To Revoke or Not: Colleges That Gave Cosby Honors Face a Tough Question by Sydney Ember and Colin Moynihan [New York Times]
Few people in American history have been recognized by universities as often as Mr. Cosby, whose publicist once estimated that the entertainer had collected more than 100 honorary degrees. The New York Times, in a quick search, found nearly 60. But now, as dozens of women have come forward to accuse Mr. Cosby of sexual assault, colleges across the country are confronting the question of what to do when someone who has been honored falls from grace.[more inside]
'You worry they could take your kids' Teachers [in the UK] now have a statutory duty to spot signs of 'non-violent extremism', with children as young as three being referred for anti-radicalisation. Does the policy safeguard vulnerable pupils – or discriminate against Muslims?
"I Am Fundi" is a short documentary depicting the education system in Uganda and the measures that the organization, Fundibots, is taking to create change. Victor, a Fundi teacher with a challenging past, is changing the future of Uganda by preparing and instilling excitement for science in young children so that when they grow, they will be confident, supported, and prepared for contemporary practices and technological advances.via
Who's Funding Kevin Johnson's Secret Government? — Deadspin's detailed report on a developing scandal involving Sacramento, California mayor and former NBA star Kevin Johnson's alleged misuse of the power of his office to benefit for-profit charter schools. [more inside]
On August 25, a group of 100 men of color lined up outside Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School, in Hartford to greet and cheer for the children on their first day of school. “In an urban community, people say that black men [aren’t] valued or there aren’t enough black men doing something,” Pastor AJ Johnson explained. “I wanted to prove everyone wrong.”
It’s important to remember that scientists present their data in ways that their fellow scientists can comprehend. Technical jargon and statistical error bars can efficiently communicate the legitimacy of a scientific breakthrough to a scientific audience. However, these same features can be both confusing and distracting when presented to a wider audience. For the public to be excited and informed about the latest scientific breakthroughs, technical data visualizations need to be transformed into engaging visual stories that a wider community can understand.
Following a unanimous vote, Seattle teachers are on strike. Among their demands are guaranteed recess time for schoolchildren, caseload caps for counselors, taskforces devoted to ending racial bias in disciplinary measures, increased access to special education, and a pay raise for the first time in six years. [more inside]
Teresa Buchanan, associate professor of education at LSU, was fired for using profanity in the classroom and allegedly comparing women unfavorably to men. THe administration defends their actions by equating Dr. Buchanan's conduct to sexual harassment. Faculty at LSU and the AAUP have both objected to alarming administrative overreach in what they both see as grounds for censure rather than dismissal. Several media reports are linked off of this Language Log post.
"The academy is no longer an investment of time worth making... I was a priest who had lost his faith, performing the sacraments without any sense of their importance." Yet another sad piece on academia, woe.
Felix Salmon reports on the continuing saga of Cooper Union (previously on MetaFilter). With NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's recent intervention, the school appears ready to stop digging its financial grave, but blocks away, faculty, staff, and students believe a similar story is playing out with New York University's NYU 2031 initiative. The plan, described as "a real estate deal" in a private conversation with an NYU trustee, is the brainchild of controversial NYU president John Sexton. [more inside]
A college near Oslo is offering students a one-year course in traditional Viking skills and crafts. The students learn how wood and metal crafts, including sword forging, as well as skills such as roof thatching and traditional bread baking. The school is part of the Norwegian folkehøgskule, or “folk college”, system, in which many students spend a year between school and university learning life skills at a local college.
Because it was "perceived to be extremely insensitive by some people," Danish game developer Serious Games Interactive has removed the 'Slave Tetris' feature from Playing History: Slave Trade.
Walidah Imarisha is a professor at Portland State University, where she teaches a class on race and Disney. This is her interview with Bitch Media on the racial politics of Disney animals.
