods?

Me: Well, looking at the big picture, not very good. Just 34% of California 4th-graders scored proficient in math on the pre-pandemic 2019 NAEP, placing the state 44th nationwide. And now, due to the teacher union-orchestrated school shutdowns, math scores of California’s 8th-graders show they have the knowledge and skills of 5th-graders, according to an analysis of the state’s 2021 Smarter Balanced test. California also has the lowest literacy rate in the country. That may be due in part to our large immigrant population, but other similar states like Texas, Arizona and Florida have fewer illiterates.

Steve: But I’ve heard the state doesn’t spend enough money on education. Is that true?

Me: Nope. Before the latest barrage of post-pandemic money, California was in the middle of the spending pack nationally, yet we’re way below average in student proficiency. And people are noticing. Between the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years, public school enrollment in California dropped by more than 175,000 students.

Steve: But wasn’t that due to the pandemic?

Me: Okay, yeah, in part. But the pandemic alerted many to the power of the California Teachers Association, the most powerful teachers union in the country. In March 2021, the U.S. Department of Education released data showing that California lagged behind almost every other state in the country in reopening schools, largely at the insistence of CTA. People took note and according to a recent poll, Californians are the least supportive of local teachers’ unions than voters in any other state polled – with 29% of voters viewing teachers unions negatively. Several studies have shown that Covid-related school shutdowns occurred more frequently in states and municipalities with strong teachers unions.

Steve: Sounds like the teachers unions aren’t really for the kids, huh?

Me: Ya think! At the union’s behest, firing bad teachers is just about impossible. In fact, ten years ago, a case was brought against CTA, claiming that on average, just 2.2 of the state’s 300,000 teachers (0.0008 percent) were dismissed for unprofessional conduct or unsatisfactory performance in any given year. Compare that to 8 percent of employees in the private sector dismissed annually for cause.

Steve: So basically, you’re saying that there are maybe 24,000 teachers who have no business in the classroom?

Me: Yes, and the bad news about CTA doesn’t stop there. In March, the union hosted a gathering in Los Angeles titled “2022 Equity & Human Rights Conference.” The purpose of the meeting was to ensure that teachers stressed the important things to children. No, not the three Rs, but rather diversity, equity and gender studies.

Steve: Gender studies? Uh, I’ve heard about that. But Danny is a traditional boy who likes riding his bike in the mud and Molly is a girl who likes to dress up her dolls. And Andrea and I are just fine with that.

Me: Hah! Say that in a school in Weirdifornia and you might be arrested as a Neanderthal. In fact, in much of the state your kids can be brainwashed on sexual and gender matters, and you’ll never know about it. In Ventura, for example, lawyers recently gave a webinar which gave teachers suggestions on how to encourage their students to embrace a new gender identity without their parents finding out. Also, at a CTA conference in October 2021, teachers were advised on “best practices for subverting parents, conservative communities and school principals on issues of gender identity and sexual orientation.” And late last year, AB 1184, a bill cosponsored by Planned Parenthood, became law. This “prohibits insurance companies from revealing to the policyholder the ‘sensitive services’ of anyone on their policy, including minor children (starting at age 12), even though the policy owner is financially responsible for the services.” The term “sensitive services” refers to all health care services related to mental or behavioral health, sexual and reproductive health, sexually transmitted infections, substance use disorder, gender affirming care, etc. The bill doesn’t detail the kindly sounding “gender affirming care,” but as defined by the University of California, San Francisco, it’s hormone therapy and a laundry list of surgeries including vaginectomy, scrotoplasty, voice modification, etc., ad nauseam.

Steve: I’m speechless! Is there any time left to teach – I don’t know – math?

Me: Oh yes! But not in a way you would recognize. Still a work in progress, the new state math framework has not been finalized yet. One version had suggested that finding the right answer “and showing your work” is a symbol of white supremacy. Social justice reigns supreme in the state, you see. Another iteration of the framework stressed “student-led instruction.” But it’s been shown repeatedly that direct instruction led by a qualified teacher is more effective in teaching the subject. The only good news is that as of June 30, thanks to public outcry, the state Department of Education temporarily postponed adoption of the framework. But we do have AB 101 on the books. It requires all California high school students to take a one-semester ethnic studies class to graduate, starting in the 2029-2030 school year. While the state has issued a controversial model curriculum, it will be up to each individual school district to determine content. With 1,037 districts in the state, school board meetings over the next few years will be bloody battlegrounds.

