NY Education

RFP Posted: Assessment of Homeless ...

RFP Posted: Assessment of Homeless Education Programming for McKinney-Vento Grantee Districts

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is seeking proposals to design and conduct a statewide assessment of homeless education programs supported by McKinney-Vento grant funding. The study will focus on promising features of program implementation at the LEA level; outcomes for students experiencing homelessness; and academic and social-emotional program supports and resources provided by NYSEDís Homeless Education current technical assistance vendor, NYS-TEACHS.
News and Notes: New Professional De...

News and Notes: New Professional Development Materials

News and Notes: New Professional Development Materials
Funding Opportunity: 2014-15 Title ...

Funding Opportunity: 2014-15 Title I School Improvement Section 1003(a) - Basic School Improvement Grant Application

Section 1003(a) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) requires that State Education Agencies allocate funds to Local Education Agencies (LEAs) for Title I Priority and Focus Schools to meet the progress goals in their District Comprehensive Improvement Plan and School Comprehensive Education Plan(s) (DCIP/SCEP) and thereby improve student performance. These funds are to be used to support implementation of school improvement activities identified through the Diagnostic Tool for School and District Effectiveness (DTSDE) reviews or a school review with district oversight and included in the DCIP/SCEP.
RFP Posted: Special Education Media...

RFP Posted: Special Education Mediation Technical Assistance Center

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) P-12 Office of Special Education is seeking proposals to provide annual training to approximately 125 individuals who serve as New York State special education mediators, promote the use of special education mediation, provide reimbursement of mediation administrative costs to the Stateís twenty one (21) Community Dispute Resolution Centers (CDRCs) and to collect and report data on the number and type of special education mediation sessions conducted throughout the State. NYSED seeks applicants for mediation training (Part I) with documented experience and expertise in alternative dispute resolution processes in special education and for data collection (Part II) with demonstrated experience in the collection and reporting of statewide data.
RFP Posted: State Performance Plan ...

RFP Posted: State Performance Plan Indicator 8; Parent Survey for Special Education Consumer Satisfaction

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) Office of Special Education is seeking proposals for the distribution, collection and analysis of a parent survey relating to special education.
RFP Posted: Evaluation of Categoric...

RFP Posted: Evaluation of Categorical Bilingual Education Programs

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is seeking proposals to design, develop, and conduct evaluations of all Categorical Bilingual Education Programs funded by New York State and managed by the Office of Bilingual Education and Foreign Language Studies (OBE-FLS). The selected vendor will design and develop protocols to assess implementation and effectiveness of all programs. Due to the variety of goals and objectives of each program to be evaluated, in addition to protocols that can be used for all programs (demographic data, evaluation elements that are common to all programs, etc.), each program is likely to also require evaluation components that are specific to that programís evaluation (See Attachment C).


Essay on how to get the most out of...

Essay on how to get the most out of a conference

Conference coming up? Mandi Stewart offers tips for making the most of it.

How to know when to give up a facul...

How to know when to give up a faculty job at a religious college

Brandon Withrow, discussing his own experience, describes how to tell if the time has come to give up a full-time job at a Christian college.

Essay on the mismatch between gradu...

Essay on the mismatch between graduate programs at research universities and hiring needs at most colleges

Paula Krebs writes about the need for graduate programs at research universities to learn about the colleges that will actually employ their new Ph.D.s.

Essay on the importance of word cho...

Essay on the importance of word choice in the academic job search

Slight changes in phrasing can make all the difference in networking, cover letters, interviews and your mindset about a job search, writes Joseph Barber.

Essay on the importance of word cho...

Essay on the importance of word choice in the academic job search

Slight changes in phrasing can make all the difference in networking, cover letters, interviews and your mindset about a job search, writes Joseph Barber.

Essay on how to manage an academic ...

Essay on how to manage an academic career

Aimee LaPointe Terosky shares three key strategies.

BBC News Education

Regular cannabis 'harms intelligenc...

Regular cannabis 'harms intelligence'

Teenagers who are regular cannabis users are "impairing" their educational ability - but moderate use does not harm intelligence, say researchers.
Child poverty targets 'won't be hit...

Child poverty targets 'won't be hit'

The UK risks being "permanently divided" between rich and poor unless more is done to boost social mobility, says Alan Milburn, the government's anti-poverty tsar.
Boarding schools issue Ebola advice

Boarding schools issue Ebola advice

The Boarding Schools Association has issued guidance on Ebola after some heads asked how to deal with students returning from affected countries.
PE cash 'can benefit obese pupils'

PE cash 'can benefit obese pupils'

Extra funding designed to boost sport in primary schools could be used to tackle childhood obesity, says Ofsted.
Grants for children's mental health

Grants for children's mental health

Groups offering mental health support to children and young people will be able to apply for government top-up grants, say ministers.
Students diagnosed with meningitis

Students diagnosed with meningitis

Two Strathclyde University students diagnosed with meningitis are said to be stable and showing signs of recovery in hospital.