Over five decades of economic decline and racial conflict, a Western Pennsylvania mill town has found unity and hope on the football field. "There is no drug dealing at the Pit, and rarely any violence," Walker says. "It really is sacred ground; it's like a miracle. You've got guys that, any other time of the day, they're going to try and rip each other's throats out, but they just walk past each other in the Pit. They're there to watch those kids play."
"The hurricane lives in a complicated place. Everyone's experience is both communal and personal, obvious and hidden. The memory of the death is everywhere, buried in shallow and temporary graves." (SL Longform ESPN)
Conceived by Australian avant-garde theatre group Snuff Puppets, Everybody is a giant 26.5m human puppet with articulated, detachable and interactive body parts and organs. Everybody is all genders and multi-racial; it is also the largest human puppet on the planet. An immersive experience, audiences can walk around, sit on, lie against, get inside, and cuddle up to Everybody. [NSFW and yet...meant for kids. But really, NSFW.] [more inside]
CMA is a "brain development program designed to develop higher learning capability and aims to promote mental arithmetic, enhance memory, boost creativity, and increase focus using the principle of Abacus". Watch some kids from The Philippines calculates in seconds, using their fingers. (SLYT)
In the United States, only 22 states require that sex education should be taught in their schools. Of those, only 13 insist upon medical accuracy. There is no federal standard. As a result, classroom lessons that teach purity culture – the idea that virginity is a state of moral accomplishment – are pervasive. John Oliver's Last Week Tonight covers Sex Education in America. (NSFW) The end of the segment features a modern sex education video created by LWT, narrated by several celebrities (including Laverne Cox, Nick Offerman, Jonathan Banks, Kristen Schaal and Aisha Tyler) that touches on topics outdated lessons may be ignoring. [more inside]
This morning, Sesame Street announced that the new season, which begins next month, will air on HBO. [more inside]
“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.”
An teacher's experience orchestrating student led trigger warnings in adult basic education. Story #1 Story #2
"The twins’ mother, Sandra King, held her sons tightly, then returned to her post at the Grant Aviation ticket counter. She said she’d be joining them in California later. The rest of the family went out to the tarmac. Kremer was left leaning against an educational display detailing the natural wonders of the Izembek Lagoon. “Well,” he said. “I guess I’m the last kid in Cold Bay.”
From Frontiers in Psychology, a list of inaccurate, misleading, misused, ambiguous, and logically confused words and phrases. "The goal of this article is to promote clear thinking and clear writing among students and teachers of psychological science by curbing terminological misinformation and confusion. To this end, we present a provisional list of 50 commonly used terms in psychology, psychiatry, and allied fields that should be avoided, or at most used sparingly and with explicit caveats."
Only a few weeks after becoming an independent media company, This American Life covers "The Problem We All Live With" -- namely, why desegregation is still the only proven way to improve bad schools, and what happens when one school district accidentally has to attempt it.
Yesterday, the ACLU filed a lawsuit in the Eastern District of Kentucky in the case S.R. v. Kenton County Sheriff's Office on behalf of two elementary school children, aged eight and nine, who were restrained in handcuffs because of behavior related to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and a history of trauma. Video footage (trigger warning) [more inside]
Slate takes a look at some of the concepts in Andrew L. Yarrow's Thrift: The History of an American Cultural Movement including various methods of teaching thrift to children. One tool used was a chart that teaches children how much it cost their parents to support them.
American schoolkids had spelling bees, British schoolkids had Shakespeare competitions, Malaysian schoolkids had choral speaking: a Greek-theatre-inspired cross between spoken word and choir, commonly used to teach English. [more inside]
"In the early 1990s, about 50 kindergarten teachers rated the social and communication skills of 753 children in their classrooms. It was part of the Fast Track Project, a study administered in Durham, N.C., Nashville, Seattle and central Pennsylvania….Using an assessment tool called the “Social Competence Scale,” the teachers assigned each child a score based on qualities that included “cooperates with peers without prompting”; “is helpful to others”; “is very good at understanding feelings”... This month, researchers from Pennsylvania State University and Duke published a study that looked at what happened to those students in the 13 to 19 years since they left kindergarten. Their findings warrant major attention because the teachers’ rankings were extremely prescient."
