Do Teachers Really Hate Common Core?

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As more and more governors and local politicians denounce Common Core initiatives, and more states officially back away from the standards, the debate over the place and effectiveness of Common Core heats up. There is a lot of talk about students, but what about teachers? After all, they are the people who are most accountable for any standards and testing systems that are put in place. They are also the ones who see firsthand how education policies impact students. So what do teachers say about Common Core and PARCC testing?

  • 75 percent support Common Core, says a May 2013 American of Federation (AFT) poll that surveyed 800 teachers.
  • 76 percent strongly, or somewhat, support Common Core based on an Education Next Survey from 2013.
  • More than three-fourths support Common Core Standards “wholeheartedly” or with some minor reservations, according to a September 2013 National Education Association member survey.
  • 73 percent of teachers that specializes in math, science, social studies and English language arts are “enthusiastic” about the implementation of Common Core standards in their classrooms, from a 2013 Primary Sources poll of 20,000 educators.

Click here for full story from the Huffington Post.


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MarketWatch: American teens don’t want to work

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Decline in summer jobs can’t all be blamed on the economy

By Catie Hill, MarketWatch
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Here’s yet another thing your teenager doesn’t want to do this summer: get a job.

The number of teens with summer jobs has fallen roughly 30 percentage points since the late ‘70s. In 1978, nearly three in four teenagers (71.8%) ages 16 to 19 held a summer job, but as of last year, only about four in 10 teens did, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the month of July analyzed by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas . It’s been a steady decline, seen even during good times: During the dot-com boom in the late 1990s, when national unemployment was only about 4%, roughly six in 10 teens held summer jobs. Even recently, with the economy recovering, fewer teens opted for jobs: Last year’s summer job gain was down 3% from the summer payrolls in 2012, the report revealed.


What’s more, John Challenger, the CEO of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, says this is a trend that will likely continue. “We’re in a different era,” he says. “Being a teen is different than it used to be.”

Of course, some of this low teen unemployment can be blamed on the lackluster economy. Indeed, teen unemployment is more than 20% (remember that unemployment rates only measure those actively seeking jobs), in part because they are competing for jobs with other groups, including recent college grads and those with work experience.

But that can’t quite explain why fewer teens are working even during periods of economic expansion, says Challenger. He says that teens who are dropping out of the workforce represent only a small portion of those not working; instead, he says, most of these teens are choosing not to work in the summer. Indeed, there were nearly 11.4 million 16- to- 19-year-olds who were not in the workforce last summer — and of those only about 951,000 (or 8.3%) said they wanted a job, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that Challenger, Gray & Christmas analyzed. “While the number of 16- to 19-year-olds not in the labor force who want a job has remained relatively flat since the mid-1990s, the number not wanting a job has steadily increased,” the report revealed.


This doesn’t mean that teens are simply tanning by the pool or binge-watching Bravo (though some certainly are). Challenger says that many teens are in summer school (rates of summer school attendance are at one of the highest levels ever, he says), volunteering, doing extracurricular activities to pad their college applications and trying out unpaid internships. And all of these are worthwhile endeavors (well, minus the tanning and Bravo), especially as it becomes more competitive to get into many elite colleges.

That said, experts say that paid work has value for a number of reasons — and that teens (even those who plan to go to college) who don’t do it may be at a disadvantage. “It’s critical for teenagers to work, to begin to understand the working world, the value of a paycheck” says Gene Natali, co-author of “The Missing Semester” and a senior vice president at Pittsburgh investment firm C.S. McKee. “Choosing not to work a paid job has consequences.”

One clear reason for this, he says, is that the money they earn can be put to good use. The average household with a teenage child has only saved $21,416 for college, according to data released this year from Sallie Mae — far less than the $164,000 that a four-year private college will cost or the $74,000 that a public four-year in-state school will cost. And considering that for every $1 borrowed, the child will have to pay back roughly $2, saving money from a summer job can help offset student loan debt. Plus, working in a tough, low-paying job can motivate students to study harder in college and help them get a job down the road, as many employers want to see that applicants have worked for pay before, says Dan Levin, host of the radio program “CPR Radio Show.” “It’s valuable experience even well past age 19,” Levin says.

Even if the child gets a full ride to college, she should still start saving now, says Natali. He uses this example: A child who begins saving just $3 a day from age 15 through the age of 25 and then nothing thereafter would end up with a million by the age of 65 in his Roth IRA; if the child waits to start saving $3 per day until age 35 and saves each day until age 65, he will only have about $220,000. Plus, he says, “it’s harder to chase your dreams without the financial freedom to do so.” For example, if a child graduates college and wants to spend a year writing a novel, money earned during his teen years could help fund that so he or she didn’t have to take a full-time job.

