ED Youth Voices May Newsletter

ed youth voices

June 8, 2018 | Sign Up to Receive ED Youth Voices

In This Issue:

  • Federal Commission on School Safety Visits Maryland School to Discuss School Climate Practices
  • DeVos: “No One More Important to a Student's Education than a Great Teacher”  
  • President’s Task Force Unveils Plan to Expand ApprenticeshipsSecretary DeVos Encourages Graduates to Serve Others
  • Secretary DeVos: “The Family Will Always Be the First School”
  • 161 Students From Across the Country Named 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholars 
  • Writing Our Future: American Creed
  • Elevating Youth Voices to Foster Change

Federal Commission on School Safety Visits Maryland School to Discuss School Climate Practices

Federal Commission on School Safety field visit

On May 31, the Federal Commission on School Safety (FCSS) held its first field visit. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and members of the Commission traveled to Hebron-Harmon Elementary School in Hanover, Maryland (Anne Arundel County Public Schools) to learn about Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS).  PBIS is a framework for assisting school personnel in organizing evidence-based behavioral interventions to help improve academics and social behavior outcomes for students. 

While on site, Commission representatives heard from nationally renowned PBIS expert Dr. George Sugai, as well as Anne Arundel County Public School administrators, teachers and students about the district’s PBIS program. 

"Every day, the Federal Commission on School Safety is working to identify proven ways to prevent violence and keep our students safe at school,” the Secretary said in a statement. “Our work remains urgent. Our nation must come together and address the underlying issues that lead to such tragic and senseless loss of life."

This was the first of several field visits where the Commission will learn from practitioners in the field who are actively taking steps to improve school safety and climate. You can check out video of the event here. For more information, please visit the FCSS website.

Have ideas on how to make schools safer? Send them to safety@ed.gov.


DeVos: “No One More Important to a Student's Education than a Great Teacher”

Secretary DeVos Testifying on the Hill

During a hearing before the House Education and Workforce Committee, Secretary DeVos emphasized the importance of great teachers and their need to be supported, better compensated and treated as professionals. As the Secretary said, “The current system force fits educators into a box that gives them little opportunity for growth.” Watch the video.


President’s Task Force Unveils Plan to Expand Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships Task Force Members

For the first time since 2000, there are more job openings than unemployed Americans. One way to provide students with the skills they need to find meaningful employment is through apprenticeship programs. Apprenticeships provide workers with a career path featuring paid on-the-job training, skills development, and mentoring. They also provide employers with a steady source of highly trained and productive employees. 

But these programs are currently underutilized. That’s why President Trump brought together business, labor, and education leaders to look at ways to expand apprenticeship programs and provide these opportunities to more Americans. You can learn more about the task force and their recommendations here


Secretary DeVos Encourages Graduates to Serve Others

In her address to the 2018 graduating class of Ave Maria University, Secretary DeVos urged the graduates to strive for greatness and to stay engaged in service to community and country. She left the graduates with a call to action: “What will you do to put your newly gained skills to work in the service of others? Now is the time to start doing it. And what you do now is up to you. It's not up to your parents. It's not up to your professors. With God's guidance, it's up to you.”


Secretary DeVos: “The Family Will Always Be the First School”

Speaking to the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation, Secretary DeVos acknowledged the Catholic Church’s contribution to American education, praised Alfred E. Smith’s dedication to fighting for the vulnerable and addressed the need for more options for parents. In her remarks she stated, “He (Al Smith) encouraged us to take care of our families first. Then take care of our neighbor, and then our community. That’s why, when it comes to education, the family is – and always will be -- the ‘first school.’ Parents hold the inalienable right to decide what learning environment best meets their children’s individual needs. Check out the Secretary’s tweets on the speech here.


161 Students From Across the Country Named 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholars

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced the 54th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars, recognizing 161 high school seniors for their accomplishments in academics, the arts, and career and technical education fields. 

"I want to congratulate this year’s class of Presidential Scholars on their achievement and also thank their parents, teachers and other academic advisors who have helped guide them along the way,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. “These students have pushed themselves to be the best they can be, and I am certain that devotion will serve them well as they continue their individual learning journeys.”

The 2018 ceremony will be held June 24, when each honoree will receive a Presidential Scholar Medallion.

A complete list of 2018 U.S. Presidential Scholars is available at http://www.ed.gov/psp


Writing Our Future: American Creed

The National Writing Project’s (NWP’s) youth publishing website that accompanies the PBS documentary “American Creed,” is now live. Teachers, librarians and youth mentors are invited to engage young people as they respond to the film, which explores what it means to be an American, through writing, media or art. Adults at schools and learning centers can create accounts for youths to publish their work for a national, or even international, audience. The “American Creed” youth publishing project is part of NWP’s broader initiative, Writing Our Future. More->


Elevating Youth Voices to Foster Change

The Youth Fostering Change project at the Juvenile Law Center advocates for youths who are or were involved in the child welfare system. Each year, youth advocates undertake projects focused on evaluating and reforming the system to better serve their needs.

The American Youth Policy Forum on May 15 posted a blog about Alexis Andino, a 20-year-old youth advocate currently working on her associate degree at the Community College of Philadelphia. She stated, "Being a young person in our society and living by the systems, laws, and government regulations can be challenging, but is considered normal. Now imagine juggling that challenging task while dealing with emotional stress, family issues and living in a complete stranger’s home whose rules and customs are all foreign to you."  You can read Andino’s full story here