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Summer Math and Science Honors Academy

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The Summer Math and Science Honors Academy, known as SMASH, gives students of color guidance and exposure to STEM subjects. Many students of color don’t have such classes available in their schools, but academies like SMASH help give them the foundation they need to excel in STEM careers even if such programs are missing from their daily curriculum. The program takes places every summer for three years for each student but also offers benefits throughout the school year. SMASH students have access to special college counselors and receive tailored SAT prep classes.

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10 of the Most Incredible STEM Programs for Black Youths

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iUrbanTeen’s STEM Summit

iUrbanTeen’s STEM Summit is a unique program that not only focuses on introducing students to STEM careers and subjects but also gets them involved in the arts as well. The summits, which usually bring about 150 students together, helps students get hands-on experience in health care, environmental sciences, energy, transportation, cybersecurity, digital arts, mobile app development and more. The program’s website promises that the summits are not only educational and engaging but are also fun for the students involved. This not only helps keep them engaged during the summit but also dispels myths that STEM careers can’t be exciting or very creative.

Read more 10 STEM Programs for Black Youths

Wolfram Math World

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Wolfram Math World: Need help with a type of math? Don’t understand math terminology? Head to this site for all the guidance and materials you’ll need to master any mathematical problem.

Visit Wolfram Math World

Professors Launch Initiative to Push For More Black Male Teachers

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| Posted by Taylor Gordon
A group of college professors and administrators in Pennsylvania have come together to launch a new initiative that aims to attract more Black men into the teaching profession.

The professors and administrators come from several universities and colleges, including Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Point Park University and Community College of Allegheny County.

Together, they have launched the Black Men Teaching Initiative, which is using workshops, mentorship programs and other resources to persuade more African-American men to attend college and consider a career in teaching.

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Mentoring Partnerships

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The backbone of mentoring’s infrastructure is the growing Mentoring Partnership Network that MENTOR helps build and support.

MENTOR is scaling impact by developing and supporting a national network of affiliate Mentoring Partnerships. Mentoring Partnerships are non-partisan, public-private organizations that galvanize local or statewide mentoring movements, providing the leadership and infrastructure necessary to support the expansion of quality mentoring relationships. Mentoring Partnerships serve a unique role as a clearinghouse for training, resources, awareness, and advocacy, providing the critical link between MENTOR’s national efforts and local organizations and programs that foster and support quality mentoring relationships. Mentoring Partnerships are designated MENTOR affiliates that inform and distribute our research and resources.

Mentoring Partnerships are focused on the following key priorities:

Advance the quality of the local mentoring field by building relationships with new and existing mentoring programs and provide capacity building trainings and technical assistance grounded in evidence-based approaches.
Engage a wide variety of public and private stakeholders to increase both the number of volunteer mentors as well as resources for the local mentoring field.
Collect data on a regular basis to describe the impact of mentoring in the broader community and identify gaps in the range of services needed.
Expand public and private support and investment in mentoring through public awareness and advocacy efforts that foster communities that prioritize quality youth mentoring. Mentoring Partnerships have developed solid, field-tested solutions to some of the mentoring movement’s greatest challenges.

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Smarter Balanced States Approve Achievement Level Recommendations

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Smarter Balanced members voted to approve the initial achievement levels for the math and English assessments that will be administered in 17 states and one territory this school year. The achievement levels help provide a more accurate picture of individual student performance, and the vote marks an incredibly important milestone in the development of the Smarter Balanced Assessment System.

Achievement Level Setting was an inclusive, collaborative process that involved an unprecedented level of educator and public input. More than 2,500 educators, parents, and other interested stakeholders provided input during the Online Panel. Their recommendations were shared at In-Person workshops in Dallas with nearly 500 teachers, school leaders, higher education faculty, parents, community leaders, and other stakeholders. Participants reviewed test questions and determined threshold scores for four achievement levels for each grade in both subjects. In addition, a cross-grade review committee comprised of 72 members took results from both the Online Panel and In-Person workshops into consideration as they developed recommendations aligned across grades to reflect student progress from year to year.

It’s important to remember that achievement levels are a starting point for discussion about the performance of individual students and groups of students. In addition to achievement levels, there are other ways to evaluate academic progress of students and schools. Smarter Balanced states unanimously approved a position paper that provides guidelines for how scores and achievement levels can be used and interpreted.

We know that new content standards set higher expectations for students. That’s why the new assessments are designed to evaluate student performance against those higher standards. It is therefore not surprising that we may see a decline in student scores this year. However, over time the performance of students will improve.

In the coming months, Smarter Balanced states will present the approved achievement level recommendations to policymaking entities that have the authority to formally adopt achievement levels in each state.This authority typically rests with the state board of education.

To learn more about the Achievement Level Setting process, visit the Achievement Levels page.

