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Weekend Reading: How Academia Got Rid Of Rick Hess

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Weekend reading from Slate, Salon, and some of the other magazines -- tell me what I missed: Nothing, Absolutely Nothing, to See Here, Folks Rick Hess:  David Imig, the then-president of the AACTE, suggested that the University of Virginia (my then-employer) really ought to consider whether, given my skepticism about teacher education, I deserved to be employed at its School of Education... The secret sex lives of teachers Salon:  The revelation that Judy Buranich, the same woman teaching classics like "Catcher in the Rye" to high school students, also writes erotic novels with names like "Rednecks 'n' Romance" shocked a small group of parents in the town of Middleburg, Penn... I.R.S. Moves to Tax Gifts to Groups Active in Politics NYT:  Big donors like David H. Koch and George Soros could owe taxes on their millions of dollars in contributions to nonprofit advocacy groups that are playing an increasing role in American politics... State ignores teacher licensing violations Star Tribune:  More than 900 Minnesota teachers over the past five years have violated licensing rules aimed at making sure that children get a proper education, including 62 instructors who taught with no license at all...New Autism Findings  WBUR On Point: A new study finds 1 in 38 children have traits of autism. We'll ask how that can be. And what it means... Death to high school English Salon: I lived for English, for reading. I spent so much of my adolescence feeling different and awkward, and those first canonical books I read, those first discoveries of Joyce, of Keats, of Sylvia Plath and Fitzgerald, were a revelation... Xerox PARC, Apple, and the truth about innovation New Yorker:  In late 1979, a twenty-four-year-old entrepreneur paid a visit to a research center in Silicon Valley called Xerox PARC. He was the co-founder of a small computer startup down the road, in Cupertino... What happened to the "Huxtable Effect"?  Salon: Now, new data from both politics and pop culture raises the possibility that we're suddenly headed back to the pre-"Cosby Show" days...The longest 40 minutes Slate:  What makes some minutes feel longer than others?... PS22 chorus covers the Smiths, owns this town Salon:  Staten Island's public school system is sitting on a gold mine, what with PS22 having the best known elementary school chorus on the planet."


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for bruce smith:

With regard to "The Death of High School English": at least as far back as Ted Sizer, the Coalition of Essential Schools, and the early charter school movement, we've known that one of the main purposes of granting schools autonomy was so that they could redeploy their resources in order to lighten the burden on English teachers, who would respond by devoting more insightful and frequent feedback to the "fewer than fifty" (Sizer, "Horace's Hope", p. 156) students they would be responsible for. Now see how perverted this original vision has become: the business-oriented minions of the accountability hawks only care about Academic Performance Indexes and the like, and since these (even the "writing" portions) are based on multiple choice tests (which are cheaper to score), secondary school leaders have no incentive to care whether college-bound high school graduates can write an essay acceptable in higher education, and some business leaders are even advocating increased class sizes for our already overwhelmed charter school English teachers.

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