I'm not sure this has much to do with education or school reform, or even technology, but it's everywhere and it's pretty interesting for an ad.
#yearined13 Here's just one of the cartoons that the NEA says was most popular on its Facebook page this year. Check the others out here. Got any better ones to suggest? Send them to me @alexanderrusso.
It was a remake, did you know, and begins with Mr. Chips having reached a very tired, unlikeable stage in his career? The first movie version (from a novella) was in 1939 -- and it wasn't a musical, either.
The School Shootings You Didn’t Hear About—One Every Two Weeks Since Newtown Daily Beast: In the year since Newtown, at least 24 school shootings have claimed at least 17 lives, according to a Daily Beast investigation. Has anything really changed?
Newtown images tell a story of grieving AP: A line of frightened young children hang onto one another's shoulders as they're shepherded from their school building. A young woman wails and clutches her chest as she holds a phone to her ear, fearing the worst about her sister. A dusting of snow coats a pile of teddy bears placed on the ground....
LAPD teaches educators that 'Seconds Count' in school shooting scenario LA Daily News: During the daylong "Seconds Count" drill at New Community Jewish High in West Hills, about 50 private-school principals and leaders from Los Angeles' Jewish community learned methods for anticipating and preventing a crisis and training their staffs to respond should one occur.
Hidden Cameras Test School Security NBC News: On the first anniversary of the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, NBC's Jeff Rossen investigates just how secure some schools are.
School in Chicago Suburb Leads the Way in Keeping Kids Safe NBC News: Jeff Rossen reports on an elementary school in Niles, Ill. that is using technology in a number of innovative ways to safeguard itself.
KQED's MindShift checks in with Doug Lemov about his new book, lexile scores, and Lord of the Rings.
Are Kids Sports Pricing Themselves Out of the Market? (Pacific Standard)
"A day at work doesn't look like this. What about a day at school?" [Also from Upworthy -- they're so good at the headlines! -- and possibly not new (but I don't remember).] PS -- It's in French.
"Grit" - the tendency of a person to persevere through the difficult process of attaining a long-term goal - has become popular among educators recently who view it as one of those "non-cognitive" skills that, if properly instilled, can help students succeed in school and in life.
Over the last few weeks Peter Meyer has written a couple of very good essays summarizing why the educational significance of "grit" is probably overstated. You should read them both, but the bottom line is that while grit is certainly good to have, persistence is helpful largely because it facilitates the development and utilization of conventional cognitive abilities.
In other words, educators excited about developing students' grit tend to underestimate how important it will be for those students to acquire large amounts of factual knowledge.
The disputed 911 tapes from last year's Sandy Hook Elementary shooting were released yesterday after a year-long effort from AP (Newtown Dispatcher Urged Callers to Take Cover) Read about the dispute over covering the audio tape (Newtown's 9-1-1 Calls Released, If Anyone Really Wants to Hear Them Atlantic Wire, For News Media, a Mostly Cautious Approach to Newtown Tapes NYT).
Or read about the efforts of the Newtown parents (Moms Demand Action Releases Devastating Ad Timed To Anniversary Of Newtown Shooting HuffPost) or about the latest school schooting (Suspect in custody after Fla. school shooting AP). There have apparently been 26 school shootings since Sandy Hook.
The Beastie Boys aren't happy about it (or maybe they're being gamed), but you'll probably like this viral video to promote Goldieblocks and girls' interest in making things.
Mother Jones: How the Simpsons Have Secretly Been Teaching You Math
On The Daily Rundown, watch Chuck Todd talk to a Common Core opponent from South Carolina (who did not participate in the national non-attendance protest that was planned for today). Todd doesn't seem very impressed South Carolina State Sen. Lee Bright, who's challenging Senator Graham. What do you think?
From The Atlantic: "Americans' attitudes on education split along racial lines, with minorities much more optimistic about the effects of further academic study or skills training on their own careers."
My new piece is just up over at the Atlantic education page, describing the spate of recent parent opt-outs.
Clearly, opt-outs and other forms of protest are on the rise to some extent, and have already had effects in a handful of places. But anecdotal reports don't mean that everybody hates testing (and even those who protest do so for very different reasons).
Teachers' concerns re tests being used for evaluations shouldn't be confused with parents' concerns about lost classroom time, for example.
My biggest frustration reporting the story is that while there are lots of anecdotal reports of what seems like test proliferation there's no one I could find who's tracking the number of tests that states and districts are requiring so that we can see if the trend is up and if so how widespread it is. A little help, someone?
Just as frustrating, there's no accurate count of the percentage of parents who opt-out that districts, states, or anyone else is reporting -- though The Nation reports that the New York protests last spring amounted to just 1 percent of all parents. Again, some reliable numbers would be useful.
