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 NYSED’s 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 State’s 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 program’s evaluation (See Attachment C).

InsidehigherEd

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

Exam appeals change 45,500 grades

Exam appeals change 45,500 grades

The number of complaints about GCSE and A-level marking rose sharply this year, with a fifth of challenges leading to grade changes, says Ofqual.
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.
Charity sends schools Ebola resourc...

Charity sends schools Ebola resource

Schools across the UK are being sent teaching resources on Ebola, by the charity Action Aid, to help develop a better understanding of the disease.
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.

US Govt Dept of Education

Bullying of Students with Disabilit...

Bullying of Students with Disabilities Addressed in Guidance to America?s Schools

As part of National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, the U.S. Education Department's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) today issued guidance to schools reminding them that bullying is wrong and must not be tolerated—including against America's 6.5 million students with disabilities.
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).

Yahoo

14 to be charged after fight at New...

14 to be charged after fight at Newark High School

14 to be charged after fight at Newark High SchoolMore than a dozen high school students are facing charges in Delaware after a series of fights inside their school.

Eric Frein sightings: How 'wilderne...

Eric Frein sightings: How 'wilderness ninja' has outfoxed 1,000 cops

Police swarm near clothing bin amid Eric Frein searchTwo fresh sightings of alleged sniper Eric Frein has resulted in more closed public schools in northern Pennsylvania and a shift in a massive manhunt to near where Mr. Frein went to high school ? and where he was a member of the high school rifle team.

Put a Lid on Your 5 Biggest Retirem...

Put a Lid on Your 5 Biggest Retirement Expenses

People tend to spend an average of about 20 percent less after they retire. We no longer have to pay Social Security payroll tax. We spend less for clothes, commuting and childcare. And we don't have to save for retirement or our kids' college education.
3 Hidden Costs for International St...

3 Hidden Costs for International Students at U.S. Colleges

International students preparing to attend college in the U.S. cannot avoid considering their budget. But there's more to consider than your future tuition, room and board or textbook fees.
Newark students face charges follow...

Newark students face charges following melee

14 to be charged after fight at Newark High SchoolNearly 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.

Independent

Record numbers of GCSE and A-level ...

Record numbers of GCSE and A-level papers remarked

Head teachers have warned of a growing crisis of confidence in the examination system after it emerged that record numbers of GCSE and A-level grades had been overturned on appeal.

Exclusive: Taxpayers footed £1m bil...

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

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

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.

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.
What Reflects a Great School? Not T...

What Reflects a Great School? Not Test Scores

Regie Routman argues that good assessment results can be fleeting, but good leadership never is.
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.

Educause

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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Huffingtonpost.com

