News for Teachers From the
U.S. Embassy, London
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JUNE 2015
STUDYING IN THE USA

Do you advise students interested in studying in America? This summer is a great time to get started on the admissions process; Fulbright has all of the resources you need.
First, be sure to mark your diary for our University in the USA Advisor Training Conference on 25 September. This will be followed by USA College Day (25-26 September) - the largest US university fair in the UK!
University in the USA Advisor Training Conference
This conference has become a must-attend event for any school with students interested in applying to the States. This year we've again assembled admissions experts from some of the top American universities who will be offering parallel sessions covering every angle of the process. Whether you are a seasoned expert or the new kid on the block, there will be a range of sessions on specific areas of financial aid, the application process, and a glimpse behind the admissions office doors. From plenaries to breakout workshops, the sessions will allow you to tailor your conference experience to your interests and let you get the most out of this line-up of speakers.
Date: Friday, 25 September 2015, 9 am - 3:30 pm
Coaches to USA College Day and refreshments will be provided (it will be about a 20-minute journey), and conference attendees will beat the crowds with early entry to the fair before it opens to the public at 4:30 pm. The conference will end at 3:30 pm just before our USA College Day university fair.
Location: Kensington Close Hotel: London, W8 5SP
Register for the University in the USA Advisor Training Conference

USA College Day

This free event provides students, parents and advisors with the unique opportunity to meet representatives from over 180 American universities and educational service providers in London. It is the largest US university fair in the UK.
Date: Friday, 25 September 2015 (4:30 pm - 7:30 pm) & Saturday, 26 September 2015 (10:30 am - 3:00 pm)
Venue: ILEC Conference Centre: 47 Lillie Road, London, SW6 1UD
Cost: Free to attend if you register in advance
Registration: Opens in August 2015. Fill in our online form , and we will email you once registration opens.
In its 38th year, College Day is being held in partnership with the University of South Florida.
Questions? Visit the USA College Day section on the Fulbright website or email collegeday@fulbright.org.uk.

SUMMER

The conventional 180-day school year was designed for an agrarian calendar, so that children could help their family farm during the prime summer months. Today, there is reason to believe all the time off is bad for kids, parents and society. Research supports the "forgetting" theory—that, during the long breaks, elementary school students regress in mathematics and reading. This matters most for lower-income children who do not have the advantages of enriching trips and costly summer camps.
Two-thirds of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities. Low-income students who lack educationally enriching opportunities in the summer are losing significant ground in their learning, and fall further and further behind each summer, resulting in a significantly larger achievement gap.

The National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) is a national nonprofit exclusively focused on closing the achievement gap through high-quality summer learning for all children and youth.

Accelerating Achievement Through Summer Learning
National Summer Learning Association (NSLA)
This report from NSLA draws on a growing body of research led by The Wallace Foundation and the RAND Corporation that supports the notion that high-quality summer learning programs help students succeed and sheds light on the steps necessary to achieve desired outcomes.

Summer Matters is the first-ever statewide campaign focused on creating and expanding access to high quality summer learning opportunities for all California students.

FOURTH OF JULY IS INDEPENDENCE DAY

The Fourth of July, or Independence Day, is a federal holiday that celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.
Fun facts:
2.5 million In July 1776, the estimated number of people living in the newly independent nation.
56 Numbers of signers to the Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Roger Sherman and Robert R. Livingston comprised the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration.
Two future presidents signed, John Adams (second President) and Thomas Jefferson (third President). Both died on the 50th anniversary of signing the Declaration (July 4, 1826). John Adams was also the first U.S. Ambassador to Britain and lived in Grosvenor Square, you can still see the house he lived in with his wife Abigail.

Some important documents
• Declaration of Independence (1776) – Drafted by Thomas Jefferson in June 1776, this document is the nation's most cherished symbol of liberty. It set forth a list of grievances against the King of England in order to justify breaking the ties between the colonies and the mother country.
•Articles of Confederation (1777) – This document served as the United States' first constitution, and was in force from March 1, 1781, until 1789 when the present day Constitution went into effect.
•Treaty of Paris (1783) – This treaty between the American colonies and Great Britain formally recognized the United States as an independent nation.
•Constitution of the United States (1787) – This four-page document, signed on September 17, 1787, established the government of the United States.
•Federalist Papers (1787-1788) – This series of essays was published in newspapers by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay to promote the ratification of the Constitution.
•Bill of Rights (1791) – The First Congress proposed 12 amendements to the Constitution and the 10 that were approved became known as the Bill of Rights.

SCHOOL FUNDING

A Fresh Look at School Funding
By the CAP Education Policy Team
Center for American Progress Monday, May 18, 2015
Unfortunately, the nation’s current school finance system—primarily based on local property taxes in many places—exacerbates rather than ameliorates resource disparities between high- and low-income communities. With income inequality continuing to rise and wealth becoming increasingly concentrated at the top of the income distribution, it is more critical than ever for districts, states, and the federal government to take seriously their responsibility to provide an excellent education for all students.

