NY Education

News and Notes: Happy Thanksgiving!

News and Notes: Happy Thanksgiving!

Read the latest edition of News and Notes from Commissioner Elia.
Assessments Toolkit

Assessments Toolkit

This toolkit is intended to help superintendents communicate with parents and educators in their districts about the value and importance of the annual Grades 3-8 English Language Arts and Math Tests.
Funding Opportunity: 2016-2021 Exte...

Funding Opportunity: 2016-2021 Extended School Day/School Violence Prevention Program Competitive Grant Application

The primary purpose of the ESD/SVP Program is to award competitive grants to provide support to students through extended school day activities and/or school safety programs which promote violence prevention. Programs must demonstrate consistency with the school safety plans required by section twenty-eight hundred one-a of the Education Law and should not displace existing school district after-school funding. School districts and not-for-profit organizations working in collaboration with a public school district(s) may submit an application to conduct an ESD program or a SVP program or a combination of both.
AIMHighNY: Take our Common Core Sta...

AIMHighNY: Take our Common Core Standards Survey

In New York State, we are committed to higher standards and to evaluating the standards on a regular basis with input from stakeholders. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is conducting a review of the New York State P-12 Common Core Learning Standards in English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics. NYSED is conducting a survey in order to provide an opportunity for the public to comment on the standards. The results of the survey will directly inform any changes that we make to the standards as a result of the review.
News and Notes: Survey on the Stand...

News and Notes: Survey on the Standards

Read the latest edition of News and Notes from Commissioner Elia, which includes information about our AIMHighNY Common Core Standards survey, a video about the 2016 New York State Teacher of the Year, EngageNY updates, and more!
Application Notice: Persistently St...

Application Notice: Persistently Struggling Schools Grant (PSSG) Application Education Law 211-f and Commissioner’s Regulation 100.19

In New York State, we are committed to higher standards and to evaluating the standards on a regular basis with input from stakeholders. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is conducting a review of the New York State P-12 Common Core Learning Standards in English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics. NYSED is conducting a survey in order to provide an opportunity for the public to comment on the standards. The results of the survey will directly inform any changes that we make to the standards as a result of the review. I look forward to hearing from you and reviewing your feedback on the standards.


Easy fixes for your CV, résumé, and...

Easy fixes for your CV, résumé, and interview answers (essay)

Joseph Barber provides advice for avoiding them in your CV, résumé or interview answers.

Colleges must renew their vows to f...

Colleges must renew their vows to faculty members, including adjuncts (essay)

Colleges and universities should renew their commitment to faculty members -- including contingent ones, write Jennifer Lundquist and Joya Misra.

How to make the most of an unsolici...

How to make the most of an unsolicited, overly eager mentor (essay)

Kerry Ann Rockquemore provides tips for transforming an awkward, unhelpful relationship into one that helps you meet your career needs.

How grad students can best present ...

How grad students can best present themselves during job searches (essay)

You have to hone your public-speaking and other communications skills to compete for attention in today's job market, writes James M. Van Wyck.

Lessons for administrators who are ...

Lessons for administrators who are starting over (essay)

Administrators who are teachers and learners at heart need new environments to learn and grow, says Jim Hunt.

Advice on the best way for academic...

Advice on the best way for academic couples to search for jobs

Elizabeth Simmons and R. Sekhar Chivukula, a dual-career academic couple, offer advice on navigating joint searches for new positions.

BBC News Education

Teachers work 'longer classroom hou...

Teachers work 'longer classroom hours'

An annual international comparison from the OECD shows long classroom hours for UK teachers and high fees for students.
Ofsted warning over faith schools

Ofsted warning over faith schools

Ofsted inspectors warn that a number of private faith schools are not doing enough to respect women, or people of other faiths and beliefs.
Computer game for Deloitte job-hunt...

Computer game for Deloitte job-hunters

Business consultancy Deloitte is to use a computer game as part of its selection process for apprenticeships.
85% of child sex abuse 'missed'

85% of child sex abuse 'missed'

The majority of child sex abuse is carried out by family or friends and up to 85% is unreported, the children's commissioner suggests.
Plan to close schools and offices e...

Plan to close schools and offices early

All Highland Council offices and schools could be closed from lunchtime on Fridays under proposals aimed at saving the local authority money.
Labour proposes 'deprived pupil' fu...

Labour proposes 'deprived pupil' fund

Head teachers would be given £1,000 for every pupil from a deprived background and the discretion over how to spend it under new Scottish Labour proposals.

