Jose Carillo's Forum


US schools hire teachers from abroad, including the Philippines

By Sam Dillon, The New York Times

Some American school districts have turned increasingly to overseas recruiting to find teachers willing to work in their hard-to-staff schools, according to a new report by a national teachers union.

The report used government data to estimate that 19,000 foreign teachers were working in the United States on temporary visas in 2007, and that the number was rising steadily. There are more than three million teachers in American public schools.

“Overseas-trained teachers are being recruited from nearly all corners of the globe and are being placed primarily in hard-to-staff inner-city or very rural schools teaching the hard-to-fill disciplines of math, science and special education,” said the report, by the American Federation of Teachers.

The report cited the Baltimore Public Schools as a case study. Baltimore hired 108 teachers from the Philippines in 2005, but four years later has more than 600 Filipino teachers working in city classrooms, where they make up more than 10 percent of the teaching force.

Michael Sarbanes, a spokesman for the Baltimore Public Schools, confirmed those numbers but said the report exaggerated the district’s overall reliance on foreign teachers.

“For Baltimore, the question is how do we get highly qualified teachers into our classrooms,” Mr. Sarbanes said. “International teacher recruitment has produced some exceptional results for us.”

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Nations urged to invest in education to beat the recession

PARIS (AFP)—Investing in higher education will help states move out of recession and also bring lifelong financial rewards to people who choose to study for longer, the OECD said in a report Tuesday.

"As we emerge from the global economic crisis, demand for university education will be higher than ever," Secretary General Angel Gurria said in a statement at the release of the annual Education at a Glance report.

"To the extent that institutions are able to respond, investments in human capital will contribute to recovery," said the document by the OECD, a major policy forum for 30 of the world's richest nations.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development document said that growing advantages for the better educated and likely continuing high unemployment will encourage more young people to stay on in education.

Going to university pays dividends in later life through higher salaries, better health and less vulnerability to unemployment, it said.

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How brain training games “give children a grade boost”

By Fiona Macrae, Daily

Simple brain training games can vastly improve children's school grades within a matter of weeks, research shows. A study found that games designed to improve memory increased literacy, numeracy, and IQ.

Some youngsters benefited so much from brain training they shot from the bottom to the top of the class, the British Science Festival was told this week. In contrast, other commercially available programmes have failed to make the grade when subjected to scientific scrutiny.

Tracy Alloway, the brains behind the JungleMemory computer programme, believes it could also give adults a workout for their grey matter, and help stave off memory loss and dementia in old age.

The programme - billed as the first brain training package to be clinically proven to improve grades - is available to all online. It works by boosting 'working memory', in which information is stored before being manipulated mentally.

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