NY Education

Funding Opportunity: Program Develo...

Funding Opportunity: Program Development Grant to Prepare Students with Disabilities to Exit School with Work Readiness Skills

The Program Development Grant program is a competitive grant program to provide funding for schools to enhance their instructional programs to increase students with disabilities’ access to and participation in career and technical education (CTE) coursework, instruction in the Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) learning standards, and work-based learning opportunities to fulfill requirements for the award of the NYS CDOS Commencement Credential.
RFI Posted: Child Nutrition Program...

RFI Posted: Child Nutrition Program: Administrative Review System

NYSED hereby issues this “Request for Information” (RFI) to solicit information from vendors regarding the availability of software systems and services to assist NYSED with administrative reviews of its Child Nutrition Programs as mandated by the USDA Food and Nutrition Services (FNS).
News and Notes: Responding to the L...

News and Notes: Responding to the Learner

In the latest edition of News and Notes, a NY parent says higher standards are helping her child make progress.
RFP Posted: Early Childhood Directi...

RFP Posted: Early Childhood Direction Centers

The New York State Education Department (NYSED), P-12: Office of Special Education is seeking proposals to establish fourteen (14) Early Childhood Direction Centers (ECDC) to act as Special Education Technical Assistance Centers (TACs). The purpose of the TACs is to assist families and professionals in securing services that meet the needs of children with disabilities, birth through age five, by providing information and training about available service options and service delivery systems.
RFP Posted: Alternate Assessment fo...

RFP Posted: Alternate Assessment for New York State Students with Severe Cognitive Disabilities

The New York State Education Department (NYSED), Office of State Assessment (OSA), seeks proposals for the New York State Alternate Assessment (NYSAA) for English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics (Service 1), and separately for Science and Social Studies (Service 2). The NYSAA in ELA and Mathematics is administered to students each year in Grades 3 through 8 and once in high school. The NYSAA in Science is administered to students in Grades 4 and 8 and once in high school. The NYSAA in Social Studies is administered to students once in high school.
RFP Posted: Continuing the Developm...

RFP Posted: Continuing the Development of State Assessments in Elementary–and Intermediate–Level English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics Measuring the Common Core State Standards

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is seeking proposals to continue the development of tests in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics in Grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 for multiple school years as defined in this RFP.


Essay on earning tenure and conside...

Essay on earning tenure and considering the responsibilities of faculty life

Cynthia Wu didn't experience the angst many report, at least not about her own career. But she finds herself thinking about the responsibility of a former adjunct to those who aren't yet on the tenure track.

Essay on writing academic book revi...

Essay on writing academic book reviews

A guide from Casey Brienza.

Essay on facing isolation when star...

Essay on facing isolation when starting a new tenure-track job

The thrill of being hired for a tenure-track job can easily be replaced by feeling all alone in a new town, far from your loved ones. Kerry Ann Rockquemore helps you evaluate your options.

Essay on issues of time and timing ...

Essay on issues of time and timing in a job search for a new Ph.D.

Natalie Lundsteen discusses calendars and scheduling in the new Ph.D. job search.

Steps to help professors better adv...

Steps to help professors better advise graduate students (essay)

Given how little training professors get on advising grad students, David H. Monk offers ideas on the principles that should guide that working relationship.

Essay on the messages colleges send...

Essay on the messages colleges send to new hires

College send subtle and not-so-subtle messages to new faculty hires, and frequently these early lessons hurt morale and the sense of community, writes Becky Wai-Ling Packard.

BBC News Education

'More teachers leave in first year'

'More teachers leave in first year'

Rising numbers of new teachers are leaving the profession within a year of qualifying, says a teachers' union leader.
Poorer children's brains 'smaller'

Poorer children's brains 'smaller'

Poorer children 'have smaller brains' than their more prosperous counterparts, researchers from California have found.
Schools 'misuse' support staff

Schools 'misuse' support staff

Too many schools are misusing support staff by making them cover for teachers "for protracted periods", a union's annual conference has heard.
Children fear 'addiction to porn'

Children fear 'addiction to porn'

A tenth of 12 to 13-year-olds are worried they are "addicted" to pornography, a study by the NSPCC ChildLine service has found.
E-cigarette use 'high among teens'

E-cigarette use 'high among teens'

A substantial number of teenagers are experimenting with e-cigarettes, even those who have never smoked, a study suggests.
Free nursery has 'no academic benef...

Free nursery has 'no academic benefit'

Free nursery places for three-year olds have helped mothers back to work, but have made "no difference" to academic performance later on, researchers claim.

US Govt Dept of Education

U.S. Department of Education Approv...

U.S. Department of Education Approves ESEA Flexibility Renewal for Five States through Expedited Decision Process

The U.S. Department of Education announced today that Kentucky, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina and Virginia have each received a four-year renewal for flexibility from provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB).
Increasing Transparency and Account...