US Govt Dept of Education

U.S. Department of Education Approv...

U.S. Department of Education Approves ESEA Flexibility Renewal for Colorado

Building on the significant progress seen in America?s schools over the last six years, the U.S. Department of Education announced today that Colorado has received continued flexibility from provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The state is implementing comprehensive, state-designed plans to ensure student success and a continued commitment to college- and career-readiness for every student. 
How Elementary School Students Taug...

How Elementary School Students Taught Me about Being Globally Competent

Marina in São Paulo, Brazil. She studied abroad in Rio de Janeiro during the spring of 2015. (Photo credit: Marina Kelly)
The Importance of an International ...

The Importance of an International Education for All Students

This week is International Education Week ? a time when educators, administrators, students, and parents recognize and celebrate the importance of world language learning; study abroad; and an appreciation of different countries and cultures. Recent tragedies throughout the world ? including in Paris, Beirut, Yola, Sinai and Baghdad ? serve as a reminder of our common humanity and our shared interest in building bridges of understanding.
Quarterly Student Aid Report: Two-T...

Quarterly Student Aid Report: Two-Thirds of Freshmen FAFSA Applicants List Only One College on Their Applications

A troubling two-thirds of freshmen students filling out an original Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) designate only a single school to send their financial aid application information, indicating that they were only applying for admission to one school.
US. Department of Education Awards ...

US. Department of Education Awards More Than $325,000 to Help School District on Pine Ridge Reservation Recover From Multiple Student Suicides

The U.S. Department of Education?s Office of Safe and Healthy Students awarded Little Wound School on the Pine Ridge Reservation in southwestern South Dakota a Project School Emergency Response to Violence (SERV) grant totaling more than $325,000. The grant will be used to assist the Little Wound School with ongoing recovery efforts following 12 suicide deaths on the Pine Ridge reservation, including the deaths of current and former Little Wound School students, and relatives and friends of the students.
U.S. Department of Education Approv...

U.S. Department of Education Approves Nine Additional States' Plans to Provide Equal Access to Excellent Educators

As part of its Excellent Educators for All Initiative?designed to ensure that all students have equal access to a high-quality education?the U.S. Department of Education today announced the approval of nine states' plans to ensure equitable access to excellent educators:  Idaho, Illinois, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Utah and Wyoming.


Washington state girl, 16, found ti...

Washington state girl, 16, found tied up in high school bathroom

A 16-year-old girl in Washington state was physically assaulted on Tuesday and tied up in a bathroom at her Seattle high school, law enforcement and school officials said. The victim said two females assaulted her, tied her up and left her in the bathroom in an early morning incident at Highline Public Schools' Evergreen Campus, King County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Cindi West said.
10 Colleges Where Applying Early In...

10 Colleges Where Applying Early Increases the Chances of Getting In

The U.S. News Short List, separate from our overall rankings, is a regular series that magnifies individual data points in hopes of providing students and parents a way to find which undergraduate or graduate programs excel or have room to grow in specific areas. Be sure to explore The Short List: College, The Short List: Grad School and The Short List: Online Programs to find data that matter to you in your college or grad school search.
Teachers save 12-year-old girl who ...

Teachers save 12-year-old girl who collapsed in cardiac arrest at Long Island school

Teachers save 12-year-old girl who collapsed in cardiac arrest at Long Island schoolTwelve-year-old Jessica Lemus was in class at Wisdom Lane Middle School in Levittown when she suddenly collapsed. It took three shocks from an AED to bring her back.

Wolf: Deal to end 5-month budget st...

Wolf: Deal to end 5-month budget stalemate in 'deep peril'

Wolf: Deal to end 5-month budget stalemate in 'deep peril'Gov. Tom Wolf and Republican lawmakers appeared unable to bridge a divide Monday over how to slash school property taxes as part of a broader agreement to end a five-month budget stalemate that has left public schools and social services without billions in state aid.

Money Minute: Why college graduates...

Money Minute: Why college graduates dread November

If you graduated from college in May, your 6-month student loan grace period officially ends right about now.
Pesticide-makers point to other cul...

Pesticide-makers point to other culprits in bee die-offs

Sarah Myers, right, a manager at the Bayer North American Bee Care Center, shows a tray of bees to St. Thomas More Academy student Maria Pompi, left, during a tour of the center in Research Triangle Park, N.C., Tuesday, Sep. 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Ted Richardson)RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, North Carolina (AP) ? In a Nordic-inspired building tucked in a corner of the Bayer CropScience North American headquarters, high school students wander through 6,000 square feet (more than 550 square meters) dedicated entirely to the specialness of bees. Children taste different types of honey and examine the differences between honeybee and carpenter bee specimens.


