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How international students are cheating China’s college admissions system.

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Thuy felt her chest tighten while she read the document on her laptop. Thuy, 24, took the end-of-semester exam to earn her master’s in public policy from a Chinese university. She couldn’t answer one question.

Thuy took the exam remotely, just like other international students. China has made it impossible for foreign students to enter the country since mid-2020 as part of its “zero COVID” policy. As she scanned the text feverishly, her professors viewed every movement via video.

Thuy saw the problem was irresolvable after a few minutes. The remainder of her time was spent writing the exam instructions repeatedly to complete the page. The same thing was done in her second test, which she took a few days later.

It was not surprising that the student cried during the exam. Thuy is not fluent in Chinese. Thuy often has trouble following her three-hour lecture delivered in Mandarin. She is also not interested in public policy. She recalls feeling confused by the slide decks when she was revising for the test in January.

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Thuy said, “Everything was foreign to me,” and spoke to Sixth Tone under a pseudonym to keep her private.

Thuy isn’t qualified to study at her school — a well-respected school in Beijing. She was not a merit-based student like many other international students who enrolled in Chinese universities. It was her expense.

In recent years, it has become more common to buy admissions to Chinese university programs in Vietnam and receive lucrative government scholarships. Numerous businesses have sprung up to facilitate this trade. They leverage connections at Chinese universities to assist clients in getting selected.

These companies allow many Vietnamese students to get degrees from Chinese colleges that they aren’t qualified to attend. Many of them, like Thuy, are not well-prepared and have difficulty keeping up with their Chinese counterparts.

The government often incentivizes Chinese universities to increase their overseas student intake. However, they seem to ignore this issue. Sixth Tone heard from international students that their professors would go to great lengths to award them passing grades, even though they didn’t answer any of the questions on their exams.

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Fake applications

Soon after receiving her bachelor’s degree from a Hanoi university, Thuy applied for a postgraduate program in China in 2019. She stated that her primary motivation for applying was to improve her Chinese language skills.

As multinationals move their manufacturing operations from China, more Vietnamese are looking for Chinese speakers. This trend is especially evident in small Vietnamese cities such as Bac Giang (Thuy’s hometown), where Chinese-speaking people are scarce.

China also offered other benefits. China offered a low cost of living, proximity to Vietnam, and a high level of prestige thanks to its growing reputation. Additionally, China provides generous scholarships each year to thousands of international students, each worth tens of thousands of dollars.

China was Asia’s most popular destination for studying abroad by 2018. In 2020, around 13,500 Vietnamese students enrolled in Chinese colleges, surpassing any country except the United States, Japan, and South Korea.

A poor academic record plagued Thuy. Thuy had a 3.0 GPA and had just graduated from a low-ranked Vietnamese university. She knew that she would struggle to win a full scholarship, let alone get into a college in a significant Chinese town.

Thuy’s classmates suggested that she contact an agency. Over the past decade, these agencies have seen a lot of success in Vietnam. These businesses are usually registered as Chinese language learning centers, but they also provide an additional service: assistance to students applying for Chinese colleges.

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Thuy conducted some research on Facebook and discovered that many language centers offered scholarship application services. Many offered all the necessary application materials in return for a hefty fee. It was sure that you would succeed.

Thuy eventually decided to use the Hanoi National University’s language center. A lecturer managed it. It was also known as Tieng Trung Thay Hung on Facebook.

Thuy said, “I sought information from many centers to compare the prices.” “That one was trustworthy and relatively inexpensive.”

Thuy contacted the agency and was assigned a mentor to help her through the application process. The mentor explained the service to her in person.

The mentor would assist Thuy in applying for the China Scholarship Council scholarship. This is a Chinese government scheme that offers international students a complete waiver of tuition fees, free accommodation, and a monthly living allowance of approximately $470.

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They would have to create an account at the CSC website and upload documents. The mentor would handle the rest. He would prepare a study plan for her, get recommendation letters from two Chinese scholars, and ensure that she was not subject to the interview process. The agency would refund half of Thuy’s fee if she did not win a scholarship.

The agency had limits on what it could accomplish. Thuy only passed the HSK5 Chinese language proficiency test with an average score. Her mentor advised her that she was unlikely to get accepted at a university in Shanghai, which is her preferred destination. He advised her to apply to a public policy program as they are less competitive.