Increasing Transparency and Accountability for Students

Higher education remains the most important investment any person can make in their future. In the several months I?ve been at the U.S. Department of Education, I have had a number of conversations with students and families that have inspired me to double down on our commitment to making college more affordable and accessible. A big part of our work toward that goal has been to increase both the quantity and quality of information that students, families, borrowers and the public have about higher education.
Teaching and Leading at the 5th Int...

Teaching and Leading at the 5th International Summit on the Teaching Profession

Each March I look forward to joining colleagues from around the world at the International Summit on the Teaching Profession to learn from high-performing and rapidly improving education systems about ways to elevate and enhance the teaching profession in order to improve student learning. I never imagined when we started the International Summit in New York City in 2011 that it would become a vibrant and lasting international community of practice.
The Pathway to Success at King/Drew...

The Pathway to Success at King/Drew Magnet High School

King/Drew Magnet High School isn?t just preparing its students for graduation; it?s preparing them for life. The school may be located in one of the most disadvantaged parts of Los Angeles, California, but its students are reaching for the highest levels in education ? and they are succeeding. Students at King/Drew not only gradate in high numbers, fully 90% of those who graduate go on to attend college, including many of the country?s top schools, and they receive millions of dollars in merit-based scholarships and university grants.
4 Reasons to Apply for the 2015 Pre...

4 Reasons to Apply for the 2015 President?s Education Awards Program

Principals! It?s time, once again, to nominate students for the President?s Education Awards Program! We?ve got four great reasons as to why you should nominate students in your school. 1) Motivation!
Secretary Duncan: ?Step Up and Fund...

Secretary Duncan: ?Step Up and Fund Education?

On Friday, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visited Edwin M. Stanton Elementary in Philadelphia to highlight the need to support teachers and students by investing in our nation?s schools.


Loan recipients on 'strike' meet wi...

Loan recipients on 'strike' meet with federal officials

Makenzie Vasquez, from left, Pamala Hunt, Latonya Suggs, Ann Bowers, Nathan Hornes, Ashlee Schmidt, Natasha Hornes, Tasha Courtright, Michael Adorno and Sarah Dieffenbacher, pose for a picture in Washington, Monday, March 30, 2015. Former and current college students calling themselves the ?Corinthian 100? say they are on a debt strike and refuse to pay back their student loans. The name comes from Corinthian Colleges Inc., which operated the for-profit Everest College, Heald College and WyoTech schools before agreeing last summer to sell or close its 100-plus campuses. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)WASHINGTON (AP) ? Pamela Hunt is so overwhelmed by her $56,000 in student loans for what she considers a worthless criminal justice master's degree that she's joined others on a "debt strike" and refusing to pay back the money.

Corinthian College graduates protes...

Corinthian College graduates protest student loans

corinthianThe ?Corinthian 100,? is a growing movement of students who attended Corinthian Colleges, Inc. who say they should not have to pay back their debt.

Day 7 of deliberations in Atlanta s...

Day 7 of deliberations in Atlanta schools cheating trial

ATLANTA (AP) ? Jurors are set to start their seventh day of deliberations in the trial of a dozen former Atlanta Public Schools educators accused of participating in a conspiracy to cheat on standardized tests.
5 Key Benefits of U.S. Community Co...

5 Key Benefits of U.S. Community Colleges for International Students

Community college should be familiar to most international students and their parents. Here is some information on what community colleges really are and how they are different from four-year institutions, as well as which types of international students may want to consider community college. Tuition: Tuition is probably one of the biggest concerns that make many students -- and not just international ones -- choose a community college over a four-year institution. For international students, the tuition for a four-year institution can vary widely, up to and more than $40,000 dollars a year, while the tuition for a community college could be closer to $10,000 per year.
Does wearing American flag incite v...

Does wearing American flag incite violence? Supreme Court lets stand ruling

The US Supreme Court announced on Monday that it would not take up a major First Amendment case testing whether school officials in California violated the free speech rights of three high school students who were told they could not wear American flag T-shirts at school because it might upset students of Mexican heritage. The administrators said they took the action out of concern that Hispanic students might assault or otherwise harass the students for wearing shirts displaying the American flag on the same day Hispanic students were celebrating Cinco de Mayo at the school. School officials determined that the threats of violence were credible. Rather than confront those making the threats, the school officials focused on the students displaying the American flag.
High court rejects church appeal ov...

High court rejects church appeal over use of public school

WASHINGTON (AP) ? The Supreme Court has again rejected an appeal from a small evangelical church in the Bronx seeking to overturn New York City's ban on after-hours religious worship services at public schools.


Nearly four in ten qualifying teach...

Nearly four in ten qualifying teachers quitting the classroom after one year

Almost four out of ten teachers are no longer in the classroom a year after qualifying, a teachers' conference heard yesterday.

Headteachers' salaries are soaring ...

