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Top 2012 education news Even though changes in the educational system do not happen too often, the news are always full of education news. 2012 was not an exception. There was a major teacher strike, a bill was passed, and student debt exceeded $900 billion. New teacher evaluation systems were implemented and a lot of promises were made. There are the most important education news headlines from 2012: •

Chicago teacher strike. Thousands of teachers went on strike to protest Rahm Emanuel’s (the mayor of Chicago) initiative concerning teacher evaluations and teacher job security. The two issues have been long at the core of the dispute. The strike dissolved after the Chicago Teacher Union voted to end the strike following a two-week discussion of the settlement agreement. The government promised to take a closer look at for-profit colleges. The amount of money they have been spending on advertising is just mind blowing. The money that goes on advertising and public relations should be spent elsewhere. It should be spent on students. That is on their education. The policies of for-profit schools are to be examined and a universal standard is to be established. Student debt. Always a hot topic, student debt exceeded $900 billion this year. Only mortgages exceed student debt. This is a big economic problem and should be addressed nation wide. Students are seeking new ways of financing their degrees, and these new ways are not always the right move. Students are now willing to financially restrict themselves, as the amount of graduates is only rising. Landing a good job without a degree is nearly impossible. Getting yourself into a huge debt becomes a matter of necessity. Increasing the number of STEM-major graduates. There are plenty of science, technology, engineering and math jobs in the country. There are not enough graduates to fill those jobs though. International students and domestic students usually choose either humanities or social sciences. Political science and business administration being the two most popular majors, obviously. Only ten percent of all students study science, technology, engineering or math. The government hopes that this will change. STEM Jobs Act was approved by the House of Representatives on November 30 th. It entitles people who are seeking advanced STEM jobs to a visa. Teacher evaluations. The initiative was taken by the Florida Department of Education. Now teachers will be evaluated through a value added-like model. It is supposed to estimate how beneficial (i.e. effective) the teacher is. The evaluation would be conducted on the basis of student grades. If the teacher achieved a positive dynamic of student grades in their classroom, they are considered to be successful. A positive dynamic means that student grades have been increasing throughout the class. The preliminary results revealed that the majority of teachers are in fact successful (as according to the new value-added model). Yet, not all of them believe in the new evaluation system. A nation-wide


exam for all teachers entering educational institutions was also proposed. Student performance. In a newly released rank, USA is 15 th among the educational systems of the world. American educational system is known for the high amount of resources spent on students. There obviously exist some inefficiencies though, and the news were full of that too.

The news are always full of the things that happen in the field of education. After all, education is our future.

Top 2012 education news