Education & Schools
National Coalition for Public School Options Support Governor Branstad’s Education Reform Agenda PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Derek Flowers   
Tuesday, 04 October 2011 15:59

Plan Offers Iowa Families Greater Choice in Education

 

 

Des Moines, IA - Today the Iowa Chapter of the National Coalition for Public School Options (NCPSO) announced its support for Governor Terry Branstad’s blueprint for transforming Iowa’s education system.

 

Including such initiatives as greater access to charter schools, online education, and innovative learning models, the Branstad-Reynolds administration’s plan gives parents greater choice in education for their children.

 

“Just as each child is different, so is each child’s learning needs.  While Iowa has long prided itself on its public education, it is time to raise the bar.  Giving parents public school options will help ensure each Iowa child is getting the best education available to them,” said Briana LeClaire, NCPSO President.

 

In statehouses around the country Governors are working to improve education through high-quality innovative programs that have proven successful.  Allowing Iowa families access to these options is a step in the right direction to once again make Iowa a leader in public education.

 

Branstad-Reynolds Education Reform Highlights:

  • Nurture innovation with funding for transformative ideas, greater statutory waiver authority for the Iowa Department of Education and pathways to allow for high-quality charter schools in Iowa.
  • Create a state clearinghouse of high-quality online courses available to any student in Iowa, and back the courses with licensed teachers and the best online learning technology available.
  • A statewide parent and community engagement network.

 

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ICYMI: NY Times Editorial: "A Broader G.I. Bill" PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Sen. Tom Harkin   
Monday, 03 October 2011 14:18

Today, the New York Times editorialized in favor of stronger protections to prevent some schools from abusing Post-9/11 G.I. Bill education benefits and preventing veterans from getting the quality education they deserve.  Citing new data recently released by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), the editorial calls on Congress to close the 90/10 rule loophole that makes veterans and servicemembers lucrative recruiting targets for for-profit colleges.

As Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Harkin has led an investigation into the for-profit college industry, uncovering aggressive recruiting tactics targeting veterans and active-duty servicemen and women in order to bring their federally-funded education benefits to companies that charge high tuition and have poor retention and graduation rates.

For more information, please contact Justine Sessions of Senator Harkin’s HELP Committee staff at 202-224-3254.

 

New York Times

A Broader G.I. Bill

Published:  October 3, 2011

Starting this month, military veterans pursuing an education under the G.I. Bill have many more choices. The money for tuition, books and housing used to be just for study at colleges and universities, but now the G.I. Bill also covers non-degree institutions like vocational and technical schools, flight schools, and licensing and apprenticeship programs.

That is good news. Veterans, who deserve this country’s full support, are struggling with high unemployment rates and would benefit from high-quality job training. But there is also peril in these new opportunities. Unless strong controls are put in place, the surge of G.I. Bill money will be a windfall for fly-by-night schools more interested in cashing in on veterans than educating them.

As a Senate committee warned in a recent report, a disproportionate amount of the taxpayer money spent on veterans’ education has already been snapped up by private, for-profit colleges. These schools often cost much more than public institutions yet have dismal graduation rates and dubious curriculums.

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions found that for-profit schools have collected 37 percent of all G.I. Bill money but trained only 25 percent of veterans. In the 2010-11 academic year, when 5,985 institutions collected $4.4 billion in V.A. benefits, eight of the 10 biggest aid recipients were for-profit institutions, together raking in $1 billion. From those eight, the committee found, a total of 409,437 students withdrew from degree programs within a year of enrolling.

One reason for-profit colleges aggressively recruit veterans is the federal “90/10 rule,” which forbids for-profit schools to take more than 90 percent of revenue from federal student aid. V.A. money does not count under that limit, so every enrolled veteran is precious to a school desperate to keep within the 90/10 ratio.

Schools recruit heavily for another reason: Because federal grants do not always cover tuition and expenses, students are often roped into private loans, another revenue stream in the booming for-profit education business.

