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We Learned A Lot In 2016 About How Preschool Can Help Kids

NPR

December 27, 2016    6:00 AM ET

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/12/27/
504712171/we-learned-a-lot-in-2016-about-how-preschool-can-help-kids

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

learn

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/10/
opinion/sunday/kristof-oklahoma-where-the-kids-learn-early.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

learning

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/05/22/
527632904/homeschooling-makes-learning-personal-for-some-special-education-students

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/11/05/
498477634/learning-in-the-age-of-digital-distraction

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/03/22/
470952960/for-adults-lifelong-learning-happens-the-old-fashioned-way

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/12/
opinion/sunday/diy-education-before-youtube.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/06/
opinion/john-deweys-vision-of-learning-as-freedom.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

poverty’s damage to learning

 

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/04/17/
overcoming-povertys-damage-to-learning/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

American education / education

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/01/14/
508991615/5-big-ideas-in-education-that-dont-work

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/01/13/
500421608/obamas-impact-on-americas-schools

 

http://www.npr.org/2016/04/26/
468237538/how-massachusetts-became-the-best-state-in-education

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/01/01/
458782257/6-education-stories-to-watch-in-2016

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/31/
opinion/sunday/frank-bruni-department-of-education-assassins.html

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2015/05/04/
is-testing-students-the-answer-to-americas-education-woes

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/01/03/
374010172/six-education-stories-to-watch-in-2015

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/29/
opinion/bruni-a-bold-bid-for-better-schools.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/26/nyregion/
obama-visits-brooklyn-high-school.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/23/nyregion/
major-r-owens-congressman-who-championed-education-dies-at-77.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/14/
opinion/l14college.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/08/
opinion/08levy.html

 

 

 

 

public education

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/
secretary-of-education-betsy-devos-
on-guns-school-choice-and-why-people-dont-like-her/ - 11 March 2018

 

http://www.gocomics.com/jeffdanziger/2017/01/20

 

 

 

 

public education system

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/08/23/
490380129/americans-like-their-schools-just-fine-but-not-yours

 

 

 

 

K-12 education

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/03/15/
470376273/bernie-sanders-says-he-opposes-private-charter-schools-
what-does-that-mean

 

 

 

 

Pearson - the biggest education company in the world        2015

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/08/
21/432719104/how-will-pearson-spend-2-billion-more-on-education

 

 

 

 

America’s education woes

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2015/05/04/
is-testing-students-the-answer-to-americas-education-woes

 

 

 

 

early childhood education

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/20/
opinion/occupy-the-classroom.htm

 

 

 

 

Do We Spend Too Much on Education?

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/08/23/
spending-too-much-time-and-money-on-education

 

 

 

 

higher education / higher ed

http://www.npr.org/2017/03/03/
517073825/as-state-budget-revenues-fall-short-higher-education-faces-a-squeeze

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/01/13/
500421608/obamas-impact-on-americas-schools

 

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/education/july-dec13/
enstitute_12-24.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/15/
opinion/collins-the-lows-of-higher-ed.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/05/
opinion/l05college.html

 

 

 

 

higher education        2008

http://www.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idUSTRE49T02E20081030

http://www.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idUKTRE49T02G20081030

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. Department of Education / Education Department

https://www.ed.gov/ 

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/05/27/
529867484/education-department-faces-deep-cuts-devos-faces-tough-questions

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/04/29/
525720941/trump-on-education-department-reverse-this-federal-power-grab

 

 

 

 

United States Secretary of Education

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/07/
opinion/betsy-devos-teaches-the-value-of-ignorance.html

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/12/07/
504696506/trumps-pick-for-education-a-free-market-approach-to-school-choice

 

http://www.nytimes.com/topic/person/arne-duncan

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/02/
opinion/02engel.html

 

 

 

 

educator

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/02/us/
john-i-goodlad-educator-who-led-8-year-study-underpinning-school-reforms-
dies-at-94.html

 

 

 

 

self-education

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/12/
opinion/sunday/diy-education-before-youtube.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

achieve

 

 

 

 

achievement gap

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/07/10/
419202925/the-writing-assignment-that-changes-lives

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/05/11/
477392750/what-young-men-of-color-can-teach-us-about-the-achievement-gap

 

http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed/2015/04/07/
397829916/mexican-american-toddlers-understanding-the-achievement-gap

 

http://www.npr.org/2014/03/17/
289799002/efforts-to-close-the-achievement-gap-in-kids-start-at-home

 

 

 

 

 low achievers

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/07/
opinion/in-defense-of-annual-school-testing.html

 

 

 

 

education > digital divide

http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2016/02/06/
465587073/how-limited-internet-access-can-subtract-from-kids-education

 

 

 

 

 academic standards

academic standards for math and reading

known as the Common Core        2013-2014

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/07/02/
the-right-approach-to-reading-instruction

 

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/education/july-dec13/
education_12-24.html

 

 

 

 

common core standards

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/16/
opinion/meet-the-new-common-core.html 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/03/
opinion/the-trouble-with-common-core-standards.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/28/
opinion/sunday/rage-against-the-common-core.html

 

 

 

 

standards, grades and tests

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/02/16/
465753501/standards-grades-and-tests-are-wildly-outdated-argues-end-of-average

 

 

 

 

performing on or above grade level

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/04/21/
474850688/9-out-of-10-parents-think-their-kids-are-on-grade-level-theyre-probably-wrong

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August Heffner

 

Test Prep for the Preschool Set        NYT        November 30, 2009

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/30/opinion/l30kindergarten.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emily Flake

 

 Help Families From Day 1        NYT        2.9.2014

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/03/opinion/help-families-from-day-1.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

education > early childhood education > pre-school

 

https://www.nytimes.com/topic/subject/education-preschool 

 

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/05/24/
529558627/preschool-a-state-by-state-update

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/02/09/
465557430/what-kids-need-from-grown-ups-but-arent-getting

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/12/27/
504712171/we-learned-a-lot-in-2016-about-how-preschool-can-help-kids

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/06/20/
482472535/why-preschool-suspensions-still-happen-and-how-to-stop-them

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/30/
opinion/collins-how-preschool-got-hot.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/21/
opinion/pre-k-on-the-starting-blocks.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/27/
opinion/sunday/kristof-do-we-invest-in-preschools-or-prisons.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pre-K / prekindergarten and kindergarten classes

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/10/02/
552868453/getting-the-most-out-of-pre-k-the-most-important-year-in-school

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/02/09/
465557430/what-kids-need-from-grown-ups-but-arent-getting

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/01/08/
462279629/why-kindergarten-is-the-new-first-grade

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/09/08/
438354999/10-years-in-tulsas-pre-k-investment-is-paying-off

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/05/26/
407762253/out-of-the-classroom-and-into-the-woods

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/03/
opinion/help-families-from-day-1.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/30/
opinion/kristof-pre-k-the-great-debate.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/27/nyregion/
to-expand-prekindergarten-new-york-may-find-model-in-new-jersey.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/21/
opinion/pre-k-on-the-starting-blocks.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/10/
opinion/sunday/kristof-oklahoma-where-the-kids-learn-early.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/03/
opinion/the-building-blocks-of-education.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/28/nyregion/
with-building-blocks-educators-going-back-to-basics.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/30/
opinion/l30kindergarten.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/21/nyregion/
21testprep.htm

 

 

 

 

prekindergartner

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/28/nyregion/
with-building-blocks-educators-going-back-to-basics.html

 

 

 

 

kindergartner

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/28/nyregion/
with-building-blocks-educators-going-back-to-basics.html

 

 

 

 

kids in preschool, kindergarten

and (...) first and second grade

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/17/
opinion/sunday/let-the-kids-learn-through-play.html

 

 

 

 

classmate

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/17/
opinion/sunday/let-the-kids-learn-through-play.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/27/nyregion/
to-expand-prekindergarten-new-york-may-find-model-in-new-jersey.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

school

 

https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/07/10/
889848834/nations-pediatricians-walk-back-support-for-in-person-school

 

https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2018/04/29/
604986823/what-a-nation-at-risk-got-wrong-and-right-about-u-s-schools

https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2018/04/28/
605836213/new-data-about-schools-teacher-walkouts-spread

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/08/06/
531986360/this-school-district-asked-real-estate-agents-to-help-rekindle-its-reputation

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/06/
technology/tech-billionaires-education-zuckerberg-facebook-hastings.html

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/01/13/
500421608/obamas-impact-on-americas-schools

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/11/01/
500060004/how-a-happy-school-can-help-students-succeed

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/20/
opinion/teaching-character-in-our-schools.html

http://op-talk.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/01/10/
should-schools-teach-personality/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

in-person school

 

https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/07/10/
889848834/nations-pediatricians-walk-back-support-for-in-person-school

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

school design / architecture

 

https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2018/06/09/
611079188/century-old-decisions-that-impact-children-every-day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

rural school

 

https://www.npr.org/2020/08/17/
902686819/rural-schools-struggle-with-road-ahead-in-era-of-coronavirus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

school district

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/08/06/
531986360/this-school-district-asked-real-estate-agents-to-help-rekindle-its-reputation

 

 

 

 

recovery school  / kids struggling with addiction

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/07/08/
521954460/when-kids-struggle-with-addiction-recovery-schools-offer-needed-support

 

 

 

 

school choice

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/05/21/
522051355/why-its-so-hard-to-know-whether-school-choice-is-working

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/02/20/
515359394/the-mile-high-promise-and-risk-of-school-choice

 

 

 

 

choice schools

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/
secretary-of-education-betsy-devos-
on-guns-school-choice-and-why-people-dont-like-her/ - 11 March 2018

 

 

 

 

school climate

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/11/01/
500060004/how-a-happy-school-can-help-students-succeed

 

 

 

 

urban schools

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/04/10/
473500018/want-to-teach-in-urban-schools-get-to-know-the-neighborhood