What’s more, paid work can look good on a college application, says Elizabeth Heaton, a college admissions consultant and a former admissions officer at the University of Pennsylvania. “I loved paying jobs when I saw them on applications,” she says. She says the experience can show that students can show up on time, be responsible and do a job they’re hired to do, and deal with adults they aren’t related to. And since many unpaid internships or volunteer opportunities are only a few days a week, many teens can balance that with a paid job (or better yet, get a paid job that is related to a field they want to study), says Natali.

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Forbes: Odds Are Your Internship Will Get You A Job

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By Susan Adams, Forbes Staff
Full Article

If you are a college graduate and you are working at a paid internship, a new study shows, 60% of the time, that internship will turn into a job offer. For those who were working in unpaid internships, however, the news is much less encouraging. Thirty-seven percent of unpaid interns got job offers, according to the data. That’s just 1% better than graduates with no internship experience, 36% of whom got job offers.

The data come from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), which collected survey results from 15,715 seniors at the bachelor’s degree level from mid-January through the end of April of this year. NACE, a Bethlehem, Pa. non-profit that links college placement offices with large corporate employers, announced the results of its survey today. It found that 60% of respondents in paid internships received at least one job offer.

According to NACE executive director Marilyn Mackes, the main reason paid interns tend to get better offers is that they spend more time getting hands-on experience, as opposed to handling clerical tasks. According to the survey, paid interns spend 42% of their time doing jobs like analysis and project management, and just 25% of their time on clerical work, while unpaid interns spend just 30% of their time on professional tasks.

I’d like to sound one note of skepticism about the NACE results: While it doesn’t surprise me that paid interns are more likely to land jobs, I do think unpaid interns have a good shot at using their experience and contacts to land a job. I’ve seen it happen here at Forbes many times. We’ve hired interns and they’ve gone other places and gotten hired. Also, our unpaid interns perform substantive labors, writing carefully researched articles for and even sometimes for the magazine. They also perform magazine fact-checking, a vital function.

We’ve run stories in the past about how to turn your internship into a job. Here are a few tips:

Choose an internship that requires substantial work. Before you accept an internship slot, talk to those who have done the job before and ask about their experiences.

Act professionally at all times. Stick to the company’s dress code and office hours. Treat everyone you meet with respect and leave your personal life at home.

Network. Take advantage of the chance to meet senior leaders. At the same time, make friends with your fellow interns. They can all be valuable job contacts.

Ask questions. Don’t be shy about asking for clarifications on assignments, and don’t pretend to know something you don’t. As an intern, you’re expected to be a sponge for information.

Set goals. Meet with your supervisor and lay out projects you’d like to tackle and skills you’d like to master by the end of your internship.

Volunteer. When you see a project in need of a worker, raise your hand. Don’t overextend yourself, but do take on as much as you can handle.

Follow up. Stay in touch after the internship concludes. Do write a thank-you note after you’ve finished work, and send casual emails every couple of months to maintain your contacts.

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Stamford Achieves (SA) acts only as an intermediary between employers posting internship and job opportunities and student candidates. All hiring and compensation for work performed by students is handled directly between the student and the employer. SA also reserves the right to refuse to post or remove internship or job postings.

We do not guarantee or take responsibility for (a) the truthfulness, accuracy, quality, safety, morality, desirability or legality of employer information and position listings, (b) the ability of employers to offer internship and job opportunities, or (c) the hiring, recruiting or other practices of any employer. Students are urged to perform due diligence in researching employers when applying for or accepting employment.

For Students:

An internship, particularly for students at least 16 years of age, is a great way to get to know yourself a little better while building skills that will make you better prepared for the future. Internships can help you understand how a professional organization functions in the real world. While interning, you will have the opportunity to assess and refine your career goals. It is a “trial period”, an opportunity to test ideas about your interests and potential professions – whether it’s entertainment, non-profit, technology, health – without requiring a lengthy commitment. Just remember, no matter what you do and how long you do it for, do it to the best of your ability.

Some internships are “salaried” positions and some are strictly volunteer. Either way, you will likely gain valuable experience. Please note that most are highly competitive and you should pay close attention to the application deadlines.

Many organizations do not advertise the availability of internships or jobs and so it often requires some initiative on your part. With this portal, Stamford Achieves is seeking to aggregate internship and job opportunities for Stamford’s high school students.

Although we would ultimately like to post all student internship and job opportunities that is simply not realistic. Therefore, it is recommended that you conduct an internet search, look out for postings and check newspaper listings. Also, please use your networks – guidance counselors, teachers, parents, relatives, family, and friends – anyone who may have contacts within businesses or organizations that interest you.

For Employers:

The City of Stamford benefits tremendously from a large and diverse group of employers. These employers can and often do offer our high school students internship as well as job opportunities. However, employment opportunities are not typically aggregated so as to streamline the process for both the prospective employers and students. This portal is designed to be a simple and efficient way to maximize our tremendous resources.

We welcome your feedback as to how we can make this portal as productive and efficient as possible so please do not hesitate to email us at and thanks so much for participating.