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California Seeks Waiver on Use of Title I Tutoring Aid - Education Week

The state is looking for the federal green light to use Title I funding it now spends on tutoring services to extend learning time.

As School Day Grows, Ties Deepen Between Schools, Providers - Education Week

Expanded-learning initiatives are pushing educators and outside groups to collaborate in new, more integrated ways.

New Standards Ease Political Pushback in South Carolina - Education Week

The state's home-grown replacement for the common core has earned support from a broad spectrum of K-12 and higher education leaders, state officials say.

Demand for Summer Jobs Outstrips Opportunities - Education Week

The seasonal job market for teenagers is showing signs of improving, but inner-city youths still face slim employment opportunities.

College Access - Education Week

A new evaluation of Denver's promise scholarship program estimates that every dollar spent on a student who graduates with support from the foundation yields nine times that amount in local, state, and federal taxes.

Free Online Test Prep for SAT Launched by Khan Academy - Education Week

The College Board, the nonprofit organization behind the SAT college entrance exam has teamed up with Khan Academy to make test-preparation materials available for free.

Cherishing our Past, Celebrating our Present and Creating our Future

The theme for this year's Pre-University Seminar is "Cherishing Our Past, Celebrating Our Present, Creating Our Future". Some 550 students from 30 pre-university institutions, including Junior Colleges, the Centralised Institute and Polytechnics will come together to reflect on Singapore's achievements over the past 50 years and use their learning experiences from the seminar to envision and create our future together. The seminar will be held from 2 to 5 June 2015 at the National University of Singapore.

By Cherishing Our Past, participants will examine our past successes and challenges. When Celebrating Our Present, they will reflect on Singapore's achievements built upon the firm foundation laid by our pioneer generation. Collectively, as the future of our nation, participants will seek to embody the values that have brought our nation forward, and unite in Creating Our Future together.

The objective of this year's Seminar is to provide our youth with opportunities to connect with people from all walks of life in Singapore. Prior to the Seminar, the participants interviewed people from various backgrounds from selected organisations across five SG50 domains. The domains are as follows:

  • Education and Youth;
  • Culture and Community;
  • Economic and International;
  • Environment and Infrastructure; and
  • Partnership.
Pre-University Seminar Highlights

This year's Seminar will encourage deep reflection, student collaboration, imagination and active citizenry. Students are grouped by SG50 domains and each of the 50 groups must reflect on how individuals and organisations have worked in synergy towards improving Singapore. Their shared experiences with members of the public will inform and shape their collective imagining of their vision for Singapore. Participants will go through the following four components:

(a) Groundwork

Each group of participants will visit people and organisations related to their assigned SG50 domain. Participants will interact with Singaporeans from different backgrounds and learn about their experiences at work and how they have contributed to make Singapore what it is today. They will have the opportunity to interview individuals at organizations, ranging from ground staff to management. It will also help them to better understand and appreciate the work, values and challenges of building an inclusive society, which provides for a diversity of needs and aspirations.

(b) Panel Discussion

Each discussion will:

  • focus participants' findings from their Groundwork;
  • involve three to four panelists, selected for their specific area of expertise; and
  • be moderated by Teacher-Facilitators, with the assistance of the Student Liaison Officers. This will ensure that all participants and panelists are given the opportunity to take part in the discussion meaningfully.
(c) Operation V50

A key highlight of this year's Seminar, Operation V50 will see the 50 teams of students travel to selected locations across Singapore to put into action simple but creative acts that will engage the public to celebrate and raise awareness of the achievements of people in their assigned SG50 domains. This interactive experience will challenge participants to reflect on the perspectives shared by members of the public, as well as their own role in taking action to fulfil their vision for Singapore.

(d) Closing Ceremony and Exhibition

This year's closing ceremony will be a by-invitation only exhibition showcasing participants' reflections and visions for Singapore. Each team will deliver the following:

  • A booth exhibiting creative expressions of their Operation V50 experiences and presenting their vision for the future of Singapore in their respective SG50 domains. Exhibits may include photographs, music videos, drama or other creative modes of expression, providing an insight into the heartbeat and aspirations of Singapore's youth.
  • A Vision Tree, which represents the participants' collective vision and aspirations for Singapore's future, will be assembled and presented as Pre-University Seminar 2015's birthday gift to the nation.

