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"little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers."

On MLK Day, Some Thoughts on Segregated Schools, Arne Duncan, and President Obama "American schools are more segregated by race and class today than they were on the day Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed, 43 years ago. The average white child in America attends a school that is 77 percent white, and where just 32 percent of the student body lives in poverty. The average black child attends a school that is 59 percent poor but only 29 percent white. The typical Latino kid is similarly segregated; his school is 57 percent poor and 27 percent white."
posted by Fizz on Jan 17, 2011 - 55 comments

Mapping the intersection of education and money

Does a better education really lead to a higher income? Take a map of the USA, overlay census data for high school graduation rates (red), college graduate rates (yellow) and median household income (blue). What do you get? A patchwork map of purples, blues, pinks and greens, that shows the relationship between education and income by county. [more inside]
posted by Joh on Jan 14, 2011 - 61 comments

Maggie Doyne — Why the human family can do better

Not a Dry Eye in the House. Maggie Doyne — Why the human family can do better. Maggie's story, and Maggie's blog: Life at Kopila Valley Children's Home. Instead of going home to the States to start her University education, Maggie decided there were more urgent things that needed doing right there and then in Nepal. More background and story from NJ.com..
posted by thisisdrew on Jan 13, 2011 - 9 comments

Get Smrt

openculture.com is offering hundreds of links to free online courses from the top universities in the United States (and Oxford).
posted by gman on Jan 12, 2011 - 16 comments

Scarcity - "More noms plz."

The concept of "Nom Nom Nom" is central to EcoNomNomNomics.
posted by Phire on Jan 9, 2011 - 26 comments

An identity so appealing, someone should launch a meat market just to adopt it

Why does Futura work here but Slanted Futura doesn't? Enter FONTS IN USE: A breakdown, explanation and appreciation of type design out in the real world.
posted by The Whelk on Jan 3, 2011 - 17 comments

Is China eating our lunch, or not?

China is eating our lunch, says one columnist. Obama called it a "Sputnik moment." When a Philadelphia football game was delayed because of snow, the governor of Pennsylvania said we had become a nation of wussies, and said, "The Chinese are kicking our butt in everything. If this was in China do you think the Chinese would have called off the game? People would have been marching down to the stadium, they would have walked and they would have been doing calculus on the way down." Not so fast there, says a guest writer to the Seattle Times: "To be sure, our 14th-to-25th ranking in the Program for International Student Assessment is no cause for complacency. Neither is China eating our lunch, or any meal — at least not yet." Which brings up the hokou system, which guarantees that the Chinese students measured for the test are the richest, best of the best in the country, and not the working poor of Shanghai. Some have called the system, which separates "urban" from "rural" workers, "China's apartheid."
posted by Cool Papa Bell on Jan 2, 2011 - 96 comments

"How are we supposed to get down there." "I don't know." "HOMEWORK!"

My younger brother recommended me this incredibly awful educational movie. It's called Rock Odyssey, but I can't find anything about it. Parts 1, 2, 3 (linked above because it's the one with the song), 4, 5.
posted by Rory Marinich on Dec 28, 2010 - 13 comments

J-School Confidential

An oldie, but a goodie: Michael Lewis goes to Columbia's School of Journalism to see what such schools actually do to prepare their students.
posted by reenum on Dec 28, 2010 - 16 comments

Blackawton bees

A new paper about bees in Biology Letters, Blackawton bees concludes with "We also discovered that science is cool and fun because you get to do stuff that no one has ever done before." The authors are 25 children between 8 and 10 from the Blackawton Public School, becoming the youngest scientist to be published in a Royal Society journal.
posted by rpn on Dec 22, 2010 - 16 comments

Vanishing Act

Vanishing Act. Paul Collins tells the story of Barbara Newhall Follett. The daughter of authors Wilson Follett and Helen Follett, Barbara began writing at the age of 4. As she grew older, she developed a private language of her own, evolved from her view of the world of nature. Her first book, The House Without Windows, was published when she was twelve. In December 1939 Barbara walked out of her apartment and was never seen again. "Some prodigies flourish, some disappear. But Barbara did leave one last comment to the world about writing—a brief piece in a 1933 issue of Horn Book that earnestly recommends that parents give their own children typewriters. 'Perhaps there would simply be a terrific wholesale destruction of typewriters,' she admits. 'An effort would have to be made to impress upon children that a typewriter is magic.'" The entirety of her known writings now resides in six boxes at the Columbia University Rare Book & Manuscript Library. (via longreads)
posted by ocherdraco on Dec 21, 2010 - 33 comments

"I guess that makes me a part of history, Neocon Blunder #291280. It’s great to be so significant, but actually I’d rather have some of that sweet AUI-S vastly-overpaid money."