Headteachers' salaries are soaring in academies and free schools, say teachers

Headteachers must guard against the "rot of greed" which has seen their salaries soar in some academies and free schools, teachers declared yesterday.

General Election 2015: Labour promi...

General Election 2015: Labour promise legislation to boost vocational education and apprenticeships within 100 days if elected

Labour will introduce legislation within 100 days of taking office to boost vocational education and apprenticeships, the party's education spokesman Tristram Hunt pledged yesterday.

School children with more friends e...

School children with more friends earn more as adults, study claims

Charm really does pay. Children who make lots of friends at school go on to earn higher salaries later in life, according to a new study which highlights the long-term financial benefits of being sociable.

£800m spent on free nursery places ...

£800m spent on free nursery places for three-year-olds fails to improve education standards

Spending £800 million of free nursery places for three-year-olds has failed to produce any lasting improvements in education standards, according to a study published today.

Q: How much time should be spent on...

Q: How much time should be spent on homework? A: 70 minutes at most, every day

Teenagers should not do more than an hour of maths and science homework per day ? according to a new study ? as any more has been found to be counter-productive.

Education Week

Mississippi Senate agrees to specia...

Mississippi Senate agrees to special education voucher bill

School voucher bills off to content...

School voucher bills off to contentious start in Legislature

Haslam to continue school funding d...

Haslam to continue school funding discussion despite lawsuit

Texas school district accused of mi...

Texas school district accused of mishandling school funds

Updated charter school regulations ...

Updated charter school regulations clear Ohio House

Va. developing limits on school sec...

Va. developing limits on school seclusion, restraint


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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Innovating Together

Innovating Together

By Nick Bygrave (OH) I'm writing this on the tour bus leaving the San Jose conference center where the EF Global Student Leaders Summit took place. My group is quite tired from the countless activities at the conference, but everyone is still wide eyed and excited to depart on our upcoming tour of Costa Rica. Before starting the next part of the journey, I am using this bus ride as a time to reflect upon the incredible weekend I just experienced. We started Saturday morning with the highly anticipated visit of Dr. Jane Goodall. Granville High School's very own student, Ryan Redding gave a great speech introducing Dr. Jane Goodall. Next, Dr. Goodall calmly, and in a hushed voice, described her career path and the struggles she faced dealing with chimpanzees. With various stories and anecdotes, she took us through a wonderful journey of challenges, discovery, and great spiritual enlightenment. Later in the day I was lucky enough to interview Dr. Goodall during the press conference. I can comfortably report that she is as insightful one-on-one as she is to a crowd of hundreds. To read more about Saturday's activities and Dr. Jane Goodall, check out the previous post by fellow EF student journalist, Eliza Klein. The majority of Saturday and Sunday were devoted to the design thinking sessions. My group consisted of intelligent, creative and diverse members. Each person truly brought something interesting to the table. Shortly after introducing ourselves, we were told to create an original and innovative solution to an environmental problem. One of our group members told a story of her friend Kristina who lived on the New Jersey shore where Hurricane Sandy hit. Kristina described how there was a long period of time where garbage and debris from the storm were scattered on the beach. This, in turn, harmed wildlife as well as the environment. After hearing more about this environmental issue, my team and I decided that this story would be our project's focus. 2015-03-31-1427836966-755180-imcrnbarticle.jpg Photo Credit: Adeline Yeo After going through a number of ideation exercises we reached the conclusion that we would make a prototype of a trash removal truck. This truck would be solar powered, making it completely ozone-friendly. The truck would also efficiently retrieve debris by scooping it up with a simple but effective rotating scooper. Sensors would warn the driver of animals and other objects that were not trash. Next, the team began the prototype phase. Within a matter of minutes, what started as a group of kids throwing out ideas turned into a fast-paced, synchronized dance of grabbing, gluing and cutting of office supplies and recycled bottles. We worked efficiently, and the group's overall harmony became clear. In less than an hour, we had converted a detergent bottle, some bottle caps and pipe wires into a pretty convincing miniature natural-disaster clean-up truck. This, along with the posters we had worked on the previous days, was starting to look like a rather professional proposition. Once the final touches complete, we wrote our pitches and read them over and over until we could recite them with ease. Finally, the Innovation Village was upon us. Over 500 attendees all crowded into the lobby of the conference center to learn about the fifty projects that were created. Presentation time came and went quickly. As I began to walk around the village, I also started to realize how good every other project was as well. Some groups took on small projects, such as cleaning up after a concert, while others challenged big issues like air pollution in a major city. Although some were better practiced and more convincing than others, every single group brought forward an original and largely feasible solution to some relevant modern problems. As loud and hectic as the room became, you could still see people leaning in to hear what the presenters had to say about their projects. We went from drawing pictures on a poster one day, to reciting a detailed and advanced presentation of a possible natural disaster clean-up solution the next. I was by all means amazed at how quickly we were able to go from ideating to making a prototype. 2015-03-31-1427836730-4370716-imginnovillageimg.PNG Photo credit: EFTours/Instagram The closing ceremony was an exciting yet sad forty minutes. It consisted of a couple short goodbyes followed by a number of longer ones with new friends from my team. Although the conference is behind me, the enthusiasm of the students is something that has stayed with me. I am privileged for not only meeting the incredible Dr. Jane Goodall, amongst many other influential adults, but I am also lucky to have met some truly incredible young minds. I have never been so happy to be truly out-brained. Looking back on the weekend, this was one of the most uplifting and optimistic experiences of my life. About the Global Student Leaders Summit Series This post is part of a series produced by EF Educational Tours, in recognition of the EF Global Student Leaders Summit. Throughout the next two weeks, you will hear from EF Student Journalism Interns detailing their experiences before, during and after the 2015 Costa Rica Summit. The internship offers a way for students traveling to Costa Rica to become even more engaged with their journey and gain real-time, deadline driven writing experience. During the Summit these students will be covering stories as they unfold and sharing their experiences through their writing! For more information on EF Educational Tours click here.
'Corinthian 100' Ask Education Depa...

