Many school districts choose PARCC over MCAS test – Education Week

Published Online: October 27, 2014

BOSTON (AP) — Changes are coming in standardized testing for many Massachusetts school districts.

According to data from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, 54 percent of school districts have opted to administer the English and mathematics PARCC exams to students in grades 3-8 next year, instead of the MCAS exams.

PARCC, short for Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, was developed as part of the national Common Core standards.

This was the first time school systems were given the choice of which test to administer in grades 3-8.

But MCAS isn't going away immediately. Passing the 10th-grade MCAS exams in English, math, and science and technology remain a graduation requirement. All school districts must also continue to administer the MCAS science and technology to fifth- and eighth-graders.


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2 Massachusetts schools placed on probation – Education Week

Published Online: October 22, 2014

MALDEN, Mass. (AP) — The state education board has placed two schools, including the first virtual school in Massachusetts, on probation for low achievement and other problems.

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education said Tuesday that Boston Green Academy and Greenfield Commonwealth Virtual School have at least a year to show academic improvement. Failure to do so could lead to closure.

The headmaster at Boston Green Academy in Brighton said during public testimony before the vote that the problems at his school "will not and cannot happen again."

Officials at the virtual school said they were disappointed but have already addressed many of the problems, which were originally identified during a visit by state officials in June.

The online school teaches about 700 students from across the state.


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New England Schools Face Rash of Bomb Threats – Education Week

Published Online: October 14, 2014

Published in Print: October 15, 2014, as New England Schools Face Rash of Bomb Threats

News in Brief

School and law-enforcement officials in New England say they are dealing with an unusually high number of bomb threats that have forced the cancellation of classes just weeks into the new academic year.

Nearly a dozen schools and colleges in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire have received the threats, forcing evacuations and cancellations in many of the schools.

Local school and law-enforcement officials say they aren't sure if they're dealing with a coordinated effort or a number of copycats. But the sheer number of threats in such a short time raises concern, they say.

The FBI's Boston office said it is offering assistance as needed but leaving local officials to take the lead in the investigations.

Vol. 34, Issue 08, Page 4

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Mass., RI get No Child Left Behind extensions – Education Week

Published Online: October 10, 2014

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts and Rhode Island are among six states that have been granted a one-year extension from certain provisions of the No Child Left behind Act.

The U.S. Department of Education says the states were granted the extension because they have already implemented education reforms that go beyond the law's requirements.

The federal government grants waivers from parts of the law to qualified states in exchange for state-developed plans designed to improve educational outcomes for students, close achievement gaps, increase equity and improve the quality of instruction.

The one-year extension allows the states to continue moving forward on the work they began with their initial flexibility requests.

Among other reasons, Massachusetts and Rhode island were credited for their college and career-ready standards.

The other states are Arizona, Missouri, Oregon and Utah.


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New England schools face rash of bomb threats – Education Week

Published Online: October 7, 2014

BOSTON (AP) — School and law enforcement officials in New England say they are dealing with an unusually high number of bomb threats that have forced the cancellation of classes just weeks into the new academic year.

Nearly a dozen schools and colleges in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut have received the threats, forcing evacuations and cancellations in many of the schools this past week.

Local school and law enforcement officials say they aren't sure if they're dealing with a coordinated effort or a number of copycats. But the sheer number of threats in such a short amount of time is concerning, they say.

"Something unusual is taking place here," said Thomas Scott, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents. "To have it at the very beginning of the school year and to have this many is an anomaly."

He said school districts tend to see bomb threats throughout the school year, including around exam time in June.

The communities of Bedford, Mass. and Bedford, New Hampshire were both forced to cancel classes at their high schools when they received threats on Oct. 1.

Sandy Hook Elementary School's temporary home in Monroe, Connecticut, was also evacuated that day after receiving a bomb threat by phone, putting a community still reeling from the December 2012 massacre that killed 26 children and teachers on edge.

And campus police at Harvard University tightened security over the weekend after hundreds of students and people affiliated with the Ivy League school received an email threatening a mass shooting on campus.

The latest threats came Monday when school officials in the affluent Boston suburb of Winchester cancelled high school classes after receiving an emailed threat and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts was temporarily evacuated when police received a 911 call claiming there were multiple bombs on the western Massachusetts campus.

