JKBOSE Class 12 exam 2016: Jammu division results declared, check them here

 

Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education (JKBOSE) has declared the results of Higher Secondary (Class 12) part two annual 2016 (W/Z) and bi-annual-2016 (S/Z) private exam for Jammu division on its official website.(Ravi Kumar/HT file)

Jammu and Kashmir Board of School Education (JKBOSE) has declared the results of Higher Secondary (Class 12) part two annual 2016 (W/Z) and bi-annual-2016 (S/Z) private exam for Jammu division on its official website.Candidates can check their results on board’s official website.

Steps to check the results:JKBOSE

1) Go to the official website of JKBOSE

2) Click on the link ‘Result of Higher Secondary Part Two, Annual 2016 (W/Z) & Bi-Annual-2016 (S/Z) (Private)-Jammu’ in the latest results section on the right

3) Key in your roll number and click on submit

4) The result will be displayed on the screen

5) Take a print-out

Or click here to directly go to the login page for results.

The state school education board had in January declared results of Higher Secondary (Class 12) part two examinations for 2016 (regular) – Jammu (Winter Zone) candidates.

 

Chandigarh: Panjab University hikes fee by up to Rs 82,000 a year

Panjab University, Chandigarh.(HT File Photo)

 A year after hiking the fee by 5%, Panjab University (PU) senate on Sunday approved an average of 12.5% fee hike for all courses of university departments and its regional centres for the session 2017-18, on Sunday. However, the fee for some courses has multiplied by several times.The decision means that from the new academic session starting July, the tuition fee will see a minimum increase of Rs 2,000 and a maximum increase of approximately Rs 82,000 depending on the course. Students of courses like BPharma, who were paying Rs 5,000, will now pay Rs 50,000.

A Bachelors in Arts or Commerce will pay Rs 10,000 against the Rs 2,200 now.

The MA in journalism has also become dearer by six times to Rs 30,000.

PU vice-chancellor Arun Kumar Grover justified the fee hike stating that it was nominal considering the financial condition of the varsity.

SUB-COMMITTEE TO FINALISE DETAILS

The fee hike was approved, in principle, with a sub-committee authorised to finalise the details as well as formulation of scheme of concession for students belonging to Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) after the implementation of the fee hikePanjab University

ONLY APPLICABLE FOR STUDENTS ADMITTED AFRESH

The new fee structure shall be applicable only to the students admitted afresh in academic session 2017-18. For existing students, the existing fee structure would be applicable after allowing an increase of 5% on tuition fee.

This will also be subject to a minimum increase of Rs 500 and maximum Rs 1,200.

In the last syndicate meeting, the V-C had stated that the Think Tank committee formed to look into the financial concerns of the varsity had recommended enhancement in internal revenue by 20% in 2017-18

FEE CONCESSIONS

The varsity also approved a number of fee concession schemes for all courses (other than self-financed in which scheme of freeship is already there).

For instance, students who have studied and qualified their Class-12 examination from a government school or government aided school with annual family income up to Rs 5 lakh will be eligible for fee concessions up to 50% of the tuition fee.

 

Skill development ministry to set up separate education board for Industrial Training Institutes

The academic certificates issued to the ITI pass-outs would be acknowledged by all the UGC, AICTE, CBSE, NCERT, AIU and state education boards, and former would get admissions in their institutions.(PTI Representative Photo)

Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) has accepted skill development ministry’s proposal of setting up a separate education board for the ITI pass-outs to offer them class X and XII certificates, the parliament was informed on Thursday.The academic certificates issued to the ITI pass-outs would be acknowledged by all the UGC, AICTE, CBSE, NCERT, AIU and state education boards, and former would get admissions in their institutions.With this, a matriculate ITI pass student having spent two years on a course, would not have to pursue 10+2 and will be able to get admission in the college in the first year of graduate programme.

Likewise, an 8th pass ITI student can get admission in 10th class in any of the recognized schools, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, the skill development and entrepreneurship minister said.

National Council of Vocational Training (NCVT) that has been authorized to conduct academic examinations for ITI pass-outs.

