Parents & Students

The HotChalk Education Network gives parents and students the news, information and other resources needed to stay informed about college and career readiness educational standards.

College- and career-ready standards are designed to help make sure graduating high school students meet baseline academic expectations and skills training, regardless of whether they attend college or enter the workforce. This readiness is based on a community-focused approach that begins in childhood and continues through adulthood.

  • Career Readiness After School: Employers Foot the Bill

    While we tend to think about career readiness in terms of students preparing for the workforce, American employers play an enormous role in the continual upgrading of employee education. Those who are already highly skilled are the most likely to receive additional formal training from their employers. Take Phil Gurbaugh, who graduated with a double...

    Read the rest
  • Guiding Parents through College and Career Readiness

    Regardless of a child’s background, family involvement in education is a major factor in the academic success of any student. Parents can steer the direction in life that their child takes, and they also can benefit from guidance themselves.

    Read the rest
  • Tech Boot Camps Help Students Leapfrog Into Jobs

    Tech boot camps have rapidly emerged as a solution for noncoders to quickly get into the marketplace. This new trend of short-term, intensive training has the potential to challenge how children prepare for STEM fields, as well as how much value employers put on college degrees. About 16,000 people are expected to complete boot camps...

    Read the rest
  • Helping Boys Learn

    Statistically speaking, boys aren’t doing so well in school. According to recently released data by the National Center for Education Statistics, “disparities in educational and other outcomes persist…for male youth compared to their female peers.” Compared to girls, boys are less likely to: Achieve reading proficiency Complete high school Attend college Graduate college Unfortunately, boys...

    Read the rest
  • How to Determine if a Student has Asperger’s and Qualifies for Special Education

    Because students with Asperger’s have various symptoms that can make learning difficult, teachers and parents need to recognize certain characteristics of autism spectrum disorders. To help Asperger’s students prepare for future roles as productive adults, teachers and parents need to answer these two important questions: How do I determine if a student has Asperger’s syndrome?...

    Read the rest
  • School Reform Through Parental Involvement

    Each day a student may enter the doors to a strong school, but without consistent parental involvement, that student will never be able to reach his or her full potential.

    Read the rest
  • 22 Questions Parents and Teachers Should Ask About Special Education

    The first priority for teachers and parents is to identify special needs students and figure out how to give them equal education opportunities, beginning with two important questions:

    1. Does the student qualify for special education under IDEA?
    2. What is an appropriate education for a special needs student?
    This Q&A will help parents and teachers answer these important questions — and many others.

    Read the rest
  • Early College High Schools Pioneer College for All

    Nothing quite says “college ready” like actual college experience. High school students who complete college-level courses demonstrate in their applications that they have the skills and knowledge to succeed as matriculated students. A number of different programs, including dual enrollment, advanced placement courses, international baccalaureate curriculum, and summer school sessions, enable high school students to...

    Read the rest
  • Students on Common Core

    Ask nearly any American adult with school-age children about Common Core, and you’re bound to hear an opinion. Mention “Common Core” in a gathering of educators, and you’ll hear a lot of discussion about the implementation of the standards and preparation for the upcoming Common Core-aligned assessments. But say the words “Common Core” to a...

    Read the rest
  • How Online Posts Affect Colleges' Decisions

    With social media’s permeation of teenage life, online posts have increasingly become an indicator of college readiness — and one that more schools take into consideration when making admissions decisions. For the first time, a full third (35 percent) of college admissions officers say they look at applicants' social media profiles, according to data released in November 2014 from Kaplan Test Prep.

    Read the rest
  • MOOCs Help Prepare K-12 Students for College

    Massive Open Online Courses have made a lot of noise in postsecondary education circles in the past few years, but they’ve entered the K-12 arena much more quietly. The likes of Harvard, MIT, and Stanford are making MOOCs that allow anybody with Internet access to sign up for virtual classes from professors at the world’s...

    Read the rest
  • Career and Technical Education Supports College and Career Readiness

    Starting in middle school, students have access to guidance counselors familiar with career and technical education and emerging 21st–century careers. Students even have the opportunity to enroll in a career cluster program, giving them the opportunity to explore and complete more than one career pathway upon graduation from high school. The soft skills a middle...

