US President-Elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Education Secretary, Elisabeth (Betsy) DeVos, has come in for tough questioning this week during her Senate confirmation hearing. Trump has not given education much air time, but has said he wants to spend $20 billion in federal funds for block grants for states to support vouchers for children to attend private schools.
DeVos, a billionaire who has never worked in or attended public education, is a strong advocate of vouchers. But under questioning, said she would encourage – but not force – states to implement them.
Meanwhile, Education Week reports that elected officials in hundreds of U.S. cities and other local jurisdictions have said they will work to limit their cooperation with any plans to use data they possess towards Trump’s threat to deport undocumented immigrants. For Read more ›
In the ‘Modern Foreign Languages Pedagogy Review’ published last November by the Teaching Schools Council for the Department for Education, Review chair Ian Baukham paints a bleak picture of language learning in England’s secondary schools. He says, ‘… currently fewer than half of pupils take a GCSE in a language’ and ‘beyond GCSE, modern languages are in crisis.’ He adds, ‘Without concerted action, languages in our schools are at risk, and may become confined to certain types of school and certain sections of the pupil population.’
On top of that, the Guardian reports that Brexit is threatening the supply of teachers who have come to the UK from Europe because Theresa May has refused to give EU nationals any assurances that they will continue to be welcome. This is of particular concern for MFL teaching.
But as we demonstrate in our new book, Success Stories from Secondary Foreign Languages Classrooms – Models from London school partnerships with universities, all is not doom and Read more ›