 

 

 

 

schooling

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/06/
technology/tech-billionaires-education-zuckerberg-facebook-hastings.html

 

 

 

 

home schooling / homeschooling

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/05/22/
527632904/homeschooling-makes-learning-personal-for-some-special-education-students

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/03/30/
468144241/in-african-american-communities-growing-interest-in-home-schooling

 

 

 

 

elementary school

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/09/20/
552296582/miami-fourth-graders-write-about-their-experiences-with-hurricanes

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/07/
upshot/how-elementary-school-teachers-biases-
can-discourage-girls-from-math-and-science.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

elementary and middle school > after-school program / care

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/05/02/
526452564/under-trump-budget-nearly-2-million-kids-may-lose-after-school-care

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

student housing > dorms

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/05/03/
526769862/elite-prep-schools-experiment-with-all-gender-dorms

 

 

 

 

two of the nation's oldest and most prestigious

private boarding schools

— Phillips Exeter Academy

and Phillips Academy Andover

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/05/03/
526769862/elite-prep-schools-experiment-with-all-gender-dorms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

school performance

 

 

 

 

elementary and middle school > low-performing schools

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/05/02/
526452564/under-trump-budget-nearly-2-million-kids-may-lose-after-school-care

 

 

 

 

Every Student Succeeds Act

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/03/11/
518809259/congress-erases-k-12-rules-a-financial-aid-foul-up-and-other-education-news

 

 

 

 

failing schools

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/10/
opinion/sunday/how-to-fix-the-countrys-failing-schools-and-how-not-to.html

 

http://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/12/18/
is-american-culture-to-blame-for-failing-schools/

 

 

 

 

improve education / school

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2015/03/26/
is-improving-schools-all-about-money

 

 

 

 

reform school > Florida's Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys

 

Closed since 2011,

the reform school was located

in the small panhandle town of Marianna, Fla.,

and served as a bleak destination

for troublemakers, rule breakers

and delinquents.

 

In the 1900s, hundreds of boys

were sent to the school — some never left.

 

Historical records show

that nearly 100 boys ages 6 to 18

died at the school between 1900 and 1973.

 

Many are not identified

and were buried in unmarked locations.

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/01/21/
463846093/in-final-report-experts-identify-remains-at-notorious-reform-school

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 the 7:50 a.m. bell

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/11/01/
500060004/how-a-happy-school-can-help-students-succeed

 

 

 

 

ring

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/11/01/
500060004/how-a-happy-school-can-help-students-succeed

 

 

 

 

morning assembly

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/11/01/
500060004/how-a-happy-school-can-help-students-succeed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eleanor Taylor

 

How to Get Kids to Class

To Keep Poor Students in School, Provide Social Services

By DANIEL J. CARDINALI        NYT        AUG. 25, 2014

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/26/
opinion/to-keep-poor-kids-in-school-provide-social-services.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

struggling kids

http://www.npr.org/2014/04/08/
300587823/putting-student-data-to-the-test-to-identify-struggling-kids

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

school security program

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/04/
opinion/schoolkids-in-handcuffs.html

 

 

 

 

More and more US schools

have police patrolling the corridors        January 2011

 

Pupils are being arrested

for throwing paper planes

and failing to pick up crumbs

from the canteen floor.

 

Why is the state

criminalising normal childhood behaviour?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jan/09/
texas-police-schools

 

 

 

 

students with behavior problems

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/30/
teach-the-teachers

 

 

 

 

school nurses

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/09/03/
478835294/school-nurses-can-be-mental-health-detectives-but-they-need-help

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

USA > 16 million American children

living under the federal poverty line > absenteism        2014

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/26/
opinion/to-keep-poor-kids-in-school-provide-social-services.html

 

 

 

 

needy students

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/10/
business/economy/10reed.html

 

 

 

 

absenteism

http://www.npr.org/2015/12/01/
457794519/wyoming-schools-get-poor-report-card-for-native-american-absenteeism

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/26/
opinion/to-keep-poor-kids-in-school-provide-social-services.html

 

 

 

 

truancy

http://www.npr.org/blogs/ed/2015/04/27/
400099544/in-texas-questions-about-prosecuting-truancy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

anxiety

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/09/13/
478834629/for-kids-anxiety-about-school-can-feel-like-being-chased-by-a-lion

 

 

 

 

suicide

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/12/23/
504709648/when-a-schools-online-eavesdropping-can-prevent-a-suicide

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/11/04/
500659746/middle-school-suicides-reach-an-all-time-high

 

 

 

 

prevent suicide

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/12/23/
504709648/when-a-schools-online-eavesdropping-can-prevent-a-suicide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Single-Sex Schools: Separate but Equal?        October 17, 2011

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/10/17/
single-sex-schools-separate-but-equal

 

 

 

 

Should the School Day Be Longer?        September 26, 2011

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/09/26/
should-the-school-day-be-longer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

public schools

 

https://www.npr.org/2019/07/25/
744909500/south-dakota-public-schools-add-in-god-we-trust-signs-to-walls

 

https://www.npr.org/2019/07/25/
739493839/this-supreme-court-case-made-school-district-lines-a-tool-for-segregation

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/16/
reader-center/us-public-schools-conditions.html

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/
secretary-of-education-betsy-devos-
on-guns-school-choice-and-why-people-dont-like-her/ - 11 March 2018

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/06/
technology/tech-billionaires-education-zuckerberg-facebook-hastings.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/01/
opinion/sunday/who-needs-charters-when-you-have-public-schools-like-these.html

 

http://www.npr.org/2016/05/01/
476224759/is-there-a-better-way-to-pay-for-americas-schools

http://www.npr.org/2016/04/18/
474256366/why-americas-schools-have-a-money-problem

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/25/us/
higher-expulsion-rates-for-black-students-are-found.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/05/20/
is-segregation-back-in-us-public-schools

 

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-01-25-
split-schools_x.htm

 

 

 

 

public middle school

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/12/
nyregion/charters-public-schools-and-a-chasm-between.html

 

 

 

 

high school

http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2017/10/18/
558104287/a-year-of-love-and-struggle-in-a-new-high-school

 

 

 

 

public high school

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/07/
education/a-147-million-signal-of-faith-in-atlantas-public-schools.html

 

 

 

 

 elite public high school

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/23/
opinion/new-york-citys-top-public-schools-need-diversity.html

 

 

 

 

attend public school

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/07/
education/a-147-million-signal-of-faith-in-atlantas-public-schools.html

 

 

 

 

high school freshman

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/05/01/
526443174/teen-shot-dead-by-police-as-his-car-was-driving-away-chief-says

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/30/
health/teenagers-stress-coping-skills.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

graduate from high school

http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/07/nyregion/
neediest-cases-fund-brooklyn-high-school-for-leadership-and-community-service.html

 

 

 

 

graduate high school

http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2017/05/24/
467199006/why-colleges-already-face-race-related-challenges-in-serving-future-students

 

 

 

 

high school > graduation rate / U.S. high school graduation rate

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/12/19/
505729524/alabama-admits-its-high-school-graduation-rate-was-inflated

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/12/15/
459821708/u-s-high-school-graduation-rate-hits-new-record-high

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/07/
education/a-147-million-signal-of-faith-in-atlantas-public-schools.html

 

 

 

 

graduate schools and students

http://www.nytimes.com/topic/subject/graduate-schools-and-students

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/26/
education/26debt.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/22/
education/22grad.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

high school graduates

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/03/10/
469831485/americas-high-school-graduates-look-
like-other-countries-high-school-dropouts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

seniors / high school seniors

 

https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/05/17/
857512288/obama-malala-jonas-brothers-send-off-class-of-2020-in-virtual-graduation

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/23/us/
out-of-high-school-into-real-life.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

graduation

 

https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/05/17/
857512288/obama-malala-jonas-brothers-send-off-class-of-2020-in-virtual-graduation

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/23/us/
out-of-high-school-into-real-life.html

 

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2013/06/
graduation_season_2013.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amish schools

 

 

 

 

cartoons > Cagle > Mom's excited for school        2010

http://www.cagle.com/news/SchoolMoms2010/main.asp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

class assignment

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/01/
opinion/sunday/who-needs-charters-when-you-have-public-schools-like-these.html

 

 

 

 

homework

http://www.nytimes.com/topic/subject/homework

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/08/24/
491227557/down-with-homework-teachers-viral-note-tells-of-growing-attitude

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/25/us/
how-much-homework-is-too-much.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/23/
technology/fcc-internet-access-school.html

 

http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/12/06/
fourth-grade-twins-one-with-homework-one-without/

http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/09/10/
when-homework-stresses-parents-as-well-as-students/

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/16/
education/16homework.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

high school

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/03/14/
469207779/turmoil-behind-the-scenes-at-a-nationally-lauded-high-school

 

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/10/29/
should-high-school-last-six-years

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/26/
nyregion/obama-visits-brooklyn-high-school.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/01/
education/01child.html

 

 

 

 

high school > top-notch vocational and apprenticeship training

www.nytimes.com/2016/04/15/
opinion/straight-from-high-school-to-a-career.html

 

 

 

 

at Miami Killian High School

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

drop out / drop out of N        USA

http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/07/nyregion/
neediest-cases-fund-brooklyn-high-school-for-leadership-and-community-service.html

 

 

 

 

drop out of high school with D- grades

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/02/16/
465753501/standards-grades-and-tests-are-wildly-outdated-
argues-end-of-average

 

 

 

 

high school dropouts

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/01/
education/01child.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/20/
education/20graduation.html

 

 

 

 

high school > school counselor

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/01/06/
492874846/9-questions-for-the-nations-top-school-counselor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

student > cellphone

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/11/10/
453986816/how-to-get-students-to-stop-using-their-cellphones-in-class

 

 

 

