What’s the Cost of a Bad Test? Much More than $7 Per Student. Read the full commentary by NCEE’s Jason Dougal

Headlines for March 10-25, 2022

New Zealand Introduces New History Curriculum

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a new history curriculum for schools last week that will teach students “more about Māori, the migrant history of Pasifika, and our Asian communities.” The curriculum, which has been in development for three years, will be taught starting in the 2023 school year. Students will learn about the history and culture of the Māori and the impacts of colonization while exploring historical relationships and power dynamics throughout New Zealand’s history. The new history curriculum is part of the country’s ambitious overhaul of its national curriculum which is updating content and reframing student learning through the “Understand, Know, Do” model, which focuses on understanding key concepts; looking at them through different lenses such as culture economics and environment; and developing the skills of an historian such as identifying sources and perspectives. Read more about the history curriculum at The Spinoff and more about New Zealand’s curriculum refresh at the Ministry of Education website

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

Alberta Will Expand Charter Schools

Alberta Education Minister Adriana LaGrange
Alberta Education Minister Adriana LaGrange

Alberta is investing CAN$72 million (US$58 million) to expand charter schools and ensure they provide equivalent support for students that traditional public schools do. Education Minister Adriana LaGrange said the province is encouraging the creation of new models, such as creating campuses to house several charters with shared facilities or charters located at or connected to postsecondary institutions to create pathways for students to continue their education. Alberta currently spends five percent of its education budget on charter schools. For more, see The Edmonton Journal.

Taipei Increases Child-raising Subsidy to Encourage Population Growth

Struggling with a declining population, Taipei has expanded financial support for families with children. Starting this week, the Taipei government will increase the one-time subsidy to parents having a second or third child by NT $5,000 (USD $175). In August, the monthly child-raising subsidy will be raised by NT $1,500 (USD $52) per month. In addition, the monthly child care subsidy will be increased and private preschool fees will be capped at NT $3,000 (USD $105) per month. Although Taiwan hit a record low birth rate in 2020, Taipei Deputy Mayor Huang Shan-shan is confident these subsidies will help increase the area’s population. Read more about the subsidies at Focus Taiwan. 

BabyToes

Singapore Makes Mid-Career Worker Training Permanent

Singapore Education Minister Chan Chun Sing
Singapore Education Minister Chan Chun Sing

Singapore is making permanent a temporary workforce initiative introduced during the pandemic to help mid-career workers transition into new industry sectors or job roles. A new SkillsFuture Career Transition Programme (SCTP) will help Singapore “…increasingly move towards interspersing working and learning throughout life” according to Minister of Education Chan Chun Sing. SCTP will sponsor short-term training, delivered by institutes of higher learning and selected private training providers, at almost no cost to participants thanks to strong government subsidies. The plan is to target industry sectors with “good hiring opportunities” such as IT and advanced manufacturing. In addition, the government is considering what additional support mid-career workers might need to “enhance their career resilience.” Read more at Channel News Asia.