“Mommy, who is that talking to Elmo?” “That’s Sarah Jessica Parker, honey, you know, from Sex and the... Oh, right. You are 3. You don’t care who she is.” That’s what I thought when I read that “Sesame Street” is next Tuesday celebrating its 40th--yes, 40th--anniversary.
Today’s list (Friday is List Day on The Sheet) comes from Kiplinger.com, which offers financial advice. The Kiplinger folks crunched numbers and came up with a list of what they say are the best values in private universities, taking quality and cost into consideration.
I, um, well, I’m shattered to hear that you have rejected my forgiveness. I’m just glad I wasn’t offering any, because then I would really feel lousy. I was asking YOU to forgive ME me for blaming YOU for what school administrators have told ME they have done for years because of YOUR Challenge Index.
I had only one response to the story about the state of Maryland considering fining Montgomery County tens of millions of millions as punishment for not spending enough money on schools: You’ve gotta be kidding.
Dear Mr. Mathews, For some time now, I have quietly cursed your Challenge Index. (Okay, maybe not so quietly). You know the one I mean--the annual exercise you undertake in which you make a list of the country’s “most challenging” public high schools by calculating this ratio: the number of Advanced Placement and/or International Baccalaureate tests taken by all students at a school, divided by the number of graduating seniors. ... But I've had some new thoughts on the matter....
The Post story about the high school football player benched because he twice bumped his chest to celebrate successful plays drew a lot of comments calling the ref’s decision “politically correct.” How much do you think political correctness drives the academic and non-academic climate at schools today?
By Lisa Guernsey< Bedtime = book time. Parents know that equation by heart, or at least they’re supposed to. The drill goes like this: Just before the goodnight kiss, we snuggle up with our young kids, open a book, and read with them. Okay, so maybe at first we have to beg them to just settle down. And maybe the baby is more prone to eat the pages than look at them. But still, we try. We’re the ones responsible for these little human beings. It’s part of our job. Mathematics, on the other hand, that’s not on the must-do list. Reading may be part of the raising-kids routine. Math – not so much. But maybe it should be.
The following is a conversation about education that I had with legendary producer Quincy Jones at a conference he convened in New York City about music education. Jones has been nominated for more Grammies than any other living artist, with a total of 79 nominations and 27 awards. He also won an Emmy Award, seven Oscar nominations, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.
A reader reacts strongly to the notion that college admissions officers are looking for kids with a demonstrated passion for something rather than well-rounded kids. Isn't high school a time to explore?
I have attended countless education conferences over the years with long agendas and even longer speeches that have big goals to transform education. Of course, nothing happens when everybody goes home. I traveled to New York today to attend a gathering of educators and musicians who are onto something that could--really--transform music education in this country. The keys: Dozens of people from schools and non-profit organizations around the country are actually WORKING TOGETHER for this initiative, and it has the imprimatur of the famous producer Quincy Jones. We know that in America, celebrity matters, and this initiative certainly has that.
When "Race to the Top" fails, as it will, the main reason won’t be any of those currently being advanced by the corporate interests and politicians now running the education show. It won’t fail because of lack of academic rigor, poor teaching, weak administrators, too-short school year, union resistance, differing state standards, insufficient performance incentives, sorry teacher training, or lingering traces of the early-20th Century Progressive movement. It will fail primarily for a reason not even being mentioned by leaders of today’s reform effort.
| November 4, 2009; 11:30 AM ET |
Categories: Education Secretary Duncan, Guest Bloggers, Race to the Top | Tags: Marion Brady, Race to the Top, curriculum
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My incomparable colleague Jay Mathews, czar of Class Struggle and reporter and author extraordinaire, has put out a best education blogs list for the last two years. Now we are doing it together via a contest. We want your help.
Take a look at this redo of the Western Canon, by The Root. No Dante, Milton or Shakespeare; for that matter, most of the 24 books were written in the late 20th century. Here's the list:...
College admissions director explain their view about whether their seek students who are well-rounded in a variety of areas or who can show a demonstrable passion in a particular area.
Admissions directors at colleges across the country tell what they don't want to see in a student's application essay.
College admissions directors respond to this: A new college admissions book, “You’re Accepted” by Katie Malachuk, advises applicants NOT to show their family or friends their college essays, and to be brutally honest about their experiences, more honest than they might be with their friends. Is that a good strategy?
As you sit there filling out your child’s college applications and writing their essays--um, I mean, as you sit there HELPING your child fill out and write their way into college--you probably would love to know what admissions directors are really seeking. I asked admissions offices from coast to coast and received dozens of answers.
Here is a memo that American University issued explaining why its president, Cornelius Kerwin, was so high on The Chronicle of Higher Education's annual list of presidential compensation.
| November 2, 2009; 2:00 PM ET |
Categories: Daniel Willingham, Higher Education | Tags: American University, executive compensation, presidential salaries
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By now, you’ve likely heard that the Baby Einstein company is offering a refund for its DVDs, a move widely interpreted as a way of avoiding a class-action lawsuit over the company’s claim that the DVDs are educational....I don’t think the Baby Einstein company needed to make strong claims about education to get parents to think that the DVDs were educative. Many parents already believe that visual stimulation and classical music (which the DVDs offer in spades) have been shown to help brain development. Both beliefs are based on solid research that has been twisted out of shape.
| November 2, 2009; 12:10 PM ET |
Categories: Daniel Willingham, Early Childhood, Guest Bloggers | Tags: Baby Einstein, Daniel Willingham, brain development
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I suppose we are supposed to recoil in horror that some presidents of private universities in the United States are earning a lot of money--a record 23 presidents received more than $1 million in total compensation in 2007-08, according to a new survey by the Chronicle of Higher Education.
It is well known that many preschool parents have become super anxious trying to give their kids a leg up on kindergarten, but I didn't realize just how nutty things have become until I talked to several dozen preschool program directors.
| November 2, 2009; 6:30 AM ET |
Categories: Early Childhood, No Child Left Behind, Parents | Tags: child development, early childhood education, preschool
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