Huffington Post: Look out Holden Caulfield, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is coming after you.
When it comes to choosing literature classics over current nonfiction, informational texts are about to gain a huge advantage.
Thanks to new educational standards approved in 46 states, nonfiction books will soon make up at least 70 percent of the texts that high school students read for class. Reports such as Recommended Levels of Insulation by the EPA will be on the reading list, taking the place of works like The Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird.
Will this mark the beginning of the end for literature? Those in favor of the new standards point out that nonfiction promotes better writing, a vital skill in today’s workplace. Some English teachers believe that the experience of making a connection with characters in literature cannot be replaced by informational texts.
The Common Core Standards new, nonfiction-heavy reading curriculum is scheduled to be in place by 2014.
Education News: New evidence from a comprehensive study links physical fitness to student performance. The study, done by Michigan State University and published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, found middle school students who were in good physical shape also performed better on standardized tests and received higher grades.
Researchers worked with 312 students from a middle school in western Michigan. After determining their overall fitness level, they compared the students’ grades and found those who were in good physical health consistently outperformed their less-fit peers.
“Fit kids are more likely to be fit adults,” said report co-author James Pivarnik. “And now we see that fitness is tied to academic achievement. So hopefully the fitness and the success will both continue together.”
This is the first comprehensive study that looked at the connection between the level of a child’s fitness and academic outcomes.
Forbes: The writer of this opinion piece argues that traditional education models are not effective enough when it comes to providing students with needed job skills. A new study adds weight to the argument as it highlights the widening gap between the education students are being provided with in high school, and what they actually need to learn to be successful in today’s business world.
In “Education to Employment: Designing a System that Works,” the McKinsey Center for Government attempts to provide answers to questions that businesses and youth face, such as how to address high levels of youth unemployment and a shortage of people with critical job skills, and how the country can successfully move young people from education to employment.
At Communities In Schools, site coordinators work with students to provide them with information that will guide them in their career choices. Programs such as job shadowing and internships provide touch points to the real-world of work.