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 -
Sudbury Valley School
- "It upends your views about what school is for, why it has to cost as much as it does, and whether our current model makes any sense at all. But what's most amazing about the school, a claim the founders make which was backed up by my brief observations, my conversations with students, and the written recollections of alumni, is that the school has taken the angst out of education. Students like going there
, and they like their teachers. Because they are never made to take a class they don't like, they don't rue learning. They don't hate homework because they don't have homework. School causes no fights with their parents." (previously
) [more inside]
posted by kliuless
on Jan 8, 2014 -
"Them and Them." "Rockland County, New York's East Ramapo school district is a taxpayer-funded system fighting financial insolvency. It is also bitterly divided between the mostly black and Hispanic children and families who use the schools and the Hasidic and ultra-Orthodox Jewish majority who run the Board of Education and send their children to private, religious schools."
Also see: A District Divided
. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Apr 24, 2013 -
"Milgram and Bishop are opposed to reforms of mathematics teaching and support the continuation of a model in which students learn mathematics without engaging in realistic problems or discussing mathematical methods
. They are, of course, entitled to this opinion, and there has been an ongoing, spirited academic debate about mathematics learning for a number of years. But Milgram and Bishop have gone beyond the bounds of reasoned discourse in a campaign to systematically suppress empirical evidence that contradicts their stance. Academic disagreement is an inevitable consequence of academic freedom, and I welcome it. However, responsible disagreement and academic bullying are not the same thing. Milgram and Bishop have engaged in a range of tactics to discredit me and damage my work which I have now decided to make public." Jo Boaler
, professor of mathematics education at Stanford, accuses two mathematicians, one her colleague of Stanford, of unethical attempts to discredit her research
, which supports "active engagement" with mathematics (aka "reform math") over the more traditional "practicing procedures" approach. [more inside]
posted by escabeche
on Oct 18, 2012 -
In 1972, Washington, DC opened the doors
to the HD Woodson Senior High School. It was the city's first new school in twelve years, and the first to be constructed after riots devastated
the city in 1968. Like its sister school across town, it had been built to withstand
another riot, and protect its students within its fortress-like walls. For a time, it stood as the pride and joy of the city's school system, featuring a diverse range of academic and vocational programs in a state of the art 8-story building complete with escalators, science labs, and a six-lane pool; a symbol of hope for a downtrodden community. By 2008, however, things had gone horribly, horribly wrong.
The building was literally crumbling, many of its original facilities had closed due to neglect, only 13% of sophomores were proficient in reading or mathematics, and violence was a daily concern. Facing no other choice, the city closed the school in 2008, and demolished
the brutalist structure shortly thereafter.
After a three year series of delays
, next week, students will begin classes
in the newly reconstructed
HD Woodson High School; a 3-story state of the art building complete with elevators, science labs, and an eight-lane pool; a symbol of hope for a downtrodden community -- leading many to question: Will it work this time? The correlation between architecture and academic performance is not well-studied, and previous efforts
have been inconclusive at best.
posted by schmod
on Aug 18, 2011 -
The Higher Education (Debt) Bubble
- "[H]igh and increasing college costs mean students need to take out more loans, more loans mean more securities lenders can package and sell, more selling means lenders can offer more loans with the capital they raise, which means colleges can continue to raise costs. The result is over $800 billion in outstanding student debt, over 30 percent of it securitized, and the federal government directly or indirectly on the hook for almost all of it. If this sounds familiar, it probably should... [more inside]
posted by kliuless
on May 17, 2011 -
"Out of the blue, in the middle of a recession, the phone rang. What would it cost, the caller asked the founder of DonorsChoose.org
, to fund every California teacher's wish list posted on the Web site? The founder, Charles Best, thought perhaps the female caller would hang up when he tossed out his best guess: "Something over $1 million," he told her. A day later, Hilda Yao, executive director of the Claire Giannini Fund mailed a check of more than $1.3 million to cover the entire California wish list, 2,233 projects in all, with an extra $100,000 tossed in to help pay for other teacher needs across the country. (DonorsChoose: previously on MeFi) [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Sep 3, 2010 -
Doug Lemov is getting some attention
for his work at identifying - and trying to replicate - the key things that successful teachers do. [more inside]
posted by mai
on Mar 3, 2010 -
“This is hard work and these are tough decisions, but students only have one chance for an education,” Education Secretary Duncan
said, “and when schools continue to struggle we have a collective obligation to take action.” In response to a new federal mandate to fix under-performing schools, every teacher will be fired
at Central Falls High School in Rhode Island.
posted by lunit
on Feb 24, 2010 -
A couple of months ago venture capital firm Union Square Ventures got together a bunch of smart folks to spend a day talking about how the education establishment in the US can be changed to make it more relevant and useful to many more kids. The results, as evidenced by the transcript
, and the summaries by Union Square partners Brad Burnham
and Fred Wilson
indicate that there is no shortage of interesting ideas for how to do a better job preparing our kids for the future. The unanswered question is how to put any of this into action on a scale that will make a difference. A charter school here, charter school there, and a couple of million homeschoolers are changing the system at a glacial pace, at best.