The decision is likely to benefit about 2.3 million students graduating from over 13,000 Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) every year.HRD ministry

Rudy told HT on Wednesday that the proposal includes adding subjects like English, Hindi, Mathematics into the new ITI curriculum and students would have to clear those subjects as well.

Rudy said that the name of the proposed was yet to be finalized.

A high-level meeting of senior officials of various departments on February 16, it was decided that once the proposal is formalised, the National Council for Vocational Training will be authorised to conduct academic examination and certification for class X and XII for the ITI students.

Consequently, the UGC, CBSE, AICTE, NCERT, AIU (Association of Indian Universities) and state education Boards will be informed that the NCVT has been authorised to conduct academic examinations for ITI pass outs and award X and XII certificates which should be honoured by all educational institutions to provide further opportunities for higher studies.

 

JEE-Mains exam moderately easy but lengthy, say students

JEE aspirants outside Ramnarain Ruia College in Matunga on Sunday.(HT)

Around 10 lakh students from across the country appeared for the offline Joint Entrance Examination-Mains (JEE-Mains) on Sunday and they gave a thumbs-up to the paper. Barring a couple of questions, most students and experts said the question paper pattern was similar to that of last year’s and fairly simple, unlike last year, when some questions were considered out of syllabus.“The paper was moderately easy. While most of the questions were from the syllabus, looks like one question in the physics section was too difficult for the students. Similarly, another question had two correct answers in the options,” said Vinay Kumar, MD and CEO of Rao Academy, a coaching institute.

Paper I (for BE/BTech aspirants) was held in the morning slot whereas Paper II (B.Arch/BPlanning) was conducted in the afternoon slot. Most students were happy with their performance and said the test was based majorly on the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) syllabus. “While the physics and chemistry sections were easy, the mathematics section was very difficult and lengthy. Many of us could not attempt to answer all the questions in the section,” said Rohan Sawant, who appeared for his test in the morning slot on Sunday.

“Many questions in the paper were straight forward and could be solved by a student who has been preparing sincerely for the exam. There were some tricky questions, like in all three subjects five to six questions were framed quite differently. However, there was no ambiguous question in the paper this year,” said Aakash Choudhry, director of Aakash Educational Services, another coaching institute.Mumbai news

This is the first year that weightage to class XII marks has been dropped from JEE altogether. JEE-Main ranks will not include Class XII marks of students, instead, a candidate has to score above 75% or be in the top 20 percentile of their respective boards to be eligible for JEE-Mains. Until last year, JEE-Mains rank was calculated by giving 40% weightage to Class XII marks.

 

Fighting for Special Education

 

The confirmation of Donald Trump’s pick for Secretary of Education raises questions among faculty at schools across the nation about how to organize to protect public education. For many special education teachers in particular, the threat of widespread cuts to public schools is particularly urgent.

Betsy DeVos is a champion of school privatization and advocate of dismantling public education, and she confidently and aggressively plans to pursue these goals.

US special education departments have long suffered from ableist policy and funding practices, which are part and parcel of the neoliberal assault on public schools — in which students with disabilities are always the ones thrown under the bus.

DeVos, who openly opposes a federal guarantee of free and appropriate education to students with disabilities, appears poised to further ravage these services.

But it’s not only teachers who are hungry to defend students most victimized by ongoing attacks on special education. During the 2016 walkout by Boston Public School students, thousands of young activists and working-class families raised the demand for full funding for disability programing alongside a broader demand for well-funded public schools.

The current resistance to Trump has demonstrated the readiness of ordinary people to stage effective opposition to systemic injustice of all kinds. From the massive demonstrations for women’s rights to the pro-immigrant, anti-Islamophobia protests staged at airports across the nation, these mobilizations have shown that hundreds of thousands of people are invested in opposing oppression and fighting for a more just society.

We have an opportunity to tap into this momentum and harness the energy of this resistance to simultaneously oppose the DeVos agenda and bring the struggle against disability oppression to the forefront of the movement for education justice.