US Govt Dept of Education

Highlighting Hispanic Education Yea...

Highlighting Hispanic Education Year-Round

It?s the middle of October. The leaves are changing colors, baseball playoffs are under way, and Hispanic Heritage month ? celebrated each year from September 15 to October 15 ? just came to close.
Getting Assessment Right to Support...

Getting Assessment Right to Support Students, Educators and Families

The following op-ed piece by Secretary Duncan originally appeared in the Washington Post on Oct. 17. Secretary Duncan addressed the issue of getting assessment right in conjunction with an Oct.
Community Colleges: Helping the U.S...

Community Colleges: Helping the U.S. Become ?First in the World?

About three-quarters of college students in this country attend a community college or public university. President Obama understands the crucial role that community colleges play in helping students and our nation skill up for the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century.
Boulder Valley School District Shin...

Boulder Valley School District Shines in Solar-Powered Learning

Note: U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools recognizes schools, districts and postsecondary institutions that are 1) reducing environmental impact and costs; 2) improving health and wellness; and 3) teaching environmental education.
U.S. Department of Education Announ...

U.S. Department of Education Announces Final Rule to Help Colleges Keep Campuses Safe

The Obama Administration today announced publication of the final rule implementing changes made to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act) by the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA).
Promoting Safe and Supportive Schoo...

Promoting Safe and Supportive Schools

Cross-posted from†the Department of Justice?s Office of Justice Programs blog.


Newark students face charges follow...

Newark students face charges following melee

Newark students face charges following meleeNearly a dozen high school students are facing charges in Delaware after a series of fights inside their school.

Pumpkin Fair riot: Should Keene Sta...

Pumpkin Fair riot: Should Keene State College students be expelled?

On Monday morning, Keene State College Student Body President Bobby Graham sat in his econometrics class, one day after he had walked door to door apologizing to area businesses on behalf of the rioters.
Parents pay the price for children?...

Parents pay the price for children?s student debt

Parents who want to provide for their children's college education are being stretched to the brink with student loans.
California mayor vocal in immigrati...

California mayor vocal in immigration debate suspected of drunken driving

Murrieta Mayor Alan Long speaks at a town hall meeting to discuss the processing of undocumented immigrants in MurrietaBy Marty Graham SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - The mayor of Murrieta, California, who led a local backlash against the arrival of undocumented Central American immigrants flooding the U.S. border, has been arrested on suspicion of drunken driving in an accident that injured four teenagers. Mayor Alan Long was arrested late Thursday on suspicion of causing injury while driving under the influence after his truck crashed into a car carrying four Murrieta Valley High School students, Murrieta police said in a statement. ...

San Diego college students get anti...

San Diego college students get antibiotics after one dies of meningitis

By Marty Graham SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - Free antibiotics have been given out to more than 400 San Diego State University students potentially exposed to bacterial meningitis from a campus sorority member who died of the disease early on Friday, campus and public health officials said. Sara Stelzer, an 18-year-old freshman, was admitted to a San Diego hospital earlier in the week with a high fever and other symptoms and died on Friday morning, according to the university's student affairs vice president, Eric Rivera. ...
Ex-Los Angeles schools chief says r...

Ex-Los Angeles schools chief says resignation came in polarized atmosphere

Los Angeles Unified School District superintendent John Deasy speaks at a news conference in Los Angeles, CaliforniaBy Alex Dobuzinskis LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Former Los Angeles public schools Superintendent John Deasy said on Friday, a day after resigning from his post, that his testimony in a landmark case on tenure rules for teachers created a polarizing atmosphere over his leadership. The former top official of the second-largest school district in the nation, who has been praised by reform groups seeking to hold teachers to more stringent standards, also told reporters in a conference call that he might eventually run for office. ...


Exclusive: Taxpayers footed £1m bil...

Exclusive: Taxpayers footed £1m bill for free schools that never opened

More than £1m of taxpayers? money has been spent on proposals for free schools that never opened.

Best schools would still be able to...

Best schools would still be able to convert to academies under Labour, says Tristram Hunt

Labour would continue to allow good and outstanding schools to convert to academy status, says Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt.

Top private schools 'unwittingly ta...

Top private schools 'unwittingly take laundered money from criminals'

Britain?s top private schools are coming under scrutiny from anti-corruption groups for unwittingly accepting laundered money from wealthy foreign criminals and corrupt officials.

