Friday, December 31, 2010

Is Going to an Elite College Worth the Cost?

Is Going to an Elite College Worth the Cost? By JACQUES STEINBERG, NYTimes Week In Review

The sluggish economy and rising costs of college have only intensified questions about whether expensive, prestigious colleges make any difference

Also read: Room For Debate: Does It Matter Where You Go to College?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Master’s for Science Professionals Sweeps U.S. Schools

A Master’s for Science Professionals Sweeps U.S. Schools By JOSEPH ROSENBLOOM

More universities are offering the degree, which combines graduate studies in science and business, as demand rises.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

In Budget Crunch, Science Fairs Struggle to Survive

In Budget Crunch, Science Fairs Struggle to Survive By EMMA GRAVES FITZSIMMONS, NYTimes

Sponsors drop out, financing is cut and organizers scramble for money.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Japanese Universities Draw Foreign Students With Manga

Japanese Universities Draw Foreign Students With Manga By MIKI TANIKAWA, NYTimes

Programs in the Japanese medium are becoming a major attraction as universities vie for a dwindling pool of students, creating a talent pool for local businesses.

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Quest to Explain What Grades Really Mean

A Quest to Explain What Grades Really Mean By TAMAR LEWIN, NYTimes

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is planning to add extra information — probably median grades, and perhaps more — to transcripts, among other measures.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Stress and the High School Student

Stress and the High School Student NYTimes Room for Debate

What can schools and parents do to relieve some of the résumé-building pressure that young people are feeling?

Friday, December 24, 2010

With Common Application, Many Find a Technical Difficulty in Common, Too

With Common Application, Many Find a Technical Difficulty in Common, Too By JACQUES STEINBERG, NYTimes

The Common Application, accepted by more than 400 colleges, cuts some answers off at the margins.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Students in Poor Counties Get Creative Opportunities

Students in Poor Counties Get Creative Opportunities By REEVE HAMILTON, NYTimes

The Early College High School Initiative program has flourished in the Rio Grande Valley thanks to collaboration between local leaders in public and higher education.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mental Health Needs Seen Growing at Colleges

Mental Health Needs Seen Growing at Colleges By TRIP GABRIEL, NYTimes

Counseling centers are seeing higher rates of students suffering from serious mental illness.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Immigration Vote Leaves Obama’s Policy in Disarray

Immigration Vote Leaves Obama’s Policy in Disarray By JULIA PRESTON, NYTimes

A Senate vote blocking a bill to grant legal status to illegal immigrant students set back an emerging movement and rebuffed the administration’s policy

Monday, December 20, 2010

E.E.O.C. Sues Kaplan Over Hiring

E.E.O.C. Sues Kaplan Over Hiring By STEVEN GREENHOUSE, NYTimes

Sending a sharp warning to employers nationwide, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued the Kaplan Higher Education Corporation on Tuesday, accusing it of discriminating against black job applicants through the way it uses credit histories in its hiring process.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Lessons From Shanghai's Top Scores on International Test

VOANews: Lessons From Shanghai's Top Scores on International Test

The Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, is a two-hour test that compares the performance of fifteen-year-olds. In the latest test, the countries with the best readers were South Korea and Finland. But students in Shanghai, China, scored the highest of all in reading, mathematics and science. download MP3 (Right-click or option-click and save link)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What Works in the Classroom? Ask the Students

What Works in the Classroom? Ask the Students By SAM DILLON, NYTimes

Gates Foundation research found that students who rated their teachers highly also scored better on standardized tests than their peers.
Document: Learning about Teaching

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Budget-Cutting Colleges Bid Some Languages Adieu

Budget-Cutting Colleges Bid Some Languages Adieu By LISA W. FODERARO, NYTimes

With public colleges reeling from budget reductions, instruction in foreign languages, particularly European ones, is on the chopping block.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Speaking in Tongues By MARY H.K. CHOI, NYTims The Opinionator

Speaking in Tongues By MARY H.K. CHOI, NYTims The Opinionator

In Hong Kong, where I lived until I was 14, most expat kids had more than one passport; spoke English, Cantonese (curse words were the gateway) and at least one romance language; and we could emulate several accents convincingly. We were well-designed for espionage...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

U.S. School Graduation Rate Is Rising

U.S. School Graduation Rate Is Rising By SAM DILLON, NYTimes

The nation’s high school graduation rate may have hit bottom and begun to rise, according to a report issued by a nonprofit group founded by former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Doctorate Degrees in U.S. Increase to Record Level

Doctorate Degrees in U.S. Increase to Record Level By THE INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE

Research doctorate degrees were awarded to 49,562 students by American academic institutions in the 2008-09 academic year.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Teacher Ratings Get New Look, Pushed by a Rich Watcher

Teacher Ratings Get New Look, Pushed by a Rich Watcher By SAM DILLON, NYTimes

Bill Gates is financing research by dozens of social scientists and thousands of teachers to develop a better system for evaluating classroom instruction.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What Is a College Degree Worth in China?

