Saw this funny rendering of the different types of Facebook friends you might have from High School, thought it was worth sharing:Leave the first comment ▶
In this economy, every business is suffering in some way and schools are no exception. School districts are facing budget problems that are creating bigger problems than just financial difficulties. Unfortunately, the budget cuts in school districts have a direct impact on the teachers, students, and the learning that is taking place in the high schools.
How the Budget Impacts Teachers
With school district budget problems, teachers are feeling the crunch. Many teachers have been laid off causing not only a rise in unemployment, but also less teachers teaching students in the high schools. The teachers that are still teaching are unable to purchase the materials that are required to teach the high school students the skills that they need to go on to college or into the workforce. Teachers that teach computer related subjects do not have access to up to date technology that is required for students to know today.
How the Budget Impacts Students
Students are being placed into larger classes, due to the budget cuts and the loss of teachers. This means that students are not getting the attention that he or she may need individually to succeed in the classroom. Learning is effected by the budget cuts as there are limited school supplies that can be provided due to the rising cost. Budget cuts are also having an effect on the type of school programs and sports programs that many students rely on to get into a good college. Some schools are attempting to rely on programs where students are required to pay for certain activities, such as sports. Students would be required to pay a base fee in order to be part of a team that should be free. For some students who rely heavily on scholarships, this cost must be absorbed in order to get the experience and attention that the student needs to excel.
High schools are over America are feeling the crunch of the economy and are having to work with decreasing budgets. As this problem continues to grow, it is hopeful that there will be a light at the end of the dark tunnel that will stop school closings, teacher layoffs, and the decrease in activities that provide high school students with the necessary skills and experiences that they need to succeed in the real world. Whether the solution comes from federal or local government, it needs to happen soon.Comments Off
As the numbers of students who drop out of high school each year continues to rise, many parents look for options for the high school dropout. There are many reasons why a student chooses to drop out of high school and without some kind of direction, this can lead to a very difficult life with few career options. Fortunately, there are some options for high school dropouts that can help them to continue their education and have a hope for a successful future.
Non-traditional and Alternative Education
Many students go on to other types of education in order to complete the number of credits required in order to graduate or to receive their GED. Sometimes high school is just not the right environment for some students and they choose to go to one of these types of programs. These classes are usually held in a different location away from mainstream classes, such as a middle school, a room in the high school, or a different location within the community. This gives students a chance to work on school work in a different type of setting and work to achieve their GED without pressure.
Vocational Schools and Trade Schools
These types of schools provide students with a direct education in a field that the student is interested in. This gives students a chance to learn about a field that interests them by increasing the skills that can make them marketable in the workplace. This is an effective option as most students that drop out struggle with some classes, but excel in a class that they enjoy. At the end of the course the student receives a GED or a certificate of completion enabling them to move on to a job.
National Guard Youth Challenge
This community program is focused on at-risk youths that drop out of high school. It is not available in all states, but is an excellent option for students to not only learn specific educational skills, but also life skills. The focus is on community service while building confidence and self esteem. Many students in this program not only get their GEDs, but also continue their education into college.
The best solution is for students to stay in school, but if a student is going to drop out there are options to help him or her get the education and experiences to help him or her to succeed.Comments Off
While the popularity of texting may have caught us by surprise, we need not be caught off guard by its effects on our teens. The harmful end results are perhaps more encompassing than those more immediate and obvious.
On the surface, are the more commonly understood ill effects of texting. As anyone who has seen a teen engaged in it can attest, texting inspires an almost compulsive or cult like obsession. One punches a text into a cell phone, eyes fully focused on a tiny screen, punching at the keypad with almost flawless skill, he hits the send button, then waits meditatively for a reply. The time gap between the text sent and text received is often lost to the teen, as all he can think about is that impending reply. Thus any word spoken to the teen at this moment, be it from a parent or a teacher, are oftentimes words wasted, as the youth’s attention has been momentarily distracted. He finally receives the reply he’s been awaiting, and then he’s at it again with another text. As we can, it has become endless cycle that often begins from the child’s awakening well into the night.
Far more than merely distracting though, the greater evil that may come from teenagers’ texting may be that their thinking abilities are being stunted. As they continue to rely upon gadgets to fill in the blanks for their writing, and emoticons to substitute for their internal feelings, texting becomes less a means of self expression, and more of a means to homogenize their viewpoints, and disrupt their natural thought patterns.