John Dolan remembers teaching at - and getting fired from - the American University of Iraq - Sulaimani, a conservative, English-language university in Iraq. Former Interim Provost and Chancellor of AUI-S John Agresto responds to Dolan's article. Dolan responds to Agresto. More on AUI-S from Counterpunch.
posted by Sticherbeast on Dec 20, 2010 - 40 comments

Put Your Camera to Work

Vimeo Video School is a fun place for anyone to learn how to make better videos. Start by browsing the Vimeo Lessons, or find specific video tutorials created by other members.
posted by netbros on Dec 20, 2010 - 4 comments

I Smoke Crack Rocks

PhDChallenge.org proposed a challenge: To have the phrase "I smoke crack rocks" included in a peer reviewed academic paper. The winner is Gabriel Parent from Carnegie Mellon, who included it in his paper [PDF].
posted by reenum on Dec 16, 2010 - 54 comments

We don't want to read about the poors

There is a firestorm in Bedford, New Hampshire, because a parent wants the school board to take the book "Nickel and Dimed: Not Getting By In America" off the reading list for a high school personal finance class. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Dec 14, 2010 - 131 comments

San Francisco Symphony

Keeping Score is designed to give people of all musical backgrounds an opportunity to explore signature works by composers Hector Berlioz, Charles Ives, and Dmitri Shostakovich in depth, and at their own pace. The interactive audio and video explores the composers’ scores and pertinent musical techniques as well as the personal and historical back stories. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Dec 12, 2010 - 7 comments

The good, the bad and the prolific moderator.

At the Bartos Theater, in conversation with Henry Jenkins, these speakers [Yochai Benkler and Cass Sunstein] don’t so much square off as share their hopes and fears for the emergence of online democracy. [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation on Dec 6, 2010 - 7 comments

The Ayn Rand School for Tots

The pictures show a lovely celebration. A crowd of 100 or so is seated on a well-groomed lawn in front of a trim orchestra and a grand old plantation house. A retired astronaut has been flown in to address the group. Late in the day, two hot-air balloons skim the dusky sky. That fall day in 2007 seemed an auspicious start for a college with only five professors and 10 students. But as the year wore on, the students, professors, and staff members became convinced that it was a sign of something else entirely: an elaborate facade.

The brief rise and rapid fall of Founders College, an experiment in Randian education.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Nov 30, 2010 - 83 comments

Yada Yada Yada

The Economics of Seinfeld strives to illustrate basic economic concepts using scenes from the famous sitcom. "Seinfeld ran for nine seasons on NBC and became famous as a “show about nothing". It is the simplicity of Seinfeld that makes it so appropriate for use in economics courses." [more inside]
posted by Phire on Nov 26, 2010 - 40 comments

Thanks for your service, killer.

War veteran barred from college campus for frank words on killing. After publishing essay on addiction to war, Charles Whittington must obtain psychological evaluation before returning to classes
posted by fixedgear on Nov 24, 2010 - 115 comments

What $200,000 in Student Debt Looks Like

Kelli went to Northeastern University and got loans to pay for her sociology degree. Her repayment schedule is featured in the article and it is not pretty. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Nov 22, 2010 - 261 comments

A Faustian Bargain

A Faustian Bargain: perhaps the best defense of the humanities in higher education you will ever read in a peer-reviewed biology journal (or maybe anywhere). [more inside]
posted by activitystory on Nov 20, 2010 - 89 comments

Collaborative Insanity

A provocative short essay on design education by Andy Retludge: If you emerge from university today with a web design degree, chances are rather slim that you’re employable as a user experience (UX) or web designer. Maybe you learned a lot of stuff; it’s just probably the wrong stuff. Congratulations, you’ve been defrauded. Hope it didn’t cost you or your parents too much.
posted by parmanparman on Nov 20, 2010 - 57 comments

The UCF Cheating Scandal

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.
posted by SkylitDrawl on Nov 18, 2010 - 183 comments

Doctor of all things, master of none.

“It is my hope that this essay will initiate such a conversation. As for me, I'm planning to retire. I'm tired of helping you make your students look competent.”
posted by kipmanley on Nov 14, 2010 - 237 comments

And you're gettin' there fast.

