Superstorm Sandy impacts education
Students gather in the only building at the New School that has electricity after Superstorm Sandy struck New York City.
October 31st, 2012
12:01 PM ET

Superstorm Sandy impacts education

By John Martin, CNN

(CNN) – Even in its aftermath, Superstorm Sandy is having a major impact on education. Schools in New York City and much of the state of New Jersey, among other areas, were closed for the third straight day on Wednesday. NYC Schools is the nation’s largest school system, with more than one million students attending about 1,700 schools in the city.

CNN scanned a variety of local news sites and found weather-related school closings from as far south as South Carolina to as far north as Maine on Tuesday. By Wednesday, there were fewer closings along the coastal states, but significant closings in inland states like Ohio and West Virginia. Some schools, both public and private, still had no power Wednesday morning.

Colleges and universities have also shut down due to this disaster.
FULL POST

Posted by
Filed under: Policy • Practice
October 31st, 2012
04:28 AM ET

Free resources to help teach about elections

by Donna Krache, CNN

For civics teachers (and former civics teachers like me), the presidential election is our equivalent of the Olympics.  We prepare for months and pour all our energy into teaching all about the electoral process, looking for ways to make it fun and interesting for students.

If you’re a teacher or a parent who is teaching your students about elections, there are free resources from CNN.com that can really help you bring your curriculum to life.

You can find all these resources at the CNN Election Center, but we’ll also highlight each one separately here:

Probably the most useful for teachers of civics/government, U.S. history and general social studies is the CNN Electoral Map Calculator.  It shows CNN’s estimates of who will win which states, as well as states that may be leaning toward a candidate and battleground states.  But you and your students can create your own picks and scenarios for this year's race, and you can use the pull-down menu on the right to look at the last two presidential contests.  These are great ways to promote geography skills and basic math skills and illustrate to your students the strategy behind political campaigns.

How much time and money are the candidates spending in each state?  Now that your students understand the importance of winning Electoral College votes, they can understand why voters in states like Ohio and Florida are seeing lots of political ads, compared to their fellow voters in many other states.  Point students to the CNN Campaign Explorer to learn more about the concentration of ads, money and travel in each state.

Finally, if your class is focusing on the topic of public opinion, or if you are interested in helping students improve their skill at interpreting charts and graphs, go to the CNN Poll of Polls interactive.  The CNN Poll of Polls is calculated by using three approved polls to arrive at the numbers you see on the charts on different dates.  You can quiz students on candidates’ percentages on different dates in national polls as well as in battleground states, and you can ask them what factors might account for changes in the polling results.

Share these resources with your colleagues, and share any tips you have for teaching the election in the comments section below.

Posted by
Filed under: 2012 Election • At Home • Practice • Resources
In Sandy, opportunities for science education
October 30th, 2012
04:27 PM ET

In Sandy, opportunities for science education

by Zaina Adamu, CNN

When Ted Turbiasz, 36, first heard about Hurricane Sandy, he gathered his two children in their backyard and put them to work. Collectively, they built a do-it-yourself weather station equipped with a rain gauge and wind indicator, and connected their home television to feed live video of the storm. They topped it off with a specially-made banner held on with green duct tape and labeling the unit as “Aidan’s Sandy Weather Station.”

The purpose of it all was to “teach them that weather is something that can be monitored," Turbiasz told CNN's iReport.

With more advanced technology and resources, forecasters are doing the same. They predicted the magnitude of Sandy with the help of satellite images from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. JPL's Atmospheric Infrared Sounder tracked the storm and captured a high-resolution photo that meteorologists used to determine the storm's size.

Other sophisticated technology helps predict life-threatening hurricanes, as well. Take for instance the National Center for Atmospheric Research’s supercomputer, Yellowstone, which is able to render short-term weather forecasts in less than 10 minutes and can compute 1.5 quadrillion (a million billion) mathematical operations a second, equivalent to 7 billion people performing more than 200,000 calculations every second.

Read the full story from our Light Years Blog
Posted by
Filed under: At Home • Hurricane Sandy • Science
Survey gives glimpse into where teens stand on election issues
A new survey shows that many teenagers share the same concerns as adult voters.
October 30th, 2012
04:17 AM ET

Survey gives glimpse into where teens stand on election issues

By Carl Azuz, CNN

(CNN) – The economy, health care and education aren’t just top issues for American voters. They’re also the concerns of those who’ll be voting for the first time in the next U.S. election, four years from now.

