A “Softer” Side to Deeper Learning: Building Students’ Social-Emotional Skills

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September 07, 2016 02:35 pm

The concept of social and emotional learning (SEL) has grown within the education field as a means of preparing students adequately for college and a career. Although the exact definition of SEL varies, SEL generally refers to how students “manage emotions and deal with traumas in order to persist in their academic work.”  SEL is just as important as knowing how to interpret informational text and is a necessary foundation for students to experience deeper learning in the classroom.

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Doing the “Impossible”: Shifting Beliefs to Enable Deeper Learning for All Students

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July 20, 2016 05:01 pm

A child born into a family in the lowest income quintile has a 45 percent chance of remaining there if that child drops out of high school, while as a college graduate that child has only a 16 percent chance, according to the Brookings Institution. Clearly, students who are college and career ready are more likely to experience economic mobility. This was the theme at the recent Voices for Opportunity and Economic Mobility Summit hosted by Jobs for the Future (JFF), where presenters emphasized the economic imperative to prepare all students for college, a career, and life.

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Building on the Aspirations of Youth Before It Is Too Late

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March 28, 2016 11:12 am

Former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan continues to say it loud and clear—the time is now to invest in programs for traditionally underserved students. Recently, Duncan announced that he will continue to advocate on behalf of traditionally underserved students in Chicago as a managing partner for the Emerson Collective, a philanthropy and advocacy organization focused on education, immigration, and justice. He will join a group of individuals eager to strengthen schools for students and unlock their human potential. At a time when students of color make up more than half of the nation’s K–12 population, Duncan’s upcoming work underscores the need to ensure that all students succeed and to provide opportunities for youth who are at risk of leaving the K–12 system without a high school diploma.

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College- and Career-Readiness Assessments: Results Are (Coming) In

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September 11, 2015 12:21 pm

As states begin to release results from new assessments that measure college and career readiness, what do the results mean? On September 9, 2015, three educators offered their views. Lorretta Holloway, the interim vice president for enrollment at Framingham State University in Massachusetts; Anitra Pinchback-Jones, the principal of Rainier View Elementary School in Seattle; and Marti Shirley, a mathematics teacher at Mattoon High School in Mattoon, Illinois, spoke on an Alliance for Excellent Education webinar.

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Assessment Webinar Series

Parallel Gaps: Linking Unemployment and Education

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April 13, 2015 12:02 pm

In late-March, a new analysis by the Economic Policy Institute was released and draws attention to an issue long discussed within the education community: the needs of minority students across the country that are not being met. In a society where students of color now make up more than half of all K-12 students, it is hard to turn a deaf ear to such resounding statistics.

Though the report draws our attention to the solid job growth that much of the country has experienced, the employment situation of African Americans is a call for alarm. The national unemployment rate for African Americans was 11% in the last quarter of 2014, a figure that is still higher than the 9.9% African American unemployment rate before the Great Recession. This is to say that more than four years since the Recession’s start, African Americans still struggle to find a job in an economy that has improved overall; in fact, African Americans are two and half times more likely to be unemployed than whites.

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