My STEM Story: Lessons in Denial

My STEM Story: Lessons in Denial

When my family moved to America from British Bermuda, I was still in elementary school, having completed first form, the equivalent of first grade, at the Bermuda High School (BHS) for Girls. Uniform and uniformed, I marched in step with the other girls, just as my mother had done through her entire schooling at BHS. Yes, I did stand out as the only Jewish girl in the school, or anywhere on the island. But generations of my family were well-known on the island, so the singularity was tolerable. Inserted into a New York City suburb, I was delighted to find that this particular oddity was completely irrelevant. Unfortunately, an ongoing confidence crisis took its place. Longing to fit in, I embraced America's freedom of expression, jettisoned my BHS uniform, and begged my parents for every fashion fad I saw. Painfully, I came to understand that my classical education marked me far more than my clothes did. Even at age seven, my British accent, diction, spelling and vocabulary were unmistakable. Ridiculed at recess, misunderstood in class, and assaulted walking home, I went from rage to withdrawn, from arrogance to self pity. I felt alone and timid, marooned on an unforgiving, unrelenting Long Island, as I never was on the island of Bermuda. Yet, this was the '50s, and I didn't stand out as odd among the girls in my class for my lack of confidence or my weepy moments. It would be decades before women wrote about the self-assurance gender gap and published articles such as "The Confidence Gap" would be common place (The Atlantic, May 2014). While I was confused about America's mix of freedom and conformity, I was oblivious to America's confusion about what to do with me. I was placed in second grade, but quickly put into a combination third and fourth grade which I considered another quirky Americanism. I learned decades later that my mother prevented my being put even further ahead so that I wouldn't be a total oddity. I eventually translated my British English into American, and found nothing odd about studying another foreign language, French, as a preteen. Nor did it seem unusual to study mathematical set theory in elementary school from a text book so experimental that it didn't yet have a cover. A budding intellect was insignificant compared to matching a pace of life so fast that putting a proper cover on a book was a bother. I was unimpressed when a group of us junior high schoolers were sent to the high school to take science. Our advanced science cohort trudged up the hill together, so I thought it was no big deal. The years of advanced math felt like another college requirement gotten out of the way early. Surely, I was no more than an arithmetic plodder sitting next to Judy, my friend the mathematics genius. Unlike me, Judy didn't need a slide rule for math tests in those days before computers; she could do the math in her head. We both began careers in community organizing after college, but Judy eventually acquired a PhD in mathematics, and now teaches Applied Statistics in academia, having retired from the world of corporate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). My graduate degrees are in religion and urban planning. I ran nonprofits, including Jewish Federations. I later became an award-winning, bestselling author, editor of the American Diversity Report, and cross-cultural consultant. When I started writing a series about women in STEM, Judy was an obvious interview choice. Touching base again was both a pleasure and a revelation. When I asked Judy what it was like to be a math genius she laughs, "You should know." Given my clueless response, she reminds me that I sat next to her in all those math classes through all those years of high school. "So what?" Judy gently reminds me, "Only four girls went through those advanced math courses, and you and I were also in the advanced science classes." Judy and I chose a math elective that included some matrix algebra and basic computer programming when it was first offered in 1966. Her mother, the math teacher, and my mother, the Hebrew teacher, were like-minded in seeing computers as the future. As usual, Judy excelled in the class, while I recall limping along. My inability to embrace a math whiz persona didn't seem odd as scholarly pursuits in my family centered on history, culture, and languages. The HS counselors never suggested focusing on