Gallup Poll’s 2013 State of America Schools report

Since the early 1970s, Gallup has reported the results on their annual survey of American education. This year’s report includes findings from:

  • more than 600,000 5th- to 12th-grade students participated in the survey
  • results from Gallup’s decade-long study of exceptional teachers and principals are included

Here are the highlights of the 2013 survey and report.

  • Just 33% (1 in 3)  students scored highly on all three factors linked to success at school and beyond: hope, engagement, and well being.
  • Emotional engagement is the heartbeat of the education (learning) process.
  • Less than half of students strongly agree that they get to do what they do best every day, leading to boredom and frustration as their greatest talents go undeveloped.
  • Within the first five years on the job, between 40% and 50% of teachers leave the profession. A lack of autonomy needed to effectively use their talents plays a significant role in these turnover rates.
  • Nearly 70% of teachers are not engaged in their work. While teachers compare favorably to other U.S. workers in agreeing they are able to do what they do best every day – they are last among 12 occupational groups studied when it comes to feeling their opinions count at work.
  • Just 19% of Americans agree that the country’s high school graduates are ready for college, and only 17% say graduates are prepared to join the labor force.
  • Just as exceptional teachers help students stay emotionally invested in the learning process, great principals provide the support that teachers and other staff members need to achieve high levels of performance.
  • Many U.S. school districts struggle with a lack of adequate school board leadership; only 37% of superintendents strongly agree that their districts are well-governed at the board level.
  • Young adults who say they had frequent opportunities in their last year of school to develop real-world problem-solving skills are about twice as likely as those who disagree to report higher-quality work lives.
  • Securing three simple rights for students can change the trajectory of their lives:
    1. They feel they have someone who cares about their development;
    2. They are able to do what they like to do each day;
    3. They are able to do what they do best every day.

You can download the entire 47-page report  here.

I am struck with how tightly this couples with M. Night Shyamalan’s findings in his excellent book, I Got Schooled. By clicking on that title in the tags below, you can find summaries of his five practices that lead to success in the classroom.

Kids science projects are now life-changing ideas

Science projects are no longer just about poster boards and papier-mâché volcanoes.

With prestigious competitions like the Google Science Fair and the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, millions of entrepreneurial students are showcasing their talents and gaining national recognition for their work. From bioplastics made from banana peels to new treatments against influenza, today’s science projects by children and teenagers have turned into life-changing ideas.

Click here to see nine recent award-winning science projects from some of the brightest and youngest minds out there.

 

How Increasing Income Inequality Is Dampening U.S. Economic Growth, And Possible Ways To Change The Tide

 

Here is an overview from recent Standard & Poor’s economic research describing the importance of education to our country’s well-being:

  • At extreme levels, income inequality can harm sustained economic growth over long periods. The U.S. is approaching that threshold.
  • Standard & Poor’s sees extreme income inequality as a drag on long-run economic growth. We’ve reduced our 10-year U.S. growth forecast to a 2.5% rate. We expected 2.8% five years ago.
  • With wages of a college graduate double that of a high school graduate, increasing educational attainment is an effective way to bring income inequality back to healthy levels.
  • It also helps the U.S economy. Over the next five years, if the American workforce completed just one more year of school, the resulting productivity gains could add about $525 billion, or 2.4%, to the level of GDP, relative to the baseline.
  • A cautious approach to reducing inequality would benefit the economy, but extreme policy measures could backfire.

You can read the whole, lengthy article  here.

Is this permissible? In Bernalillo County high schools? [Video]

Do you ever look around the place you live and get totally bummed out by all the pollution?

Well, that’s what was happening to Elif. So she said: “Oh I know, I’ll just invent a more eco-friendly way to make plastic! It’s not like I’m just a teenager who’s still in high school or anything.”

Just click  here  to see this very cool 2:29 video.

How can we support more of this kind of inventiveness and inquiry in our local high-schools?

 

In New Mexico, who is “we” exactly?

In talking about the education challenges in Albuquerque, Bernalillo County and New Mexico, you and I like to say, “We are all in this together.”

But, just who is the “we” we talking about?

Answer:  It often depends on who you are. Yes … YOU.

  • where you grew up (which neighborhood, city, state, region, country) -
  • other places you have travelled to or lived -
  • who you hang out with -
  • who you are not uncomfortable with -
  • what color your skin is -
  • what your cultural heritage is -
  • what language you speak most fluently -
  • whether you are male or female -
  • whether you are gay or straight -
  • your political party or thinking -
  • are you an entrepreneur or an employee -

Now … imagine what it feels like, just for a moment or two, to let all those definitions and conditions…  just … drop … away …

My guess is you would begin to notice that it’s just you. Yourself. Standing there. Pondering.

And then – maybe – you could imagine some of the “others” you can both see and can’t see, but know are there.

And notice that, son-of-a-gun, they are very much just like you – and you are very much just like them:

  • same senses of seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, tasting
  • have a mother and a father, whether they are still alive or not
  • like to eat when hungry
  • like to sleep or nap when tired
  • would like to have access to somewhere to feel safe for a while
  • would like to be on life’s merry-go-round even if it’s not on the outside horses where the gold rings are

And now notice … has your definition, understanding, experience of “we” just expanded a little bit?

Good.

Now let’s go out and do this thing called community … together.

A great interactive presentation on ABC Community School Partnership (Prezi)

ABC Community School Partnership presentation on progress and results from program start in 2006 to 2012.

You may want to cycle through it twice – it’s very information rich!

Click here   to view it,   then click the gear-wheel in lower left to set the timer for changing views.

Thanks to Michelle Bloodworth and Catherine Bornhorst for all the work that went into creating this.