Top private schools ?unwittingly ta...

Top private schools ?unwittingly take laundered money from criminals?

Britain?s top private schools are coming under scrutiny from anti-corruption groups for unwittingly accepting laundered money from wealthy foreign criminals and corrupt officials.

Science careers favour rich, male A...

Science careers favour rich, male Asians, according to research

Pupils opting for a career in science are likely to be privileged, male and with an Asian background, according to new research.

Exclusive: Science careers favour r...

Exclusive: Science careers favour rich, male Asians, according to research

Pupils opting for a career in science are likely to be privileged, male and with an Asian background, according to new research.

Education Week

What Is 'Personalized Learning'? Ed...

What Is 'Personalized Learning'? Educators Seek Clarity

Education technology advocates, philanthropies, and others are trying to create a clearer definition of what qualifies as "personalized learning," one of the most popular terms in education today.
Push for 'Learner Profiles' Stymied...

Push for 'Learner Profiles' Stymied by Barriers

The goal is to generate comprehensive digital portraits of each student?s strengths, weaknesses, and preferences to provide them with customized academic content.
Personalized Learning Pits Data Inn...

Personalized Learning Pits Data Innovators Against Privacy Advocates

One of the biggest tensions emerging around the growth of personalized learning centers on questions about how to use and protect sensitive student information.
District's Ambitious Personalized L...

District's Ambitious Personalized Learning Effort Shows Progress

A South Carolina school district hopes to replicate the initial success at a middle school, where test scores, student engagement, and teacher attendance have improved.
Adaptive Testing Shaping Instructio...

Adaptive Testing Shaping Instruction

In some districts, the uses of adaptive testing extend beyond assessment, as teachers use test results to modify lessons and stage interventions for students of different abilities.
Educators Evaluate Array of Formati...

Educators Evaluate Array of Formative Testing Products

Many schools' personalized learning efforts hinge on the use of formative assessment tools, including embedded online curriculum, adaptive-learning platforms, and stand-alone tests.


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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Police Vow To Punish Keene State Co...

Police Vow To Punish Keene State College Students Who Rioted

KEENE, N.H. (AP) -- Local authorities in New Hampshire vowed Monday to prosecute the perpetrators of the violent disturbances near Keene's annual pumpkin festival that led to property damage and dozens of arrests and injuries over the weekend. Keene Police Chief Kenneth Meola said also that college students who did nothing criminal but exercised "poor behavior" during the melee Saturday that overwhelmed police would be referred to their schools. The parties around Keene State College coincided with the family-friendly Keene Pumpkin Festival, when the community tries to set a world record of the largest number of carved and lighted jack-o-lanterns in one place. Police said social media helped draw a large number of outsiders and contributed to the mayhem. Police donned riot gear and used tear gas and pepper balls in trying to control the crowds, reaching up to about 2,000 at some places that afternoon, police said. Col. Robert Quinn of the New Hampshire State Police said people not only threw empty cans and beer bottles at police but also hurled billiard balls, rocks, debris and bottles full of liquor. "I saw shields that were smashed," Quinn said. "The potential for someone being seriously injured or killed was there." Police made 84 arrests over the weekend, although not all were related to the disturbance. Quinn said multiple felony charges, including first and second-degree assault, could be filed against some individuals. "We will bring whatever resources necessary to bear to bring those involved to justice," he said. A police department log shows officers responded to 235 calls between 2:30 a.m. Friday and 3:30 a.m. Sunday. One group of young people threatened to beat up an elderly man, and another resident heard someone "threatening to kill officers," according to the police log. Police said a task force would be created. They also asked the public for help in identifying those who may have been responsible for the disturbances. Keene State College President Anne Huot said any students involved would face disciplinary action, possibly including expulsion. College students cleaned up the area Sunday.
The Compelling Need to Improve the ...

