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How Children What?

"John Holt and Paul Tough are a half-century apart. Both were interested in children and how they learned. One wrote a book called How Children Learn, the other a book called How Children Succeed. Their juxtaposition has a lot to tell us about how we think about and treat our young people."
posted by overeducated_alligator on May 27, 2014 - 11 comments

The SHSAT is a diagnostic, the canary in the coal mine.

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 - 165 comments

Potterverse Worldbuilding

The extended setting of the Harry Potter series is fertile soil for fans interested in worldbuilding, especially since the release of Pottermore (previously), a companion site to the books that includes back-story and adjunt information direct from J.K. Rowling. Some of these worldbuilding projects include explorations on wizarding fashion, magical education (including other magical schools), fantastic beasts (and perhaps where to find them), Muslims at Hogwarts, and the next generation of Hogwarts students. [more inside]
posted by divabat on Jan 30, 2014 - 116 comments

post-industrial education for post-industrial organizations

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-er) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jan 8, 2014 - 63 comments

"Somebody's gotta stand up to these experts!"

Creationists' Last Stand at the Texas State Board of Education
posted by brundlefly on Nov 14, 2013 - 82 comments

The Common Core

The Common Core (Wikipedia) is a state-led effort that established a single set of clear educational standards for kindergarten through 12th grade in English language arts and mathematics that states voluntarily adopt (that is, if they want to keep their funding). In the weeks and months leading up to implementation of the Common Core, some teachers are a little wary. Teachers and community organizers are now left to translate Common Core standards for confused parents, with some myths, rumors, and miscommunications getting in the way. Now, after months of preparing for the shift, some states are dropping out of the Common Core. But why?
posted by SkylitDrawl on Sep 22, 2013 - 44 comments

"...we should take a close look at repealing compulsory education."

Utah State Sen. Aaron Osmond (R-South Jordan) has introduced a proposal to abolish compulsory education for children in his home state. [more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Jul 17, 2013 - 188 comments

"You don’t like it? Find another place to live."

"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 - 168 comments

Michelle Rhee's "Reign of Error"

DCPS Chancellor Michelle Rhee oversaw radical reforms to Washington, DC's failing public schools. Amongst the results were widespread irregularities on standardized tests that suggest they were tampered with by adults. [more inside]
posted by Westringia F. on Apr 14, 2013 - 72 comments

Teachers boycott standardized testing

Teachers at two Seattle high schools have decided to boycott a district-required standardized test. [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz on Jan 15, 2013 - 99 comments

Boaler and the math wars

"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 - 119 comments

Wayside School Is Not Funny In Real Life

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 - 49 comments

Bad Education

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 - 185 comments

A Back to School Surprise in California

"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 - 82 comments

"I am the enemy."

"I am the enemy. I never realized this until your election to governor. In a few short weeks, you have made this fact explicitly clear to me." Steven Derion, a 2007 nominee for the Governor's Teacher of the Year Award, writes New Jersey governor Chris Christie a letter.
posted by Rory Marinich on Jun 11, 2010 - 198 comments

The Book Tower

Book owners have smarter kids
posted by Artw on Jun 4, 2010 - 114 comments

Great Teachers Are Made, Not Born

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 - 44 comments

An education "turnaround"

“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 - 229 comments

Do kids need to learn gardening or more algebra?

"The suicidal dietary choices of so many poor people are the result of a problem, not the problem itself. The solution lies in an education that will propel students into a higher economic class, where they will live better and therefore eat better." So argues Caitlin Flanagan in the pages of The Atlantic against Alice Waters' idea that school curricula ought to teach children where food comes from and how to grow it (see The Edible Schoolyard).
posted by shivohum on Jan 12, 2010 - 124 comments

The Payout of Education Reform.

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.
posted by grapefruitmoon on Jun 6, 2009 - 71 comments

Hacking Education

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 - 43 comments

Did corporal punishment save a struggling school?

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 - 160 comments

The Lady Chancellor's Nightmare

"The thing that kills me about education is that it's so touchy-feely...if the children don't know how to read, I don't care how creative you are. You're not doing your job". Michelle Rhee is polarizing, inexperienced, abrasive, and young - and with urban school systems all over the country watching, she is trying to rebuild DC's famously troubled public school system (link to full series). [more inside]
posted by peachfuzz on Dec 1, 2008 - 107 comments

Research into primary education

The Primary Review has published three research reports about primary school education in the UK and elsewhere. The Structure of Primary Education: England and Other Countries. Primary Curriculum and Assessment: England and Other Countries. Press release summarising some of the findings. [more inside]
posted by paduasoy on Feb 8, 2008 - 13 comments

10 Signs of Intelligent Life at YouTube

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, and USC.
posted by Soup on Dec 27, 2007 - 21 comments

Making the Grade Without Being Graded

"I hate grades.... [But] I am obliged to follow the rules set forth by my employer and the larger education industry in general. Consequently, I assign grades."
posted by grumblebee on Sep 28, 2006 - 97 comments

"I have accomplished nothing and I am nothing."

