April 27th, 2012
12:05 PM ET

Today's Reading List

Here's what the editors of Schools of Thought are reading today:

In the Washington Post's annual Spring Cleaning article, two of the top ten things that they think should be done away with are related to education:

Orszag: Get rid of the 3 p.m. school day
Former director of the Office of Management and Budget Peter Orszag says ending the school day at 3 p.m. should be a thing of the past. He argues that longer school days would cost more, but the benefits outweigh the increase in school budgets.
Harris-Perry: Let’s get rid of grades
Tulane University professor Melissa Harris-Perry says that giving grades to students is outdated, too. Students are more likely to pursue their interests – and take more challenging courses – if the fear of a bad grade is taken out of the equation.

U.S. News: College Students Split on Political Graduation Speakers
As the graduation season nears, some college seniors are reacting to their school's chosen commencement speakers. The article also links to an interactive map of this year's graduation speakers.

Education Week: Survey: Many Coaches Misinformed About Youth Sports Safety Risks
A recent survey of coaches of youth sports finds that many of them believe there is an acceptable level of physical contact in their sport. Almost half of the coaches surveyed said they were not well-trained in recognizing sports injuries, and almost four in ten had no training in sports safety.

NewYorkDailyNews.com: After controversy over pineapple question on city schools test, a question about a yam stirs new troubles
After a series of confusing questions about a talking pineapple was removed from New York's fourth grade reading test, a passage about a talking yam is being called unfair because the story appeared in test prep materials. Since schools had to buy the test prep materials, some students – but not all – were already familiar with the African folk tale.

April 25th, 2012
02:00 PM ET

Today's Reading List

Here's what the editors of Schools of Thought are reading today:

CBS4 Denver: Bill Would Give Tax Break On School Supplies
The average American family spends an estimated $500 to $600 a year on school supplies and children's clothing. The Colorado legislature is considering a bill that would waive taxes on school supplies and clothing for three days in August, a waiver that already exists in about 16 other states.

CBS Philly: Philadelphia School District Could Close 40 Schools Next Year
Philadelphia's school district says its budget deficit could balloon to more than a billion dollars in the next five years if it doesn't take some drastic action. The district is looking at closing dozens of schools and trimming hundreds of positions from its central office staff.

NPR: Can A Computer Grade Essays As Well As A Human? Maybe Even Better, Study Says
A new study suggests that computer software may be able to grade essays more consistently and faster than humans – if the grades are based on language mechanics. What the software doesn't check for is facts, and it has a hard time with poetry and highly stylized writing.

CBSChicago: ‘Flipped Classroom’ Getting A Tryout At Suburban High Schools
In a flipped classroom in Chicago, students are watching 20 minute lectures at home. Then the students work on assignments in class.

Nanny.net: 10 Ways to Teach Young Kids to Write Computer Programs
Computer programming skills could help children gain the analytical skills to solve complex problems. The author offers up ten ways to teach young kids, even as young as 7, to learn programming.

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April 24th, 2012
11:55 AM ET

Today's Reading List

Here's what the editors of Schools of Thought are reading today:

U.S. News: Report: Community College Attendance Up, But Graduation Rates Remain Low
According to the article, community colleges are supposed to be a stepping stone to either four-year schools or high-tech careers. A new report shows that while enrollment at community colleges is up, less than half of their students graduate or transfer to a four-year college within six years.

WTHR.com: Students pay price for underage drinking
This past weekend was the biggest annual party weekend of the year at Indiana University. More students than ever were issued citations related to underage drinking, but will it change student attitudes towards alcohol?

ABC13: Boy, 16, takes special needs friend to prom
Amber House's parents know she is a social butterfly, but they thought House wouldn't get a date for the prom because she has Down syndrome. It turns out Matt Gill already asked her, and Gill says House always was his first choice for the big day.

Time.com: Berkeley High School Students Pull Off Ferris Bueller-esque Attendance Hack
Some Berkeley High School students hacked into the school's attendance system. Dozens of students who allegedly bought or sold login information or changed school records have been suspended and the school may expel the ringleaders.

Mail Online: When playtime wasn't ruled by 'elf and safety: Photographs show how children had fun before the inspectors took over
Most of the images in this photo essay were taken on British playgrounds in the pre-World War II era. The clothes, the asphalt surfaces, and the equipment have changed, but recess was then, as now, a time for fun outside.