'Corinthian 100' Ask Education Department: What About Us?

Fourteen federal student loan borrowers refusing to make their monthly payments to protest the U.S. Department of Education's shoddy oversight of for-profit colleges met with senior government officials on Tuesday to share their stories and learn about the department's plan to help them. The Education Department?s answer, in short: Keep on waiting. The borrowers are part of the so-called Corinthian 100, a growing group of roughly 100 former students of schools once owned by Corinthian Colleges Inc., the troubled owner of what was once one of the largest chains of for-profit campuses, and are now struggling with their debts. Over the past few years, state and federal authorities have sued Corinthian, alleging the company duped students into taking out loans by advertising false job placement and graduation rates. The company denies the claims. The borrowers, organized by anti-debt activists borne out of the Occupy Wall Street movement, now want the Education Department to forgive federal student loans taken out by current and former Corinthian students on the grounds that borrowers shouldn't have to repay debt based on a school's fraud. The group, which says it has amassed more than 300 applications from former Corinthian students wishing to have their debts discharged, claims it has the law on its side, pointing to federal statutes and a provision in their loan agreements that states borrowers can refuse to repay debts if they were defrauded by their school. Some Democrats in Congress are on their side, but it?s not clear whether the Education Department stands with them. The Tuesday afternoon meeting, organized by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and held at one of its offices in Washington, provided a glimpse into the long odds the Corinthian 100 face. ?The consumer bureau seems to be on our side, but the Education Department seems to need a fire under their ass,? said Jessica King of Newport News, Virginia, a borrower who attended the meeting. ?And we're the ones who will light it.? Officials from the CFPB, Education Department and Department of the Treasury listened to borrowers such as King who claim they were either lured into taking out loans with bogus promises of future job prospects or were simply signed up for loans by their school?s staff without their consent. Some of the borrowers cried as they explained why they attended Corinthian-owned schools, the shock they faced when they couldn?t get jobs with their credentials and the fear they live under as a result of mounting debts they can?t afford to repay. ?Like so many other current and former Corinthian students we have heard from across the country, dreams of higher education have been turned into stories of financial despair,? said Rohit Chopra, the CFPB?s point man on student issues. ?We continue to urge struggling borrowers to submit complaints with federal agencies to aid regulators in holding accountable those who break the law.? Joining Chopra at the meeting were Undersecretary of Education Ted Mitchell and Deputy Undersecretary of Education Jeff Appel. Prosecutors from state attorneys general offices in Massachusetts, Kentucky, Oregon and New York joined the session via conference call. After the borrowers shared their stories, they pressed the Education Department for information. They wanted to know when the department would wrap up its long-running probe into alleged wrongdoing by Corinthian, for example. They also asked for the guidance the department gives its contracted loan specialists who field calls from borrowers who claim they were defrauded and demand loan forgiveness, and wanted to know how many borrowers have successfully had their federal debts discharged as a result of school fraud. One former Corinthian student at the meeting asked Education Department officials why they don?t notify students when their school is under investigation. Corinthian has operated schools under the Everest, Heald, and Wyotech brands. For the most part, meeting participants said, the Education Department representatives offered few answers. ?What these Corinthian students have experienced is troubling, and it is why we took a series of actions in recent months to hold Corinthian accountable and put the school on the road to closure,? Denise Horn, an Education Department spokeswoman, said in an emailed statement. ?We will review every claim [for loan forgiveness] and continue to investigate Corinthian to help students as much as possible.? Horn added that the department is working on other initiatives, such as new rules that restrict the flow of federal student aid funds to dodgy career training programs, to help future students. King, the former Corinthian student, said Education Department officials gave similar assurances during the Tuesday meeting. ?But what we want to know is, what about us?? King said. While the department contemplates its next move, the borrower group wants students and consumer advocates included in deliberations. ?The department makes decision after decision without student input, even though these decisions affect students most profoundly,? the group said in a list of demands it gave the Education Department. ?The disregard the department has shown for students? interests evidences a clear remove from their experiences.? For years, Corinthian has been dogged by fraud allegations and government investigations into its disclosures and practices. But tens of thousands of students continued to shell out tens of thousands of dollars annually in pursuit of a credential from one of its campuses. Last year, the company began to crumble. It started after the Education Department demanded information about Corinthian's job placement figures, which the company used in marketing materials to attract potential students. In June, after the department grew impatient with the company?s alleged unresponsiveness, it told Corinthian it would delay the normally quick transfer of a borrower's federal loan funds to the company's account. That prompted a cash crunch that ultimately led the company to agree to the Education Department?s demand that it either shutter or sell its U.S. campuses. The department then brokered a November deal for Corinthian to sell most of its schools to ECMC Group, a longtime debt collector for the Education Department. Corinthian ultimately shed much of its legal liability in the transaction. ECMC assumed very little, while picking up a sprawling network of college campuses. Students, meanwhile, were stuck with their debts. The Education Department has originated about $4 billion in loans for students at Corinthian?s campuses since the start of the 2010-2011 academic year alone, department data show. The reason for the Corinthian 100 debt strike ultimately lies in how the Education Department handled a faltering Corinthian and its divergent approach to saving campuses instead of protecting students. To the student activists, the Education Department chose to save a chain of for-profit college campuses rather than help vulnerable students. ?At the end of the meeting, I told them it?s in your interest to find a solution because otherwise this is going to grow,? said Laura Hanna, one of the group?s organizers. ?They know they have a problem on their hands. If they want to give us more fodder, that's fine.?
College Students Are Robots?