Race to Nowhere (trailer) is a documentary film by first-time director Vicki Abeles that discusses her perception that the US education system has become "obsessed with the illusion of achievement, competition and the pressure to perform. Cheating has become commonplace, students have become disengaged, stress-related illness, depression and burnout are rampant, and young people arrive at college and the workplace unprepared and uninspired." [more inside]
posted by Phire on Nov 11, 2010 - 18 comments

The Cassiopeia Project

The Cassiopeia Project is quietly producing dozens of high-quality science videos and making them freely available online. [more inside]
posted by knave on Nov 6, 2010 - 21 comments

Going SAT Free

Some colleges have decided to take SAT scores out of the admissions decision making process. But, some are alleging that this is only a way to game the rankings by excluding the scores of admitted students who didn't do well.
posted by reenum on Nov 5, 2010 - 105 comments

"'Waiting for Superman' is the most important public-relations coup that the critics of public education have made so far."

The Myth of Charter Schools. A response to the case for charter schools advanced by "Waiting for Superman."
posted by availablelight on Oct 22, 2010 - 103 comments

How do we educate the children of the future?

RSA Animate - Changing Education Paradigms This animate was adapted from a talk given at the RSA by Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert and recipient of the RSA's Benjamin Franklin award
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies on Oct 20, 2010 - 21 comments

7 Essential Things that aren't really skills that you can already learn in college

Wired article based on the New Liberal Arts Previously on Metafilter, here and here, but now being published in Wired, not just Snarkmarket. Part of a cyclical trend in some corners of the smart set to suppose that college needs a complete reinvention.  Look, the New Liberal Arts.  These starry-eyed future watchers  bring up the very old proposal that higher education is outdated, outmoded and not preparing our students for their lives in the future.   They may get their wish, but they might not like the new world without liberal arts 1.0
posted by cogpsychprof on Oct 18, 2010 - 72 comments

Docs Teach

Docs Teach, a new website from the National Archives, offers teachers access to more than 3,000 digitized documents from NARA's collections, along with classroom activities using them. It's the latest in a series of efforts under the recently appointed Archivist of the United States David Ferriero to enhance the agency's presence on the web. (via) [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole on Sep 28, 2010 - 5 comments

Intelligent YouTube Channels

Intelligent YouTube Channels. A large collection from many sources, such as the Richard Dawkins channel l The 92nd Street Y l Big Think l Philip Scott Johnson's collection of art videos l MoMA l Vanity Fair l Yad Vashem a leader in Holocaust education l KQED Public Media l The Research Channel l YouTube EDU, which centralizes all of its educational/academic content. This is the best place to start if you’re looking for lectures and courses l The Spoken Verse l universities like Stanford and Cambridge. Previously.
posted by nickyskye on Sep 26, 2010 - 15 comments

The beauty of Molecular, Cell, and Microbiology

There has been a new discipline developing in molecular biology for some time now, Bioanimation! Projects have ranged in size from WEHI's colossal compilation to Harvard Biovision's magnum opus "Inner Life of the Cell" to commercially produced masterpieces to smaller projects by university PIs and enthusiasts. much [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Sep 25, 2010 - 29 comments

Creative Action for Collective Good

Every day, our world gets a little bit smaller and a lot more complex. So much so that even minor decisions can have major consequences. Not just for trees or frogs or polar bears, but for human lives, and livelihoods. At its core, sustainability is about people. The Living Principles for Design aim to guide purposeful action. It is a place to co-create, share and showcase best practices, tools, stories and ideas for enabling sustainable action across all design disciplines. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Sep 20, 2010 - 9 comments

Recruiting the Top-Third

Top-performing nations recruit 100% of their new teachers from the top third. In the US, it's 23% - and 14% of high poverty schools. A new study by McKinsey and Company examines what Finland, Singapore and South Korea do to attract top graduates to teaching, including selective admissions to teacher training, competitive compensation, a more professionalized work environment, cultural respect and greater opportunities for advancement. Doing the same in the US would cost roughly $180 billion a year. [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Sep 20, 2010 - 84 comments

“The purple glow in the sky — that was so eerie”

Lookout Mountain Laboratories (Hollywood, CA) was originally built in 1941 as an air defense station. But after WWII, the US Air Force repurposed it into a secret film studio which operated for 22 years during the Cold War. The studio produced classified movies for all branches of the US Armed Forces, as well as the Atomic Energy Commission, until it was deactivated in 1969. During this time, cameramen, who referred to themselves as "atomic" cinematographers, were hired to shoot footage of atomic bomb tests in Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and the South Pacific. Some of their films have been declassified and can be seen here. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 14, 2010 - 6 comments

"Every single child is entitled to a life full of possibilities."