The Compelling Need to Improve the Higher Education Value Equation

In the middle 90's, "value" was the hot new word and every business was trying to improve its value equation -- which we operationally define as "outcomes divided by cost." Now, almost two decades later, it appears that higher education is hearing the message that value is important and matters to its customers (i.e., students). But, unfortunately, higher education in general does not appear to be getting that message. We render that opinion with a sense of disappointment because there has been much discussion about the need to improve the value of higher education over the past few years as we have discussed in Huffington Post blogs posted in 2012 and 2013. A raft of recent articles and studies documents the fact that the overall progress made in improving the value of higher education remains paltry. The "value" focus of these new reports is economic. Others such as Richard Cohen of the Washington Post, Frank Bruni of the New York Times and -- as might be expected -- Gene D. Block, Chancellor of the University of California at Los Angeles argue that higher education should be about more than economics. We agree with them and acknowledge that the value received from higher education can and should take a number of forms including: intellectual, developmental, psychic, experiential, associational, attitudinal, emotional and financial. But, in these tough times for the American economy combined with the increasing costs of higher education and the decreased funding support from state and local governments which means that many students must bear a larger burden in paying for their own education, the bottom line metrics such as graduation, gainful employment, and meaningful salaries/wages must be taken in account. In fact, in our opinion, these measures should always have been part of an accountability framework for institutions of higher education. That said, how is higher education stacking up? The most sweeping indictment that we have seen comes from Andreas Schleicher, an educational expert at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, who states, "Institutions of higher education in the United States extract a lot of money without delivering value..." Schleicher's general assessment is undoubtedly an overstatement as the degree of value provided in higher education varies substantially from institution to institution. In its 2014 September/October issue, Washington Monthly published its comprehensive annual value rankings of colleges and universities -- something it has been doing since 2005. At the top of the Monthly's "best bang for the buck" college ratings for 2014 are City University of New York campuses (Brooklyn, Queens and Baruch); California State University in Fullerton; and, Amherst College (MA). All twenty of the Monthly's "worst" colleges based upon four factors (net price, average student debt, default rate and graduation rate) were private for profits or not for profits. The top three of the bottom group are: New England Institute of Art (MA); Columbia College - Hollywood (CA); and, Fountainhead College of Technology (TN). While the Monthly's ratings and rankings present a broad range of performance in terms of value, sociologists Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa portray a more uniform trend in their new book, Aspiring Adults Adrift. Arum and Roksa studied a diverse group of approximately 1,000 students two years after their undergraduate graduation and found that one-quarter were still living at home and almost three-quarters were still receiving some money from the parents. A Federal Reserve Bank study found that 5% of recent college graduates are unemployed and almost 50% are underemployed today. These overall results are bothersome. But, more troubling by far is the performance in and of the for profit sector at all levels. For example: In the class that Florida Coastal School of Law admitted in 2013, "... more than one-half the students were unlikely to ever pass the bar", as estimated by Paul Campos in an article for The Atlantic, September 2014. A group of researchers discovered, based upon nearly 10,000 fictitious resumes sent out in response to on-line job ads, that "applicants with a bachelor's degree in business were about 22 percent less likely to get a 'callback' than applicants with degrees from non-selective public institutions." Among 100,000 students who earned medical assistant certificates in 2008 or 2009, in 2011, "More than 50 percent attended a program where graduates earned less than someone working full time at the federal minimum wage -15,080." - Kevin Carey writes in the New York Times. These are damning statistics. Then, there are the costs of for profit institutions on average versus public institutions of higher education. Professor Rieg Cellini of George Washington University told Eduardo Porter of the New York Times, "...for profits cost students much more: $51,600 in tuition, foregone earnings and loan interest, almost $20,000 more than community colleges." The question of cost is not just a concern for the for profit sector, however. The U.S. Department of Education reports that fewer than half of college undergraduates will actually finish with a degree in four years and almost 45% won't finish after six years. The advocacy group Complete College America calculates that the average cost of one extra year at a four year public university is $63,718 in tuition, fees, books, living expenses and lost wages. Most state financial aid programs typically cover only four years. That is why Stan Jones, President of Complete College America, observes, "The parents' resources and the students' resources have run out. So, that fifth year is where you borrow." Roil it all together and the need to improve the value equation across higher education is inescapable. And, some elected officials have the cost and value of education in their line of sight. For instance, Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) have drafted legislation titled The Student Right to Know Before You Go which would provide prospective students with data on how much they will earn based upon different courses of study in college. In 2013, the Obama Administration announced it would begin rating colleges in 2015 based upon measures of access, affordability and student outcomes. Since that announcement, colleges have pushed back. And, in June, 2014, Bob Goodblatte (R-VA) and Michael Capuano (D-MA) introduced a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives opposing the proposed rating system. In an interview with Inside Higher Education at that time, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), the senior Republican on the Education Committee, said he would oppose the ratings system but didn't feel he would have to do so because he thought the ratings system "will flop on its own face." Senator Alexander went on to declare, "We haven't seen it yet and we probably won't ever see it because it's impossible to do it the way they're planning with 6,000 autonomous institutions of higher education across the country." One can quarrel about ratings and rankings, but there can be no quarrel with the need to reform higher education to enhance the value it delivers. These "autonomous" institutions benefit substantially from funds derived from state, local and federal coffers. As Kevin Carey points out, Every year, the federal government gives students $150 billion in grants and unsubsidized loans to attend any accredited college. This assumption is that the free market will take care of the rest. But college is what economists call an 'experiential good' - something you can't entirely understand until after you purchase and experience it, at which point it may be too late. If changes are not made, these students become the scapegoats of a financing approach with little to no accountability attached for the provider of services which they receive. Many students - especially those who are first time college attendees and from middle to lower income backgrounds - go to college as an article of faith. Without adequate information, education or protections, too many of those students become involved in an unintentional act of charity - giving their money away to an institution of higher education and getting nothing tangible in return. This diminishes their hope for the future. This must be made unacceptable. It is much more than a question of value. It is a question of values. It is a question of who and what matters to us as a society and our institutions of higher education. (This blog and other educational blogs posted recently are written in recognition of Connected Educators Month 2014.) To get regular updates on what Frank and Ed are writing and reading, subscribe to their newsletter by going to the following link: http://bit.ly/pivotsignup
Student Sues Over Cheating Charge T...