In order to achieve this, we have to examine the nature of disability oppression and how the disenfranchisement of students with disabilities in the US education system is wedded to a broad assault on public services for working-class people.

Their “Disability” and Ours

Asocialist approach to fighting disability oppression starts with the “social model of disability,” which identifies disability oppression — like all other forms of oppression — as rooted in the way our society is organized. Exclusion and discrimination toward people with physical or mental differences are not a natural consequence of human nature; impairments exist in a context where exclusion and discrimination based on impairment are permitted.

Under capitalism, the labor market and the organization of work are key components in the construction of disability as a social category. Inherent in the ideology and practice of capitalism is the idea that a person’s well-being is dependent on their ability to sell their labor for a wage.

Thus, physical and mental differences that preclude or interfere with performing wage labor are considered central to very condition of “disability.” The Social Security Administration of the United States plainly states on its website, “You cannot do work…This is a strict definition of disability.”

This definition of disability is absurd, defined only by one’s ability to make profits for a boss. We should recognize a definition of disability that includes all those who experience oppression as a consequence of impairment.

Although the state does provide benefits for some people with disabilities, disability welfare in severely limited in accordance to the “principle of less eligibility,” the idea that any assistance to the unemployed must be limited to an amount less than the wages of the poorest workers — to ensure that disability payments don’t undercut employers paying poverty wages. )

In the realm of education, there are parallels to the federal definition of disability and how it is used to regulate labor markets and access to social services. One aspect of the criteria for diagnosing a student with a learning disability (and thus qualifying them for special education services) is the determination that a student “does not make adequate progress to meet age or grade-level standards.”

Within the US education system — the primary function of which is to reproduce the American workforce — students with disabilities are defined as those whose performance is not in line with state standards for college and career-readiness or those who require additional or individualized educational resources to meet those standards.

When teachers ask, “Why is it always kids with disabilities who are first to be thrown under the bus?” the dismaying answer is that the character of schooling in the United States has always reflected the needs of capitalism rather than any kind of humanistic value in bettering people’s lives.

When advances to special education services have been won in the past, it has not been due to the benevolence of those who manage the state deciding to hand down reforms for the benefit of students with special needs.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), for example, was won thanks to the struggle waged from below by civil rights activists and advocates of the Independent Living movement, who put forward a radical perspective on the politics of disablement and exposed masses of ordinary to a critique of ableism for the first time.

Unfortunately, protections won under IDEA legislation have not been enough to defend the interests of students with disabilities in public education. Students with severe disabilities have become increasingly vulnerable as public education generally and special education policy in particular have been refashioned to reflect neoliberal priorities.

Preparing Special Needs Students to Fail

Neoliberalism is driven by the belief that the “free market” should coordinate all aspects of social life. So neoliberal measures include privatization of public institutions, the cutting of social services (because they led to “market distortions”), and attacks on labor unions (which frustrate “market efficiency”).

Privatization converts resources for public goods into private profits for corporations and their investors. This creates an incentive for advocates of neoliberal policy to set up public schools to fail, thus creating a justification for privatization. This, in turn, gives political leaders the opportunity to reward their friends and supporters in the private sector with contracts to run various aspects of the public school system.

The effective use of discrimination against special education students as a weapon against public education is particularly clear in the legacy of the No Child Left Behind Act, passed during the George W. Bush administration.

In 2004, the IDEA Act — originally established to ensure the full inclusion of children with disabilities in public education — was revised to reflect alignment with No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and its practice of placing sanctions on districts with low academic performance.

Under NCLB, the standardized exams scores of students diagnosed with severe cognitive disabilities were for the first time held against districts in determining school ratings, which in turn affected schools’ access to funding. It wasn’t an oversight of NCLB that students with disabilities were unfairly assessed by standards that made no accommodation for their abilities. On the contrary, this was part of a carefully devised strategy that set up public schools to fail.

Obama’s 2009 Race to the Top (RTTT) program pushed the polices of NCLB into overdrive, much to the continued detriment of special education students. RTTT used the offer of additional grant money to incentivize states to adopt a set of common national standards and assessments, with test scores enshrined as the arbiter of student progress.

