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Beware of This Question at a Parent Teacher Conference

Ask this question at parent teacher conference

 Never , Never Ask this Question

Should you ask this question at a parent teacher conference ?  As your child goes through their school years, there may be  times when  your child is just not progressing as you would like.  At each grade level your child receives extra support, and is placed in every remediation and intervention  group available.  However, the results are still the same.  Your child makes little progress.  Therefore, you are thinking,  it is time to make a change. At the next parent-teacher conference you will ask an important question,  does your child need special education?  You want your child to do better.

Why Not?

In theory, you are taking a pro-active stance for your child at the parent teacher conference. You want the best and if the best means smaller classes and more specialized instruction,  you are in.  However, asking your child’s teacher this question is not an option. Most likely you will not get an answer to your question ,  you will be referred to the school psychologist.

Truthfully,  your child’s teacher is prohibited from making any determination about  a child’s learning ability.  Here is the reason why, they are not licensed to make such determinations.  If they do, some school districts  may be inclined  to discipline the teacher  or at best give the teacher a serious slap on the hand. Therefore, the bottom line is that an educator without a psychologists license cannot make any determination of a child’s ability to learn.  Therefore a teacher will and should refer you to the school psychologist with a written request.

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The School Psychologist

A trained school psychologist will take it from there.  To determine whether a child needs special education there are many factors to consider. The school  psychologist considers factors such as a child’s IQ,  past test grades, and  behavior and will analyze these factors before any decisions are made.

So, If you believe that your child is just not achieving and you want to explore the special education route put your request in writing .  Make sure that your request is addressed either to the school principal or the school psychologist.

Staff Writer

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What Is Common Core ? Does it Effect Your Child? part 2

What is Common Core

An overview of part one of this article conveys that Common Core is a national initiative to prepare students for college and or the workforce.  Furthermore, Common Core is not to be confused with a curriculum, it is what a curriculum should include, not just in one school district or state but in all states and public schools across the nation. Forty seven states have adopted both components of the Common Core Standards.  Only three states have adopted only the reading or the math components.

Do All Schools Comply With Common Core Standards?

How do we know if school districts successfully include the Common Core Standards in their curriculum? We know this by standardized testing.  Therefore, all  children in the public school system will take standardized tests at specific grade levels throughout their school years.  Will these tests affect your child’s report card grades?

Standardized Testing

The answer is no and here is why. Standardized testing is designed to assess the ability of your child’s school to teach and help students learn and master the state’s reading and math standards.  You could say that the standardized test score results are essentially your  district’s “report card grade”.  However, depending on the state,  this grade could have a profound impact on the school’s funding .

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Benefits of Common Core

How does the Common Core affect you as a parent?  When choosing the right school district or school for your child it is critical to look at each school’s standardized test scores. Accordingly,  it is important to know what percentage of the students in that school district are proficient?  Proficiency means that students have learned and mastered the required state standards in math and reading.  It could mean that a good percentage of the students are ready for college or that the students may struggle to succeed after high school. Consequently, the answer to that question should determine whether that school district.or school is the right one for your child.

How does the Common Core affect your child’s education?  A high performing school or school district will use the results of these standardized tests as valuable data.  Next, they will use this data to identify  your child’s weaknesses and strengths in the required state standards.  This information plots a learning map for your child. Hence, the school will use this map to execute an intervention and correct any identified weaknesses , early in your child’s education.  The Common Core Standards consequently become a powerful tool for building a strong foundation for your child’s education.

In conclusion, Common Core Standards (CSS) can help you as a parent and provide a strong educational foundation for your child’s future success .


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What is Common Core? Does It Affect Your Child? part 1

What is Common Core

Common Core is a buzz word that many may hear from educators. As a parent it is important to know whether the Common Core is important to you and your child?  Let’s begin with what Common Core is and what it is not.

The Common Core State Standard (CCSS) is an initiative  that began in 2010 by the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).  It establishes a common standard across the nation of what students should know, and be able to do, in math and reading for grades K-12. Therefore, this  requirement of math and reading standards is expected to be the same from state to state.  In other words, students across the nation will learn  the same thing in math and reading .

The Purpose

The purpose of the Common Core is to make sure that students are ready to enter college and or the workforce. Therefore,  it sets the standard for what is taught in the schools and what teachers are expected to teach. Forty Seven states have adopted required standards in both math and reading.  Only, three have adopted these standards in either math or reading, but not both.

To be perfectly clear, Common Core is not a curriculum, it is what the curriculum should include.  This means that each state or even each school district may have a different curriculum but, each curriculum must include what your child should know in math and reading at every grade level according to and aligned with state required standards. For example, let’s say the state standards requires that  every  kindergarten student must know and identify all numbers up  to 10 by mid year, say December.  Accordingly, the curriculum used by any school district must include instruction of all numbers up to 10.  To put it another way, a school curriculum must have included instruction of all numbers up to 10 by December .

