More States and Districts Embrace Biliteracy

Second grader Bodhi Weatherford, 7, reviews vocabulary during a French class at the Franklin International Language Academy in Glendale, Calif. Since 2002, the Glendale district has given special recognition to students who demonstrate biliteracy.

A growing number of states and school districts are promoting bilingualism by offering special recognition for high school graduates who demonstrate fluency in languages other than English.

Thirteen states now offer a “seal of biliteracy,” and at least 10 more are working toward implementing a similar award. Students in nine of the nation’s 10 largest school systems can earn statewide or district-level recognition with the seal affixed to their diplomas or transcripts as official proof that they can speak, read, and write in more than one language.

Shifting demographics and political dynamics have transformed views on multilingual education in many parts of the country, paving the way for a focused examination of educating the nation’s 5 million K-12 English-learners and the importance of foreign-language instruction.

“It’s a small thing really, a seal, a medallion. But it’s a much larger issue than the seal of recognition,” said Shelly Spiegel-Coleman, the executive director of Californians Together, a nonprofit group that advocates for English-language learners and is

Why Equality is actively harmful to Equity

tulippdA few weeks ago, I gave a keynote speech to a large group of youth involved in philanthropy, along with a few of their parents and mentors. My topic was “The Role of Equity in Philanthropy.” It was awesome that we had kids ages 8 to 24 engaged in grantmaking and other aspects of philanthropy. They were smart and hungry and full of hope and possibilities, bright minds not yet beaten down to a haggard shell haunted by endless grant rejections and complex community dynamics and the sudden dawning realization of the ephemerality of existence, cowering in the supply closet on a fold-out cot, cradling a stuffed unicorn while Green Day’s “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” plays softly from a phone.

(What, like your Friday nights are soooo much more exciting.)

“As budding philanthropists,” I said to the youth, “you have probably seen the illustration of the difference between Equality and Equity. You know, the drawing of those kids standing on those boxes looking over a fence at people playing baseball.”

As if on cue, two kids came up to the stage with a drawing they had done

Seattle Public Schools approves later school start times for teens

A group of students board their school bus in the Mt. Baker neighborhood in Seattle. (John Lok / The Seattle Times)

Seattle Public Schools is now one of the largest school districts in the nation where teenagers will start classes later than 8:30 a.m., as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The Seattle School Board voted 6-1 Wednesday to start the city’s public high schools, most middle schools and some K-8 schools at 8:45 a.m., beginning next school year. Most elementary schools, four K-8 schools and Denny International Middle School will start at 7:55 a.m., and the remaining elementary and K-8 schools will begin at 9:35 a.m.

School Board directors called the vote a historic moment that will lead a trend of schools pushing back its start times for high-school students.

Will Seattle schools start later? Vote gets national spotlight

“This is a great win for our students,” board Vice President Sharon Peaslee said. “We will unleash a torrent of public schools shifting to bell times that make sense for students.”

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Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch waves back to some fans as he warms up with his team to face the Oakland Raiders at

Why Youth Leadership is Important?

10 reasons why young people can lead us to a healthier future:

  1. Young people are best poised to advocate for their needs in creating and implementing policies and programs to ensure youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services are free from coercion, discrimination, and violence.
  2. Young people are more receptive to change and have a large stake in creating a strong future. Youth involvement facilitates positive social change, including structures, policies and procedures that are demand-driven to address the health needs of their communities and countries, now and in the future.
  3. Adolescents make up 1/4 of the world’s population, but were left out of the Millennium Development Goals. Young leaders can guarantee that youth and their priority to have affordable and quality healthcare are part of the post-2015 development agenda.
  4. According to a consultation by Restless Development with young people in 12 countries, overall, governance is the most important issue that should be addressed in the post-2015 dialogue. Strong youth leaders can increase accountability and encourage good governance for health.
  5. Meaningful youth participation at all levels of government results in responsive health systems that take advantage of new innovations and technologies.
  6. Investing in young people increases their knowledge and practical skills, strengthening their social interest, and

Smart Youth Avoid Sex

The idea that all young people are bundles of uncontrollable hormones without brains or character never was true. This bad idea has prospered in the last 50 years as schools taught the false idea of evolution—that man is just a beast with a slightly bigger and more lustful brain. But youth just don’t naturally have to start having sex, and many are now proving that by their actions.

Studies from all over the world point to one big fact: Teens having sex outside of marriage never, ever benefit from it. Never is a huge generalization. But regardless of the culture, sex outside of marriage never works. And marriage for teens is not a good idea because it is, in most cases, too early for their best long-term growth and success as adults. Since most youth desire respect and want to do

Youth and technology Power and Danger

Technology and science have the power to transform lives – to take humankind where no one has gone before, effect change, and better the Earth and beyond.

