The school year is winding down for most students, but for school administrators it is prime time for hiring teachers for the fall.
Did you know that 30 percent of new teachers quit after three years on the job and half of them quit the classroom within five years? The biggest reason for leaving? According to the Gates Foundation, the answer is not pay, though I’m sure most teachers wouldn’t say no to a a salary increase, and it’s not because they don’t like teaching anymore. The biggest reason, the Gates Foundation claims, is they don’t like the school they’re teaching in because it is a bad fit. Enter: myEDmatch.com.
If online dating works so well for people looking for love and happiness, can it work to match teachers with schools? That is the premise being pioneered by two local leaders in education in Kansas City: former Kauffman Foundation Vice President Munro Richardson and Teach for America Kansas City head Alicia Herald, who both quit their jobs to launch this job matching start up.
Where in the world am I? Apparently, many students in the United States have no idea.
In a 2006 Roper survey, it was found that students in the U.S. fail to understand their world and their place in it. Of Americans aged 18 to 24, seventy percent could not find Iran or Israel on a map. Nine in ten couldn’t find Afghanistan on a map of Asia. And 54 percent were unaware that Sudan is a country in Africa.
The 2002 project also surveyed 18- to 24-year-olds in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Sweden, and Great Britain. The U.S. trailed every other country in that survey, except Mexico, which did only slightly worse. Even for U.S. geography, the survey results are just as dismal. Half could not find New York State on a map of the United States. A third of the respondents could not find Louisiana, and 48 percent couldn’t locate Mississippi on a map of the United States, even though Hurricane Katrina put these southeastern states in the spotlight in 2005. About 11 percent of young citizens of the U.S. couldn’t even locate the U.S. on a map. The Pacific Ocean’s location was a mystery to 29 percent; Japan, to 58 percent; France, to 65 percent; and the United Kingdom, to 69 percent.
In order to spark interest in the subject, National Geographic hosts the National Geographic Bee to encourage teachers to include geography in their classrooms, spark student interest in the subject, and increase public awareness about geography. Schools with students in grades four through eight are eligible for this entertaining and challenging test of geographic knowledge.
This month marks the 25th anniversary of the National Geographic Bee, a nation-wide geography competition in Washington, D.C. for students in 4th through 8th grade. In that quarter century, about two percent of the competitors are girls and only two girls have won the $25,000 first prize scholarship. Education reporter Lindsey Foat sat down with two local finalists Prani Nalluri and Aviral Misra.
The National Geographic Bee will be shown on KCPT the day after the competition, Friday, May 24 at 1 p.m.
Jewish Community Centers sprang up in many American cities around the turn of the 20th century, in part because Jews were excluded from other organizations.
But unlike the YMCA, for example, these centers didn’t focus solely on physical fitness. They also stressed the growth of the whole person, including artistic endeavors. In this installment of our performARTS series, we’ll take you out to Overland Park to see some of the impressive work going on inside the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City, a place its own Cultural Arts director calls the “best kept secret around.”
The center’s season will conclude with Hairspray, July 13-28 in the White Theatre, which will then move out to Johnson County’s Theater In the Park, the first time that arrangement has ever been tried.
This week on The Local Show, Sam Zeff examines the homeschooling trend which continues to gain popularity. Randy Mason talks to VML’s Mike Lundgren about what we can expect at TEDxKC 2013. Producer Rich Miller takes us inside the University of Kansas Alzheimer’s Disease Center which is focusing on diet and exercise as a means of preventing the disease. And we hear the tale of Sea Life Kansas City’s newest resident, Gertrude the Sea Turtle.