Student Sues Over Cheating Charge That Led To An 'F'

A high school student who was accused of cheating, and consequently given a failing grade on a chemistry test, is suing her school district. The student, now a senior at Lindbergh High School in Renton, Washington, wants the court to order that her grade be changed. At base, however, the student's mother, Susie, said that the lawsuit is "not about the grade, not about money at all. ... It?s about the accusation of her cheating." While taking her chemistry final exam in June, the student had raised her hand to ask a question, according to Susie, who requested that The Huffington Post not reveal her last name or her daughter's name. The teacher came over to answer the question and saw a pencil case on the student's desk. "It was just her standard pencil pouch," her lawyer, Greg McBroom, told HuffPost. The teacher observed some notes in the case and reached down to pick it up. He pulled out the notes, some of which were preparation for the chemistry test, McBroom said. The student was accused of cheating and was given an F on the exam and a one-day detention. Ultimately, she received a B in the class, McBroom said. Now the student and her parents are suing the school district in the King County Superior Court, seeking a review the disciplinary process, which included the failed test. Washington state law allows students to ask the trial court to review disciplinary decisions, according to the online Seattle Post-Intelligencer. According to a report from the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, students can appeal over disciplinary measures like suspensions and expulsions. For instance, Bethel School District v. Fraser, a case that went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1986, fought a suspension over a lewd speech given at a high school assembly. (The student lost.) The report does not mention suing over individual test or class grades. McBroom said the goal of the current suit is to have the grade raised. He argued that because the grade was given as part of a disciplinary process, it can properly be altered by a court. Renton School District spokesman Randy Matheson said, "If a student has a concern about a grade ... she challenges that with the teacher. If the teacher doesn't respond as she would like, she can ask for another review by the principal." In this case, the student and her parents met with the principal and the teacher. The principal upheld the failing grade on the test, finding that the teacher had enough evidence of cheating. The student then turned to the school board, "which routinely upholds the administration," according to McBroom. The board reviewed the disciplinary process, Matheson said, and found that the principal had done a proper review and the teacher had presented enough evidence. "The school board didn't rule on the grade at all," Matheson said. In September, the board formally upheld the failing test grade but ruled that the student need not serve the one-day detention and removed that punishment from her record. McBroom called the split decision "very strange." Matheson, however, said that it "would be quite a precedent" if grades could be changed through trials. "I?m fairly certain what the parents are concerned with is that this is going to impede the student?s ability to get into her college of choice," he said. But colleges would likely not see that she had been accused of cheating, he added, because admissions officers are only sent a student's academic record. Other than this incident, she has been "a model student," according to McBroom. Susie said that her daughter had "not even a detention of any sort or anything through her whole career. She loves school, absolutely loves school." Matheson said a Superior Court judge was set to hear the case next April, though McBroom said he is trying to reschedule the hearing for this calendar year. "It?s her reputation, and it speaks to her character," Susie said. "For your child to feel that strongly and want to stand up for herself, I have to support it. If there ever was a shadow of doubt in my mind, I wouldn?t be supporting her at all."
America's Distrust of Foreign Langu...

America's Distrust of Foreign Languages

A foreign language is a dangerous thing. It can rob us of our comfort, our convictions, and our certainties. For the world is not the same when seen through two different languages, but rather two different worlds. A language is no interchangeable set of signs we hang on fixed objects, but an alchemy which transforms those objects themselves.

Not until we step outside of our language and culture -- not just verbally, but mentally and emotionally, not until we leave behind the assumptions and values of our mother tongue to immerse ourselves in an alien way of viewing the world -- do we realize that the nature of things, their meaning and purpose, their importance and urgency, are not objectively given, but created by language and culture.

