It’s the darker side of competition that Milton Friedman and his free-market disciples tend to downplay: If parents value high test scores, you can compete for voucher dollars by hiring better teachers and providing a better education—or by going easy in grading national tests. Competition was also meant to discipline government schools by forcing them to up their game to maintain their enrollments, but it may have instead led to a race to the bottom as they too started grading generously to keep their students.
So it turns out that the good results of the Swedish school voucher system of "free" school choice, long the benchmark for those wanting to disrupt public schooling were created by, well, cheating
posted by MartinWisse
on Jul 27, 2014 -
"We sort our kids. We rate them. We chart them, and we measure their progress against the rest of the country and pray that they come out on the high end of the curve. And frankly, it's all horseshit. Every last bit of it. The competition industry is crushing us all."
Drew Magary, at Deadspin, unloads on the idea
that "these kids today" are little ninnies made soft by participation trophies and unscored soccer games. [more inside]
posted by escabeche
on Jul 16, 2014 -
In March, Lawrenceville School Student Body President Maya Peterson
, the first Black woman
to be elected to that position, posted a photo to her Instagram account where she depicted
what she described to be a “Lawrenceville boi”: white, Republican, and cockily holding a hockey stick. She used the hashtags “#romney2016,” “#confederate,” and “#peakedinhighschool." In response to the backlash from the photo, Maya, who is headed to Wesleyan in the fall, chose to step down
. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen
on Jul 7, 2014 -
“Je Suis La Jeune Fille.” “Yes, that’s French they’re speaking. But no, these children aren’t French – they’re American!”
If you grew up in the late 1980s and early 1990s, or watched children's TV programming from that era in the US or UK, no doubt you saw that commercial for Muzzy (formally titled Muzzy in Gondoland
). The show was first produced by the BBC in 1986 to teach English as a second language, as seen in this playlist of five videos
, and later expanded with Muzzy Comes Back
in 1989 (six episode playlist
). The shows were both translated in to French
(and the Spanish vocabulary builder
), and Italian
(Muzzy in Gondoland, Muzzy Comes Back
posted by filthy light thief
on Jun 28, 2014 -
”Practicing openness and making oneself radically vulnerable is not only scary, it is the opposite of what we are taught to do within the logic of the contemporary university (and society more generally). Our marginalization, meager pay and lack of job security, along with the attacks on professors by students and the administration’s refusal to back up even tenured professors, all contribute to a culture of paranoia and enmity (among administration and faculty, among tenure-track faculty and adjuncts, among professors and students). Even when we manage to maintain our commitment to our students (and we do), the university seeks to capture this affective relationship and use it to further exploit us when we ask for fair wages or better conditions with the reprimand that ‘we are doing this for the students and not the money.’ Just as the practitioners of modernity gutted the erotic and sold us the pornographic, administrators attempt to gut the material and affective conditions of teaching and sell us ‘passion.’”
Dr Priya J. Shah: "My Last Day as a Professor
posted by koeselitz
on Jun 6, 2014 -
Who or what broke my kids?
"The basic premise of the activity is that students must sort cards including probability statements, terms such as unlikely and probable, pictorial representations, and fraction, decimal, and percent probabilities and place them on a number line based on their theoretical probability. I thought it would be an interactive way to gauge student understanding. Instead it turned into a ten minute nightmare where I was asked no less than 52 times if their answers were “right”. I took it well until I was asked for the 53rd time and then I lost it. We stopped class right there and proceeded to have a ten minute discussion on who broke them."
posted by escabeche
on Jun 1, 2014 -
Some of us have more toys and bigger homes than others. We all have a lot in common, but there are certain things that make us unique, too. Let’s talk about those things and celebrate them, even.
This is not standard prekindergarten curricular fare, but it’s part of what the 4- and 5-year-olds at the Manhattan Country School learn by visiting one another’s homes during the school day. These are no mere play dates though; it’s more like Ethnography 101. Do classmates take the bus to school or walk? What neighborhood do they live in? What do they have in their homes?