University of Central Lancashire la...

University of Central Lancashire launches medical degree that is only open to overseas students

Hospitals may be struggling to overcome immigration laws to recruit new nurses, but for the university sector it is a different story.

Leicester University set to offer U...

Leicester University set to offer US-style flexi-degree courses

A leading university is to offer all its students the chance to study new US-style flexi-degree courses from next September.

Refugee crisis: British universitie...

Refugee crisis: British universities should create scholarships and bursaries for students fleeing violence, say academics

Every university in Britain is being urged to play its part in tackling the migrant crisis by helping make it easier for refugees and asylum-seekers to access higher education.

Cambridge University may bring back...

Cambridge University may bring back entry exam as too many acing A-levels

Cambridge University is considering reintroducing an entrance exam because too many applicants get top marks in their A-levels, in a move that has raised concerns that state school pupils would be put at a disadvantage.

Free school meals for infants 'set ...

Free school meals for infants 'set to be scrapped' under Osborne's spending review

Free meals for infant school pupils are likely to be scrapped in George Osborne?s November spending review, it has been reported.

Parents prepared to pay average fin...

Parents prepared to pay average fine of £210 for taking children on holiday during school term, survey finds

Half of parents from across the UK are prepared to face fines over the next year after admitting they will be taking their children out of school to go on holiday, according to an online travel agency?s research.

Education Week

US adds foreign students, but few A...

US adds foreign students, but few Americans study abroad

NY state report says effort to boos...

NY state report says effort to boost art education pays off

Education officials to release PARC...

Education officials to release PARCC exam scores

Ohio taking comment on rules for sc...

Ohio taking comment on rules for school barricade devices

2 lawmakers moved from education pa...

2 lawmakers moved from education panel after opposing change

Tennessee school boards demand stat...

Tennessee school boards demand state restore funding


The Role of Campus Leadership in En...

The Role of Campus Leadership in Ensuring IT Accessibility

“Everyone should have an opportunity to participate in higher education.”

With those words, Michael K. Young, President of the University of Washington, opens a new video from his institution’s AccessComputing Project, IT Accessibility: What Campus Leaders Have to Say. Developed with support from the National Science Foundation, this video presents university presidents, chief information officers, and other higher education leaders who stress the importance to higher education of accessibility for persons with disabilities, and of having campus technology environments that support it.

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The Game is Changing. What Will Be ...

The Game is Changing. What Will Be Expected of You?

“When we were doing our studies for the National Academies, the typical first response of university presidents or CFOs or provosts was to say: ‘I understand things are changing very rapidly, but I'll ask my CIO to take care of it. The CIO usually can.’ We would then ask: ‘Suppose you wake up in the morning and come in to your office and nothing works anymore. You can't access e-mail. All of your course systems have collapsed. Who fixes the problem?’ They begin to scratch their heads, and pretty soon it's like the five phases of grief. They start off with denial and anger, move through bargaining and depression, and finally reach acceptance.” — James J. Duderstadt, Change and the Research University

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The Top-Ten IT Issues, 2012

The Top-Ten IT Issues, 2012

EDUCAUSE Top 10 IT Issues, 2012

The EDUCAUSE annual publication of top IT issues has long resonated as a yearly snapshot of the most pressing issues for IT leaders in higher education. At the top of list for 2012:

Updating IT professionals’ skills and roles to accommodate emerging technologies and changing IT management and service delivery models Supporting the trends toward IT consumerization and bring-your-own device Developing an institution-wide cloud strategy


Below are the EDUCAUSE Review article summarizing the IT Issues Panel's findings for 2012 and accompanying resources.

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Tune In June 5 -- Rolling Out a BYO...

Tune In June 5 -- Rolling Out a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Program

This free hour-long session, “Rolling Out a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Program,” will offer ideas, sample policy statements and guidelines, and lessons learned for campuses interested in implementing a BYOD strategy for mobile devices on campus.

Those unable to attend may wish to visit the archives after the event or browse related resources.

Interact on Twitter at #EDULive.

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Get Involved with EDUCAUSE -- Volun...

Get Involved with EDUCAUSE -- Volunteer Submissions Are Due June 1

As someone who has a vested interest in higher education IT, you are part of a dynamic and close-knit community where we share new ideas, network with peers, and work toward the common good of the profession.

