“We are no longer in a layoff situation,” said Monica Vasquez, chief human resources officer for the San Francisco Unified School District, which offered early contracts to 140 teachers last spring in a bid to secure candidates before other districts snapped them up. “But there is an impending teacher shortage,” Ms. Vasquez added, before correcting herself: “It’s not impending. It’s here.”
I'm a liberal professor, and my liberal students terrify me. Things have changed since I started teaching. The vibe is different. I wish there were a less blunt way to put this, but my students sometimes scare me — particularly the liberal ones. Not, like, in a person-by-person sense, but students in general. The student-teacher dynamic has been reenvisioned along a line that's simultaneously consumerist and hyper-protective, giving each and every student the ability to claim Grievous Harm in nearly any circumstance, after any affront, and a teacher's formal ability to respond to these claims is limited at best.
An estimated "40 percent of all Long Island [grade] 3-8 students refused to take last week’s ELA Common Core state tests. Numbers in some districts reached well over 70 percent, with at least one district exceeding 80 percent....It seems clear that the final 2015 tally will well exceed 200,000 students. New York State will likely not make the minimum 95 percent federal requirement for testing.... What will happen to New York schools then? " [more inside]
The New Yorker's Kenneth Goldsmith tells why he's planning to teach a course called "Wasting Time on the Internet" at the University of Pennsylvania. [more inside]
The Myth of China's Super Schools China had all the elements necessary for an industrial revolution at least four hundred years before Great Britain, but keju diverted scholars, geniuses, and thinkers away from the study or exploration of modern science. The examination system, Zhao holds, was designed to reward obedience, conformity, compliance, respect for order, and homogeneous thinking; for this reason, it purposefully supported Confucian orthodoxy and imperial order. It was an efficient means of authoritarian social control. Everyone wanted to succeed on the highly competitive exams, but few did. Success on the keju enforced orthodoxy, not innovation or dissent. As Zhao writes, emperors came and went, but China had “no Renaissance, no Enlightenment, no Industrial Revolution.” [more inside]
Screens generate distraction - biologically impossible to resist - in a manner akin to second-hand smoke. Allowing laptop use in class is like allowing boombox use in class - it lets each person choose whether to degrade the experience of those around them. [CITATION PROVIDED] I've stopped thinking of students as people who simply make choices about whether to pay attention, and started thinking of them as people trying to pay attention but having to compete with various influences, the largest of which is their own propensity towards involuntary and emotional reaction.
I don't always ignore your emails, but when I do, it's because the answer is on your syllabus. "In my effort to teach students appropriate use of emails, my syllabus policies [had] ballooned to cover every conceivable scenario -- when to email, when not to, how to write the subject line -- and still I spent class time discussing the email policies and logged hours upon hours answering emails that defied the policies. In a fit of self-preservation, I decided: no more." [more inside]
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]
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]
"Psychologists Lisa Blackwell, Kali Trzesniewski, and Carol Dweck [found that] convincing students that they could make themselves smarter by hard work led them to work harder and get higher grades. The intervention had the biggest effect for students who started out believing intelligence was genetic."
The Course of Their Lives. While much in medicine has changed over the last century, the defining course of a first year medical student's education is still 'Gross Anatomy.' This is their hands-on tour of a donated cadaver -- an actual human body -- and is an experience which cannot be replicated by computer models. When Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Mark Johnson came up with the idea of following a med school gross anatomy class for a feature story, his editor challenged him to make it different. So he chose to intertwine the students' stories with that of Geraldine 'Nana' Fotsch, a living future donor, as sort of a stand-in for the cadaver. (Via. This four-part series contains descriptions of a human dissection. Some may find it disturbing.) [more inside]
Schools in Missouri, Maryland, and other states are using fingerprint scans and RFID chips to track students as a means to speed up service in the cafeteria and to track student whereabouts in and around school. [more inside]
The U.S. National Institute of Heath has urged steps to curb growth in "training" positions in biomedical research (report). [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]
'In life, “no two people regard the world in exactly the same way,” as J. W. von Goethe says. Everyone sees and reacts to things in different ways. Even though they may see the world in similar ways, no two people’s views will ever be exactly the same. This statement is true since everyone sees things through different viewpoints.'
Our Universities: Why Are They Failing? The New York Review of Books has a lengthy review of several books about problems in higher education, pulling together the various causes that ultimately lead to universities failing to educate students. [more inside]
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]
An Urban Teacher's Education is a intelligent, touching and very personal blog about the challenges that a high school teacher faces in the Bronx. [via]
University of Central Florida professor Richard Quinn uses highly-detailed analysis to accuse many of the students in his Strategic Management course of cheating on their midterm exam. Since posting his online lecture, 200 of the 600 students in his class have come forward to admit they cheated using testbank exam answers. While some are calling Professor Quinn a "folk hero", many students in the class are now complaining because they feel their professor has been dishonest about where he obtained the information for his exams. But Professor Quinn isn't exactly responding in student news sources to these complaints.
Lori Whisenant, who teaches business law and ethics at the University of Houston, has outsourced the grading of students' papers to a private company, Virtual-TA, who sends them to be marked in Bangalore, India.
