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Teachers Face Prosecution Under 'Harmful Material' Bill - Education Week

Education Week - Teachers - 17 February 2015
Kansas lawmakers are considering a bill that would make it easier to charge and prosecute teachers with distributing "harmful material" to minors.
Topic: Teachers

Teacher-Evaluation Mandate Unlikely in ESEA Rewrite - Education Week

Title I and the federal role in K-12 are among the top issues as a revision of the No Child Left Behind Act passes the House education committee.

States Ceding Power Over Classroom Materials - Education Week

When it comes to choosing print and online resources for schools, states are increasingly putting more of the authority in the hands of districts.

Graduation Requirements - Education Week

States are increasingly allowing high schools to move away from traditional course-seat-time requirements for graduation and allowing competency-based assessments, grade point average, class rank, and course rigor as indicators that students are ready for college.

College-Going - Education Week

A new study suggests that statewide administration of the SAT can lead to higher college-going rates, particularly among students who would not otherwise have taken the college-entrance exam.

U.S. Millennials Come Up Short in Global Skills Study - Education Week

Even the wealthiest and best-educated young Americans lag behind peers in other countries in literacy, numeracy, and problem-solving.

MOE Kindergartens Launch New Programme to Help Parents Better Support Their Preschool Children's Holistic Development

Ministry Of Education Feed - 17 February 2015
Five new MOE Kindergartens to open in 2016

The Ministry of Education (MOE) Kindergartens will launch a Leading and Inspiring Families of Early Learners @ MOE Kindergartens (LIFE@MK) programme to better support parents of the children in MOE Kindergartens in understanding their children’s holistic development during the pre-school years. Five more MOE Kindergartens will open in 2016, bringing the total number of MOE Kindergartens to 15.

Launch of LIFE@MK programme

Recognising the key role that families play in enriching children’s learning experience and development, the LIFE@MK programme will offer centre-based workshops conducted by MOE specialists and MOE Kindergarten educators. The workshops will draw on the children’s learning experiences in the MOE Kindergartens and help parents understand approaches that are appropriate for their children’s holistic development. This will complement how the MOE Kindergartens build children’s self-confidence, social skills, and foundational language, literacy and numeracy skills. Other topics include supporting children’s holistic development and preparation for and transition to primary school. The centre-based workshops will be customised for the families by relating the content to the activities in their children’s kindergarten and providing practical tips and advice on how families can support their children’s learning at home.

This is in addition to the regular conversations with the families, and family bonding activities organised by the MOE Kindergartens. Parents indicated they welcomed the partnership efforts and have expressed a strong interest in how they could play a part in their child’s holistic learning and development.

Five new MOE Kindergartens in 2016

Five new MOE Kindergartens will begin operations in 2016. Four will be located within primary schools (Northoaks Primary, Riverside Primary, Springdale Primary and Westwood Primary) and one will be located in the community (Blk 470A/C Fernvale Link). Kindergarten care services will be available for parents who wish to have a full-day programme for their children at the five new MOE Kindergartens. The care services will be provided in the premises of the MOE Kindergartens.

Registration for MOE Kindergartens

The Registration Exercise for 2016 admission to Kindergarten 1 (K1) will be held in April. The registration exercise is open to Singapore Citizen and Permanent Resident children born between 2 January 2011 and 1 January 2012 (both dates inclusive).

Parents may visit the MOE Kindergartens’ Open Houses to find out more about the curriculum, programmes and facilities offered. Details of the Open Houses held in March 2015 and Registration Exercise held in April 2015 are in Annex A.

Details of the admission criteria and registration procedures are in Annex B. More information about the MOE Kindergartens is in Annex C.

Parents are encouraged to sign up for the Open House they are attending at www.moekindergarten.edu.sg. They are advised to use public transport to get to the MOE Kindergartens. Those who are driving could park at nearby public car parks.

About MOE Kindergartens

In 2013, MOE announced that 15 MOE Kindergartens would be set up over the next three years. The objectives of the MOE Kindergartens are to provide quality pre-school education that is affordable to Singaporeans, to pilot teaching and learning resources and to establish good practices for sharing with the pre-school sector.

The key features of the MOE Kindergarten curriculum are its distinct Singapore flavour, and its two flagship programmes - the Starlight Literacy Programme and the HI-Light Programme. The curriculum features a distinct Singapore flavour which allows children to learn in an authentic context. The Starlight Literacy Programme aims to nurture early childhood bilingualism and is offered in both English and the three official Mother Tongue Languages (MTLs) . The HI-Light Programme supports the holistic development of children through integrated learning experiences.