Most Colleges Weigh Student Discipline Records in Admissions - Education Week

In a new survey, 89 percent of college admissions officials said students' discipline histories are factored into their admissions process.

With 'Local Control' Funds, Calif. District Buys Field Trips - Education Week

New funding rules that put school spending decisions in the hands of local communities have spurred a renewed interest in field trips for students in Vallejo, Calif.

School Renovation Becomes a Teachable Moment - Education Week

Rather than allow a large-scale construction project to derail student learning, a Massachusetts private school incorporated the building process into the curriculum.

More Opportunities for Secondary School Students to Develop Talent in Art And Music

From 2016, students will have more opportunities to enrol in art and music talent development programmes at the secondary level. To grow the potential and talent of students across a wider range of domains, MOE will:

  • Extend the Enhanced Art Programme (EAP) and Enhanced Music Programme (EMP) to seven more schools, and

  • Appoint three schools that are hosting the Art Elective Programme (AEP) or Music Elective Programme (MEP) as AEP or MEP centres. These AEP or MEP centres will accept students from other schools into their respective AEP or MEP.

Mr Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Education said: “The Enhanced Art and Music Programmes, as well as the Art and Music Elective Programmes, will enable more students to further develop their passion and talent in art and music. They have more opportunities to learn from artists and musicians, and contribute to the cultural life of the community too. We have recently announced that talented students from any school can enrol in the Junior Sports Academy programme that will be sited in accessible facilities distributed around Singapore. Similarly, with more schools offering the art and music programmes, talented students do not have to travel as far to enrol in these programmes. Through our programmes and efforts, we hope to nurture students to lead purposeful lives and use their talents to benefit their community.”

Seven More Schools to Offer EAP and EMP

The two-year EAP and EMP provide an enriched learning environment for Secondary 3 and 4 students inclined towards art and music respectively. All EAP and EMP students will take the GCE ‘O’ Level Art and Music examinations respectively. Beyond the O-level syllabus for Art/Music, students will benefit from exposure to the arts and creative industries in the form of master-classes with artists/musicians, and studio sessions and visits by practitioners for authentic and relevant learning. They will also have opportunities to hold exhibitions and perform at concerts.

Starting from 2016, the EAP will be extended from four to nine schools and EMP will be extended from two to four schools. With that, the EAP and EMP will have a better geographical spread across the island. Talented students interested in these programmes can enrol in one of these schools nearer to their homes. All the seven schools that will start the EAP or EMP by 2017 have good art/music programmes, and are offering the Applied Learning Programme (ALP) and Learning for Life Programme (LLP) with an arts focus. The new schools will receive support from MOE in terms of additional facilities, equipment and teaching personnel. The full list of new and existing schools that host the EAP and EMP are in Annex A.

This initiative to extend the EAP and EMP to more schools will further enhance our students’ access to art and music-related developmental opportunities, and allow students who have talent and interest in art and music to develop stronger mastery and pursue a lifelong interest and learning in these areas.

The EAP and EMP are available to students from Secondary 3 onwards. Interested students must first enrol in a school hosting the EAP or EMP and sign up for these programmes at the end of Secondary 2.

Three AEP and MEP Centres to Enrol Students from Other Schools

The secondary level AEP1 and MEP2 are four-year programmes. Students in the AEP/MEP will take Higher Art/Higher Music at O-Level.

With the diversity of talents among our students, there may be students with passion and talent for art or music, who are not enrolled in the schools that host the AEP/MEP today. To support these students, National Junior College will operate as an AEP centre, and Dunman High School and Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) will operate as MEP centres for students with passion and talent for art or music from other schools, starting from 2016.

Secondary 1 students in the Express course, who demonstrate passion and talent in art or music, can apply to be an external AEP or MEP students at these AEP/MEP centres by submitting their application through their secondary schools in January 2016.