What Is a College Degree Worth in China? NYTimes: Room for Debate

If China's graduates are unable to capitalize on their costly investment in education, then is it worthwhile for students to obtain a college degree? What does the imbalance say about China's education system and its economy in general?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Illegal Immigrants in US Push for Passage of Dream Act



VOAVideo: Illegal Immigrants in US Push for Passage of Dream Act

U.S. lawmakers before the end of the year are expected to consider a controversal immigration reform measure that would give tens of thousands of young illegal immigrants a chance to become legal residents by going to college or joining the armed forces. The proposed legislation is known as the Dream Act . VOA's Chris Simkins tells us about it.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Does It Matter Where You Go to College?

Does It Matter Where You Go to College? NYTimes: Room for Debate

What students should know about the value of a big-name school.

Will you have a better life if you graduate from an elite school? Students and their parents think the answer is yes, and competition for slots at top-ranked (and costly) schools seems higher than ever. Having a big name college on your resume can impress employers, friends and the opposite sex.

The Times columnist Gail Collins says this national fixation makes little sense. "We can do a great service to the youth and parents of America by telling them to stop obsessing about choosing a college," she wrote recently in The Conversation blog. "Kids, you do not need to go to a school with a name that impresses your friends. Go to a school you can afford."

If enough people took her advice, the spell might be broken. In the meantime, what should sensible and ambitious students keep in mind about where they go to school?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Figment.com--Web Site for Teenagers With Literary Leanings

Web Site for Teenagers With Literary Leanings By JULIE BOSMAN, NYTimes

Figment.com, created by former staff members of The New Yorker, gives teenagers a chance to show what they’re reading and writing.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

Stanford's design school promotes creativity

Stanford's design school promotes creativity by Kathryn Roethel, SFGate.com

To think like the brightest engineering minds at Stanford University, grab some pipe cleaners, Post-it notes and a cup of ramen noodles. Push the furniture out of the way, and get ready to write on walls - and floors...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Some U.S. College Students Look to U.K.

Some U.S. College Students Look to U.K. by KIM HJELMGAARD, Wall Street Journal

As tuition at U.S. colleges increasingly becomes less affordable for many, some American high schoolers are looking to the U.K. to meet their educational needs.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

GET SCHOOLED: How To Lower Your Tuition Costs in College

GET SCHOOLED: How To Lower Your Tuition Costs in College

The price of tuition may give you a little "sticker shock" when you first look at how much your college education will cost. Don't fear: there are tons of grants and scholarships out there to help you pay for it. Check out these resources!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Right for America or Wrong for Illegals? The DREAM Act Takes Center Stage

PoliticsDaily: Right for America or Wrong for Illegals? The DREAM Act Takes Center Stage by Jill Lawrence

DREAM, expected to come up for a vote in the year-end lame-duck session of Congress, is catchy shorthand for Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors. Translation: The act would offer a path to citizenship – and economic prosperity -- for undocumented immigrants who were brought here as children age 15 or younger. . .

For more info, visit:

Monday, November 29, 2010

Celebrating 35 Years of IDEA



usedgov: Celebrating 35 Years of IDEA

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is the legislative foundation for all services that students with disabilities receive in schools today. At the 35th anniversary of its passage, this video takes a look back to what the conditions were like before IDEA, and how its passage has changed the educational landscape for students with disabilities today

Sunday, November 28, 2010

More High School Students Acquire Online Credits

More High School Students Acquire Online Credits By BRIAN THEVENOT and SARAH BUTRYMOWICZ

More and more students are flocking to online programs to make up failed classes.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

N.Y./Region: Neediest | A Teacher in Training - nytimes.com/video



N.Y./Region: Neediest | A Teacher in Training - nytimes.com/video

After losing her eyesight, Libin Zhang, alone in a new country, rediscovers an old dream.