STEM, although they did inform me that my IQ was higher Einstein's. I hid that fact, along with my acceptance into Harvard as long as possible because the reaction was usually hostility rather than admiration or congratulation. The response can be summed up as, "Funny, you don't look a genius," and from the Ivy-League bound males, "I guess you can go out with me now." My mindset definitely needs adjustment. For many years, I've lectured women about valuing their accomplishments. Now, it's time to take my own advice. Maybe I shouldn't laugh off the memory of being dragged out of a beginning statistics class in graduate school and deposited in the advanced classroom. Maybe I should stop dismissing as pure chance that I ended up as a webmaster, website creator, and online writer/researcher/editor. Maybe it wasn't an aberration when I dis-assembled and repaired an office computer. Maybe it's time, or past time, for a self image do-over. Are women in STEM particularly prone to this lack of confidence? Many STEM women appear semi-conscious about their choices as noted in earlier articles in this series. Their career paths often feel random, a matter of luck, or the lack thereof. The confidence deficit is is a popular explanation, but my experience compels me to offer another explanation, or at least a different wording. I see the phenomenon as protection against hostility, discrimination, and harsh, personal criticism. In short, it is not simply an issue of confidence, but of self survival, requiring great courage to confront. Judy shares her career choices and is quite analytical about her field and the competition with male co-workers. She talks about getting her PhD at Colorado University, working in the university system, and sharing an office with another nontenured professor. They both received a corporate job offer, but her offer was only 59% of his. Judy says, "At the time, NOW (National Org of Women) had published that on average women were making 59% of what men made. What a coincidence! When I reported this coincidence to the recruiter (accompanied by a pie chart of course), we had a good laugh and he raised the offer." Doing the math for the recruiter meant an offer of more money and status, but she suspects that her compensation remained less than that of male peers with equal credentials. "Women have to be better, but also more careful." Judy describes how women can get into trouble with supervisors for having too many ideas. The PhD may not have gotten her the money she deserved, but it did act like a coat of armor, there was less conflict, less questioning of her work when she was the only woman in the room. Nodding my head, I express empathy which prompts Judy to points out similar issues in my clashes with Harvard professors, civic leaders, and even male family members. Yes, the consequences of appearing threatening are broad and deep. Apparently, the survival strategies of avoidance and denial are virtually instinctual. It's not surprising that many women steer away from STEM degrees or STEM careers. Or that many women who start STEM degrees drop out. Or that numbers for career women in technology industry are dismal. A good start in addressing the invisible STEM women might be to reject the explanation of lacking confidence. Rather, see their behavior as voting with their feet, intellect and talent. They are doing what is necessary, consciously or unconsciously, to preserve their personal integrity, their family, and their ability to fight another day. The confidence rationale stereotypes women as non-assertive, risk-shy, nurture-oriented personalities. That stereotype isn't often publicly embraced as it was when Microsoft's CEO suggested that women shouldn't ask for raises, but will receive recognition through good karma. Are STEM women truly surprised by this? No wonder young women think twice about a STEM career. What personal contributions should we make to the promotion of Women in STEM? My own role to date has been to write about the issues and magnify the voices of these women. It's time for that role to change and to revitalize my STEM roots. As the new Research Coordinator to the College of Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, I'll weave my award-winning writing skills into the STEM world. I plan to follow the advice of Mahatma Gandhi and hope others will do the same, "Be the change that you wish to see in the world."
A Tree Without Roots: Astroturf and...

