Insights on Education

8 subtle ways to prepare middle schoolers for college

Thursday, Feb, 03 at 10:13 am,

Spring is coming, and with it, the most angst-ridden part of the college application cycle. High-schoolers will be logging on to university Web sites, trembling at the prospect of rejection. Parents will look at the costs of schools that accept their kids and wonder whether they can afford it. Many mothers and fathers with children too young for this ordeal will count themselves lucky. But they might consider ways to get their kids ready for it anyway.

Risk of Pyrrhic Victories

Wednesday, Feb, 02 at 11:04 am,

Frederick Hess – Advocates drive good ideas to extremes when they oversell their promise and undermine their integrity. Unfortunately, this pattern is all too common.

Gloom and Gloomier

Wednesday, Feb, 02 at 11:02 am,

The editors at Education Next have two essays on the state of education reform. I don’t really disagree with much of what either essay has to say. It is all just a matter of emphasis and framing. They see a greater danger in over-confidence and I see a greater danger in burnout.

Who are the Marxists, NJEA or the NJ Supreme Court?

Tuesday, Feb, 01 at 10:18 am,

Last week former State Senator Dick LaRossa testified before the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee in favor of S-1872 – the Opportunity Scholarship Act, which is a euphemism for “school vouchers.” LaRossa was the co-prime sponsor of the bill that established the charter school program.

Using video recordings to evaluate teachers

Monday, Jan, 31 at 12:01 pm,

Michael Petrilli – Way back in 1989, James Q. Wilson defined “coping organizations” as those in which managers can neither observe the activities of frontline workers nor measure their results. Police departments were perfect examples, as supervisors could not watch cops on patrol or easily gauge their crime-fighting effectiveness. As a result, agencies had to enforce rigid policies and procedures as the only way to manage their staff.

Accountability? We Don’t Have Enough of It

Sunday, Jan, 30 at 10:43 am,

Your editor says little about a lot of news items these days largely because, in all honestly, given what really matters, those items are not worth discussing… So I have little to directly say about the whole hullabaloo about Washington Post scribe Nick Anderson’s latest piece on No Child Left Behind. Anderson is a fine reporter (contrary to what Democrats for Education Reform political guru Charlie Barone may think right now),

Reform School Funding, End Zip Code Education

Saturday, Jan, 29 at 10:46 am,

RiShawn Biddle – This week, we have seen poor parents fight fiercely to improve the quality of education for their children — and run up against institutional and political obstacles that should never exist.

Affirmative Action Scandal Rocks Naval Academy: Students Disillusioned at Lower Admissions Standards, Easier Coursework for Minorities

Thursday, Jan, 27 at 1:02 pm,

Peter Schweizer – Professor Bruce Fleming is not your typical US Naval Academy (USNA) Professor. He teaches English and he also happens to be a liberal. I’ve written favorably in my books about his work because he also happens to believe in speaking the truth. And by speaking the truth about the dirty secrets of affirmative action at the Naval Academy, he has set off a fire storm.

Texas Students Will Be Taught Cursive Writing

Thursday, Jan, 27 at 4:53 am,

Donna Garner – Texas Governor Rick Perry, Commissioner of Education Robert Scott, and the elected members of the Texas State Board of Education made the decision that Texas would not participate in the federal government’s takeover of the public schools through Common Core Standards (CCS) and Race to the Top (RTTT).

On education reform, safe is for losers

Wednesday, Jan, 26 at 9:34 am,

Richard Whitmire – Timing is everything, and the timing for Barack Obama to use Tuesday's State of Union to declare himself the education president was, well, not ideal. The U.S. Department of Education released the Nation's Report Card on science Tuesday, and nobody came out looking good.

Dictatorships and Double Standards: Part III

Tuesday, Jan, 25 at 11:56 am,

Robert L. Paquette – Professor Paquette chronicles the campus radicalism at Hamilton College that has "made it increasingly less hospitable to religious students, conservative students, and students who desire a traditional liberal arts education."

Misdirection and Avoidance: International Math Results Edition Kilpatrick's Reply to Peterson

Tuesday, Jan, 25 at 10:36 am,

BOULDER, CO (January 25, 2011)—The National Education Policy Center (NEPC) released today a reply by Jeremy Kilpatrick as part of an exchange with Paul Peterson about Kilpatrick’s damning review of U.S. Math Performance in Global Perspective: How Well Does Each State Do at Producing High-Achieving Students?, a report authored by Peterson, Eric Hanushek, and Ludger Woessman.

Our secular society cannot afford to marginalise religious education

Sunday, Jan, 23 at 12:08 pm,

A call to put religion into the new bac is misplaced, but its absence does highlight the qualification's failings. The freedom schoolchildren enjoy to study texts that are not scriptures is relatively new and hard won. Secular education is a modern invention and a thoroughly good one. There are still fanatics of all faiths who would prefer to see children drilled in rigid dogmas. They must be resisted.

Academic Dishonesty in College

Saturday, Jan, 22 at 10:49 am,

Ralph A. Raimi – An introduction to the problem, including definitions of cheating and plagiarism not generally fully understood within the academy, and with some examples taken from cases I have been witness to.

Better learning through handwriting

Thursday, Jan, 20 at 9:25 am,

Writing by hand strengthens the learning process; when typing on a keyboard, this process may be impaired. Associate professor Anne Mangen at the University of Stavanger's Reading Centre asks if something is lost in switching from book to computer screen, and from pen to keyboard.

Examining For-Profits and Cost Structure

Wednesday, Jan, 19 at 11:02 am,

Peter Wood – Continuing his series on for-profit colleges, Peter Wood sees an advantage in their pared-down offerings in the context of spiraling higher-education costs.

What Beyond Curriculum Should We Be Teaching?

Tuesday, Jan, 18 at 11:31 am,

Kenneth J. Bernstein – I am a government teacher. In light of recent events in Tucson and the reactions to what has happened across the political spectrum, I find myself once again wrestling with a question — what responsibility do I have to help my students become productive participants in our political processes? Without such participation our democracy will wither and die.

New film documents how adult interests are turning schools into 'dropout factories'

Monday, Jan, 17 at 8:34 pm,

MUSKEGON, Mich. – "Kids Aren't Cars" is a new short film series set for national release February 1st. Using examples from the Midwest, it documents the negative impact organized labor has had on the American education system, creating a one-size-fits-all assembly line model that leaves students behind and treats teachers the same, regardless of their skill level and classroom effectiveness, stifling innovation and improvement.

At Public School, Anti-Americanism Hides in Plain Sight

Saturday, Jan, 15 at 10:09 am,

Barry Rubin – This little true anecdote – based on firsthand knowledge – is terribly sad. A pre-teenage boy, living in the United States with his affluent family from South America, attends an American public school in the eastern part of the country. They are not immigrants.

An Interview with Diane Box: Apple Pie Publishing

Wednesday, Jan, 12 at 1:12 pm,

Michael F. Shaughnessy – The Apple Bunch Books is a series of books that center around an Apple festival. The same characters are in each books including Cabbit the Rabbit, Perdie the Birdie, Tator the Gator and Fred the Frog.

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