In the 1970's, Sesame Street wasn't the only educational puppet show in town. The Letter People was a literacy program and television series that taught phonics with an unusual bunch of 26 characters. Here's the entire 60 episode run. The production values improved a bit as the show went on, evolving from black backgrounds and simple sets to more elaborate ones. Every Letter Person had their own theme song, featured in their introductory episode; here's all twenty-six of those in alphabetical, and thus wildly anachronic, order. Absent from the show are the songs of Misters R, X and Q (the last three Letter People to debut in the show - they'd clearly gone through design changes by then, ESPECIALLY Mr. X). [more inside]
In May, the New York City Council passed the "School Diversity Accountability Act", which requires the city to "provide detailed demographic data & steps it is taking to advance diversity in NYC schools" and Resolution 453, which calls on the NYC Department of Education to establish diversity as a priority in admissions, zoning, and other decision-making processes. Education advocates are re-drawing district maps, and creating experiments which "range from developing specific diversity quotas for individual schools to redrawing school district lines to better reflect racial and economic diversity." [more inside]
For the majority of white people, race is something that happens to other people. Whiteness is a default that needs no name — all deviations must be categorized and given a "race." If race is always something that happens to other people, how are you able to see the part you play in the system?An essay by Ijeoma Oluo (previously, previouslier) for Scenarios USA. [more inside]
"Over and over, the United States has touted education — for which it has spent more than $1 billion — as one of its premier successes in Afghanistan, a signature achievement that helped win over ordinary Afghans and dissuade a future generation of Taliban recruits.... ut a BuzzFeed News investigation — the first comprehensive journalistic reckoning, based on visits to schools across the country, internal U.S. and Afghan databases and documents, and more than 150 interviews — has found those claims to be massively exaggerated, riddled with ghost schools, teachers, and students that exist only on paper. The American effort to educate Afghanistan’s children was hollowed out by corruption and by short-term political and military goals that, time and again, took precedence over building a viable school system. And the U.S. government has known for years that it has been peddling hype."
Teachers and administrators still rely overwhelmingly on outdated systems of reward and punishment, using everything from red-yellow-green cards, behavior charts, and prizes to suspensions and expulsions. [... ] But consequences have consequences. Contemporary psychological studies suggest that, far from resolving children's behavior problems, these standard disciplinary methods often exacerbate them. They sacrifice long-term goals (student behavior improving for good) for short-term gain—momentary peace in the classroom. What If Everything You Knew About Disciplining Kids Was Wrong?
The BBC micro:bit – a pocket-sized, codeable computer that allows children to get creative with technology. In the BBC’s most ambitious education initiative for 30 years, up to 1 million devices will be given to every 11 or 12 year old child in year 7 or equivalent across the UK, for free. "We happily give children paint brushes when they’re young, with no experience - it should be exactly the same with technology. The BBC micro:bit is all about young people learning to express themselves digitally, and it’s their device to own."
“Tim Cook is fighting the sky-high cost of a college education by constructing his own school here without expensive buildings or well-paid deans. Classes are taught in local coffee shops. The administrative staff of two works in a church basement. The Saxifrage School, Mr. Cook's two-year old experiment, is seeking to upend the traditional notion that college students need a sequestered, ivy-covered campus—and will endure the price tag that comes with it. He is gambling that for a nominal tuition—$395 a class—they will use the public library, the neighborhood YMCA and existing apartment buildings to study, play and live in.” [more inside]
Mrs. Nguyen’s Prestidigitation From a set of 1 through 9 playing cards, I draw five cards and get cards showing 8, 4, 2, 7, and 5. I ask my 6th graders to make a 3-digit number and a 2-digit number that would yield the greatest product... and somehow we end up with lacing diagrams and Python. (The original post on Fawn Nguyen's blog)
Workers renovating Emerson High School in Oklahoma City recently discovered slate blackboards, still complete with chalked lessons and drawings, which had been covered up by the installation of new boards in early December, 1917. An additional photogallery (and autoplaying video) can be found here (slightly different versions of that page here and here).