The V.A. says it will review all for-profit schools in the 2012 fiscal year to make sure they comply with accrediting standards, and conduct annual reviews of all institutions that have more than 300 G.I. Bill students. That will make a difference only if bad schools actually end up being kicked out of the program. So far, that has seldom happened. Congress could also help by closing the 90/10 loophole that makes veterans targets for aggressive and deceptive recruiting.

Buyers, as always, need to beware. Many for-profit schools and Web sites that plug their programs are spending far more effort marketing themselves to veterans than actually educating them.

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Bettendorf's Kaitlyn Gutheil Inducted into Phi Alpha Theta National History Honor Society PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by readMedia   
Monday, 03 October 2011 12:40

CANTON, MO. (09/30/2011)(readMedia)-- Culver-Stockton College is proud to announce Kaitlyn Gutheil, a senior history and education major from Bettendorf, Iowa, was recently inducted into the Alpha Eta Lambda chapter of the Phi Alpha Theta Honor Society.

Faculty sponsor D'Ann Campbell, professor of history, along with Patrick Hotle, professor of history, and Scott Giltner, assistant professor of history, welcomed the 12 new members into the society, "whose mission is to promote the study of history through the encouragement of research, good teaching, publication and the exchange of learning and ideas among historians" and honors history majors and minors with a 3.1 grade point average in history and a 3.0 cumulative overall grade point average.

 
PARENTS WHO DO THEIR HOMEWORK VISIT RIVERMONT! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Brittany Marietta   
Monday, 03 October 2011 12:00

The aspiring artist.  The math whiz.  The avid reader.  The athletic go-getter.  Each child is different, with their own special talents, interests, developmental patterns, and emotional needs.  This is a key consideration when selecting a school for your child.  An environment that is right for one student may not be the best choice for another.  Fortunately, in the Quad Cities, we have educational options!  When exploring schools for your child, it is important to consider:

·         Is the curriculum appropriate for my child’s talents and goals?

·         Will the school challenge my child, without overwhelming them?

·         Will my child be comfortable in the school’s environment?  Will I?

·         Are the opportunities for my child to pursue individual interests?  And is there encouragement to do so?

At Rivermont Collegiate, intellectual curiosity isn’t just encouraged or “taught” – but “caught.”  Students’ personal interests are fostered and rewarded, both by their peers and by faculty.  Faculty don’t teach to a class average, but tailor curriculum, homework, and projects to each student.  Rivermont is small by design, with a 9:1 student-to-teacher ratio, ensuring not only individualized attention, but a close teacher-student relationship and a family-like school environment.

The selection of a school for your child shouldn’t be taken lightly.  It is quite possibly the most important decision you can make for their future.  Study your options!  Send for information, tour schools, observe in classrooms, let your son or daughter experience a day in class, and talk with administrators, faculty, and current parents.  What are you waiting for?  Explore what Rivermont has to offer!  Drop in for:

Rivermont Collegiate Open Tours

Tuesday, October 4th - 8:30-10:00 a.m.

No appointment necessary!

This casual event gives families the opportunity to tour campus and explore our philosophy and programs.

Rivermont Collegiate, located in Bettendorf, is the Quad Cities’ only private, independent, multicultural college preparatory school for students in preschool through twelfth grade.  Rivermont is located at 1821 Sunset Drive, directly off 18th Street behind K&K Hardware in Bettendorf.

Visit us online at www.rvmt.org!  For additional information on Rivermont or Tuesday’s Open Tours, contact Brittany Marietta at (563) 359-1366 ext. 302 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
HIGH SCHOOL ESSAY CONTEST OPENS FOR 2011-2012 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Rachel Gillespie   
Monday, 03 October 2011 08:22

HIGH SCHOOL ESSAY CONTEST OPENS FOR 2011-2012

BEING AN AMERICAN ESSAY CONTEST FOCUSES ON CONSTITUTION

Students and Their Teachers Compete for Cash Prizes Up to $1,000

Arlington, VA – U.S. high school students and their teachers are invited to participate in the Bill of Rights Institute’s sixth annual Being an American Essay Contest.