The program lacked any adapted standards and assessments to account for the cognitive diversity of students. RTTT deliberately set up special education students to fail, all under the guise of delivering them an “equal education.”

Schools whose special education departments cannot demonstrate proficiency on state-mandated standardized testing are now punished through low ratings that result in defunding and the implementation of “school-choice” programs. In a worst-case scenario, low-scoring schools can be taken into state receivership.

This is where education “reformers,” who represent the interests of neoliberal restructuring, step in and recommend that schools be converted to business-managed charter schools. Although charter schools promote themselves as open to all, their admissions processes often include screening students based on academic records, disciplinary history, and special needs.

This kind of screening serves two purposes: first, to limit admission to students who require the fewest resources and therefore are less costly to teach (i.e., neurotypical, able-bodied students); and second, to filter out students who are most likely to receive low scores on state testing (i.e., students with learning differences or cognitive disabilities).

Educating students with special needs thus becomes a pesky financial burden.

Built to Exclude

The exclusion and mistreatment of students with disabilities long predates the dismantling of public school districts or the rise of discriminatory charter schools.

However, it is a mistake to believe we can win better conditions for special needs students by setting higher goals for their performance on standardized exams or by abandoning the project of building public schools that are more inclusive.

We cannot fight for a vision of education justice that includes disability justice within the current neoliberal model of education, because that model was built to exclude special-needs students and to silence those that demand free, accessible, community-controlled schools that can genuinely serve children of all abilities.

As a result, we should focus our demand not on “equality” as defined by the proponents of the one-test-fits-all position, but on equity. Our side must put forward a vision of education that acknowledges diversity in learners and strives to give each child an education that is responsive to their unique needs.

This is not a vision of education that places lower expectations on special-education students because of the misconception that they are inherently low achievers. It is a vision that upholds the reality that there are a multitude of ways to acquire knowledge and express intelligence.

Refusal to acknowledge this reality harms students with learning differences in particular. Just ask an educator — the research is on our side with regard to this issue. Today at graduate programs for prospective teachers, pupils study the principles of universal design, Howard Gardener’s theory of multiple intelligences, and Lev Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development.

All the foundations of progressive pedagogy tell us that human learning is a social and creative process that different students will access through diverse modes of knowledge development. This clearly refutes the notion that schooling should be built around rigid inculcation with standardized content.

Worth More

Building a movement for education justice that acknowledges diversity in the way children learn means demanding the freedom for educators to design and teach curricula responsive to the needs of their students. As it stands now, the teachers who are best trained to develop curriculum for students with special needs are rarely able to draw on this expertise because standardized testing creates significant pressure to “teach to the test.”

This is why it is critical to link demands for disability justice to demands raised by teachers unions: a stronger voice for educators in policy-making, education spending, and academic design are vital components of winning equitable education for students with disabilities.

One example of how the fight for disability justice can be waged in tandem with the education justice struggle is the “opt-out movement” — a collaborative effort in which teachers unions, parents, and students rally together under the slogan, “Less testing, more learning.”

The goal of this movement is to give parents and children both the right and the confidence to opt out of state standardized tests, and thus shift the education system away from a system designed to punish teachers, students, and schools that don’t perform well on high-stakes tests.

In 2016, more than 640,000 students across the United States refused to participate in these exams and simultaneously raised public consciousness about the harm that testing inflicts, particularly in communities of color. Advocates for disability justice should similarly see opt-out campaigns as platforms to voice demands that will advance the cause for equitable special education.

Likewise, the recent success of the “Save Our Public Schools” campaign in Massachusetts saw thousands of parents, students, and social-justice activists of all kinds stand with teachers unions in their call to vote against a ballot proposal that would drain billions of dollars from public schools to fund the expansion of charter schools.

“Save Our Public Schools” became the most widely publicized ballot question campaign in the history of the state, won tremendous public support, and successfully secured funding for public schools — all while educating voters about the role charter schools play in promoting a two-track system that discriminates against students with disabilities.