Many of the threats remain under investigation.

The FBI's Boston office said Monday it is aware of the bomb threats and is offering assistance as needed but leaving local officials to take the lead in the investigations.

Scott says the bomb threats are causing significant disruptions early in the school year, taking away from valuable class time, causing scheduling headaches for working parents and forcing schools to expend limited resources to cover staff and administrative costs.

In New Hampshire, Bedford Police Chief John Bryfonski said responding to the threats, many of which had been unfounded, hinders local department's ability to handle other emergencies. "Thankfully, we do not receive many threats in Bedford, but we do treat each one as a serious matter that demonstrates we will vigorously investigate these cases and prosecute those responsible," he said.

In Winchester, Christian Nixon, a parent and school committee chairman, says he appreciates the district's "quick and decisive action" to cancel classes and the "thoroughness" of emergency responders. "Regardless of any perceived pattern, our primary focus as a district is on the safety, security, and welfare of our students, teachers, and staff," he said.

John Guilfoil, who handles public relations for some of the Massachusetts police departments that have dealt with the bomb threats, expects departments in the coming weeks will be reminding officers to continue to treat each incident seriously.

"No one is going to fault a police department for deciding to cancel school because of a threat," he said. "It's much, much more responsible to do something out of an abundance of caution than to put young people in harm's way."


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Kaizen to invest $75 million in Indian education sector

education bccl

Mumbai-based Kaizen Management Advisors Pvt Ltd will raise another $150 million next year, 50 per cent of which will be placed as equity investment in the education sector.

SINGAPORE: Mumbai-based Kaizen Management Advisors Pvt Ltd will raise an alternate $150 million one year from now, 50 for every penny of which will be set as value interest in India’s training area, a top authority said here.

The engineering centered value financial specialist has effectively put $55 million in India from its first gathered pledges in 2012, its overseeing executive and originator Sandeep Aneja said.

“We have so far put $55 million in seven school-related improvements,” Aneja said in the wake of facilitating an one-day symposium went to by financial specialists and school chiefs from Asia Pacific.

An alternate $10 to 12 million from the rest of $70 million first reserve will be set inside the following five months.

The majority of the speculation would be for the Indian instructive area, particularly in engineering focused tasks.

Kaizen raised its first reserve for value venture from IFC, Swiss Fund for Emerging Markets, HDFC India, UBS Fund of Funds and Bartelsmann.

Aneja said his second round of gathering pledges would expand the quantity of value financial specialists including ADB and CDC, in the past called Commonwealth Development Corp, of the United Kingdom.

A normal of $200 million a year was being put resources into the Indian instructive part, which offers an alluring rate of profitability, around 22 for every penny to 25 for every penny a year, as indicated by Aneja.

“Instructive engineering is a chance to drive better returns,” said Aneja, bringing up the reception of cutting edge innovations and online learnings by the worldwide instructive area.

Having secured in India, Kaizen would likewise be venturing into South East Asian showcases, and would soon set up business locales in Singapore and Manila.

“We are venturing into the district,” said Aneja. Out of the $150 million to be raised one year from now, Kaizen would put $75 million in value interest in India’s instruction division amid 2015-2019 and the remaining $75 million would be put as value interest in instructive activities in Singapore, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and the Philippines.

The ventures, to be produced using one year from now, would be in organization with nearby financial specialists in these nations.

India would require Rs 800,000 crore interest in instructive part throughout the following 15 years through to 2030, as indicated by speculators gauge at the joint Kaizen & Insead Educational Symposium 2014 which concentrated on “Worldwide Trends, Local Realities”.

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According to Linkedin study, University of Leeds best academic path to a media career

Leeds Beckett University

Leeds Beckett University

Leeds topped a survey by the social media site LinkedIn to determine the best institutions for “media professionals”. Oxford came second, Cambridge seventh.

Regardless of incessant talk of an Oxbridge mafia, it would seem the University of Leeds, institute of matriculation of the Daily Mail manager in-boss Paul Dacre, is the best scholastic way to a media profession.

Leeds topped a review by the social networking site Linkedin to focus the best organizations for “media experts”. Oxford came next, Cambridge seventh.

