College Board Revises AP US HISTORY EXAM Again!

 July 30 at 3:33 PM
The College Board, which has been under fire during the past year from conservatives for revisions it made to the AP U.S. History course, released a new version Thursday that it says responds to “principled feedback” from critics.“This new edition addresses the legitimate concerns expressed about the 2014 framework,” Zachary Goldberg, a spokesman for the College Board, wrote in an e-mail. “Every statement in the 2015 edition has been examined with great care based on the historical record and the principled feedback the College Board received. The result is a clearer and more balanced approach to the teaching of American history that remains faithful to the requirements that colleges and universities set for academic credit.”

The new version will take effect in the coming school year.

Conservatives, including the Republican National Committee and 2016 GOP presidential hopeful Ben Carson, slammed the 2014 Advanced Placement history course, saying it overemphasized negative aspects of U.S. history, portrayed historical events as “identity politics” — a series of conflicts between groups of people as opposed to explaining historical events through shared ideals — and did not fully explore the unique and positive values of the U.S. system.

Carson told a gathering in September that the framework is so anti-American that “I think most people, when they finish that course, they’d be ready to sign up for ISIS.”

The chief complaint was that the 2014 AP history course taught the story of the United States as “identity politics” — a series of conflicts over power and control between various groups, as opposed to explaining historical events through commonalities and shared ideals of the American people.

Peter Wood, president of the National Association of Scholars, a group of academics created to “confront the rise of campus political correctness,” commended the College Board for the 2015 revisions but said there is room for improvement.

“It’s definitely better than 2014 in a number of ways,” said Wood, who met Wednesday with College Board President David Coleman. “When we started raising criticisms about this in July last year, the push­back from the College Board was arrogant and dismissive. And they stayed in that tone before they began to see that maybe a better way to handle this is to look at the content of the criticism. I think the College Board is taking the position that it has something to learn from its critics.”

The College Board, the nonprofit company that owns the SAT, relies on committees of college professors and high school teachers to write frameworks for AP courses. Many of the people who wrote the 2014 framework also worked on the new version.

The 2014 framework was endorsed by the American Historical Association, whose chief executive, James Grossman, defended it as a choice between “a more comfortable national history and a more unsettling one.”

But the pushback from conservatives was immediate.

In August 2014, the Republican National Committee accused the College Board of developing a “radically revisionist view of American history that emphasizes negative aspects of our nation’s history while omitting or minimizing positive aspects.”

In the fall, conservative school board members in Jefferson County, Colo., said they wanted to review the course because it wasn’t sufficiently patriotic, triggering protests from students and parents accusing the school board of censorship.Lawmakers in Oklahoma considered banning the class but dropped the effort.

Rick Hess, director of education policy at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, was critical of the 2014 version but said Thursday that the newest edition was “surprisingly good” and free of bias of either a liberal or conservative nature.

“I expected to be disappointed — I thought the last version was horrific,” said Hess, a one­time high school social studies teacher. “But what I see is . . . fair-minded, reasoned, and coherent, and I would be very comfortable teaching U.S. history with this.”

Still, a leading conservative dismissed the changes­ as more cosmetic than substantive.

“The College Board continues to be under the influence of leftist historians,” Stanley Kurtz, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, wrote in an e-mail.

He has argued that the College Board wields too much influence over American education through its AP courses and tests. “Ultimately, I think the College Board is making superficial changes as a way of stifling competition,” he wrote. “Only competition in AP testing can restore curricular choice to states and school districts.”

More than 460,000 students took the AP U.S. history exam last year, hoping to score high enough to earn college credit.

Wood said conservatives around the country are interested in developing alternatives to the College Board.

“That opposition is not going to go away,” he said. “It’s become self-organizing, with a legislative presence in some states. There’s a will to break the College Board’s monopoly on this.”


Teachers, Parents, and Students

Are you wanting to get FREE ACT Prep in Math, Science, and English?

Are you looking for  FREE homework help in English, Science, Math, Social Studies and more?

Are you looking for FREE Professional Development in Flipped Classroom, IPAD, Chromebook or Virtual Classroom Certification?

How about College Classes that are students can take in place of high school courses that can count as dual credit? (Check with your high school counselor.)

How about getting ahead in college courses or taking courses that are full on your campus?  (Check with your college counselor.)


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How Accreditation Works from Best School

For more information:

How Accreditation Works and Why It Matters

When an online college looks like a great fit and you’re ready to apply, stop to check that the school is accredited. The U.S. government doesn’t accredit colleges, but it does provide a list of recognized and reliable accrediting associations. The government provides this information to protect you. Accreditation maintains quality in higher education, ensuring that you learn the skills you need to land a good job.
Accreditation agencies develop standards for institutions and then ensure that institutions meet those standards. Accreditation can be difficult for schools to maintain, and dozens of phony accreditation agencies have sprung up to meet the needs of low-quality schools.Checking for accreditation at online schools can be challenging. You can usually assume that the big state school funded by taxpayer dollars is accredited. But what about that small start-up school? Take a little time to learn about accreditation now, and you could save yourself from huge expenses in the future.