The mentor suggested that Thuy could apply to any university where he has connections, including institutions in Beijing, Hangzhou, Suzhou, and Tianjin. She chose a Beijing university that had a good ranking.

They said she was nervous when she gave the $2,000.00 first payment. They said that she was worried when she handed over the first payment of $2,000. She read about fraudsters using Facebook to pretend to be language center mentors.

Everything went well. Within one week of the money being transferred, she received a high-quality study plan and two letters of recommendation. Shortly after receiving the money, she was offered a full CSC scholarship at the university.

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Thuy said that all it took was to complete an online application. “Then I uploaded the material that was prepared for me.”

Thuy helped her younger brother, from the southwest megacity of Chongqing, get into a bachelor’s degree program at a university using a similar service. Ha Ninh, a second language center, offered the same package at a mere $2,000.

Thuy estimates that she received Chinese scholarships totaling $35,400 and $27.300 for her brother. Thuy shared with Sixth Tone that they could not travel to China because of the pandemic and had to study remotely. However, she said she has no regrets about using the language center.

She said, “I made the right investments.” “Without this service, I don’t think I would have been able to receive this scholarship.”

Sixth Tone did not receive any comment from Tieng Trung Thay Haung, Ha Ninh, or the universities of Beijing and Chongqing.

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A web of connections

Nguyen Thai Ngoc is a law student at Hunan University. He also applied successfully for a Chinese government scholarship via a language center.

The 26-year-old contacted Hoai Phuong HSK Language Center on the recommendation of a friend. It claimed that it offered “overseas studies consultancy services” via its Facebook page. Her parents assured her that they would help her pay the fee.

Ngoc initially believed that the company offered guidance to students on how to get through the application process. They would supply critical documents at a high cost, however.

Sixth Tone was told that she received recommendation letters from them to be her Chinese language teacher. “But they never taught us a single Chinese word.”

Ngoc stated that the company sold recommendation letters separately at $220 per piece, but she chose to purchase an all-inclusive package much as the one Thuy bought. According to Ngoc, most Chinese language centers in Hanoi offer similar services.

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Ngoc said, “I tried asking language centers that don’t publish those scholarship services.” They do indeed have them.

A graduate from northern Vietnam is also an intermediary between students and Chinese language centers. According to her, the CSC scholarship center that she works with costs between $4,500-$7,000 depending on which university the student chooses, the mentor, and the recommendation letter.

Sixth Tone spoke to the 27-year-old using a pseudonym because she is sensitive about her identity. She has applied for two scholarships for Chinese language centers and found it easy to promote the benefits of the service.

She paid $1,000 for a Confucius Institute scholarship in 2018 to study Chinese at Zhengzhou University, central China. She then paid $5,100 to be enrolled in a CSC master’s program.

Although the second fee was quite expensive, An felt it was well worth it. I had just passed HSK5 with a low GPA of 2.9. However, the language center was able to offer a glowing recommendation from the head of Hanoi’s Confucius Institute. This is a Chinese government-funded language, culture, and language center.

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She claims that The language center assured her that her application would be accepted. The fee allowed her to secure a place at her preferred school without taking time off from her job as an accountant in preparation.

She stated that despite knowing the cost of consulting services, she didn’t have the time to prepare as many documents. “Plus, I didn’t have any connections at university… I didn’t want to feel stressed.”

While studying in China, An was an intermediary. Several lecturers approached her from her Chinese university to help recruit more Vietnamese students.

Attracting more international students to Chinese universities can boost their domestic league rankings. This helps universities attract international students and investment.

A stated that even with the generous government scholarships, low-ranked universities in more minor well-known Chinese cities are often unable to attract international students. Because China has strict border policies, international students cannot travel to China. They must instead attend classes online.

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She offered to help her university recruit Vietnamese students occasionally. She said she connects with the school only through her friends and acquaintances.

It says that it is still possible to apply for a Chinese scholarship even if you don’t have a language center. The service is now more valuable because of the increased competition for scholarships. Candidates can benefit from the mentors’ guanxi (or relationships with insiders at Chinese universities).

A stated that teachers must deepen their guanxi by visiting schools each year to strengthen their relationships. “While outstanding students will be still selected, the schools will choose average students with great connections.

Nguyen Thi Quynh, a Chinese teacher in Hue who applied for the CSC scholarship, said she felt disadvantaged. She was the only person she knew that didn’t use a language center.

Quynh said, “Most of my peers paid for an expensive internet service to improve their applications.” It made me feel very stressed at that time.