The colleges most regularly connected with expert instructing in news-casting did not rule either. Cardiff, which gloats of being the UK’s “most established and most accomplished school of news coverage”, came joint third with Nottingham, while media authorities Bournemouth and Westminster were ninth and fourteenth.

Among its journalistic graduated class, Leeds claims such high-fliers as the BBC business manager, Kamal Ahmed, and his imperial partner Nicholas Witchell. Sports moderators Georgie Thompson and Jacqui Oatley additionally went there.

The college makes no notice, nonetheless, of the previous BBC agent executive general Mark Byford, a Leeds contemporary of Dacre’s.

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Australian universities climb Times world rankings, while US and UK lose Ground

Australia’s colleges have moved up the world rankings, with just about every top foundation enhancing its remaining on a year ago.

Be that as it may there are apprehensions Australia’s great execution could be brief in light of the central government’s plan to deregulate educational cost charges.

Eight Australian colleges made the main 200 in this current year’s Times Higher Education world college rankings, headed by Melbourne University at number 33.

The University of Sydney was the top-positioned organization in NSW – hopping from 72 to 60 – and third in the nation after the Australian National University at number 45.

The proofreader of the Times Higher Education magazine, Phil Baty, said Australia’s solid execution, as the fifth best spoken to nation, exhibited the nation had a “world-class framework”.

University of NSW

Rising fast: the University of NSW has risen 64 places since 2011.

At the same time he doubted whether the “quality inside and out” could be kept up with the central government’s plan to completely deregulate charges from 2016.

“The changes may help a little Australian tip top ensure or even enhance their worldwide standing, however shouldn’t something be said about the rest?” he asked. “Is it true that we are going to see a more prominent polarization in Australia between a worldwide super-tip top and an expansive number of likewise rans declining?”

Educator Peter Booth, the executive at the University of Technology, Sydney, said deregulation of itself would not enhance or undermine the execution of Australian colleges.

“The issue will be if colleges can’t keep up a fundamental level of financing to keep offering an extensive variety of value projects,” he said.

The bad habit chancellor of the University of Sydney, Dr Michael Spence, said Australian colleges would “keep on performing emphatically on the world stage paying little mind to advanced education expense structures”.

The University of NSW has been one of the quickest climbing colleges lately, coming in at 109 in the not so distant future, up 64 spots since 2011.

The college’s bad habit chancellor, Fred Hilmer, said he was satisfied to see such emotional change yet was incredulous about the dependability of the rankings.

“Colleges change step by step about whether – its hard to clarify these enormous progressions,” Professor Hilmer said.

The yearly rankings are focused around 13 execution pointers, including industry salary, instructing, examination impact and global viewpoint.

Notwithstanding those making the main 200, a further 12 Australian colleges were named in the 200 to 400 section, including the University of Technology, Sydney, the University of Newcastle, the University of Wollongong, Macquarie University and the University of Western Sydney.

The California Institute of Technology clutched the world number one spot for the fourth back to back year, emulated by Harvard University in second and the University of Oxford in third.

While still the best performing nation, 60 for every penny of establishments in the United States lost ground not long from now, while Britain saw three of its top colleges drop from the main 200.

Mr Baty said the rankings were proof of a force move far from Western nations.

“There is little uncertainty that key east Asian countries have risen as powerhouses in worldwide advanced education and examination, while customary pioneers, including the UK, Canada and the US, hazard losing huge ground in the worldwide learning economy,” he said.

A representative for Education Minister Christopher Pyne said the administration’s proposed progressions to advanced education were essential on the grounds that the norm was unsustainable.

“Unless the changes are passed, we hazard falling behind our Asian rivals and these rankings demonstrate that in only 12 months there are four new Asian colleges in the main 200 with 24 total.”

Australia’s Top Universities 

  • University of Melbourne: 33 (up from 34)
  • Australian National University: 45 (up from 48)
  • University of Sydney: 60 (up from 72)
  • University of Queensland: 65 (down from 63)
  • Monash University: 83 (up from 91)
  • University of NSW: 109 (up from 114)
  • University of Western Australia: 157 (up from 168)
  • University of Adelaide: 164 (up from 201-225)

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Caltech: the university ranked higher than Harvard, Oxford and Stanford

Millikan Memorial Library at Caltech

Millikan Memorial Library at Caltech

Numerous individuals would perceive Harvard, Oxford and Stanford as being among the most prestigious instructive establishments on the planet.