Thanks to experts like Bob Schaeffer, Anya Kamenetz, Tom Loveless, Charlie Barone, Michael Lomax, and the folks at Achieve and USDE for talking to me about the trend dynamics, as well as parents and teachers like Jesse Hagopian, Peggy Robertson, Liz Dwyer, Chris Thiennes, Rebecca Labowitz, and Deedra Barnes for talking to me about their opt-out experiences and everyone else who helped or offered to -- as well as Eleanor Barkhan and Julia Ryan for the helpful edits. Apologies to folks I didn't get to talk to (or whose best lines got left on the cutting room floor).
Previous posts: Either you’re against the Common Core or you’ve never heard of it; The Moral Complexities of Opting Out (Thompson).
With the Monday holiday I had some extra time on my hands, so when Jacob Waters pointed out that Chuck Norris had come out against the Common Core State Standards I decided to spend a few minutes looking for the joke I knew was hiding there.
And so #chucknorrisedufacts was born.
Here are my 11 favorite submissions. (I couldn't quite settle on 10.) I strongly encourage you to submit your own on Twitter or in the comments. Don't forget the hashtag!
Chuck Norris got a perfect score on NAEP in all 50 states at the same time #chucknorrisedufacts
— Dan Sisco (@siscodan) November 11, 2013
It was a Nation at Risk until Chuck Norris came along #chucknorrisedufacts
— LS4C1 (@LS4C1) November 12, 2013
I'm not sure I understand how Cards Against Humanity works, though it's described as a multiplayer party game created by a group of Highland Park High School alumni and financed through Kickstarter.
I hate card games, generally. Let's talk about our ideas, politics, & feelings! But I get that lots of other people love them, and this one -- described in one blog post as "A Card Game For [Jerks]" -- sounds like it might be up my alley, generally speaking.
And of course I'm intrigued that it includes a TFA question ("What's Teach for America using to inspire inner city students to succeed?")
Click the link to go over to Tumblr, and then click the link there if you dare to see some of the NSFW answers that have been given to the question. These precautions are necessary to make sure that you don't hurt your eyes, or sensibilities, or blame me if you take offense. It's all on you from here. You've been warned.
Then come back and explain them to me (and anyone else who's curious and clueless). Or give your own, better answers (if that's how the game works).
Yes, this dude spinning a basketball on a pen and then grading some papers (with the pen) is the best I could do. Think you can do better? Send #morningvideo recommendations to me at thisweekineducation at gmail dot com.
via The Atlantic Wire: 'The Simpsons' Paid a Sweet Tribute to Marcia Wallace
Nothing's going right at the Booker T. high school Fall Carnival Season Fair.
Some quick observations: She ducks the "what about the unions?" question entirely (not defending them, it's worth noting) -- and Stewart lets her. She posits the notion that charter schools or choice reduce the sense of public obligation but ignores the reality that more affluent parents (including Ravitch herself) have "shopped" for better schools for their children for decades. She was holding the noisy green key-keeper in her hand to keep from blocking her face using that hand, right? See extended segments here.
Here are some funny bits from Homer Simpson's highly ineffective elementary school teacher, Edna Krabappel, who was voiced by actress Marcia Wallace who passed away last week. Via Eric Zorn at the Chicago Tribune.
A little humor to start the day: this SNL segment from this past weekend, lampooning the "stranger danger" talk.
From last night's show, the social science/ entertainment author explains how smaller classes can isolate struggling learners and make it less likely for them to thrive.
"Finally we have the computing power to grade homework at the same blinding speed that it was plagiarized from Wikipedia." Via The Answer Sheet
MSNBC: Michael Landsberry, a 45–year-old mathematics teacher, dies protecting students in Nevada.
Given the raucous school board meetings we've been reading about lately, my first thought seeing Larry Feinberg's t-shirt (above) was that he must be a #CCSS critic or some other type who was encouraging others to make things loud. But @lfeinberg says it's not that at all - that he's actually an elected school board member himself and that it "encourages taxpayers/voters not to be bashful." See the full image below.
You may remember hearing about The Dalton Experiment (aka American Promise) before, but EdWeek's Mark Walsh reminds us that it's finally out (in NYC, at least):
It's especially timely given this recent Atlantic article about how much easier it apparently is for black boys to fit into nonwhite suburban schools than black girls. Maybe not so much at urban private schools? It's also an interesting contrast with last year's "Prep School Negro" documentary.
Roughly 200,000 kids boycotted Chicago public schools on October 22, 1963, and there's a new documentary coming out about it. Here's more info.
Remember this free-fall? Now there's a documentary about the whole thing. Or, go see Gravity.