Teachers use two core pedagogies to engage children in learning: first, purposeful play, where children participate in activities that are enjoyable and deliberately planned to achieve important learning outcomes. Second, quality interactions, where teachers use prompts and ask key questions to engage children in conversations to help them build on ideas and concepts.

For more information about the MOE Kindergartens, parents may wish to visit www.moekindergarten.edu.sg, or contact the individual kindergartens. For more information about the MOE Kindergartens commencing in 2016, parents may contact MOE at contact@moe.gov.sg or 6872 2220 (Mondays to Fridays: 8.00am to 6.00pm, Saturdays: 8.00am to 1.00pm).

Past PSLE Papers To Be Released in Examination Format: Providing Greater Clarity On The Overall Standard Of The PSLE

Ministry Of Education Feed - 06 February 2015

Since 1993, the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board (SEAB) has been releasing the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) questions by topics for Mathematics and Science, and by item types for the English Language and Mother Tongue Languages. This has supported teaching and learning in schools and helped familarise students with the types of questions in the PSLE.

Starting 2015, on an annual basis, SEAB will be releasing PSLE papers from the previous three years in examination format, for both the standard and foundation levels1, in all subjects. This enhancement aims to provide students and parents with greater clarity on the overall standard of the PSLE.

The PSLE is a checkpoint in a child’s learning journey, intended to help him take stock of his learning before entering the next phase of education. Hence, the PSLE is designed to test students’ mastery of knowledge and skills in the Singapore primary syllabuses. The examination papers are pitched appropriately and aligned to the primary syllabuses. As the examinations are designed for a wide range of students, there is a spread of questions that enables all students to demonstrate different levels of mastery.

Chief Executive of SEAB, Ms Tan Lay Choo, said, “With a clearer understanding of the overall standard of the PSLE, we hope parents will be better informed in supporting their child for the PSLE, while bearing in mind the importance of giving their child time and space to pursue other meaningful activities and personal interests.”

For 2015, the release will include PSLE papers from 2012 to 2014. It will be published by appointed publishers and made available at major bookstores from 7 February 2015, Saturday.

Footnote
  1. Each year, our primary 5 students will be offered a mix of Standard or Foundation subjects depending on their aptitude in each subject, as demonstrated by their performance in the primary 4 school-based examinations.

Report Cites Need for N.Y. College Support After Foster Care - Education Week

Data show one-quarter of New York youths aging out of foster care will be homeless within four years and half will be unemployed at age 24.

Speech by Ms Sim Ann at the SMU-SPD Conference on "Education For Inclusive Workspaces"

Ministry Of Education Feed - 03 February 2015

Thank you for inviting me back to this very meaningful conference organised by the SMU and SPD. This is an excellent platform for students, educators, employers and professionals working with persons with disabilities, to come together to explore how we can all contribute towards an inclusive society that embraces individuals with special needs.

One important pillar of society is, of course, education. At the Minister of Education, we are committed to strengthening support for students with special education needs at every stage of their learning journey - in our mainstream schools, special education schools, and institutions of higher learning - to provide them more opportunities to realise their full potential.

Last year the MOE announced greater support for students with special needs in the Higher Education sector. Every publicly-funded university, polytechnic and ITE College set up a Disability Support Office, or DSO. The DSOs provide holistic support for students with special educational needs, such as making access arrangements and coordinating staff training on special needs support in the classroom. We also introduced the Special Education Needs Fund for eligible tertiary students with physical and sensory impairments to purchase assistive technology devices and support services that enable them to learn better in class.

However, the support and accommodation extended to students with disabilities cannot stop at the institutions of higher learning. The transition from school to the workforce is an important phase in life, and perhaps one of the most daunting for anyone. Our students and graduates with disabilities need strong support when they progress to the workplace - support from employers; support from their colleagues; support from their former schools; and also support from society as a whole. In this regard, I am heartened by the close collaboration between SMU and SPD to help graduating students with SEN find their footing as they enter the workforce. For instance, officers in the DSO provide career guidance to these students, and SPD complements those efforts through job coaching and support when students graduate and move into a working environment.