 

school backpack

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/11/02/
445339503/from-book-strap-to-burrito-a-history-of-the-school-backpack

 

 

 

 

school librarians

http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/06/26/
are-school-librarians-expendable

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clay Bennett

The Christian Science Monitor

Boston

Cagle        11.8.2005
http://www.claybennett.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kirk Anderson

Cagle

25 February 2005

http://www.kirktoons.com/

http://cagle.slate.msn.com/politicalcartoons/PCcartoons/anderson.asp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Texas schools board        UK / USA

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/09/14/
493766128/texas-textbook-called-out-as-racist-against-mexican-americans

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/22/
opinion/how-texas-teaches-history.html

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/16/
texas-schools-rewrites-us-history

 

 

 

 

textbook

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/09/14/
493766128/texas-textbook-called-out-as-racist-against-mexican-americans

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/22/
opinion/how-texas-teaches-history.html

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/07/13/
421744763/how-textbooks-can-teach-different-versions-of-history

 

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/11/10/us/
politics/evolving-portraits-of-jfk.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/11/us/
textbooks-reassess-kennedy-putting-camelot-under-siege.html

 

http://bucks.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/14/
finding-cheaper-textbooks-2nd-edition/

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/23/
education/23texas.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/16/
opinion/l16texas.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/13/
education/13texas.html

 

 

 

 

computer education

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/02/15/
465467155/should-computer-education-cover-more-than-just-coding

 

 

 

 

computer education > coding

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/03/01/
468695376/french-spanish-german-java-making-coding-count-as-a-foreign-language

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/03/01/
468695376/french-spanish-german-java-making-coding-count-as-a-foreign-language

 

 

 

 

computer science teaching

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/01/14/
462954645/adding-beauty-and-joy-to-obamas-push-for-computer-science-teaching

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

curriculum

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/13/
education/13texas.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

history curriculum

 

https://www.npr.org/sections/live-updates-protests-for-racial-justice/2020/07/10/
889743843/denver-school-principal-on-how-students-led-swift-changes-to-black-history-curri

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

history

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/22/
opinion/how-texas-teaches-history.html

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/07/13/
421744763/how-textbooks-can-teach-different-versions-of-history

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math    STEAM

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/08/28/
491394226/a-hero-for-the-arts-and-sciences-upcoming-marvel-covers-promote-steam-fields

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math    STEM

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/22/
business/a-rising-call-to-promote-stem-education-and-cut-liberal-arts-funding.html

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/10/28/
451194296/will-stem-education-be-the-child-left-behind

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advanced Placement U.S. history course

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/08/05/
429361628/the-new-new-framework-for-ap-u-s-history

 

 

 

 

creationists        UK

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2005/feb/07/
evolution.schoolsworldwide

 

 

 

 

evolution

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-08-01-
kansas-evolution-vote_x.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

by the end of his/her junior year

 

 

 

 

In December of his/her senior year

 

 

 

 

high school seniors

http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/06/
opinion/sunday/text-your-way-to-college.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luann

by Greg Evans

Gocomics

June 22, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

undergraduate education

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/25/
opinion/25Trachtenberg.html

 

 

 

 

graduate

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/18/
magazine/who-gets-to-graduate.html

 

 

 

 

graduates / grads

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/12/01/
502187966/is-college-worth-it-recent-grads-share-their-experiences

 

 

 

 

cartoons > Cagle > No jobs for grad        2011

http://www.cagle.com/news/GradJobs11/main.asp

 

 

 

 

graduate degree

 

 

 

 

graduation

 

 

 

 

graduation rate

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/07/
education/a-147-million-signal-of-faith-in-atlantas-public-schools.html

 

 

 

 

graduation gap

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/18/
magazine/who-gets-to-graduate.html

 

 

 

 

cartoons > Cagle > Graduation        May-June 2012

http://www.cagle.com/news/graduation-2012/

 

 

 

 

degree

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/30/
opinion/l30college.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/25/
opinion/25Trachtenberg.html

 

 

 

 

earn a bachelor’s degree summa cum laude

in social anthropology

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/07/us/
robert-bellah-sociologist-of-religion-who-mapped-the-american-soul-
dies-at-86.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cal Grondahl

Utah Standard Examiner

Cagle

15 November 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rick McKee

Rick McKee is the staff cartoonist

at The Augusta Chronicle.

Cagle

2 August 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

elementary school children

 

 

 

 

middle school

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/11/04/
500659746/middle-school-suicides-reach-an-all-time-high

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/10/09/
495961751/heres-how-schools-can-soften-the-blow-of-sixth-grade

 

 

 

 

students in middle and high school

 

 

 

 

student

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/10/
technology/facebook-helps-develop-software-
that-puts-students-in-charge-of-their-lesson-plans.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/05/
nyregion/05incentive.html

 

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-01-25-
cellphones_x.htm

 

 

 

 

student-teacher relationship

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/10/
technology/facebook-helps-develop-software-
that-puts-students-in-charge-of-their-lesson-plans.html

 

 

 

 

black students

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/28/
opinion/sunday/why-black-men-quit-teaching.html

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/01/20/
463190789/to-be-young-gifted-and-black-it-helps-to-have-a-black-teacher

 

 

 

 

kindergarten and first grade boys

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/09/nyregion/
09school.html

 

 

 

 

first grader

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/15/nyregion/
shooting-reported-at-connecticut-elementary-school.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/11/
education/11class.html

 

http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2007-01-07-
no-child_x.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

elementary school > third-grade students / 3rd-graders

 

https://www.npr.org/2019/07/13/
741156019/states-are-ratcheting-up-reading-expectations-for-3rd-graders

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/17/
technology/privacy-concerns-for-classdojo-
and-other-tracking-apps-for-schoolchildren.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

fourth grade

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/07/nyregion/
at-success-academy-charter-schools-polarizing-methods-and-superior-results.html

 

 

 

 

fourth-grader

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/09/20/
552296582/miami-fourth-graders-write-about-their-experiences-with-hurricanes

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/05/nyregion/
05incentive.html

 

 

 

 

fifth grader

 

 

 

 

sixth grade

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/10/09/
495961751/heres-how-schools-can-soften-the-blow-of-sixth-grade

 

 

 

 

sixth grader

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/05/
education/05tablets.html

 

 

 

 

seventh grader

 

 

 

 

eighth grader

 

 

 

 

ninth-grade students

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/09/us/
an-uncertain-return-for-a-charter-system-in-washington-state.html

 

 

 

 

high school students

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-09-29-
principal-shot_x.htm

 

 

 

 

high school seniors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

succeed in school

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/28/
opinion/sunday/why-black-men-quit-teaching.html

 

 

 

 

fare well

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/28/
opinion/sunday/why-black-men-quit-teaching.html

 

 

 

 

gifted

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/03/31/
472528190/the-rare-district-that-recognizes-gifted-latino-students

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/04/11/
467653193/gifted-but-still-learning-english-overlooked-underserved

 

 

 

 

gifted Latino students

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/03/31/
472528190/the-rare-district-that-recognizes-gifted-latino-students

 

 

 

 

gifted programs

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/03/31/
472528190/the-rare-district-that-recognizes-gifted-latino-students

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

principal

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/10/
opinion/sunday/want-to-fix-schools-go-to-the-principals-office.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/25/nyregion/
a-beloved-bronx-teacher-retires-after-a-conflict-with-his-principal.html

 

http://www.npr.org/2015/04/17/
398838417/in-new-orleans-a-second-chance-school-tries-again

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/19/
opinion/sunday/serving-all-your-heroin-needs.html

 

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-09-29-
principal-shot_x.htm

 

 

 

 

assistant principal

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/07/27/
420576969/the-toughest-job-in-education-maybe-not

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

science

http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2006-05-24-
science-scores_x.htm

 

 

 

 

in science class

 

 

 

 

science and technology learning

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/24/
science/24educ.html

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/23/
a-push-for-science-and-technology-learning/

 

 

 

 

math education / math

https://www.npr.org/2018/12/16/
676188220/how-to-make-sure-your-math-anxiety-doesn-t-make-your-kids-hate-math

 

https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2018/07/16/
619328200/got-math-anxiety-here-s-one-way-to-calm-it-down

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/03/10/
469831485/americas-high-school-graduates-look-
like-other-countries-high-school-dropouts

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/07/
upshot/how-elementary-school-teachers-biases-can-discourage-girls-
from-math-and-science.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/27/
magazine/why-do-americans-stink-at-math.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/25/
opinion/dont-teach-math-coach-it.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/08/
opinion/sunday/who-says-math-has-to-be-boring.html

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/25/
opinion/how-to-fix-our-math-education.html

 

 

 

 

be good at math        USA

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/03/10/
469831485/americas-high-school-graduates-
look-like-other-countries-high-school-dropouts

 

 

 

 

science, technology, engineering and math    STEM

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/22/
business/a-rising-call-to-promote-stem-education-and-cut-liberal-arts-funding.html

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2015/10/28/
451194296/will-stem-education-be-the-child-left-behind

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/01/
opinion/how-to-educate-boys.html

 

 

 

 

humanities > art, literature, philosophy

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/20/
opinion/why-the-humanities-still-matter.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/14/
opinion/nicholas-kristof-dont-dismiss-the-humanities.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

commencement ceremony

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-05-20
-mccain-newschool_x.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

race-based school policy

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-06-05
-court-schools_x.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

classroom

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/03/
technology/silicon-valley-baltimore-schools.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/13/
technology/google-education-chromebooks-schools.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/02/
technology/microsoft-google-educational-sales.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/02/
technology/apple-products-schools-education.html

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/03/29/
465700118/two-days-inside-a-juvie-classroom

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/03/15/
468249567/in-alabama-teachers-school-lawmakers

 

 

 

 

Woodside Juvenile Rehabilitation Center

classroom for young offenders

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/03/29/
465700118/two-days-inside-a-juvie-classroom