    Read the rest
  • Why Reducing Recess Can Have Unexpected Consequences on Student Success

    While true college readiness requires more than intelligence or a strong transcript, it’s understandable that many schools focus on academics in an effort to ensure that students perform well on standardized tests and earn high grades. In this effort to boost scores and strengthen transcripts, sometimes policies are driven by demands that aren’t supported by...

    Read the rest
  • Parents, Educators Coping with Common Core as Best They Can

    The Common Core and college and career readiness standards represent a sea change in education since most parents attended school, and many parents feel overwhelmed by the changes. Here are four of parents’ most common gripes regarding Common Core — along with some simple suggestions to help ease the transition.

    Read the rest
  • College and Career Readiness for Adults: Going Back to School

    College and career readiness doesn’t apply only to young people. Suppose you have been home with your children and out of the workforce for 10 years. How do you compete with those who have 21st-century skills? One option is to update your skills. So being college and career ready would affect you the same way...

    Read the rest
  • College Readiness Includes Planning Student Debt

    Just as a college education teaches students a lot more than academic content, so too learning how to strategically save, budget, and borrow for college can be a holistic experience in achieving complex goals. True college readiness includes mastering the life skills that help students tackle campus life and beyond. Financial literacy — which should...

    Read the rest
  • 4 Ways Common Core Math Helps Students

    It’s no secret that Common Core math has stirred up a lot of controversy and emotion. Educators share their views on why Common Core math, which emphasizes understanding over rote memorization, is good for kids, and how teachers can make the transition easier.

    Read the rest
  • Vocational Transitioning for Special Needs Students

    One particular subgroup of students where curriculum intervention is a major component of their educational environment is students in need of special education services. While these efforts are in place to help a student succeed in school, what happens after high school?

    Read the rest
  • College and Career Readiness for the Forgotten Middle

    Middle school educators need to strive for stronger curriculum alignment and proper lesson planning to prevent students who are bridging between elementary and high school from being forgotten. Students who are not on target for college and career readiness by the eighth grade may be at a point of no return.

    Read the rest
  • A Parent’s Guide to Surviving Common Core Math

    While educators and math experts say the Common Core math standards are a leap forward, many parents are more concerned with helping their kids survive math class. Here are some basics of Common Core math as well as tips for when your child brings home confusing math homework.

    Read the rest
  • Career Readiness After School: Employers Foot the Bill

    While we tend to think about career readiness in terms of students preparing for the workforce, American employers play an enormous role in the continual upgrading of employee education. Those who are already highly skilled are the most likely to receive additional formal training from their employers. Take Phil Gurbaugh, who graduated with a double...

    Read the rest
  • Guiding Parents through College and Career Readiness

    Regardless of a child’s background, family involvement in education is a major factor in the academic success of any student. Parents can steer the direction in life that their child takes, and they also can benefit from guidance themselves.

    Read the rest
  • Tech Boot Camps Help Students Leapfrog Into Jobs

    Tech boot camps have rapidly emerged as a solution for noncoders to quickly get into the marketplace. This new trend of short-term, intensive training has the potential to challenge how children prepare for STEM fields, as well as how much value employers put on college degrees. About 16,000 people are expected to complete boot camps...

    Read the rest
  • Helping Boys Learn

    Statistically speaking, boys aren’t doing so well in school. According to recently released data by the National Center for Education Statistics, “disparities in educational and other outcomes persist…for male youth compared to their female peers.” Compared to girls, boys are less likely to: Achieve reading proficiency Complete high school Attend college Graduate college Unfortunately, boys...

    Read the rest
  • How to Determine if a Student has Asperger’s and Qualifies for Special Education

    Because students with Asperger’s have various symptoms that can make learning difficult, teachers and parents need to recognize certain characteristics of autism spectrum disorders. To help Asperger’s students prepare for future roles as productive adults, teachers and parents need to answer these two important questions: How do I determine if a student has Asperger’s syndrome?...

    Read the rest
  • School Reform Through Parental Involvement

    Each day a student may enter the doors to a strong school, but without consistent parental involvement, that student will never be able to reach his or her full potential.