Anyhow there is one little college, found short of what 30 kilometers from the brilliant lights of Hollywood, that is superior to every one of them, as per the most recent positioning of world colleges.

The California Institute of Technology, otherwise called Caltech, has been named overnight as the world’s No.1 college in the Times Higher Education world college rankings.

It is the fourth year consecutively that Caltech, a specific science and designing college, has bested other instruction establishments, that are maybe all the more globally perceived, to take home the top positioning.

The secretly run, not-revenue driven college is moderately little when contrasted and some different establishments: it has only 977 students, 1204 graduate understudies and an employees of 300 educators at its Pasadena grounds, as per the most recent figures.

Anyway it unquestionably packs a punch as far as its graduated class.

The college has delivered 32 Nobel prize laureates, including William Shockley, the co-designer of the robust state transistor and known as father of Silicon Valley, while 70 graduates have won the US National Medal of Science or the US Medal of Technology and Innovation, both prestigious recompenses offered by the US president.

Among its previous working parts is Charles Richter, designer of the scale that evaluates the greatness of tremors, and Theodore von Kármán, the first head of what is presently NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The lab, the main US habitat for the automated investigation of the earth’s planetary group, is still a division of the university.

One graduate, Stanislav Smirnov, in 2010 won the Fields Medal, viewed as the best recompense a mathematician can get, while both Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking were going to educators at Caltech.

The college is additionally referenced in pop culture, including on the US sitcom The Big Bang Theory, in which the four male lead characters all work at the college.

Caltech has a wild contention with the Cambridge-based Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT, which was positioned sixth on the Times Higher Education world college rankings.

Indeed, understudies from both colleges have been known to make a huge effort to complete tricks on their opponents.

The Caltech Alumni Association says that tricks “are a key piece of the foundation’s history and character”, and, in 2005, a gathering of Caltech understudies flew the nation over to leave their imprint on MIT amid its facilities review weekend for prospective understudies.

The Caltech pranksters utilized a laser to extend CALTECH on to MIT’s tallest building, dispatched a dirigible embellished with CIT in the arch of one of MIT’s fundamental structures, and hung a sign over the primary indication of the college that said: “That Other Institute of Technology”.

They likewise distributed 1000 free T-shirts to prospective MIT understudies that had “MIT” printed on the front, and on the back, “In light of the fact that not everybody can go to Caltech”.

The accompanying year, MIT understudies hit once more by taking Caltech’s loved Fleming Cannon, a point of interest on the yard, and transporting it the nation over to MIT’s grounds.

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Germany removes University Fees

All German Universities will be for nothing out of pocket as of this current year. The last German range to evacuate charges, Lower Saxony, has authoritatively done along these lines, in what guarantees to be a notable minute for German (and European) instruction.

Instruction in the vast majority of Europe is now altogether different from what it is in the US, Canada, or Australia. In a few nations from the Old Continent (most outstandingly Scandinavian nations – Sweden, Norway and Denmark) instruction has been free for a few years, and different nations are beginning to take after suite.

“Educational cost charges are socially unreasonable,” said Dorothee Stapelfeldt, congressperson for science in Hamburg, which scrapped charges in 2012. “They especially demoralize youngsters who don’t have a customary scholarly family foundation from taking up studies. It is a center undertaking of governmental issues to guarantee that young people and men can mull over with an amazing standard gratis in Germany.”

For sure, the general pattern is by all accounts to decrease or wipe out educational cost charges for advanced education. The striking exemption here is Great Britain. With a few exemptions (like for instance Welsh Universities being free for Welsh individuals), the UK educational cost expenses are beginning to opponent those in the US. Anyway it appears to be more coherent to treat advanced education like an interest in the nation’s future, and not like a privately owned business. It appears coherent for the legislature to help advanced education from assessments, consequently putting resources into its future.

The option, American model has had a few achievement in different stages, however now, the results appear calamitous – the US has over $1 trillion in understudy obligation, and the number continues developing, something which highlights the nation’s efficient emergency. Along these lines, the inquiry which appears to rise is…

Why do Universities have educational cost expenses in any case?