Only then can we see that each people, each tradition, does not see the world as it is, but as it would like it to be; that what each calls "reality" is but a collective dream which its members share; and that what we call truth is only the familiar hallowed by time.

We sense these things darkly, and so, as a people, we distrust foreign languages. They draw into question our notions of right; they subvert our bulwark of righteousness; they cast doubt on ours as the only right way. So we control, domesticate, and render them safe. We reduce them to stereotypes and language "requirements." We limit their knowledge to the mundane and basic. We dare not risk long-term, in-depth exposure.

For the same reason, we distrust foreign travel. It might change us if we let it come close. We want prepackaged adventure, antiseptically filtered in air-conditioned comfort through tour bus windows, the unfamiliar kept safely at bay from our hermetically-sealed isolation.

Yet it is only when we spend time in a different culture that we realize that different cultures see the world differently; and only after returning to our own do we sense that both we and our culture are no longer the same. We begin to understand the relativity, impermanence, and fragility of our world, our values, and our way of life. Travel dissolves our illusions.

Our foreign policy also shares this distrust of the foreign. We don't let so-called Third World countries be what they are to pursue their own destinies, but make them movable pawns on our corporate chessboards, on which they are plundered, their leaders bought off, and their people betrayed into serfdom.

We preach tolerance for ideas as long as those ideas agree with our own, international understanding as public relations, but we recall career diplomats who, seeing ourselves through foreign eyes, warn us of the damage we cause. They've been abroad too long, "gone native," lost their perspective.

In a culture that has little patience with whatever is different, we can expect little more of an educational system as defined by that culture. Too much of our curriculum reinforces a jingo provincialism in its photoshopped view of American history, rather than teaching the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Students don't want historical fairy tales, but Vergangenheitsbewaeltigung, an honest coming to terms with our past and integrating it into the national consciousness. This is what a great nation does -- courageously faces its demons and admits its wrongdoing, asks forgiveness and makes amends, and vows to do better.

This is moral grandeur that would stop the sun in the heavens, whereas denial of what one has done only sickens the soul. Better to exorcize the evil spirits and be free of them lest they fester in the subterranean vaults of our national soul. Seneca put it quite simply, "Part of the cure is the wish to be cured."

In teaching history, we neglect the panoramic sweep and multifariousness of other times and cultures that could save us from the insular myopia and hubristic fate of "Ozymandias, King of Kings." We don't need to learn more and more about America. It is already too much with us in our xenophobic Fortress America. We don't need more and more reasons about why we are right. What we need is more air that comes of a larger perspective on the world and ourselves.

To love it, we must leave it by not succumbing to it, getting detachment from it, for it is only when we get distance from ourselves that we come closer to ourselves to see ourselves as we really are. Education worthy of the name should make us citizens of a larger world, impart an Olympian outlook, not reduce us to the worm's-eye view of a narrow tribalism!

To be sure, we should love our country, but our country is not the policies of the particular administration, party, or plutocracy which is running the country. Our country is our better selves as enshrined in those thrilling ideals set forth in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution with its Bill of Rights.

True patriotism is loving our country by wanting to make it better and returning it to its pristine self; by decrying our government's shocking privileging of the already privileged and its heartless warfare against its own people, especially the poor and our children, tens of millions of whom, to our nation's eternal shame and embarrassment before the rest of the world, must go to bed hungry.

It beggars belief what is happening in America today -- our very government treating the American people as if it were the enemy! We are forever sending our troops abroad while running away from our problems at home. There are always untold billions for defending freedom around the globe, but the cupboard is always bare for the needs of the American people. FDR, where are you?

The president and the Congress, with exceptions well-known to all, betray us by their studied inaction, with some even boasting for causing the catastrophe. In the meantime, the American Dream has retreated to the enclaves of the Super Rich, at whose tables certain Supreme Court justices are always welcome.

"Thou shalt not be different" is our national creed. However, foreign languages teach four lessons about being different: other cultures are, indeed, different, but that doesn't mean that those cultures are wrong, but just different; that since they are different with different perspectives, they cannot fully be fathomed, let alone judged, and much less condemned; that there are different ways of being human and of being right; and that no nation has a monopoly on either commodity.

Foreign languages help free us from ethnocentrism, the delusion that we alone are the measure of all things human, and they connect us to a larger, saner, more humane world. It is because of their magical powers that foreign languages have always been numbered among the liberal arts, which liberate us from the two-fold sickness, or that two-headed monster, of hate and distrust, assuming, of course, that we wish to be cured.

We must outgrow that ancient Manichaean view of the world which sees others as Darkness and ourselves as the Light. It is a nightmare vision which sanctifies hate, a view of our fellow mortals unworthy of us.

Students Stand Up For Teens Who Say...