- For Lessons About Class, a Field Trip Takes Students Home
posted by beisny
on Jun 1, 2014 -
Francisco Tapia, aka "Papas Fritas" (French Fries), is an artist and activist whose recent work has drawn international attention
. It might not look like much, but it is US$500 million of ashes
, the burnt remains of "debt papers" for student of the now defunct Universidad Del Mar, a private institution in Chile that was stripped of its legal standing in 2012
. While this might sound like a singular bold move to make people pay attention to the cost of education in Chile, it's just one of many acts in support of efforts to reclaim a very expensive private education options in Chile, with student protests going back to 2006
. Chile's president Michelle Bachelet proposed a reform bill on Monday, May 19th, but it doesn't go as far as some protesters would like
posted by filthy light thief
on May 21, 2014 -
Almost four years
after Mark Zuckerberg made a very well publicized 100 million dollar donation to Newark, NJ schools, and two years
after the Newark Teachers Union agreed to a new merit-pay based contract, the current superintendent of schools, Cami Anderson is attempting a new education reform initiative called One Newark
. Ironically, the plan has deeply divided the city, and last night members of the the Newark Students Union staged
at the Board of Education meeting, demanding Anderson resign. [more inside]
posted by lownote
on May 21, 2014 -
A day in the life of New York City's public libraries: Traveling from borough to borough, this short documentary by Julie Dressner and Jesse Hicks reveals just how important the modern library is for millions of people. Why Libraries Matter.
posted by cashman
on May 17, 2014 -
Who Gets to Graduate?
"If you compare college students with the same standardized-test scores who come from different family backgrounds, you find that their educational outcomes reflect their parents’ income, not their test scores."
posted by epimorph
on May 15, 2014 -
Controversial education tech company InBloom has shut down over student data privacy concerns.
Backed with $100 million in grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, InBloom quickly announced nine states (CO, DE, GA, IL, KY, LA, MA, NC, NY) as partners, with more than 2.7 million students enrolled, with the goal of using big data to direct education emphasis and other decisions. With a recent decision by New York state to halt participation in any project involving storing student data in the way InBloom had planned
(and the deletion of any such data already stored), all nine states had either put data sharing plans with InBloom on hold, made them voluntary, or pulled out completely. [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus
on Apr 22, 2014 -
Ever wish you could actually take classes in Charms, Transfiguration, and Potions from Hogwarts for real? Now you can!
posted by divabat
on Apr 17, 2014 -
Increasing the accessibility
of cultural capital
: "In New York, a place whose cultural institutions attract people from around the world, there are residents who not only have never visited those institutions but also some who have never even been uptown."
posted by gemutlichkeit
on Apr 6, 2014 -
Bill De Blasio blamed the lack of racial diversity in New York City's top high schools, such as Stuyvesant, on the standardized admissions test, and campaigned on ending it
. The New York Times has written pieces reminding of it
. But the parent of a biracial son attending Stuyvesant
has a different argument
: that the problem is not with the test, but with the substandard education system
that dominates much of New York City.
"By having these pathetic SHSAT results publicized year after year, it shines a light on just what an awful job inner city schools are doing educating those students who can’t afford to buy their way out of a broken system, either through private schools or private tutoring centers. If the specialized high schools’ racial balances were “fixed,” we might be tempted to consider the problems they expose 'fixed,' too."
posted by corb
on Mar 26, 2014 -
The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution
- "[Charles Percy Snow
] was pleading for a more adequately educated ruling class so that the suffering of the poor might be ameliorated... Snow wanted to believe something like this: political decisions in the modern world often concern how to deploy science and technology, so people well-trained in science and technology will be better prepared to make those decisions. But that's a syllogism without a minor premise." (previously
) [more inside]
posted by kliuless
on Mar 15, 2014 -
Today, March 8, is International Women's Day, a day to celebrate the social, political and economic achievements of women, and focus attention on areas still needing action. In the run-up to the event, Reuters photographers in countries around the globe took a series of portraits
of women and their daughters. They asked each mother what her profession was, at what age she had finished education, and what she wanted her daughter to become when she grew up. They also asked each daughter at what age she would finish education and what she wanted to do in the future. (SLAtlantic)
posted by capricorn
on Mar 8, 2014 -
The Teaching of Arithmetic: The Story of an experiment. In the fall of 1929 I made up my mind to try the experiment of abandoning all formal instruction in arithmetic below the seventh grade and concentrating on teaching the children to read, to reason, and to recite - my new Three R's. And by reciting I did not mean giving back, verbatim, the words of the teacher or of the textbook. I meant speaking the English language. I picked out five rooms - three third grades, one combining the third and fourth grades, and one fifth grade. I asked the teachers if they would be willing to try the experiment.
posted by Wolfdog
on Mar 8, 2014 -
I, Too, Am Harvard.
A photo campaign highlighting the faces and voices of black students at Harvard College. 63 students participated, sharing their experiences with ignorance and racism. "Our voices often go unheard on this campus, our experiences are devalued, our presence is questioned-- this project is our way of speaking back, of claiming this campus, of standing up to say: We are here. This place is ours. We, TOO, are Harvard." [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Mar 5, 2014 -
"A gentleman in 1720 could read Greek while mounting a running horse. Today’s gentleman reads GQ in the bathroom. From rapists to stylists, a history of the American gentleman." [more inside]
posted by homunculus
on Feb 16, 2014 -