posted by COD
on May 13, 2009 -
Three years ago, David Nixon took over the principalship at John C. Calhoun Elementary School. "Thirty minutes into his first day of school at John C, a father walked into Nixon's office and said, 'I want to give you the authority to whip my son's butt.' Nixon was surprised, but after he thought it over, he decided to give every parent the same option." Did corporal punishment save a struggling school? [more inside]
posted by jeeves
on Apr 28, 2009 -
Open Culture's "10 Signs of Intelligent Life at YouTube"
features "intellectually redeemable" channels from UC Berkeley, @GoogleTalks, TheNobelPrize, TED Talks, FORA.tv, the European Graduate School, the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, BBC Worldwide, National Geographic, PBS, UChannel, MIT, Vanderbilt,
posted by Soup
on Dec 27, 2007 -
[T]his pattern, grade for the sake of a grade, work for the sake of work, can be found everywhere. Ladies and gentlemen, the spirit of intellectual thought is lost. I speak today not to rant, complain or cause trouble, and certainly not to draw attention to myself. I have accomplished nothing and I am nothing. I know that. Rather, I was moved by the countless hours wasted in those halls. Today, you should focus on your child or loved one. This is meant to be a day of celebration, and if I’ve taken away from that, I’m sorry. But I know how highly this community values learning, and I urge you all to re-evaluate what it means to be educated.
- from a graduation speech by the valedictorian of Mainland Regional High School
, Kareem Elnahal, critiquing his school's education process.
The principal's reaction? “My hope was they did not hear or understand what he was saying. ... He was belittling the diplomas of every one of those kids.”
posted by divabat
on Jul 5, 2006 -
Mention nude art, get suspended.
25-year veteran art teacher Pete Panse recommended several ways for his ninth grade advanced art students to improve their skills, one of which included nude life figure drawing sessions at other art schools. For this, the Middletown, NY School District Board of Education suspended him, pending hearings in which he may be fired. They'll be after our bathroom mirrors next. [via DC Art News]
posted by brownpau
on Mar 9, 2006 -
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
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.
posted by MattD
on Feb 18, 2005 -
Focus Concern on Schools in Six States
I had recenbtly read that when alerts are issued, Bush support moves up. Now we have this alert based on info from a captured terrorist in Iraq. Our govt, we are told, downloaded building plans for a number of public schools. Alas: the material according to the article was found in the Summer--School begins around Labor Day...and now the alert is made?
posted by Postroad
on Oct 7, 2004 -
DeMint: Gays should not teach
US Congressional candidate opposes gays teaching in schools. He's dancing with them whut brung him, as they say in certain circles. Yet another reason I'm proud of my home state of South Carolina. (Not.)
posted by alumshubby
on Oct 4, 2004 -
Only men bake cookies in school textbooks.
What do dinosaurs, mountains, deserts, brave boys, shy girls, men fixing roofs, women baking cookies, elderly people in wheelchairs, athletic African Americans, God, heathens, witches, owls, birthday cake and religious fanatics all have in common? Trick question? Not really. As we learn from Diane Ravitch's eye-opening book "The Language Police," all of the above share the common fate of having been banned from the textbooks or test questions (or both) being used in today's schools.
posted by dagny
on May 2, 2003 -
Teachers Traumatizing Students of Deployed Soldiers
"WABI TV reported Friday that the Maine National Guard Family Assistance Center has received about 30 complaints from children of deployed soldiers concerning Principals, Teachers and Guidance Counselors reportedly demeaning the role of their deployed parent. Some children involved are 7 to 9 years of age." More inside...
posted by darian
on Feb 26, 2003 -
"It's a terrible thing, but it's time to embrace Big Brother"
A high school in Santee California has implemented "security procedures" that would do Mr. Orwell proud. Wireless cameras the face and license plate of every driver and car entering the parking lot. If you go to the bathroom, your picture gets logged. Hall monitors will soon carry wireless computers that can pull up a student's school picture and class schedule. And they are considering implementing face recognition software. Installed over the summer, a few parents complained to the school system - NOT
that it was being done, but that they hadn't been notified. (LA Times Link - metafilter99/metafilter99
posted by Irontom
on Sep 9, 2002 -
Court gives the go-ahead on random drug testing for non-athlete students. "Given the nationwide epidemic of drug use, and the evidence of increased drug use in Tecumseh schools, it was entirely reasonable for the school district to enact this particular drug testing policy," Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in the decision.
Drug tests which really only target marijuana use (alcohol, cocaine, opiates leave the body shortly after use) can now be randomly given to students involved in extra-curricular activities. Is this a further step in the "my anti-drug" campaign? Is debate or drama club YOUR anti-drug? By denying student drug users the privilege of participating in activities, aren't we just marginalizing them further and making the problem worse? What will it be? Drugs or getting involved?
posted by Hammerikaner
on Jun 27, 2002 -
No plans, no graduation.
An LA County school district is forcing students to reveal their post-high school plans to participate in their high school graduation. If they refuse to provide evidence of further education or training (college, military, internship, etc.), they will not be allowed to participate. If I was a student, I'd sue. What do you think?
posted by MikeB
on May 7, 2002 -
NY Times on female cruelty (subscription req'd)
This is an insightful examination of cruelty by girls struggling for power in complex Middle School social hierarchies. Many points made about "girls" here also apply to young adult women -- at least the ones I know. In our tabloidized, materialistic culture, might adult women abandon such behavior someday?
Link posted by Voyageman on a discussion page yesterday. Thank you Voyageman.
posted by mcgraw
on Feb 26, 2002 -