A recent assessment by Bromsgrove School on the subject of the IB versus A levels got me thinking. How do other countries manage their education systems? Various surveys and statistical analyses can shed light on the UK’s education system and its ranking by comparison to other countries.
Literacy is perhaps the most important measure of an education system. Without the ability to read and write, all other education will be difficult, to say the least. The Literacy rate in the UK is estimated to be at 99%, putting the country at the same level as the United States and many European countries. However, the method of estimating literacy rates varies from country to country, so the results cannot be taken as rock solid. In fact, in 2003, 56% of the UK’s adult working population had a literacy level that would not have allowed them to get a good pass at GCSE Level. The OECD put the UK at 14th in their league tables that year. The levels of literacy were up to three times worse than in Scandinavian countries.
The UK is a member of the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) – an organization of countries that are committed to democracy and a market economy. Each year the OECD releases a report on the maths, reading, and science proficiency levels of countries, which this year covered 65 different countries. The news isn’t great for the UK. In 2006, the UK was ranked at 14th, 17th, and 24th in science, reading, and maths, whereas in 2010 it had slipped to 16th, 25th, and 28th. The UK is below the US in reading proficiency, Slovenia in maths, and Germany in science. South Korea and Finland have done the best, with South Korea taking the top spot in reading and maths and coming in 3rd in Science, while Finland topped the science rankings and came 2nd in maths and reading.
As of 2010, the UK is also no longer a world leader in the production of graduates. An OECD study that measures the percentage of people who get a university degree found that the UK has slipped from being in the top 4 ten years ago, when the numbers were nine points above the OECD average to 15th today, at 3 points below the average. Much of this seems to be an inability to improve as opposed to a drop in achievement. The UK percentage dropped only 2 points, from 37% to 35%, but the OECD average increased from 28% to 38%.
However, the UK higher education system is still seen as reputable, with the UK beaten only by the US in the 2010 Times Higher Education ranking of universities by reputation. The UK boasted 12 universities in the top 100, with the US having an impressive 45. Harvard took the top spot, but Oxford and Cambridge were both in the top ten. The UK had a further four universities in the top 50, including Edinburgh University and University College London. There is some concern amongst academics and students that the recent funding cuts and increase in tuition fees will adversely affect both the number of graduates and the rankings of UK universities internationally.
Coventry Public Schools has opened and for many students, it is a fresh start in new courses with new teachers. It is also a fresh start with new sports teams and clubs and extra-curricular activities. Success may be measured with a letter grade on a report card, selection to a varsity team, or with the achievement of other quantitative measures
For a few students, the start of school just continues the challenges they face in their daily lives. It is much more difficult to measure a student’s emotional success – how well has the student navigated home and school, and perhaps work, to overcome a variety of social and economic challenges that impact academic success. A measure of success may be more qualitative than quantitative.
At Coventry High School, there are services in place to support students who are at risk emotionally and behaviorally. This summer I spoke with Lou Ruffolo, a Coventry High School Psychologist, who is a member of the Unified Learning Services Team (ULST). On the team are another Psychologist and a Social Worker. On the department website is this motto, “The secret of education is respecting the pupil,” a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson. This sums up the role of the School Psychologist.
Lou spent 13 years in the Coventry School District working with the elementary student population. Three years ago he moved to the high school. Based on these assignments, he has been in a unique situation with fellow students at the high school with whom he worked at the elementary school.
A student’s emotional well-being may be assaulted in a variety of ways in the classroom, corridors, and cafeteria. It can take the form of an insult, arguments with fellow students, bullying, aggression, and challenges to teachers and each other. It may be direct or via social media. It expresses itself both in and out of the classroom and often results in academic work not completed high absenteeism, and course credit loss. In general, the student is not prepared to learn.
Lou’s primary role is to support students with an IEP (Individual Education Plan) or 504 students. Last year he found that 64% of his time was spent with students without an IEP or any school supports in place. Let’s look at the primary role of School Psychologists first.
