Thursday, May 24, 2012

Appreciating scheme – A State Dinner for Kids in US

Calling all kid chefs: The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge invites parents of kids ages 8-12 to submit an original recipe for a lunch that is nutritious and delicious. All entrants have the chance to win a trip to Washington D.C. and the opportunity to be invited to attend a Kids’ “State Dinner” at the White House in August, where a selection of the winning healthy recipes will be served.

Let’s Move! is teaming up with Epicurious, the Department of Education and USDA to find great lunch ideas that are healthy, affordable, and of course tasty.

“We all want to ensure that our kids are eating nutritious, delicious food at every meal, and as a mom I know that parents are always looking for new ideas to make that happen,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “With parents and kids all across the country getting creative in the kitchen, I know we’ll find healthy meals that every family will enjoy.  And I can’t wait to try the kids’ creations myself.”

The rules are simple: All entrants are encouraged to reference the guidelines to ensure recipes meet the primary criterion of being healthier. Entries should represent each of the food groups, either in one dish or as parts of a lunch meal, including fruit, veggies, whole grains, protein and low-fat dairy foods.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Louisiana, US to Receive Over $10 Million to develop Lowest-Performing Schools

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced that Louisiana will receive $10.1 million to turn around its persistently lowest-achieving schools through the Education Department's School Improvement Grants (SIG) program. 

The funds are part of $535 million provided through the fiscal year 2011 budget and made available to states under the program. To date, Louisiana has received $88.8 million since the SIG program was redesigned in 2009.

"The School Improvement Grants program is providing courageous school leaders and teacher teams in more than 1,200 schools nationwide with the means to accomplish the very difficult work of turning around some of our hardest to serve schools." 

When a school system applies to a state for SIG funding, it must indicate that it will implement one of four intervention models in each of its persistently lowest-achieving schools, based on school needs: 

  • TURNAROUND MODEL: Replace the principal, screen existing school staff, and rehire no more than half the teachers; adopt a new governance structure; and improve the school through curriculum reform, professional development, extending learning time, and other strategies.
  • RESTART MODEL: Convert a school or close it and re-open it as a charter school or under an education management organization.
  • SCHOOL CLOSURE: Close the school and send the students to higher-achieving schools in the district.
  • TRANSFORMATION MODEL: Replace the principal and improve the school through comprehensive curriculum reform, professional development, extended learning time, and other strategies.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

New rules bring back power to reject disobeying children in UK

New rules published today will put an end to excluded pupils winning the right to come back to school against the headteacher’s wishes.

Coming into force from this September, the new regulations will apply to maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units. The changes were legislated through the 2011 Education Act.

Currently when a headteacher excludes a child from school, the school can be forced by an appeals panel to re-admit that child. This can lead to a disruptive child continuing to damage their own education as well as that of others – as well as undermining the headteacher’s authority.

Under the new system, headteachers will have the power to exclude a child as long as the decision is legal, reasonable and fair. If the new review panels believe this has not been the case, they will be able to require schools to revisit their decision. They will not be able to force the school to take back the child.

Supporting schools to promote good behavior is vital to enabling all pupils to achieve their full potential, regardless of their circumstances. 

Education Minister Nick told, “Raising standards of behaviour in schools is a key priority of the Government. It is a vital building block in the Government’s objective of raising academic achievement and closing the attainment gap between those from poorer and wealthier backgrounds.

“Restoring the authority of teachers and head is an important part of the objective of raising standards of behavior in schools. When head teachers decide that they have no choice but to expel a persistently disruptive or uncooperative pupil that decision must not be undermined by an appeal process which can result in the pupil returning to the school against the wishes of the school and its leadership.

“These new rules preserve the right to have a decision to expel a child reviewed by an independent panel but take away the power to force the return of the pupil to the school.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Five States receives funding to determine lowest achieving Schools

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan today announced that five states will receive funding to turn around their persistently lowest achieving schools through the School Improvement Grants (SIG) program.
The award provides new funding as part of $535 million included in the fiscal year 2011 budget and made available to states under the program. In fiscal year 2009, states received a total of $3.5 billion for the SIG program.
School Improvement Grants (SIG), authorized under section 1003(g) of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (Title I or ESEA), are grants to State educational agencies (SEAs) that SEAs use to make competitive subgrants to local educational agencies (LEAs) that demonstrate the greatest need for the funds and the strongest commitment to use the funds to provide adequate resources in order to raise substantially the achievement of students in their lowest-performing schools.