How do I check for accreditation?

You can use the U.S. Department of Education website to check that a school is accredited. The government also keeps a list of accredited programs, institutions, and residencies. Gather accreditation information from government resources rather than the school itself. Schools do occasionally mislead students, as shown in this Cleveland Plain Dealer article about nursing students whose school took years to reveal its accreditation problems.

Do not be fooled by accreditation agencies with similar-sounding names. Your school should be accredited by a group whose name exactly matches what is on the list. There are some warning signs that a school is merely a diploma mill that wants your money in exchange for a worthless degree. If a school promises that it has no tests, or that you can get a degree in a few weeks or months, be suspicious. Likewise, beware of schools that charge a flat fee for your degree. Reputable schools usually charge by credit hour or semester.

If you are still uncertain, you can contact the attorney general in the state where the school is located to make sure that it is legitimate and accredited.

Why is accreditation important?

The government uses accreditation to determine whether a school is worth the tuition price. Federal financial aid, including aid for members of the military, is available only for students at schools that have been accredited by a recognized agency. The same goes for most state financial aid.

If you need to transfer schools, credits from an unaccredited school may not be accepted. Accreditation does not guarantee that transfer credits will be accepted at another school but does make it more likely.

The inability to transfer credits is a problem that both states and the national government have been trying to fix, according to an NBC News story. It now takes an average of 3.8 years for full-time students to earn an associate’s degree and 4.7 years for students to earn a bachelor’s degree, in large part because of credits that don’t transfer. But change is coming. The state of Florida now guarantees that credits earned at Florida community colleges will transfer to four-year state universities, and other states are considering similar policies.

If you plan to transfer schools, consider which schools you might transfer to, and check with them about credits.

Employers usually prefer that students have a degree from an accredited institution, especially when they are earning an online degree, which some employers view with skepticism. The difficulty in finding a job with a questionable degree is shown by the high loan-default rate of students at for-profit schools. For-profit schools enroll 11 percent of students but make up 44 percent of student-loan defaults, according to an L.A. Times article. Some students at these schools say that they cannot find a job with their degree or that they can only find a low-paying job. Some of these schools are accredited, so graduation and job-placement rates are valuable to know as well.

Is all accreditation the same?

There are two types of accreditation. Institutional accreditation recognizes that all parts of an institution are accredited. Specialized, or programmatic, accreditation is an evaluation of certain programs, schools, or departments at an institution.

Institutional accreditation agencies fall into two categories: regional and national. Regional associations accredit degree-granting colleges and universities. National associations usually accredit schools that provide trade and technical training. Colleges and employers often consider regional accreditation more rigorous. Thus, colleges are more likely to accept transfer credits from regionally accredited schools. Also, employers might prefer a degree from a regionally accredited school, particularly when a degree has been earned online.

The U.S. Secretary of Education does recognize some state agencies for the approval of public postsecondary vocational education and nursing education.

How does programmatic accreditation work?

The U.S. Department of Education provides a list of associations that offer specialized accrediting for the the following types of programs:

  • arts and humanities
  • community and social services
  • education
  • health care
  • legal
  • personal care and services

This specialized accreditation may be in addition to the school’s institutional accreditation. It helps ensure that educational programs will prepare students for licensure or certification in fields where it is required. For example, the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing uses accreditation to create common standards for nurses, promote peer review, and promote educational access and equity. Similarly, the American Bar Association has a special council to accredit freestanding law schools, including those online. Check your field of interest to see whether your school should have extra accreditation.

Check accreditation, and then dig deeper

Checking a school’s accreditation should be a first step in your research. You can also learn about a school’s quality from students who are currently enrolled and employers you might want to work for. Check graduation and job-placement rates, too. Then you can begin your education knowing that you are getting what you are paying for.

Passion. Motivation. Inspiration.

This is a few of the lines from the attached video.  Get inspired!

Your time is limited.  You have got to find what you love.  Work will fill a large part of your life.  Have the courage to follow your hearts.  Up and downs will occur.  The real challenge of growth comes from when you get knocked down.  It takes courage to start over.  Fear kills!  At the end of feelings is nothing.  But Behind every principal is a promise.  Get over your feelings!  Don’t allow your emotions to control you.  Discipline your emotions.  Don’t allow your emotions to control you!  Make a declaration of what you stand for!  Take full responsibility for your life!  Life each day as if it were your last.  Live your life with PASSION.  with some drive.  It doesn’t matter what happens to you. What are you going to do about it!  Don’t give up!  Don’t give in!


IMG_6700 IMG_6702Passion in Education Receives 2015 Best of Visalia Award

Visalia Award Program Honors the Achievement

VISALIA July 2, 2015 — Passion in Education has been selected for the 2015 Best of Visalia Award in the Education category by the Visalia Award Program.