But the current cohort of young people, so far the most technologically integrated generation, have the potential to use technology for good or for harm.

As cities in North America and Britain prepare to play host to We Day – one of the world’s largest forums for youth empowerment – global leaders and role models, such as Canadian space robotics expert and motivational speaker Natalie Panek, are focused on helping get the message across that “it’s cool to care.”

Panek and others aim to help young people, and especially women, embrace and channel technology for good.

“So much positive change can come from harnessing innovation and technology through the imagination of youth – it can open their minds, show them the power of what they can achieve to work toward a positive future,” says Panek, a 29-year-old aerospace engineer at MDA Robotics and Automation in Brampton, Ont., a unit of MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates Ltd., of Canadarm fame.

Panek will bring her message of technological empowerment – among the many themes

The Power Of Youth Leadership

When you consider retiring from your business and handing it down to someone new and young, do you get nervous? This is a very common issue with business owners who consider passing their business down to a more youthful employee. Many youthful citizens have a tendency to be rebellious and very disobedient. This isn’t something all that new, but the numbers regarding this type of behavior seem to be increasing at an alarming rate. Maybe this is a sign that America’s schools aren’t quite doing their job. Maybe it’s just because the adults in children’s lives aren’t teaching them how to become responsible leaders. It is a very important thing for the youth of our nation to learn to be leaders and to start to plan for a successful future.

If we do not try to help our next generation of leaders, it could lead to disaster. There has been increasingly large numbers of young adults and this rise is projected to continue through at least the year 2015. With most of these young adults only having the attention span of a thirty second commercial and thinking that they already “know everything”, could they have a positive impact on the

Meditation A Binding Thread Between Youth & Parents

As youth what is it that we ultimately want from our life? Happiness is certainly on the list, right? What is it that our parents want for us? Happiness, isn’t it? So, when we have the same goal, why do we end up having rough relations with them? What is the root of the communication gap that develops?

The goal is the same, but paths are many. There is a difference in the way we and our parents see things and sometimes we feel that they do not understand us. We like to explore life, while our parents advise us based on their experiences. A delicate balance needs to be maintained and with meditation, we become more aware and skilful in making the choices that strike a balance.

There are times when we might feel scared to share our goals and dreams with our parents, afraid of the way they might react or not confident of being able to explain what we want to do. We cannot escape having differing points of view. But when we meditate, we are able to communicate peacefully and skilfully. When we are calm, the tendency to react reduces and we are less likely to end

Six Steps to Leadership for Young Professionals

As a young professional, you may think you can’t lead or advance because of your youth or short tenure in your company. Think again.

In fact, youth and short tenure can be assets. Young professionals may not bring years of experience to a company, but they bring energy, exuberance, a fresh education and knowledge of new technologies that others in the company may not have. They also bring a fresh perspective — a new look at old problems.

As a young professional, you can still be a leader even if you’re not in a position of power. In fact, if you exercise your leadership skills as a young professional, your road to a more desirable position can be much shorter. Follow these six steps to cultivate and exercise your leadership skills without having positional power:

1. Do Good Work

It is a cliché, but it’s true — lead by example. Do the best you can do, ask questions and try to exceed all expectations. Winners are seen as leaders.

2. Get a Mentor

A mentor is a trusted advisor with more experience or status who teaches you in a constructive partnership. You, as the protégé, learn from your mentor’s experience, while your mentor grows and benefits

15 Best Leadership Books Every Young Leader Needs To Read

Reading is an essential life skill. It’s how we record our history and share stories. Sure, there are countless books jam-packed from cover to cover with valuable facts. But there are also limitless volumes containing invaluable insights on the human experience. Generations of people have scribed their experiences and struggles, their emotions and confessions onto blank pages, thereby transforming them into rich resources. Given this truth, it’s disheartening to report that global literacy rates are in decline. Individuals young and old all around the world are reading less, less absorbedly.

According to author John Coleman, this lack of literature extends into the business world and all the way up the corporate ladder. In his experience, “business people seem to be reading less.” Which is bad news considering the fact that “broad reading habits are often a defining characteristic of our greatest leaders.” Perhaps it’s because reading has been shown to improve communication, emotional intelligence, organizational effectiveness, and to reduce stress. All of which are critical requirements for an effective leader.

