"By 2025 we will need 20 million more two- and four-year-college graduates, a vast effort that, at our current productivity rates, will require somewhere between $150- and $200-billion in annual postsecondary spending. With Congress intent on pay-as-you-go financing, that’s enough of a shortfall to fuel several dozen $6-billion spats of the kind currently playing on Capitol Hill and on campuses everywhere. But if we don’t meet this projected shortfall in qualified postsecondary graduates, we will lose some half a trillion dollars every year in the form of new businesses that never open and technological advances that other countries will make instead of us."
Alabama state government could save millions of dollars in future prison and crime costs by investing more in pre-K education, according to a report released today by the nonpartisan, anti-crime organization Fight Crime: Invest in Kids.
To draw attention to this opportunity, two members of the Fight Crime group, Jefferson County District Attorney Brandon Falls and Birmingham Police Capt. Henry Irby, plan to visit and read to children today at the Festival Head Start Center on Crestwood Boulevard.
“We are facing a major crisis with our corrections system at 195 to 200 percent of capacity,” said Falls. “You can either spend more on the front end for education, or more on the back end for prisons.”
A short, but provocative article. This one may be the most incendiary thing on the list:
3 — Homework impinges upon a student’s time with family and on other, more valuable, activities — like play. As Alfie Kohn states in The Homework Myth, why should children be asked to work a second shift? It’s unconscionable to send children to work for nearly eight hours a day, then have them go home and work for 2-5 more hours; we don’t live in 19th century London.
"Colleges say they’re seeing more students on campus with psychiatric illnesses. About 11.6% of college students were diagnosed or treated for anxiety in the last year, and 10.7% were diagnosed or treated for depression, according to a survey of more than 100,000 students at 129 schools conducted by the American College Health Association."
"At competitive private colleges and universities, admissions directors reserve places in each class for the children of alumni and potential donors; for athletes, many of whom will make less use of their academic opportunities than their classmates do; and simply for those who can pay. And at universities that boast of their commitment to undergraduate teaching, too many professors gabble through PowerPoint slides twice a week and entrust the face-to-face teaching of actual students to underpaid graduate students and Ph.D.s on short-term contracts, who do their best to impart basic skills in writing and quantitative analysis while earning only a few thousand dollars a course."
A fairly scathing read. Definitely an interesting counter-opinion.
Giving validation to Occupy Wall Street protests over the increasing burdens of student debt, a new report indicates that the total amount of outstanding student loans this year will exceed $1 trillion for the first time.
In addition, the amount of student loans taken out last year was greater than $100 billion, another new record, according to USA Today, citing the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
A new Missouri law prohibiting teachers from having private online conversations with students suffered a double setback Aug. 26. First, a judge blocked it from taking effect because of free speech concerns. Then, the governor called for its repeal.
The law limiting teacher-student conversations through social networking sites such as Facebook had been scheduled to take effect Aug. 28. But Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem issued a preliminary injunction blocking it until at least February, saying the restrictions “would have a chilling effect” on free speech rights.
Good. This is a topic that should be addressed, but this all-out blanket approach doesn’t work.
This is an outstanding article, and certainly worth a Friday evening read.
Imaginatively taking on another person’s thoughts and identifying with their emotions are two habits at the core of empathy. In fact, empathy is not a fixed trait like having brown eyes or long fingers. Empathy is instead a delicate cocktail blending assorted elements of inborn aptitude, social conditioning, personal history, and practice and motivation.
The ability to empathize is like a muscle capable of growth, atrophy, disability, and even regeneration (think Scrooge). People have different innate capacities for building certain muscles, just as we have different incentives for being empathetic and experiences in honing our skills to empathize. For some people, empathy comes easily and naturally; for others, concerted effort is required to stretch our imaginations beyond ourselves.
The troubling conclusion of a recent study by a team of social psychologists (including one of us, Sara Konrath) is that American college students have been scoring lower and lower on a standardized empathy test over the past three decades. In fact, a research paper published in May in Personality and Social Psychology Review shows that since 1980 scores have dropped 34 percent on “perspective taking” (the ability to imagine others’ points of view) and 48 percent on “empathic concern” (the tendency to feel and respond to others’ emotions).
Making it simpler to remove bad teachers from the classroom has been a hot topic in education reform, but policy-makers might want to shift gears and spend more time ensuring effective teachers stick around. According to a McKinsey study, 14 percent of teachers leave after one year, and 46 percent leave the profession before their fifth year. However, in nations with the highest results on international tests, the teacher turnover rate is only 3 percent. So what’s happening with American teachers that makes them leave the classroom in droves?
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This isn’t another article about teaching manners or preaching respect. It’s not about group counseling or community circles.
This is about putting an end to bullying. It’s about protecting your students and their right to learn and enjoy school without being threatened, terrorized, or picked on.
It’s about stepping in and saying, “I’m your teacher, and you will not be bullied. Not on my watch.”
I’ve written before about how bullying is one of my hot buttons. I cannot stand to see children bullying each other. As an aide last year, I felt relatively helpless in stopping it. I could intervene and voice my disapproval at times. I could let the children’s homeroom teacher/s know. I could read books & hold discussions about bullying in my small groups. But nothing really worked if there wasn’t already a strict “no bullying” policy in the children’s homerooms. Because of this, I’m always on the hunt for great resources on preventing and dealing with bullying.
The author of this article was not being hyperbolic when he titled this piece; it truly is the “ultimate” guide to to stopping bullying.
The University of Michigan study, which was published in the journal Sleep Medicine, collected data from parents on each child’s sleep habits and asked both parents and teachers to assess behavioral concerns. Among the 341 children studied, about a third were identified by parents or teachers as having problems with disruptive behavior or bullying.