Steve: Somehow, California, isn’t looking real appealing to me right now. Who’s in charge of the mess?

Me: That would be state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, who is in the pocket of CTA. Need I say more?

Steve: No, please don’t. Is there any good news?

Me: Yes! But it’s in Arizona. Its public education system is not world class, but it beats California in almost every category. And most importantly, the legislature has just passed a universal Educational Savings Account (ESA) bill. When Gov. Doug Ducey’s signs HB 2853 into law, every family in Arizona will be eligible for the program. Participants will receive about $6,400 per year per child, which can be used at the parents’ discretion for private school, homeschooling, learning pods, tutoring, or any other kinds of educational services that best fit their kids’ needs outside the traditional public school system. Any family that wishes to opt out of their local public school – or who already has – would be allowed to join the ESA program under the bill. In brief, this ESA ensures that all families have the freedom to choose whatever form of education best fits their child’s needs.

Steve: Wow! That’s terrific! But doesn’t a set-up like that cost taxpayers more money?

Me: To the contrary. As the Goldwater Institute explains, “…the ESA program costs roughly $6,400 for a typical student, compared to the more than $11,000 that state and local taxpayers spend on each public school student (not even counting the cost of federal spending on top of that. Each time a student leaves a public school for an ESA, over $600 is immediately added back to the public school system, even though it no longer serves that child—which means there is more money for public school students on a per-pupil basis, thanks to the ESA program.”

Steve: I’m speechless. Who could be against such a program?

Me: I’ll provide you one guess.

Steve: The teachers union?

Me: You’re catching on, Steve! The Arizona Teachers Association insists that programs like this “take scarce funding from public schools, are rooted in racism, and don’t provide parents real choice.” This should tell you that teachers unions excel at one thing.

Steve: Which is?

Me: Lying.

Steve: I think my mind’s been made up.

Me: One last thing. I need to stress that not all schools and teachers in California are bad. Some are wonderful, in fact. But what happens if you get less than wonderful teachers for Danny and Molly? You’d probably send them to a private school, which means you’ll also still be taxed by the state even though your kids are not in a government school. In Arizona, you only pay once, and have a choice as to who gets your tax dollars.

Steve: Thanks, Unc! Grand Canyon State, here we come!

First published at For Kids and Country.

Wed, 06 Jul 2022 02:51:00 -0500 en text/html
Killexams : National Imperative for Language Learning

By Anthony W. Jackson, Charles E. M. Kolb, and John I. Wilson

Originally published in Education Week.

Over the years, our education system has frequently addressed societal changes. As immigration transformed U.S. cities, “assimilation” became the goal. The civil rights movement’s mantra became “access.” Since A Nation at Risk, our commitment to excellence and equity has targeted “achievement.”

Then the Internet and rapid globalization introduced new challenges. In matters of economic development, national security, and environmental sustainability, what we do as a nation and in our everyday lives is increasingly, inextricably intertwined with what governments, businesses, and individuals do beyond our borders. To prepare our youths to thrive, our educational agenda must once again adapt, this time to nurture “global competence.”

Yet global competence is an area where most American classrooms are falling short. Consider a class of children entering kindergarten in the United States. While their classes may include students from around the world, global issues and cultures will not be regularly woven into their schoolwork. They will probably study only one language—English—until high school, even though they would learn a second language far more easily if they began in elementary school. Meanwhile, 20 out of 25 industrialized countries start teaching world languages in grades K-5, and 21 countries in the European Union require nine years of language study. International business leaders are warning that American graduates may be technically competent but are increasingly culturally deprived and linguistically illiterate compared with graduates from other countries competing for the same jobs.

And we cannot simply assume that English will remain the world’s dominant language. A recent survey of Internet users, by language, shows that Chinese is rapidly approaching English as the most used language of the Internet. It is clear that, rather than encouraging linguistic uniformity, communications technologies like the Internet and the smartphone are creating a vast and increasingly diverse public sphere where a multiplicity of languages and points of view will continue to proliferate.

