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©1999 BaySCAN


FSNet News #2 -- April 28, 1999


1 Announcements:

1.1 Call for Issues
1.2 Quality Elements Focus Group
1.3 Fourth Annual Summer STC Academy

2 Issues & Best Practices:

2.1 Curriculum-Projects
2.2 Building Support for STC/Majors-Pathways

3 Resources:

3.1 Importance of Economics & Personal Finance
3.2 Humor in Economics


__1.1 Call for Issues

Call for Issues: Thanks to all that have responded for our call for issues. We will focus on various issues over the next several weeks. Please feel free to identify new issues or comment on current issues.

__1.2 Quality Elements Focus Group

Quality Elements Focus Group: What does an ideal STC implementation look like? BaySCAN is interested in investigating this question in order to help focus our efforts. We would like to talk to a few teachers, STC coordinators, and administrators in a focus group format to discus "Quality Elements." We would like to meet 4:00 or 4:30 for a couple of hours on May 27. We will provide food and stimulating conversation! In addition, we are offering a $25 stipend for participation. If you are interested, please .

__1.3 Fourth Annual Summer STC Academy

Fourth Annual Summer STC Academy: This year's Academy will be held July 21-23, 1999 at the Desert Springs Marriott Resort and Spa, Palm Springs, CA. The focus is on standards and assessments. Keynote speakers include: Alan November, J.D. Hoye, Williard Daggett, Kathleen Harris, and David Crippens. Pre-Conference sessions include: "Nuts & Bolts of Integration," Building a STC System for All Stakeholders," and "Secondary & Post-Secondary STC Leads." A sample of breakouts include: "STC Meeting Standards Through Rigor & Relevance," "Authentic Assessment, Portfolios and Rubrics," "A Practical Guide to Surviving Senior Projects," Assessing the Studentís STC Experience," WASC Connecting to STC," and "Employability Certificate." For registration information and a full description of breakouts, visit or call Judie Piscitello, Director - Career Education, Stanislaus County Office of Education, 209-525-5093.


__2.1 Curriculum-Projects

Several people have identified Project Based Learning (PBL) as an issue. Several people have asked for resources, lesson plans, etc. Joan Hepperly asked if there are any general templates that integrate SCANS into the structure of projects. If you have any tools or ideas, please share them with us. If you have any other specific questions or issues, also, please share them with us.

Clearly, it would be beneficial if we could develop a library of projects. To this end, please send me a brief two or three sentence description of the projects your are using. I will compile a list of who is doing what. Then we can form groups of people with similar interests that can refine and "publish" these projects. (Of course, we are also interested in collecting projects that have already been refined.)

As an example, I have a project idea for an Introduction to Financial Institutions or Personal Finance class. The project calls for students to act as peer educators by preparing a workshop that explains how a financial service or instrument works (e.g. checking accounts, auto insurance, credit cards, stocks, mutual funds, etc.). By putting on a lunchtime workshop and inviting the entire school population we can create an authentic audience. A workgroup could take this idea and develop handouts, descriptions, assessment rubrics, integration strategies, etc.

__2.2 Building Support for STC/Majors-Pathways

Several people have also expressed problems with building support for their major/pathway. If you have problems you would like the group to address or tactics that have been successful, please share them with the group.

Several programs have said that they are having problems getting their administration to buy-in. A recent article in The High School Magazine, April 1999, Vol. 6 No. 6 might help. The target audience for this journal is high school principals and this entire issue was devoted to STC. Each article paints STC in a very favorable light and offers principals ideas and suggestions on how they can make STC more effective in their own school. "Measuring School-to-Career Effectiveness" discusses topics like getting started, observations, student records, portfolios, and assessment. You can get an online copy of the article at The article may carry a lot of credibility given its source and could be a good jumping off point to begin a dialogue.


__3.1 Importance of Economics & Personal Finance

If you would like ammunition you can use to explain the relevance of a financial services major/pathway, a recent article in the "Parade" section of the Sunday, April 18, 1999 issue of the Sunday Examiner & Chronicle will help.

An article titled "What We Need to Know About Money" states that adults that took a test on economic principles scored an average of 57% and high school students scored 48%. The article states that ""Americans face more financial decisions, choices and responsibility than ever before. We live longer than we used to-and, increasingly, we must finance our retirements as well as our working years. As adults, most of us have had to acquire our understanding of economics and finance on the run." Your majors/pathways teach students about financial instruments and markets that are relevant to each and every student and should resonate with their parents. Even if they do not pursue a career in financial services, they will be better prepared to make the financial decisions mentioned in the article. The fact that so few adults understand finance and at the same time are required to make more and more financial decisions should create a receptive audience for your program.

__3.2 Humor in Economics

As we all know, humor can be a great catalyst for learning. But, if you are like me, humorous anecdotes and stories donít easily come to mind as I prepare lessons. You can get hundreds of jokes involving economics and economic theory at Browse the site and you are sure to find something you can use not only in an economics class, but any class that has a career emphasis.