Friday, November 26, 2010

In Efforts to End Bullying, Some See Agenda

In Efforts to End Bullying, Some See Agenda By ERIK ECKHOLM, NYTimes

Lessons to teach acceptance of homosexuality, which have gained urgency after suicides, are causing culture wars. (Also checkout the audio clip from NYTimes Radio)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Going Clubbing

Going Clubbing By JAMES R. PETERSEN, NYTimes

Student groups for the 21st century.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Accommodations Angst

Accommodations Angst By ABIGAIL SULLIVAN MOORE, NYTimes

Advocates for the learning disabled say it has become harder to get extra testing time. What’s a student to do?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The China Boom

The China Boom By DAN LEVIN

A wave of Chinese undergraduates is choosing American colleges. Culture shock? Beer pong, anyone?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mensa Workout

Mensa Workout NYTimes

Are you Mensa material? Test your gray matter with these brain teasers.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Modern Minstrelsy: Exploring Racist Stereotypes in Literature and Life

Modern Minstrelsy: Exploring Racist Stereotypes in Literature and Life NYTimes Learning Network

What are the roots and legacy of minstrelsy and the Scottsboro Trials? How can stereotypes be used not only to reinforce a bias, but also to satirize that very bias? In this lesson, students learn about the minstrel tradition, consider how it echoes through stereotypes of African-Americans today and explore the legacy of black stereotypes and the Scottsboro Trials in popular culture, history and literature.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Learning in Dorm, Because Class Is on the Web

Learning in Dorm, Because Class Is on the Web By TRIP GABRIEL, NYTimes

Online education is finding its way into more colleges, many of them public institutions facing tight budgets.

Friday, November 19, 2010

China Surges Past India as Top Home of Foreign Students

China Surges Past India as Top Home of Foreign Students By TAMAR LEWIN

The numbers for China went up 30 percent in 2009-2010 academic year, a sign of the country’s booming economy.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Questionable Science Behind Academic Rankings

Questionable Science Behind Academic Rankings By D.D. GUTTENPLAN

A recent revelation that the works of one scholar put a little-known university into a top league table is embarrassing for the business of academic ratings.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

More Professors Give Out Hand-Held Devices to Monitor Students and Engage Them

More Professors Give Out Hand-Held Devices to Monitor Students and Engage Them By JACQUES STEINBERG, NYTimes

More than half a million college students now use wireless devices to register class attendance and take quizzes.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

California Court Backs Illegal Immigrants

California Court Backs Illegal Immigrants By IAN LOVETT, NYTimes

The California Supreme Court ruled that illegal immigrants can be eligible for the same reduced tuition at public colleges and universities as legal residents of the state.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Looking for Students Like Me!

Looking for Students Like Me! By TESS LANGAN, NYTimes

As the search for the right college continued, the more muddled my mind became.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

What Do You Mean I Can’t Take This Course?

What Do You Mean I Can’t Take This Course? By PAMELA PAUL, NYTimes

Students find hurdles, even rejection, when trying to sign up for coveted electives.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

There’s More Than One Way to Apply to College

There’s More Than One Way to Apply to College By AMY ZIPKIN, NYTimes

The Common Application isn’t the only game in town. Here’s a guide to the new apps. Hit ‘submit’ once.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fill in the Blanks--Too Much Room to List Extracurricular Activities?

Fill in the Blanks By JACQUES STEINBERG, NYTimes

College applications can include as many as a dozen spaces for work and extracurriculars. Get busy?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day Teaching and Learning Resources

Veterans Day Teaching and Learning Resources from www.free.ed.gov/

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Application Inflation: When Is Enough Enough?

Application Inflation: When Is Enough Enough? By ERIC HOOVER, NYTimes

Do colleges really need 30,000 applications to find 1,500 great students?

The Choice Blog Read Comments (155)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Italian Studies Regains Spot on the List of AP Courses

Italian Studies Regains Spot on the List of AP Courses By TAMAR LEWIN, NYTimes

The program, which was suspended last year, will be reinstated at the start of the next school year, and its AP exam will again be offered in May 2012.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

At English-Mandarin Public School, High Test Scores, but Also Strife

At English-Mandarin Public School, High Test Scores, but Also Strife By SHARON OTTERMAN, NYTimes

The Lower East Side public academy is being investigated after accusations of financial mismanagement and admissions irregularities.

Monday, October 25, 2010

American Experience Invites College Students to "Get on the Bus" & Retrace the 1961 Freedom Rides



PBS: American Experience Invites College Students to "Get on the Bus" & Retrace the 1961 Freedom Rides

http://www.pbs.org/freedomriders

JOIN students from across the country in retracing the route of the 1961 Freedom Rides. Accepted students will participate at no cost to them. All transportation, hotel and food expenses are covered by American Experience.PARTICIPATE in an intergenerational conversation about civic engagement.What does it mean today? What has changed since 1961?What inspires young people to "get on the bus"? SHARE the journey.Through live blogging, Twitter, and Facebook, the students on the bus will be able to share their experiences and, in a sense, bring others along on their journey.