Some scientists feel that this makes the children more likely to be impulsive, and to not think in situations where they otherwise would. They assert that ultimately teens that text will be inclined toward making rash decisions. Some of which may even include some minor criminal conduct.
In the long run, will they for example seek shortcuts in life, skipping necessary steps to achieve a faster end result? Will they be able to construct full, rather than fragmented sentences? Or will they have been crippled by the very technology that aimed to allow them to communicate with more ease?
If texting lasts, in a few years we will have the answers to some of these questions, but if these scientists are correct on their assumptions, by then it will be too late.Comments Off
The latest technology is now at the fingertips of teachers and students in the US run public school system. Laptops are not particularly new anymore, but are nevertheless becoming the new “green” form of homework desktops. Assignments can be given through an online database, students can keep up with what’s going on in their schools using social networking sites such as Facebook, and cell phones equipped with calculators are becoming more acceptable. Some classrooms still require traditional calculators, or one calculator at a time, but nevertheless, the portability of applications on Apple’s iPhone, for instance, is making learning and reviewing new concepts easier in all subjects.
Power Point presentations are replacing the old projector screens as students and faculty become more technologically savvy in their lecturing skills. Most schools are in favor of these changes, in part because of power efficiency, less paper, less cleanup and preparation time before and after class, and the like.
Laptop computers can often be purchased through the schools, or in some cases, be acquired through programs for disadvantaged families. This is one of the ways the US public school system is helping families in today’s rough economy. Math exercises and grammar exercises for kids who are struggling in certain areas, for instance, are some of the ways in which laptops are saving paper and helping students to develop the mental framework to “go green.”
During study hall or free hours at school, Amazon’s Kindle is a popular device which gives students instant access to a full library of books, from genre fiction to popular literature, or even educational books. Reading is now being encouraged at young levels, and at a sweeping rate, because of the accessibility of books through this new technology. Of course, paper and glue books are not going away, but there will be fewer of them, and that means more trees, which is better for everyone.
Take, for instance, the way that subjects used to be taught. You had to use chalk for every teaching moment, or whiteboards with erasable markers containing toxic chemicals, but with new computer multiple-screen technology, this is beginning to become a thing of the past. All of us should be encouraged by these new developments.
This planet should not be taken for granted. With the advent of new technologies, and the dedication of hardworking scientists, we all are going to benefit now and in the future from these new applications.Comments Off
Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey has been measuring the drug, cigarette and alcohol use among teen students nationwide since 1975. People who participate in this survey report their drug usage across different time periods including over a lifetime, over the past year, and over the past month. For some drugs, the daily usage is also recorded. The survey initially only surveyed students in the 12th grade, but later in 1991 they expended their research to include 8th and 10th graders. The MTF survey is supported and funded by the NIDA and is carried out through the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. The following findings were recorded during the year of 2009.
Cigarette smoking has decreased significantly and is not at its lowest point in the history of this survey. This is particularly worth mentioning because the addiction to tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death in our nation.
Between the years of 2004 and 2009, a decrease in the use of met amphetamine was recorded for all surveyed grades, and lifetime usage dropped a lot among eighth graders. Amongst the tenth and twelfth graders, five year decreases in usage were recorded for past year usage of amphetamines and cocaine. Amongst the twelfth graders, the past year usage of cocaine dropped significantly.
Across the three grades being surveyed, a decrease in alcohol consumption and binge drinking were recorded from 2004 to 2009.
The usage of hallucinogens decreased among 12th graders in 2009. The past year usage of hallucinogens and LSD dropped dramatically from 2.7 to 1.9 percent. Among 12th graders, the usage of hallucinogens other than LSD decreased significantly.
Student’s attitude towards substance abuse has showed favorable changes. Among the 12th graders, the perceived harmfulness of drugs increased. Across the three different grades, the known availability of several harmful substances decreased.
Areas of Concern
Marijuana usage across the three grades being surveyed has always shown a steady drop but in the last five years the drop has stalled. Past year usage was recorded as 11.8 percent in eighth grade, 26.7 percent in the tenth grade, and 32.8 percent in the 12th grade. Perceived risk of the usage of marijuana decreased among the 8th and 10th graders, while the perceived availability dropped in the 12th grade.
The usage of smokeless tobacco has increased significantly by the tenth graders.
The use of pills such as Vicodin and OxyContin increased among tenth graders in the past five years.Comments Off