The Psychologists test and evaluate students to determine eligibility and continuing eligibility for special education services. They monitor student performance toward goals, they counsel IEP students, and counsel students who are in other programs, such as Life Skills, Transition, and social behavior /emotional programs. They also work directly with teachers to support the students in these programs.
In addition to this caseload, students are referred to the School Psychologists by the school administrative team, and teachers and staff members. Sometimes mental “first aid” is as simple as listening to a student and showing empathy and validating the student’s frustrations.
Lou Ruffolo has a simple philosophy: be the kind of teacher or facility member that you wish you had when you were in school. When he goes to work each day, he tries to be that person.
A second role of the Psychologist is crisis management. A student may make a comment or post something on social media. At least 75% of these comments raise a question about the student’s own safety. These students may walk into the Psychologist’s office, request a meeting, or be referred by a teacher or administrator, or parent.
A third role for Lou is his role as part of the crisis management system for students in distress. He trains others in the district on how to manage students in crisis.
What type of problems are our students having? On this list is substance abuse with prescription medications, alcohol or marijuana use; social media misuse that fuels drama and conflict in the high school; and lack of readiness to learn. Students lack study skills, organization skills and demonstrate that they really do not understand how to be a student and how to be successful. In the classroom, these issues play out in disruptions, conflict with peers and teachers, and academic struggles.
Since many of these activities are reactive, Lou and the team are part of the “Connections Project.” The Coventry High School uses a survey developed in Burrillville that screens students. Research has demonstrated that students that have connections (with outside-school adults, teachers, peers, etc.) are more resilient; they have a structured support system. This survey was implemented two years ago with the sophomore class. This year the sophomores and juniors were surveyed. In 2016-2017, sophomores, juniors, and seniors will be surveyed. So the survey allows the school to identify students who are high-risk; it also validates that students who already exhibit behavioral problems have low connections. The Psychologists can then proactively reach out to students and help them enhance their connections.
How is success measured? Lou has seen some students graduate that he worked with when they were in pre-school. It is an “amazing” thing to see the student walk across the stage at URI’s Ryan Center. Success is measured when the Unified Basketball team won its state championship, and the team members were given jackets to wear. Seeing the students in the corridor being identified as “athletes” not as “special education” students brings a note of pride to the ULSS team.
Success is measured when a student stops in the office to say, “thanks,” or a parent sends a special message of thanks.
Success is measured when a student who did not want any help has built trusting relationships with the ULSS and proactively reach out for help.
During the 2016-2017 year, it is hoped that a Unified Theatre program may be started. The team has received a $500 grant to work with the Coventry Drama Coach to implement a program for the Unified Learning Support Services students.
And the team will continue its reactive work – serving the IEP population – but also find ways to be proactive in serving those who need emotional support.
In summary, a student’s success in Coventry High School may be measured in many ways. Academic measures are often easy to identify and data easy to obtain.
Measuring emotional health and improvement are more difficult but not impossible at Coventry High School. The support team and services are in place.
A jury unanimously decided that Led Zeppelin did not commit copyright infringement with its popular 1970s hit “Stairway to Heaven.” Widely considered one of the greatest rock songs of all time, the opening phrase of “Stairway” is believed to bear a significant resemblance to Spirit’s “Taurus,” a song released two years prior. The jury’s decision reinforced Led Zeppelin’s song as legendary and cemented the band’s legacy.
In a similar case, Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams recently faced the opposite outcome. A jury ruled that the musicians behind “Blurred Lines” owed Marvin Gaye’s estate $7.3 million for copyright infringement—in addition to ongoing royalties from the hit song. Thicke and Williams have recently appealed the verdict, with the backing of over 200 musicians, claiming the decision could have an adverse effect on artists’ creativity.
What do the two lawsuits have in common? Spirit and Marvin Gaye had obtained copyrights for their work, allowing them (through their estates) to pursue legal action in the case of infringement.