Shortlisted students will be required to attend a selection test, and selected students will commence their AEP/MEP lessons at their AEP/MEP centres from Term 2 of 2016. Details of the three centres, and the list of existing schools offering the AEP/MEP, are in Annex B.

Promoting Holistic Development of Our Students through Art and Music

To promote the holistic development of our students, all primary and secondary students have access to quality art and music programmes. Schools also provide a good range of art and music CCAs, with about 1 in 5 students involved in either an art or music CCA group. The EAP/EMP and AEP/AMP further develop students who have strong passion and talent in art and music. These programmes aim to encourage these students to cultivate a life-long interest in the arts and be equipped with useful lifelong competencies associated with an appreciation of the arts.

Footnote
  1. More details about the AEP can be found at MOE website at http://www.moe.gov.sg/education/secondary/other/art-elective-programme/
  2. More details about the MEP can be found at MOE website at http://www.moe.gov.sg/education/secondary/other/music-elective-programme/

Speech (in Chinese) by Ms Sim Ann at the Chinese Language Elective Programme (CLEP) 25th Anniversary Luncheon

大家下午好。能够出席今天这个特别的餐叙,我感到非常的激动,也感到非常的荣幸。因为我是语特第三届的毕业生。虽然这么说可能会暴露自己的年龄,不过我觉得还是诚实比较重要。我是第三届的毕业生,在场应该是学弟学妹多过我的学长学姐。不过,这也让我感到非常的高兴,因为这表示其实在我这一届之后,还是有很多的同学继续加入我们语特的大家庭。

让我还有很多学长们感到特别感动的是,我们的老师在我们离开校园之后还是非常努力地栽培我们的学弟学妹们。甚至还有学长在离开学校之后,也投身教育,继续传承华文华语的教育事业。

在这里,我想做一个小小的分享。虽然我目前的工作常常需要用到华文华语,不过当时在选修语特的时候,我确实没有想到这么远。当时也没有想到自己有一天需要到中国去工作,更没有想到会从事一份现在这样常常需要用到华文华语,甚至有机会能够直接投入推广华文华语的工作,能够因为自己的岗位有机会也为华文华语教育尽一份绵力。当时确实没有想到,只是因为很喜欢,就选修了语特。甚至可以这么说,当时我的想法是哪怕选修这门科目跟我以后的工作一点关系也没有,我还是希望把两年的精力放在这个科目上。

对我来说,语特确实是一份很珍贵的缘分。因为在十七八岁的时候,能够同志同道合的朋友在一起,修读自己最喜欢的科目,我觉得真的是非常难得,非常可贵的。

虽然刚才我谈到在求学的时候,并没有想到语特对于我日后的工作会有怎么样的影响,不过,我相信许多的学长学姐学弟学妹也和我一样,可能是有意识的,或无意识的加入了跟中文相关的行业。根据我们的初步统计,每年有大约百分之二十的语特毕业生在本地或海外继续修读与华文相关的科目,在踏入职场后,从事教育、媒体、出版、翻译等行业。近年来,新加坡与中国、台湾等地的商务联系更加频密,语特毕业生也肩负了这方面的沟通往来。今天出席的毕业生不乏校长、主任、电台总监、作家等等。语特毕业生是这些华文相关行业的中坚分子。与此同时,我们的毕业生当中也不乏英文老师、英文报记者、公务员、金融专才、律师、医生、科研人员等等。

今天的司仪,林稚瑛小姐,就曾在北京担任亚洲新闻台的英语特派员。像纪念特刊所采访的黄浩威先生与曾昭程先生,一位是英国大学的讲师,另一位则在美国修读博士学位。又如中央国民教育司司长黄建发上校,虽然在工作上不使用中文,可是仍旧勤于阅读报章书籍、使用华语交谈,在访谈中流露出对文学与文化的热爱。

