The field of education had many ups and downs in 2012. As the year has come to a close and educators look ahead to 2013, Forbes compiled a list of the top 7 education stories of 2012.
7. Rebecca Mieliwocki Named Teacher of the Year—Mieliwocki, a 7th grade English teacher at Luther Burbank Middle School in Burbank, CA, was selected by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and honored as the 2012 National Teacher of the Year by President Obama on April 24, 2012.
6. Chicago Teachers Strike—On September 10, Chicago teachers walked out of their classrooms after contract negotiations between the Chicago Teachers Union and the school district failed to reach an agreement. By the time the issues were resolved and the strike ended, 350,000 students and 30,000 teachers missed seven days of school.
5. Khan Academy’s “Flipped Classroom” Becomes Defining Meme of Secondary Education—Salaman Kahn developed the Khan Academy, which offers 3600 free self-paced video podcasts in a wide range of academic subjects. While the videos are noteworthy, what is more remarkable is how school districts are revamping their curriculum, pedagogy, classroom structure, and technology around Khan Academy videos. Rather than watch in school, students watch the videos at home and do homework in school as teachers monitor, thus the “flipped classroom.”
4. The Obama Administration Issues No Child Left Behind Wavers—As the deadline for all students to reach proficiency in math and reading by 2014 grew closer, several states asked for waivers. The waivers were granted if states could show alternative plans to improve student achievement, tie teacher evaluations to test scores, and make a concerted effort to improve the lowest-performing schools.
3. U.S. Student Loan Debt Surpasses Credit Card Debt—College tuition was a topic of much debate. As tuition rates increased, the need for student loans increased. While President Obama did increase student loans and Pell Grants, academic eligibility did not change. Therefore, students underprepared for the rigors of college were entering college with loans, but were dropping out and defaulting on those loans at a higher rate.
2. MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) Expand Free Education Revolution—The expansion of MOOCs was the largest pedagogical shift made in the field of education last year. Although MOOCs do threaten brick-and-mortar institutions as well as online for-profit institutions, they also provide the opportunity for quality free education to those who may not have previously been able.
1. Sandy Hook Elementary School Tragedy Sparks Gun Violence Discussion—The heartbreaking massacre in Newtown, CT sparked a national gun control debate that is still bubbling at the surface. Some call for more strict measures for these deemed “mentally ill,” while others suggest that all teachers and school personnel should be armed at all times. Clearly, a compromise is needed, and the one positive outcome of this tragedy is that all schools across the country have looked more closely at their safety protocols and have made adjustments where needed to keep all children safe.
Teachers, what do you think the year 2013 will bring???
Like this article? Get email alerts when new information is available. Just click on the “subscribe” button above.