Beyond concrete protections for public special ed, the “Save Our Public Schools” campaign shows what can be achieved through fusing broad calls for social justice with the demands of teachers as well as the particular demands of students with disabilities.

Solidarity across social movements and between various struggles for justice will be required to win against Trump. The fact that the his agenda will pose a threat for all movements for liberation — feminist, disability rights, women, immigrants, Muslims, queer and trans people, working-class people, and many more — should signal to activists that fighting alone is neither preferable nor possible. One way we can build the fight for disability rights is to combat the ableism inherent in the project of privatizing education.

Our rallying cry should be unequivocal: education must be a human right for people of all mental and physical abilities. Education cannot be a means for generating private gain for massive corporations. Building a movement for schools that reflects this vision is one step toward the project of building a society that refuses the idea that our worth is dependent on our ability to produce profit — a society that would render obsolete the very basis for disability oppression.

Primary schools 14000 children do not get first choice

 

About 14,000 children have missed out on their first choice of primary school in London, figures reveal.

Across the city’s 33 council areas, 86% got into their first choice of school. Overall, the number of applications was down by 4% to 98,944.

The Pan London Admissions Board said pressure for places remained high despite the slight drop in applications.

The national figure will not be announced for several weeks.

The London figures also show that overall, 96% of children received an offer from one of their top three preferred schools. Last year, it was 94%.

The areas with the highest number of first preference admissions were Barking and Dagenham (93%), Newham (92%) and Bexley (91%), while Kensington and Chelsea (68%), Hammersmith and Fulham (76%) and Harrow (79%) had the lowest.Classroom

‘Considerable growth’

The admissions board said the variation in boroughs was because the city had such a dense population and that while some schools might not have offered many first preferences, they may have a high proportion of first preferences for pupils from neighbouring boroughs because schools were situated near borough boundaries.

It said some parents may also choose to select a school their child was unlikely to receive an offer for.

Sara Williams, chair of the Pan London Admissions Board, said: “The demand for primary school places in London remains high, having increased by 5% since 2011.

“Overall there has been a slight fall in demand for reception places since last year, but the pressure on London schools to deliver places for children across the capital due to start school this September remains.

“We will be keeping an eye on birth rates and patterns of population growth, but we expect demand for primary school places to continue at least at current levels and demand for secondary school places to grow considerably in the years ahead.”