所以回过头来看,我相信1990年教育部决定开办华文语文特选课程是一个战略性的决定。

为了顺应时代的改变,我们有更多的院校开办语特。而且语特课程的内容也为了满足学生不同的需求,在这几年间作出了调整,深广活动更加丰富。语特营常年邀请海外作家,除了常见的散文、新诗、小说,我们今年邀请方文山指导歌词创作,学生充满期待,跃跃欲试。我们也开办语特实习计划,让学生可以到报馆、新传媒或者鼎泰丰工作,在真实的生活语境中使用华文华语。

推广华文学习委员会今年设立“语特飞跃奖”,希望激励华文科目有显著进步、品行优良的语特学生,并加强公众对语特课程的认识。对于今年获奖的九位同学,我希望你们能够奋发向上、继续努力,他日能为社会做出贡献。这25年来,语特为我国喜爱华文华语的学生提供了深入学习的机会,我们将继续鼓励有兴趣的学生加入语特。

相信在座的许多朋友也和我一样,对于当年上课的情形充满了各种各样的回忆,尤其是看到我们的老师们现在和我们欢聚一堂,相信大家要聊的、要分享的,都特别的多。在这里我也想分享一下可能是像我这个年龄的校友所拥有的回忆。当年在上课的时候,我们的讲义是没有电脑打印的,所以我们那一份一份的讲义都是老师亲笔书写,然后再去影印给我们的。今天你要是拿一篇手写的讲义给我看,问我这是陈京文老师还是余平光老师写的,我肯定认得出来,因为印象实在是太深刻了。刚才和学长们分享时,大家都还记得余平光老师的口头禅。虽然严格来说不是一句华语,不过大家还是记忆犹新。

在这里,我想借这个机会感谢支持语特,为语特出过力的各位院长、各位老师们。因为我相信这段二十五年的历史,凝聚了各位院长和老师们的心血。在此,感谢老师们。

我也想祝福学弟学妹们,尤其是那些现在还在学校里苦心钻研的学弟学妹们。不管你们日后的人生历程将会如何,也不管你们以后会不会进入同华文相关的行业,我都希望你们也和我们一样,对华文华语的学习保持一份热爱,也愿意同朋友和家人分享。如果你日后踏入了和华文相关的行业,我们肯定会特别注意你们的,因为毕竟你们是我们语特的学弟学妹。如果你日后从事的行业并没有和华文华语有直接的关联,我也希望你能够成为华文华语学习的强力支持者。因为我们有很多社区的活动、很多推广华文华语的活动,也希望得到你的支持和参与。

最后,我想在这里祝愿我们的语特课程,祝愿同语特有缘的各位在座的朋友们,人愿长久,水愿长流。谢谢大家。

Inaugural Chinese Language Elective Programme Best Improvement Award

Nine students from across five Chinese Language Elective Programme (CLEP) centres will receive the inaugural Best Improvement Award. The award will be presented by Ms Sim Ann, Minister of State, Ministry of Education & Ministry of Communications and Information, at the CLEP 25th Anniversary Luncheon on Saturday, 23 May 2015. The list of award recipients can be found in Annex A.

The “Best Improvement Award”, introduced by the Committee to Promote Chinese Language Learning and sponsored by the Chinese Language and Culture Fund, will be presented to students who are Singapore Citizens and show remarkable improvement in Chinese Language subjects, contribute actively to the CLEP and exemplify good character. Each year, the award will be presented to students from the Pre-U 1 and Pre-U 2 levels in all CLEP centres. Awardees will each receive a cash award of $500.

The Chinese Language Elective Programme (CLEP)

The Chinese Language Elective Programme was introduced by the Ministry of Education in 1990 to nurture students who have an aptitude for the Chinese Language so that they can attain a high level of proficiency and enhance their understanding of Chinese Literature. The programme also aims to allow academically able students to become effectively bilingual so as to better serve the needs of our nation. There are currently 5 CLEP centres - Dunman High School, Hwa Chong Institution (College), Jurong Junior College, Nanyang Junior College and Temasek Junior College.

