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Posts Tagged: education

Studies Confirm: High School Sucks

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…over the past 40 years, despite endless debates about curricula, testing, teacher training, teachers’ salaries, and performance standards…there has been no improvement—none—in the academic proficiency of American high school students.

Also, “American high schools are even more boring than schools in nearly every other country.”

Read more depressing facts about American high schools at Slate.

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The New York Comics Symposium: Brendan Leach and Nick Sousanis

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The New York Comics & Picture-Story Symposium is a weekly forum for discussing the tradition and future of text/image work. Open to the public, it meets Monday nights at 7-9 p.m. EST in New York City.

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For-Profit Schools from the Students’ Perspective

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Talk about good timing: on the same day we posted Stephen S. Mills’s essay about working for a for-profit school, Racialicious reposted an essay looking at the issue from the other side.

In it, Tressie McMillan Cottom writes about the students getting swindled by “schools” like the one Mills worked for, who are disproportionately low-income women of color.

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Rethinking Sex Ed

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“In its breadth, depth and frank embrace of sexuality as, what Vernacchio calls, a ‘force for good’ — even for teenagers — this sex-ed class may well be the only one of its kind in the United States.”

A NY Times Magazine article on the state of sex education highlights a Philadelphia Quaker Friends high school teacher’s comprehensive approach to teaching sex ed.

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Finland’s Got Education Down

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This article is a gem from a recent Longreads selection, on the subject of education.

Finland’s got an optimally functioning educational system, one that America can learn a thing or two from. Its success is due to its “whatever it takes” methodology, and also its top tier educators who are selected from the top 10% of Finland’s graduates.

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The Latest in Censorship

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Haruki Murakami was removed from a summer reading list for middle schooler and high school students in one New Jersey school district. Apparently, some of the language in Norwegian Wood concerned parents and a couple students. And this is the perfect transition into announcing Banned Books Week, coming up the week of September 24th, which is all about combating censorship!

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New School

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Wired’s got an article on technologically-informed education—Khan Academy, an educational website in which, “Students, or anyone interested enough to surf by, can watch some 2,400 videos in which the site’s founder, Salman Khan, chattily discusses principles of math, science, and economics.”

This website ostensibly aids in solving the “middle of the class teaching,” that neglects the specific needs of students.

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Erase to the Top

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Another miraculous educational turnaround, another example of rampant cheating. I think we’ve seen enough of a pattern now of school districts doing a quick turnaround only for the numbers to be fishy that now when a politician starts claiming “miracle!” the assumption should be that they fiddled with the numbers and we just have to look for it.

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Grading Teachers

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Mother Jones published an article about the latest battle on the education front—evaluating teachers, which is re-raising issues about what public school model works best.

The implementation of the new evaluation methods involves both “internal measurements” (where teachers are measured by other experienced teachers and principals) and “external measures” (performance-based measures like test scores).

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Undergrads Beware

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An article in the Atlantic discusses the Washington Post’s graph that charts undergraduate degrees and their expected income levels.

The Post’s graph seems pretty deterministic (or maybe it just reflects how trendy it is to plot income level against groups of people), implying that all humanities majors get ready for frugal lifestyles in education and social work.

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Undervalued Teachers

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“People talk about accountability, measurements, tenure, test scores and pay for performance. These questions are worthy of debate, but are secondary to recruiting and training teachers and treating them fairly. There is no silver bullet that will fix every last school in America, but until we solve the problem of teacher turnover, we don’t have a chance.”

Dave Eggers and Nínive Calegari, cofounders of 826 Valencia, wrote an op-ed on the dire state of the teaching profession as evidenced by their dwindling salaries, high professional turnover and the need to recruit the next generation of teachers.

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