EDUCAUSE provides opportunities to be an active member by volunteering in a variety of roles, either short- or long-term, throughout the year. These opportunities include:

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Is Agile the Future of Project Mana...

Is Agile the Future of Project Management?

Gartner predicts that by the end of 2012, agile development methods will be used on 80 percent of all software development projects. Project Management Institute’s research shows that agile project management tripled from December 2008 to May 2011, and can help decrease product defects, improve team productivity, and increase business value.

Read the latest article release on agile project management from the Project Management Institute.

To help you apply project management processes at your organization, EDUCAUSE members have access to a selection of professional development resources:

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University Of Kentucky Will Cover C...

University Of Kentucky Will Cover Controversial Mural

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto has decided to cover a campus mural from 1934 that shows scenes from state history, including black workers in a tobacco field and a Native American with a tomahawk.

Capilouto wrote on the school's website Monday that he met with a group of students recently and understood their frustrations over the mural.

Capilouto says he'll have the Memorial Hall fresco shrouded until a more permanent solution is found. The mural was painted directly into the plaster, making its removal difficult. He says an explanation of the cover will be placed nearby.

In 2006, senators of the University of Kentucky's student government passed a resolution to remove the mural, but then-President Lee Todd said he thought the artwork was an important historical and artistic artifact.

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Kids Should Only Be Hungry to Learn

Kids Should Only Be Hungry to Learn

Like many people across the country, I'll be spending this week paging through recipe books, drawing up shopping lists, clearing out the fridge, and filling up grocery carts for our family's Thanksgiving feast. The season of plenty, as they say, is upon us. But for many families, the holidays highlight the absence of good, healthy food--not an abundance of it. According to the latest data available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in 2014 more than 48 million people -- including 15.3 million children -- in the United States lived in households that were food-insecure. They face a constant struggle against hunger, and putting enough food on the table can be even tougher over holidays. That's because, when schools are closed, millions of children lose access to the healthy meals and snacks they receive at school and at afterschool programs. During these times, too many young people don't get the nutrition they need to stay healthy and thrive. Afterschool and summer learning programs play an important role in keeping our kids sated, fit, and ready to learn. In addition to fun, educational, hands-on learning activities, these programs provide millions of young people with healthy snacks and balanced, nutritional meals each afternoon after the school day ends and over the summer. All over the country, teachers and afterschool program coordinators send students home with extra backpacks on long holiday weekends. These packs aren't filled with extra homework, though; they're stuffed with peanut butter, applesauce, non-perishable milk and other healthy and filling foods that stave off hunger when they're at home for long stretches. These kids welcome these food supplements, especially as holiday breaks approach. This holiday season, our elected officials have a chance to expand access to, and availability of, afterschool and summer meals for kids and families. Congress could vote before the end of the year on whether to reauthorize the federal child nutrition programs. This legislation makes possible the Afterschool Snack and Meal Program, the Summer Food Service Program, the National School Lunch Program, and other programs that reimburse schools, child care centers, and afterschool and summer learning programs for the healthy snacks and meals they provide our nation's children. We need Congress to act now to ensure child nutrition programs are reauthorized and strengthened so that they can continue to help our nation's children grow and learn in the classroom and beyond--in every season. Some members of Congress have offered proposals to improve these programs by breaking down paperwork barriers and increasing access to meals and nutritional programming for more children in need, and those of us who want to help hungry kids must do all we can to support them. I hope this holiday season, you will take a few minutes to learn more about how we can increase access to afterschool and summer meals (The Food Research & Action Center has a great fact sheet) and take action. Contact your member of Congress and let him or her know you support legislation to strengthen, protect and expand children's access to summer meals. You can also show your support on social media using the #hungry2learn hashtag. The only hunger kids should experience is the hunger for knowledge. This Thanksgiving season, join me in working to give every child access to healthy afterschool and summer meals. 2015-11-24-1448381017-5502230-hungry.png

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The Heartwarming Reason Kids All Ov...

The Heartwarming Reason Kids All Over Will Be Interviewing Their Parents During Thanksgiving

This holiday weekend will be about more than Thanksgiving treats and extra days off from school for eighth-grader Shreya Nair. Shreya will also spent some of her time conducting an interview that will end up in the Library of Congress. 

Shreya, 13, is participating in a StoryCorps initiative called The Great Thanksgiving Listen. The project encourages students to interview family members and friends about their lives in an effort to preserve the stories and voices of an older generation. 

Shreya will be interviewing a family friend who grew up in Brazil. 

