Thursday, April 21, 2016

GO Virginia adopted

Late yesterday evening, the Virginia General Assembly adopted GO Virginia's legislation by a wide, bipartisan margin. This action follows several weeks of negotiations, detailed here, over how a new state board that will oversee the implementation of this legislation will be composed. The revised legislation now goes to the Governor, who has agreed to sign it into law. As part of this compromise, implementation can now begin without delay.

To grow and diversify Virginia’s economy, business, education, and local government leaders in each region must work together. GO Virginia has now provided a framework for that collaboration. The passage of this compromise caps months of work by you, the members of the GO Virginia coalition, to accomplish this goal.

Thank you for all you have done to achieve this legislative success...but we have much work ahead of us to get these programs off the ground. We look forward to working with you on the implementation of this landmark legislation.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Please Support Urban Alliance Internships today!

Today is a big day for supporting Urban Alliance, a very important partner in Alexandria and Arlington for providing internships for high school seniors.  They have also been very accommodating in promoting STEM habits of Mind within their curriculum.

Please support them today to take advantage of matching funds!  Razoo LINK

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Part 1. from Steve at NCSE:

Steve Newton's picture

Disrupting the Classroom, or How Self-Styled “Education Reformers” Always Get It Wrong, Part 1

A recent article in The New Yorker exposed some interesting aspects about why educational “reforms” often fail. Highlighting the efforts of a Bay Area private school system started by a former tech executive, the author, Rebecca Mead, gets into great detail of how the “disruption” that upended the cab and hotel industries across America, is a tougher road to tread with schools.
Mead’s article focused on a school system called AltSchool. The AltSchool was founded in 2013 by Max Ventilla, formerly of Google, who “had no experience as a teacher or an educational administrator.” According to Mead’s article, the idea of starting his own personal school grew out of his and his wife’s experience trying to find an acceptable preschool for their daughter, and the observation of “how little education has changed since he began school.” He set about reinvent it.

According to its website, this is “School, reimagined,” with “interdisciplinary, project-based learning” that educates the “whole-child.” (That’s a good idea—schools that only teach the left or right side of children make kids unbalanced.) One significant difference with traditional education is that AltSchools are festooned with cameras and audio recorders in a system called AltVideo, which records everything the children do and say (#notcreepyatall #TrumanShow).

AltSchool’s philosophy claims to upend the role of teachers in education, proposing:
...a revised conception of what a teacher might be: ‘We are really shifting the role of an educator to someone who is more of a data-enabled detective.’ [Ventilla] defined a traditional teacher as an ‘artisanal lesson planner on one hand and a disciplinary babysitter on the other hand.’
I don’t think many actual teachers will appreciate that comparison, and I have no idea what the opposite of a “data-enabled detective” would be…a detective who operates solely on random guesses rather than facts? AltSchool seeks to be “data-driven” about its students—Mead describes a “faith in

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Japanese Eathquake

From the TNCE Facebook page:

A Japanese scientist says the fault that caused the 7.0 earthquake on Saturday shifted horizontally by 1.8 meters (that's about 6 feet for you Theater majors) in a few locations.

The entire Futagawa Fault measures about 50 kilometers (31 miles). It appears that the rupture moved to the northeast over a period of 20 seconds.

There was also a vertical shift of 0.7 meters (28 inches) along sections of the fault.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Nursing Partnerships


Posted: Saturday, April 9, 2016 10:34 pm | Updated: 9:21 pm, Mon Apr 11, 2016.
nurse shortage

Like many other hospitals, CHI Health St. Francis is having trouble finding enough nurses. In order to increase the nursing supply, the Grand Island hospital decided to grow their own.
CHI St. Francis was already offering tuition reimbursements to current employees who want to go back to school to get their bachelor’s degrees.

Beth Bartlett, vice president for patient care services, figured, “Why don’t we spend our money in a different way?”
In creating the new program, the hospital decided to “spend the same amount of money and see if we can go find some high school students who might be interested in a health care career,” she said.
“Grow Our Own” is the name of the program, which is a partnership between CHI St. Francis, Central Community College and Career Pathways Institute.
CHI St. Francis hopes the program will benefit the Grand Island hospital and help create an interest in nursing.
Under the program, CHI St. Francis will pay CCC tuition and fees for high school students interested in a health care career. In return, the students agree to work for St. Francis for three years.
As part of the arrangement, CCC will hold five seats each year for future St. Francis nurses, Bartlett said. The deal also calls for CHI St. Francis to help CPI with its HOSA program. HOSA was formerly

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Addressing Bias

from Southeast Michigan Startup:

Opinion: How to combat bias in STEM

Dr. Tonya Matthews teaching
Dr. Tonya Matthews teaching


When I was in school, I was encouraged to keep up with my math and science for two reasons. First, I was reminded that I was good at it. No brainer. I had test scores to back that up -- so it made sense. Second, I was told that a smart black girl like me should set herself up for success by choosing fields where bias would not hold me back. After all, when a math problem is right, it’s right. Right?

Apparently not. Last fall there was a lot of conversation about a study that documented gender bias in sixth grade math teachers, and measured the impact of that bias on students by tracking them all the way through high school. The outcome was predictable: girls showed progressively less interest in and adoption of higher math and science courses, while boys -- even those with less skill -- showed increasing adoption of higher math and science courses appropriate to their grade progression.

But still we march on! We know better and we’re doing better. Sort of. A recenteditorial from the National Education Association noted that gaps between boys and girls taking science and math classes have narrowed, with boys and girls averaging the same number of high school credits in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) classes. The article cites one of many studies debunking myths that girls aren’t interested in or good at STEM. Yeaa! Still, the title of this article is “Bias and Stereotypes Sideline Girls in STEM” and is quick to