Students Stand Up For Teens Who Say They Were Sent Home For Cross-Dressing

Teens at a Washington state high school are standing up for students who say they were sent home from school for dressing up like the opposite sex. White Pass High School students Chandler Krueger and Mason Mudge told local outlet KING-TV that they were asked to change or leave school last week after dressing up like Nicki Minaj and Miss America, respectively, for the school?s spirit week. dress Mason Mudge dressed up in a Miss America costume. Photo credit: KING-TV In response to the incident, at least 10 students at the school cross-dressed the next day to support the students. White Pass district superintendent Chuck Wyborney told The Huffington Post that none of those students were sent home. cross dres Students who cross-dressed at White Pass School District. Photo credit: KING-TV ?I think its really awesome that all the kids support me and support the decisions that I made, like I walked into school this morning and everyone was wearing dress and pink and all that,? Mudge told KING-TV. However, Wyborney disputes the students? version of events. He told The Huffington Post that during the school?s spirit week, one male student was sent home because he wore a revealing outfit that violated the school?s dress code. Another male student was asked to change out of his female costume, but chose to go home instead. He would not specifically identify the two students. Wyborney said that while one of the students was reprimanded for violating the school?s dress code, it had nothing to do with the fact that he was dressed as a female. ?If you were to look at a gender neutral dress code ? if you?re wearing a short bottom that?s inappropriate,? said Wyborney over the phone. Bob Knudsen, writer for the Examiner, decried the idea that students would be sent home from school for dressing like the opposite sex. However, he praised the fact that these students were ultimately supported by their peers. ?While it seems like society has a long way to go on issues of gender identity, the fact that these youths stepped up should give us hope that the next generation will be even more enlightened,? wrote Knudsen. ?Who knows, maybe a day where girls having male heroes and boys having female heroes will not be considered weird, but simply looking up to a person they admire.? Follow HuffPost Teen on Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Pheed |
The Most Powerful Tool in the Class...

The Most Powerful Tool in the Classroom

Historically, the teacher has been the omniscient presence in just about every classroom in the world. They were the only ones who possessed the all-mighty knowledge which was passed on to their yearning students. Traditionally, pupils were placed in rows directed towards the maestro perched at the front of the room spouting facts that the students madly scribbled in their notebooks. The aforementioned students would then, at a later time, pour over their notebooks attempting to commit these facts to their short-term memory for long enough to get a decent grade on the corresponding test. Then, they would promptly forget most everything they "supposedly" learned. Sound familiar? The only other source of knowledge on any particular subject was the textbook. In modern times, these were, and still often are, assigned in a course to each student at the beginning of the school year. Textbooks have existed since the time of papyrus and have represented a portable form of knowledge for centuries. However, for many of us who toted them around risking scoliosis for nearly two decades, textbooks have left a very negative taste in our mouths. I can clearly remember trying to read from them while fighting to keep my eyes from clamping shut. Okay class, let's review. For thousands of years, there have generally only been two sources of knowledge in a classroom: 1) the teacher; and 2) the text book. So, is it possible that all of this could change in a matter of a few short years? Is it conceivable that educational tradition and history could be disrupted in a radical way? Is it imaginable that neither the teacher nor the textbook are the most powerful tools in the classroom in 2014? The answer to all of these questions is a resounding YES. The most influential tool in the classrooms of today is the Internet, and districts, schools, and/or teachers that are not dealing with this reality are truly doing a huge disservice to their students. As we progress in this technologically charged world, we face a very important question. What is to become of the role of teachers? Will they become obsolete? Fortunately, the answer is no, but what I hope to prove to you is that a teacher's role in the classroom must change. We have all heard teachers referred to as the "sage on the stage", but now that they are no longer the most sagacious presence in the room, they truly must become more of a "guide on the side". I too am a teacher, but like to describe my role to students as one of facilitator, mentor and coach. The hard truth is that the tech-savvy students of today do not want to be lectured to about facts they can instantly find with the click of a button on their smart phones. Siri can often give a more comprehensive answer than many of us on any given topic. Therefore, the honest truth is that HOW we teach must change. Making students memorize rote facts and regurgitate them is no longer sensible, and educators now have the opportunity to have students think much more critically, solve problems, and use their creativity in ways they never have been pushed to do in the past. This can be done by making classrooms much more student-centered than ever before. We, as facilitators, can broach broad and meaningful questions based around the units we teach, but our students can do the research, seek out the answers, and teach themselves the material. Let me give you an example. In my AP Spanish class, one of our themes is "World Challenges". I start the unit by simply asking, "What are the greatest challenges facing our world and how do we solve them?" I know the answer to this question, but that is unimportant because I charge them with seeking out the answers. I divide them into small groups and give them time to investigate on their own. Once they have researched the topic, I have them make a poster using the Explain Everything App that demonstrates their results. If your students do not have an iPad, they can use actual poster board. Then, they present their poster and their discoveries to their classmates. I guide them through the process, but they teach themselves and their peers the material. Later in the unit when they have to write a persuasive essay on, "What is one of the greatest challenges facing our planet and how can we solve it?" they are able to think critically on the matter because they already did when they explored the material earlier. We were taught very differently because we only had access to the "Encyclopedia Britannica", text books, and card catalogs. The students of today have access to a colossal amount of information. We must take this into consideration if we are going to prepare them for the modern workplace and a future so technologically advanced that it is inconceivable at this moment. For teachers, the hardest part is letting go of control in their classrooms. Many educators are experts in what they teach, so it can be hard for them to not demonstrate their breadth of knowledge in their subjects on a daily basis. Also, teachers must now become receptive and open to a classroom full of lively, yet organized chaos. Educators have to develop a level of comfort with the fact that they are no longer simply lecturing to a silent audience. I hope that I have shown that students need to be more in control of their own learning. In order for this to occur, educators must move aside and give up some power. This is the only way we can begin to make true educational progress, and the Internet must be our guiding force. If you are an educator, a parent, or anyone else interested in education, get inspired the same way I did by watching Sugata Mitra's TEDTalk.


