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.
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."
American Promise is a PBS documentary (live streaming through March 6) that follows two middle class African-American boys, Idris and Seun, who enter The Dalton School as young children, and follows them for 13 years. [more inside]
Last night was the grand opening of the Museum of Mathematics in New York City, the only museum of its kind in North America. The video is narrated by MoMath's chief of content, mathematical sculptor George Hart (better known in some circles as Vi Hart's dad.) The sculpture of the space of three-note chords in the video is based on the work of Dmitri Tymoczko, and the lovely curved hammock of strings a visitor is sitting in at the end is a ruled quadric surface. Many more videos at the Museum of Mathematics YouTube channel. Coverage from the New Scientist. (Previously on MetaFilter.)
Last year, The Cooper Union For The Advancement Of Science And Art publicly admitted it was in dire financial straits and raised the idea of charging tuition for the first time in 110 years. The students responded in an appropriate manner. But now as the specter of tuition becomes closer to reality the students took a more drastic option: Since Monday, eleven undergraduate students have expertly barricaded themselves inside the top floor of the New York college. They talk about what they want. They even get pizza. [more inside]
A group of high school students from The Bronx calling themselves The Resistance have released a 10-point plan to reform NYC public schooling. (via Colorlines) [more inside]
Joel Klein wrote an essay in the Atlantic about the reasons for the current problems in the primary educational system.
In what has been described as "the American Idol of education" and "a biosphere of educational reform," The Equity Project Charter School will open in NYC this fall, offering $125,000 salaries to a "dream team" of teachers to test the theory that better teacher quality is the key to a better education for students.
The artist who explored the beginning of life last year presents his meditation on the end of life, designed to teach kids about the hazards of underage drinking.
Court orders $5.6 billion per year increase in NYC schools funding. The order, being appealed by Gov. Pataki, compels a 35% increase in operating funds for NYC public schools, and an additional $9 billion for school construction, but doesn't say which taxes ought to be raised to pay for it. Supporters and opponents both agree that, if implemented, the order would have a dramatic effect. Supporters think poor black and hispanic students will get a better education; opponents are dubious about the educational benefits and certain of the disastrous effects of a massive tax increase. A second arguments concerns whether the city ought to bear some of the costs, or the state should have to bear them all.