"It would be interesting to see her perspective on life and how it’s different from mine based on the circumstances she grew up in," Shreya said. 

StoryCorp's aim is to use audio to preserve the stories of people of all ages and backgrounds. Students will be able to record their interviews using a new app and upload them to the StoryCorps archive at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

StoryCorps decided to enlist the help of teachers in getting the word out about The Great Thanksgiving Listen through partnering with big districts like Chicago Public Schools and organizations like Teach for America. The hope is that teachers will find a way to incorporate The Great Thanksgiving Listen into their everyday curriculum.


In this previous StoryCorps segment Jamie Showkier interviews his grandfather:

StoryCorps speaks to our mortality. When you're doing these interviews, there's always an awareness that 200 years from now somebody could listen to this," StoryCorps Founder and President Dave Isay said. "It's easy to put off StoryCorps for next year, next year, next year, but by making it an assignment -- although I think in some cases it's voluntary -- it could help nudge people over the hill." 

Shreya's English teacher decided to get involved in spreading the word about the project, by assigning the interview as homework. Alison Matthews teaches Shreya at McCall Middle School in Winchester, Massachusetts. She incorporated the StoryCorps interview assignment into a unit on the book, The Giver.

Matthews describes the dystopian novel as a "story about this community where there's one man -- the giver -- who holds all the memories of the community."

"The StoryCorps project fit in so perfectly. The Library of Congress is the keeper of our memories. So I asked kids to think about the importance of memory in our society," Matthews said.  

Shreya said that her classmates see the assignment as way better than "your standard, run of the mill English class essay."

"It's an interview that will help us not only understand the book we’re reading right now, but help us later in life," Shreya said. 

"One of the things I like about the project is you get to hear so many other people's voices," she added. "Sometimes in this world it feels like our opinion is the only one, but when you sit down and listen, it's amazing what it can bring." 

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An MBA for Prisoners? Changing Pris...

An MBA for Prisoners? Changing Prison Education

2015-11-24-1448390452-2953046-lecturehall.jpg When someone thinks about Masters in Business Administration (MBA) programs thoughts of Harvard, Yale, and Princeton come to mind. For most, I imagine, the image of a young man or woman in a smart suit and perhaps carrying a laptop to class is standard. This is not one of those types of stories. While already a mainstay in the prisoner college correspondence arena, Adams State University (1) a Colorado-based school which for years has offered prisoners the opportunity of earning a college undergraduate degree from behind bars, has stepped out as the only regionally accredited correspondence program in the country that offers graduate degrees to their incarcerated students. Now the realm of legitimate, rigorous graduate-level study is available to prisoners housed across the United States. This is no small step or opportunity as it has changed the landscape of prison education by leaps and bounds. According to the program's prospectus, "Adams State University Master of Business Administration will provide access and opportunity for local, national and international students to further their education by improving their professional management, leadership, and analytical skills, thus enhancing their career and earning potential. . . . The Master of Business Administration program will provide high quality courses that are rigorous, transferable at the graduate level, and provided at a reasonable cost." While college correspondence courses are nothing new, and stalwarts such as Ohio University and Colorado State University at Pueblo have also long offered courses to prisoners, the idea of a regionally accredited graduate degree program that prisoners can complete is quite remarkable and is gathering interest from prisoners and non-prisoners alike. According to Ifeoma Ajunwa (2) assistant professor of law at the University of the District of Columbia, "in an increasingly credentialist society, where a college degree is now the equivalent of what a high school diploma was years ago, it is imperative that the government remove the barriers that would impede formerly incarcerated individuals from signaling their job readiness through a college degree." Chris Messer, Colorado State University at Pueblo sociology professor, agrees, stating(3), "[i]f we want inmates to be better citizens once they get out, it only makes sense that we have to somehow provide those opportunities to make them better now. Quite honestly, education is critical to that. . . . We know how important it is for kids, we know how important it is for teenagers, we know how important it is for young adults. There's no reason that it wouldn't be just as important for inmates." While programs such as ASU's Prison College Program exist, they also highlight one of the greatest flaws in the prison education system: they require students to pay for each course, which can amount to around $500 at the least. While not a fault of such correspondence programs, correctional agencies have not stepped up to the plate to either fund such programs or create comparable educational programs in-house. And to put it plainly, prisoners, and their families alike, often don't have the funds for telephone calls home, much less $500 for a single college correspondence course. The history of funding for collegiate prisoner education dates back to 1965, when the federal Higher Education Act created the need-based Pell Grants, which prisoners, along with free world students, could use to fund their educations. It was a time of expansion, with Ohio University leading the way. But with the 'tough on crime' 1980s came a period of measures designed to highlight the punitive element of incarceration, and on September 13, 1994, President Bill Clinton signed into law the Violence Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act and the Higher Education Reauthorization Act which first scaled back, then barred prisoner eligibility for federal financial student aid. Since then there has been a dearth of college-level programs available to prisoners at little or no cost. This legislation effectively chained shut the school doors, leaving prisoners to fend for themselves, mostly unsuccessfully. Only recently has the Obama administration and the U.S. Department of Education, through their Second Chance Pell Pilot Program (4) , started pushing to use government funds to once again support prison college programs. While no prison system has yet been willing to agree to fully support prison college programs, seeing educational providers such as Adams State University step up to the plate with new degree offerings is a promising start. Can a single school out of Colorado fix what is wrong with prison education funding and institutional policies the country over? No. But by at least offering a regionally accredited MBA degree program to those who can scrape together the funds to participate adds a certain element of hope and possibility. And many prisoners have survived on less than that to get them through.