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Filed under: Cheating • College • Issues • Policy • Practice • Today's Reading List
April 20th, 2012
01:30 PM ET

Today's Reading List

Here's what the editors of Schools of Thought are reading today:

NYTimes Schoolbook: With Test Week Here, Parents Consider the Option of Opting Out
In a show of protest against high-stakes testing that they say is counter-productive and doesn’t measure a child’s true ability, some parents are opting to keep their children out of the tests this year.

The Educated Reporter: Will Merit Pay Make Teachers More Effective?
Under a new law taking effect in Indiana, student test scores will now be taken into account in teacher pay raises.  Does this approach work?

WFSB:  Pro-choice, anti-abortion groups clash at UConn; 2 arrested
Two students were arrested on the Storrs campus when they blocked an anti-abortion group’s display.

WAOW.com: Students pledge to stop dirty dancing
Before students at one high school in Wisconsin buy a prom ticket, they have to sign a dance code of conduct pledge.

TurnTo23.com: Local Track Team Flooded With Donations From All Over America
Fremont Elementary's track team has gone from running in flip flops and house slippers to running in real track shoes, thanks to donations that poured in after their story went viral.



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Filed under: Behavior • College • Issues • Teachers • Testing • Today's Reading List
April 19th, 2012
01:20 PM ET

Today's Reading List

Here's what the editors of Schools of Thought are reading today:

The Atlantic: Fixing Education: The Problems Are Clear, but the Solutions Aren't Simple
A panel of educators, including New York City Public Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, agree that America's education system needs to be fixed. Several of their ideas, like school choice and strengthening neighborhood schools, seem to be mutually exclusive.

Miami Herald: Charter school principal suspended for tampering with FCATs
A charter school principal is accused of opening Florida's standardized test packets, taking notes and then making a study guide for teachers. Because of the allegations, students at Ramz Academy charter school in Little Havana didn't take the test.

CantonRep.com: Silent support for 'Fish' at Carrollton BOE meeting
School officials told Austin Fisher he couldn't walk at graduation because the senior missed 16 days of school while taking care of his cancer-stricken mother. Protests by Fisher's supporters led to a meeting with Carrollton Schools Superintendent Palmer Fogler, and school officials reversed their decision.

SFexaminer.com: City looks to boost summertime learning
According to the National Summer Learning Association, summer vacation contributes to the test score gap between ninth-graders from richer and poorer families. As part of a California initiative, San Francisco plans to have summer learning activities for about 19,000 of the city's youth, with most of the students attending programs subsidized with public funding.

Education Week: Catastrophic Brain Injuries Hit All-Time High in H.S. Football
Until 2008, the number of students who became permanently disabled due to brain injuries from high school football never reached double digits. In 2011, 13 students had severe brain injuries attributed to playing the sport, more than any other year on record.

April 17th, 2012
01:45 PM ET

Today's Reading List

Here's what the editors of Schools of Thought are reading today:

Al.com: Atlanta newspaper's report on school cheating left out key details, USA professor says
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution conducted a nationwide study on cheating on America's high-stakes tests. Mobile, Alabama's school district, which was mentioned in the report for statistically improbable test scores, says the AJC's data doesn't tell the whole story.

Wired: Flipping the Classroom Requires More Than Video
In a flipped classroom, students watch online video lectures at home, then work on "homework" in class. The article points out that the content still needs to be relevant to a student in order to facilitate learning.

Larry Cuban: Connecting School Reform to Online Instruction in K-12 Classrooms: The Next New Thing
Studies show that achievement through online learning isn't where it needs to be. Larry Cuban says, "If you want to understand what happens to technological innovations when they are adopted and end up in classrooms, know what occurred to major school reforms that succeeded and failed."

SunSentinel: Students asked to sign honesty pledge before FCAT
Last year, Florida school officials invalidated thousands of students' scores on the state's standardized test, the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. The students' answer sheets were flagged when they were too similar to other students' answers. Students are being asked to take an honesty pledge before taking this year's FCATs.

KansasCity.com: Schools take on hunger, even after school
About 10% of Kansas City, Missouri's elementary students are receiving a third daily meal in their after school programs. School officials fear that the district's cafeterias are providing the only source of nutrients for some lower-income students.

April 12th, 2012
01:23 PM ET

Today's Reading List

Here's what the editors of Schools of Thought are reading today:

Huffington Post: Education Top-Tier 2012 Election Issue In Swing States, Survey Shows
Talk about education issues has been largely absent from the presidential primary campaign, with only one percent of debate questions centered around the issue. The College Board says its new survey shows that education issues rank third in importance among voters in swing states like Ohio.

