The recent release of international PISA scores has caused the usual questions about the direction of education in the US. However, Andreas Schelicher, director of education and skills at the OECD -- the organization behind PISA -- urged officials not to look to the results as evidence for a "quick solution, to say, 'Oh, that seems to be working. Let's just copy and paste it.' "
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Amy Brudin, who teaches technology to fourth- through eighth-graders at the Peabody School in Virginia and also serves as the school's director of educational technology, is working to create an esports program for middle-grades students. Brudin, whom the North America Scholastic Esports Federation recently named a middle school scholastic fellow, says she hopes to interest more girls in esports and introduce all students to potential careers in the gaming industry.
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Some parents in a district in California are urging officials to impose stronger limits on the use of smartphones by middle-schoolers. The parents say the current policy -- which leaves the issue to "the discretion and supervision of each classroom teacher" -- puts the burden on teachers when they say it should be dictated by a wider policy that also addresses phone use during lunch, free periods and breaks.
California is one of only four states, along with Hawaii, North Dakota and Wyoming, that are spending more money on higher education than they did in 2008, data shows. Strategies designed to address some of the challenges that schools and students face include offering small grants to enable students to finish school, pushing transfers from two-year to four-year schools and eliminating noncredit remedial courses.
The US Department of Education will begin testing a chatbot -- named Aidan and represented by a little owl -- on its website to answer more than 800 frequently asked questions. Officials say the effort seeks to make information more accessible to students and their families.
The Federal Trade Commission should look into how digital media companies target advertisements to children, as well as their child online data collection and storage practices, a letter sent by a group of consumer associations stated. The letter did not mention specific companies, but organizations, such as Amazon and Disney, likely would be included in the review, said Josh Golin, executive director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.