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Small School Blues; Big School Hope...

Small School Blues; Big School Hopes

by Jack Reiss 2015-11-24-1448403271-5929148-jackreiss.JPG Prompt: Please provide a statement that addresses your reasons for transferring and the objectives you hope to achieve. You can type directly into the box, or you can paste text from another source. (250-650 words) The addiction takes over at exactly 9:30 A.M. on business days. I hold my breath to see what phases the stock market. Could Pfizer skyrocket over 50 percent because of news for a groundbreaking cancer drug? Could McDonald's dip 50 percent because of higher than expected trans fat in Big Macs? Or will it be a day like the one last March when Isoray, a cancer treatment stock I own, jumped more than 100 percent? The convergence of my interests in stocks, statistics, history and agriculture has influenced my decision to transfer to a school where I can strongly pursue these subjects, and also experience a broader, more developed and inspired social scene. The stock market habit began a year ago, triggered by my love affair with my high school Elementary Statistics class and after my dad handed over control of my custodial portfolio. Don't get the wrong idea, it's chump change. But now I view stocks as closely as I watch baseball - which is pretty close - or a plant I grow from seed to flower. I have fully engaged my interests at Trinity. My home at Trinity is the investment club where I am in the midst of preparing for a presentation on risk in health care company stocks. I want to build on experiences like this at a place with more opportunities and a more diverse population of students with similar passions or other intellectual interests that I have yet to explore. At Trinity, my grades are good and I look forward to my classes. However, I seek a university with a larger number of students who want to work and expand intellectually. A broader social environment with stronger extracurriculars drives my search for a compatible school. At Trinity, I attempted to join a whiffle ball intramural team, but there were not enough students to sign up so the club was cancelled. This one example indicates some of the limitations of a school with 2000 students. My hope is for a larger university with a more intellectually ambitious student body and activities and organizations that reflect that population. I seek transferring to a school that offers inspired ways to explore my interests and discover new ones. For years, I found many ways to engage my passion for botany. While serving as an intern horticulturist at the Central Park Conservancy in high school, I began to consider horticulture in the context of investing and the future. I lean towards companies that are committed to promoting health initiatives centered on organic foods, nutrition, and sustainability. Now that I manage my small stock portfolio, I conduct research companies like Whitewave, a pioneer health food conglomerate; it was the first company I chose to invest in and fits my criteria by intersecting agricultural, health food, and finance interests; plus it pays dividends! My interest in statistics has helped fuel my fascination with stocks and their associated statistical models, especially volatile stocks with their sporadic graphs and possible inferences from them. I desire studying the market in ways that are connected to my academic work, including researching models for looking at the stock market as a way of creating communities through the identification of companies with interests that unite shareholders beyond profit margins. As part of this goal, I am in the process of obtaining Bloomberg certification through use of the Bloomberg Terminal system, which will be an asset to investing and complement my academic research. The certification will also expose me to information beyond the stock market. It will be a tool for exploring other subjects like history and a barometer for exploring the world's markets and their resulting implications. I am excited by the opportunity of taking this certification into a new academic environment. It is just one of many possibilities that inspire me to transfer to a larger school. Jack Reiss, a 2014 graduate of The Browning School, is now a sophomore at NYU.

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What a Greater Good School Looks Li...