The Benefits of Copyright Law
As a composer, producer, or artist, copyrighting your work is the first step to fully protecting it. Without registering your song, recording, or artwork with the U.S. Copyright Office, you can’t bring an infringement suit if you suspect a violation.
Today, you are already one step ahead of Spirit and Marvin Gaye: any works released after 1978 gain protection under U.S. copyright law as soon as your original work is fixed in a tangible medium (e.g., staff paper, recordings, computer files). Registration is not required. However, it is much easier to win an infringement case and collect all damages if you register your copyright immediately. Registration validates your ownership of the work while putting potential infringers on notice—which can deter them from copying your piece, and enable them to contact you to obtain legitimate permission and licenses to use it.
With registration, if somebody infringes on your work, you are entitled to file a federal lawsuit seeking statutory and actual damages, the infringer’s profits, as well as your attorney fees. Other protections can include temporary injunctions to prevent further violations.
File your copyright sooner rather than later—fully protecting your composition, recording, or work from potential infringement. This information is brought to you by Carl Wilson of the Law Office of William C. Wilson.
As the cost of receiving a college education continues to rise every year you have to ask yourself whether a college education is necessary and what are the benefits of actually getting it. Here are some of the facts about people who get a college degree.
1. You want to view your college education as an investment. With any investment, you want to see a return. It is a fact that a person who does not get a college degree of any kind will earn on average $1.2 million dollars in their lifetime. Getting an associate’s degree increases that to an average of $1.6 million, an increase of over $400,000 for 2 years of college.
A person who receives a bachelor’s degree will earn $2.1 million or almost $900,000 more for going to college for 4 years. That is the return you get on investing your time and money in a college education.
2. Getting a college education offers a variety of degrees that determine the amount of time and money you will spend. A technical degree can be obtained in as little as 6 months and for as low as a few thousand dollars. Going to a 4-year state university is going to cost an average of $40,000 or more in total expenses including tuition, books, living expenses, food, etc.
You can certainly control those costs by living at home. In Colorado, for example, living at home and attending Metro State University will save a college student close to $10,000 in total expenses versus attending the University Of Northern Colorado.
No matter how you do it you are going to spend time to get a degree. Many students enroll in college and change their major 1, 2, 3 times or more. This can add additional years in getting the degree for the major you do settle on. Another problem with attending colleges is that they require general education courses for things such as history, or math, for a music major for example. This adds to your cost while offering virtually no relevance to what you will do for a living.
Statistics have proven that the more education you receive the more you will earn. Getting a college education in a field that interests you has shown that people are healthier and happier as well. This leads to a longer career and an improved lifestyle with friends and family. You have to personally weigh the costs associated with a college education, with your own career goals and plans.
The easy way to learn Spanish phrases is online. It can help you communicate with a Spanish-speaking person in almost any situation. When you choose to learn Spanish online you would enjoy plenty of benefits over the traditional way of learning.
Some of these advantages are listed below:
1. It offers convenience – it does not matter where you are or where the classes are taught. You would get all the information you wanted on your computer and you could access it any time of the day or night at your convenience.
2. It offers flexibility – there would be days when you are in a great mood to learn Spanish online and you would spend hours on the Internet studying the basic concepts of the language. At the same time, you would have spells when you would not want to even think about this task. With the online course, you would be at liberty to choose how much time you want to spend learning Spanish online; no obligating no forcing, and no fixed timetable for it.
3. It is affordable – when you compare the online courses that teach Spanish online, the cost difference would startle you. You can learn Spanish online at maybe one-third of the fees you would have spent for a traditional course. This means you also get value for your money which makes it an exceptionally good reason for most people.
4. It is easy to follow – the majority of the online courses that you find on the Net would be divided into very easy-to-follow simple modules. If you have any doubts regarding pronunciation or any other matter, you could use the connection offered to contact your online teacher who could give you professional guidance when you get stuck anywhere.
5. It is fun to learn Spanish online – this is because you tend to make a lot of friends who would be in your “class” and you would be able to converse with them using your newly learned skills. In this way, you make some great friends while you are learning the language at the same time.
