Manufacturing Groups Establish Internships for Students

Conexus Indiana, an industry-led partnership to promote manufacturing and logistics, has organized high school internships in manufacturing positions to help train students for careers in fabrication and engineering. More than 80 students are participating in the six-week program, which pays students at least $9 an hour and offers on-the-job experience.

Meanwhile, in Ohio, the Dayton Regional Manufacturing Association has developed a kit for its members to assist in establishing and implementing an internship program that enables high school students to work in manufacturing facilities as an effective way to motivate them to consider pursuing a manufacturing career.

A recent survey conducted by concluded that internships are the new way for employers to interview prospects and enable students to find jobs. Almost 70 percent of companies with 100 or more employees offered full-time jobs to their interns in 2012, according to the survey.

Video Surveillance Targets Special Ed Classes in Texas

School districts now must install cameras in special education classrooms as a result of a new law passed this summer. The rationale: “to protect children with disabilities from being abused and to protect teachers from false allegations of abuse.” The issue: The legislation does not contain a funding mechanism, so school districts and principals are wondering: Who’s going to pay for all this?

Texas is not alone on this. In Indiana, the legislature is looking into requiring cameras in special education classrooms after an autistic student sustained injuries at school. Studies have shown that special ed students are more likely to be victims of abuse, and in-classroom advocates argue that the recording devices make it easier to investigate alleged abuses. Those opposed say cameras have a chilling effect on both teachers and students.

Opting Out of Standardized Testing: 
Trend or New Reality?

Oregon: The governor signed legislation allowing parents to opt their children out of standardized tests. The state now is required to notify families at least 30 days prior to a test that they have the opportunity to opt out but must detail for parents the potential consequences of opting out, including the possible loss of federal funds.

Maryland: The state will allow school districts to use several alternative standardized tests next year. The plan gives students and teachers more flexibility in how they show proficiency, according to the Maryland superintendent of schools.

Delaware: The House revived a bill allowing students to opt out of state tests. The governor does not support the bill but has not indicated whether he would veto it. Current state law requires students to take tests barring a “rare” exception. Is this just a trend, and will the pendulum swing back toward traditional standardized testing? Or is this part of a new educational philosophy and enhanced consumerism? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook ( and Twitter (@NASSP).

Can Congress Unite Over the Digital Divide?

The Digital Divide—the fact that certain students have greater access to the Internet and digital devices at home than others—is a burgeoning issue at the secondary school level.

Now Congress may be entering the debate. Under the Digital Learning Equity Act of 2015, sponsored by Sens. Angus King (I-ME) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), the Department of Education would be authorized to award grants to states or districts to “develop, implement, and evaluate innovative strategies to increase out-of-school Internet access for eligible students.” The bill also would request a study by the Institute of Education Sciences “on the educational trends and behaviors associated with access to digital learning resources outside of the classroom.” The legislation also would require the Department of Education “to determine the scope of the nation’s digital divide for school-aged children.”

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