Before the Internet came along, most Americans never wrote anything, ever, that wasn't a school assignment. — Clive Thompson describes the results of the Stanford Study of Writing, mainly that young people today write far more than any generation before them.
Shmoop is study guides and teacher resources that help us understand how literature and history and poetry are relevant today. Take for example Shakespeare's Sonnet 130. Get a technical analysis of it's literary devices, explanations of the themes, and audio/video readings of the sonnet.
NEA Jazz in the Schools takes a step-by-step journey through the history of jazz, integrating that story with the sweep of American social, economic, and political developments. This multi-media curriculum is designed to be as useful to high school history and social studies teachers as it is to music teachers. Start with the introductory video to get a feel for the place. The education outline contains five lessons. If you just want to listen, all the music samples are on one page. Perhaps you're more interested in individual artist biographies, or a jazz history timeline. [more inside]
Teams of student entrepreneurs around the world had six days to add value to a stack of Post-It notes as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week. The results are documented in Imagine It!, which aims to promote creative thinking. [more inside]
Librarian Chick is a blogger who has put together a wiki of literally hundreds of online learning sources with over twenty categories for "students, educators & anyone else who's hip to learning." [more inside]
37 percent of Americans want the teaching of 'evolutionism' replaced outright. (Yeah, I know it's hackneyed but 37%??)
MIT's OpenCourseWare project. Course materials for over 700 classes offered at the school, including syllabi, reading lists, related educational links for the self-learner. Get your knowledge on!!
Hey! A thirteen year-old kid gets suspended for three days for using a DOS command to send a one-word message to all 80 computers on his school's network. Even more charming is that the computer teacher of his school apparently doesn't know much about the computicatin' machines.
Gene Wolfe declared "unfair" by snotty brats. Wolfe, a man who has given us some of the finest fantasy novels of the past three decades, was slated to teach writing at the Odyssey workshop. He graded the manuscripts with tough comments. But the students took this personally and complained to director Jeanne Cavelos. Wolfe, being the gentleman that he is, left the workshop. Here's a sample of one student's arrogance. Now if I had the opportunity of learning from a master and he told me that my shit stank, then I'd listen. Why have workshops and educational opportunities prioritized feeding this "I'm okay, you're okay" narcissism over developing talent?
Does being valedictorian still matter? A New Jersey high school student with top grades and a 1570 SAT score is suing her school (including a $2.5 million punitive damages demand) for deciding to make her one of three "co-valedictorians." Considering that valedictorian is an award given well after college acceptance letters are sent out, is the title actually relevant in the American education system? Has anyone here actually gained something (other than pride) via the highest GPA in their class?
Ted Rall says that college loans are killing America. I'm inclined to agree. At just $14,736, I'm on the lighter-side of college loan debt, but being a single father, I have a hard time making a dent. Ted makes some salient points about young adults who are struggling to make money in a recession. They don't work for the Peace Corps, they don't volunteer, etc. Even China criticizes America on our insistence that students endebt themselves to corporations just for education.(via fark)
In England it is called the "Graveyard Grannies'' problem, in France the "Chere Grand'mere," while in Bulgaria it is inexplicably known as "The Toadstool Waxing Plan".
Next week, college students around the world will be taking final exams. Their grandmothers will be dropping like flies."
Next week, college students around the world will be taking final exams. Their grandmothers will be dropping like flies."
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?
Harvard may ignore early decision and attempt to enroll students who have agreed to matriculate elsewhere. Is this the beginning of the end of early decision?
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?
The World According to Student Bloopers is an extremely hilarious 'essay' which was created by Richard Lederer, who compiled embarassingly silly quotes from students' essays. This was brought to my attention by my Modern-Western History teacher, and I believe everyone should read this. While humorous, it is also indescribably frightening that there are people out there who actually wrote this stuff.
Math text battles. Teachers unanimously recommended textbook series that helps students understand mathematical concepts. School Board ignored them and picked Saxon texts that promise to "raise scores on standardized tests." Are we teaching students to understand, or to score high and get politicians off the hook?
"School bullying called widespread." This one's a real gem. Not only are the results of the study overly predictable, but the article is full of other great realizations, such as how "bullying is [...] unacceptable behavior," and how there is a "possible connection between bullying and violence."
The War on... education? It's estimated that 7000 US college students will lose their entitlement to at least some financial aid because of previous drug convictions. Which is nice. Now, the follies of the "war on drugs" are well-documented, but this takes the cake. I thought that punishment was for the criminal justice system to dispense...
Censored students post articles online You can't shut the kids up. The next generation is gonna kick our butts so fast...
Internet dependence among college students Article based on study done by counselor at RPI that identifies characteristics of "internet dependent" students. "What he found is that at least 10 percent of college students use the Internet so much that it interferes with their grades, their health, or their social lives, and that the problem may run much deeper at science-and-engineering institutions."
First it was safety scissors. Now we can all sleep safer knowing we are safe from dangerous words. Weren't schools rewarding honor students at some point, or is my memory bad? (via obscurestore)