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November 03, 2008

Building a "College-Bound Culture"

This article in The Houston Chronicle talks about how schools in the Houston district are trying to create a "college-bound culture" for their students in order to increase the number of students who go to college after high school. The story doesn't go into much detail about what the district is do...

August 05, 2008

Bridging Classroom and Workforce Lessons

I was glad to see in the July 31 Baltimore Sun that even in a time when school districts and local governments are strapped for cash, some programs are still deemed important enough to warrant continued funding. Baltimore's YouthWorks program, which employs thousands of students during the summer, r...

June 11, 2008

Rudderless Youths

Debbie Viadero has a new story up on edweek.org about a book that explores the number of "rudderless youths" who go through high school and sometimes college without a clear sense of what they want to do with their lives afterwards. The book, The Path to Purpose: Helping Our Children Find Their Cal...

December 26, 2007

Steve Jobs on Setbacks, Creativity, and Dreams

I was searching YouTube today for motivation-related material and I found this college commencement speech by Steve Jobs of Apple Computer. Sure, it's a little dated (2005), but it's an excellent speech about bouncing back from setbacks, the power of curiosity and creativity, and the importance of ...

December 04, 2007

Problems with Class Rank

I'm not one to hold grudges, but my college application process was one of the most stressful and disappointing experiences in my recent memory. Despite four years of extracurricular activities, volunteer work, college-level classes, and loads of homework, I was still rejected from my first-choice s...

October 19, 2007

Let's Give Bill Some Help

Motivation Matters reader Bill Betzen of Dallas has requested some feedback about a middle school initiative to improve student motivation and academic achievement. The initiative is called The Middle School Archive Project: Student Motivation and Dropout Prevention and it aims to get kids to think...

September 14, 2007

10,000 Sign Up for Wisconsin Covenant

Back in May, I had promised to keep readers up to speed on any developments in the Wisconsin Covenant program, which plans to offer guaranteed college placement and financial aid to high school students in the state who maintain B averages. Well, here's the latest: Almost 10,000 ninth graders i...

September 07, 2007

Picking a Major: Good or Bad Idea?

A growing number of schools across the country are asking or requiring students to pick an academic major or specialty before they enter high school. Seems a bit premature for most kids, who probably do not have a clue what career they want to pursue. My oldest son, for one, picked engineering as ...

August 06, 2007

Learning by Doing

With diplomas in hand, most new high school graduates would rather spend the summer soaking up their last moments of leisure before they have to tackle college work and make career plans. But a group of Miami students were motivated instead to tackle complicated, real-world lessons in Washington thi...

June 26, 2007

Turning Down a Free Ride?

Twenty years ago, George Weiss and his then-wife, Diane, offered an entire class of 6th graders an opportunity that would make many students green with envy. Finish high school, the Weisses said, and we'll pay for your college education. Some kids took full advantage of the offer. For example, Ja...

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