If you are hungry to learn more and fast you can learn Spanish in less than three months; if not you could hang on with the basics until you feel the need to know more.
As a lawyer, you probably have excellent analytical and reasoning skills, a pragmatic approach to life, and a busy work schedule. Whether you live close to the office or you’re a long-distance commuter, you will love the practical, but stylish Volkswagen Passat. According to Car and Driver, the Volkswagen Passat is a great luxury sedan with a fast, fun-to-drive attitude. You’ll enjoy the quiet ride, comfortable leather interior, and roomy backseat for taking clients to lunch. Your practical personality will appreciate the mid-range price and standard, luxury amenities.
Engineers appreciate the latest technology, great gadgets, and the smallest details. Practical, useful, and no-nonsense products are at the top of the list for wants and needs. As an engineer, your job may take you to construction sites, plants and factories, and buildings with technical needs. You should take a look at the Toyota Land Cruiser which offers the rugged off-road capability of a truck with a comfortable, luxury interior. This is a big, heavy vehicle that can tackle construction sites with ease.
Veterinary Medicine Degree
Your veterinary medicine career can take you to farms to give medicine to horses, cows, and pigs, or put you in the office for a day of surgeries. A career in veterinary medicine offers a lot of versatility, but you need a vehicle that’s equipped to handle moving animals and equipment. The Toyota Tacoma is a compact pickup truck with high ratings in reliability, performance, and safety. According to U.S. News, it was named the “Best Compact Pickup Truck for the Money in 2014.”
If you’re a teacher, you need a practical, comfortable car that gets good gas mileage. No matter what grade you teach, kindergarten through college, you’ll be carrying books, student papers, supplies, and classroom tools throughout your teaching career. Consider the Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, a sporty SUV with impressive features, interior comfort, and a large cargo area that’s great for your teaching supplies. The mid-range price will fit your budget. whether you choose a model from a used car dealer or buy a new one. The stylish body size will fit your career needs.
Environmental Science Degree
As someone who wants to save the world with energy conservation and eco-friendly products, you’ll be perfectly suited to an eco-friendly car like the new Nissan Leaf, an electric car that runs on a 240-volt charging system. The Nissan Leaf has a mid-range price tag and offers exceptional mileage, comfort, and energy efficiency. This innovative vehicle has great reviews and is listed as one of the top energy-efficient cars for 2014. It’s the perfect car for your Environmental, eco-friendly college degree.
Undeniably, homeschooling is legal in all 50 States of
the U.s. But, that is certainly pretty much the location where the similarity ends. Laws
and regulations regarding homeschooling vary from region to region.
Interpretations of those laws can differ from school district to
school district. Additionally, these laws may change annually.
The nation’s Home Education network is a marvelous resource when
you are looking for the legalities of homeschooling. It features a report on
the actual state laws for each state in the U.S. Reading the laws
that pertain to your state is in all likelihood the ultimate way to get accurate
details about these laws. But, most people have to get the
laws interpreted by a qualified attorney. You can find valuable
information from your support group in the locality. Additionally,
many state education departments have online learning resources that will
aid you in interpreting the state requirements for homeschooling.
The net is another good source of information.
It’s a good plan to check out state laws regarding
homeschooling prior to starting to educate your child in your own home. This
minimizes any nasty surprises on the way. If you have to move,
you simply must keep in mind any tests or exams that your child
Homeschooling with an impairment
If you feel that your child suffers from a disability that
seriously hampers his capacity to stick to a routine, then
homeschooling will be your most suitable option. The little one will likely be constantly
under your supervision. But he’ll be gaining a great deal of quality
education, regardless of his disability. That is rather surprising,
considering how children with disabilities are stigmatized in
Goal setting is an important part of homeschooling a child with
a disability. Set the volume of working hours each week for that
child. A child with a disability could possibly have his bad days. Structure
the educational hours according to the needs and interests of the
child. Use the computer. This way, he will have all the
right information right at his fingertips while staying within
the confines of his home.