Education sans Morality is no Education

Every nation or society, consciously or unconsciously, always finds itself involved in the socialization of its people. Naturally this starts in childhood, and schools or educational institutions plays an important and critical role in this process. Iqbal stressed that people do not develop in isolation, but for their proper nourishment and for enrichment of their qualities they need society and community. It is precisely the reason that the role of schools and society in fostering the development of moral citizens in any society necessitates focus on moral development, ethics and related character development like humanity and human values.
In every society all sort of human behavior is not acceptable. There are some norms which are against morals. These norms have social or religious sanction behind them. Legally, though you cannot be penalized for breach of some of these norms but still you have to abide these norms as they define your personality and  character in society. The conduct of a person in social life is governed by a morality, human values and ethics.
to Socrates, “Ethics concerns no small matter, but how we ought to live”. Earlier, it used to be the kinship and society were agents of inculcating the moral laws, ethics and humanity to younger generations but now these virtues are even shrinking in these institutions which has left a huge responsibility on the education system and teachers. The role of Education institutions and a teacher is not only to complete the curriculum but also to inculcate the ethical values which are essential for a healthy and progressive society.
Iqbal was of the serious opinion that modern education has done a great disservice and injustice on new generation by only trained individuals mentally and superficially, and least bothered about moral & character development, growth of the  soul, spiritual progress, chaste of morals of an individual. He was of the firm belief that reformation and revival of society was the responsibility of teachers as they were the most influential people. He felt anguish and disillusioned of modern education. For Allama Iqbal,  young people are like eaglets and it is the responsibility of the teachers and the educational system to give them the strong wings to rise high.Education sans Morality is no Education
Iqba, somehow viewed modern education as superficial, and  worthless. But, Allama Iqbal was not against modern education. In his view, education should aim for both materialistic gains like, to secure a job, status and a means for living as well as for enhancing knowledge and for spiritual development like understanding the true meaning of life and developing the Selfhood of students. The educational system and teachers need to undertake the responsibility of building the character of pupil through lesson on ethics, morality, humanity, spirituality and the inner self. It will help pupils in soaring high and make strong society full of devotion, humanism, affectionate and helpful to each other. We don’t need simply a doctor but aspire a good human to become  a doctor as he/she will be more sympathetic and  affectionate towards his patients. Similarly,  we need a good human being to become teacher as he/she  will do justice with students
Although Plato’s Republic is best known for its definitive defense of justice, it also includes an equally powerful commentary on education. Plato believed that the key to a successful society is a strong educational system. The purpose of education according to Plato is to nurture good citizens for the benefit of society and to improve the moral quality of each citizen. It is a common belief that a person is not in proper sense until he is educated as it is only education which trains the human mind to think rationally and make the right decisions in all circumstances.
In the real sense, education serves its purpose only when besides other things it also inculcates morality and humanity among learners. But, the aim of modern education as Gandhi puts it, is to provide only such education that would enable the student to earn more. It hardly gives any thought to the improvement of the character of the educated. Traditional values, character development, virtues and moral ethics are shrinking in modern education as no effort is being made for the nourishment of these values. That is perhaps why the present generation has lost the values and old generation has lost the respect.
We should not separate modern education from moral education. In fact, both types of education can go concurrently in harmony with each other. Allama Iqbal believed that a society could not progress if it did not have progressive and enlightened teachers. He viewed teachers as role models who have the responsibility of bringing out the best in their students – not only academically but also at all levels of personal development. For this, he expects teachers to come to the level of the students, understand their needs and inculcate in them ethics and values necessary for the reformation of a society.
Education is actually the means to achieve truthfulness, improve oneself and to serve the people. But, the ultimate aim of modern education system has become to prepare an individual for employment and jobs. It hardly cares about the moral development of an individual.  The present day education system only addresses the material needs and completely ignores the moral aspect of an individual. It does not recognize the inner needs of an individual. The religious and moral education has been ignored for the sake of maintaining secular image. Plato viewed education as the only safeguard against the abuse of power and an attempt to touch the evil at its source and to reform the wrong ways of living by altering the whole outlook in life. In today’s world education is spreading at a very rapid pace but are crimes diminishing? Have we been able to stop the abuse of power and have we been able to stop corruption. The answer is absolutely not. This suggests that modern education serves no purpose other than manufacturing individuals for jobs and services.
Education is indeed a social process and as such, it is also the way to the vision of absolute truth and that vision is a vision of the individual soul. Education,  in Plato’s metaphor, results in the turning of ‘inward eye’ towards the light and it does so because the teacher gets the light to catch the eye. But, Alas,  for secularism we have shunned moral and  religious education in schools. Moral education is seen as challenge to secularism and it has vanished from educational system. So,  the need of the hour is to have both types of education which will develop individual morally, mentally and spiritually. Then, we can dream of a society in which individuals will enjoy each other’s generosity and share human values.

 

Trump Signs Executive Order Reviewing Federal Role in Education

 

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday aimed at decreasing the role of the federal government in education while giving states and local school districts more power over decision-making.

Trump called the called order, which directs Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to study federal overreach in education, “another critical step to restoring local control, which is so important.”

“We know that local communities do it best and know it best,” the president said as he stood flanked by DeVos, Vice President Mike Pence, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and others.

“Previous administrations have wrongly forced states and schools to comply with federal whims and dictates for what our kids are taught,” Trump said. “The time has come to empower teachers and parents to make the decisions that help their students achieve success.”Image: Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos speaks during an event with Governors where U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on education at the White House in Washington

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos speaks during an event with Governors where President Donald Trump signed an executive order on education at the White House in Washington on April 26, 2017. Carlos Barria / Reuters

DeVos, is already empowered to modify or repeal federal regulations on education. She used this authority in February to withdraw Obama’s past guidance on transgender bathroom protections in public schools.