College Students Are Robots?

You hear it everywhere today: higher education needs massive disruption; the traditional model of education is dead; a third or more of higher education institutions will be closed a decade from now. And some of the disruption is coming in the form of MOOCs and other screen-based technologies: they will explosively expand access; they will dramatically lower price; they will improve education. While there are many problems in higher education and each of these issues deserves careful analysis, I focus here on the individual student and her/his educational experience in the electronic age. I focus on the human being who is maturing through the educational process, developing creative thinking, critical analysis, problem-solving, the ability to write and speak effectively and to productively collaborate with persons of different backgrounds and experiences than their own. National polling of employers has repeatedly placed these college-derived outcomes at the head of the list of desired employee attributes. How best to develop these maturities? We are told that since college education has become very expensive, or at least some approaches to it have become very expensive, we must exploit technology. Would-be students are to be put in front of a screen to download knowledge to their brains from a "cloud". Transmitting knowledge in bytes from server to student in a sterile (little or no human teacher intervention), electronic environment is deemed to be a much cheaper means to impart information. The student progresses at their own pace and on their own time, and at least in a physical sense, alone. Given enough screen time, the student is supposed to emerge from the virtual university with certification equivalent to a college degree and become effective in the world of jobs and life. The student is apparently conceived as the equivalent of the Artificial Intelligence machine that digitally acquires both basic knowledge and decision-making abilities based on downloading data into memory and persistent trial and error; in other words, a Robot. Well-meaning disruptors of higher education have lost track of our humanness. They forget that we are complex beings whose thought patterns cannot be mimicked by a machine (at least not now nor in the near future). They ignore fundamentals of human interaction, such as that our communication is multifaceted, not two-dimensional on a flat screen. Tone, tempo, body language, eye contact, talking with the hands, immediate response to signals from the other, all contribute to communication and can profoundly change the message (have you ever had one of your emails misinterpreted by the reader?). These disruptors have pushed aside some of our human needs in communication as well as other human characteristics like uncertainty, deficiencies in persistence, and lack of self-confidence. Students hunger for human interactions to mature through their educational career. They have deep needs to talk with faculty members about their future directions in life and their path to their degree, as much as about problems in their course. Through these discussions they learn much about themselves and can safely question premises that open new windows on the world for them. Students need faculty members to respond synchronously to what they voice to uncover both new understandings and misunderstandings lurking in the student's head. They need faculty members to diagnose learning hurdles that the students cannot articulate or do not understand. And they occasionally need faculty members to push them, nuanced by the nature of their one-on-one communication. All the many facets of person-to-person communication that we humans use are required to successfully meet the students' needs. Machines, even with humans programming them, are not able to substitute for person-to-person interactions in the learning environment. The most desired outcomes of higher education, including creative thinking, critical analysis, problem-solving, the ability to write and speak effectively, and to productively collaborate with persons of different backgrounds and experiences than their own, are complex human skills. They require complex human interactions to fully develop. If you, as an individual, have the immediate need to acquire, for example, a body of facts for a certification for your professional development, and you have the persistence to finish everything that you begin, and you prefer working largely alone, and if you can read quickly and effectively in whatever format, you may find an on-line approach to that body of facts effective for you. But then could you not have found a similar path through the 20th century public university on TV or the 19th century library in their day? As we solve problems in higher education in the 21st century, remember that our subjects are human beings, not blank memory chips waiting to be filled.
Why High School Students Should Stu...