What a Greater Good School Looks Like

On a recent trip to India, I was deeply inspired by one school's efforts to use some of the GGSC's research-based practices to encourage well-being amongst its students. Similar to students in the U.S., Indian students often struggle with intense academic pressure, high parental expectations, and, for too many, extreme social and economic barriers. Indeed, suicide rates of 15-29 year olds in India are among the highest in the world. But a preK-12 Seth M. R. Jaipuria School in Lucknow, under the leadership of Anjali Jaipuria, is helping to counter the impact of these challenges by encouraging students to tap into their own and others' humanity through the practices of gratitude, self-compassion, mindfulness and more -- all of which are transforming the school. School psychologist Anam Zaidi who led the team that developed these projects recently sent me photos and descriptions of their activities. I thought educators and parents might appreciate seeing some of the exciting work happening in India -- and perhaps be inspired to try a few of these activities at their own schools. Enjoy! A Safe Place Just for Students Anam invited middle-school students to transform an unused outdoor space into a place where they could take care of their own social and emotional well-being. "Indian students have a harder time than Western students expressing their emotions," explained Anam. "So we wanted them to have a space where they could feel safe to do so." Students spent seven days happily painting fence posts, rocks and old tires; creating signs with inspiring quotes; and planting flowers and saplings, often with the help of senior students who willingly took direction from the younger ones. They even enlisted the help and advice from the school's carpenter and gardener, bridging the sometimes-wide gap between social classes by experiencing the "dignity of labor". 2015-11-23-1448303492-1748017-Anamstudentspaintedhands.JPG 2015-11-23-1448303595-7171028-Anamstudentspainting.JPG The result? A "Healing Habitat" just for them. Within the 'Healing Habitat', spaces were created to encourage students to practice some of the Greater Good themes. 2015-11-23-1448303421-5300631-AnamHabitatfinal.jpg The Garden of Kindness When a student does something kind for another person, he or she plants a sapling in the garden of kindness. "Now they're looking for a reason to be kind so they can plant a tree," said Anam. "It motivates them to be kind, but it also helps them feel good about themselves." 2015-11-23-1448303734-8896175-AnamGardenofKindness.jpg The Let It Go Pond Students write on a pebble something that they would like to let go of such as anger or jealousy and then drop it into the pond where it disappears. "Sometimes adults teach kids that certain emotions are 'bad' and should be repressed," explained Anam. "But the truth is that each emotion has in itself the power to change oneself. The pond is a symbolic way to help students realize that the power to improve lies within." 2015-11-23-1448303333-8373987-AnamLetitGopond.png The Tree of Silence The tree of silence provides a place for introspection and meditation, particularly if children have gotten involved in a conflict. "The tree encourages students to reflect upon their actions by observing a moment of silence," said Anam. "But I've also seen kids just come and sit there." Teachers, too, are reinforcing the power of silence by opening and closing each class with a mindfulness practice. 2015-11-23-1448302954-2173655-AnamTreeofsilence.png The Tree of Self-Forgiveness Students come to the tree to fill out a paper leaf on which is written, 'I forgive myself for....', and then they hang the leaf on the tree. Anam felt that self-forgiveness was more important to emphasize than forgiveness of others because of the way Indian society views forgiveness. "Sometimes, forgiving someone can give the person doing the forgiving a sense of superiority," stated Anam. "They think, 'I've forgiven you for something and don't forget it.' But if we introduce the concept of learning to forgive yourself first, one might forgive others in a more compassionate way." Focusing on self-forgiveness also helps students accept themselves as they are, boosting their self-confidence. Even the senior students hang leaves on the tree. "They quietly walk around," described Anam, "and put up a leaf when no one is looking. Their leaves often say things like 'my face', 'breaking people's hearts,' 'confessing my feelings to someone' or 'not talking nicely to my mom.' The tree has become so popular that I wonder if I should quit my job and just cut out leaves." 2015-11-23-1448303249-7241556-Anamtreeofforgiveness.png The Gratitude Tree At the Gratitude Tree, students write on a slip of paper something or someone they're grateful for and place it in the box. Anam then pulls out the slips of paper and posts them on a bulletin board for all to see (as long as they're not too personal). "The tree of gratitude is a gentle reminder to all of us that no matter how busy we are, there is always something we can be thankful for," said Anam. 2015-11-23-1448303379-3358827-Anamgratitudetree.png Self-Compassion for Kids In addition to the Healing Habitat, Anam has been implementing other Greater Good practices including self-compassion in classrooms. "Admitting mistakes is very difficult and very rare for most of us," explained Anam. "We always try our best to hide our shortcomings because we are governed by this strong belief that being imperfect means being a failure. Practicing self-compassion gives students a safe outlet to acknowledge their authentic selves by addressing those parts of themselves that they don't feel good about." For one month, students in kindergarten through 4th grade practiced a self-hug at the end of each day and remembered that no matter what happened that day, they still had the Divine Spark within which makes them unique beings. 2015-11-23-1448303004-224885-Anamselfcompassionhug.png Older students wrote anonymous self-compassion letters and then gave them to Anam (all 4,000 of them!), which, to her surprise, broke the ice between her and the students who were not used to having a counselor with whom they could share their challenges. Here are a few samples of what they wrote: I feel bad for being a girl because boys get more freedom than girls. Though gender bias is now less that it used to be, still the rights are not there for girls. If a friend had the same problem, I would say that when we grow up, we would make every man in our upcoming generation have respect for women and give her all her rights. I feel ashamed that I have a dark complexion and I also feel very bad about my rank in the class. I do not have many friends and I am not good in studies. Everyone makes fun of my fat and rank in class. If someone else had these problems, I would give advice to never feel that you are a loser. Everyone in his or her life is a loser for sometime, but a loser always becomes a winner when he or she has faith and believes in him or herself. I am ashamed of my height and all my friends taunt me because of my height. But I do not take it seriously because my favorite Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar's height is small and he has made the most number of runs in cricket history. My advice is to not mind what people say and to listen with one ear and let it go from the other ear. Impact on Students and Teachers Anam discovered that giving students the opportunity to share their inner lives with each other in a non-compulsory and safe way has helped to create a more cohesive community. "When students hear what other students are grateful for -- especially from those they have never talked to because of social and economic divisions -- all of a sudden they realize that they're more alike than different." And perhaps one of the loveliest outcomes is the effect these practices have had on the teachers. "When students express gratitude for one of their teachers, I often see a change in that teacher," said Anam. "A stern teacher begins to treat students with more kindness. Or a tired teacher becomes more enthusiastic about her work." In the end, the work being carried out in Seth M.R. Jaipuria School speaks to the universality of human emotions and values and the need for connection. Providing students with the time and safe space to cultivate their own well-being through gratitude, forgiveness, silence and other practices that affirm their humanity, Anam has given to Jaipuria students what all children desire, no matter where they're from -- to be seen and valued for who they are by their teachers, their peers and by their own selves.