A New Career of Caring, Started in Death on 9/11. Brooke Jackman was a 23 year-old assistant bond trader who was one of 658 Cantor Fitzgerald employees to die on the morning of 9/11/2001. In her memory, her family created a Foundation in her name, dedicated to promoting literacy, especially among elementary school children in New York City. Today, 'first responders' from New York's Police and Fire Departments "took some time off from their day jobs to read aloud to children at the World Financial Center in Lower Manhattan, as part of the first ever Brooke Jackman Foundation read-a-thon." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 7, 2010 - 11 comments

Learning Science in a video game

In a 19th century village called River City, the people are suffering from a mysterious illness. Many believe that there are bad spirits in the air or water causing the disease. Those suffering are shunned, but the plague worsens. In desperation, they turn to a group of experts in the new "Germ Theory": 21st century middle school science students. [Quicktime movie] [more inside]
posted by Made of Star Stuff on Sep 5, 2010 - 16 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

Making a Difference

"Sure, Bono and Richard Branson can change the world. But there are millions of individuals making a difference who are not rich or famous." The Christian Science Monitor's ongoing Making a Difference section focuses on "that unheralded community – 'to honor the decency and courage and selflessness that surround us.'” [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 2, 2010 - 4 comments

Classrooms, Customized by Computer.

A Warm Hug from a Cold Algorithm: Ta-Nehisi Coates checks out an inner-city school where every student takes a diagnostic test daily, and then is assigned individual work and tutelage based on a computer's nightly re-assessment.
posted by darth_tedious on Aug 20, 2010 - 29 comments

LA Times publishing data on individual teacher performance

In coming months, The [Los Angeles] Times will publish a series of articles and a database analyzing individual teachers' effectiveness in the nation's second-largest school district — the first time, experts say, such information has been made public anywhere in the country. This article examines the performance of more than 6,000 third- through fifth-grade teachers for whom reliable data were available. [more inside]
posted by Anything on Aug 20, 2010 - 61 comments

Learning Resources (things to make you look like you are working)

The first time I met ERIC, I fell in love. Maybe you will, too. The Education Resources Information Center is a project of the US Department of Education. Some of you may especially be interested in the wide variety of language learning materials, journal articles, and more, that go way beyond even the public domain Foreign Services Institute offerings, from Aymara for Spanish speakers (English, too) to Uzbek study for Peace Corps volunteers. There is also non-language stuff of all kinds like World Myths and Legends in Art and teaching (or learning) buckyballs. Best results when using advanced search for their full-text links only.
posted by whatzit on Aug 17, 2010 - 11 comments

Kindergarten Teachers Are Priceless

The Student Teacher Achievement Ratio (STAR) project was a large-scale, four-year, experimental study of reduced class size. This year researchers examined the life paths of almost 12,000 children (now adults) from Project STAR. They found [PDF] the kids who learned more in kndergarten were more likely to go to college, less likely to become single parents, more likely to be saving for retirement and they were earning more. They estimate that a standout kindergarten teacher is worth about $320,000 a year in extra income for the entire class. The NYT Has More.
posted by Blake on Aug 17, 2010 - 32 comments

Long lasting prejudices

In 1939, psychologists Kenneth and Mamie Clark performed an experiment with dolls which was instrumental to Brown vs Board of Education, a case that struck down black/white segregation in American education. Earlier this year, CNN's AC360 aired the results (update, also) of a follow up statistical study on racial bias in today's children. Anderson Cooper himself explains his motives. [more inside]
posted by knz on Aug 16, 2010 - 72 comments

A tax on people who are bad at math

Improve your grades, win big money. Ultrinsic allows students in 36 colleges and universities in the US to place bets on their grades, and sends them cash for doing well. Will it motivate students to do better, or just encourage more grade-grubbing? Is it legal?
posted by MrVisible on Aug 12, 2010 - 19 comments

Minority Graduation Rates

Using its College Results Online database, The Education Trust has released two reports examining the black-white and Hispanic-white college graduation gap. The worst offenders? Wayne State University in Detroit, where fewer than one in ten African-American students graduate in six years, and CUNY Brooklyn College, where 19% less Hispanic students graduate on-time than whites. [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Aug 12, 2010 - 28 comments

Dangerous Ideas

Every day in August 2010, the chin-scratching blog Bigthink will post a "Dangerous Idea" supplied by one of its expert contributors. So far it has been suggested that we spike the water supply with lithium, darken the atmosphere to blot out the Sun, and leave lots of children behind.
posted by escabeche on Aug 8, 2010 - 37 comments

An Imagined Conversation with Four Educators

"Every pernicious practice of modern education originates from the goal of trying to segregate and control the mischievous." A teacher tries to come to grips with the contrary advice of four prominent educators in an imagined dialog. Part I, Part II. [more inside]
posted by rouftop on Aug 7, 2010 - 47 comments

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