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LET GIRLS LEARN

First Lady Michelle Obama addresses students at Mulberry School for Girls, London, Tuesday, 16 June 2015 (U.S. Embassy London) Michelle Obama recently came to London, visiting an all girls comprehensive school in Tower Hamlets, Mulberry School. She met with Prime Minister David Cameron to discuss how the UK and the U.S. are working together to expand access to girls education around the world.

In 2015, Mrs. Obama joined President Obama to launch Let Girls Learn, a U.S. government-wide initiative to help girls around the world go to school and stay in school. As part of this effort, Mrs. Obama is calling on countries across the globe to help educate and empower young women, and she is sharing the stories and struggles of these young women with young people here at home to inspire them to commit to their own education.
  • Fact Sheet: Let Girls Learn
  • First Lady Michelle Obama Participates in a Discussion on "Let Girls Learn"

ARTICLES/REPORTS

Radical Pop-Up Schools: A new way to reach educationally disadvantaged communities
By Valerie Strauss
Washington Post June 16 2015
Pop-up and free schools of various forms are increasingly popular. The idea behind them is that teaching doesn’t have to be restricted to the classroom. Because plenty of people are ready to share their expertise and many others have questions to ask and challenges to address, pop-up participants are committed to create spaces where diverse groups can have an open and free exchange, sometimes blurring the boundary between teacher and student.

Digest of Education Statistics, 2013
NCES May 2015
The 49th in a series of publications initiated in 1962, the Digest's purpose is to provide a compilation of statistical information covering the broad field of education from prekindergarten through graduate school. The Digest contains data on a variety of topics, including the number of schools and colleges, teachers, enrollments, and graduates, in addition to educational attainment, finances, and federal funds for education, libraries, and international comparisons.

A Million New Teachers Are Coming
Will They Be Ready to Teach?
By Jenny DeMonte, Ph.D.
Education Policy Center at American Institutes for Research (AIR)
For more than 30 years, deans of schools of education, researchers, and teachers have criticized the way we prepare our elementary and secondary school teachers. Recent research shows that there are differences in the effectiveness of the graduates of different teacher preparation programs.

Postsecondary Attainment: Differences by Socioeconomic Status
National Center for Education Statistics May 2015
Among the participants from the most disadvantaged families, just 14 percent had earned a bachelor’s degree.
That is, one out of four of the disadvantaged students who had hoped to get a bachelor’s had done so. Among those from the most advantaged families, 60 percent had earned a bachelor’s, about two-thirds of those who had planned to.

For the Poor, the Graduation Gap Is Even Wider Than the Enrollment Gap
New York Times June 2, 2015
Susan Dynarski
Rich and poor students don’t merely enroll in college at different rates; they also complete it at different rates. The graduation gap is even wider than the enrollment gap.

Exams Around the World
Pen, paper, and a time limit
Terrance F. Ross
The Atlantic Magazine June 12, 2015
The Atlantic has described as an “alphabet soup” of standardized tests, including: the NAEP, SBAC, PARCC, ACT, and, of course, SAT. Testing has become increasingly notorious in the U.S., to the point that tens of thousands of parents across the country have opted their kids out of standardized tests.

Not all parents make the grade in today’s schools
Erin McNamara Horvat David E. Baugh
Phi Delta Kappasn April 2015
Expectations for parent involvement in their children's education have risen dramatically over the last 20 years. The demands now placed on parents to evaluate and select educational options for their children, to act as advocates for their children, and to support increasingly demanding academic standards have never been greater

Parent Engagement on Rise as Priority for Schools, Districts
Push for formal role, rather than add-on
By Karla Scoon Reid
Education Week 2 June 2015
Family-engagement practitioners and researchers say educators are adopting systemic and sustained efforts to integrate parents into the fabric of their schools—a welcome shift for advocates who have complained of lip service but scant support for programs they say can have a big impact on student achievement.

The Recession’s Over, But Schools Aren’t Feeling the Recovery
Governing 03 June 2015
New data suggests education spending remains below pre-recession levels in most states. View charts and maps showing trends for each state.

States and Districts with the Highest Number and Share of English Language Learners
Ariel G. Ruiz Soto et al.
Migration Policy Institute June 2015
While English Language Learner (ELL) students are spread throughout the United States, their density, or the share they represent of total public school enrollment, varies greatly by state. This fact sheet, drawing upon data from the U.S. Department of Education, examines the states and districts with the highest shares and populations of ELL students and offers a detailed breakdown of some key statistics.


Teachers Newsletteris produced by the Information Resource Center at the United States Embassy in London
Inclusion of any of the items listed above, especially those from sources outside the U.S. Government, should not be construed as an endorsement of the views contained therein or as official U.S. policy.