Changes Coming to DODEA Schools
The average military kid changes schools six to nine times, moving from duty station to duty station every two to three years. With a 35% mobility rate, it is important that the schools that are educating our students provide them with a curriculum that can follow them from school to school. Because of this, Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA) Schools are adopting a Common Core of Standards that currently exists in 46 states. (Puerto Rico, Virginia, Texas, Hawaii, Minnesota and Nebraska have not adopted the Common Core Standards.) Last week, Marilee Fitzgerald, Director of the Department of Defense Education Activity, hosted a Bloggers Roundtable with DODLive to discuss the new initiatives.
Currently, Department of Defense Schools is responsible for the education of 87,000 students in 194 schools. Additionally, 1.2 million military kids are enrolled in public schools nationwide. Ranging from the grades of Preschool to Grade 12, the new initiatives will take approximately three years to implement and they will begin with an evaluation of their current programs. Moreover, a focus on math, language arts, and reading will be enacted first then science will follow. Incoming freshmen for the 2013-14 class will be the first to fall under the new requirements for the change curriculum; some examples of changes to be expected are a requirement of 4 math credits versus the previous 3 will be needed to meet graduation requirements and starting in the grade of kindergarten, a language requirement will be applied.
Ms. Fitzgerald also pointed out that the curriculum is not the only aspect of DODEA education changing but that teachers have been given expanded training on how to handle all aspects of military life changes for students, from deployments to moving. She stressed that educators do a critical job and for that she wanted to be sure to highlight how important their role is in providing quality education to our children who endure the unique challenges of military life.
To learn more about the STEM initiative or the above changes to curriculum, visit: http://www.dodea.edu/.