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As a parent familiar with what your child should know at his grade level, this is a plus in the process of choosing a school or school district. Therefore, you want to know that your school district follows  the strategic requirements set out in the Common Core. Why? As stated, the objective of Common Core is to prepare your child for college and or the workforce. Consequently,  I think it is safe to say that this is also your objective as a parent.

How Does It Help?

Ok, so now you know what Common Core is, and what it is not. Now how does this help you with your child’s education.?  At specific grade levels your child will take a state standardized test.  Recognize the word standard in that word?  Yes, this test will assess how well your child has learned the Common Core Standards. Will this affect my child’s grades?

Read our next article on “What is Common Core?  How Does It Affect You?” part 2, where we will discuss the impact Common Core Standards have on you as a parent and your child’s education.

Education Staff Writer

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IT Jobs: No College Required?

It Jobs

IT jobs –  working in IT doesn’t necessarily require having a college degree. Although a degree can definitely help advance your career, you don’t have to have one to start working IT jobs . This is also true for working in cyber security.

Cyber Security Analyst

You can begin working as an entry level cyber security analyst without attending a university, according to,. However, those who have a bachelor’s degree in cyber security often will apply for positions higher up the chain of command and responsibility. Consequently, this leaves many positions open for junior cyber security analysts. This position involves doing tasks like conducting basic testing, looking at review logs, and handling network settings. This position pays a median annual wage of nearly $64,000.

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High Demand

The demand for information security analysts aren’t expected to slow down any time soon. Consequently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the employment of information security analysts will grow 28 percent between 2016 and 2026.  As a result, this time frame is much faster than the average for all of the positions that the BLS tracks. However,  as cyberattacks grow, so will the need for analysts to help prevent hacking of organizations.

To work in cyber security or secure an IT job, you will need to complete as many certifications as you can.  Granted, this will help ensure you can secure the entry level job you want. PrepAway and Business News Daily lists these certifications as being some of the top ones that you should consider:

IT Certifications

  • CompTIA Security+. This is a basic IT job certification. It is a theoretical certification and is considered a benchmark in IT security. On the other hand, while you don’t need any previous coursework to take this certification course, it’s recommended you have about two years of working in IT administration. Admittedly, this exam is $320, although you may be able to find a discount. It is worth it to have an IT job.
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). This is a high-level security certification and is great for those with solid managerial and technical skills, ability, and experience. It is more practical in nature. The exams are $599 for each of three concentration areas, and there is an annual $85 fee to keep the credential, with recertification required every three years through continuing professional education.
  • GIAC Security Essentials Certification. This certification doesn’t require prior training or experience, and it’s great for newbies in the field. As a result, it demonstrates your skills in IT security and is needed for entry level IT jobs
  • Certified Ethical Hacking Certificate (CEH). With this certification, you’ll demonstrate that you have the understanding of how to identify weaknesses in a system. You’ll need two years of experience to take this course or formal training. There’s an application fee of $100, and the exam is $950.


Check out the PrepAway site and the Business News Daily websites for even more cyber security certifications you can earn and more information about how to get them. Business News Daily also provides information about how to find preparation courses and materials for the certifications it lists.


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New Federal Education Law ?

Government shutdown

This New federal Education Law Could Affect Your Child’s Education

A new federal education law states that career and technical education could become more prevalent in some states. This  due to a signing last summer of the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21stCentury Act.  President Trump signed this law in July 2018, and it reauthorizes the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, according to EdWeek. The latter law was a $1.2 billion program that last saw revamping by the national legislature in 2006.

State’s Authority

This new federal education law gives states the ability to decide the aims for their career and technical education programs. They can do this without getting the national education secretary’s stamp of approval. Additionally, states must take action to reach the goals they set. This new federal education law encompasses other changes to how the federal government handles career and technical education law as well.

A Growing Concern

The importance of career and technical education is growing as an issue among business leaders, educators, and parents. However, current CTE programs must change and adapt the ever-evolving demands for labor. Some groups, such as the Association for Career and Technical Education and Advance CTE feel that the new federal education law is not all that it’s purported to be. They think that some states may not take goal-setting far enough and that there will be more of an administrative burden on school leaders.

Individual states are trying to figure out which types of programs are the best to develop for their current and future students. For instance, Tennessee, is in the process of attempting to discontinue programs that do not teach newer technology skills.

Some State’s Decision

Some states have entire school districts devoted to career and technical education, such as; Monmouth County Vocational School District, the Biotechnology High School, Communications High School,  Monmouth County Academy of Allied Health and Science, High Technology High School, and the Marine Academy of Science and Technology. Additionally, there is an Academy of Law and Public Safety.

Furthermore, some are concerned that CTE courses are closed to a limited group of students. Those enrolled are not as diverse as they should be, some argue.   There is limited access to the courses for all students.

What type and the extent of career education offered in each state will vary. How each state and school district creates and develops its own CTE programs as the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21stCentury Act goes into effect will vary. With the many millions of jobs expected to be available to CTE graduates between 2012 and 2022 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (such as the 7,575,300 in hospitality and tourism), there is no doubt that states will pay close attention to the best ways to develop their own CTE programs to prepare students for the future.

Education  Staff Writer

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