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Quynh could not afford the expensive language center fees, but she was confident in her academic accomplishments. Quynh decided to apply for the job on her own. She was successful.

Quynh stated that “Because the high success rate for average students winning scholarships makes it more likely that many applicants will be successful in applying for scholarships via centers,”

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Poor outcomes

Despite writing almost nothing for her first exams, Thuy still received passing grades in both classes. Thuy noticed that her written assignments get excellent rates, even though their quality is far less than her Chinese classmates.

Thuy stated that her Chinese professors were always lenient with international students. She added that teachers seem especially concerned about losing foreign students because China’s “zero COVID” policies continue into the third year.

The university’s reputation could be damaged if there is a higher dropout rate from overseas students. Universities are graded on the percentage of international students they have, both in domestic league tables and international league tables.

However, they all agreed that despite all the benefits they get, there is growing dissatisfaction among international students at Chinese universities.

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Many students choose to study abroad because of the many scholarships available and the opportunity to live in a Chinese-speaking culture. They are becoming frustrated at the limitations of learning in a Chinese college, as they can’t improve their Chinese language skills.

China’s education system is not ideal. It has large classes, outdated teaching materials, and an exam-oriented curriculum. International students also dislike China’s social solid control and internet restrictions.

An. stated that the Chinese society is more closed than ours.

Seventeen of the 11 international students in Thuy’s degree program are already out. Thuy stated that many of them chose to leave after losing hope of being permitted to return to China in 2024.

Thuy intends to continue her studies but regrets that she chose her public policy major. She is currently studying for her second-semester exams in theory-heavy subjects like Chinese sports policy or organizational analysis.

She said that the second semester’s coursework is more challenging and intense.

She is looking into hiring a ghostwriter for help with her exams. She has not had any luck so far. Vietnamese ghostwriters do not offer Chinese services, and hiring a Chinese ghostwriter is too risky. Her teachers would be able to tell that a native Chinese speaker wrote the text.

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Education

How many children around the world receive an education of a high standard?

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Research has shown that a lot of children, particularly in the world’s poorest regions, have very little knowledge in school.

In developed countries, around 9 percent of children cannot comprehend reading before they finish primary school. In poorer nations, this figure rises to 90 percent.

Inability to teach children adequate literacy skills can have a ripple effect throughout their lives and affect how the next generation will deal with future issues.

Tips on how to increase learning levels include: providing the correct level of instruction by providing teachers with planned lesson plans and telling people how great the benefits of higher education will be.

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Introduction: What’s the issue?

Many children’s schools don’t live the promises they make. In many schools, children are taught very little.

This is a concern in countries with high incomes. At the end of primary school, 9 percent of the children of high-income countries are unable to be able to read.

However, it’s more prevalent in poorer nations. This is precisely what the graph below illustrates. The educational researcher Joao Pedro Azevedo and his colleagues believe that in the poorest countries around the globe, 90 percent of children aren’t proficient in reading as they approach the end of their primary school.

Many of these children eventually learn to read, but the issue of low learning continues to plague them as They are already behind at the time they reach primary school. The problem grows over time until many of them quit school with low education.

The same data shows that it doesn’t need to be as it is: in the most prosperous countries, the percentage of children who fail to be able to read with understanding at this age is lower than 2.2%.

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Children should be taught to read to be able to read to learn. If we don’t give this opportunity to the future generation, they are left with fewer opportunities to live rich and exciting lives due to the opportunities that an education provides. They are also in a less favorable position to tackle future challenges.

What are the reasons for this massive problem? And what are we able to improve?

Learning doesn’t have to be a prerequisite for schooling to progress. We require data that can help us understand the difference.

The most apparent reason children do not learn is that they’re not attending or leaving school, as is the case for around 8% of all children. I’ve written about the issue before.

The problem is much more than that. A lot of children who aren’t learning attend school.

Research has shown that getting children in classes is just half of the task. Many education systems fail to ensure that the kids who attend school each day do their best to learn.

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To do this, we need information. However, the statistics on international education haven’t yet caught up to this fact. They still focus on attendance at school. The most well-known index measurement of development – the United Nations’ Human Development Index – only measures children’s attendance. It doesn’t count the extent to which children are learning.

To be precise, it is essential to monitor the number of children attending school. Schools aren’t just about education; they are where kids socialize and offer safety and food. They also allow parents to be productive.