A Tree Without Roots: Astroturf and Corporate Education Reform

The Commonwealth Foundation, a conservative think tank, reportedly compensated counterprotesters in Philadelphia on Thursday in a failed effort to give the appearance of popular support for the recent move by the Philadelphia School Reform Commission (SRC) to abrogate the contracts of Philadelphia teachers. This is yet another sign of the dangers of corporate education reform and the lengths its proponents are willing to go to stifle dissent and subvert democracy, including resorting to the use of astroturfing, or "fake grassroots" demonstrations and groups. When their plan was uncovered, a spokesperson for the foundation was forced to admit that the organization officially engaged a dozen people to hold signs and distribute literature backing the actions of the SRC and attacking the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT) union. "We will be there, not to counter-protest but to inform the public of how the PFT has failed teachers and students," said Cindy Hamill-Dahlgren, Director of Strategic Communication, trying to spin the group's actions. Hamill-Dahlgren nevertheless failed to address why her organization would not just be transparent. The answer, of course, is that the Commonwealth Foundation is desperately afraid of the real grassroots support for PFT not only in Philadelphia but across the country -- support highlighting the decision by the SRC as both unnecessary and unpopular. In spite of efforts by the Commonwealth Foundation and various other entities to paint teachers as the bad guys, a poll conducted by the Pew Charitable Trusts in September of 2013 found that 31 percent of residents placed responsibility for the crisis in the Philadelphia School District on the Republican-controlled state legislature and governor. Another 31 percent blamed the Democratic mayor and city council, and 21 percent blamed school administrators and the state-controlled State Reform Commission. Only 11 percent of those surveyed held the union or teachers responsible. This is ultimately why the Commonwealth Foundation likely felt the need to hire counterprotesters. The fact that they were willing to go to this extreme was of little surprise to Philadelphia teachers. They know that much of the drama in the city has been orchestrated by shadowy behind-the-scenes organizations with popular-sounding names but funded by billionaires who have been very clear about the agenda to destroy the teachers' union on their road to dismantling the public schools. Their broad reach extends through state and local politics and knows no party bounds. Both Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, a Democrat, and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican, have received support from them -- apparently in exchange for supporting the corporate education reform agenda, including privatization of schools in the city of brotherly love. In the summer of 2013, for instance, Philadelphia news sources reported how an astroturf group called PennCAN secretly financed a poll that encouraged Corbett to blame the city's fiscal crisis on the PFT in a play to gain statewide support among conservative voters as he prepared to launch a bid for reelection. PennCAN, like its sister organizations in other states, is Pennsylvania's arm of 50CAN, a national corporate education reform astroturf institution, amply funded by the Walton Family Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, that has been the chief proponent for privatization efforts, school closures, and the promotion of the use of school vouchers that allow tax dollars to be diverted from public education to pay private school tuition. There is a lesson for all of us in the perils of playing in astroturf that applies as much to the synthetic grass as to fake grassroots organizations. Experts have identified five potential dangers. They include injury, infections, overheating, poisoning and the presence of carcinogens. While trying to give the appearance of popular support for their destructive actions, astroturf organizations like PennCAN and so-called "think tanks" like the Commonwealth Foundation actually cause injury. Budget cuts that resulted in the loss of school nurses and contributed to the deaths of two students is one aspect of that injury. The financial uncertainty that communities are forced to contend with is another, as every school year they confront the possibility of more teacher layoffs and school closures, not to mention larger class sizes and the loss of wrap-around service. Infections are also common to AstroTurf. All kinds of nasty germs and diseases breed in the imitation materials that it comprises. Similarly, it would not be a stretch to suggest that the disease of indifference currently afflicting the Philadelphia schools was partly born of the desire of the corporate education reformers to wring profits from what they see as nothing more than a vast untapped market: our public schools. Their funding of astroturf organizations and think tanks and even the hiring of actors to push their agenda illustrates this. AstroTurf is also subject to overheating. Unlike natural grass, Astroturf burns hot and stays hot long after the sun had faded. Last summer, when the Philadelphia Teachers Union, which, by all accounts, attempted to negotiate in good faith, offered a proposal that would have saved the district money and ensured a safe and timely opening of schools, the SRC, supported by the astroturfs, rejected it. They clearly preferred torching the union and, by extension, the schools and the communities they serve rather than engage in compromise. Experts have noted how AstroTurf can lead to poisoning of the environment from chemicals in its fibers released during normal use. Fake grassroots organizations likewise poison the political environment by undermining democratic practices and eroding people's faith in the integrity of elected officials and the political process. They send the message that our democracy is for sale and that everything has a price, including the future of our children. Although the jury is still out on whether AstroTurf contributes to cancer, there is no question of the cancerous effects of groups like PennCAN and the Commonwealth Foundation. It may be years before we know the full range of the damage they have inflicted on our children and schools or how long it will take to repair that damage. One thing, however, is clear: Philadelphia teachers and students deserve our interest and support. We should all be observing carefully how events are unfolding there before the fake grass rug is pulled out from under another community, thereby exposing the hard, unfeeling and community-killing corporate education reform concrete that lies beneath.
10 Reasons Why a Teacher's Right to...