Application period is open!
Application deadline: January 17, 2011
Decisions announced: February 2011
May 6-16, 2011: Washington, DC to Jackson, MS
Apply now! Details at http://to.pbs.org/freedomrideapp

Sunday, October 24, 2010

It Gets Better Project


Many LGBT youth can't picture what their lives might be like as openly gay adults. They can't imagine a future for themselves. So let's show them what our lives are like, let's show them what the future may hold in store for them.



President Obama: It Gets Better

As part of the It Gets Better Project, President Obama shares his message of hope and support for LGBT youth who are struggling with being bullied.

Unusual college offers questions, not answers

Unusual college offers questions, not answers, Holly Ramer, Associated Press Writer (via SFGate)

Students at the American College of History and Legal Studies are getting used to two things: questions instead of lectures from their professors, and questions from dubious friends and relatives who worry they're guinea pigs in an educational experiment.

Friday, October 22, 2010

National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards



WH.gov: National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards

First Lady Michelle Obama speaks about the importance of arts and humanities programs as 15 programs across the country receive awards for fostering the creative and intellectual development of American youth. October 20, 2010.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Early Action Could Aid in Admission, Report Finds

Early Action Could Aid in Admission, Report Finds By JACQUES STEINBERG, NYTimes

A new study provides some evidence that submitting college applications under binding early-decision programs increases the likelihood of acceptance.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans



VOANews: Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans

President Obama speaks about improving educational opportunities and outcomes for Hispanic students as he signs the Executive Order for the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. October 19, 2010.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

In a Digital Age, Students Still Cling to Paper Textbooks

In a Digital Age, Students Still Cling to Paper Textbooks By LISA W. FODERARO, NYTimes

Though the world of print is receding before a tide of digital offerings, college students weaned on technology appear to be holding fast to traditional textbooks, but at a price.

Monday, October 18, 2010

White House Science Fair (STEM)



WH.gov: White House Science Fair

President Obama speaks about the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education (STEM) to the country's economic future after viewing exhibits from science fair winners from across the country. October 18, 2010.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

If You Miss the PSAT/NMSQT...

CollegeBoard: If You Miss the PSAT/NMSQT...

The PSAT/NMSQT is only offered on two days in October....If you missed taking the PSAT/NMSQT in your junior year, you may still be able to enter programs conducted by National Merit Scholarship Corporation if you meet other requirements to enter the NMSC competitions--published in the Official Guide to the PSAT/NMSQT and on NMSC's website.

To request information about alternate testing after the October PSAT/NMSQT administration, write to NMSC as soon as possible but no later than March 1 following the PSAT/NMSQT administration that was missed. Your letter must be postmarked on or before March 1 for your request to be considered. Read the full text>

Saturday, October 16, 2010

PSAT Saturday


Taking the PSAT?


Checkout the Tips for the SAT.


Good luck!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Scrutinizing the Elite, Whether They Like It or Not

Scrutinizing the Elite, Whether They Like It or Not By PAUL SULLIVAN, NYTimes

Scholars gathered at Columbia University to focus on the elite in American society and their relationship to the non-elite.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

In Higher Education, a Focus on Technology

In Higher Education, a Focus on Technology By STEVE LOHR, NYTimes

A new initiative aims to accelerate the development and use of online learning tools in postsecondary education.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

President Obama meets with students from the documentary, "Waiting for Superman"



WH.gov: President Obama meets with students from the documentary, "Waiting for Superman"

President Obama meets with students, their families and others that worked on the film, "Waiting For Superman". The President invited them into the Oval Office and the group then watched him depart in Marine One.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

8 College Fees You Didn't Plan For

8 College Fees You Didn't Plan For by AnnaMaria Andriotis SmartMoney.com

SmartMoney: Parents of college students may be prepared to pay for tuition, books and room and board. But when the first bill arrives, you might surprised by extra charges for orientation parties, clubs – even the library.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics: STEM Education Has Little to Do With Flowers

STEM Education Has Little to Do With Flowers By NATALIE ANGIER, NYTimes

The letters stand for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, but it has some branding issues. And is it even a brand worth saving?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Strengthening Education, Not Cutting It



WH.gov: Strengthening Education, Not Cutting It

The President explains that even as we focus on creating jobs immediately, we must also ensure the economy is better for our children by investing in education -- not cutting it by 20% as Congressional Republicans propose.