Statistics are needed to show the amount of education, the amount of time an individual student spends in school – and the educational quality.

One method to determine whether schools are living up to their word is to examine the scores of their tests. I believe the over-importance placed on tests in schools’ education is not a good idea. However, I think that the considerable differences in the scores of students the data reveal can reveal something significant about the world. This data gives us the chance to discover why certain schools are failing and what we can make them better.

The gap in the quality of education is a reflection of economic inequality. However, it does not need to be that way.

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In recent times, various research teams have performed the tedious task of putting together the results of tests to generate global information on the learning results.

The one I count on was created by two researchers, Dev Patel and Justin Sandefur.

The bar graph, in the beginning, highlighted the vast variations in the learning outcomes of wealthy and less developed countries. The data from Patel and Sandefur show the differentiators between nations. Their data is also in line with the scores of literacy above with another essential skill in education: numeracy.

In the graphic below, I display the entire data they have on the mathematics test scores. To understand what this data reveals, look at the process step-by-step, beginning with one country, then many, and finally reach the global view.

The sloping line of the chart below illustrates the pattern of test scores in Brazil. It plots scores of students in mathematics along the vertical line and their families’ incomes in the horizontal direction.

It reveals the vast disparity in the distribution of incomes in Brazil and also demonstrates that the educational outcomes of Brazilian children reflect economic inequality. Students from wealthy families score higher than students from the poorest families.

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The fact that the educational outcomes are linked to household income does not mean that it is the only important factor. It’s because revenue is in direct correlation with other essential elements, such as the level of education that parents receive.

However, it doesn’t mean that children from families with low incomes can’t be able to get a top education. The data displays the median across the income distribution and reveals that poor children are more likely to be in the minority.

Let’s add more countries to the chart.

In the middle of the following chart, we will see the results for Brazil However, this time, we can compare the results from six other countries.

This information shows that variations between countries are typically more significant than the differences between nations:

Students in Morocco perform worse than those who are the least fortunate in Brazil. The top students in Brazil are far worse off than those who are the least convenient in Finland, the Netherlands, Finland, or South Korea.

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Another thing you can learn from this graph is that the countries that have had tremendous success, such as Finland, can almost wholly eliminate the problem of educational inequality across the income spectrum. The slope of the line shows how different the outcomes for learning in a specific country are: a vertical line indicates a significant gap between the wealthiest and the poorest children in terms of the quality of their education, whereas the less steep line is similar to the one for Finland shows that children from all families do identical very well.

Let’s add information for the remaining countries where information is readily available.

In most countries, the lines tend to slope upwards. Students from families with higher incomes are more successful in maths. Patel and Sandefur have documented that the differences between countries in the learning outcomes are especially significant in countries with the highest levels of economic inequality. Brazil is among them.

Since test scores are an abstract measure, it isn’t easy to comprehend how vast the differences between nations are. It is difficult for people to understand the test score of 38 (the score for the highest-income kids from Cote d’Ivoire) or 545 (the score of the lowest-income kids from the UK). The UK).

One way to make the 165 points difference easier to comprehend is to examine them against the differences between nations. The gap in tests between the US’s wealthiest and poorest pupils is 53 points. This suggests that the disparities between countries are more than the differences between nations, even in a highly unbalanced country such as the US.

This is among the significant conclusions drawn that can be gleaned from this study. The variations between nations are enormous.

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Students with the same household income are more likely to be more successful in their education when they live in a more wealthy country.

There’s a third key result of this research that deserves to be highlighted the average income of the nation is more crucial to a student’s education than the income of a particular family that lives in the country.

Look at the results of tests taken by the most disadvantaged students from Korea or Finland for these shocking results. The most underprivileged Korean and Finnish students are less fortunate than those who study in Brazil; however, their math score is better.

Compare those scores with students with families earning annual earnings of up to $5,000. There is a wide range of scores from as low as 350 points in the poorer nations up to 600 points.

Let’s look at the implications of this.

For some of the wealthiest countries, such as Finland, education is an excellent equalizer as it offers each child the chance to succeed, regardless of their background in the family.

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However, in many places and, more importantly, when looking at the world from a global perspective, these educational disparities are increasing inequality levels. Children from higher-income backgrounds are more likely to study more extensively and become more productive and skilled and create their own countries and better off in the process.

If we are to end the perpetuation of inequality through education, we must improve the quality of education available to hundreds of millions of kids. The countries that have the most successful show that it’s doable.