10 Reasons Why a Teacher's Right to Tenure Should Be Protected (Pt. 1)

Magazines always have articles which involve a "Top Ten". People love to read them yet rarely if ever demand to know the source that determined just which items should be on the list. Well, I thought I would do the same thing. I wondered: What are the Top Ten reasons why public school teachers' tenure should be protected? Only this time the reader will not have to wonder about the mysterious source of these claims. I'm the source! This is my top 10 but unfortunately, I don't have enough space here on The Huffington Post to print all 10 reasons in a single article so today I will share five of them in this post and the remaining five next week. Okay, so here goes: Five of the Top Ten Reasons why a teacher's right to lifetime tenure should be protected: Reason #1: We already suffer with an inferiority complex so at the very least we deserve job security. Think about it: We are attacked by the news media as incompetent, over-paid whiners who refuse to work more than 10 months a year. July and August are a teacher's favorite words in the entire English language! Parents have license to yell at us, create rumors about us, and berate us in front of family, friends, and work associates. The target is always us. The bulls-eye is on our foreheads. We are always under some form of attack. We need to be protected. We deserve tenure. Reason #2: We are part of the most powerful union in the country. Nobody roots for Goliath! There are a lot of us and all we seek is to be treated fairly and with respect. We work hard, love children, and we possess the tenacity to finish the job of teaching this great Nation's young people. You might wonder why we need such a large support group. Well, think of it this way: Unlike most employees, we have tons of bosses. Besides the usual suspects, (principals, superintendents and the Board of Ed.), we have parents to answer to also. And every year there is a new batch of parents to contend with. That adds up to thousands of bosses! We need to be protected. We deserve tenure. Reason #3: Follow the money. School budgets are an issue every year. The local Board of Education is always going to try to find ways to cut the deficit. Retirees are the fast track way to cut expenses. But what if there were no tenure. How many high paid veteran teachers would be axed so that new, young and much lower paid teachers could replace them? We are probably the only major profession where youth is for some reason regarded as superior to experience. There are lots of people, including educational leadership, who think that we older teachers are out of touch with the kids of today. I think that's a load of nonsense! Experience in teaching is valuable. Teachers need to be protected. We deserve tenure. Reason #4: Tenure does not guarantee us a job forever. The only thing tenure assures us of is the right to due process. Imagine the position we are in. Kids don't always want to work for us, their parents complain that we dish out unfair treatment, (especially to their child), and administrators need a scapegoat to take the pressure off their own necks. So who do you think gets the blame? If there were no such thing as tenure, a teacher's job security would be at the whim of any irate parent or administrator with an agenda. That's why it is only right that we teachers are guaranteed due process under the law. We at least deserve that. We deserve tenure. Reason #5: People who know nothing about the kids in our school district and who apparently know just as little about the capabilities of our students are telling us what to do! Yep, I'm referring to the State Education Department. State Ed. telling me how and what to teach is like me telling LeBron James how to play basketball! We teachers are highly trained individuals. We are prepared in our areas of expertise and we know our kids! The very concept of handing teachers modules to guide our curriculums is an insult to our profession. We know what we are doing! And each of us has a unique and creative way to reach kids. Let us teach! We are the ones who deal with and address their academic needs on a daily basis. Taking orders from someone who doesn't know what is best for them is a huge problem. And then if these kids don't measure up to state standards, they expect us to explain why! That's why we need to be protected. We deserve tenure. Well, that's all I have room for today. I promise to submit the remaining five reasons why teacher tenure rights should be protected next week. In the meantime, I have a request for the reader. Try to contact a former teacher who had a huge, positive influence on your life. Hey, I know there are some teachers you didn't like. We all had those. But you know as well as I do that there were also many who cared about you, treated you special and who helped guide your lives in a positive way. Call them. Thank them. Trust me: It means a lot to us to hear from you. -- Dr. Lee Kronert is the author of a very pro-teacher novel titled, 'Don't Blame the Messenger'.
Stop Calling It 'Hazing' -- Call It...

Stop Calling It 'Hazing' -- Call It 'Rape'