The largest contest of its kind in the country, the Being an American Essay Contest explores the Founding principles outlined in the Constitution. The contest is administered by the Bill of Rights Institute, a non-profit educational organization in the Washington, D.C. area devoted to educating young people about the Constitution and Founding principles. The 2011-2012 contest is sponsored by the History Channel.

“This contest is unique in that it gives students the opportunity to think about the important Founding principles communicated in our Constitution,” said Dr. Jason Ross, Bill of Rights Institute Vice President of Education Programs. “This context is vital to helping students see their Founding principles as a meaningful part of the American experiment of self-government.”

Specifically, students are asked to share their thoughts on the Constitution by answering the following question: “How does the Constitution establish and maintain a culture of liberty?”

The top three student winners from each of the five geographical regions will be awarded cash prizes of $1,000 (First Place), $500 (Second Place), and $250 (Third Place). Teacher sponsors for each student winner will also receive a cash prize of $100.

“The contest not only honors and awards sponsoring teachers, but also equips them with free lesson plans and other supplemental materials that meet state and national academic standards so they can easily incorporate the essay contest into their classrooms. The Contest is really a tribute to the excellent work teachers do in the important task of civic education,” said Ross.

Over 80,000 students have participated in the essay contest since it began in 2006.

“We are pleased to support the Bill of Rights Institute’s Being an American Essay Contest,” said Dr. Libby O'Connell, SVP, Corporate Outreach and Chief Historian, History Channel. "The contest encourages students to think critically and truly makes the past relevant in their lives today."

Complete contest details can be found below.  Further information, including submission criteria, lesson plans and background information on the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Founders and the Founding principles are available at www.BillofRightsInstitute.org/Contest.

 

MEDIA FAST FACTS:

BEING AN AMERICAN ESSAY CONTEST

2011-2012 SCHOOL YEAR PARTICIPATING REGIONS:

North Eastern Region:
Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont

Southern Region:
Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, D.C., West Virginia as well as Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands

Mid-Western Region:
Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin

Central Region:
Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Wyoming

Western Region:
Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington as well as Guam, American Samoa, and American Armed Forces Schools Abroad (APO)

SPONSORING ORGANIZATION: Bill of Rights Institute, Arlington, VA.

The Bill of Rights Institute, founded in 1999, is a nonprofit educational organization. The mission of the Bill of Rights Institute is to educate young people about the words and ideas of America's Founders, the liberties guaranteed in our Founding documents, and how our Founding principles continue to affect and shape a free society.

FUNDING PROVIDED BY: History Channel (New York City, NY).

CONTEST GOAL: To help promote dialogue among students and teachers about American Founding principles. The Essay Contest serves as a key part of the Bill of Rights Institute's mission to educate young people about the words and ideas of America's Founders, the liberties guaranteed in our Founding documents, and how our Founding principles continue to affect and shape a free society.

ESSAY QUESTION: “How does the Constitution establish and maintain a culture of liberty?”

ELIGIBILITY: Students in grades 9-12 who are U.S. citizens or legal residents and are either attending public, private, religious, or charter schools, being home-schooled, or participating in a GED or correspondence school program but are no older than 19 years of age.  Military bases and U.S. territories are also invited to participate.

ESSAY LENGTH: No more 1,000 words.

JUDGING CRITERIA:

  • Adherence to Essay Question
  • Originality
  • Organization
  • Writing Style
  • Depth of Analysis

JUDGES: High school teachers

STUDENT CASH PRIZES: Three cash prizes per region will be awarded to students:

  • First Prize: $1,000 each
  • Second Prize: $500 each
  • Third Prize: $250 each

TEACHER CASH PRIZES: Cash prizes of $100 will be awarded to the teachers of all winning students:

CONTEST START DATE: September 17, 2011

DEADLINE FOR ESSAY SUBMISSIONS: December 15, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. PST. All essays must be submitted at www.BillofRightsInstitute.org/Submit.

WINNERS ANNOUNCED: February 2012

WEB SITE AND CONTEST GUIDELINES: www.BillofRightsInstitute.org/Contest

 
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