Summer is a perfect time to catch up on reading – and it’s a great chance for kids to get an early start on books they will likely need to read or know for testing, college, or simply understanding the culture. Many students who take the PSAT, SAT, and ACT often find the reading comprehension segments some of the most challenging. Some may struggle to accurately interpret passages without the rest of the larger works to provide greater context.
Tucson International Academy offers a tremendously successful business education program for middle and high school students. One of the most effective facets of this educational regimen is test preparation. Standardized tests, particularly the SATs, are a major cause for concern among students who hope to enter prestigious colleges and universities. Some schools have minimum SAT test score requirements for applicants and will not even consider approving entrance to a student with scores below these benchmarks. TIA’s SAT preparation program is the reason why TIA students consistently outscore other schools on the SAT tests.
How Does TIA’s Business Week Help?Jonathan Basurto is an assistant principal at TIA and recently coordinated Business Week for TIA students, an annual event where TIA students dress professionally and interview with actual businesses in the area. Business Week is an integral part of TIA’s business curriculum, and Mr. Basurto believes that it offers a chance for students to gain some real-world experience of what entering the job force in business is really like.
Eleventh Grade Is Crucial for Business Sense DevelopmentBusiness Week often leads to internships for students that provide valuable work experience, and most businesses are eager to offer job opportunities to TIA students, thanks to the robust curriculum and students’ consistently high SAT scores. Mr. Basurto believes that eleventh grade is often the most difficult for high school students, and the time they feel the most pressure to perform well on standardized tests like the SATs.
Preparing for the Future at TIAThe SAT preparation regimen at TIA lasts a full year, and students have the opportunity to take the SAT for the first time in eleventh grade. If they do not like their scores, they have the opportunity to retake the test and try to earn entrance into the colleges and universities of their choice. TIA graduates have been accepted to prestigious schools like Notre Dame, Stanford, and Harvard University.
What Makes TIA’s SAT Program Successful?The TIA SAT program is successful because it offers thorough preparation all year long with multiple rounds of practice testing and has mandatory weekly SAT homework starting in eighth grade. This helps take the pressure off of students to perform at their best with just one chance at the SAT test. Each TIA student gets multiple opportunities to practice, which will lead to better scores when they take the actual test and therefore better their chances on applications to the schools of their choosing. Thanks to the tremendous success of the TIA SAT program for eleventh graders, TIA leaders plan to implement robust PSAT/SAT preparation courses for students starting in eighth grade. This essentially enables them to practice and prepare throughout their entire high school career and take the SAT with additional confidence. TIA does not simply prepare students for the SAT in hopes they pass; they empower them to score as highly as possible on the SATs which sets them up for success in their higher education.
Did you know that Boston Latin School, founded in 1635, is both America’s first public school and the oldest school still operational in the United States? Obviously, even before 1635, children had been taught. Whether in the home by their parents or away at a boarding school, education of our youth has been happening for a long time! One would think by now, in the year 2017, we would have a handle on this education thing! But even after almost 400 years, we are still trying to figure out the best way to educate America's kids. The recent debate regarding the Common Core curriculum can now be added to the discussion.
The Education DebateAmid thousands of studies on how children learn, there is still a lot of debate about the best approach to education. What skills should every student have and at what age? Trying to agree on exactly what to teach, how and when to teach it, and then how to measure proficiency has complicated the debate exponentially. To find and agree upon standards which are consistent across the nation, while still accounting for cultural and geographical differences, is extremely challenging. Which adds another layer to the debate--should educational standards be addressed at the state or national level?
What is Common Core?The Common Core curriculum is a set of math and English language arts standards that were developed in an effort to establish consistent educational standards across the states . Most states adopted Common Core standards in 2009. They were seeking consistent, measurable nationwide standards. The curriculum was launched in an effort to ensure all students, regardless of where they lived, graduated high school prepared for college, a career, and life. However, even with these admirable goals, many educators, parents and administrators have been unhappy with the resulting Common Core curriculum.
Will Common Core Survive?So the debate continues. Eight states do not use common core at all or have adopted only portions of the curriculum. At present, Arizona is still operating under common core standards, but that could change. Because Common Core is not a federally controlled program, a new president and administration in Washington do not directly affect its future. However, with many educators and parents dissatisfied with the program, along with disappointing initial statistics, Common Core may soon be a thing of the past. For TIA students, there is great news! Dr. Jennifer Herrera states that if Common Core remains or another curriculum is adopted by the state of Arizona, TIA is ready! TIA can readily adapt to whatever state education standards are decided upon. TIA is a college prep school, so they teach to the goal of college readiness. Because of that, the teaching at TIA is designed to provide students proficiency toward the AZMerit tests and ultimately SAT tests needed for college entrance. Having already reached and maintained the goal of 100% of graduating seniors being accepted into college, TIA standards are already extremely high. Our numbers speak for themselves!
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5 Things You Should Consider When Preparing for College Preparing for college can be an arduous task that discourages people. For parents who have not attended college within the past ten years, they might find themselves lost in the process of helping their children apply. Nowadays, college is a process that starts well in advance, preferably from the birth of the child. If you as a parent or student have not started the process, do not worry. Every month we will cover different areas that are crucial during this process. Preparing for College: Elementary Students Parents need to speak with a financial officer, accountant, banker, or tax expert who is knowledgeable about their family needs and the necessities for college. The sooner you create a banking account for your child, the more financially advantaged he/she will be when it comes to choosing a college. Preparing for College: Middle School Students and Parents The focus should be selecting a career that sparks an interest in the child. The students should start visiting occupations that may interest them or attend career fairs like the one we have at Tucson International Academy. Even though the student may not choose a career path at this point, a general idea would guide him/her towards the right college. Preparing for College: Freshman and Sophomore Students Students need to plan their high school classes with the right college in mind. All colleges will require the basic general courses such as four years in Mathematics and English Language Arts, two years each of Social Studies and Science, and two years of Foreign Language, etc. Certain colleges however, may require specialty classes such as Chemistry, Physics, and Calculus, etc. Freshman and sophomore students should keep college requirements in mind when choosing their High School courses. Preparing for College: Junior Students Junior Students should be well prepared for the several college entrance tests (PSAT, SAT, & ACT) throughout the year. Certain fees will apply for these tests, yet students can talk to their high school counselors to find out whether they qualify for fee waivers. There are various websites that offer free online practice tests. We will cover these in the near future. Preparing for College: Senior Students As for senior students, this will be the most important year of your high school. By now, you should have already narrowed down your college choices. Keep in mind that if you have not applied to a college yet, you must do so now! At this point, you should be working out a plan with your parents/guardians as to how to pay for college rather than which college you are applying to. Preparing for college can be a monstrous task if taken lightly. But with the right plan, we can all demystify the process. Enroll Now Miguel Montemayor, Tucson International Academy