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Fifth-Year Senior: Why Making High School Longer Is a Brilliant Idea

Maine wants to accelerate the traditional secondary curriculum and bring introductory college courses down to high school.


After four years of high school, you were probably pretty ready to graduate. But what if you could have earned college credit if you stayed for a fifth year? Students in Maine might soon get the option to do just that. In order to ensure that the state is truly preparing the workforce of the future, governor Paul LePage followed up on a campaign promise this week and issued an executive order that creates a task force to study whether a five-year high school option can be implemented state-wide.

The five-year initiative would accelerate the traditional high school curriculum so that credits are finished more quickly, and bring introductory college courses—college English 101, for example—down to the high school level. Students who opt in to the five-year program would graduate with both a high school diploma and either an associate's degree or two years of credits that they can then transfer to the college of their choice.

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How Blogging Helps Students Crush the Digital Divide

Forget pen and paper: This is a fresh way to get students from low income backgrounds excited about writing.


While teachers are certainly finding success engaging students through Twitter, in the real world those kids have to know how to write more than 140 characters. We've written before about how blogging is a fun and fresh way to encourage reluctant students to write. And, as Oceanside, California, teacher John Schwartz discovered, it even works with students from low-income backgrounds with varying degrees of English proficiency.

This past school year Schwartz taught a 36-student, fourth/fifth-grade combination class at Garrison Elementary School. Over 60 percent of his students "came from households where English was the second language, or wasn’t spoken at all," and most of their working parents "were able to provide limited academic support."

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Ed Tech: One of These Ideas Might Be the Next Big Thing to Make Learning Easier

Here are five smart business ideas that use technology to solve education challenges.


What's going to be the next big education technology idea? One of the 10 finalist ideas invited to the "Education Innovators Showcase" at the upcoming Venture Capital in Education Summit in New York City could be the "thing" that revolutionizes learning.

The Showcase gives business ideas that use technology to make teaching and learning easier the opportunity to get in front of influential education leaders as well as potential investors. To be able to participate, interested companies went through an application process and were judged by representatives from the Summit’s two host organizations, Education Growth Advisors and Startl, as well as several other education entities. (Full disclosure: One of the judges selecting the finalists was the Apollo Group, parent company of the University of Phoenix, which sponsors this education hub.)

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