July 2008 Archives

Education is indeed the great equalizer. Unfortunately, the quality of education given to children in America is not equal. David Brooks, The New York Times' Op-Ed columnist makes the point that most of us eduholics have been fretting over for a long while: Our lack of educational progress-- in particular, the achievement gap between the rich and the poor-- is dragging down our economic and sociological growth. And it should be these issues of education that should be dominating headlines and water cooler gripes-- not the rising price of gas. ... the skills slowdown is the biggest issue facing the country. ...

"I'm unclear as to why the union president is coming to the union in the middle of negotiations and why the president of the union is negotiating away seniority and tenure," said Jeff Canady, who teaches third grade at Emery Elementary in Northeast. - Pay-Hike Plan for Teachers In D.C. Entails Probation I just spent the past half hour reading comments on The Washington Post's article from last Thursday on the chancellor's proposal to relinquish seniority among teachers for the exchange of higher pay. After half an hour reading the mostly anti-proposal comments, I'm still confused as to why ...

I don't know anyone who doesn't like free stuff. In fact, I know a lot of folks who can use it. A lot of intelligent, hard-working people who don't have any disposable income and who don't necessarily want hand-outs, but who can use a better break in life. Check out today's top emailed New York Times' article, "With No Frills or Tuition, a College Draws Notice." As the title suggests, the school, Berea College, is free for everyone who attends. It's supported by endowments, there are no extras like football teams or smoothie bars, and students contribute by working at ...

... for why we need to close the achievement gap ASAP. Cancer death rate drop tied to education levels: "Declines in death rates from the four leading types of cancer in the United States since the early 1990s have been driven largely by progress among college-educated men and women, researchers said on Tuesday. The study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, was the latest to illustrate how a person's health can be closely tied to socioeconomic factors such as education and income level." A lack of a college degree often means lower socioeconomic level. A lower socioeconomic level ...

Michelle Rhee: "It's a testament to what kids can do. I believe the children in the District of Columbia can achieve at high levels." Good news and bad news. Good news first. Following the gains shown on state assessments in New York City, Philadelphia, Richmond and Dallas, Washington, D.C., announced that it too has made significant gains. Math proficiency increased among elementary students by 11 percentage points, compared to 3 percentage points in 2007. Reading scores for those student increased by 8 percentage points compared to one point a year ago. Among secondary students, reading and math both increased ...

My students on the rural Navajo Nation have far more in common than I would have ever imagined three years ago with the kids in the border town colonias of the Rio Grande Valley and the children of inner-city Anacostia in Washington, DC. The more I move around the country, the more I see firsthand that communities-- in this case, under-resourced ones-- in America are more similar than different-- and not always in the best ways. That's why I had to click on this article from last week on The New York Times education page: To Avoid Student Turnover, Parents ...


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