 

 

 

 

physical classroom

https://www.npr.org/2020/08/06/
898584176/most-teachers-concerned-about-in-person-school-2-in-3-want-to-start-the-year-onl

 

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/03/22/
470952960/for-adults-lifelong-learning-happens-the-old-fashioned-way

 

 

 

 

class size

https://www.npr.org/2019/01/17/
685116971/the-los-angeles-teacher-strikes-class-size-conundrum

 

 

 

 

digital classrooms

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/03/
technology/silicon-valley-baltimore-schools.html

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/09/10/
544546911/in-the-age-of-screen-time-is-paper-dead

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/04/
technology/technology-in-schools-faces-questions-on-value.html

 

 

 

 

in the second row

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/03/22/
470952960/for-adults-lifelong-learning-happens-the-old-fashioned-way

 

 

 

 

turn to the Internet to V

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/03/22/
470952960/for-adults-lifelong-learning-happens-the-old-fashioned-way

 

 

 

 

interactive whiteboard

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/04/
technology/technology-in-schools-faces-questions-on-value.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

D.I.Y. Education

Before YouTube

 

JULY 11, 2015

The New York Times

By JON GRINSPAN

 

EACH summer, when school ends, education mostly stops short, too. But it hasn’t always been that way. For the striving youths of 19th-century America, learning was often a self-driven, year-round process. Devouring books by candlelight and debating issues by bonfire, the young men and women of the so-called “go-ahead generation” worked to educate themselves into a better life.

Is this old-fashioned culture of self-improvement making a comeback? The mainstream school system — with its barrage of tests, Common Core and “excellent sheep” — encourages learning as a passive, standardized process. But here and there, with the help of YouTube and thousands of podcasts, a growing group of students and adults are beginning to supplement their education.

School isn’t going away. But more and more people are realizing what their 19th-century predecessors knew: that the best learning is often self-taught.

Back then, it was a matter of necessity. There were plenty of schoolhouses in 19th-century America, but few young people could attend them regularly. They had to work. Most pieced together a semester of classes here, three months there.

In 1870, students averaged under 80 days in school each year. Even though America had incredibly high literacy rates, and admirable schools for those with free time, most young Americans supplemented formal schooling with their own makeshift curriculums.

This was especially true of many working-class kids, who could never find enough time. Michael Campbell, an 18-year-old Irish immigrant who spent his days laboring in a New Haven factory, making $6 a week, wrote in a diary about his experiences. After work, he attended lectures, joined libraries and read obsessively, studying bookkeeping, phrenology, child raising and “scientifics.” It was all part of his mission — which he wrote about in the third person — “to work hard six (6) days a week and study and read all he can.”

Michael was a recognizable type: the self-improving young American, convinced that he could study his way into the middle class. This up-by-your-bootstraps mentality can seem naïve today, but to an 18-year-old with no clear path to adulthood, it sounded like his best hope.

Kids like these read voraciously, with each book offering a glimpse of the thrilling world outside their isolated lives. They devoured histories, the Bible and Shakespeare, but also as many trashy novels as they could find. Many struggled to decide whether to study the fall of the Roman Empire or amuse themselves with what one called “obscene, libidinous, loathsome, and lascivious” newspapers.

These books shimmer in their diaries. Edgar Allan Poe’s stories mesmerized one awkward boy in Maine. John Roy Lynch, a young ex-slave in Reconstruction Mississippi, pored over the proceedings of Congress, unaware that one day he would become a representative himself.

A Boston girl loved the stories in The New York Ledger, a weekly “story newspaper,” though her disapproving mother burned her copies. Before her mother found them, however, the crafty 14-year-old always “Devoured my Ledger.”

Self-education went beyond solitary reading. For many, literary societies — called “the literary” — marked the highlight of intellectual and social life, as young men and women gathered at night to debate, mingle and flirt. One young woman surveyed her entertainment options in rural Kansas and concluded: “We just have the jolliest, best times at the Literary.”

The literary taught countless young people the skills of public speaking, playing upon the view of America as “a nation of speechifiers.” Orating became a sign of citizenship: During the Reconstruction young black men eagerly launched a “speechmaking mania” across the South.

And despite the bookish title, literary societies appealed to rowdy young people. One young debater in Iowa winced, recalling the “pretty rough company” at the literary, who could make things “decidedly uncomfortable for me.”

Argument drove these clubs. Young people would kick around a controversial issue of the day. One common prompt (in the North) was, “Who has more cause for complaint, Negroes or Indians?” Others debated women’s rights, alcohol or the value of travel.

Often, the issue was immaterial. What mattered was the sensation of gathering with a dozen like-minded 16-year-olds, as someone hollered, and lamplight flickered, and everyone present felt that they were, somehow, preparing to go ahead in life.

After 1900, public schools proliferated and child labor dwindled, pushing up graduation rates and making schools truly systematic. This more structured style reduced individual drive, but offered an accessible, mass system that impressively bridged class divisions.

Most of all, it provided a clear route from ages 5 to 18. Well over a century later, we have no sense of how truly pathless life felt before our educational system — and how that uncertainty often inspired young people to set off on their own.

So how do we reintroduce some of that lost verve today? The short, not particularly helpful answer is that we don’t: Independent learning must be arrived at independently. The best we can do is offer young people the tools, the time and the knowledge that education can take place outside of the system. There are, of course, hundreds of schools and thousands of teachers working toward this goal. Past generations of 16-year-olds would approve.

Technology certainly helps. Just as the Internet has opened doors for a generation of young learners, cheap printing presses allowed 19th-century young people to start their own newspapers, packed with essays, jokes and articles assessing the state of “the ’dom” (a common 19th-century slang term for their world of “amateurdom”).

More than any specific device, what shapes young people’s involvement — for the boyish newsmen of the 1870s or the armies of young bloggers in 2015 — is the sense that one’s opinion carries as much weight as a teacher’s or an author’s.

Perhaps the literary offers the best lesson for modern self-educators. For all its shortcomings, 19th-century self-education taught young Americans to openly engage with the conflicts of life, to debate and argue, not to rely on adults to shape their futures. Every step of the modern school system discourages this contrarian individualism.

Hopefully, we can learn to combine the 19th century’s opinionated go-aheadism with the 20th century’s structure, to offer young people an independent but stable path in the 21st century. Maybe it starts during this long, lazy summer vacation.

Jon Grinspan is a curator and fellow at the National Museum of American History and the author of a forthcoming book on young people’s contributions to 19th-century American democracy.
 


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A version of this op-ed appears in print on July 12, 2015, on page SR4 of the New York edition with the headline: D.I.Y. Education Before YouTube.

D.I.Y. Education Before YouTube,
NYT,
JULY 11, 2015,
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/12/
opinion/sunday/diy-education-before-youtube.html

 

 

 

 

 

The American Dream

Is Leaving America

 

OCT. 25, 2014

The New York Times

SundayReview

Op-Ed Columnist
 

 

THE best escalator to opportunity in America is education. But a new study underscores that the escalator is broken.

We expect each generation to do better, but, currently, more young American men have less education (29 percent) than their parents than have more education (20 percent).

Among young Americans whose parents didn’t graduate from high school, only 5 percent make it through college themselves. In other rich countries, the figure is 23 percent.

The United States is devoting billions of dollars to compete with Russia militarily, but maybe we should try to compete educationally. Russia now has the largest percentage of adults with a university education of any industrialized country — a position once held by the United States, although we’re plunging in that roster.

These figures come from the annual survey of education from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or O.E.C.D., and it should be a shock to Americans.

A basic element of the American dream is equal access to education as the lubricant of social and economic mobility. But the American dream seems to have emigrated because many countries do better than the United States in educational mobility, according to the O.E.C.D. study.

As recently as 2000, the United States still ranked second in the share of the population with a college degree. Now we have dropped to fifth. Among 25-to-34-year-olds — a glimpse of how we will rank in the future — we rank 12th, while once-impoverished South Korea tops the list.

A new Pew survey finds that Americans consider the greatest threat to our country to be the growing gap between the rich and poor. Yet we have constructed an education system, dependent on local property taxes, that provides great schools for the rich kids in the suburbs who need the least help, and broken, dangerous schools for inner-city children who desperately need a helping hand. Too often, America’s education system amplifies not opportunity but inequality.

My dad was a World War II refugee who fled Ukraine and Romania and eventually made his way to France. He spoke perfect French, and Paris would have been a natural place to settle. But he felt that France was stratified and would offer little opportunity to a penniless Eastern European refugee, or even to his children a generation later, so he set out for the United States. He didn’t speak English, but, on arrival in 1951, he bought a copy of the Sunday edition of The New York Times and began to teach himself — and then he worked his way through Reed College and the University of Chicago, earning a Ph.D. and becoming a university professor.

He rode the American dream to success; so did his only child. But while he was right in 1951 to bet on opportunity in America rather than Europe, these days he would perhaps be wrong. Researchers find economic and educational mobility are now greater in Europe than in America.

That’s particularly sad because, as my Times colleague Eduardo Porter noted last month, egalitarian education used to be America’s strong suit. European countries excelled at first-rate education for the elites, but the United States led the way in mass education.

By the mid-1800s, most American states provided a free elementary education to the great majority of white children. In contrast, as late as 1870, only 2 percent of British 14-year-olds were in school.

Then the United States was the first major country, in the 1930s, in which a majority of children attended high school. By contrast, as late as 1957, only 9 percent of 17-year-olds in Britain were in school.

Until the 1970s, we were pre-eminent in mass education, and Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz of Harvard University argue powerfully that this was the secret to America’s economic rise. Then we blew it, and the latest O.E.C.D. report underscores how the rest of the world is eclipsing us.

In effect, the United States has become 19th-century Britain: We provide superb education for elites, but we falter at mass education.

