Weekly NewsBrief 9/9-9/15

News Clip


California students could soon get a Seal of STEM on their diplomas – By Sydney Johnson, EdSource

California high school graduates may soon be able to show off their academic success in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, with a new seal on their diploma.

bill creating the State Seal of STEM, Assembly Bill 28, passed the state Legislature Tuesday and now heads to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk. He has until Oct. 13 to sign or veto the bill.

Supporters of the State Seal of STEM hope it will encourage students to take science and math courses, pursue STEM career paths and leave high school with evidence that they attained a high level of proficiency in STEM subjects. They also hope it will motivate high schools to offer more STEM courses and other opportunities.

“This sends a very clear signal that the state greatly values a STEM education and the potential that a high-quality STEM education presents for students,” said Jessica Sawko, associate director of the California STEM Network, a project of the nonprofit Children Now.


Maryland Higher Education Commission uses scholarship to fix teacher shortage – By Tim Tooten, WBALTV.com

Maryland may have come up with a short-term remedy for a serious teacher shortage.

The state has agreed to pick up the tab for a college education for students who qualify, but the offer comes with strings attached.

Wednesday marked the first day to apply for the Teaching Fellows of Maryland scholarship, which has $2 million set aside for residents who will commit to becoming teachers.

The goal is to help current students become teachers as a way of responding to a growing shortage of educators in the classroom. James Fielder Jr., secretary of the Maryland Higher Education Commission, said the scholarship is one of a kind.

"It's key in the fact that it's the first one that's been established exclusively for teachers to increase the number of teachers in the state," Fielder said.


Chicago schools chief asks Congress for more federal help to address childhood trauma – By Adeshina Emmanuel, Chalkbeat

Chicago schools chief Janice Jackson traveled to Washington, D.C., Wednesday to deliver a testimony to a House committee about the district’s struggle against forces like poverty and gun violence that affect how students learn and behave in the classroom. 

She began with the story of two students she’d spoken to, “who live in a world where trust is scarce and anger is overly abundant.”

“They described their communities in their own words as places where no one can be trusted,” she said. “For these children, navigating violence and poverty is a way of life.”

Jackson, whose national profile has been rising, was one of four public officials who spoke Wednesday before the U.S. House Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education Subcommittee.  The hearing focused on practices that educators are using to support students affected by gun violence and other traumatic experiences.


Boston is giving every public school kindergartner $50 to promote saving for college or career training – By Amir Vera, CNN

Saving for college isn't easy, especially with the rising cost of tuition, so the city of Boston is giving students a head start on the first day of school this year.

Every kindergartner enrolled in Boston Public Schools will receive a savings account with $50 in it to help pay for college or career training, the city announced Monday. The program, called Boston Saves, is an expansion of a three-year pilot program.

"Boston Saves has proven to be an essential part of providing families with the tools to save for their children's post-secondary future," said Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh in a statement. "I am pleased to announce the citywide expansion of Boston Saves, providing more families with these resources and strengthening the investment we are making in Boston's youth."