Cost of University

How about we backpedal to Germany – why did Germany Universities present educational cost charges? The answer is basic, yet unpalatable: in light of the fact that legislators needed to. Self-announced “modernisers” bolstered for their presentation after the reunification of Germany. Social contrasts in the middle of east and west at first ruined this arrangement, yet in 2005, a court chose that Universities have the right to present charges, the length of they seem to be “direct” and coupled with “the potential for little advances”.

Seven out of 10 states in west Germany presented expenses in 2006 or 2007, and credit organizations were baited by the likelihood of another business sector – understudy credits in Germany. At the same time the pattern didn’t keep going long, as the German government comprehended that they have more to benefit by keeping advanced education free. Presently, as of this current year, instruction will be free in Germany, and I couldn’t be more satisfied to report that.

A huge piece of this choice was the mainstream development. In Hesse, case in point, understudies challenged all at once, a natives’ drive gathered 70,000 marks, and the decision Christian Democratic Union gathering, battling for re-race in 2008, switched course keeping in mind the end goal to hold power. You could contend that governmental issues assumed a key part here – to be specific lawmakers chasing understudies’ votes; you may be correct. The traditionalist PM of Bavaria, debilitated with an expense choice, basically constrained his liberal coalition accomplice into canceling expenses. In any case the final result is certain, and its an acceptable explanation. It’s likewise a fascinating development from an alternate point of view: numerous understudies from poorer nations in the EU, (for example, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and so forth) look for better advanced education, exploiting the EU free development. In any case, the lavish way of life of Norway or Denmark was frequently restrictive. The lesser expenses of living in Germany, joined with a greater financial and modern segment will probably bait understudies from abroad, anxious to learn and discover employments in Europe’s efficient powerhouse. Thusly, Germany likewise guarantees high rivalry and an inundation of skilled youthful personalities – sort of like a cerebrum empty in opposite.

The circumstances in the UK could barely be any more distinctive. Understudies excessively dissented (at an once in a while seen scale) in the UK; there was likewise a ton of political weight connected on the administration – but then did educational cost expenses not drop, as well as they kept on increaing. Can any anyone explain why a nation with such a rich history in instruction (presumably the wealthiest) is so inflexible about keeping training costly?

It’s tricky to pinpoint only one reason to this distinction; one of the fundamental issues lies in the enormous difference between the Universities – beyond any doubt, England has two of the most seasoned and most prestigious Universities on the planet (Oxford and Cambridge), yet there is a huge hole in the middle of those and alternate ones. Not regarding training level – there are a few different colleges which can rival Oxford and Cambridge, however as far as custom and social collaboration. The UK doesn’t have a college group, they don’t have a created level of cooperation, not like Germany does.

“England has (after the US) the most exceptionally stratified real college framework on the planet, the most excessive and quickly developing procurement of tip top private educating, among the most unequal dispersion of chance, riches and salary, and a portion of the least levels of social versatility in the created world, as per the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.”, composes the Times of Higher Education.

Truly, just the rich first class had the capacity go to advanced education. This custom has completed for a few hundreds of years, with few exemptions. It’s inserted in the individuals’ psyches, and despite the fact that numerous reject that thought now, its engraving can at present be felt. Moreover, both the Labor and the Conservatives have kept training towards the bottom of their needs, and after the race, the Liberal Democrats notoriously double-crossed their most noticeable declaration duty: to kill college educational cost expenses by and large.

The English government officials claim they are reasonable – that open financing of instruction is not, and can’t be supportable. Yet Scandinavian schools have kept up their higher norms of instruction effectively after this change. The quantity of applying understudies has expanded, and generally speaking, their results appear to be making strides. In the interim, America is placed in a for all intents and purpose unsolvable issue of constantly climbing understudy credits and monetary shortage.

So which camp is correct?

As generally, it appears we’ll need to hold up a couple of decades before the results are clear. It appears unusual that the two most influential economies in Europe have such diverse methodologies to training, but then some way or another it appears to be extremely fitting. Let time settle which one of these inverse methodologies is best. I, for one, know where I’d like to study in the event that I was in that situation.

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