Can we make strides and offer a better education?

Now that we know the nature of the issue, let’s look at what we can do to better educate all children around the globe.

The reality that every day, millions of kids go to schools where they learn the basics is a significant issue. I’m sure you are feeling down when you think about ways we can get over this.

However, I think it’s possible to progress. Let me tell you why.

As with all of the series on ‘The world’s biggest problems in a straightforward manner, I’m not going to pretend that I can provide the exact method of the way forward. Particularly in the area of education, it all is dependent on the local context. However, I would like to provide reasons why I am convinced that it is possible to make a change.

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Change is possible because we’ve already done it.

The majority of children around the world receive an inadequate education. In the past, nearly every child received a lousy education.

Change is possible since it has already occurred. If we look at schools where kids now receive an excellent education, it is evident that nearly all of them were illiterate before recently.

Basic abilities – such as writing and reading, were available only to a few elites. This chart is a compilation of the estimates of literacy for basic levels across the globe to illustrate how the situation has changed.

It’s not just improving in the acquisition of fundamental techniques. The fact that most children aren’t learning much is often called the “learning crisis’. However, I believe this is a false description. The term “crisis” implies that we’re experiencing a dramatic period, more severe than the one previously. But that’s not the case. The quality of education was lower during the previous years. In most countries, children are now learning more than they did in the past, and the world is making strides.

The shift we are witnessing is clear that there are paths ahead.

Living standards matter. Poor education is more than simply poor education.

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It’s not just schools that determine how children learn. Children struggle with learning due to low nutrition, poverty, and poor health.

What we’ve observed above that children from the most prosperous countries as well as those with wealthy families perform better in school is because of the different living conditions in general.

It’s also the case that the advancement in education that nations enabled by their more significant development. In the graph above, Singapore is at the highest in the global comparison. One hundred years ago, the third of the children in Singapore were killed, and the nation was a country with a per capita GDP of just $3000. Without the significant improvements made in the growth and health of children, the government would not have been able to achieve this.

More health, more affordable, less poverty, and a healthier diet are often more beneficial to an education of a child than the most skilled teacher. This is why advancing against poverty and poor health of children and malnutrition is crucial to improving educational opportunities for the coming generation. The reality that we are progressing in tackling these issues is a significant reason I am hopeful about the direction of education shortly.

Even in the most impoverished regions of the globe, children can learn extremely well, yet without significant economic growth, it is still unaffordable.

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The evidence presented to date may convince you that improvements are possible, But you could be skeptical about what advancements are attainable. What needs to be done to ensure quality education in these schools where kids learn minimally in the present?

Numerous studies attempt to answer this question.

The country that has the most deprived education is the country of Guinea-Bissau. A study conducted in the rural regions of the tiny country in West Africa found that most children don’t learn to read or write. They don’t get it from their parents. Grasp the concept; less than three percent of mothers could pass a literacy test. The study concluded that a lack of quality in education was low due to “teachers being isolated, underequipped, receive salaries after long delays, and have little training.”

A recent study conducted by Ila Fazzio as well as her team established the objective to determine what could be accomplished when these limitations are removed.

Researchers visited the most challenging areas within the country – areas with the lowest education levels. They worked with the locals there to establish basic primary schools.

The study’s schools provided teachers with training and provided them with scripted classes, checked on the children and teachers regularly and also engaged the villages, and provided sufficient resources to help with all activities. They conducted a random controlled trial to determine if these well-funded schools had a positive effect. They assessed the level of education the pupils were taught in the schools of the study against children in the control group that attended schools that continued to provide their curriculum as they had before.

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After four years, they compared the children’s learning levels in the schools of the study.

In the group that was not controlled, the results were inferior to the control group: after four years, just 0.09 percent of children were proficient in reading. The learning rate for children who attended the study’s schools was significantly higher, as 64% had learned to read.

The graph below displays the test results overall that also consider the kids’ numeracy capabilities. Overall scores rose dramatically by 59 percentage points.

Studies have shown the possibility of seeing considerable improvements in places where children are otherwise nonliterate and innumerate.

In the most challenging locations – extreme poverty, deficient levels of education for parents, nearly none of the infrastructure (no internet or electricity, and there aren’t any roads) It is still possible to teach children in primary schools to read fluently and perform basic math well.

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Education

Students Deepen Access to Civics Education In Hard-Fought Legal Battle.