In particular, we fail at early education. Across the O.E.C.D., an average of 70 percent of 3-year-olds are enrolled in education programs. In the United States, it’s 38 percent.

In some quarters, there’s a perception that American teachers are lazy. But the O.E.C.D. report indicates that American teachers work far longer hours than their counterparts abroad. Yet American teachers earn 68 percent as much as the average American college-educated worker, while the O.E.C.D. average is 88 percent.

Fixing the education system is the civil rights challenge of our era. A starting point is to embrace an ethos that was born in America but is now an expatriate: that we owe all children a fair start in life in the form of access to an education escalator.

Let’s fix the escalator.



I invite you to visit my blog, On the Ground. Please also join me on Facebook and Google+, watch my YouTube videos and follow me on Twitter.

A version of this op-ed appears in print on October 26, 2014,
on page SR13 of the New York edition with the headline:
The American Dream Is Leaving America.

The American Dream Is Leaving America,
NYT,
25.10.2014,
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/26/
opinion/sunday/nicholas-kristof-the-american-dream-is-leaving-america.html

 

 

 

 

 

Education Gap

Grows Between Rich and Poor,

Studies Say

 

February 9, 2012

The New York Times

By SABRINA TAVERNISE

 

WASHINGTON — Education was historically considered a great equalizer in American society, capable of lifting less advantaged children and improving their chances for success as adults. But a body of recently published scholarship suggests that the achievement gap between rich and poor children is widening, a development that threatens to dilute education’s leveling effects.

It is a well-known fact that children from affluent families tend to do better in school. Yet the income divide has received far less attention from policy makers and government officials than gaps in student accomplishment by race.

Now, in analyses of long-term data published in recent months, researchers are finding that while the achievement gap between white and black students has narrowed significantly over the past few decades, the gap between rich and poor students has grown substantially during the same period.

“We have moved from a society in the 1950s and 1960s, in which race was more consequential than family income, to one today in which family income appears more determinative of educational success than race,” said Sean F. Reardon, a Stanford University sociologist. Professor Reardon is the author of a study that found that the gap in standardized test scores between affluent and low-income students had grown by about 40 percent since the 1960s, and is now double the testing gap between blacks and whites.

In another study, by researchers from the University of Michigan, the imbalance between rich and poor children in college completion — the single most important predictor of success in the work force — has grown by about 50 percent since the late 1980s.

The changes are tectonic, a result of social and economic processes unfolding over many decades. The data from most of these studies end in 2007 and 2008, before the recession’s full impact was felt. Researchers said that based on experiences during past recessions, the recent downturn was likely to have aggravated the trend.

“With income declines more severe in the lower brackets, there’s a good chance the recession may have widened the gap,” Professor Reardon said. In the study he led, researchers analyzed 12 sets of standardized test scores starting in 1960 and ending in 2007. He compared children from families in the 90th percentile of income — the equivalent of around $160,000 in 2008, when the study was conducted — and children from the 10th percentile, $17,500 in 2008. By the end of that period, the achievement gap by income had grown by 40 percent, he said, while the gap between white and black students, regardless of income, had shrunk substantially.

Both studies were first published last fall in a book of research, “Whither Opportunity?” compiled by the Russell Sage Foundation, a research center for social sciences, and the Spencer Foundation, which focuses on education. Their conclusions, while familiar to a small core of social sciences scholars, are now catching the attention of a broader audience, in part because income inequality has been a central theme this election season.

The connection between income inequality among parents and the social mobility of their children has been a focus of President Obama as well as some of the Republican presidential candidates.

One reason for the growing gap in achievement, researchers say, could be that wealthy parents invest more time and money than ever before in their children (in weekend sports, ballet, music lessons, math tutors, and in overall involvement in their children’s schools), while lower-income families, which are now more likely than ever to be headed by a single parent, are increasingly stretched for time and resources. This has been particularly true as more parents try to position their children for college, which has become ever more essential for success in today’s economy.

A study by Sabino Kornrich, a researcher at the Center for Advanced Studies at the Juan March Institute in Madrid, and Frank F. Furstenberg, scheduled to appear in the journal Demography this year, found that in 1972, Americans at the upper end of the income spectrum were spending five times as much per child as low-income families. By 2007 that gap had grown to nine to one; spending by upper-income families more than doubled, while spending by low-income families grew by 20 percent.

“The pattern of privileged families today is intensive cultivation,” said Dr. Furstenberg, a professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania.

The gap is also growing in college. The University of Michigan study, by Susan M. Dynarski and Martha J. Bailey, looked at two generations of students, those born from 1961 to 1964 and those born from 1979 to 1982. By 1989, about one-third of the high-income students in the first generation had finished college; by 2007, more than half of the second generation had done so. By contrast, only 9 percent of the low-income students in the second generation had completed college by 2007, up only slightly from a 5 percent college completion rate by the first generation in 1989.

James J. Heckman, an economist at the University of Chicago, argues that parenting matters as much as, if not more than, income in forming a child’s cognitive ability and personality, particularly in the years before children start school.

“Early life conditions and how children are stimulated play a very important role,” he said. “The danger is we will revert back to the mindset of the war on poverty, when poverty was just a matter of income, and giving families more would improve the prospects of their children. If people conclude that, it’s a mistake.”

Meredith Phillips, an associate professor of public policy and sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles, used survey data to show that affluent children spend 1,300 more hours than low-income children before age 6 in places other than their homes, their day care centers, or schools (anywhere from museums to shopping malls). By the time high-income children start school, they have spent about 400 hours more than poor children in literacy activities, she found.

Charles Murray, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute whose book, “Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010,” was published Jan. 31, described income inequality as “more of a symptom than a cause.”

The growing gap between the better educated and the less educated, he argued, has formed a kind of cultural divide that has its roots in natural social forces, like the tendency of educated people to marry other educated people, as well as in the social policies of the 1960s, like welfare and other government programs, which he contended provided incentives for staying single.

“When the economy recovers, you’ll still see all these problems persisting for reasons that have nothing to do with money and everything to do with culture,” he said.

There are no easy answers, in part because the problem is so complex, said Douglas J. Besharov, a fellow at the Atlantic Council. Blaming the problem on the richest of the rich ignores an equally important driver, he said: two-earner household wealth, which has lifted the upper middle class ever further from less educated Americans, who tend to be single parents.

The problem is a puzzle, he said. “No one has the slightest idea what will work. The cupboard is bare.”

Education Gap Grows Between Rich and Poor, Studies Say,
NYT,
9.2.2011,
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/10/
education/education-gap-grows-between-rich-and-poor-studies-show.html

 

 

 

 

 

Occupy the Classroom

 

October 19, 2011

The New York Times

By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF

 

Occupy Wall Street is shining a useful spotlight on one of America’s central challenges, the inequality that leaves the richest 1 percent of Americans with a greater net worth than the entire bottom 90 percent.

Most of the proposed remedies involve changes in taxes and regulations, and they would help. But the single step that would do the most to reduce inequality has nothing to do with finance at all. It’s an expansion of early childhood education.

Huh? That will seem naïve and bizarre to many who chafe at inequities and who think the first step is to throw a few bankers into prison. But although part of the problem is billionaires being taxed at lower rates than those with more modest incomes, a bigger source of structural inequity is that many young people never get the skills to compete. They’re just left behind.

“This is where inequality starts,” said Kathleen McCartney, the dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, as she showed me a chart demonstrating that even before kindergarten there are significant performance gaps between rich and poor students. Those gaps then widen further in school.

“The reason early education is important is that you build a foundation for school success,” she added. “And success breeds success.”

One common thread, whether I’m reporting on poverty in New York City or in Sierra Leone, is that a good education tends to be the most reliable escalator out of poverty. Another common thread: whether in America or Africa, disadvantaged kids often don’t get a chance to board that escalator.

Maybe it seems absurd to propose expansion of early childhood education at a time when budgets are being slashed. Yet James Heckman, a Nobel Prize-winning economist at the University of Chicago, has shown that investments in early childhood education pay for themselves. Indeed, he argues that they pay a return of 7 percent or more — better than many investments on Wall Street.

“Schooling after the second grade plays only a minor role in creating or reducing gaps,” Heckman argues in an important article this year in American Educator. “It is imperative to change the way we look at education. We should invest in the foundation of school readiness from birth to age 5.”

One of the most studied initiatives in this area was the Perry Preschool program, which worked with disadvantaged black children in Michigan in the 1960s. Compared with a control group, children who went through the Perry program were 22 percent more likely to finish high school and were arrested less than half as often for felonies. They were half as likely to receive public assistance and three times as likely to own their own homes.

We don’t want to get too excited with these statistics, or those of the equally studied Abecedarian Project in North Carolina. The program was tiny, and many antipoverty initiatives work wonderfully when they’re experiments but founder when scaled up. Still, new research suggests that early childhood education can work even in the real world at scale.

Take Head Start, which serves more than 900,000 low-income children a year. There are flaws in Head Start, and researchers have found that while it improved test results, those gains were fleeting. As a result, Head Start seemed to confer no lasting benefits, and it has been widely criticized as a failure.

Not so fast.

One of the Harvard scholars I interviewed, David Deming, compared the outcomes of children who were in Head Start with their siblings who did not participate. Professor Deming found that critics were right that the Head Start advantage in test scores faded quickly. But, in other areas, perhaps more important ones, he found that Head Start had a significant long-term impact: the former Head Start participants are significantly less likely than siblings to repeat grades, to be diagnosed with a learning disability, or to suffer the kind of poor health associated with poverty. Head Start alumni were more likely than their siblings to graduate from high school and attend college.

Professor Deming found that in these life outcomes, Head Start had about 80 percent of the impact of the Perry program — a stunning achievement.

Something similar seems to be true of the large-scale prekindergarten program in Boston. Hirokazu Yoshikawa and Christina Weiland, both of Harvard, found that it erased the Latino-white testing gap in kindergarten and sharply reduced the black-white gap.