Read more FULL REPORT

Smarter Balanced States Approve Achievement Level Recommendations

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Members of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium have voted to approve initial achievement levels for the mathematics and English language arts/literacy (ELA) assessments that will be administered in 17 states and one territory this school year. The vote marks an important milestone in the development of the assessment system. READ THE PRESS RELEASE

LEARN MORE ABOUT ACHIEVEMENT LEVELS

Smarter Balanced Hires Deputy Executive Director

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (Smarter Balanced) has appointed Luci Willits as its deputy executive director. Willits joins the state-led consortium December 8. As deputy executive director, Willits will focus on strategy and state services, overseeing communications, policy, and partnerships with higher education. LEARN MORE

Field Test Report Now Available

A report on the Smarter Balanced Field Test is now available. This report presents results from state surveys given to students and adults in 13 Smarter Balanced member states. The Field Test or “test of the test” was administered in the spring of 2014 to more than 4.2 million students across the Consortium, and provided teachers and schools an opportunity to gauge their readiness in advance of the operational assessments in spring 2015. LEARN MORE

New Resources Available on the Support for Under-Represented Students Page

To prepare states across the Consortium for successful implementation of the Smarter Balanced Assessment System, a variety of updates have been made to the Support for Under-Represented Students page. Updated versions of the Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations Guidelines, Accessibility and Accommodations Factsheet, and Usability, Accessibility, and Accommodations FAQs are now available.

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Applications are now open for Google’s Computer Science Summer Institute and the Generation Google Scholarship!

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Posted: Thursday, January 8, 2015

Are you a current senior in high school interested in studying computer science at university?

if (highSchoolStudent && interestedInCS && graduationYear == 2015) {
applyToCSSI();
}

We are now accepting applications for the 2015 Generation Google Scholarship for First Years and Computer Science Summer Institute. Read more about both programs below and apply today!

What’s the difference?:

Computer Science Summer Institute (CSSI) is a three-week introduction to computer science for graduating high school seniors with a passion for technology—especially students from historically underrepresented groups in the field.

The Generation Google Scholarship for high school seniors helps aspiring computer scientists excel in technology and become leaders in the field. Selected students will receive 10,000 USD (for those studying in the US) or 5,000 CAD (for those studying in Canada) for the 2015-2016 school year. as part of the scholarship, current high school seniors who are entering their first year of university in 2015-2016 will be required to attend CSSI in the summer of 2015.

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Level Playing Field Institute

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Interview with the Level Playing Field Institute

Model View Culture talks to Dr. Jarvis Sulcer, Executive Director of the LPFI.

What is the Level Playing Field Institute? What are your goals and mission?

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The Level Playing Field Institute (LPFI) is a non-profit with headquarters in Oakland, California. Our mission is to eliminate the barriers faced by underrepresented people of color in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and foster their untapped talent for the advancement of our nation.

We focus on improving access and opportunity for underrepresented students of color in STEM. Specifically, we operate STEM-focused education programs, execute innovative computer science initiatives, and conduct research on STEM equity and opportunity.

Our main goal for 2014 is to find new ways to fill in the opportunity gaps through our middle- and high school STEM intervention programs. We are creating sustainable partnerships with a variety of partners including schools, non-profit organizations, for-profit companies and university faculty to expand our networks of support for underrepresented students of color pursuing STEM degrees and careers.

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About the Future Ready District Pledge

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United States Department of Education

Office of the Secretary

Dear Superintendent,

As one of more than 16,000 superintendents leading school districts across the nation, you are on the forefront of the transformation of public education. Technology now allows for personalized digital learning for every student in the nation so long as leaders have the technological infrastructure and human capacity in place to ensure success.

The Future Ready District Pledge is designed to set out a roadmap to achieve that success and to commit districts to move as quickly as possible towards our shared vision of preparing students for success in college, careers and citizenship. The U.S. Department of Education seeks to encourage and support superintendents who commit to taking a leadership role in this transition with recognition and resources to help facilitate this transition to digital learning.

In June of 2013, the President launched the ConnectED Initiative to provide 99% of students in the nation with access to high-speed Internet connectivity at the classroom level. Coupled with two billion dollars from the federal E-Rate program, increased flexibility in the use of federal funds, and billions of dollars in additional commitments from the private sector, progress towards improving the nation’s physical infrastructure has already been dramatically accelerated.

However, in order for these resources to leverage their maximum impact on student learning, schools and districts must develop the human capacity, digital materials, and device access to use the new bandwidth wisely and effectively. The Future Ready District Pledge establishes a framework for achieving those goals and will be followed by providing district leaders with additional implementation guidance, online resources, and other support they need to transition to effective digital learning and achieve tangible outcomes for the students they serve.

The U.S. Department of Education is calling on superintendents like you who lead district, charter, and private schools to join us in taking the Future Ready District Pledge and working to develop, implement, and share your technology plan with other districts so they can learn from your successes and challenges along the way.

Thank you for all you are already doing to improve the education for our nation’s students. Do not hesitate to reach out to us for support. We stand ready to help you become a Future Ready district.

Richard Culatta
Director, Office of Educational Technology
Office of the Secretary

Seth Andrew
Senior Advisor & Superintendent in Residence
Office of the Secretary

Read more FULL REPORT

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