2014-10-21-sayreville2014.JPG There's been some surprising evolution in attitudes toward hazing in this country since the incident at Mepham High School on Long Island a little over a decade ago. In the way we talk about rape, not so much. The Mepham case, like what the press is calling the recent "hazing scandal" or the "football controversy" in Sayreville, resulted in the cancellation of the school's football season, to the the vocal protests of parents and much of the student body. When faced with the choice between football and rape, most seemed to agree the two seemed compatible enough. Like the Sayreville sexual assaults which occurred over a span of 10 days, the Mepham assaults were carried out over several nights, at a five-day training camp, with several victims, one of whom required surgery for his injuries. The boys were allegedly raped with broomsticks, pine cones and golf balls, while teammates looked on. In the Mepham case, when the victims came forward, the superintendent shielded the school from inquiries, refusing even to suspend the three alleged perpetrators, who, as a result, were allowed to walk the hallways of Mepham High for nearly two weeks. The same hallways in which their victims' physical and verbal assault continued, with epithets like "faggot" and "broomstick boy" and broomsticks thrown at them from cars in the school parking lot. When the football season was canceled, victims' families were threatened. Parents who spoke out on behalf of victims received letters in the mail, warning that if they kept speaking out, they'd also get "the broomstick treatment." The alleged rapists were tried as minors and did not serve time. The victims were, of course, scarred for life. One parent put it this way: "My son went to that camp in one piece and he came back in a million." Sayreville has thankfully avoided many of the more horrifying missteps that resulted in the further victimization of the sexual assault victims in the Mepham High assaults. Progress seems to have been made in the way we talk publicly about hazing, with even Governor Chris Christie weighing in on the topic, and striking some of the right notes. And yet, even in Christie's sympathetic remarks, the alleged rapes were lumped in with "bullying". While acknowledging the seriousness of the assaults, those in positions of power in government and media are still loath to call it rape. And as long as we continue to call it a "hazing scandal" or "football controversy", we signal our willingness as a society to let it slide. Boys will be boys. If they're not tough enough to fight back, well, whose fault is that? And while it's true female victims of rape are subject to similar blame-the-victim treatment in society, courts and the press, our attitudes toward rapists, regardless of their gender or the gender of those they choose to victimize, should be consistent and uncompromising. In the case of the latest "football controversy," when does hazing become rape? When someone is raped. Let's call it what it is.
When Apps Go Beyond Screens

When Apps Go Beyond Screens

2014-10-20-tigglycounts.jpg As, parents, schools and early learning spaces continue to explore and experiment as they try to make sense of these new digital tools there are an increasing number of innovators and inventors trying to find ways to make the touchscreen more than it is. How do we foster open-ended play and connect to the fine and gross motor skills of younger children? What might that look like? As is so often the case, it is the smaller start ups who are pushing the boundaries. One of those start ups is Tiggly. Tiggly have extended upon their original Tiggly Shapes product and have just released a new series called Tiggly Counts, which coincides with a significant investment from a European backer. It means that the early childhood education and play space is continue to lead the way in terms of looking beyond the screen and into what touch screens and apps can be beyond their first incarnation. Tiggly develop apps, but they design them alongside beautifully design physical accessories (or appcessories) that interact with the touchscreen and facilitate a play experience that can live both on and off the screen. The appcessories are toys in their own right that can be chewed, traced and would look at home in any toybox. They are the type of products that interact with a screen that bigger players in the market like Fisher Price who should be offering to young children and families, but few are matching the quality of Tiggly products. Their physical shapes, and now counting rods are aesthetically beautiful, the textures and feel are excellent for little hands still mastering fine motor skills and they offer a new and tangible way to interact with a touchscreen interface that should help those struggling with concepts of screen time and the fact interactive screens are different to television to see a glimpse at the potential of judicious design and play for children using digital environments. The new Tiggly Counts for iPad as a physical toy builds well on the counting rod concept that parents will remember from their school days. They have accompanying apps (which are free when you have the products) that offer counting experiences in different ways. Obviously the challenge in development is to create stories and learning experiences that last beyond the mechanic of touching the counting rods on the screen. Tiggly are leading in a space where others are destined to follow. The challenge will be, as it is with all developers exploring how they diversify across platforms and make the most of the iPad market. But, a product that works with a touchscreen that requires no batteries or Bluetooth syncing or even wifi connection makes it perfect for the target audience.
13 Versatile Ways to Get the Most O...