President Obama often talked in his campaign about early childhood education, and he probably agrees with everything I’ve said. But the issue has slipped away and off the agenda.

That’s sad because the question isn’t whether we can afford early childhood education, but whether we can afford not to provide it. We can pay for prisons or we can pay, less, for early childhood education to help build a fairer and more equitable nation.

Occupy the Classroom,
NYT,
19.10.2011,
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/20/opinion/occupy-the-classroom.html

 

 

 

 

 

Improving No Child Left Behind

 

September 30, 2011

The New York Times

 

The 2002 No Child Left Behind Act focused the country’s attention on school reform as never before, but the law is far from perfect. The Obama administration is wise to address its flaws, since Congress is four years overdue in updating the law.

The Department of Education’s plan gives states that agree to several reforms — including stringent teacher evaluation systems and new programs for overhauling the worst schools — an exemption from many of the law’s requirements. It would permit the states to change the way they evaluate most schools for the purpose of compliance, allowing indicators other than just reading and math scores to be considered. And it would lift the law’s provision that all students be proficient in math and reading by 2014, which was never going to happen anyway because there were so many loopholes.

The administration, however, must not allow the new waiver system to become a way for states to elude the purpose of the act, which is to raise student achievement across the board.

The waiver plan will cure several obvious shortcomings of the original law. It would allow schools to be rated partly on achievement-growth measures — how much students improve on reading and math — instead of just on the percentage of students who reach “proficiency” on those tests. The current approach has led many schools to ignore both high-achieving and low-achieving children to focus on pushing up students who fall just short of the proficiency mark.

It would also put an end to the much despised pass-fail system under which otherwise high-performing schools are rated as “needing improvement” if one racial or economic subgroup falls short of yearly achievement targets. And it would allow districts more flexibility in the use of federal dollars.

To qualify for waivers, states will have to install new tests — and teacher evaluation systems that take those test results into account — by the 2014-15 school year. The 12 states that received federal grants in the Race to the Top program last year have a head start. They agreed to put in data-driven teacher evaluation systems as part of that competition. But even reform-minded states like Delaware, which was one of the first to win a grant, have been unable to get their systems up and running and have asked the government for more time.

Part of the problem is that in most states, yearly math and reading tests are given only in grades three through eight and once in high school and cover less than half of the teachers. This means that the system must devise other rigorous rating measures for the remaining staff. Another is that the systems must be designed not just to show how much children have improved, but also to provide guidance so that ineffective teachers get better.

It seems imprudent to rush the states into bringing these complex new evaluations systems and high-quality tests on line by 2014, given that they will also be expected to adopt new core curriculums.

The Obama administration must insist that states getting waivers demonstrate that they are making substantial progress, but it should allow flexibility on the timing. Having states rush to adopt inadequate evaluation systems would discredit the school reform movement.

Improving No Child Left Behind,
NYT,
30.9.2011,
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/01/
opinion/improving-no-child-left-behind.html

 

 

 

 

 

A Better Way

to Fix No Child Left Behind

 

September 26, 2011

The New York Times

By LAMAR ALEXANDER

 

Washington

EVERYONE knows that today every American’s job is on the line, and that better schools mean better jobs. Schools and jobs are alike in this sense: Washington can’t create good jobs, and Washington can’t create good schools. What Washington can do, though, is shape an environment in which businesses and entrepreneurs can create jobs. It can do the same thing in education, by creating an environment in which teachers, parents and communities can build better schools. Last week President Obama, citing a failure by Congress to act, announced a procedure for handing out waivers for the federal mandates under the No Child Left Behind law. Unfortunately, these waivers come with a series of new federal rules, this time without congressional approval, and would make the secretary of education the equivalent of a national school board.

However, there is another way. Earlier this month, several senators and I introduced a set of five bills that would fix the problems with this important federal law.

No Child Left Behind, created through a bipartisan effort in 2001, set a goal that all 50 million students in our nearly 100,000 public schools would be proficient in reading and math by 2014. There would be state standards and tests, and requirements that our 3.2 million teachers be “highly qualified.” Schools failing to meet “adequate yearly progress” standards would receive federal sanctions. For parents, there would be more school choice, including new charter schools.

Almost a decade later, however, it is likely that nearly 80 percent of American schools will soon fail to meet the adequate yearly progress standards.

My colleagues and I agree with the Obama administration that after a decade of federal rules, more responsibility needs to go back to the states. No Child Left Behind has made one thing clear: when it comes to education reform, the states are both highly capable and highly motivated. Since 2002, 44 states and territories have adopted common core academic standards, two groups of states are developing common tests for those standards and 44 states are collaborating on common principles for holding schools accountable for student achievement.

Many states and school districts are also finding ways to reward outstanding teaching and to include student performance as a part of that evaluation. That may seem like common sense, but until Tennessee created its master-teacher program in 1984, not one state paid one teacher one penny more for teaching well.

Our legislation would scuttle entirely the Washington-imposed adequate-yearly-progress requirements set by No Child Left Behind, and would instead require states to set their own high standards to promote college- and career-readiness for all students. We agree that all states should aim to make their graduates capable of entering higher education or the workforce. But we also believe there are many ways to get there, and states should have the flexibility to find the ones that works best for them.

Our bill would change not only the way students are evaluated, but the way teachers are as well. The “highly qualified” requirement is usually met through graduate or professional training. But training doesn’t always translate into improved performance in the classroom. Instead, we would encourage states to develop teacher- and principal-evaluation systems related to student achievement.

At the same time, we would continue to require the reporting of student progress — not so Washington could decide whether to sanction a school, but so that parents, teachers and communities can know whether their students are succeeding. The data would also help with future reforms: thanks to No Child Left Behind, we have several years of school-by-school information about student progress in each school. We can see now what works, and where work needs to be done.

We would also make it easier for state governments and local school districts to expand the number of charter schools, which have been shown to improve student achievement in under-performing districts.

Finally, we would cut through the bureaucratic thicket of federal education assistance by consolidating programs and making it easier for the states to receive needed resources. And we would make sure that some of that money went specifically to help states turn around the bottom 5 percent of their schools.

While all the sponsors of this legislation are Republican senators, many of the ideas were either first advanced or have been worked on in concert with Mr. Obama; his excellent education secretary, Arne Duncan; and Democratic colleagues in both the House and the Senate.

We want to continue to work with our colleagues across the aisle and in the House. Our purpose in offering our ideas is to spur progress so we can enact a bill by the end of the year.

Mr. Duncan has warned us that under existing law, most schools will be labeled as failing schools within a few years, and he is proposing to use his waiver authority to avoid that. The best way for us to relieve Mr. Duncan of the need to consider waivers and to help American children learn what they need to know, and what they need to be able to do, is to fix No Child Left Behind.

 

Lamar Alexander, a Republican senator from Tennessee,

was the United States secretary of education

from 1991 to 1993.

    A Better Way to Fix No Child Left Behind, NYT, 26.9.2011,
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/27/opinion/
    a-better-way-to-fix-no-child-left-behind.html

 

 

 

 

 

Obama Turns

Some Powers of Education

Back to States

 

September 23, 2011
The New York Times
By SAM DILLON

 

With his declaration on Friday that he would waive the most contentious provisions of a federal education law, President Obama effectively rerouted the nation’s education history after a turbulent decade of overwhelming federal influence.

Mr. Obama invited states to reclaim the power to design their own school accountability and improvement systems, upending the centerpiece of the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law, a requirement that all students be proficient in math and reading by 2014.

“This does not mean that states will be able to lower their standards or escape accountability,” the president said. “If states want more flexibility, they’re going to have to set higher standards, more honest standards that prove they’re serious about meeting them.”

But experts said it was a measure of how profoundly the law had reshaped America’s public school culture that even in states that accept the administration’s offer to pursue a new agenda, the law’s legacy will live on in classrooms, where educators’ work will continue to emphasize its major themes, like narrowing student achievement gaps, and its tactics, like using standardized tests to measure educators’ performance.

In a White House speech, Mr. Obama said states that adopted new higher standards, pledged to overhaul their lowest-performing schools and revamped their teacher evaluation systems should apply for waivers of 10 central provisions of the No Child law, including its 2014 proficiency deadline. The administration was forced to act, Mr. Obama said, because partisan gridlock kept Congress from updating the law.

“Given that Congress cannot act, I am acting,” Mr. Obama said. “Starting today, we’ll be giving states more flexibility.”

But while the law itself clearly empowers Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to waive its provisions, the administration’s decision to make the waivers conditional on states’ pledges to pursue Mr. Obama’s broad school improvement agenda has angered Republicans gearing up for the 2012 elections.

On Friday Congressional leaders immediately began characterizing the waivers as a new administration power grab, in line with their portrayal of the health care overhaul, financial sector regulation and other administration initiatives.

“In my judgment, he is exercising an authority and power he doesn’t have,” said Representative John Kline, Republican of Minnesota and chairman of the House education committee. “We all know the law is broken and needs to be changed. But this is part and parcel with the whole picture with this administration: they cannot get their agenda through Congress, so they’re doing it with executive orders and rewriting rules. This is executive overreach.”

Mr. Obama made his statements to a bipartisan audience that included Gov. Bill Haslam of Tennessee, a Republican, Gov. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, an independent, and 24 state superintendents of education.

“I believe this will be a transformative movement in American public education,” Christopher Cerf, New Jersey’s education commissioner under Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, said after the speech.

The No Child law that President George W. Bush signed in 2002 was a bipartisan rewrite of the basic federal law on public schools, first passed in 1965 to help the nation’s neediest students. The 2002 law required all schools to administer reading and math tests every year, and to increase the proportion of students passing them until reaching 100 percent in 2014. Schools that failed to keep pace were to be labeled as failing, and eventually their principals fired and staffs dismantled. That system for holding schools accountable for test scores has encouraged states to lower standards, teachers to focus on test preparation, and math and reading to crowd out history, art and foreign languages.