Why High School Students Should Study Abroad

President Obama is profoundly right to try making community college more accessible. But we need to make studying abroad more accessible, too. Twenty years ago, I spent my junior year of high school in Barcelona, Spain. I lived with a Spanish family, explored Toledo and Malaga and, yes, learned what it's like to be drunk on Sangria. Inspired by an ancient and noble culture, I turned from a mediocre sophomore with average grades into an accomplished high school senior with an impressive academic record. The experience paved my way to Yale and a career in international politics. Many years later, that year in Spain led to my most recent job as a speechwriter for the NATO Secretary General. Not bad for a kid who grew up on a farm in Kentucky. But to borrow a phrase: I didn't build that. It took a well-off family, a private school and a big pile of scholarship cash. Without all that, I never would have made it off the farm. We talk often about how U.S. high school students lag behind many international peers. Most kids have no chance to study abroad -- in particular, poor teenagers who would benefit the most. Some drop out. Far too many wind up in a jail cell. Reforming our high schools seems a distant prospect. But if can't change the system, we could let a few of our kids out of it for a while. I don't mean three months in the UK, the single biggest destination for our students. I mean nine months in a country where they have to learn the language. Giving high school juniors this chance would have enormous benefits, for several reasons. First, studying abroad can be good for you. According to the Guardian, learning a foreign language makes your brain bigger, even compared to students who studied subjects other than a language. Many others have discussed the advantages of a year abroad, usually in college. But I believe the earlier, the better. After all, the difference in lifetime income between high school and college graduates is a massive economic dividing line in America. If you study abroad as a college junior, you've probably already 'made it'. The semester in Madrid may be just icing on the cake -- or a second helping of Sangria. For a high school junior, nine months abroad could mean much more. You're old enough to handle it and you'll benefit the most from it. You'll get into a better college and probably make a wiser choice about your career. And whether you're in high school or college, after graduation you'll earn more. Second, a global economy demands global students. We need people who can be at home in different lands and cultures. Learning a foreign language is the first and most important step. Are American kids learning languages? Not so much. By contrast, more than half of all Europeans speak at least two languages. Here in Brussels, you find many people who speak five or six. Everyone speaks English, even if Germans can't say 'squirrel'. Thirdly, it wouldn't be hard. We have huge college study-abroad programs in place already, with nearly 300,000 college students studying abroad in 2012-13. We only need to help deserving high school juniors take advantage without incurring ridiculous debts. But here's a more fundamental reason for studying abroad. It doesn't just make you smarter. It opens your mind. Sometimes our teenagers can seem a bit ignorant. When I was 16, I was pretty darn ignorant myself. That said, I'm concerned when I meet young people who literally don't know what NATO stands for. Or what the Holocaust was. Studying abroad doesn't necessarily cure this ignorance. But it does make teenagers more receptive to knowledge. And in a celebrity culture that worships success, it also teaches the virtues of failure. Studying abroad is, first and foremost, an instructive exercise in failure. At the start, you fail to do simple things like order a meal in a restaurant. But you adapt because you must. And the lesson you learn -- that initial setbacks, patience and work are the prerequisites for eventual success -- is more important than an A in Calculus. That lesson can't be taught. It must be learned firsthand. A high school year abroad is a quick and dirty way to discover just how ignorant you are. As such, it's the door to a lifetime of learning and discovery.
The PDP Farce -- Wink, Wink, Nod, N...