Field trips as well as other educational activities are merely as
important. Get the help of your support group. Visit places of
interest and talk with other children inside the group. Take your
child out for many activities, to ensure that they can socialize. Allow him to
set his very own pace with acquiring buddies. This will assist in
strengthening his self-esteem.
Especially, understand that homeschooling is only the same, even when
your youngster suffers from a disability. You may must look
for the best opportunities along with the easiest choices to
get the same goals.
When you begin to learn a new language, whether it is English or any other language, you start with the basics – vocabulary, sentence structure, and grammar. As you get better and better, however, you begin to realize that some words don’t really have a translation in the other language, or that when you say them properly, the translation is somewhat indirect.
For example, in American marketing, it is common to use the phrase “Get the inside scoop.” However, in Spanish, there is no short phrase that communicates this same idea – that you would find out knowledge that is generally limited to a small, insider group.
Learning a second language doesn’t just allow you to communicate – it gives you insight into a new culture. It’s not just about the words, but the underlying sentiment, because sometimes language is as much about what you don’t say, as what you do say.
In America, writing is generally very direct and to the point. Short sentence structure is preferred, as well as simple wording. For non-native English speakers from countries like India & Mexico, this can be very difficult, as they are generally used to writing in longer sentences, to be polite and avoid offending anyone.
However, writing for a British audience can be very different, as the British are more likely to use longer, more complicated sentence structures than Americans. British English can often be more polite and flowery than American English. In Britain, there is a higher emphasis on general good manners and saving face than there is in America, and thus, things that you would hear used commonly in the USA could be construed as rude in the UK. In the UK, sometimes Malaysians and Chinese have an issue with coming off as rude because much like Americans, they generally write and speak in a more direct manner.
Thus, directly translating what you would say in your native language or country, can sometimes get you into trouble in another language. Language is a window into another culture, and to truly ensure that you’re getting your point across in the right manner, it is critical to ensure that you understand the culture of the language you’re writing in, or that you get your content or materials reviewed by a professional, native English speaker. That’s why we created English Edits.
Interested in reading more about what you should & shouldn’t say in English? Real Simple posted an article of 18 common phrases you shouldn’t use in conversation, especially in the USA. You can find it here.
And let us know in the comments – what things are taboo in your native language or culture?
Jayme Self is a professional marketer and editor, and the founder of English Edits, where they review and edit documents to ensure that your written materials show off the same polished, professional image you show in person. English Edits publishes new blog posts three times a week with tips & tricks for improving your written English & avoiding mistakes and embarrassment. You can find their blog at www.englishedits.com/blog.
A great way to practice your headlines is to find a subject, article idea, or ad online, write headlines for it, and try to write a better headline than the one that’s already there.
Don’t let style overcome content – we all need to infuse a little personality into our copy, but don’t let it become so over-styled that your audience loses interest.
Take one of your finished pieces and rewrite it for a different audience. If it was written for young adults, rewrite it for retirees, if it was for Americans try and make it more British or Australian.
It’s important to realize that site visitors and customers appreciate CTAs as well, as many of them are looking for information and a solution to a problem.
Until you’re super tuned in to your own voice, read your work aloud whenever you finish a piece. This will help you spot areas that don’t flow and areas that don’t feel conversational.
When writing content for another website or blog, having expert content featured within your article is a win-win-win-win for yourself, the featured expert, your audience, and the site you are writing the content to.
Stats are great to include with your content (along with visuals), as it breaks apart the reading process and gives the reader an opportunity to truly absorb such information.
Like all aptitudes, composing and copywriting fall into place without any issues for a few, yet it can likewise educate. You don’t have to go to college or take costly online courses, yet you do need to devote some time and challenging work on the off chance that you will compose the secure pages of the substance you respect.
Here are seven hints that will assist you with building up your composition and copywriting aptitudes quickly.
Exercise 1: Headlines that shout for consideration
Features are unfathomably significant – on the off chance that you don’t speak to what your perusers need to see, they’re not going to tap on the connection. That goes for blog articles and advertisement duplicates, you must get your features down.