In a recent, nationwide survey by Junior Achievement, almost 73% of people between ages 14 and 17 said a top concern was jobs. Students are specifically worried that they’ll have trouble finding a job after finishing their education. (The current unemployment rate among Americans ages 16 to 19 is 23.7%.)

The economy as a whole was also cited among those surveyed, with 72% saying they were concerned about America’s fiscal health.

And not surprisingly, many teenagers have questions about their education. The cost of college, the quality of education, and the availability of scholarships were reasons why 64% said education was a concern.

Health care was cited by 32% of surveyed students, and the environment rounded out the top five concerns with over 18%.

Students were split over whom they’d vote for this time around. The Obama/Biden ticket got just over 38% support, while the Romney/Ryan ticket received about 37%. The margin of error was +/-3.6%.

Almost half of those surveyed said they didn’t think the candidates had good enough plans to help students land a job after wrapping up their education. And more than half - 56.6% - said the candidates were more concerned with winning the election than they were with listening to the American people.

That could contribute to another significant finding: About 14% of the teenagers surveyed said they wouldn’t vote in this election even if they were old enough.

You can see a graphic representation of the survey results on the Junior Achievement website.

Posted by
Filed under: 2012 Election • Carl Azuz • High school • Voices
October 29th, 2012
04:00 AM ET

California teacher holds secret class

By Sonya Hamasaki, CNN

Los Angeles (CNN) – On a brisk, spring-like day in March, Diana Rivera walked into a classroom at Centinela Valley Adult School, just like she’d done everyday for nearly the past two months. She was eager to hear a lecture in her “medical assistant” class, a course she believed would be key to successfully starting a career in the medical field. Getting there had been a struggle.

“I searched and searched for so long,” she said. “I tried to get in three years ago, but there was a waiting list.”

The medical assistant course was started 12 years ago, and over the years, it grew to become one of the most popular on campus. But on that day, just as Rivera was settling into her coursework, everything changed.

“They just came in, gave us notice that school was over, and took us out," she said.

And just like that, her dreams vanished. The class and its instructor were suddenly eliminated due to cuts in state funding.

“It was devastating,” Rivera said. “I was let down.”

But as she was escorted off campus that morning, what she didn’t know was that her teacher was also about to become her champion.

Educator Cristina Chiappe, who created the course and has taught it since its inception, suddenly found herself unemployed. And while she no longer had a physical location to teach, she never once thought to stop the class.

“I didn’t want to leave my students with nothing. They cut the money back. This is not all about money, it’s about education,” she said.

So Chiappe came up with an idea – one that her students and onlookers have described as “brave”, “risky” and “heroic.”

She decided to continue teaching her group of displaced students, and open her own school.
FULL POST

Supreme Court to hear arguments in case of student who resold books
October 28th, 2012
03:04 PM ET

Supreme Court to hear arguments in case of student who resold books

By Bill Mears, CNN

Washington (CNN) - Supap Kirtsaeng had tuition and living expenses to pay when he arrived in the United States from Thailand to attend college.

So he started a side business, asking family and friends back home to ship him foreign editions of textbooks that often can be bought more cheaply overseas. Kirtsaeng resold them online and made money, but he was sued for copyright infringement and lost.

That decision was appealed and the case is now before the Supreme Court, which will hear arguments on Monday in a dispute that has attracted interest from the Obama administration, media and publishing companies, and a range of consumer and retail groups.

Competing claims of intellectual property and owners rights in the electronic age have made Kirtsaeng's venture one of the most closely watched business cases at the high court this term.

"I have to say the Supreme Court is faced with a really difficult job here because the text of the [copyright] statute really seems to be hard to reconcile - the two provisions at issue seem to say opposite things," said Michael Carroll, a professor at American University's law school and an intellectual property expert.

FULL STORY
Posted by
Filed under: Legal issues • Policy • Textbooks
October 26th, 2012
01:52 PM ET

College coach bans player tweets

(CNN) Like many sports fans, Maggie Stephens uses social media to stay informed about her favorite teams.

But she won’t be following Washington State University football players on Twitter anymore.  That’s because the team’s head coach has imposed a ban on Twitter for his players.

Coach Mike Leach issued the ban after some players allegedly posted vulgar tweets.  Some were reportedly derogatory toward women and African-Americans.

Violators can be suspended.

WSU Athletic Director Bill Moos supports the decision.  “We are at a point now where we need 100% focus.  We don’t need distractions,” Moos told CNN affiliate KREM.
FULL POST

Posted by
Filed under: Behavior • College • Extracurricular • Social media
My View: Who says there is no solution to bullying?
October 26th, 2012
04:20 AM ET

My View: Who says there is no solution to bullying?

