Higher Education News
Have you ever wondered about pursuing a federal career? Are you interested in public service? Would you like to gain valuable work experience and help move the needle on education issues in this country?
The Department of Education may have opportunities that match your interests – and we’re currently accepting applications for interns!
Our Department is a place where you can explore fields like education policy, education law, business and finance, research and analysis, intergovernmental relations and public affairs, or traditional and digital communications, all while learning about the role federal government plays in education.
Our interns also participate in professional development sessions and events outside of the office, such as lunches with ED and other government officials, movie nights, and tours of the Capitol, Supreme Court and other local sights.
One of the many advantages of interning at ED is our proximity to some of the most historic and celebrated sites in our nation’s capital, all accessible by walking or taking the Metro.
ED is accepting applications for Summer 2017 internships through March 15, 2017
If you are interested in interning during the upcoming term, there are three things you must send in order to be considered for an interview:
- A cover letter summarizing why you wish to work at ED and stating your previous experiences in the field of education, if any. Include which particular offices interest you. (But, keep in mind that – due to the volume of applications we receive – if we accept you as an intern we may not be able to place you in your first-choice office.)
- An updated resumé.
- A completed copy of the Intern Application.
Prospective interns should send these three documents in one email to StudentInterns@ed.gov with the subject line formatted as follows: Last Name, First Name: Summer Intern Application.
(Note: For candidates also interested in applying specifically to the Office of General Counsel, please see application requirements here.)
An internship at ED is one of the best ways students can learn about education policy and working in the civil service. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to develop crucial workplace skills that will help you in whatever career path you choose. And, it’s an opportunity to meet fellow students who share your passion for education, learning, and engagement.
Click here for more information or to get started on your application today.
De’Rell Bonner is a special assistant and youth liaison in the Office of Communications and Outreach at the U.S. Department of Education.
Eight incredible student leaders joined in conversation with Secretary John King and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Strategic Initiatives (DAS), Ary Amerikaner on November 16th, 2016. Students shared their experiences in well-rounded education programs in their own schools, and why these types of programs are important. Student input drove the conversation, as Secretary King and Deputy Assistant Secretary Amerikaner discussed how these students’ experience can help us here at ED support schools and communities as we work to implement ESSA. The session allowed students to discuss issues of funding and inadequate resources that typically bar school districts from implementing or expanding well-rounded education programs. Most importantly, all were able to discuss concrete goals as they continue their work to provide a quality and rigorous educational experience for students across the country.
The student group ran the gamut from well-rounded education programs that included local committees on education and curriculum, expansion of arts and culture programming, and social justice initiatives for youth. Donovan Taveras from Brooklyn, NY addressed the inequality and prejudice present in his school community. These injustices interfered with the students’ academic experience and created a school environment not conducive to learning. Donovan felt compelled to speak out to right the wrongs of his school community. He campaigned for his school’s first Gay Straight Alliance organization to rid school districts of heavy policing and work toward the desegregation of all schools.
Like Donovan, all students in attendance had a unique story about how they have taken the initiative to voice their concerns about the popular opinions of their schools and surrounding communities. For many, these voices were found through their well-rounded education programs, as a result of empowering and supportive teacher mentors.
Bethany Forbes and Suni Lesu attend Vista High School in California. “Exploring passions allows students to apply what they are learning to the world around them,” the two explained. They’ve used this sentiment to discuss issues close to their hearts, especially standardized testing. Bethany and Suni remain unconvinced that standardized tests are indicators of a student’s success, as they don’t really assess creativity and innovation, two qualities the two students see as being integral to success in the modern world. The Student Voices Session provided an outlet for Bethany and Suni to voice their concerns to two powerful and influential leaders in the field of education. This in and of itself was empowering to Bethany and Suni, as well as the other student leaders at the table.
In a similar fashion, Aszana Lopez-Bell identified the gap in her social studies curriculum regarding cultural competence. Aszana asserted that topics of importance or relevance to modern society are largely ignored from the social studies curriculum. She initiated the Culture Club at the Baltimore School for the Arts that encourage students to be more aware of the world around them.
