U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan Announces a Set of Rights to Help Parents Seek High-Quality Education for Their Children

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today released a set of rights that outlines what families should be able to expect for their children’s education.

“I want to describe educational rights that I firmly believe must belong to every family in America — and I hope you’ll demand that your leaders in elected or appointed offices deliver on them,” Duncan said during a speech to the 2015 National Parent Teacher Association Convention and Expo in Charlotte, North Carolina. “They come together as a set of rights that students must have at three pivotal stages of their life, to prepare them for success in college and careers and as engaged, productive citizens.”

To help prepare every student for success in life, families have the right to:

  • Free, quality preschool;
  • High, challenging standards and engaging teaching and leadership in a safe, supportive, well-resourced school; and
  • An affordable, quality college degree.

Full story of helping parents finding education for kids at ed.gov

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to Discuss Progress and the Future of Education at the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches in Florida

Secretary Duncan will speak at the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Monday, March 9. He will highlight the success of key education efforts, thanks to the hard work and leadership of parents, teachers, principals, and district and state officials, and his vision for the future of education.

Duncan will outline his vision for the future and the need to replace the current version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)—also known as the No Child Left Behind Act—with a law that delivers on the promise of equity and real opportunity for every child. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has called on Congress to create a bipartisan law that gives teachers and principals the resources they need, expands high-quality preschool for families and supports schools and districts in creating innovative solutions to problems that translate into better outcomes for students.

For more information on the event, visit ed.gov

New York Puts Spotlight on Teachers Engaging Parents

When parents at the Silas Wood Sixth Grade Center in South Huntington, New York, began asking questions about the unfamiliar assignments their children were bringing home last fall, teachers thought they deserved answers. So, the teachers with the support of teacher leaders put together an evening demonstration of how the State’s new college and career ready standards had changed both how they were teaching and what students were expected to do.

On January 8, the night of the demonstration, the notorious polar vortex of the winter of 2014 slammed into Long Island, and the temperature plunged into the single digits. Undeterred, the teachers went ahead with the event and hundreds of parents braved the cold and sat through sample lessons in mathematics and English language arts to learn how to ask their children questions like those they hear in school.

Full story on teachers engaging parents at ed.gov

Why I Wear 80

When I take the court tonight for the NBA Celebrity All-Star Game, I’ll be wearing a number that signifies some great news – thanks to the hard work of our nation’s students, parents, and educators.

The number I’ll wear – 80 – is rarely seen on a basketball jersey – but represents a record in education.

That number – 80 percent — is the newly announced high school graduation rate, the highest in American history. Never before have 4 out of 5 American students completed high school. We have further to go, but this is a moment to celebrate the hard work of our educators.

Full story of wearing 80 at ed.gov

Education: Making the Connections

This is Connected Educator’s Month (CEM) — a month in which thousands of educators in on-line communities and learning networks across the country participate in a myriad of events to share knowledge and to learn from each other. As a result, we decided to devote some posts in October, as we did last year during “Connected” month, to share some of our thoughts on education.

We must confess we come at this from the outside in rather than from the inside out. We are business people and entrepreneurs first. We are model builders and busters second.

We are also students and life long learners who recognize that making connections matter in all walks of life. They matter whether they are peer to peer, superior to subordinate, subordinate to superior, company to customer, student to teacher, teacher to student, student to student, administrator to faculty, school to community — and the types and degrees of mattering go on.

We have a working familiarity with education at all levels, a grounding in learning theory, and a solid understanding of the manner in which organizational systems operate and behave. Most importantly, given our backgrounds, we have a passionate commitment to education and deep personal appreciation of the fact that what happens at the educational “pivot point” can make the difference for an individual pursuing the American dream and the future of the American dream itself.

Full story of education connections at Huffington Post

The Great Stagnation of American Education

For most of American history, parents could expect that their children would, on average, be much better educated than they were. But that is no longer true. This development has serious consequences for the economy.

Stagnation of American EducationThe epochal achievements of American economic growth have gone hand in hand with rising educational attainment, as the economists Claudia Goldin and Lawrence F. Katz have shown. From 1891 to 2007, real economic output per person grew at an average rate of 2 percent per year — enough to double every 35 years. The average American was twice as well off in 2007 as in 1972, four times as well off as in 1937, and eight times as well off as in 1902. It’s no coincidence that for eight decades, from 1890 to 1970, educational attainment grew swiftly. But since 1990, that improvement has slowed to a crawl.

Companies pay better-educated people higher wages because they are more productive. The premium that employers pay to a college graduate compared with that to a high school graduate has soared since 1970, because of higher demand for technical and communication skills at the top of the scale and a collapse in demand for unskilled and semiskilled workers at the bottom.

As the current recovery continues at a snail’s pace, concerns about America’s future growth potential are warranted. Growth in annual average economic output per capita has slowed from the century-long average of 2 percent, to 1.3 percent over the past 25 years, to a mere 0.7 percent over the past decade. As of this summer, per-person output was still lower than it was in late 2007. The gains in income since the 2007-9 Great Recession have flowed overwhelmingly to those at the top, as has been widely noted. Real median family income was lower last year than in 1998.

Full story of american education opinion at The New York Times

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Yelling at your teen can backfire, impact mental health: study

Adolescents whose parents shouted, swore at or insulted them showed more signs of depression than their peers whose moms and dads didn’t, according to a new study.

If you’re a parent of a teenager, researchers say that the best parenting advice is to talk, not yell.

A new study released Wednesday finds that 13-year-old adolescents whose parents shouted at them suffered more symptoms of depression than their peers whose parents didn’t. The study involved nearly 1,000 two-parent families living in the US and is published online in the journal Child Development.


“This is one of the first studies to indicate that parents’ harsh verbal discipline is damaging to the developing adolescent,” said lead researcher Ming-Te Wang, an assistant professor of psychology in education at the University of Pittsburgh. “The notion that harsh discipline is without consequence, once there is a strong parent-child bond — that the adolescent will understand that, ‘They’re doing this because they love me’ — is misguided because parents’ warmth didn’t lessen the effects of harsh verbal discipline.”

Full story of parents yelling at their teens at New York Daily News

Docs urged to address military kids’ mental health

Addressing Military Kids Mental HealthMore than 2 million children have been affected by the military deployment of at least one parent within the past decade, and thousands have had to cope with a parent’s death or traumatic injury, experts say.

Therefore, it’s imperative that pediatricians and other health care providers address the mental health and well-being of children from U.S. military families, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“This is guidance (for the providers), but it is the first of its kind,” said co-author Dr. Beth Ellen Davis, a pediatrician and retired U.S. Army colonel. “I could think of no better way to honor our service members than to help providers take care of their children.”

The authors looked at previous studies from the past decade about children and parents’ wartime deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan.

“When a parent goes away to war, the common typical response is that all children experience stress around that,” Davis said. “Most children adjust after a short period of time.”

Full story of military kids mental health at CNN Health

Photos courtesy of and copyright PhotoPin, http://photopin.com/