13 Versatile Ways to Get the Most Out of Your College Years

2014-10-20-getthemostoutofcollege.jpg Some students spend their college years locked away in their dorm rooms, studying for whatever exam is next on the list. Others spend the entire time alternating between various stages of drunkenness and hungover. I think both ends of the spectrum are a bit too extreme. If you want to be happy, you have to learn how to balance your responsibilities with the things you do for fun. In that spirit, here are 13 versatile ways you can get the most out of your time in college, and be happier both during and after the experience. Get the most out of your education: 2014-10-20-getthemostofyoureducation.jpg There are quite a few ways you can make the most of your collegiate learning experience. These are a few of my favorites. 1. Take advantage of tutoring opportunities. Whether it's simply having someone proofread your final paper or getting in-depth help with a complex calculus equation, taking advantage of the tutoring opportunities your campus has to offer is a great way to boost your course grades. Likewise, if you find you are particularly skilled when it comes to understanding a certain subject, consider applying to be a tutor to other students. These positions could be either volunteer or paid, but either way they look great on your resume and explaining the material to someone else can help you remember it even better. 2. Find your study space. Your dorm room or apartment might not be the best environment in which to do your homework and studying. Those are the places where you sleep, relax and hang out with friends, so it makes sense that you might feel less-than-productive if you try to do work there, too. Scope out the library or the nooks and crannies of your student union building to find your ideal working space. Most campuses have a variety of student lounges, designated quiet areas and department-specific study rooms. Find a study space that is ideal for your noise preferences and creative inspiration and make it a habit to do chunks of your homework there. It'll be easier for you to concentrate and you'll retain information better. 3. Save your course materials. Especially while you're still in college, it's wise to save some of your past course materials. They can be incredibly helpful when it comes to refreshing your memory after winter or summer break, specifically when it comes to major-specific courses. Actively take notes in each of your classes and save them for future reference. (Some professors will even let you cite these for papers.) Also, keeping textbooks related to your major classes is a good idea since you'll be studying many of the same concepts during your time in college, and may need a refresher at some point. 4. Read over your credit requirements freshman year. In order to prioritize and get the most out of your college education, you should read over your credit requirements as a freshman. It really doesn't take much time (maybe 15 minutes?) and it will do wonders for how you plan out the next few years of your life. Sometimes students get to their last semester, only to realize that they missed a necessary graduation requirement or overlooked a specific category course they needed to take. Only 36 percent of students at public universities graduate in four years, and 40 percent are still trying to earn their degree six years later. Avoiding needless credit requirement mistakes is the best way to ensure that you don't become part of those statistics. 5. Attend extracurricular lectures and seminars. I can't think of a single university or college that doesn't bring guest speakers and lecturers to campus for its students. Take advantage of these unique opportunities to learn something new and maybe even meet some really cool people. Even the more famous of guest speakers who talk on college campuses are willing to shake hands and answer questions after their talk. Check out your school's calendar of upcoming events and get a group of students from your major or dorm to attend an event with you. Lots of professors will even offer extra credit if you can prove you attended (save your ticket stubs or take pictures!). Get the most out of your social life: 2014-10-20-makethemostofsociallifeincollege.jpg While college is certainly about learning, it's also about discovering who you are and making new friends. Here are some ways you can get the most out of your social life in college. 6. Get your experimental phase out of the way. Most people feel the need to try new things throughout their lives. College is a great time to do this because you're unrestricted from the rules of high school and your parents, and because you haven't yet entered a professional career. It's the perfect time cut your hair the way you've always wanted and get your nose pierced. Of course, if you plan to work in a highly-professionalized industry, make sure you can either remove or hide any extreme modifications you make to your personal appearance (i.e. if you get your arms covered in tattoos, be ready to more-than-likely wear long sleeves the rest of your working life.) Similarly, if you want to experiment with various recreational activities, do so safely and in accordance with the law. Do not start BASE jumping off of your school's academic buildings or trying your hand at graffiti in the student parking lot. Bad idea. 7. Talk to other students. This one's for all the introverts out there. Please resist the urge to hide in your textbooks for your entire four years of undergrad. You're likely missing out on opportunities to make some lifelong friends. You don't have to go to any outrageous parties. Just try talking to other students in your classes or in your dorm. You might be surprised how many other people out there share your interests and hobbies and are just too afraid to say hi. 8. Join an intramural team. If you want to make new friends while also getting some exercise, join an intramural sports team. Most colleges and universities offer many different kinds of men's, women's and co-ed teams for a variety of intramural sports. Joining is a quick and easy way to meet people with similar interests, fill up some of your free time, and keep that beer-belly in check. 