Mashable.com: Facebook Launches Groups for Schools
Facebook is going back to its roots as it launches groups that only people with ".edu" email addresses can join. New apps and the social networking site itself are bringing back some of the features that once made Facebook a college campus hub on the Internet.

WSBTV.com: Student refuses to go to graduation at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church
Nahkoura Mahnassi plans to skip her high school graduation because it is being held inside a church. The school district says that its schools must select venues that are large enough for the graduating class, even if the building is owned by a faith-based organization.

New York Times: College Admissions Advice for 'Neurotic' Parents
As her sons started looking at colleges, blogger J.D. Rothman began to stress out a little. She asked a panel of experts for advice on summer activities, test prep, and safety schools.

Education Week: Texas H.S. Football Players Spend Spare Time as 'Bully Guards'
At some schools, football players may have a reputation for bullying. At Johnson High school in Texas, football players are the bodyguards.

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April 11th, 2012
01:02 PM ET

Today's Reading List

Here's what the editors of Schools of Thought are reading today:

22News WWLP.com: Teacher fired for Trayvon support?
A former Michigan teacher claims she was fired for organizing a fundraiser to support Trayvon Martin's family. The district's superintendent say she can't comment on the rationale behind the firing, but says that the teacher's claim isn't true.

SFGate: Demystifying math could ease anxiety
A Stanford study on brain activity suggests that the fear of math may be as real as other phobias. The researchers say phobias are treatable, so math teachers could incorporate techniques that help students understand the reasoning behind calculations to reduce anxiety.

Education Week: UConn's Academic Appeal Denied, Now Ineligible for 2013 Postseason
The NCAA's stricter graduation standards for teams to play in the postseason could leave the University of Connecticut, the 2011 men's basketball national champion, off of next year's March Madness brackets.

Sun Sentinel: Florida colleges fear boost in high-tech cheating
College officials in Florida are finding that students aren't just using new technologies to learn – they are using smartphones and the Internet to cheat.

AZFamily.com: Alice Cooper rocks Paradise Valley School Board meeting
Alice Cooper didn't appear in front of his local school board to explain the lyrics to his song "School's Out"; instead he announced a much-needed grant for musical instruments through the The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation.

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April 9th, 2012
12:32 PM ET

Today's Reading List

Here's what the editors of Schools of Thought are reading today:

Scathing Purple Musings: The LA Times Critical Take on Parent Trigger Shows Why It's Wrong for Florida
Blogger Bob Sikes uses a recent Los Angeles Times op-ed to back up his argument against the parent trigger for Florida.

Forbes: The (Fat) Envelope Please: College Admission Tougher Than Ever
The Ivy League universities became just a little bit more exclusive as they admitted a lower percentage of students in next year's class. The colleges say they are looking for diversity, and that could mean more well-rounded, high-achieving white females should look to their safety schools, according to the article.

The Inspired Classroom: 5 Reasons to Add Technology to Your Classroom
It can take a leap of faith and a pot of money to bring technology into the modern classroom. But knowing how to use technology is a skill that will benefit students personally and professionally.

The Chronicle of Higher Education: 3 Major Publishers Sue Open-Education Textbook Start-Up
Boundless Learning is trying a new model for textbooks, using freely available material found on the Internet to produce a cheaper textbook. Several traditional publishers have sued Boundless over copyright violations before the start-up has opened its doors to the public.

Seacoastonline.com: Elementary homework seen as effective tool of education
There is a debate over the value of elementary school homework. Some Maine administrators contend that this homework helps develop effective study habits and parents are split on the issue.

April 5th, 2012
01:53 PM ET

Today's Reading List

Here's what the editors of Schools of Thought are reading today:

SFGate: Attempt to reject affirmative action ban rejected
A federal appeals court has rejected an attempt to resurrect preferential consideration for minorities at the University of California and upheld the legality of Proposition 209.

U.S. News Education: Computer Science Transitions from Elective to Requirement
In this Digital Age, some colleges are making computer science a mandatory part of their general studies coursework.

WAVY.com: Hundreds of Virginia Beach teachers lose jobs
Teachers or taxes? That's the question in Virginia Beach after the school board announced layoffs Tuesday. All 245 first year teachers will not have their contracts renewed.

Education Week: Youth-Concussion Law Update: Wisconsin Makes 36
Wisconsin has become the 36th state to enact a youth-concussion law this week. The law is based on the National Football League’s model legislation.

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