Courtesy Becki Cohn-VargasBy Becki Cohn-Vargas, Special to CNN

Editor’s Note:  Becki Cohn-Vargas, Ed.D., has spent more than 35 years as a teacher, principal, curriculum director and superintendent. Currently, she is the director of Not In Our School, part of the national nonprofit Not In Our Town.  She is building a network of educators taking action to stop bullying and create safe, accepting and inclusive schools.

All of us have experienced cruel behavior, either as a participant, victim or witness. The Not In Our School “Break Bullying”public service announcement, donated by the MAKE ad agency, appears to bring back those bad memories. The announcement depicts adults in a professional environment re-enacting the personal middle school bullying experience of the director, Mike Nelson. His point: If we would not stand for this at work, why do we stand for it happening to kids in schools? The purpose of the PSA is to make us want to do something - to intervene, unlike the co-workers who watch their colleague pushed to the floor.

Not In Our School focuses on solutions.  It provides positive films and resources to networks of schools, so when MAKE first presented the video, we weren’t sure we could use it. But then we saw what happened when people viewed it. They started talking about how it looked when adults felt the kind of pain children experience every day. We launched the PSA for Bullying Prevention Month as a wake-up call. Our goal was to reach as many people as possible (55,000 to date) and spark conversation about taking bullying seriously. Then, we would talk about ways to successfully combat bullying in our schools.

When the CNN Schools of Thought blog postedBreak Bullying,” it received more than 500 comments from viewers. Some were heartening; many were not. Well-meaning comments posed possible solutions to bullying: Some were practical and others were outright scary. One man proudly admitted to paying $50 to a man he found on the street to beat up the bully, who ended up “in a hospital for a month.” One person even stated that bullying is a necessary rite of passage based on animal instinct, echoing others who felt that no matter what we do, bullying will never change.
FULL POST

Posted by
Filed under: Behavior • Bullying • Issues • Practice • Voices
Fifth-grader scores big with idea for pink penalty flags
This is the letter that 11-year-old Dante Cano wrote to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell asking that the league use pink penalty flags in support of breast cancer awareness.
October 25th, 2012
01:38 PM ET

Fifth-grader scores big with idea for pink penalty flags

by Stephanie Gallman, CNN

(CNN) - If your screen looks a little girly on Sunday during the Miami Dolphins-New York Jets game, do not adjust your television.

Referees will be using pink penalty flags at MetLife Stadium during the final weekend of Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Dante Cano, the fifth-grader from Marlboro, New Jersey, came up with the idea - and he went straight to the top.

In a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Cano wrote, "My name is Dante Cano. I am 11 years old and I am from Marlboro, New Jersey. I wanted to know if you could use my idea of pink penalty flags in October for breast cancer awareness."

He signed it, "Please write back."

FULL STORY
My View: Cheat or be cheated?
October 25th, 2012
04:15 AM ET

My View: Cheat or be cheated?

Courtesy Denise PopeBy Denise Pope, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Denise Pope, Ph.D., is a senior lecturer at the Stanford University School of Education. She is co-founder of Challenge Success, a research and intervention project that provides schools and families the tools they need to raise healthy, motivated students. Her book, "Doing School: How We Are Creating a Generation of Stressed Out, Materialistic, and Miseducated Students” (Yale University Press, 2001) was awarded Notable Book in Education by the American School Board Journal, 2001.

Students and faculty at Harvard note that the campus is “in shock” over the recent accusation that 125 students cheated on a final exam last spring. Parents at Stuyvesant High School are stunned to learn that 66 students were accused of using cell phones to cheat during an exam. But those of us who research student behaviors aren’t surprised by the latest cheating scandals.  We hear stories like these all the time.

In fact, 97% of the high school students in our Challenge Success survey admitted to cheating at least once during the past year, and 75% admitted to cheating four or more times.

Many students point to examples of cheaters on Wall Street, in government, sports and show business, and tell us that the standards for honesty are different these days:  “Everybody cheats.”

The problem is so prevalent and widespread that many parents and educators tend to throw up their hands in defeat.  But we know something can be done about the rampant cheating in schools. We reviewed the research on cheating from the past 15 years and summarize our findings here to show you what really goes on inside the classroom and to help you find ways to increase honesty and integrity in your homes and schools:
FULL POST

Posted by
Filed under: Cheating • Voices
« older posts