As indicated by Digital Doughnut, just two out of 10 individuals will proceed to peruse the duplicate in the wake of perusing the feature with the goal that functionality should be acceptable and guarantee what they need.
An extraordinary method to rehearse features and locate the subject, article thought, or advertisement on the web, compose functions for it, and attempt to write a superior feature than the one that is as of now there.
Another approach to rehearsing your features is to discover an advertisement that is focusing on an item to you, envision the feature on the off chance that it was focused on an alternate crowd, and compose that.
Exercise 2: Practice being immediate
Try not to let style beat content – we as a whole need to imbue a little character into our duplicate, yet don’t let it become so over-styled that your crowd loses intrigue.
At the point when you compose a piece, work on limiting descriptive words and shortening sentences. Additionally, watch out for your adages and on-pattern phrases – when you go over them, inquire as to whether they’re genuinely helping you express what is on your mind and associating with your crowd or merely building your assertion tally.
Exercise 3: Write for various crowds
This activity is like the first. Take one of your completed pieces and change it for the other crowd. If it is composed for youthful grown-ups, modify it for retirees, on the off chance that it was for Americans to attempt and make it progressively British or Australian.
This will assist you with learning the subtleties that various customers require and focusing on the necessities of the peruser.
Exercise 4: Practice your CTAs
In case you are a marketing specialist in any structure, you have to realize how to embed unobtrusive yet viable calls to activities. This is a particularly apparent chance that you are composing for power sites or web journals that as of now have an item or administration to offer.
It’s likewise critical to understand that site guests and clients acknowledge CTAs too, the same number of them are searching for data and an answer for an issue. A smart thought guides the crowd, for example, making a move, in actuality, to tap on a catch, or to send an email.
Whatever it is, on the off chance that you need somebody to accomplish something (and in case you’re composing duplicates that are actually what you need them to do) you should be influential without being pretentious, so work on producing CTAs.
Exercise 5: Read so anyone might hear
Until you’re super fixed on your voice, read your work so anyone might hear at whatever point you finish a piece. This will assist you with spotting regions that don’t stream and territories that don’t feel conversational.
In case you’re not composing something conversational, attempt to put on the voice or highlight what you need it to seem like and discover regions that don’t keep up the degree of custom you’re searching for.
Exercise 6: Interview industry specialists
When attempting to make astounding substance and incentive for your crowd and site guests, it’s always essential to investigate your alternatives with meetings and incorporate content from different specialists inside your industry or specialty.
This is likewise an incredible open door for you to pose inquiries to a specialist that your crowd probably won’t have direct access to.
This technique functions admirably for various reasons, for example,
Carrying a recognizable face and name to your substance
Marking your site as a position source specialists discover an incentive in
Alluring your crowd and specialists to share your substance additionally
When composing content for another site or blog, having master content included inside your article is a success win-win-win for yourself, the highlighted master, your crowd, and the website you are composing the substance.
Exercise 7: Perfecting the craft of discovering extraordinary references
At its assumed worth, composing is not all that much. Anybody can plunk down and begin producing content. What is worth is how well the article peruses, the worth it gives to a crowd of people, and its legitimacy.
For these components to cooperate, they should be sponsored and confirmed. This is regularly cultivated with the expansion of some reliable details and references made all through the article.
This is generally done by connecting to outside references on locales like MSN, Forbes, Inc or some other notable brands.
In any case, as this Business Insider article lets us know, not all media and news outlets are taken a gander at similarly so ensure your references and sources line up with your crowd also.
Details are likewise incredible to incorporate with your substance (alongside visuals), as it breaks apart the understanding procedure and offers the peruser a chance to retain such data.
Composing aptitudes and copywriting strategy to make you a superior author
On the off chance that you do these activities consistently, you’ll before long observe your copywriting improve. Recall that the ideal approach to improve is to rehearse always, so get one of these activities at whatever point you have some additional time.