Each year, the Visalia Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Visalia area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2015 Visalia Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Visalia Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Visalia Award Program

The Visalia Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Visalia area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Visalia Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

10 Ways To Discover Your Unique Gift

Everyone has a unique gift — something that is just undeniably “you” and is precisely useful to those around you. It’s much more than a skill — it is an ingrained strength fueled by your deepest passions, and nurtured by an unwavering sense of purpose. Most people never find their unique gift, either because they don’t realize they have one, don’t believe they have one, haven’t attempted to find it, or don’t recognize it when it is staring them in the face. For those willing to start the search, this top 10 is for you.

1. Revisit Your Childhood
You have probably heard this before. That’s because it works. Think back as far as you can, to pre-school days if possible. Think back to times when you weren’t influenced by peers or fears. Back to times when your parents’ expectations of you didn’t go beyond you playing and exploring in a safe environment. What did you do? How did you fill your days? What activities or experiences created the greatest memories? What was the most fun? The common thread in there is a message that, with a little reinterpreting to fit your adult world, will propel you down the path toward your unique gift.
2. Lost In The Present
When is the last time you lost track of time? Are there activities that you find so engrossing that you don’t think about time, or eating, or sleeping? Do you have these experiences at work? Do your hobbies and leisure activities fall into this category? Moments of lost time point towards areas of strong interest and deep passions, another key stepping-stone on the path towards your unique gift.
3. Ask Others
Friends, family, associates, or trusted advisors get to observe you in ways that you cannot observe yourself. Their insights can be valuable, revealing, endorsing, and reinforcing. Many times, their observations have greater clarity than self-analysis that is surrounded by a fog of self-talk. Query some close observers about your strengths, skills, and unique talents. “What makes me unique? What do you think I do particularly well? What is my strongest skill or characteristic?” They may not nail your unique gift, but they will offer clues.
4. Learn From Assessments
There are numerous, scientifically validated assessment tools that can help individuals determine key personality traits, interests, skills, and areas of expertise. Myers-Briggs, DISC, and CDR are but a few. As with asking others, these tools will provide valuable clues. You must be willing to answer the questions as honestly as you can. If you’ve done these, try the Strengths Finder. I have found it to be very accurate and helpful.
5. Create Space
When you climb to the top of a tree, you see the forest, at the bottom you only see a few trees. Create some space in your life so that you have the opportunity gain perspective. This will help you determine the general direction you should be moving in, which will then lead to a more defined path, and eventually your own personal trail blazed with your unique gift. Unclutter your life from activities, people and things that keep you from having space.
6. Go Solo
This is the extreme of creating space. If you find creating space in your daily life difficult, or if you have created space and are ready to go to the next level, go solo for a week. Go camping, find a cabin, a deserted island, go sailing — be alone for a week. No distractions. Start listening. After you overcome the fear of being alone with yourself, you will start to hear.
7. Journal
Write down your thoughts every day. Record observations, intuitions, feelings, revelations, and shifts in perspective. Your journal will begin to reveal patterns — those created by common threads that represent areas of strong interest, honesty regarding feelings, awareness of special skills, and a natural draw toward certain people, places, and purposes.
8. Release The Genie
Imagine that you brush up against a magic lamp, and out pops a genie. The genie says, “I am here to grant you 20 experiences, of your choosing, to be enjoyed sometime in your lifetime.” What would your list look like? This list represents more clues. These experiences represent your true values, your interests, and your passions. Then give yourself at least one of these experiences soon.
9. Re-Engineer Your Job
You don’t have to switch jobs or your profession to find (or honor) your unique gift, though those are possibilities. Start by pulling out your current job description. Identify everything you really enjoy doing, and everything that you have to do but would prefer not to do. Next, identify items that are not part of your job description that you would like to do. Now that you’ve distinguished the wants from the shoulds, start to rebuild your job into the “perfect” job. Renegotiate what you can!
10. Butterfly Projects
You know the feeling of joyful anticipation as you look forward to a special event or day? Like Christmas morning, or your birthday as a child, or getting ready for vacation, or daydreaming in school on the first warm day of spring. These are positive butterflies, in contrast to those we get from nervous anticipation. Have you ever had positive butterflies while thinking about a project? Perhaps it’s a special project at work, or coaching a soccer team, or fixing up the yard, volunteering at church, organizing a golf outing, or looking forward to a quiet day with a book, or preparing for a marathon. Which butterflies might represent your gift?
Everyone has something unique to offer. Give yourself the opportunity to find it. A fulfilling life will emerge from a conscientious approach to living and sharing what is in your talent DNA. If you find yourself stuck trying to name it, get a coach or find some like-minded folks and get unstuck. You need not deny yourself the joy of following a fulfilling path, and discovering your unique gift.
JULY 16, 2016
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