She now has 300 days, under the new order, to review federal education regulations deemed inconsistent and overly-broad.

The Department of Education’s Bob Eitel is charged with leading a regulatory task force and submitting a report at the end of the 300-day period. Eitel is a former lawyer for Bridgepoint Education Inc., a for-profit education services company which was forced last year to forgive the debts and refund payments to thousands of students, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Adrienne Watson, communications director for the Democratic National Committee, told NBC News that the education order “Doesn’t actually do anything.”

“This EO changes absolutely nothing,” said Watson. “Trump isn’t signing it to actually improve education for American students, he is doing it to put a fake point on the board within his first 100 days because he doesn’t have any accomplishments of significance.”

The order concerns public education advocates and teacher’s associations, who voiced fierce opposition to DeVos during her confirmation hearing in early February.

DeVos is a strong advocate of privatizing children’s education through charter schools (which are publicly funded but privately operated) and school vouchers (which allow parents to use public funds to send children to private schools).

In Michigan, where DeVos has been instrumental in the expansion of privately-run charter schools, parents and educators have said the boom resulted in unregulated schools and poor student performance. There are 300 charter schools in the state, with over 80 percent run by for-profit companies.

Image: Betsy DeVos testifies before the Senate Health, Education and Labor Committee confirmation hearing
Betsy DeVos testifies before the Senate Health, Education and Labor Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 17. Yuri Gripas / Reuters, file

“If you’re getting federal dollars to run your charter school, then you should be held to some standard. But that hasn’t happened in Detroit,” Ivy Bailey, president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, told NBC News in February.

In recent remarks to the National Association of State Boards of Education on Mar. 20, DeVos promised to get the federal government out of the way of school policy.

“We’re going to start by implementing the law as Congress intended,” said DeVos, “Giving you all — state leaders — the freedom and flexibility you deserve.”

The Education Secretary explained that “No two states are identical” at the March meeting.

“The issues and challenges facing West Virginia are different from those of New Hampshire or Oregon,” DeVos said. “We shouldn’t insist the same solution will work everywhere, every time.”

 

BAKER VALLEY EDUCATION FOUNDATION AIMS TO AID INNOVATIVE TEACHING

 

A conversation among moms started Kim Mosier into researching different education models, and ultimately led to developing the Baker Valley Education Foundation.

“Somewhere in my research on expeditionary learning, I came across education foundations,” said Mosier, who lives in Baker City.

(Expeditionary learning is an in-depth, project-based approach. This year, fifth-graders at South Baker Intermediate School have completed several “expeditions.”)

Mosier has a fourth-grader and a first-grader. She helps in her children’s classrooms, and through conversations she learned that “the teachers want to do hands-on, and many are already, but they have to pull out of their own pockets.”

As Mosier read about education foundations, she discovered these exist in all 50 states in various forms — some are all volunteer, and some have paid staff. The goal, however, is the same: “augment, supplement or complement programs and activities currently being provided by the district.”

The Baker Valley Education Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit. The board of directors is Mosier, Angela Willison, Megan Alameda, Stephanie Rasmussen and Melissa Irvine. All are volunteers.

The foundation’s mission is to “promote and support innovative teaching and education in the Baker 5J School District” by providing grants directly to teachers for classroom projects.Image result for BAKER VALLEY EDUCATION FOUNDATION AIMS TO AID INNOVATIVE TEACHING

Mosier has made presentations to the school board, staff at the district schools, and parent-teacher organizations.

In her program for teachers, Mosier asked “What would you do with $1,000?”

Answers ranged from tubs full of science units for kindergarten to standing desks to outdoor clubs and greenhouses.

Teachers or teacher teams can submit an application for a classroom grant that specifies how many children it will impact, the money requested, and if volunteers are needed.

“We expect we’ll have more ideas than money,” Mosier said.

