Wright State University’s enrollment is expected to hit its lowest point in more than a decade this coming academic year.
Higher Education News
Ask anyone in America what they would expect to see when walking through an American high school, and the last thing they’d probably say is a group of students building a house! Yet that’s exactly what goes on each and every day at the Academy of Construction and Design (ACAD), located at the Integrated Design & Electronics Academy (IDEA) Public Charter School in Washington, D.C.
Late last month, the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Labor were privileged to visit this school. During the visit, several high level officials had the opportunity to see this innovative high school apprenticeship program in action.
The trip was initially arranged to help give officials insight into what makes great Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs tick in light of the President’s Fiscal Year 2018 Budget, which requests an additional $20 million to promote innovative CTE programs in STEM fields through CTE National Programs.
“We wanted to see a program on the ground,” said James Manning, Acting Under Secretary of Education. “We want to learn what is working, what challenges are being encountered, and in what ways the Department of Education might be helpful.”
Most of our nation’s apprenticeships are housed in our postsecondary education system, but we know that to truly prepare our workforce, it’s imperative that we begin at the high school level. This is ACAD’s goal.
It doesn’t feel like a traditional school — it has a business oriented environment everywhere you look. We saw a garden that the students maintained, complete with a rain water catcher apparatus that they had built themselves. We saw work rooms and classrooms that were built to educate students to engage in hands-on careers.
And that house that the students were building? It was actually the school’s second, with the goal of ultimately selling it once finished.
At the visit’s conclusion, students, administrators, and private sector supporters engaged in a discussion focusing on the positive effects of this program on students’ lives and how parents need to see CTE as an opportunity for them. Roderic L.Woodson, advisor to the DC Students Construction Trades Foundation and Partner of Holland & Knight, remarked that “too many of our young people have lost sight of the opportunity that comes with building trades and skills that will help them build a life around these careers and a future.”
And the results aren’t just academic – graduates of ACAD are already experiencing the impact that this high-quality program can have on their lives.
During the visit, officials had the opportunity to meet Treymane Chatman, a 2014 ACAD graduate who is currently a carpentry apprentice and will be moving into a full-time role within the carpentry profession later this month. Treymane shared that, as a result of ACAD, he came into the apprenticeship with the skills and knowledge to hit the ground running and handle everything he was asked to do. Treymane hopes to have a general contracting corporation one day and the skills he learned at ACAD and during his apprenticeship will help him get there.
Sam Ryan is Youth Liaison in the Office of Communications and Outreach at the U.S. Department of Education
The post Apprenticeship Program Helps Students Find And Fund Their Passions appeared first on ED.gov Blog.
Every student in the United States deserves a great education. And, every parent in this country – regardless of background, income or zip code – deserves the right to choose the school that is best for his or her child.
To achieve that goal, Secretary DeVos has called for “a transformation that will open up America’s education system.” If we’re going to meet the diverse needs of today’s learners, we need fresh thinking and innovative approaches. There’s plenty we can learn from other countries, as they strive to prepare their students for 21st century realities.
Those lessons were the subject of a recent briefing at the Department – the first of a new series of learning sessions the Secretary has launched, focused on effective, student-centered education. The speaker was Andreas Schleicher, Director of Education and Skills for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Schleicher’s message was simple: Around the world, nations are finding that choice programs can and do contribute to better results for students. If we want school choice to promote equity and excellence for all students, we need to keep it real, relevant, and meaningful. And, we need to ensure parents have the information and support they need to make the right decision for their kids.
Schleicher cites England as an example of a country that’s taken a proactive approach to sharing information with parents about school choice. Here in the United States, several districts – including New Orleans and Denver, which the Secretary highlighted in remarks at the Brookings Institution – provide families transparent access to the information they need to make sound choices on behalf of their children.
“As a parent, you can’t take advantage of a choice you don’t know exists,” said Secretary DeVos in her remarks to Brookings. “We need to find ways of better connecting citizens to the information they need.”
Schleicher also emphasized the fact that countries that provided more autonomy at the school level saw greater student achievement. When those closest to the problem – teachers, parents and administrators – were given greater decision-making power to find solutions, the data showed that students performed at much higher levels.
Some OECD countries, like the Netherlands and Belgium, are implementing safeguards on the national level to increase choice, quality and opportunity for all students, regardless of background. They’re instituting weighted-student funding formulas, which ensure funding follows each student to the school they choose to attend, and calculate the amount provided based on his or her educational and economic needs. This type of funding promotes equity, transparency and flexibility.
Another key point of Schleicher’s is similar to the situation in the United States. Just like every state faces different educational challenges and opportunities, Schleicher asserts that one country can’t just “cut and paste” another’s system. That’s why, in recognition of this reality, the Every Student Succeeds Act allows each state the flexibility to find creative solutions that work best for that state.
We can all learn from Schleicher’s presentation of the facts surrounding choice and innovation in education throughout the world. To learn more, click here.
The post What the World Can Teach Us: International Lessons on Choice and Innovation in Education appeared first on ED.gov Blog.