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Happy Diwali!

Happy Diwali!

We wanted to take a minute to wish all of our friends, clients, and readers who celebrate a happy, healthy, and prosperous Diwali season!  We hope you find time to celebrate with family amidst the demands of this application season.  

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Happy Diwali!

Boston University BS/MD Program and...

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Over the years we have had many students apply to, and get accepted to,  Boston University’s Seven-Year Liberal Arts/Medical Education Program.  For the most part their application is fairly straightforward but one thing always confused me. The recommendation of a SAT Subject Test in a foreign language. Every year we would have students tell us...Continue Reading >

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Boston University BS/MD Program and the Foreign Language Requirement

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University of Kentucky Eliminates Their Early Assurance Program

We have been notified that the University of Kentucky has eliminated their B.S./M.D. Accelerated Course of Study Program effective immediately. They are not taking applications at this time. This was technically an early assurance program where students applied in high school but weren’t formally accepted into the medical school until after sophomore year. There are...Continue Reading >

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University of Kentucky Eliminates Their Early Assurance Program

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In the past, Brown University and the Program in Liberal Medical Education, PLME, has had an early decision (ED) option for students applying. Students liked the option because they thought that applying ED to PLME gave them a higher chance of acceptance into the program. This option also provided that if you were not accepted...Continue Reading >

RSS Feed Content © Todd Johnson, Kelley Johnson and College Admissions Partners

Brown PLME Eliminates Early Decision Option

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If you want to receive need based aid from a college you need to file a FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid each year. As part of that form you have to list each of the colleges you are applying to for aid. Most students put their first choice college down first, then their...Continue Reading >

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Order of Colleges Will No Longer be Listed on the FAFSA

Is the Asian Bias Real? Does it Mat...

Is the Asian Bias Real? Does it Matter?

We work with a large number of Asian students that are interested in BS/MD programs and medical school admissions. And we constantly hear about the Asian bias in college admissions. But what does that mean in practical terms? No college wants to see a bunch of kids that all look alike. Yes, colleges want smart students...Continue Reading >

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Is the Asian Bias Real? Does it Matter?


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