    Read the rest
  • 22 Questions Parents and Teachers Should Ask About Special Education

    The first priority for teachers and parents is to identify special needs students and figure out how to give them equal education opportunities, beginning with two important questions:

    1. Does the student qualify for special education under IDEA?
    2. What is an appropriate education for a special needs student?
    This Q&A will help parents and teachers answer these important questions — and many others.

    Read the rest
  • Early College High Schools Pioneer College for All

    Nothing quite says “college ready” like actual college experience. High school students who complete college-level courses demonstrate in their applications that they have the skills and knowledge to succeed as matriculated students. A number of different programs, including dual enrollment, advanced placement courses, international baccalaureate curriculum, and summer school sessions, enable high school students to...

    Read the rest
  • Students on Common Core

    Ask nearly any American adult with school-age children about Common Core, and you’re bound to hear an opinion. Mention “Common Core” in a gathering of educators, and you’ll hear a lot of discussion about the implementation of the standards and preparation for the upcoming Common Core-aligned assessments. But say the words “Common Core” to a...

    Read the rest
  • How Online Posts Affect Colleges' Decisions

    With social media’s permeation of teenage life, online posts have increasingly become an indicator of college readiness — and one that more schools take into consideration when making admissions decisions. For the first time, a full third (35 percent) of college admissions officers say they look at applicants' social media profiles, according to data released in November 2014 from Kaplan Test Prep.

    Read the rest
  • MOOCs Help Prepare K-12 Students for College

    Massive Open Online Courses have made a lot of noise in postsecondary education circles in the past few years, but they’ve entered the K-12 arena much more quietly. The likes of Harvard, MIT, and Stanford are making MOOCs that allow anybody with Internet access to sign up for virtual classes from professors at the world’s...

    Read the rest
  • Career and Technical Education Supports College and Career Readiness

    Starting in middle school, students have access to guidance counselors familiar with career and technical education and emerging 21st–century careers. Students even have the opportunity to enroll in a career cluster program, giving them the opportunity to explore and complete more than one career pathway upon graduation from high school. The soft skills a middle...

    Read the rest
  • Why Reducing Recess Can Have Unexpected Consequences on Student Success

    While true college readiness requires more than intelligence or a strong transcript, it’s understandable that many schools focus on academics in an effort to ensure that students perform well on standardized tests and earn high grades. In this effort to boost scores and strengthen transcripts, sometimes policies are driven by demands that aren’t supported by...

    Read the rest
  • Parents, Educators Coping with Common Core as Best They Can

    The Common Core and college and career readiness standards represent a sea change in education since most parents attended school, and many parents feel overwhelmed by the changes. Here are four of parents’ most common gripes regarding Common Core — along with some simple suggestions to help ease the transition.

    Read the rest
  • College and Career Readiness for Adults: Going Back to School

    College and career readiness doesn’t apply only to young people. Suppose you have been home with your children and out of the workforce for 10 years. How do you compete with those who have 21st-century skills? One option is to update your skills. So being college and career ready would affect you the same way...

    Read the rest
  • College Readiness Includes Planning Student Debt

    Just as a college education teaches students a lot more than academic content, so too learning how to strategically save, budget, and borrow for college can be a holistic experience in achieving complex goals. True college readiness includes mastering the life skills that help students tackle campus life and beyond. Financial literacy — which should...

    Read the rest
  • 4 Ways Common Core Math Helps Students

    It’s no secret that Common Core math has stirred up a lot of controversy and emotion. Educators share their views on why Common Core math, which emphasizes understanding over rote memorization, is good for kids, and how teachers can make the transition easier.

    Read the rest
  • Vocational Transitioning for Special Needs Students

    One particular subgroup of students where curriculum intervention is a major component of their educational environment is students in need of special education services. While these efforts are in place to help a student succeed in school, what happens after high school?

    Read the rest
  • College and Career Readiness for the Forgotten Middle

    Middle school educators need to strive for stronger curriculum alignment and proper lesson planning to prevent students who are bridging between elementary and high school from being forgotten. Students who are not on target for college and career readiness by the eighth grade may be at a point of no return.

    Read the rest
  • A Parent’s Guide to Surviving Common Core Math

    While educators and math experts say the Common Core math standards are a leap forward, many parents are more concerned with helping their kids survive math class. Here are some basics of Common Core math as well as tips for when your child brings home confusing math homework.

    Read the rest