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National Education Week Nov 13-19, 2011

National Education Week is Nov 13-19 for the 2011 year. This year is the 90th year for the National Education Week celebration. Started in 1921, National Education Week is a time that is used to celebrate academic achievements and hard work of students, honor teachers and staff, recognize parents and members of the community that help at the schools, and let local and national communities know about issues in education.

The general idea is to keep education in the forefront of everyone’s mind. Too often we just get in a routine and take for granted that schools do their thing and we don’t need to be involved. But the truth is, too many kids are able to just skate by and are not really getting the education they need or deserve. The more involved the community is in the local schools the better the education will be. Teachers need help and National Education week is a great way to let the community know about the needs of the school, students, and teachers. The activities going on in each community will vary but we encourage all of you to find out what your local schools are doing to celebrate National Education Week

The National Education Association (NEA) has a few activities that anyone can participate in nationwide.

  1. The NEA has partnered with  DonorsChoose.org to let teachers put in project requests that they need funding for. Teachers, on average, spend at least $350 a year out of pocket for classroom materials Go to neafoundation.org to find a project you would like to help with and donate what you can. 
  2. Priority Schools Pledge: take the Priority Schools Pledge to see how you can be involved in making sure that your student(s) has high quality teachers and adequate school resources. Taking the pledge shows that as a community we will no longer just sit by and watch as some schools flourish while others are left with very few resources and unqualified teachers and staff.
  3. Nominate a Classroom Superhero. This campaign allows parents, students, and the community to nominate an educator they feel is a Superhero. Visit classroomsuperheroes.com to learn more about how you can support and help educators who are working to help all of us. The reward is letting these educators know they are appreciated and that what they are doing does matter, to all of us!
  4. Tell Congress to Support the FAST (Fix America’s Schools Today) Act. The average age of school buildings in the US is more than 40 years old. These building often have problems that are a major distraction and provide inadequate conditions for learning. Visit NEA.org to learn more about how you can let congress know that you are interested in them supporting the FAST Act.
  5. Tell Congress to pass the ESEA reauthorization bill. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act emphasizes the fact that there is no one-size-fits-all education in the 21st century. Any parent that has a gifted student or child in need of special education knows this. Let’s make sure Congress is making our voices heard. Visit NEA.org to learn more about getting in touch with Congress to let your voice be heard. 

It doesn’t matter how you choose to celebrate National Education Week, just get involved and celebrate education! Lets make sure teachers know we appreciate them and that students know how important education is. Whether your kids are in public school, charter school, or even a private school. Celebrating National Education Week from Nov 13-19, 2011 shows your kids that education is important!!

Sources:
nea.org

"Choose Quality" Leads in December School Concert Survey

Our December survey poses the open-ended starter:

I think December school concerts:

and gives voters the following completion choices—

• should not be held: scheduling concerts for another time is the only way to avoid controversy over including or not including religious material.

• should only include secular music and references.

• should include Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and secular winter music, all of which are important parts of our culture.

• shouldn’t be considered a problem if music from multiple religious traditions and secular music are performed, avoiding preference for any stance.

• should include material that is chosen by its quality and developmental appropriateness, regardless of religious references: i.e., religious music should neither be preferred nor avoided.

• other (please specify)

With 277 responses (9 excluded for irrelevance or obscenity), the vote for choosing music based on its quality regardless of other factors is the clear leader with 37% of the vote.

‘Other’ responses—which will be collated when the final vote is tallied—include a number of opinions that December school concerts should be Christmas concerts.

Below, you can view the halfway tally in two different ways. The first shows bars, percentages, and actual numbers of votes. The second displays the results in a pie chart.

If you haven’t yet voted, please go to our December concert survey and let us know your opinion.

School Fundraiser Article Round-Up

Today we’ve posted the third article in our mini-series on school fundraisers.

School fundraising has long been popular, but for many, it has become increasingly necessary. In more and more locations, school fundraisers provide key elements of education not covered by the regular school budget, and/or extras that are either considered indispensable or highly desirable.

For schools that were previously well-funded and are new to this type of fundraising, this mini-series may give you ideas for ways to get started. For schools that have long been practiced in raising money, we hope to provide you with some fresh ideas.

The first article, Why Have School Fundraisers?” discusses the reasons why schools may choose to have fundraisers. Fundraisers can be undertaken to support special activities (a trip), an underfunded program, or an “extra” expense, such as uniforms. They may be undertaken by the PTA, a school booster association, or students.