Now that you’ve been sufficiently convinced of the importance of reading, especially for would-be leaders, you’re probably wondering what you should be reading. You might also be thinking that you don’t have

The Four Things Young Leaders Must Do to Effectively Lead Older Generations

When I first became a department manager at 25 years old, everyone on my staff was at least 10 years older than me. Thankfully, my parents taught me as a young boy how to effectively communicate with older people. The first 15 years of my career I was faced with leading older generations. How could I earn the respect and get “buy-in” from those who didn’t always enjoy getting direction from a leader who was (in some cases) as old as their own children? Managing older generations at work requires patience, the ability to listen carefully, and the knowledge that you must learn the old ways of doing things before you can apply your new ideas.

As a young leader – be mindful that your older colleagues have seen your youthful enthusiasm before. Older generations in the workplace have typically “heard it all before” and in many cases may even want you to fail. Additionally – be prepared for the envy that ensues as many of your older colleagues may feel threatened by you and / or cheated for not being considered for the leadership position you are in. This is why young managers must become good leaders quickly. At

Motivating young people for education – The role of folk high schools

In most European countries Lifelong Learning has become a political priority. However, already at early stages in life it has proven difficult to motivate people for learning. A common problem across Europe is the many young people who have problems completing an education programme at upper secondary level and due to increased demands of flexibility and higher skills in the labour market they are at risk of social exclusion. A trans-European political concern is how to motivate this group of young people, often categorised as “disadvantaged”, “marginalised” or “residual”, for completing an education programme.

This is also the case in Denmark where it has been a major political goal since the 1990s to make 95% of a youth cohort complete a youth education programme. Succeeding governments have initiated reforms of youth education and financed pilot projects aimed at finding ways of motivating young people for education. However, the objective has after more than 15 years of various reforms still not been attained. Motivating young people for education remains a question and it is important to identify good practices.

In the following, I shall look into an example of good practice and contextualise it within the Danish youth education policy in order

New business degree speeds up process of getting a college credential

A handful of Washington community colleges have launched a new program that allows people to earn a business degree entirely online, at a sped-up pace.

The business associate degree has a number of unique features: It’s competency-based, so students who have some business or work experience can get credit for what they already know. It’s self-paced, so students who work hard can earn a two-year degree in as little as 18 months. It uses open-source curriculum materials such as online textbooks, so there are no books to buy. And it’s guaranteed to transfer into Washington’s four-year public colleges and universities.

It is the first competency-based degree offered by a Washington public college. The program is modeled after Western Governors University, an all-online, nonprofit college, which lent its expertise to the development of the program.

And the work is rigorous, says Rich Cummins, the president of Columbia Basin College in Pasco, who chaired the committee that created the degree. At Columbia Basin, 10 faculty members are teaching the program, most of whom are full-time. Students will also be assigned a completion coach, who will check in at least once a week to see how they’re doing.

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Intimidation factor zero: A coding curriculum for beginners and their teachers

Microsoft has released a new computer science curriculum designed for teens who may not have expressed much interest in computer programming – and teachers who don’t necessarily have any background in the field, either.

The curriculum, called Creative Coding Through Games And Apps, is available for free to any educator who wants to use it.

The course aims to encourage a wide range of students to explore computer science by teaching them to program and publish real apps and games.

It teaches kids how to code using Microsoft Touch Develop, a programming language developed by Microsoft researchers. Touch Develop is designed so that even students without any computer science background can quickly learn how to write simple programs.

Touch Develop also works on any device that has a modern Internet browser. That means students can write programs on smart phones, tablets, laptops or desktop computers, regardless of the operating system the device is running.

It’s the same technology that’s being used for the BBC’s micro:bit program, which is providing every Year 7 student in the UK with a gadget and the tools to program on it.

Tom Ball, a research manager in the software engineering group at Microsoft Research who has worked extensively on Touch Develop,

Microsoft to spend $75 mln to boost computer science in schools

SAN FRANCISCO — Microsoft will invest $75 million over the next three years in initiatives to increase access to computer science education for youth.

Microsoft’s Satya Nadella made the announcement during his keynote speech at Dreamforce, Salesforce’s annual gathering in San Francisco for its customers and partners.

This marks a major expansion of Microsoft’s YouthSpark program, the company’s effort to get young people hooked on computer science and build a larger, more diverse talent pool for the technology industry.

The shortage of computer science graduates is one of the most pressing issues facing the industry, as is the underrepresentation of women and minorities.

With the new investment, nonprofit organizations around the world will receive donations and resources from Microsoft. And Microsoft will expand its outreach into high schools through TEALS, which stands for Technology Education and Literacy in Schools. The program pairs engineers from Microsoft and other high-tech companies with teachers to team-teach computer science in high schools.