The PDP Farce -- Wink, Wink, Nod, Nod

PDPs - Professional Development Plans (usually referred to as Professional Development Points by teachers) - are the primary means of giving teachers needed training during their careers. All teachers are required to take additional training, and be credited with PDPs in order to be re-certified to teach. All schools conduct internal training programs that award some of the required PDPs periodically, but in addition teachers must find outside sources of training that qualify for most of their PDP credits. PDPs could be a good thing for teachers and education. After all, there are a number of topics that would be valuable for all teachers that are too rarely covered, such as: diversified learning, "explaining" versus "presenting," class discipline, evolving technology, and engaging students. But once again the Career DoE bureaucrats have taken a good goal, and twisted it into a costly, ineffective farce via their mismanaged implementation. The problem is that there is a mandated need for so many PDPs (else they lose their license and jobs) that teachers have to scramble to take whatever credit-offering courses they can find. But there are a limited number of useful courses available, and only part of them provided by the schools. There are always topics required by state DOEs that qualify for PDP credits - such as training for standardized test proctoring, or annual review of restraint training. In addition, most schools carefully choose new topics relevant to their school each year. But these programs typically cover no more than one-fourth to one-third of the PDPs required to renew a teaching license. So a cottage industry has now grown into a major industry to churn out new "content" every few months that can be sold to teachers and schools to meet PDP requirements. The result is exactly what you would expect - the drive in the PDP industry is to create something new and salable - not necessarily anything that helps education. 2015-03-30-1427743458-1452198-021PDPDevelopment.jpg Teachers are mandated to find PDPs, so the PDP industry gets to work and invents new "content" to sell. In recent years, much of this new content has either been "check-the-box" training that is nothing more than a rehash of old material and will be ignored by the attendees, or it is a new fad-du-jour that someone cooked up to sell a course regardless of educational merit. Teachers routinely sit at these PDP conferences with a "...wink, wink, nod, nod, this is really useful..." view of the meeting. Everyone attending knows it is a costly, time-consuming farce. The goal is to get through the meeting, get the certificate that awards the mandated PDPs, and then go home and forget all the nonsense you just heard. For extended versions of this and other of D. A. Russell's blogs about the real issues in today's education system, please visit: https://liftingthecurtainoneducation.wordpress.com/ Now clearly, not all PDP conferences and classes are bad. But I can only recall a handful in the past decade that had nuggets a good teacher could use. One of the best half-day PDP sessions I ever attended was about ways to discipline with humor and engage today's child centered on an excellent book by Barkley. Another was a course with practical tips on diversified learning strategies. Most of the other commercial PDP courses were a complete waste of time. Example: The Power of "I" A now-dead fad called "The Power of I" is the poster child for the ills of the PDP system. Thousands of schools across the country jumped on this program a few years ago to fill a half-day of PDP training, and yield a few precious PDP credits for their teachers. The program was a huge financial success for its developers. On the surface it was a program designed to help get students to do more homework. In reality, it was a program designed by someone who had absolutely no idea what teachers face in the classroom, and appears to know absolutely nothing about the psychology and expectations of a child. The basis for "The Power of I" was: never give a child a zero for a missed assignment, instead give them an "I" for "Incomplete." By some mysterious process this would incent the child to finish the project at a later date. Somehow in the rush to create saleable PDP content, the creator believed he could convince experienced teachers that this was an effective way to get students to do more homework. Many of us watched with trepidation as several of the newer teachers gave "The Power of I" a try. We watched as the term ended and the homework still had not been made up. We watched as the teacher asked in bewilderment what grade should be submitted for the end of the term report card if a student still had an "I" for three scores, and refused to make up the assignments. It was frustrating and sad to witness the hard lesson the new teacher learned about educational PDP fads, when the students did exactly what the experienced teachers expected. The student preferred the "I" to the zero because it let them safely skip the work, yet kept them out of trouble at home for weeks by hiding the zeroes. They gladly accepted the zero at the end of the term rather than make up the work - knowing they could use the excuse at home that it was too late, and they would just have one "punishment" all at once rather than having had to face the parent for each zero along the way. Worst of all, by labeling failure with the relatively nice term of "incomplete," we enable the child to duck his/her responsibility. The child knows he/she simply blew off the assignment, but the school tells them it's okay because it is just "incomplete." The school has made it official - skipping assignments is okay. It doesn't have to be this way! There are many more like the "Power of I" that could be cited to make the point about useless PDP content. If I had to try to put numbers on my years of PDP training history, I would guesstimate the following: Useful PDP content: 20% Rehash of old, known material: 50% Useless fad content: 30% But PDPs could be good for teachers and education if we just reduced the number required (so that there was no longer the need to purchase useless filler training) and follow training best practices. For any training program to succeed, any world-class trainer will tell you it must meet three criteria: ? Focused on the needs of the individual ? Focused upon the needs of the job ? Provide added value specific to the individual The overall PDP program fails these criteria for the bulk of the PDP training that is available. Much of the training is just a repeat of prior years where 90% of the audience has been through the same presentation a dozen times before. We need to fix this! 2015-03-30-1427744135-2984965-button.jpg KIRKUS and CLARION both praise the acclaimed book "...from the unique perspective of a classroom teacher" about our failing education system: Lifting the Curtain: The disgrace we call urban high school education. The 2nd edition includes dozens of teacher submissions from across the USA and nine new chapters. Please get a copy HERE or on Amazon.
Frats Push To Make Rape Victims Cho...