Unlike the days of the Second World War or the Cold War, the explosive growth of new communications and transportation technologies means that governments must now share their decisionmaking power with an increasingly complex web of stakeholders. This case was made forcefully in July of last year at a Capitol Hill policy briefing by former U.S. Ambassador to Russia James Collins. Collins noted that during the Cold War, “we dealt with 12 people in the Politburo in Moscow. Now in the same region, we deal with 300 to 400 million people, all of whom expect to participate in the dialogue.”

It is not simply the case that other nations’ global competitiveness is enhanced by their workers’ proficiency in a specific language, but rather that their young people gain a competitive and cognitive advantage by their access to the remarkable skill set that comes with being multilingual. Research and experience show convincingly that language learning makes students better in the basics—both math and literacy—and it is high time that Americans were no longer bound by their linguistic limits.

Regrettably, only 25 percent of elementary schools in the United States offered any world languages in 2008, down from 31 percent in 1997. American secondary schools, of course, offer more opportunities, yet involvement remains distressingly low; currently, only half of all American high school students take even one year of a world language. It is not surprising, then, that a 2007 report from the National Academy of Sciences warned, “The pervasive lack of knowledge of foreign languages and cultures threatens the security of the United States as well as its ability to compete in the global marketplace and produce an informed citizenry.” Beyond the clear economic and professional advantages of achieving facility in a language other than English, learning languages gives tremendous insight into other cultures.

Contemporary world-language instruction goes well beyond the teaching of verb tense—effective language programs in schools today introduce students to the cultures, societies, and communication strategies of speakers in the target language. In learning about culture and society, students not only learn the specifics of those countries or regions, but also develop a set of skills that will enable them to better understand and adapt to other cultures more generally. America’s increasing diversity demands the opportunity for our students to develop those linguistic and cultural skills that people in every other part of the world receive as a core part of their academic programs.

Despite the challenges, there are pockets of excellence in American schools and college campuses, where students achieve levels of proficiency that would enable them to function in a global professional environment. With the pending reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or ESEA, it is a critical time for members of Congress to understand that multilingualism is not an option, but an obligation, for the rising generation of Americans.

Responding to this challenge, U.S. Reps. Rush Holt, D-N.J., and Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., introduced the Excellence and Innovation in Language Learning Act in the recently concluded 111th Congress. The bill proposed measures to ensure that every young American is provided with the opportunity to become proficient in a second language within a generation. This legislation should be reintroduced as the 112th Congress gets to work and the reauthorization of the ESEA moves forward.

The Holt-Tonko bill would:

  • Provide support for the U.S. Department of Education to play a leadership role through coordinating with the departments of State, Defense, and Commerce to ensure that national security and economic needs are met; disseminating research-based best practices; encouraging innovative technology platforms; and providing study-abroad opportunities for students and teachers;
  • Establish a stronger state role through state-foreign-language and international-education councils that bring together economic and educational sectors to assess needs; stimulate expansion of research-based practices and innovations; and address the shortage of world-language teachers; and
  • Support partnerships at the local level to stimulate and expand effective programs in a wider range of world languages and cultures, starting in the early grades.

Our students deserve an education that prepares them to be global citizens—and proficiency in at least one language other than English is a critical part of this preparation. Now is the time to make this critical investment in the future of American leadership, prosperity, and national security. Second-language learning not only enhances the global competitiveness of the United States and the global competence of individual American students, it also helps students to learn their first language more effectively and deeply, and gives them access to a larger palette of colors with which to paint their world.

Essential in the formula for a world-class education is an urgent need for schools to produce students who actually know something about the world—its cultures and languages, and how its economic, environmental, and social systems work. Language learning is a central part of what high-performing nations are doing to make their students and their societies globally competitive—virtually all of the highest-performing nations on the recent Program for International Student Assessment exam require second-language learning. At this defining moment in American education, we sell ourselves short if we do not strive for schools that prepare students for an interconnected world driven by the demands and opportunities of globalization.

Anthony W. Jackson is the vice president for education at Asia Society, in New York City. Charles E. M. Kolb is the president of the Committee for Economic Development, based in Washington. John I. Wilson is the executive director of the National Education Association, also in Washington.

Thu, 15 Dec 2011 01:15:00 -0600 en text/html
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