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The Rhode Island lawsuit that has been extensively scrutinized because of its potential impact on civic education is settled, preventing an escalation to Supreme Court U.S. Supreme Court, and creating the foundation for a new system that will guide instruction in civics within the state. Attorneys and officials from the state announced on Wednesday.

The settlement agreement in Cook v. McKee means that the U.S. Supreme Court will not hear it as the plaintiffs had anticipated. Instead, on Sept. 1st, it is expected that the Rhode Island Department of education will form a new task force to shape the state’s approach to civic education. The group of 15 includes students from the class who were defendants in the suit, family members, teachers, and representatives from advocacy organizations, as well as the department of education in the state.

The state is also planning to establish a “seal of civic readiness” diploma for high school seniors who excel in civics. They will also complete the capstone project, which will combine research and civic engagement. (At a minimum, five other states have similar diploma seals to civics.) Additionally, the state plans to establish an award program for new students that local districts can utilize to honor middle school students who have made progress concerning “civic readiness.”

In a press conference, Rhode Island Education Commissioner Angelica Infante Green addressed students who had been plaintiffs in the lawsuit. She declared: “It takes a lot of courage to stand up and advocate for your peers.”

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Due to their “tenacity and bravery,” she stated, “we now have an agreement that will strengthen civics education across the state of Rhode Island.”

The agreement is a step amid a turbulent landscape for the curriculum and teaching. In recent years, several states have passed laws limiting what teachers can talk about issues like gender and race, which frequently intersect with history, civics, and education.

The case was filed in Providence in the year 2018. The class action was one of the rare cases that sought to establish a right to education under the U.S. Constitution. In this instance, lawyers tried to develop the students’ rights to the fundamental tools and knowledge required to participate in a democratic system.

The plaintiffs argued they were, among other things, they claimed that Rhode Island didn’t require students to finish the civics or history courses or pass any examinations in these subjects and did not offer enough opportunities to participate in civics activities outside of school. They also claimed that the curriculum for civics was inadequate for those who are English-speaking, limiting their chances of being actively engaged in their new home.

Michael Rebell, who led the plaintiffs’ lawsuit as the executive director at the Center for Educational Equity and Professor of Law and Educational Practice at Teachers College, Columbia University situated in New York, said Wednesday that even though the suit failed to establish the legal right in the U.S. Constitution, it has raised awareness of the importance of quality civic education and created a system to bring about changes within Rhode Island.

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“The point is not so much the lawsuit,” he told reporters during his news conference. “The problem is. This is what we’re trying to communicate.”

A new route is to be considered for the constitutional fight

Rebell said in Education Week that he plans to investigate the issue in state courts since thirty states in the United States have recognized the right to education in their constitutions or court decisions.

“State constitutions are much more fertile ground for this,” he explained. “In federal court, it’s an uphill battle because you’re trying to establish a new right.”

The case was a shambles at both the appeals court and the trial levels.

The U.S. District Court judge in Rhode Island dismissed the case in October 2020, finding that the existing law and precedent did not permit an order in the plaintiffs’ favor. However, the judge William Smith wrote that the case was “a cry for help from a generation of young people who are destined to inherit a country which we–the generation currently in charge–are not stewarding well.”

In January this year, a unanimous three-judge panel from the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed Smith’s decision. Like Smith, the judges backed the students’ objectives; however, they said that the arguments they made were not supported according to the law.

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“The students have called attention to critical issues of declining civic engagement and inadequate preparation for participation in civic life at a time when many are concerned about the future of American democracy,” the panel noted. “Nevertheless, the weight of precedent stands in the students’ way here, and they have not stated any viable claim for relief.”

A checklist of things to do for the new task force on civics

While those rulings went against plaintiffs, Rebell declared that they were valuable as they helped create a “context” that can be “a motivator, inspiration, and resource going forward, not only in Rhode Island but other parts of the country.”

The representatives from both sides of this dispute announced the main principle of the settlement on Wednesday that will resolve the dispute. However, the agreement hasn’t been presented to a court to get their approval.

The task force has a range of options to look at, including adding an hour-long course for high and middle school, which would concentrate on media literacy. The task force will look at practical ways to assist students in having civil conversations about controversial issues with people who have opinions different from their personal beliefs.

The panel will also develop an understanding that defines “civic readiness” that will include civic-related knowledge, skills, experience, and attitudes. The conference will assist in implementing the state law adopted in September, making civic education an essential requirement for graduation and requiring schools to include a student-led civics initiative in high or middle school.