Do You Need to Apply to a Safety Co...

Do You Need to Apply to a Safety College?

I just read an article on another site that argued that it is easier now to get into a selective college than it was 30 years ago. The argument is that some selective colleges have added seats in the last 30 years and some colleges that didn’t use to be selective now are so those...Continue Reading >

RSS Feed Content © Todd Johnson and College Admissions PartnersDo You Need to Apply to a Safety College?

The post Do You Need to Apply to a Safety College? appeared first on BS/MD Admissions by College Admissions Counseling.

When to Submit Different Parts of t...

When to Submit Different Parts of the College Application?

This time of year I get many questions about when the different parts of the application need to be submitted. For instance, what happens if a recommendation letter gets sent before the application? †As it happens, the answer is very simple. It does not matter one bit the order in which colleges get different parts...Continue Reading >

RSS Feed Content © Todd Johnson and College Admissions PartnersWhen to Submit Different Parts of the College Application?

The post When to Submit Different Parts of the College Application? appeared first on BS/MD Admissions by College Admissions Counseling.

What College Should You Apply to Ea...

What College Should You Apply to Early Decision?

I sometimes have students ask this time of year which college they should apply to early decision. And the answer is simple. None. Don’t get me wrong. Early decision can be a great choice for some students. If you have found a college that you really love, and you have done your homework looking at...Continue Reading >

RSS Feed Content © Todd Johnson and College Admissions PartnersWhat College Should You Apply to Early Decision?

The post What College Should You Apply to Early Decision? appeared first on BS/MD Admissions by College Admissions Counseling.

I Have One Opening for a BS/MD Seni...

I Have One Opening for a BS/MD Senior Applicant

In the past 3 months I have had a number of seniors call wanting to work with me on BS/MD admissions. Unfortunately, I have been completely booked with current seniors. Until today. I just had a student drop out and I have one opening for a senior. The opening is for help with all aspects...Continue Reading >

RSS Feed Content © Todd Johnson and College Admissions PartnersI Have One Opening for a BS/MD Senior Applicant

The post I Have One Opening for a BS/MD Senior Applicant appeared first on BS/MD Admissions by College Admissions Counseling.

What Does a Good Resume Look Like?

What Does a Good Resume Look Like?

For those of you who have been regular readers of the blog, this may seem like a strange post. Colleges don’t typically want to see a resume and I discourage them in most instances. But… Once in a while a college asks for a resume. So, for those instances, what should you put on a...Continue Reading >

RSS Feed Content © Todd Johnson and College Admissions PartnersWhat Does a Good Resume Look Like?

The post What Does a Good Resume Look Like? appeared first on BS/MD Admissions by College Admissions Counseling.

Extra Recommendations. Why They Are...

Extra Recommendations. Why They Are Often a Problem.

One of the most frequent questions I get this time of year is how many recommendation letters do I need. Students know that they need one or two teacher recommendations and a guidance counselor recommendation for most colleges. But what they are really asking is, how many extra letters of recommendation do I need. Almost...Continue Reading >

RSS Feed Content © Todd Johnson and College Admissions PartnersExtra Recommendations. Why They Are Often a Problem.

The post Extra Recommendations. Why They Are Often a Problem. appeared first on BS/MD Admissions by College Admissions Counseling.


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