Friday, October 8, 2010

La universidad: un sueño alcanzable | College: A Possible Dream



usedgov/espanol: La universidad: un sueño alcanzable College: A Possible Dream

Samantha Hernández, estudiante de segundo año en California State University Domínguez Hills, persigue sus sueños de la universidad y la carrera por medio del apoyo constante de su familia, administradores de la universidad, y la ayuda económica que recibe.

Samantha Hernandez, a sophomore at California State University Dominguez Hills, pursues her dreams of college and career thanks to the strong support of her family, university administrators, and the financial aid she receives.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Why Colleges Are So 'Selective'?

Why Colleges Are So 'Selective' NYTimes: Room for Debate

Despite the recession, the competition to get into college is more intense than ever. Why?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Rummaging the Bargain Bin for a Premier Public Education

Rummaging the Bargain Bin for a Premier Public Education By JACQUES STEINBERG, NYTimes The Choice blog

The “Fiske Guide to Getting into the Right College” features something the authors call the “Budget Ivy List.” It sheds light on 10 public universities that, in the authors’ words, “combine superb academic programs with low cost.”

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Open for Questions: Education with Arne Duncan



WH.gov: Open for Questions: Education with Arne Duncan

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan takes your questions about education in a discussion with MSN's Shira Lazar. October 1, 2010.

Monday, October 4, 2010

NEW COURSE: Inside the College Admissions Process « New York Times Knowledge Network

NEW COURSE: Inside the College Admissions Process « New York Times Knowledge Network

October 13 - November 10, 2010, Registration Closes October 12
Live Sessions Wednesdays 8:00 - 9:00 PM EST
Instructor: Jacques Steinberg $225

This course will help you, your college-bound teen, and college admissions counselors navigate the mystifying process of college admissions...The course will include an explanation of the importance of matching a particular student to particular schools; an analysis of the factors that carry the most weight with admissions offices; an overview of financial aid options and how to evaluate them for your family; and a look at the merits of early decision and early action programs. Special attention will be paid to the application essay and its latest incarnations, such as video.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Countdown to Oct 2010 SAT I (updated)


Six Months Before the Test

Week (0r Two) Before the Test

  • Gather all your completed SAT Practice Tests into ONE pile.

  • Arrange the tests from oldest to the most recent test taken (so you can track your progress)

  • Review a completed test every evening before the Night Before the SAT Test (20-45 min).

  • Look-up any difficult vocabulary.

  • Note the trigger words in the Sentence completion Questions.

  • Note how you used POE (Process of Elimination) to get the right answers in the short, long, dual passage sections.

  • Analyze your wrong answers, and adjust your POE (ex. did you consistently choose the 2nd best choice on inference or EXCEPT questions).

  • Review the FIST OF NO ERROR for the Writing section and mentally check off the selections (S/V, Tense, Prononous, Adj/Adv, Diction, Misplaced Metaphors, Parallelism, Conjunctions) as you review the wrong answers.

  • Compare the errors made in the Paragraph Improvement section and your own essay: Transtions? Sentences out of sequence? Too much/too little concrete detail? Delete extraneous info? etc, etc, etc...
  • Add Image
  • Re-read NYTimes The Choice Blog: For Those Withholding SAT Scores, Advice on Completing the Common Application By Jacques Steinberg

The Night Before the Test
  • Don't cram for the SAT!

  • Follow you normal Friday Night Homework routine.

  • Go to bed early.

Day of the Test:
  • Wake up fifteen minutes early to focus your thoughts.

  • Eat breakfast (skip the quad latte and Red Bulll--you'll crash during the test).

  • Bring Student ID

  • Bring pencils, calculators, ear plugs, water, energy bar, etc.

  • Arrive early--use the spare time to encourage yourself and your friends to do your best.

During the Test

  • Stand up and stretch!

  • Drink water.


Ready for the Test!

  • Read the Prompt

  • Read the Quote

  • Read the Prompt again.

  • Think for 1 minute (don't write).

  • Brainstorm. Focus, focus, focus your complementary examples and connect these specific examples to BIG CONCEPTS. Organize. (2 minutes)

  • Write (20 min)

  • Intro Paragraph:

  • Thesis plus preview of your examples (Think DEVIL'S ADVOCATE--knock out objection to your thesis in your intro).

  • 3 body paragraphs. Topic sentence plus 4-7 sentences of concrete detail.

  • 2 body paragraphs is acceptable, but not advisable--write as much as you can to demonstrate the mastery of your tipic.

  • Transition between paragraphs.

  • Conclusion.

  • LAST 2 MINUTES: Fix errors and upgrade vocabulary--(replace to be/to have with stronger verbs).


