Exit…To Prison?

Taken from Practical Homeschooling #111

State after state has been adding high-school exit exams.  Now, almost half of all U.S. states require students to pass an exit exam… and if they don’t, their diploma is withheld.

But do exit exams hurt, or help?

A new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research, “The Effect of High School Exit Exams on Graduation, Employment, Wages and Incarceration,” says there is no correlation between passing (or failing) exit exams, and employment or salary.  In addition, of the 1% who don’t pass, 12.5% end up in jail.

In a Take Part article about this new study, blog author and retired teacher Anthony Cody summed it up this way:  “Exit exams represent a single set of tests that trumps years of work that students have completed.”  He thinks they should be abolished.

You can purchase the report for $5 here: www.nber.org/papers/w19182.

How teens, parents struggle to share social media

Taken from http://almenconi.blogspot.com

Heather Kelly, CNN
By Heather Kelly, CNN
updated 10:04 PM EDT, Fri August 30, 2013

(CNN) — Carly and her mom are friends on Facebook, but that doesn’t mean they share everything.

The 17-year-old from Marin County, California, has refined her Facebook privacy settings so that her mother can’t see all the posts that fill her Timeline. Her father, meanwhile, never checks the social network.

“Right now, my mom can only see things that I post. She can’t see anything I’m tagged in or anything that my friends say to me on my profile,” said Carly, a high school senior who asked to be identified only by her first name. “She doesn’t know that, though. I’m like, 80% sure that every other teenager has done that too.” (more…)

America’s Top Young Scientists

Taken from Practical Homeschooling Magazine, September/October 2013 Issue

Three of the top 10 finalists in the 15th annual Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, “the nation’s premier science competition for students in grades 5-8,” are homeschoolers!

Students nationwide were asked to create a short video describing a new innovative solution that would impact an everyday problem.  Entries were judged on scientific ingenuity and inventive thinking.

The homeschooled finalists were Srijay Kasturi of Reston, VA; Katie Hudek of Grafton, MA; and Maureen “Reeny” Bostros of Wichita, KS (You can read the finalists’ bios at http://ow.ly/owy9u).

Each finalist will have the opportunity to work directly with a 3M scientist during a summer mentorship program, where the finalist will be challenged to identify an everyday problem and create an innovative solution.  Mentors will provide guidance as the finalist develops his or her idea from a concept into an actual prototype, which will be presented during the competition’s final event at the 3M Innovation Center in St. Paul, MN.  Throughout the program, each student will have access to resources and support provided by 3M and Discovery Education.

This year’s finalists will also receive $1,000 and be awarded a trip to 3M Headquarters to participate in the final competition.  Students will compete in a series of three different challenges, including a presentation of their completed innovation.  Each challenge will be scored independently by a panel of judges.  The winner will receive $25,000, a trip from Discover Student Adventures and the title of “America’s Top Young Scientist.”  Curious?  Visit YoungScientistChallenge.com