Have all the election numbers regarding budgets, tax rates, and voter percentiles got you confused and frustrated? These next statistics won’t make you any happier. The Organization for Economic and Cooperation and Development (OECD) last month released its annual report with some distressing findings about education in this country: The U.S. ranks 14th in higher education attainment, 26th in early childhood education, and is the 6th worst in terms of high school graduation, with almost a quarter of students dropping out of high school. Another recent survey sponsored by Dell shows the U.S. lagging behind China and Germany when it comes to the use of tech in schools. 71 percent of U.S. educators who responded to the survey say their students have access to more advanced technology at home than they do at school.
It’s not all bad news, fortunately. Contributor Sascha Zuger digs deeper into some other numbers in this month’s cover story (The State of STEM) to find some strategies for schools to improve these results, specifically when we talk about science, technology, engineering, and math. Our two other features this month, written by our stalwart contributing editor Ellen Ullman, offer great ideas for improving both professional development opportunities (Mix It Up) and blended learning techniques (The Perfect Blend). Be sure to go online and check out the chatter that these stories will have already created at techlearning.com. I expect there will be more than a few other readers sharing their own best practices regarding these topics. And I hope you will share some of your own.
— Kevin Hogan