Writing Section (multiple choice)




Critical Reading


  • Vocabulary: flash cards, word lists (Latin/Greek roots/prefixes/suffixes), word games--good! But the best way to acquire vocabulary is to READ.

  • Use POE (process of elimination)

  • Avoid answers that are too extreme (narrow, general, always/never, etc)

Sentence Completion--1 Blank

  • Cover the answers.

  • Read the sentence.

  • Note trigger words (ex: conjunctions, prefixes, modifiers, negation) which change the meaning of the sentence.

  • Read the sentence again, substituting your own word in the blank.

  • Match your choice with the supplied answer choices.

  • Not sure of the meaning? Look at the root--is similar the root similar to the root of a word that you know?

  • Use POE to target the correct answer.

  • Yes, the word you don't know can be the correct choice.

Sentence Completion--2 Blanks

  • Cover the answers.

  • Read the sentence.

  • Note trigger words (ex: conjunctions, prefixes, modifiers, negation) which change the meaning of the sentence.

  • Read the sentence again, substituting your own word in the blank.

  • Uncover the first column of words. Match them with your choice in the first blank (two answers should be retained, the other three should be dismissed).

  • Not sure of the meaning? Look at the root--is similar the root similar to the root of a word that you know?

  • Uncover the second column of words. Match them with your choice in the second blank (the target choices in the 1st blank are usually synonyms of each other; and the second blank is usually opposite of each other; OR the target choices in the 1st blank are antonyms of each other and the second blank is are synonyms).

  • Remember: there is only one correct answer!).

Short Parassage

  • Read the questions first.

  • The short passage questions are usually about the tone, main idea, or inference.

  • There is usually one dual short passage set per SAT test.

  • Each of the four questions compare/contrast both passages.

  • Draw a quick Venn Diagram to organize the info.

  • The dual passages may not contradict each other (i.e. +/-), but one passage may be general, and the other passage may be more specific. Remember WHAT the topic is about, and the AUDIENCE.

Long Passage

  • Read the blurb (who? what? where? when?)

  • Skim & underline for information (Proper Nouns, Unusual Punctuation, Lists)

  • Mark-up the passage as per the Questions (Beware of stealth EXCEPT and Inference Questions)

  • Read the passage critically (why? how?)

  • Answer the questions via POE

Dual Passages


Dual Passage--Intro

  • Draw a Venn Diagram

  • Read the blurb (who? what? where? when? audience? type of text?)

  • Fill out the Venn Diagram--note "dual questions" in the union.

Dual Passage--Passage 1

  • Skim & underline the First Passage for information (Proper Nouns, Unusual Punctuation, Lists)

  • Mark-up the passage as per the First Passage Questions (Beware of stealth EXCEPT and Inference Questions)

  • Read the passage critically (why? how?)

  • Answer First Passage questions ONLY via POE

  • Skip all Second Passage and Dual Passage Questions

Dual Passage--Passage 2

  • Skim & underline the Second Passage for information (Proper Nouns, Unusual Punctuation, Lists)

  • Mark-up the passage as per the Second Passage Questions (Beware of stealth EXCEPT and Inference Questions)Read the passage critically (why? how?)

  • Answer Passage 2 questions ONLY via POE

  • Skip all Dual Passage Questions

Dual Passage--Dual Passage Questions

  • Update Venn Diagram (tone +/-) (note if there is a switch in tone/argument)

  • Answer Dual Passage questions via POE

  • Finish!

After the Test

  • Don't just go home--celebrate with a special lunch or snack.

  • Go on to your next task!


GOOD LUCK!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Perils of Being Too Cute in Your Application

The Perils of Being Too Cute in Your Application By JACQUES STEINBERG, NYTimes: The Choice blog

“Are there certain hobbies, passions or accomplishments you’ve excluded from your college application, feeling they’re not worthy or relevant?” A thread from College Confidential explores the notion of “hidden extracurriculars” — and how to alert a college admissions office to such activities.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Navigating the College Admissions Process



unigodotcom: What Red Flags Can Kill Your College Application?

The Wall Street Journal presents "Inside The Admissions Office." Students across America sent in their questions expert Deans of Admissions from eight top colleges provide the real answers. In this clip, our panelusts reveal some of the mistakes that can put your application directly in the "reject" pile.

via GetSchooled.com: Navigating the College Admissions Process

We’d like to give a big shout-out to Lynn O’Shaughnessy over at The College Solution for compiling a list of the “10 Best College Websites.” We would also like to add a few more.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

President Obama's Conference Call with Student-Journalists



WH.gov: President Obama's Conference Call with Student-Journalists

President Obama takes questions from college and university student-journalists in a conference call about efforts to make college more affordable, expand financial aid, improve access to health insurance and create jobs for new graduates. September 27, 2010.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Why More Students Rely on Tutors

Why More Students Rely on Tutors NYTimes: Room For Debate

Has high school become harder or are students seeking extra help to beat the competition?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

GET SCHOOLED College Affordability Challenge

Get Schooled NY - Pharrell from Get Schooled on Vimeo.