As student leaders, they continue to be peer mentors and resources for their classmates, as they truly feel it is their responsibility to shape the world they live in. These students’ achievements offer great input to national education leaders in their quest to provide for America’s students in the implementation of education policy.
This session was a part of the ongoing “Student Voices series at the Department through which students engage with senior staff members to help develop recommendations on current and future education programs and policies.
Emily Surman, American University, OCO intern and Samuel Ryan, Youth Liaison, OCO
The post Students Leading the Way on Finding the Right Balance with Well-rounded Education appeared first on ED.gov Blog.
The Arts in Education (AIE) Program supports nationwide efforts to improve schools in and through the arts as part of a well-rounded education for all students. AIE’s grants and technical assistance support a variety of organizations including school districts, non-profit organizations, and other entities through three grant categories: Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination (AEMDD), Professional Development for Arts Educators (PDAE), and Arts in Education National Program (AENP).
In Fiscal Year 2017, the AIE Program is preparing a competition for grants in accordance with its authorization under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), under Section 4642, Assistance for Arts Education, and Subpart 4—Academic Enrichment, which allows for awards to “promote arts education for students, including disadvantaged students and students who are children with disabilities through such activities as:
- professional development for arts educators, teachers, and principals;
- development and dissemination of accessible instructional materials and arts-based educational programming, including online resources, in multiple arts disciplines; and
- community and national outreach activities that strengthen and expand partnerships among schools, local educational agencies, communities, or centers for the arts, including national centers for the arts.”
View the complete details on the Assistance for Arts Education section of ESSA.
The AIE Program is accepting comments from stakeholders interested in the new competition until Monday, January 9, 2017. Please send them by email to: AIEcompetition@ed.gov.
Learn more about the AIE program.
The post Arts in Education Program Seeking Input for 2017 Competition appeared first on ED.gov Blog.
Last week, I attended the White House Convening on Better, Fewer and Fairer Assessments. The event coincided with the release of final rules by the Department to guide states in administering annual assessments as required by the Every Student Succeeds Act, and the regulations build on the President’s 2015 Testing Action Plan. While these actions are critical, positive steps in ensuring high quality assessments in our classrooms, I think there are three simple lessons from my classroom that can be used to further this work:
- Teachers need more time and resources to develop assessments- This should extend to in-class assessments as well as standardized tests. However, in order for this to happen, teachers need the time and tools to master the craft of assessment development. Teachers rarely receive quality training this area; a 2012 study by the National Council on Teacher Quality found that only one percent of pre-service programs adequately address how to analyze assessments in individual or collaborative settings. In addition, teachers need more time to plan and collaborate on assessment design. The 2013 Teaching and Learning International Survey of teaching in 35 industrialized nations found American teachers spent the most hours per week in direct instructional settings and had some of the least time for planning and collaboration. This factor presents a significant barrier for teachers seeking to create high quality assessments that include multiple measures of student learning.
- Tests must be a reasonable length– In my classes, I have never imposed rigid time caps on tests because I’m more interested in assessing student knowledge instead of how quickly they can finish, but assessment design should ensure adequate time to demonstrate content mastery without making the assessment an endurance test. Unfortunately, standardized tests often fall short in this area. In the past, I have witnessed students working on a standardized assessment for over four hours straight without a break, with some students continuing to test beyond the end of the school day. This type of test design is simply unacceptable and not in the best interest of students.
- Tests must provide formative feedback, not just summative- Four years ago, I implemented a new testing program in my classes. If a student scored below a “C” on a test, I would let them re-take the questions they missed after tutoring with me. Doing so allowed the student to improve their grade, but, more importantly, it allowed them to increase content mastery. This program has resulted in substantial gains in student performance, because unit tests are now both summative and formative tools to identify areas of student weakness in order to foster growth. However, schools often receive limited diagnostic feedback from standardized test results, and the limited results provided often don’t arrive until after student schedules for the next year are developed. These factors prevent testing data from meaningfully informing instruction and class placement. A colleague once told me that, “If data cannot be used to drive instruction, then it’s not worth anything,” and too often assessment data is not received quickly enough to inform instructional practices. Fair and high quality assessments need to be tools for continued learning, not just measures of past learning.
The post Transforming Assessment into Great Learning Experiences appeared first on ED.gov Blog.