Mr. Obama’s blueprint for rewriting the law, which Congress has never acted on, urged lawmakers to adopt an approach that would encourage states to raise standards, focus interventions only on the worst failing schools and use test scores and other measures to evaluate teachers’ effectiveness. In its current proposal, the administration requires states to adopt those elements of its blueprint in exchange for relief from the No Child law.

Mr. Duncan, speaking after Mr. Obama’s speech, said the waivers could bring significant change to states that apply. “For parents, it means their schools won’t be labeled failures,” Mr. Duncan said. “It should reduce the pressure to teach to the test.”

Critics were skeptical, saying that classroom teachers who complain about unrelenting pressure to prepare for standardized tests were unlikely to feel much relief.

“In the system that N.C.L.B. created, standardized tests are the measure of all that is good, and that has not changed,“ said Monty Neill, executive director of Fair Test, an antitesting advocacy group. “This policy encourages states to use test scores as a significant factor in evaluating teachers, and that will add to the pressure on teachers to teach to the test.”

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said her union favored evaluation systems that would help teachers improve their instruction, whereas the administration was focusing on accountability. “You’re seeing an extraordinary change of policy, from an accountability system focused on districts and schools, to accountability based on teacher and principal evaluations,” Ms. Weingarten said.

For most states, obtaining a waiver could be the easy part of accepting the administration’s invitation. Actually designing a new school accountability system, and obtaining statewide acceptance of it, represents a complex administrative and political challenge for governors and other state leaders, said Gene Wilhoit, executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers, which the White House said played an important role in developing the waiver proposal.

Only about five states may be ready to apply immediately, and perhaps 20 others could follow by next spring, Mr. Wilhoit said. Developing new educator evaluation systems and other aspects of follow-through could take states three years or more, he said.

Officials in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, and in at least eight other states — Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Idaho, Minnesota, Virginia and Wisconsin — said Friday that they would probably seek the waivers.

    Obama Turns Some Powers of Education Back to States, NYT, 23.9.2011,
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/24/education/24educ.html

 

 

 

 

 

Can Teaching

Overcome Poverty’s Ills?

 

April 29, 2011
The New York Times

 

To the Editor:

Re “The Limits of School Reform” (column, April 26):

Hats off to Joe Nocera for saying what has been obvious to teachers and principals for years. By the time a child starts public school, at age 5 or 6, he or she has been in an environment since birth that has largely shaped the outcome of his or her school experience.

There’s no question that can be modified for the good by dedicated teachers working in well-run schools. But there is serious doubt that school reform alone will accomplish that.

Children bring all the baggage of their home experiences with them when they come to school. Couple that with the dismal condition of many of the nation’s public schools, crumbling neighborhoods and parents who have little to no contact with the schools, and you have a recipe for failing schools.

Requiring school uniforms, adding hours to the schoolday, providing more rigorous courses — all may be helpful, but no combination of efforts confined solely to the schools will provide the magic answer.

Many of America’s schools are failing because for many Americans our society is failing. Pushing for more charter schools and standardized tests or excoriating teachers’ unions are only diversions if we fail to broaden our efforts beyond the schoolhouse door.

CHARLES MURPHY
Durham, N.C., April 26, 2011




To the Editor:

Joe Nocera’s point that good teaching alone cannot overcome the obstacles posed by poverty is a common counterpoint to the education reform movement. I, like Joel I. Klein, former New York City schools chancellor, reject this premise because it takes the entire problem of failing schools out of one’s control.

Of course poverty is a factor. So is how many parents the students live with. So is school funding. So is out-of-control school bureaucracy.

But, so what? The entire point of the teacher focus is that it’s the only thing the school systems really have control over. In the absence of an immediate plan to fix poverty, family structure and school funding, the only place where we can influence the fate of these students is in the classroom. That’s where the focus should be. 

NEAL SUIDAN
Memphis, April 26, 2011

The writer is a high school teacher.




To the Editor:

Thank you, Joe Nocera. I teach 11th-grade English and this term I have 60 low-performing students. I vowed to myself that not one would fail my class. I have worked harder than ever before to make relevant lesson plans, teach basic grammar and talk one on one with failing students.

And yet, what am I to do with the one who spent two weeks in a mental hospital, the two who have run away, the one with no ride to school, the three who have been suspended for drugs and the countless others who attend class only one or two days a week?

Short of adopting these teenagers myself (something that movies about inspiring teachers seem to suggest is a viable option), my impact on their lives seems limited. 

KATHLEEN MILLS
Bloomington, Ind., April 26, 2011




To the Editor:

Joe Nocera is right: To deal with the impact of poverty on students’ success in school, we must both improve schools that serve low-income children and provide the additional resources, services and supports children need to succeed. If we concentrate on only one of these efforts, we will continue to fail these children.

Most American children thrive academically because they enjoy the benefits of preschool, quality K-12 schooling, complementary learning opportunities out of school, health care and family support. For children from poverty, many of these vital educational resources are unavailable or inadequate. The result is dramatic gaps in academic achievement.

Research clearly shows that for disadvantaged children to obtain a meaningful educational opportunity, they need both important school-based resources like quality teaching, and critical out-of-school resources like quality early learning experiences, physical and mental health care, after-school and summer programs, and family engagement — what we call “comprehensive educational opportunity.”

In spite of all the new money promoting a more simplistic approach, this “both/and” approach continues to gain strength among researchers, practitioners, advocates and the courts.

JESSICA R. WOLFF
New York, April 27, 2011

The writer is director of the Comprehensive Educational Opportunity Project of the Campaign for Educational Equity at Teachers College, Columbia University.

    Can Teaching Overcome Poverty’s Ills?, NYT, 29.4.2011,
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/30/opinion/l30nocera.html

 

 

 

 

 

Op-Ed Contributor

Five Ways to Fix America’s Schools

 

June 8, 2009
The New York Times
By HAROLD O. LEVY

 

AMERICAN education was once the best in the world. But today, our private and public universities are losing their competitive edge to foreign institutions, they are losing the advertising wars to for-profit colleges and they are losing control over their own admissions because of an ill-conceived ranking system. With the recession causing big state budget cuts, the situation in higher education has turned critical. Here are a few radical ideas to improve matters:



Raise the age of compulsory education. Twenty-six states require children to attend school until age 16, the rest until 17 or 18, but we should ensure that all children stay in school until age 19. Simply completing high school no longer provides students with an education sufficient for them to compete in the 21st-century economy. So every child should receive a year of post-secondary education.

The benefits of an extra year of schooling are beyond question: high school graduates can earn more than dropouts, have better health, more stable lives and a longer life expectancy. College graduates do even better. Just as we are moving toward a longer school day (where is it written that learning should end at 3 p.m.?) and a longer school year (does anyone really believe pupils need a three-month summer vacation?), so we should move to a longer school career.

President Obama recently embraced the possibility of extending public education for a year after high school: “I ask every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training.” He suggested that this compulsory post-secondary education could be in a “community college or a four-year school; vocational training or an apprenticeship.” (I helped start an accredited online school of education, and firmly believe that the coursework could also be delivered to students online.)

If the federal government ultimately pays for the extra year, it would be a turning point at least as important as the passage of the 1862 Morrill Act that gave rise to the state universities or the 1944 G.I. Bill that made college affordable to our returning service personnel after World War II. Every college trustee should be insisting that we make the president’s dream a reality.

And for those who graduate from high school early: they would receive, each year until they turn 19, a scholarship equal to their state’s per pupil spending. In New York, that could be nearly $15,000 per year. This proposal — which already has been tried in a few states — has the neat side effect of encouraging quick learners to graduate early and free up seats in our overcrowded high schools.



Use high-pressure sales tactics to curb truancy. Casual truancy is epidemic; in many cities, including New York, roughly 30 percent of public school students are absent a total of a month each year. Not surprisingly, truants become dropouts.

But truant officers can borrow a page from salesmen, who have developed high-pressure tactics so effective they can overwhelm the consumer’s will. Making repeated home visits and early morning phone calls, securing written commitments and eliciting oral commitments in front of witnesses might be egregious tactics when used by, say, a credit card company. But these could be valuable ways to compel parents to ensure that their children go to school every day.



Advertise creatively and aggressively to encourage college enrollment. The University of Phoenix, a private, for-profit institution, spent $278 million on advertising, most of it online, in 2007. It was one of the principal sponsors of Super Bowl XLII, which was held at University of Phoenix Stadium (not bad for an institution that doesn’t even have a football team). The University of Phoenix’s enrollment has clearly benefited from its advertising budget: with more than 350,000 students, its enrollment is surpassed by only a few state universities.

The University of Phoenix and other for profits have also established a crucial niche recruiting and serving older students. Traditional colleges need to do far better, using advertising to attract paying older students and to recruit the more than 70 percent of the population who lack a post-secondary degree. They have a built-in advantage, since attending a for-profit college instead of a more prestigious, less expensive public college makes no more sense than buying bottled water when the tap water tastes just as good.



Unseal college accreditation reports so that the Department of Education can take over the business of ranking colleges and universities. Accreditation reports — rigorous evaluations, prepared by representatives of peer institutions — include everything students need to know when making decisions about schools, yet the specifics of most reports remain secret.

Instead, students and their parents rely on U.S. News & World Report rankings that are skewed by colleges, which contort their marketing efforts to maximize the number of applicants whom they already know they will never accept, just to improve their selectivity rankings. Meanwhile, private counselors charge thousands of dollars claiming to know the “secret” of admissions. Aspiring entrants submit far too many applications in the hope of beating the odds. Everyone loses. Opening the accreditation reports to the public would provide a better way.