New York Times:
Mr. Duncan also said the department planned to develop a process to allow any student — whether from Corinthian or elsewhere — to be forgiven their loans if they had been defrauded by their colleges. A special master would be appointed within three weeks, department officials said, to create procedures to apply for relief that are “durable, not just for Corinthian but beyond.”Previously, previouslier. [more inside]
It struck me as absurd that one could amass crippling debt as a result, not of drug addiction or reckless borrowing and spending, but of going to college. Having opened a new life to me beyond my modest origins, the education system was now going to call in its chits and prevent me from pursuing that new life, simply because I had the misfortune of coming from modest origins. [more inside]
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.
Joe Stiglitz on Inequality, Wealth, and Growth: Why Capitalism is Failing (video; if you don't have 30m, skip to 20m for discussion of political inequality, wealth, credit and monetary policy) - "If the very rich can use their position to get higher returns, more investment information, more extraction of rents, and if the very rich have equal or higher savings rates, then wealth will become more concentrated... economic inequality inevitably gets translated into political inequality, and political inequality gets translated into more economic inequality. The basic and really important idea here is that markets don't exist in a vacuum, that market economies operate according to certain rules, certain regulations that specify how they work. And those effect the efficiency of those markets, but they also effect how the fruits of the benefits of those markets are distributed and the result of that is there are large numbers of aspects of our basic economic framework that in recent years have worked to increase the inequality of wealth and income in our society... leading to a society which can be better described, increasingly, as an inherited plutocracy." [more inside]
When I look back over my notebooks and journals from the past 21 years there are plenty of things I regret. What I do not regret were the times we educators chose to be kind to a kid. The times when we gave a child a second–and then third and fourth chance. The times we decided to let a kid go on a field trip, ignoring some misdeed that might have excluded him from the trip so that a child who had never been further than the county line could see the world writ large. You know the drill."School should be a place for all sorts of kindnesses." Retiring school principal George Wood talks about what should be the most important part of school and why it has become difficult to achieve.
Bobby Scotto, a fourth grader at the Children’s Workshop School on 12th Street in the East Village, wants to be an archaeologist when he grows up, and he is already off to a good start. In the past few months he has excavated dozens of old coins, a toy watch and other artifacts, all from an unlikely dig site: his classroom’s closet.
Nebraska became the 20th state to adopt a law that makes it possible for nurses in a variety of medical fields with most advanced degrees to practice without a doctor’s oversight. Maryland’s governor signed a similar bill into law this month, and eight more states are considering such legislation, according to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Now nurses in Nebraska with a master’s degree or better, known as nurse practitioners, no longer have to get a signed agreement from a doctor to be able to do what their state license allows — order and interpret diagnostic tests, prescribe medications and administer treatments.
When I started my first year of residency in internal medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital in 1998, there were 20 percent more patient admissions per intern in my residency program than there had been just three years earlier. The sheer number and complexity of my patients was nearly overwhelming—and I was worried that at best, they were not getting the care they had a right to expect, and at worst, that they were not safe.
“We host one of the most renowned faculty in the world,” boasts a woman introduced in one promotional video as the head of a law school. “Come be a part of Newford University to soar the sky of excellence.”
Yet on closer examination, this picture shimmers like a mirage. The news reports are fabricated. The professors are paid actors. The university campuses exist only as stock photos on computer servers. The degrees have no true accreditation.
In fact, very little in this virtual academic realm, appearing to span at least 370 websites, is real — except for the tens of millions of dollars in estimated revenue it gleans each year from many thousands of people around the world, all paid to a secretive Pakistani software company.Declan Walsh for The New York Times
Paul who? Why, Paul English, that's who. You've never heard of Paul English? You'd get to know him real fast and real well if you'd ever tried to do Willie and/or any member of that traveling Family wrong. [more inside]