U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos Visits the Netherlands

In a photo, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos stands among a group from the IMC Weekendschool Ambassadors. There are six women to the right of the Secretary in the photo and three women and one man on the left. They are standing in front of an American flag and an image of an old map hangs on the wall behind them.

Secretary DeVos and IMC Weekend School Ambassadors

[Note: This post originally appeared on the website of the U.S. Embassy and Consulate in the Netherlands.]

A photo of U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos inspecting a wooden device. The Secretary is holding the top of a long wooden pole that is connected to three smaller poles, two of which are tied to a red chair. Three young students and a gentleman in a suit look on.

Secretary DeVos with students in Rotterdam

The U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, travelled to the Netherlands for an official program on June 11-12, as the second stop on a three country trip to Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, to explore the vocational education, decentralized school systems, and apprenticeship programs within Europe.

Her visit to the Netherlands, planned by the Dutch Ministry of Education, focused on vocational education, school choice, and advancing education options to prepare students for the modern economy. Secretary DeVos started her trip by meeting with the Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Ingrid van Engelshoven, and the Ministry helped to plan her visits. She viewed how Imelda Primary School in Rotterdam has incorporated arts into the school to advance student understanding of abstract concepts and to encourage problem solving.  She spoke with students at Edith Stein College in The Hague about the Dutch educational system and challenges faced by students.  She also visited students [at] Lucia Marthas Institute for the Performing Arts in Amsterdam, where students were preparing performances for their end of year productions.

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8 Common Public Service Loan Forgiveness Mistakes

If you are employed full-time by a government or not-for-profit organization, you may be able to receive loan forgiveness after making 120 qualifying payments (10 years), thanks to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program.

But loan forgiveness is not automatic. There are a number of specific requirements you must meet. If you want to make sure you’re on the right track, avoid these common mistakes:

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President’s Education Awards Program: A Celebration of Student Achievement and Hard Work in the Classroom

President’s Education Awards Program (PEAP) student recipients are selected annually by their school principal. This year, PEAP provided individual recognition to nearly 3 million graduates (at the elementary, middle and high school level) across the nation at more than 30,000 public, private and military schools from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Outlying Areas — American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands — and American military bases abroad.

Students received a certificate signed by President Donald Trump and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Schools also received letters from the President and the Secretary.

The Department encourages schools to be on the lookout for 2018-19 school year materials from PEAP program partners: the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). The materials outline how to order certificates to award students before the end of the school year. Certificates are FREE, and there is no limit.

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U.S. Department of Education Announces New Website to Assist State Education Policy Makers Access ESSA Resources

The U.S. Department of Education is pleased to announce the launch of the Comprehensive Center Network (CC Network) website. The CC Network website brings together a compilation of more than 700 resources developed by 23 Comprehensive Centers and over 200 projects currently underway in states across the country and makes searching by state or topic easier.

Through a single website, the CC Network portal, anyone interested in learning more of the broad range of education initiatives funded by the U. S. Department of Education, through the Department’s comprehensive centers, may examine the hundreds of efforts underway, or completed, through the nation’s network of centers.  Visit the site today at www.CompCenterNetwork.org and follow CCN on Twitter for important website updates.

Betsy’s Blog – What America Can Learn from Switzerland’s Apprenticeships

A photo of a student in an apprenticeship program describing his work to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. They are standing next to a table with equipment, including robotic elements. Other students are working in the background.There’s a lot we as Americans can learn from other countries and how they set their students up for successful lives and careers. That’s why as part of my first trip abroad as Secretary I chose to visit Switzerland and witness their innovative approach to apprenticeships. There this sort of educational opportunity is not only the norm, it is highly coveted by students!

In Switzerland, the education sector partners closely with businesses to provide apprenticeships for students in a variety of professions. Two-thirds of current Swiss students pursue their education through one of the 250 types of government-recognized apprenticeships. Meanwhile, only 17 percent of U.S. students have worked in an internship or apprenticeship related to their career goals.

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What Students Can Do to Avoid Summer Melt

In our last post, we talked about the phenomenon of summer melt, where up to 1/3 of the students who graduate high school with plans to go to college never make it to a college campus.  We discussed what the student’s support team could do to help keep the student on track—but there’s also plenty the student can do to make sure their college plans don’t get derailed.

Open every piece of snail mail you get from the college, and read all of it.  You’re probably used to getting all kinds of mail from all kinds of colleges, but once you’ve decided on a college, anything and everything they send you needs to be read.  Just ask the student who opened the letter congratulating him for being admitted.  He didn’t read the next page, which told him he had a $42,000 scholarship.  Read it all.

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Summer Melt: Why One Third of College-Bound Students Don’t Make It to Campus in the Fall

Graduation is one of the most exciting times in the life of a school counselor, but as tempting as it is to look at graduation as the end of a school counselor’s work with a class, the exact opposite is true, especially for students heading to college.  An astonishing number of students who walk across the stage at graduation with plans to go to college never get there. Too many students overlook the letters and emails colleges send over the summer, asking students to complete financial aid forms, turn in important health documents, sign up for orientation and more.