9. Keep an open mind about new things. Throughout your college years, you'll be exposed to many new kinds of people, music, ideas and hobbies. If you remain open to trying new things, you are very likely to find new lifelong passions and interests. Maybe you never listened to industrial music before, or never thought art was something you could do. You might surprise yourself with the things you like and are good at if you just remain open to new experiences. You can't like every new thing that you try, but you can at least try. 10. Stay in touch over breaks. Check in during your winter and summer breaks with the friends you've made on campus. You could plan to meet somewhere for a weekend of camping in the summer, or take a group trip to go snowboarding in the winter. Even sharing a funny Timeline meme or shooting them a Happy New Year's text can strengthen your friendships when school is out. Making more of an effort to let your college friends know you like hanging out with them makes starting a new semester more enjoyable and fulfilling, and can help you find true friends who last the rest of your life. Get the most out of life after college: 2014-10-20-makethemostoflifeaftercollege.jpg Those years spent in a classroom weren't all for that piece of paper you get to hang on your wall. They were also meant to improve your future. 11. Talk to your profs during and after college. You should get to know your professors during your college years for several reasons. First of all, they can be incredibly helpful when it comes to providing guidance in your courses and in life. They've been around the block a time or two and can probably offer some very good advice. Secondly, they'll influence your future. Not just with the grades you earn from them, but also with the job or grad school recommendations they can write for you. Especially for students who attend large universities, getting to know your professors is a must if you want to stand out from the group and earn a shining letter of recommendation. The professors who you get to know well during your college years should also be a priority for you after you graduate. Most profs love to hear from students they've taught in the past and are more than thrilled to learn of your successes and accomplishments. Be sure to thank them for all that they taught you while you were in school. Sadly, thanks is something many higher education professionals don't hear enough. 12. Exercise and eat well. The approximate four years you spend in undergrad is no time to be living off of a diet solely made up of beer and pizza, although that's what many movies would have you believe. You need to take responsibility for your physical health and wellness by eating foods from every food group and exercising regularly. A study in 2011 found that most college students weren't eating even one full serving of fruits and vegetables a day. Not only is that terrible for your body, but it also promotes poor eating habits that could continue to affect you throughout your life. When you eat well and exercise, you feel better about yourself, get sick less often and have more energy. All of these things can help you be a more productive student, but can also help you go for your dream job after graduation and live a longer, healthier life as an adult. 13. Take an internship. Some college majors require internships and some don't. Regardless of whether or not it's required for you to graduate, you should try your hardest to get an internship related to your major. Even if you have to take an unpaid internship, you can often substitute your internship for a class, which can help you graduate on or ahead of schedule. What's more, studies show that internships play a key role in deciding which undergrads get hired right out of college, and which struggle to find jobs. Having at least one internship under your belt before graduation is a great way to increase your chances of getting hired right and make the most of your post-college life. Heck, many companies even offer their interns full-time positions upon graduation, which can make paying back those student loans a whole lot easier. How did you get the most out of your time in college? Would you have done anything differently? I'd love to read your thoughts in the comments section below! Images by COD Newsroom, Patrik Geothe, Desi Mendoza, and DeathToTheStockPhoto

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Is that BS/MD Program a Guaranteed ...

Is that BS/MD Program a Guaranteed Program?

There is a lot of confusion with BS/MD programs and the word “guaranteed”. I have had several administrators of BS/MD programs tell me that their program is not guaranteed.  So, what does it mean when I say that a program has a guaranteed acceptance into medical school? It means that under normal circumstances, once you...Continue Reading >

RSS Feed Content © Todd Johnson and College Admissions PartnersIs that BS/MD Program a Guaranteed Program?

The post Is that BS/MD Program a Guaranteed Program? appeared first on BS/MD Admissions by College Admissions Counseling.

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.

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