America is Secretly Number One Internationally in Education

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Reposted from the Hill’s Congress Blog:

A new Columbia University study by Michael Rebell and Jessica Wolff has found that the United States outperforms every single country in the world when controlling for schools with a child poverty rate of less than 20 percent. While noted education experts have started to come out against standardized testing in response to the U.S.’s supposedly abysmal performance, perhaps a new takeaway should be drawn. Namely, our “education” problem is really a problem of poverty.

Given the United States’ huge education budget, it may seem baffling that schools would need even more money, but consider how funding is dispersed in the United States. Nearly half of school revenue comes from local property taxes, meaning per-student spending increases with more affluent neighborhoods. For example, in Philadelphia, poor school districts would need an additional $1 billion to have the same funding as the rich public schools.

Even school districts contribute to making poor schools poorer. Research from Education Next suggests that districts do not distribute education resources equally between schools even when they are serving the same kids. Poorer schools tend to have more junior — and thus less experienced — teachers and produce lower test scores. Those failing schools often lose federal funding once again due to their poor scores. The cycle continues…

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2015’s Fifty Happiest Companies to Work For

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Reposted from CareerBliss:

CareerBliss CEO and Chief Happiness Officer Heidi Golledge says: “Each year, CareerBliss evaluates the companies dedicated to creating happier work environments. This year we saw a surge of STEM-related companies (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) ranking in the top 10. As we evaluate the factors that impact happiness such as growth opportunity and company culture, it is also important to understand what type of industries are creating happier work environments overall.”

Ranking No.1 this year is the multi-national medical device, pharmaceutical and consumer packaged goods manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson. Following Johnson & Johnson is Broadcom, Chevron, and for the second year in a row Texas Instruments, followed by McAfee at No. 5, Google at No. 6, then Intuit, Adobe, Amgen and SAP AG to round out the top 10. Voted Happiest Company in America in 2014, Pfizer dropped steeply from their No. 1 position, not even making the top 50 for 2015. Moving up the list was Google, climbing from a ranking of No. 21 last year to No. 6 this year. In a surprising fall, Apple ranked No. 14 last year but dropped to No. 50 for 2015.

“It is important to see how workplaces are constantly evolving and changing. Creating happiness at work is a very fluid process, building and adapting to a changing workforce, while accounting for the key factors that create happier environments,” says Golledge. CareerBliss Adviser Bradley Brummel, who has a Ph.D. in workplace psychology, adds, “Not only do these industries pay well, but employees in STEM-related companies are happier in these jobs overall. This may reflect the positive features in the type of jobs these companies offer, but it also might reflect the fact that employees with these skills have lots of choices of whom to work for. This means the companies have to keep them happy to keep them at the company.”

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How to take Public Ed to the Next Level and Generate $225 Trillion

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Reposted from Forbes:

We set out to determine the costs and benefits of taking U.S. schoolkids from their middling global rankings to top five in the world, as measured by math scores and rates for high school graduation, college entry and four-year college completion.

There’s no other way to put this: The resulting numbers were big. Really big.The investment required to implement all five would run somewhere in the neighborhood of $6.2 trillion, spread over 20 years. Or $310 billion a year in today’s dollars. And the payoff, as calculated by factoring in all those additional, better-skilled high school and college graduates on our national GDP? Almost $225 trillion, spread over an 80-year time horizon, which incorporates an entire generation’s professional achievement.

There are, of course, numerous assumptions in this exercise, from the political (school leadership gains would require new collective bargaining agreements in many states) to implementation (initial forays into universal pre-K have produced results well short of our expectations). But we did encourage the researchers to be conservative in their approach. The blended-learning assumptions forecast none of the personnel or textbook cost savings that would almost surely come from having students learning in part via online tools. Teacher efficacy focuses solely on recruiting great new teachers, versus removing lousy ones. And so on…

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Teaching Conditions State-by-State

Reposted from WalletHub:1j

It’s no surprise that the high turnover rate within education has been likened to a revolving door. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about a fifth of all newly minted public school teachers leave their positions before the end of their first year. And almost half never last more than five.

But besides inadequate compensation, other problems persist in the academic environment. Teachers, especially novices, move to other schools or abandon the profession “as the result of feeling overwhelmed, ineffective, and unsupported,” according to the ASCD. And without good teachers who are not only paid reasonably but also treated fairly, the quality of American education suffers.

In light of World Teachers Day on Oct. 5, WalletHub analyzed the 50 states and the District of Columbia to ease the process of finding the best teaching opportunities in the country. We did so by examining 18 key metrics, ranging from median starting salary to teacher job openings per capita. The results of our study, as well as additional insight from experts and a detailed methodology, can be found here.

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Daniel Pink: We Have a Poverty Problem More Than An Education Problem [VIDEO 3:23]

“Our poor kids do better than the low-income kids in other countries. Alright? We just happen to have, disgracefully, a heck of a lot of poor kids. THAT’s the problem we should be addressing. I lose sleep over the size of child poverty and poverty in general in this country. I don’t lose sleep if we were ranked 24th or 17th. I wish we were number one, but the real issue here is what do we do to address the kids we are systematically leaving behind.”

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Which Social Networks Should You Care About in 2014?

Which Social Networks Should You Care About in 2014?

“Social networks are the one place where people share the things they are most passionate about. Whether is is sharing an exciting piece of content or responding to something provocative, emotions drive behaviour online. Seeking to connect with their audience, I often see social marketers making decisions about content or conversation strategies, based around emotion rather than facts.

Successful strategies should be built upon interpreting accurate insight from your audience – and not from any assumptions or “gut feelings.” And the brands with the best understanding, will always have the most passionate and engaged audiences.”

-Jeremy Waite