The second article, Choosing a School Fundraiser,” introduces approaches and criteria that can be useful in deciding the type of fundraiser that best suits the purposes you have in mind.

Our new article, “Types of School Fundraisers” provides a number of suggestions for school fundraising options, including one-time or intermittent fundraisers (such as Car Washes) and long-term, ongoing fundraisers, some of which, like running a school store, can be integrated with learning opportunities. In running a school store, for example, students can learn about decision making, marketing, pricing, sales, and customer service.

If nothing here grabs your attention, and you want something really fresh, you could go for a Harry Potter themed fundraiser and try hosting a Muggle Quidditch match to raise money, as the students of Transylvania University in Kentucky just did as a fundraiser for the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning. If you need more pointers about Quidditch in order to do the thing properly, check out the International Quidditch Association website, where you can download the rules used at the college level (and adapt them if necessary for your school).

New Article on Why to Have School Fundraisers

Our new article, titled “Why Have School Fundraisers?” explores seven reasons that a special fundraising effort may be worth considering.

The first is a budget shortfall. Unfortunately, school budgets may not cover all the areas that are deemed important.

The second is that—even at a school with adept grant writers available—grants aren’t made to cover all needs.

The third is for uniforms, whether for athletic teams or the marching band.

For the other reasons, and for more information about each of the reasons, read the new article.

To pursue this issue in more depth, read the related article “Choosing a School Fundraiser.”

And look for “Types of School Fundraisers,” coming up next week.

Education and Voting Survey Final Results

Today, as we begin December, we present the final results of our November poll which asked you to respond to the question:

How did education figure in your voting in the mid-term elections?

The response options offered were:

• I didn’t vote

• Education was the top consideration for me, period.

• Education was an important consideration for me in local races, but not in national races.

• Education was an important consideration for me in national races, but not in local races.

• Education took a backseat to other issues, such as the economy and healthcare, in my voting decisions.

• Education issues never play an important part in my voting decisions.

• Other (please specify)

There were a total of 405 votes, so thank you very much for that! Six votes were discarded as being off-topic and/or obscene, leaving 399 votes.

While there were 25 votes of ‘Other,’ in many cases, the short description allowed these votes to be recast as votes for other provided categories. For example, 10 other votes were explanations for why the person taking the survey could not, did not, or was not able to vote, so—while the explanations were appreciated as providing addition insight, the percentages were recalculated with those 10 votes counting in the first category, ‘I didn’t vote.’

Based on the comments in ‘Other,’ two new answer categories were created:

• Education is one (important) consideration among others. (9 respondents)

• Education was important in both local and national races. (2 respondents)

Three responses were left categorized as other because they didn’t fit any other category, but of particular interest was the response that said that the person had been moved to take an active role in the midterm elections on account of education.

Here are the results showing the original totals as well as the recalculation of the votes in the ‘Other’ category. The most votes were received by “Education was the top consideration for me, period,” but it was closely followed by respondents who did not vote. Nevertheless, the percentage who took the survey and didn’t vote is far less than the national average, not only because the percentage is less absolutely, but because a number of those who responded are too young to vote, and therefore are not counted in official figures of voters, which take only registered voters into account.

Our December survey will be published in the next few days, so please keep an eye out and cast your vote.

Is Choice of College Important?

Are you involved in a college search for yourself or your child?

In its new “Room for Debate,” the New York Times gathers debaters to discuss the question:

Does It Matter Where You Go to College?

As expected, the debaters take sharply different points of view:

Martha (Marty) O’Connell, executive director of the nonprofit Colleges that Change Lives, proposes that what students do during their college years matters more than where they do it.

Richard D. Kahlenberg, fellow at the Century Foundation, counters that of course it matters: elite colleges spend nearly 8 times as much per pupil as colleges that are least selective; students at well-endowed colleges pay a quarter of the costs of education that must be assumed by students at colleges with the least wealth; Kahlenberg implies that the quality of one’s classmates affects not only one’s college days, but one’s professional life; and flat out says that, according to most studies, the name of your college can boost your wages post-college.

After beginning with these two opposing takes, five other debaters have their say. If you’re the parent of a high school junior or senior, it’s worth reading the opinions.

Tomorrow, we’ll have the final results of our survey on how education influenced readers’ votes in the November elections. If you haven’t voted yet, vote here.