Another positive outcome of the partnership between SMU and SPD is today’s conference, “Education for Inclusive Workspaces”. SMU and SPD have invited a diverse range of panel speakers, ranging from a specialist in higher education and disabilities; an educator who did not let his disability stop him from building his career; a recent graduate who now champions disability awareness at the workplace; and the CEO of a company that prioritises diversity and inclusiveness. These speakers bring a wide range of expertise and experience in supporting students with special education needs’ transition into employment, and I am sure we will all be enriched by their sharing.

As we strive towards being a more caring, more compassionate and more inclusive society, I look forward to see more of such collaboration among Government agencies, educational institutions, employers and voluntary welfare organisations, to make learning and employment more accessible to all.

I would like to once again congratulate and thank SMU and SPD for putting this conference together, and I hope that this collaboration will inspire many others.

I wish you all a fruitful conference this afternoon. Thank you.

Accountability - Education Week

Education Week - Teachers - 03 February 2015
A forthcoming study by University of Missouri researchers finds that accounting for factors like poverty when comparing schools could lead to a more "effective and equitable" teacher-evaluation system.
Topic: Teachers

Red Flags Raised on Plan to Let Title I Aid Follow Students - Education Week

Voucher opponents worry about a provision in a draft bill to revise the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that would let aid for poor children follow them to their public schools of choice.

Teach Like a Champion Update Heightens Focus on Instructional Practice - Education Week

An expanded edition of Doug Lemov's popular book is published as interest in practice-based teacher preparation is growing.

Schools Test Impact of Blending Technology, Longer School Days - Education Week

The pairing of blended learning and an expanded school day hits the sweet spot for improving K-12 education, concludes a new guide for educators and policymakers.

Textbook Authority Shifting From States to Districts - Education Week

State control over curriculum materials is slowly shifting to districts.

Free Tenn. Tuition Program Brings Flood of Applicants - Education Week

About 90 percent of Tennessee's senior class has applied for the first year of Tennessee Promise, which offers eligible high school seniors the chance to go to a community college or technical college tuition-free.

College Readiness - Education Week

College access has become less of a problem for students in poverty than completion, finds a new William T. Grant Foundation study, an update to a 1988 report on inequity.

Helping Young Singaporeans Jumpstart into a Career in Academia

Ministry Of Education Feed - 02 February 2015
1,500 scholarships to be offered at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels by 2030

The Ministry of Education (MOE) has launched a ‘Singapore Academic and Research Talent Scheme’ to give young Singaporeans who have a passion for an academic career the jumpstart to join our Autonomous Universities (AUs). The scheme will also play a part in nurturing the next generation of leaders in our universities. This will support our universities in building up a strong Singaporean core of academic and research talent.

MOE and the AUs aim to offer over 1,500 scholarships at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels over the next 15 years.

Opportunities for Singaporeans to pursue a career in academia at our universities will be enhanced. The scheme will grow the number of scholarships that the universities can support, so that many more talented young people with an interest in teaching and research can benefit.

The Singapore Academic and Research Talent Scheme comprise two key initiatives:

i) Co-funding of post-graduate talent development schemes

MOE funds half of the post-graduate talent development schemes offered by the AUs to Singaporeans to groom future faculty. This includes:

  • NUS’ Overseas Graduate Scholarship and Overseas Postdoctoral Fellowship and NUS’ Early Career Award
  • NTU’s Senior Tutorship Scheme
  • SMU’s Faculty Development Scheme
ii) New MOE-Autonomous University Scholarship

Starting 2015, young Singaporeans with an interest to pursue a career in academia will be better supported through a new MOE-Autonomous University (MOE-AU) Scholarship.

About 10-15 scholarships will be offered each year to students who are about to pursue or are in the midst of pursuing their undergraduate studies, and who demonstrate a high level of proficiency, motivation, and interest in a particular subject field. If they do well, these students will be sponsored for postgraduate scholarships and take up academic positions offered by the universities.

A distinctive feature of the MOE-AU Scholarship will be the pairing of scholarship recipients with the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, or Singapore Management University.

The AU will provide a comprehensive developmental programme to prepare the scholarship recipient well for an academic career. The AU will also assign an established academic to mentor each recipient. The mentor will share academic guidance, career advice, as well as research expertise.

Application for the MOE-AU Scholarship is now open. Full-term and mid-term applications will close on 31st March 2015 and 31st May 2015 respectively. The application form can be downloaded from MOE’s website. More details on the scholarship can be found in the Annex.

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