Frats Push To Make Rape Victims Choose Between Police Or School For Investigations

National Greek life organizations are advocating that sexual assault survivors should not be able to pursue adjudication through both their colleges and the police concurrently, according to a talking-points memo distributed by the groups. The National Panhellenic Conference and the North-American Interfraternity Conference began distributing a fact sheet late last week following revelations that they will support an effort by the Fraternal Government Relations Coalition, an alliance of national fraternity and sorority leaders that uses students as lobbyists, relating to campus sexual assault. The groups say they plan to work with the Fraternity and Sorority Political Action Committee, or FratPAC, to push Congress to keep colleges from investigating and adjudicating sexual assault cases until the completion of a criminal investigation and trial. Aside from what's outlined in the memo, the Greek life organizations have not said publicly what they plan to advocate to members of Congress. The groups note their proposal is not yet formalized. Larry Wiese, executive director of Kappa Alpha Order, the fraternity group that donates the most to FratPAC, told The Huffington Post their proposal would not "block" colleges from investigating sexual assault cases. Instead, it would just stop schools from investigating until police announce they are finished with their work. The fraternity groups are "advocating to make campuses safer by providing a clear path for pursuing those who commit such crimes against students," Wiese said in a statement. "We believe law enforcement should be involved in the investigation of college-based sexual assault claims -- unless the student victim asks the college administrators not to involve the police." Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), who are co-sponsoring legislation aimed at campus sexual assault -- and who are both sorority alumnae -- have already slammed the effort, as have several higher education professionals, who promised to oppose the fraternities' proposal. Sorority women are more likely than non-Greek students to experience sexual assault, according to the National Institute of Justice. A review of campus sexual assault cases by United Educators, a liability insurance company, found that fraternity men were not more likely to be accused of sexual assault than men not involved with Greek life, but that they made up a larger proportion of repeat offenders. According to the 2007 Campus Sexual Assault Study, funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, the frequency of attending fraternity parties was "positively associated" with being a victim of incapacitated sexual assault. Federal guidance currently instructs colleges to investigate reports of sexual assault promptly -- within 60 days, if possible -- but does not provide a comparable timeline to the criminal justice system. A 2015 poll from the research firm Penn Schoen Berland found 85 percent of Americans believe the legal system, not colleges, should be primarily responsible for adjudicating sexual assault cases. In a March 26 memo, the NIC and NPC fought against the argument that they are trying to "make it harder to bring justice" for sexual assault survivors. "Student victims have a right to choose whether their cases are investigated and adjudicated by an [institutions of higher education] or the local police," the NIC/NPC memo states. "Student privacy is paramount. If an affected student wishes only to avail themselves of confidential institutional services to protect their physical, emotional and educational well-being, they must be able to do so." "Because we view sexual violence as such a severe and heinous crime, we believe the involvement of law enforcement plays a crucial role to finding a resolution when a report is submitted," the memo continues. "We recognize that a case may advance through the court system, but many times a case will be handed back to campus to investigate and adjudicate." The Greek organizations' memo goes on to say interim measures like adjustments to class schedules, university housing or even temporary suspensions are fine, but "deeper [institutions of higher education] investigations of the alleged assault should be postponed while police are investigating." NIC and NPC say their proposal "will make campuses safer by providing a clear path for pursuing those who commit such crimes against students." Read the full memo below:

Fraternity Sorority Legislative Agenda by Tyler Kingkade


Why Do People Hire College Admissio...

Why Do People Hire College Admissions Counselors?

A study done a few years ago show that 26% of high achieving students hire an independent educational consultant to work with them on the college admissions process. I strongly suspect that this number is even higher today. But why do this many students feel the need to have help beyond what is provided by...Continue Reading >

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Preparing for the New PSAT

Preparing for the New PSAT

If you have students that are current sophomores or younger, you have probably heard something about the new SAT that will be put in place in Spring 2016.  I will be talking a bit about that in a later posting but for now I want to talk about the new PSAT which will be given...Continue Reading >

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Inside View from Harvard Interviewe...

Inside View from Harvard Interviewer

The Gawker published an article from a Harvard graduate that did interviews for Harvard undergraduate admissions for 8 years. This article gives some insight into what the admissions process at Harvard, and highly selective colleges in general, are like.  You will see from the article that just being smart and involved are not enough. Every...Continue Reading >

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What Does it Take to Get Into HPME?

What Does it Take to Get Into HPME?

Today I am going to give you some background on some of my students that have applied to Northwestern HPME so you have some idea of the type of competition you are facing when applying to this incredibly competitive program. These are not complete resumes for these students and a few minor facts are changed...Continue Reading >

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Do BS/MD Programs Waive the MCAT?

Do BS/MD Programs Waive the MCAT?

When I am first talking to a new student about BS/MD programs, they often say that one of the reasons they are interested in these programs is the waiver of the MCAT. But do these programs really waive the MCAT? It depends. There are a number of BS/MD programs that do indeed waive the MCAT...Continue Reading >

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BS/MD or BS/DDS? Why Thinking About...

BS/MD or BS/DDS? Why Thinking About Both is a Bad Option.

“I want to go to a BS/MD program or a BS/DDS school.” This is a phrase we hear from several students each year. While becoming a doctor or a dentist are both good options for many students, if you are interested in an accelerated program you need to figure out which option is best for...Continue Reading >

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The post BS/MD or BS/DDS? Why Thinking About Both is a Bad Option. appeared first on BS/MD Admissions by College Admissions Partners.


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