The Committee to Promote Chinese Language Learning (CPCLL)

The Committee to Promote Chinese Language Learning (CPCLL), formed in January 2005, aims to garner the support of the community to support the learning of Chinese Language (CL) and to facilitate a continuing process of collaboration between schools, community organisations and the media to create an environment for promoting the use of CL beyond schools. Since its formation, CPCLL has actively organised engaging and interactive activities to enthuse students and develop in them an abiding interest in CL and Chinese culture.

PARCC Shortens Its Common-Core Test - Education Week

Revisions approved Wednesday by the assessment consortium cut 90 minutes off next year's test and shift it to later in the school year.

Singapore's Young Research Talents go Global at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) 2015

The Ministry of Education (MOE), the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and the Science Centre Singapore congratulate the Singapore Team on their performance at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) 2015 held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America (USA) from 10 to 15 May 2015. The Intel ISEF is the world’s largest pre-college science fair held annually to provide a platform for top science and engineering talents of different nationalities to showcase their projects. The Singapore team submitted four individual projects and two team projects this year and achieved commendable results at the fair (Refer to Annex A for details of the projects).

Benjamin Tan Kye Jyn, Lim Zheng Theng and Tan Yi Zhao from Hwa Chong Institution found a novel way of embedding silver nanoparticles into membranes used in water purification processes and won the Second Award in the category of Environmental Engineering. Additionally, for their innovation in membrane technology, they were also awarded the Second Life Science Award in the Special Awards Segment. One of the team members, Lim Zheng Theng, shared, “By participating in the ISEF, I’m able to see how I can apply this knowledge in a manner that benefits people and processes. I’m inspired to consider science and engineering research as my future career option.”

Lee Shi Ya Claudia from Raffles Institution studied how the use of peptide-derived hydrogels could be injected into the body for the consistent release of drugs over a specific period of time. For her new method of producing hydrogels, she was awarded the Fourth Award in the Chemistry category. On her thoughts about participating in Intel ISEF, Claudia said, “I feel that science and engineering is very much dependent on the effective exchange of ideas and meaningful collaboration. I value the experience of having the opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas with the judges.”

In their team project, Madhumitha Shridharan and Ren Yuhua from NUS High School of Mathematics and Science developed a method to significantly reduce energy consumption and improve patient comfort to administer a patch test for patients with skin problems. For their innovation, they were awarded the Special Award by the China Association for Science and Technology.

Other individual projects submitted to Intel ISEF were by Tommy Ong Zhi Xian from Raffles Institution, Joel Tan Shi Quan from NUS High School of Mathematics and Science and Ching Yi Jie Preston from National Junior College, whose research projects explored the scientific areas of Microbiology, Physics and Astronomy as well as Biomedical and Health Sciences respectively.

The Singapore Team was chosen from the top awardees in the Singapore Science and Engineering Fair (SSEF) held in March this year. SSEF is a national competition jointly organised by MOE, A*STAR and Science Centre Singapore. The Singapore Team was jointly led by Mr Gary Neo Wei Chung (Curriculum Planning, MOE), Mrs Sow Yoke Keow (Hwa Chong Institution) and Dr Tan Guoxian (Raffles Institution).

Teacher Walkouts in Washington State Aim to Boost K-12 Aid - Education Week

Thousands of teachers marched through downtown Seattle on Tuesday as part of a one-day strike to encourage Washington lawmakers to put more money into the state education budget.
Topic: Teachers

Illinois Policymakers Scramble After Pension Law Struck Down - Education Week

State legislators and the governor are under pressure to craft a new plan after the state’s high court overturned a 2013 statute altering pensions for retired teachers.
Topic: Teachers

Teachers in L.A. Approve Three-Year Contract - Education Week

Rank-and-file members of the union representing Los Angeles teachers have voted overwhelmingly in favor of a three-year contract that will increase salaries 10 percent.
Topic: Teachers

Education Dept. Denies NCLB Waiver for Seattle - Education Week

The U.S. Department of Education has told the Seattle school district that it cannot get its own waiver from the mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act.

Poorest Students Often Miss Out on Gifted Classes - Education Week

A combination of factors keeps academically talented low-income students from getting the advanced instruction they need to reach their full potential.
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