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Derek W. Black, a professor with a specialization in the field of education law from the University of South Carolina, believes that the new Rhode Island task force can be a significant part of continuing the national discussion regarding the civic skills and knowledge that students require to contribute to their democratic society.

“We need to have conversations that heighten public awareness,” the president said. “If the task force wants to discuss what it means to be a citizen and engage legislators as well as communities in this discussion, I’m in favor of it. We’ve been avoiding these discussions. We hope the task force will assist us in gaining access to these conversations.”

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Education

My schooling for girls was not enough to equip me with the knowledge I am now most grateful for.

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I attended an all-girls private school until when I was five. When I took my violin lessons, I looked at the pictures of two Miss Singletons, tightly stitched into their Victorian gowns, and gazed at me with admiring awe.

The Singleton sisters were the co-principal of my colleagues in the latter part of the 19th century. They determined to provide girls with an adequate education.

I found them highly inspirational. Still do.

My all-girls schooling failed to provide me with the abilities I value the most. I needed to acquire these abilities from the outside.

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I agree with anyone who believes that an all-girl school is the best option for their child. However, I’m not convinced by the idea that this education model is the way our future female leaders stand the best chance of success.

As my two sons approached high school age, I decided to send them to coed schools, as I believed that it was the most effective way to learn to respect women with respect and equality.

I went to an all-girls’ school from the age of five.

Strangely, I would like my daughter to attend an all-girls school just as I did so that she could have the “opportunities” to “fulfill the potential her” and become a “leader.” These are the words and phrases all-girls schools frequently employ in their advertising.

But, I began to notice that many of my educated, accomplished female acquaintances were opting to send their daughters into coed institutions. One of them said bluntly: “The world is not solely sex. They’ll be working alongside men throughout their life.”

I began to question the rationale that girls should be kept away from males to acquire the capabilities needed to collaborate in the future.

One of the most fundamental assumptions regarding girls’ education for all girls is that boys can be a barrier to girls achieving their potential. They’re “other.” Their presence takes something from a girl. She may not feel secure enough to flourish when they are around.

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It was certainly the message I listened to throughout my period at an all-girls school. I receive the same message from parents to this day.

Now, I am aware that these assumptions do not just further enshrine gender roles that are no longer relevant but show a sexist distrust of the capacity and strength of our girls and the humanity of our boys.

Regularly that is shared with boys, the boys at a coed school are exposed to the fact that girls are confident, competent, and courageous, as well as deeply human. They can experience an female perspective when they discuss the issues. They collaborate on projects. Girls see them doing well and leading, and that is perfectly normal.

I started to notice that most of my highly educated, successful female friends were choosing to send their girls to co-ed schools.

The notion that girls should be separated from the community and constantly taught methods of how they will be able to cope when they find themselves thrust back into the world appears to be a back-to-front way to prepare girls to lead. The development of women’s leadership skills shouldn’t be solely the role of women. The entire members of society should contribute.

My daughter is now living with another language that was not available to me when I was a teenager to express female strength, solidarity, self-worth, and possibility. The world she’s experienced is very different from mine as a young person.

While some may overlook the powerful effect of a Taylor Swift lyric or watching The Simpsons episode “Lisa vs. Malibu Stacey,” those experiences in the world of culture have done as much to help her master the language of her choice as any explicit instruction from her school or parents.

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I decided to send all three of my children to the high school in town. My daughter is now 15. What did she miss out in attending coed schools? Her school, like many others, had a few inadequate facilities, inconsistency in teaching because of the staff room being under tremendous pressure, and funding issues.

What has she learned? These skills took a long time for me to master. Soaring confidence in her ability to communicate with anyone and manage herself in any circumstance. A capacity to experiment with new ways, make fun of herself and find it hilarious instead of humiliating. An absolute disregard for her “otherness” males. She shares her life with them each day. They are her best friends and co-workers.

Today I inquired if they had ever felt any of the school’s discrimination because she was a girl. Did boys rule? Have you ever felt compelled to “play in the small” due to fear of what boys might say about her? Do you think that the boys were preventing her from fulfilling her potential?

I got the same expression of astonishment as she did when I wanted to know more about TikTok. “Never,” she said. It’s rude to say, “OK, Boomer,” but I’m pretty sure she was thinking.

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