EducationBug Higher Education Survey ~ Only Takes a Minute!

This is just a really short survey to get a feel for how our audience feels about higher education. If you are willing to share a little of your personal experience anonymously, please do! We would LOVE to hear from you and will be doing another post with the results so you can see what everyone else had to say!!

Public vs. Private School? and Grammar Lessons.

Have you ever considered how public schools began? How public schools are funded? What changes have occured since the public schools were created? We recently posted an article about the history of public schools that will satisfy your curiosity.
What disadvantages or benefits there are to attending a public school versus a private school? or vice versa? If you are weighing the options about what is going to work best for your child or your family our article comparing the public vs. private schools may have all the pro and con information you have been searching for.
When you consider that the largest percentage of our childrens day to day life is spent in an education environment it is important that we continue to stay informed on what options are available so we can make the best choice for our families. It is equally important to educate ourselves on what programs are available and any current issues involving their education.
For many parents there comes a certain time in their childs education when assisting with homework becomes a very difficult chore. This varies for every parent depending on their own education level, their choice of careers, and their use of the skills and education they have acquired. One of our goals is to continue to post updated articles that can assist students and parents alike on such things as proper grammer. By educating yourself, or just refreshing your knowledge on this subject, you will better yourself and also be a better resource for your child when they need assistance.

Education Directory Updates

Recently we updated all the state landing pages as well as a few navigation issues on our site. We linked the headings at the top under each state to the root level search pages. Then we added the state level searches to the left hand column navigation. Click on any of the states below to start your search for education profiles.

Alabama Education
Alaska Education
Arizona Education
Arkansas Education
California Education
Colorado Education
Connecticut Education
Delaware Education
District of Columbia Education

Our site features some of the best education related resources on the web – you can find public school reviews, private school reviews, and many other awesome features.
Florida Education
Georgia Education
Hawaii Education
Idaho Education
Illinois Education
Indiana Education
Iowa Education
Kansas Education
Kentucky Education
Louisiana Education

We also include a maps, school statistics, contact information, websites, phone numbers, and all the information you need on your favorite school, college, or district.
Maine Education
Maryland Education
Massachusetts Education
Michigan Education
Minnesota Education
Mississippi Education
Missouri Education
Montana Education
Nebraska Education
Nevada Education

We have an area on our site where owners of private schools, preschools, and other types of schools like boarding schools, military schools, and treatment centers can submit their school to our directory. This helps site owners get more exposure for no cost!
New Hampshire Education
New Jersey Education
New Mexico Education
New York Education
North Carolina Education
North Dakota Education
Ohio Education
Oklahoma Education
Oregon Education

We also allow people to write comments about any education institution right on the profile page so the world can see. We like hearing what people have to say – positive and negative. If you have a good or bad experience – we give you a way to share your thoughts with others.
Pennsylvania Education
Puerto Rico Education
Rhode Island Education
South Carolina Education
South Dakota Education
Tennessee Education
Texas Education
Utah Education

We have the most comprehensive article database on the web. We have professional writers who cover any education topic suggested by our readers. If you have an idea that you’d like to see on our site – contact us – we’d love to hear it and see if we can squeeze it in on the next update of the site. All suggestions get looked at and no suggestion is too crazy!
Vermont Education
Virginia Education
Washington Education
West Virginia Education
Wisconsin Education
Wyoming Education

College Student Finances

Recently, we posted an article on our website with information on college student credit cards. This article features a list of things to look for when choosing a credit card, how to avoid the pitfalls of credit cards, and how to know if you are in trouble financially.

We are going to do more on college students and how they can build credit and use credit cards to establish themselves. This way – when the student graduates – they can obtain a car loan, home loan or small business loan. But there is also risk of debt – see the student debt statistics. Many have ruined their credit score and credit report by piling on debt.

Sometimes – teens can start to build credit in high school if their parents become the co-applicant on a credit card. A good idea is to start with a low limit and have the teen learn responsibility of the limits and paying off each month.

Most college student credit cards do not require income or co-signers. These aren’t the best credit cards as far as low APR, but if you pay your balance in full each month then you don’t end up paying any interest. Just make sure you pay within the grace period.

It’s always a good idea to try to pay off the balance each month to avoid mounting debt. This is a common problem and you can learn more about the credit card statistics. The stats/facts are alarming and you should be aware of the problems that some people get themselves into before you go spending money you don’t have. The dangers are many, but if you get the right card – the rewards can be great!