#RethinkSchool: Creating Pathways and Closing the Skills Gap

During the Back to School tour, I had the pleasure of touring the National Center for Aviation Training in Wichita, Kansas on my first stop on my tour through Kansas, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Tennessee. The National Center for Aviation Training (NCAT) offers a variety of aviation degree and certificate programs to students who can begin their path toward becoming skilled professionals in an aviation-related field. NCAT prides itself on its state-of-the-art aviation training facility and its ability to provide quality experiences and skills that prepare students for future careers in aviation such as Aerostructures, Avionics, Composites and Aviation Maintenance. NCAT was primarily funded and built by Sedgwick County, Kansas to meet aviation manufacturing workforce demand. Wichita Area Technical College (WSU Tech) serves as the managing partner for the Center, partnering with Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research, to provide industry-driven training courses.

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#RethinkSchool: Reconnecting with What Matters Most

It seems like yesterday that I began my career in higher education in a financial aid office in Upstate New York. It was challenging work, but especially fulfilling to see—every day—the very students whose lives were changed after receiving federal student loans, grants, or work-study funds.

On the Back to School tour, I met some hard-working, caring financial aid administrators, who are providing access to education to some remarkable young people pursuing the dream of higher education.

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#RethinkSchool: OESE’s Midwest Back to School Tour

My name is Frank Brogan and I am an educator with over 40 years in public service. During my time in public service, I’ve had the pleasure of serving as a classroom teacher, principal, superintendent of schools, Florida Commissioner of Education and then Lieutenant Governor of Florida. In my current role as Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education, I embarked on a week-long, Back to School tour. I visited 9 schools in five days spanning Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio. Each school was unique but simultaneously showcased innovation. It was important that the Back to School tour my colleagues at the U.S. Department of Education and I completed not only celebrated millions of children going back to school but also celebrated innovative schools in the 48 contiguous states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S Virgin Islands.

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#RethinkSchool: Time to Head Back to School And Rethink Education

OSERS Deputy Assistant Secretary Kim Richey and I spent the week traveling as part of the U.S. Department of Education’s 2018 Back-to-School Tour. During the week, ED leaders toured the country to get a closer, first-hand look at how schools are meeting the unique needs of students.

Kim and I spent the week in New England visiting traditional public, private/independent, and public charter schools to meet students and educators and to learn how these schools provide supports and services to students with disabilities.

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How to Fill Out the FAFSA® Form When You Have More Than One Child in College

Having one child who is heading to college can be stressful, but having to help multiple children at the same time can feel like too much to manage. While I can’t save you from a forgotten application deadline or the “how to do your own laundry” lessons, hopefully, I can help make the financial aid part of the process run more smoothly with these tips:

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#RethinkSchool: The Life-Changing Difference the Right School Makes

If you’d met Micah Ohanian before seventh grade, you’d encounter a young man who was struggling to succeed in an assigned neighborhood school, yet, a student who was determined to find an academic environment that truly worked for him.

“School choice benefited me,” he says simply, “in the best way.”

Micah describes the teaching approach at his former middle school as forging ahead from topic to topic on an inflexible schedule, with few accommodations for students with different learning needs.

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#RethinkSchool: Choice Matters for Military-Connected Students

“There are so many active-duty military families today who are making decisions about how they advance within the military, or where they are going to live… based on educational opportunities for their children,” Secretary DeVos recently said in a conversation with Kay Coles James, president of the Heritage Foundation. “I think we have the opportunity to change the dynamic for them.”

Maddie Shick is from one such family – and, despite being a bright student, she faces challenges that accompany a military-connected lifestyle.  A self-proclaimed “professional new girl,” Maddie is now a sophomore at Robinson High School in Tampa, Florida.

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The Parent’s Guide to Filling Out the FAFSA® Form

While the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form is the student’s application, we know that parents often play a large role in the process. After all, students who are considered dependent have to provide parental information on the FAFSA form anyway and must have a parent sign it. While we recommend that the student start his or her own FAFSA form, we know that’s not always what happens. With that in mind, we wanted to provide instructions for parents who are starting the FAFSA form on behalf of their child so you can avoid running into issues completing the form.

If you are a parent completing the FAFSA form for your child, follow these 8 steps:

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#RethinkSchool: Community-Led School, Community-Wide Solutions

“North Idaho STEM Academy was created at the request of parents and the community.”

The first line of the school’s promotional video, found on its website, underscores a key – indeed, perhaps the most important — tenet of North Idaho STEM Academy: it was created for the community, and by the community.

Opened in September 2012, the school serves students in kindergarten through grade 12 in Rathdrum, Idaho, and surrounding areas. School leaders don’t consider STEM a “buzzword” or a fad; instead, teachers incorporate science, technology, engineering and math into everything that students learn and do – from kindergarten through graduation.

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