Get Schooled College Affordability Challenge

MTV and the College Board are scheduled to announce this morning that they are joining together to stage a contest, the “Get Schooled College Affordability Challenge.’’ In it, “current and aspiring college students’’ are being asked to create “an innovative digital tool that helps more low- and middle-income students connect with money for school.’’

Monday, September 27, 2010

Testing, the Chinese Way

Testing, the Chinese Way By ELISABETH ROSENTHAL, NYTimes

American education’s “no test” philosophy for young children has come under assault as government programs strongly promote the practice, which is widespread in Asia.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Answers to Back-to-School Questions

Answers to Back-to-School Questions By BILL DINGLEDINE, NYTimes The Choice Blog

Part 1 of the responses by an independent college counselor to reader questions about the fall admission season, for high school seniors and juniors.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Value of College Degree Is Growing, Study Says

Value of College Degree Is Growing, Study Says By TAMAR LEWIN, NYTimes

Despite rising tuition and student-loan debt levels, the long-term payoff from earning a college degree is increasing, the College Board says.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Dream Act Dies in U.S. Senate



VOAVideo: Dream Act Dies in U.S. Senate

The Dream Act (short for Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) addresses the plight of some 2 million illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children by their undocumented parents. The provision would allow them to earn their green cards if they maintain "good moral character," graduate from high school and complete two years of college or serve in the military. The legislation is supported by the U.S. military and the president, but it won't be moving forward for now. VOA's Laurel Bowman has more.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hacks Into Hackers

Hacks Into Hackers By NICHOLAS CARLSON, NYTimes

Can journalism and computer science mix?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Edutopia: Education Reform at the Heart of New Documentaries


Race to Nowhere: The Dark Side of America's Achievement Culture Release Date: 9/17/2010. Director Vicki Abeles' new documentary is about the pressures faced by American schoolchildren and their teachers in a system and culture she describes as obsessed with the illusion of achievement, competition and the pressure to perform. (Source: Race to Nowhere)

Edutopia: Education Reform at the Heart of New Documentaries

There's been quite a bit of buzz about several documentary films (Waiting for "Superman", Race to Nowhere, The Dark Side of America's Achievement Culture, The Lottery Film, The Cartel) that are critical of the current state of American education, with varying ideas about what should be done. If you've seen the films, let us know if you think any of these directors have got the right idea, or if you think there's a different story to be told.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

DREAM ACT 2010 v. TORN APART


The 'Torn Apart' project


The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (The "DREAM Act") would benefit students who are currently undocumented in the United States of America. The Dream Act is based upon earned legalization. The DREAM Act is Education for our future generation of leaders.

This week the U.S. Senate will vote to attach the Dream Act as an amendment to the Defense Authorization Act. This is our chance to pass the Dream Act now! Please Support the DREAM ACT 2010. Call your senators and tell them to pass DREAM ACT NOW! Dial 1-888-254-5087. If busy, call switchboard directly at 1-202-224-3121.

The 'Torn Apart' project

For decades the nation has endlessly debated how to solve the problem of illegal immigration. One side calls for aggressive enforcement of existing laws. The other side calls for "comprehensive immigration reform." But while the debate rages, millions of American children are left with the real possibility that their undocumented parents will be detected and deported.

For the past year, a Mercury News reporter and photojournalist followed a San Mateo family on their emotional journey through the U.S. immigration system. Both parents came here as illegal immigrants, but all six of their children are American citizens.

Read more: San Mateo family struggles to stay together as U.S. deports dad, tries to deport mom By Ken McLaughlin kmclaughlin@mercurynews.com Posted: San Jose Mercury News 09/18/2010 11:55:15 PM PDT

Read more: Undocumented Education: A DREAM Act Deferred posted by Edutopia
DREAM Act Activists Tam Tran and Cinthya Felix remembered for their work to help undocumented students.

Watch: A Long Walk for a Cause Four students arrived in Washington, having walked from Miami to support a bill that would give legal status to immigrants who arrived at age 15 or younger. For more info, see Trail of Dreams and DREAMACTIVIST.

