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President Obama, in the 2013 State the Union address, challenged the country to move forward simultaneously on two key educational fronts — providing high-quality preschool for all four-year olds and preparing a new generation of Americans in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects. Teaching artists from the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts and preschool educators in the Fairfax County (Virginia) Public Schools, with support from the U S. Department of Education, are developing an innovative approach to achieving both of these national goals.
The Early Childhood STEM Learning Through the Arts (Early STEM/Arts) is pioneering an innovative, research-based arts integration model for early childhood learning — one that supports math teaching and learning through active, arts-based experiences in pre-K and kindergarten classrooms. Preschool teachers participating in the project receive professional development that enables them to apply arts-integrated lessons in their classrooms. Some report “a-ha!” moments as they work alongside Wolf Trap Teaching Artists such as Amanda Layton Whiteman (pictured above). “When I found out it was going to be math, I was saying, oh jeez, this is going to be hard,” said one teacher. But after being involved with the artist and the arts-integrated approach, she “realized that math is everywhere.” And incorporating the arts into her everyday lessons “helps you reach every child.”
With the help of a $1.15 million Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination grant from the Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII), the Early ATEM/arts program will disseminate evaluation results in early 2014. In the meantime, Wolf Trap Regional Programs in 16 locations nationally are gearing up to implement the new model in the 2013-14 school year.
Read OII’s “Wolf Trap Institute Unites the Arts and STEM in Early Childhood Learning” to hear more stories from those at the Wolf Trap Institute.
Federal student loans can be a great way to help pay for college or career school. While you shouldn’t be afraid to take out federal student loans, you should be smart about it. Before you take out a loan, it’s important to understand that a loan is a legal obligation that you will be responsible for repaying with interest.
Here are some tips to help you become a responsible borrower.
- Keep track of how much you’re borrowing. Think about how the amount of your loans will affect your future finances, and how much you can afford to repay. Your student loan payments should be only a small percentage of your salary after you graduate, so it’s important not to borrow more than you need. To view all of your federal student loan information in one place, go to nslds.ed.gov, select Financial Aid Review, and log in.
- Research starting salaries in your field. Ask your school for starting salaries of recent graduates in your field of study to get an idea of how much you are likely to earn after you graduate. You can use the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Outlook Handbook to estimate salaries for different careers or use a career search tool to research careers and view the average annual salary for each career.
- Understand the terms of your loan and keep copies of your loan documents. When you sign your promissory note, you are agreeing to repay the loan according to the terms of the note even if you don’t complete your education, can’t get a job after you complete the program, or you didn’t like the education you received.
- Make payments on time. You are required to pay the full amount required by your repayment plan, as partial payments do not fulfill your obligation to repay your student loan on time. Find out more about student loan repayment, including when repayment starts, how to make your payment, repayment plan options, and more!
- Keep in touch with your loan servicer. Notify your loan servicer when you graduate; withdraw from school; drop below half-time status; transfer to another school; or change your name, address, or Social Security number. You also should contact your servicer if you’re having trouble making your scheduled loan payments. Your servicer has several options available to help you keep your loan in good standing.
Remember, federal student loans are an investment in your future so invest wisely.
Tara Young is a communication analyst at the Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid
The department won't disclose its plans for efforts to regulate career-oriented programs.
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved extending federal student loans, work-study funds, and other support to students who are in the United States illegally.
Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge may not have discriminated against a female job candidate, the court said, but the evidence warrants a trial, not dismissal of the case.
As part of Teacher Appreciation Week, Secretary Arne Duncan recognized Mr. Noah Geisel as the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) National Language Teacher of the Year. Mr. Geisel, a Spanish teacher at East High School in Denver, said his enthusiasm for teaching Spanish “comes from my love of language and culture, and belief that language learning and understanding of cultures are essential to my students’ futures.”
Secretary Duncan and the U.S. Department of Education share Mr. Geisel’s belief in the importance of foreign languages and global competencies to the future of our nation’s students and a key part of a world-class education. As Secretary Duncan has said, “to prosper economically and to improve relations with other countries, Americans need to read, speak and understand other languages.” And this is something that I have seen personally, both while working on the President’s National Security Staff and now leading our Office of International and Foreign Language Education here at the Department of Education.