Kevin Wang, a Microsoft engineer with a master’s degree in education from Harvard, proposed the idea in 2009 after volunteering as a computer science teacher at a Seattle public high school. Nadella championed the idea of connecting students with the technology they use every day.

TEALS is aiming to be

De Blasio to Announce 10-Year Deadline to Offer Computer Science to All Students

To ensure that every child can learn the skills required to work in New York City’s fast-growing technology sector, Mayor Bill de Blasio will announce on Wednesday that within 10 years all of the city’s public schools will be required to offer computer science to all students.

Meeting that goal will present major challenges, mostly in training enough teachers. There is no state teacher certification in computer science, and no pipeline of computer science teachers coming out of college. Fewer than 10 percent of city schools currently offer any form of computer science education, and only 1 percent of students receive it, according to estimates by the city’s Department of Education.

Computer science will not become a graduation requirement, and middle and high schools may choose to offer it only as an elective.

But the goal is for all students, even those in elementary school and those in the poorest neighborhoods, to have some exposure to computer science, whether building robots or learning to use basic programming languages like Scratch, which was devised by the Massachusetts Institute of

News School board votes to approve later high school start time

High school students may get to sleep in a little later next year after the Bellevue School Board voted Oct. 6 to approve a conditional 8:30 a.m. start time for district high schools. The new start time tentatively will begin in fall 2016.

The start time is subject to board approval of an implementation plan that includes a feasibility study at each school, a solution brought up after lively discussion by the board over the role that the homework load might play in teenagers sleep schedules, scheduling and the conflict with extra-curricular activities.

“This is the third iteration of this I’ve seen in my 12 years on the board, and it has never gotten to this point, so something is different this time,” said board member Chris Marks, adding “We’re getting lost in three of the 12 million details we can’t decide right now.”

Given that Bellevue high schoolers utilize public buses, the district will need to work with King County Metro to add additional routes — at $50,000 each. How a later school release would affect student athletes also has yet to be decided.

Also unknown is what kind of impact the decision will have on the many Bellevue students who participate in

Superintendent wants new start times: some earlier, some later

Middle- and high-school students in Seattle Public Schools could start their days later and elementary students earlier under a recommendation from Superintendent Larry Nyland.

Nyland recommends that, starting next September, high schools and most middle schools start at 8:50 a.m., most elementary schools start at 8 a.m., and K-8 schools start at 8 a.m., 8:50 a.m. or 9:40 a.m.

A total of 13 schools — three K-8 and 10 elementary schools — would start at 9:40 a.m., and Denny International Middle School would start at 8 a.m.
Recommended start times

8 a.m.: Most elementary schools, three K-8 schools, Denny International Middle School

8:50 a.m.: All high schools, most middle schools, five K-8 schools

9:40 a.m.: 10 elementary schools, three K-8 schools

Source: Seattle Public Schools

Some parents at the elementary schools with the 9:40 a.m. start already have expressed frustration over the proposed change, saying the district hasn’t been transparent about its decisions and that those students could be excluded from after-school activities.

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Issaquah revisiting idea of starting school later for teens

Back in 2003, Issaquah schools debated pushing back school start times for teenagers.

That was the year that district launched a two-year study that looked into busing logistics, schedule conflicts and other complexities of changing the school day that have ripple effects throughout the community.

The final recommendation then? Make no changes.

A few years later, Seattle Public Schools tried too, but that effort also fizzled out.

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Much has changed since then. For one, the science supporting the idea is getting a broader audience, bolstered by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation last year that middle and high schools

Why Youth Unemployment Is Still a Huge Problem

Consistent with past studies, the new study finds little evidence that summer job programs increase future employment or earnings among participants. Indeed, for reasons that are not yet clear, their results suggest that participants may actually earn less than nonparticipants in the three years following summer employment. Given that improving young adults’ labor market prospects is often an explicit goal of these programs, this finding is, to put it mildly, disappointing.

But there’s more to the story. Youth who participate in summer work programs are less likely to end up in jail. They’re even less likely to die.

Summer jobs save lives. That’s not a bad tagline.

The Troubles of Youth

To see why youth employment is important, today’s jobs report is a good place to start. With unemployment at 5.6 percent, things are continuing to look good for the workforce as a whole. But those top-level aggregates tell us nothing about how various subgroups are faring.

If we parse the data by age group, we see that young people by far are the most likely to be unemployed. At 12.4 percent, the unemployment rate among 16-to-24-year-olds is basically triple the rate faced by 35-to-44-years-olds (4.3 percent) and those 45–54 years of age (4.0