The Foundation’s objectives are:

• support hands-on, experiential learning opportunities

• help teachers meet the educational needs of multiple intelligences

• support teachers’ efforts toward innovative teaching methods

If an application comes in requesting more than the foundation can fund, Mosier said they can look for other options.

“Other foundations have been successful matching projects in their districts with funders,” she said.

Open House, Fundraiser Friday

The foundation will have a community open house and fundraiser this Friday, downstairs at Crossroads Carnegie Art Center, 2020 Auburn Ave., from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

 

Schools cutting mental health services to plug funding gaps, warn MPs

Cash-strapped schools are cutting mental health services such as counsellors and pastoral provision as they try to cover funding gaps, two influential groups of MPs have said.

The health and education select committees joined forces for the inquiry, which called on the government to look at the impact of budget cuts on mental health services for children.

Services to support wellbeing are “the first thing to go” when budgets are under pressure, the inquiry heard. The government announced £1.25bn in additional funding for young people’s mental health in 2015, but almost 80% of primary school headteachers responding to a survey said a lack of money prevented them from providing mental health support in schools such as counsellors.

The MPs wrote: “We know that more than half of all mental ill health starts before the age of 15 and it is therefore a false economy to cut services for children and young people.”

There are “unacceptable” variations in the level of access children have to mental health services because some parts of the country lack strong links between schools and mental health providers, the inquiry found.

The education minister, Edward Timpson, told the inquiry a pilot scheme increasing collaboration between schools and mental health services was being expanded to 1,200 more schools. The MPs called on the government to “commit resources to establish partnerships with mental health services across all schools and colleges”.Girl on her way home from school

The issue of social media was of particular concern for the inquiry, which found that it could help and harm young people’s mental wellbeing. Witnesses told the inquiry that young people tended to contact support services such as Childline on the internet rather than by phone, and social media could help connect young people, especially those with rare conditions, to supportive communities. But cyberbullying and sleep deprivation due to late-night screen use concerned witnesses to the inquiry.

Schools should teach pupils how to make sensible decisions around social media, the inquiry determined, as part of equipping them for the modern world. But they should also teach parents about social media, especially about its impact and that of screen time more generally on children’s sleep.

“Parents have a key role to play in limiting screen time, reducing sleep deprivation and preventing exposure to harmful online activity,” the MPs wrote.

Ofsted inspections could play a key role in raising the importance of mental health and wellbeing in schools, the MPs said, but witnesses said thewatchdog was too focused on academic achievement, with only one-third of Ofsted reports specifically referring to the mental health and wellbeing of pupils. The report called on Ofsted’s chief inspector, Amanda Spielman, who took over in January, to look at ways of making mental wellbeing more prominent “as a matter of priority”.

An Ofsted spokeswoman said: “Personal development, behaviour and welfare of pupils is one of our key judgments in school inspections and is graded in every section five inspection. As part of this, inspectors already evaluate the experience and wellbeing of particular individuals and groups of pupils, including those with mental health needs.

“Ofsted has also started discussions with the CQC [Care Quality Commission] about some future joint survey work in relation to the government’s proposals to transform mental health support for children and young people.”

Sarah Brennan, the chief executive of mental health charity YoungMinds, said: “We are facing a mental health crisis in our classrooms and it is vital that the next government rebalances the education system to ensure that the wellbeing of children is as important as academic achievement in schools.

“Many schools are doing excellent work to promote good mental health. But funding constraints, coupled with a lack of prominence given to wellbeing in the Ofsted inspection framework, mean that when schools face tough decisions about which services to cut, they are under pressure to prioritise other areas.

“At a time when rates of self-harm are rising sharply, and when specialist mental health services are overwhelmed, this cannot be right.”

Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrat MP and mental health campaigner, said children and young people were being “shortchanged”.

“It is scandalous that much of the additional funding for children’s mental health secured by the Liberal Democrats in 2015 is not getting through,” he said.

“Until the government commits to providing more long-term funding for health and social care, this mental health crisis will not be tackled.”