January 2006 Archives

There's a new achievement gap on the rise in the United States. And it's not defined by socio-economic or racial divides. The growing disparity between boys' and girls' relative academic progress over the past several decades is troubling—with boys now lagging behind girls regardless of location, grade level or demographic group. In this Newsweek feature, Peg Tyre explores possible reasons for boys' faltering achievement—and how some groups are trying to reverse the trend....


Pulitzer Prize-winning author Frank McCourt talks about his latest book, Teacher Man, a memoir in which he recounts a teaching career in New York City that spanned three decades. Mr. McCourt recalls creative lessons he assigned his students, and relates how they influenced him as an educator. Listen to the interview from the National Public Radio show "All Things Considered."...


A group of women from the U.S. return to Sudan, a nation ravaged by 21 years of civil war, to make good on a promise they made six years before the fighting ended: to build a school for girls in a poor, remote village in the southern part of the country. But the women will have to face down economic challenges and cultural differences in order to fulfill their vow. Part of a two-part series from National Public Radio's "All Things Considered."...


Problems can occur when teachers—most of whom are white and English speakers—expect minority and limited English-language students to act and learn in a way that does not mesh with their cultures. Education research consultant Susan Black addresses this issue of culturally responsive classrooms in an American School Board Journal article....


The U.S. Department of Education's television series, "Education News Parents Can Use," airs live each month during the school year. In the latest broadcast, "Special Education: Ensuring Excellence for All Students," (scroll down for link to archived webcast) members of the educational community discuss how the recently reauthorized IDEA legislation, combined with the No Child Left Behind Act, are together ensuring the academic progress of students with disabilities. (RealPlayer or Windows Media Player required)...


This audio news story from National Public Radio reports on the effectiveness of a universal mental health screening program for middle graders in Seattle. The only program of its kind in the U.S., the screening provides 6th graders with a "full emotional health check up," which supporters of the program claim can lead to early intervention in cases where serious mental health problems are detected. With severe depression affecting 20 percent of all young people by the time they reach age eighteen, according to the Surgeon General, should mental health screenings be more widley adopted in the nation's middle ...


Designed fifty years ago to give a select few high school students a head-start on college work, the Advanced Placement program is now administered to over a million students nationwide, and is viewed by many students (and parents) as an essential element in the college admissions process. Yet as numbers swell, many of those elite schools that pioneered the A.P. coursework are now looking for ways to free their students from a program some claim can "hijack the curriculum." From the New York Times' special section, Education Life....


Is there an arms race in higher education? The latest weekly podcast posted by The Merrow Report deals with the increasingly aggressive marketing by institutions of higher education in the competition for students, prestige, and status. Lara Couturier, an analyst working at the Futures Project at Brown University, gives her insight into the reasons why these institutions are devoting significant financial resources to marketing their "brand," and the impact this is having on the quality of education being offered. (Podcast requires free audio software.)...


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