The biggest improvement we can make in higher education is to produce more qualified applicants. Half of the freshmen at community colleges and a third of freshmen at four-year colleges matriculate with academic skills in at least one subject too weak to allow them to do college work. Unsurprisingly, the average college graduation rates even at four-year institutions are less than 60 percent.

The story at the graduate level is entirely predictable: in 2007, more than a third of all research doctorates were awarded to foreigners, and the proportion is far higher in the hard sciences. The problem goes well beyond the fact that both our public schools and undergraduate institutions need to do a better job preparing their students: too many parents are failing to insure that their children are educated.

President Obama has again led the way: “As fathers and parents, we’ve got to spend more time with them, and help them with their homework, and replace the video game or the remote control with a book once in a while.” Better teachers, smaller classes and more modern schools are all part of the solution. But improving parenting skills and providing struggling parents with assistance are part of the solution too.

At a time when it seems we have ever fewer globally competitive industries, American higher education is a brand worth preserving.

 

Harold O. Levy,

the New York City schools chancellor from 2000 to 2002,

has been a trustee of several colleges.

    Five Ways to Fix America’s Schools, NYT, 8.6.2009,
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/08/opinion/08levy.html

 

 

 

 

 

FACTBOX:

How is U.S. higher education faring?

 

Thu Oct 30, 2008
9:20am EDT
Reuters

 

(Reuters) - Higher education in the United States has been viewed as recession-proof, but the global financial crisis is already having an impact.

Here are some facts about enrollment, endowments, and finances at the nation's colleges universities.

- An October 16 report from Moody's Investors Service estimated endowment losses at 5 percent to 7 percent in the year to June 30. Since then, spending and endowment losses sliced another 30 percent off schools' cash and investments.

- For the nation's public universities, which educate three out of four students, state subsidies covered a little over half of their budget costs last year, down from two-thirds in 1998. Tuition has grown to cover more than a third of their budgets, up from one-fifth 15 years ago.

- Endowments supported around 10 percent of the average school's budget. At Harvard (endowment $34.6 billion as of June 30), Yale ($22.5 billion), and other wealthy institutions, earnings from the endowment covered roughly 40 percent of costs. The average expenditure out of wealthy schools' endowments was 4.4 percent of assets.

- A total of 76 colleges and universities had more than $1 billion in their endowments as of June 30. The wealthiest 400 schools had more than $400 billion in assets in 2007. But fewer than 400 schools had at least $100 million in their endowments, with most having less than $10 million.

- Tuition, room and board at private four-year schools in 2007-2008 averaged $31,019, up 7 percent from two years ago after adjusting for inflation. The cost of public schools was $16,758 for in-state students, $24,955 for out-of-state students, up 5 percent in the last two years after inflation.

- Federal loan aid for higher education increased 60 percent between 1996 and 2005. Students borrowed $77 billion last year to pay expenses to attend colleges and universities. Two out of three students received grants -- discounts on tuition -- averaging $9,300 at private schools and $3,600 at public schools.

- College seniors who graduated in 2007 carried 6 percent more student loan debt that the class of 2006. Starting salaries for graduates rose 3 percent in the same period.

- An online survey found 16 percent of prospective students put college searches on hold because they couldn't afford it.
 


Sources: State Higher Education Executive Officers;

The Project on Student Debt;

Center for College Affordability and Productivity;

Commonfund; Moody's Investors Service; MeritAid.com



(Reporting by Andrew Stern in Chicago;

editing by Michael Conlon and Eddie Evans)

    FACTBOX: How is U.S. higher education faring?, R, 30.10.2008,
    http://www.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idUKTRE49T02G20081030

 

 

 

 

 

Op-Ed Columnist

The Biggest Issue

 

July 29, 2008
The New York Times
By DAVID BROOKS

 

Why did the United States become the leading economic power of the 20th century? The best short answer is that a ferocious belief that people have the power to transform their own lives gave Americans an unparalleled commitment to education, hard work and economic freedom.

Between 1870 and 1950, the average American’s level of education rose by 0.8 years per decade. In 1890, the average adult had completed about 8 years of schooling. By 1900, the average American had 8.8 years. By 1910, it was 9.6 years, and by 1960, it was nearly 14 years.

As Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz describe in their book, “The Race Between Education and Technology,” America’s educational progress was amazingly steady over those decades, and the U.S. opened up a gigantic global lead. Educational levels were rising across the industrialized world, but the U.S. had at least a 35-year advantage on most of Europe. In 1950, no European country enrolled 30 percent of its older teens in full-time secondary school. In the U.S., 70 percent of older teens were in school.

America’s edge boosted productivity and growth. But the happy era ended around 1970 when America’s educational progress slowed to a crawl. Between 1975 and 1990, educational attainments stagnated completely. Since then, progress has been modest. America’s lead over its economic rivals has been entirely forfeited, with many nations surging ahead in school attainment.

This threatens the country’s long-term prospects. It also widens the gap between rich and poor. Goldin and Katz describe a race between technology and education. The pace of technological change has been surprisingly steady. In periods when educational progress outpaces this change, inequality narrows. The market is flooded with skilled workers, so their wages rise modestly. In periods, like the current one, when educational progress lags behind technological change, inequality widens. The relatively few skilled workers command higher prices, while the many unskilled ones have little bargaining power.

The meticulous research of Goldin and Katz is complemented by a report from James Heckman of the University of Chicago. Using his own research, Heckman also concludes that high school graduation rates peaked in the U.S. in the late 1960s, at about 80 percent. Since then they have declined.

In “Schools, Skills and Synapses,” Heckman probes the sources of that decline. It’s not falling school quality, he argues. Nor is it primarily a shortage of funding or rising college tuition costs. Instead, Heckman directs attention at family environments, which have deteriorated over the past 40 years.

Heckman points out that big gaps in educational attainment are present at age 5. Some children are bathed in an atmosphere that promotes human capital development and, increasingly, more are not. By 5, it is possible to predict, with depressing accuracy, who will complete high school and college and who won’t.

I.Q. matters, but Heckman points to equally important traits that start and then build from those early years: motivation levels, emotional stability, self-control and sociability. He uses common sense to intuit what these traits are, but on this subject economists have a lot to learn from developmental psychologists.

I point to these two research projects because the skills slowdown is the biggest issue facing the country. Rising gas prices are bound to dominate the election because voters are slapped in the face with them every time they visit the pump. But this slow-moving problem, more than any other, will shape the destiny of the nation.

Second, there is a big debate under way over the sources of middle-class economic anxiety. Some populists emphasize the destructive forces of globalization, outsourcing and predatory capitalism. These people say we need radical labor market reforms to give the working class a chance. But the populists are going to have to grapple with the Goldin, Katz and Heckman research, which powerfully buttresses the arguments of those who emphasize human capital policies. It’s not globalization or immigration or computers per se that widen inequality. It’s the skills gap. Boosting educational attainment at the bottom is more promising than trying to reorganize the global economy.

Third, it’s worth noting that both sides of this debate exist within the Democratic Party. The G.O.P. is largely irrelevant. If you look at Barack Obama’s education proposals — especially his emphasis on early childhood — you see that they flow naturally and persuasively from this research. (It probably helps that Obama and Heckman are nearly neighbors in Chicago). McCain’s policies seem largely oblivious to these findings. There’s some vague talk about school choice, but Republicans are inept when talking about human capital policies.

America rose because it got more out of its own people than other nations. That stopped in 1970. Now, other issues grab headlines and campaign attention. But this tectonic plate is still relentlessly and menacingly shifting beneath our feet.

The Biggest Issue,
NYT,
29.7.2008,
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/29/
opinion/29brooks.html

 

 

 

 

 

Supreme Court

Limits Schools on Race

 

June 28, 2007

Filed at 11:15 p.m. ET

The New York Times

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
 

 

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected school assignment plans that take account of students' race in two major public school districts. The decisions could imperil similar plans nationwide. The Court also blocked the execution of a Texas killer whose lawyers argued that he should not be put to death because he is mentally ill.

Today is probably the Court's last session until October.

The school rulings in cases affecting schools in Louisville, Ky., and Seattle leave public school systems with a limited arsenal to maintain racial diversity.

The court split, 5-4, with Chief Justice John Roberts announcing the court's judgment. Justice Stephen Breyer wrote a dissent that was joined by the court's other three liberals.

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote a concurring opinion in which he said race may be a component of school district plans designed to achieve diversity.

He agreed with Roberts that the plans in Louisville and Seattle went too far. He said, however, that to the extent that Roberts' opinion could be interpreted as foreclosing the use of race in any circumstance, ''I disagree with that reasoning.''

The two school systems in Thursday's decisions employ slightly different methods of taking students' race into account when determining which school they would attend.

In the case involving the mentally ill killer in Texas, the court ruled 5-4 in the case of Scott Louis Panetti, who shot his in-laws to death 15 years ago in front of his wife and young daughter.

The convicted murderer says that he suffers from a severe documented illness that is the source of gross delusions. ''This argument, we hold, should have been considered,'' said Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the majority opinion.

Panetti's lawyers wanted the court to determine that people who cannot understand the connection between their crime and punishment because of mental illness may not be executed.

The Eighth Amendment of the Constitution bars ''the execution of a person who is so lacking in rational understanding that he cannot comprehend that he is being put to death because of the crime he was convicted of committing,'' they said in court papers.

In a third case, the Court abandoned a 96-year-old ban on manufacturers and retailers setting price floors for products.

In a 5-4 decision, the court said that agreements on minimum prices are legal if they promote competition.

The ruling means that accusations of minimum pricing pacts will be evaluated case by case.

The Supreme Court declared in 1911 that minimum pricing agreements violate federal antitrust law.

Supreme Court Limits Schools on Race,
NYT,
28.6.2007,
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/us/
AP-Scotus-Rdp.html - broken link

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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