In the months ahead, we look forward to working with foreign language teachers like Mr. Geisel across the country as we continue our Fulbright-Hays and Higher Education Title VI programs and encourage new partnerships between institutions of higher education and neighboring schools and communities. For example, Language Resource Centers throughout the country provide materials and training for K-12 teachers, who then are equipped with the tools and additional knowledge to further world language learning at the K-12 level.
This is the kind of partnership that makes foreign language programs sustainable and develops the cradle-to-career pipeline that we need for foreign language competencies. Check out some of the opportunities offered by our International and Foreign Language Office, and be sure to sign up for our newsletter while there and please also send us your ideas and examples of the great partnerships you have developed to IFLE@ed.gov!
Clay Pell is deputy assistant secretary for International and Foreign Language Education
Today’s young people must graduate from high school with the skills necessary to succeed in the 21st century global economy. And that certainly includes youth with disabilities. To that end, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy are working closely together to create opportunities for youth with disabilities to graduate college and career ready.
Our economy demands a talented and diverse workforce. President Obama has called on the Federal Government to hire an additional 100,000 workers with disabilities by 2015. Senator Harkin joined with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in setting a goal to increase the size of the disability workforce from under five million to six million by 2015. Delaware’s Governor Markell, as Chair of the National Governor’s Association, has called on state governments to identify business partners who will work with them to develop strategic plans for the employment and retention of workers with disabilities.
We believe that all youth, including youth with disabilities, must graduate from high school with the knowledge and skills to be successful in the workforce. While in school, students with disabilities must be held to high expectations, participate in the general curriculum, be exposed to rigorous coursework, and have meaningful and relevant transition goals and services aligned to college- and career-ready standards. Research has shown that effective transition services are directly linked to better postsecondary outcomes for students with disabilities. Research also tells us that to flourish in the workplace youth with disabilities must also be provided with the opportunity to develop leadership skills, to engage in self-determination and career exploration, and to participate in paid work-based experiences while in high school. With only 20.7 percent of working age people with disabilities participating in the labor force, compared to 68.8 percent of those without disabilities, we must do better!
That is why we’re currently hosting, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Social Security Administration, the first-ever national online dialogue to help shape federal agency strategies for helping young people with disabilities successfully transition from school to work. We know that we cannot do this alone. To bring about lasting change, we need educators, service providers, disability advocates, policymakers, and youth with disabilities and their families to provide input. We want and need to hear from you!
Akin to a “virtual town hall,” this dialogue invites members of the public to help us learn what’s working, what’s not, and where change is needed, with particular focus on how various federal laws and regulations impact the ability of youth with disabilities to be successful in today’s global economy. This “Conversation for Change” started on May 13 and runs through May 27th. More than 2,000 people have participated, and we want you to join-in also! We encourage everyone who is interested in improving transition outcomes for youth with disabilities to contribute.
We hope you will lend your voice to our efforts to ensure inclusion, equity and opportunity on behalf of America’s youth with disabilities.
Michael Yudin is the acting assistant secretary of education for special education and rehabilitative services. Kathy Martinez is the assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy.
The release falsely depicts a Stanford student and two scholars at other universities as leaders of a campaign to boycott Arab nations. Its origin is unknown.
Glitches in the department's debt-management system forced it to rely on estimates of what the collection agencies should be paid.
Reports from the Council for Aid to Education provide evidence that students are in fact learning, in contrast to the findings of a blockbuster 2011 book.
The U.S. Department of Education extended until 2014 the deadline for compliance with rules requiring colleges to be properly authorized by state governments.
Thomas R. Kepple Jr. will preside over the American Academic Leadership Institute, one of a handful of organizations that prepare aspiring presidents.
The University of Oregon's Sustainable Cities Initiative pairs local needs with classes and research, with benefits for all parties involved.
With the Gordon College campus as his test lab, Brian Glenney, a philosopher, helped develop the new, more active image.
Universities in several other states find the Sustainable Cities Initiative worth adjusting to their own circumstances.
Jason Cook, Texas A&M University's vice president for marketing and communications for five years, used athletics and social media to remake its image.
Garrey Carruthers, now a vice president at the university, will become its leader. Read about that and other job-related news.
People who have taken dozens of massive open online courses share their advice for those teaching them.