[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 - 156 comments

But What About Us? Student Photographs from the Corridor of Shame

"But What About Us? Student Photographs from the Corridor of Shame" is a traveling photography exhibit that follows up on “Corridor of Shame: the neglect of South Carolina's rural schools" [wmv], a 58 minute documentary that tells the story of the challenges faced in funding an adequate education in South Carolina's rural school districts. The documentary tracks the evidence presented on behalf of eight school districts in Abbeville County School District v. The State of South Carolina [pdf]. The exhibit is a powerful demonstration to the needs still unmet in South Carolina's rural schools. Only five pictures and captions are on the website now, but most of the pictures appear inside with permission from the copyright holder.
posted by ND¢ on May 10, 2006 - 28 comments

Brown vs. Brown?

Segregation. Elimination. Two different accounts of bizarro things happening in USA schools. [via]
posted by dirtynumbangelboy on Apr 17, 2006 - 35 comments

Art Teacher Suspended for Suggesting Nudes

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 - 78 comments

I Am a High School English Teacher in Japan

Beware the Kancho! The ongoing adventures and cultural insights of an American English teacher in Japan.
posted by John of Michigan on Jun 12, 2005 - 47 comments

Mass Expulsions

300+ High Schoolers Expelled You don't go to school here, you live too far away...
posted by AMWKE on Apr 5, 2005 - 178 comments

Court orders 35% hike in schools budget

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.
posted by MattD on Feb 18, 2005 - 40 comments

Declaration of Independence Banned at Calif School

Declaration of Independence Banned at Calif School? WTF? That's what I thought when I first read it. I read more and again I said: WTF? This can't be right! So, I looked around a bit and I realised some people had already a different perspective on this.
posted by acrobat on Nov 25, 2004 - 38 comments

Focus Concern on Schools in Six States

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 - 19 comments

DeMint: Gays should not teach

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 - 28 comments

Governor's Schools

Arkansas Governor's School, one of over 100 "Governor's Schools," starts today. The program is going in to its 24th year despite years of controversy over several mediums.
posted by whoshotwho on Jun 13, 2004 - 17 comments

The Blair Hornstine Project

Remember Blair Hornstine? Her $2.5 million lawsuit against her high school for not naming her valedictorian resulted in an injunction and the sole possession of the title. Now it gets worse: she has a Jayson Blair problem. Several of her contributions to local papers were lifted from presidential speeches, Supreme Court opinions, and editorials.
posted by PrinceValium on Jun 5, 2003 - 65 comments

Nobody wants to hear it.

Cal Professor John Ogbu thinks he knows why rich black kids are failing in school. Nobody wants to hear it.
posted by studentbaker on May 23, 2003 - 50 comments

Only men bake cookies in school textbooks

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 - 41 comments

Little nugget 'O hope for yr. platter...

Laptops transform learning for 7th graders in rural Maine : It "was more controversial than abortion, gay rights or even clear cutting," said former Gov. Angus King. But "Just six months after Maine began a controversial [and first in the nation] program to provide laptop computers to every seventh grader in the state, educators are impressed by how quickly students and teachers have adapted to laptop technology."(NYT)
posted by troutfishing on Mar 11, 2003 - 17 comments

Teachers Traumatizing Students of Deployed Soldiers

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 - 65 comments

School budget

An imaginative solution to California's school budget crisis.
posted by semmi on Jan 24, 2003 - 24 comments

Testimony of Teens Kidnapped w/ authorization of parents and taken to overseas "behavior modification" schools.

Testimony of Teens Kidnapped w/ authorization of parents and taken to overseas "behavior modification" schools. After researching these schools almost 5 years ago I am horrified that most of them are still running and whose teachings are even showing up in the form of seminars in kindergarten. Has anyone else had experience with schools like this, whether directly or through a family member or friend ?
posted by bkdelong on Sep 30, 2002 - 17 comments

"It's a terrible thing, but it's time to embrace Big Brother"

"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 - 39 comments

Court gives the go-ahead on random drug testing for non-athlete students.

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 - 58 comments

Bush wants to turn back the schoolclock to an eduational epoch sometime before 1972. Thirty years after educational gender bias became a legislative reality, Bush has announced that he's pushing for single sex schools, offering no specific reason for this backwards waltz. But what kind of message does this send to tomorrow's graduates about equal gender opportunity? Is there really any discernable advantage in a single sex educational institution? Or is Bush possibly intimidated by the overwhelming number of female graduates that are dominating males these days?
posted by ed on May 9, 2002 - 36 comments

No plans, no graduation.

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 - 44 comments

F.B.I. Recruitment comes to Kindergarten?

F.B.I. Recruitment comes to Kindergarten? What's going through the minds of the Kiddie Propaganda P.R. Team? Be afraid, be very afraid.
posted by curiousg on Mar 28, 2002 - 7 comments

NY Times on female cruelty (subscription req'd)

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 - 10 comments

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