If a student misses any one of these steps, the college will assume the student isn’t coming to college after all, and they’ll remove them from their attendance records.  Suddenly, due to a couple of missed emails, the student’s plans for the fall, and for their future, take a turn for the worst.

This phenomenon is known as summer melt, and it affects more students than you might believe.  According to surveys, up to one third of all students who leave high school with plans to attend college never arrive at any college campus that fall.  Summer melt tends to hit low-income students hardest, as well as students who are the first in their family to go to college.

Realizing the devastating effect summer melt can have on students, there are some key steps the student’s support team can take to make sure their senior is on campus come the fall.

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APAHM Filled with Amazing Celebrations and Thoughtful Discussions

A picture of Minority Business Development Agency Acting National Director Edith McCloud and White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Executive Director Holly Ham signing a memorandum of understanding. They are seated at a table in front of an American flag and banners for each of their groups. Ms. McCloud sits at Ms. Ham's right. To their right is a man standing and to their left are a woman and a man standing.As May came to an end so did this year’s Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (APAHM) festivities. This month was full of amazing celebrations and thoughtful discussions. In DC alone there were many events hosted at federal and local government offices.

The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (Initiative) kicked off APAHM activities at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on May 3rd. Hosted by the DOE Asian American Pacific Islander Network, the theme for this month’s focus was “Unite our Vision by Working Together”.

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She Will Never…

[Note: May is Better Hearing and Speech Month.]
 

Those were the words I heard over and over again when my oldest child was born 27 years ago. She will never read past a third grade reading level; she can only hope for a menial or labor-oriented job; this is the best her writing will ever be so maybe you should just accept it, maybe you are in denial. Sound familiar? I am sure that I am not alone as a mom. Many of us have heard these words from well-meaning and well-intended professionals who are only trying to help.

In July of 1990, I gave birth to a very healthy and beautiful baby girl, Laurin. I mean, she was adorable (seriously, picture the Gerber baby.  That was Laurin.). She seemed to be doing everything ahead of the developmental milestones: crawling, sitting up, etc. But then, on Christmas when Laurin was five months old, my sister came to me and said, “I just tripped and knocked over some pots and pans behind Laurin and she didn’t startle.”

It is safe to say that this single moment radically changed my world.

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National Blue Ribbon Schools—Breaking the Mold

Somerset Academy Davie in Davie, Florida– a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School

National Blue Ribbon Schools are special places, each unique to their communities, their students, their staff and their leaders, yet they are producing outstanding results for all their students regardless of race, socioeconomic status, or zip code.  They are closing the gaps in student achievement and, in most cases, demonstrating consistent excellence.

Each year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program visits a handful of schools to learn more about what makes these outstanding schools tick.  Video profiles offer glimpses of dynamic students, teachers and principals in action—a day in the life of a National Blue Ribbon School.

Featured below are two 2017 National Blue Ribbon awardees led by recipients of the 2017 Terrel H. Bell Award for Outstanding School Leadership: Principal Ursula Annio and Principal Kristen Hughes.  These schools prove that there are no one-size-fits-all approaches to educating students.  Rather, by setting high expectations, offering a rich curriculum with high academic standards and providing the right student supports, students from all backgrounds can excel:

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Student Artists From Rose Tree Media School District Celebrated at the U.S. Department of Education

A picture of a group of dozens of students sitting and standing on a stage in the U.S. Department of Education auditorium.

Students from the Rose Tree Media School District celebrate their success at the U.S. Department of Education.

About 250 student artists, teachers, parents, and school administrators from the Rose Tree Media School District in Pennsylvania, along with U.S. Department of Education (ED) staff, recently celebrated the students’ “Interpretations of Portraiture” exhibit at ED headquarters in Washington, D.C.  It featured 85 pieces of artwork from all six of the district’s K–12 schools, each of them a unique portrait.

The exhibit and opening took five years of collaborative development led by Art Coordinator Kathleen Devine, its previous coordinator Meg Barney, and others in the district. This true community effort had extraordinary results.

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Seventh Cohort of U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools Announced

On May 16th, the U.S. Department of Education named the 2018 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS), District Sustainability Awardees, and Postsecondary Sustainability Awardees. Across the country, 46 schools, six districts, and six postsecondary institutions were honored for their innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education.

The honorees were named from a pool of candidates nominated by 25 states and the Department of Defense Education Activity. The 2018 cohort includes 40 public schools, including two magnet schools and two charter schools, as well as six nonpublic schools. Forty-five percent of the 2018 honorees serve a disadvantaged student body.

Curious what it takes to be a U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon School? Here are a few of the actions that the 2018 honorees are taking:

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