DREAM TV - The Story of the Undocumented StudentsThe DREAM Act is a bipartisan proposal, which would create a pathway to citizenship for thousands of young students who were brought to the United States years ago as children. If Congress fails to act this year, another entire class of outstanding, law-abiding high school students will graduate without being able to plan for the future, and some will be removed from their homes to countries they barely know. This tragedy will cause America to lose a vital asset: an educated class of promising immigrant students who have demonstrated a commitment to hard work and a strong desire to be contributing members of our society. For more info, see DREAM TV on YouTube or DREAMActivist.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Achieving Techno-Literacy

Achieving Techno-Literacy By KEVIN KELLY, NYTimes

Computers are a tool, not a solution.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Drill, Baby, Drill

Drill, Baby, Drill By VIRGINIA HEFFERNAN, NYTimes

Is rote memorization really that bad?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Midlevel Universities Look Into India Branches

Midlevel Universities Look Into India Branches By VIR SINGH, NYTimes

Six months after India invited in foreign institutions, lesser-known universities are trying to enter.

Friday, September 17, 2010

NCC Interactive US Constitution

Septem ber 17 is Constitution Day and Citizenship Day! The National Constitution Center invites you to participate in a national conversation about the Constitution, its history and its contemporary relevance. Our programming features nationally recognized leaders discussing the Constitution, our rights and responsibilities as citizens, and everyday politics.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

SAT v. ACT: the Standardized Test Myth

An Argument Against Taking (and Retaking) the SAT and ACT - NYTimes.com
thechoice.blogs.nytimes.com

A longtime counselor seeks to put the rest the "myth,'' as he calls it, that top colleges prefer an SAT score to an ACT score.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The President's Back to School Speech



WH.gov: The President's Back to School Speech

President Obama gives his second annual back to school speech at the Julia R. Masterman Laboratory and Demonstration School in Philadelphia, PA, telling students that while government would do its part to help provide access to a quality education, students still needed to take individual responsibility for their future.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

API SCORES!

CA Academic Performance Index scores - California API results - CA API scores mercurynews.greatschools.org

Find CA California Academic Performance Index test scores for you child's school and compare California API test results

Monday, September 13, 2010

President Obama at Reception for Historically Black Colleges and Universities



WH.gov President Obama at Reception for Historically Black Colleges and Universities


The President speaks at the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Reception in the Grand Foyer of the White House. September 13, 2010.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Course Load for the Game of Life

A Course Load for the Game of Life By N. GREGORY MANKIW, NYTimes

To better understand the world in which they will live, students need foundations in economics, statistics, finance and psychology.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

U.S. Asks Educators to Reinvent Student Tests, and How They Are Given

U.S. Asks Educators to Reinvent Student Tests, and How They Are Given By SAM DILLON, NYTimes

Could the bubble be on the way out? In the near future, students may take their tests on computers.

Friday, September 3, 2010

KOHL'S CARES: VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE SCHOOL ON FACEBOOK

KOHL'S CARES: VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITE SCHOOL ON FACEBOOK
The top 20 schools win $500,000! Voting ends Fri, Sept 3.

MILPITAS: http://apps.facebook.com/KohlsCares/school/121321/milpitas-high

Lynbrook: http://bit.ly/bAz0gW

Cupertino: http://bit.ly/b4OeIc

Fremont: http://bit.ly/bHp1ZH

Homestead: http://bit.ly/aohTJf

Monta Vista: http://bit.ly/9zl7L6

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Votes in Facebook contest needed if San Jose's Trace Elementary wants a shot at a $500,000 prize

Pizarro: Votes in Facebook contest needed if San Jose's Trace Elementary wants a shot at a $500,000 prize. By Sal Pizarro, SJ Mercury


"If Trace Elementary School (destroyed by arson) is going to win $500,000 from Kohl's Cares, it's going to need a lot more votes from its fans on Facebook.

The department store chain's community giving arm is awarding $10 million in grants to the 20 schools that receive the most votes on its Facebook page by Friday.

Facebook users who want to vote should go to
http://apps.facebook.com/KohlsCares/search and enter "Merritt Trace Elementary School" in the search field. Each user can vote five times. "

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Method to Grade Teachers Provokes Battles

Method to Grade Teachers Provokes Battles By SAM DILLON, NYTimes

A value-added formula to evaluate teachers is gaining acceptance, and critics, across America.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Scores Stagnate at High Schools

Scores Stagnate at High Schools by Stephanie Banchero, WSJ.com

Despite modest gains in college-readiness among U.S. high-school students in the past few years, new data show that fewer than 25% of 2010 graduates who took the ACT college-entrance exam possessed the academic skills necessary to pass entry-level courses.

Monday, August 30, 2010

San Jose Unified's online school a first in the Bay Area

San Jose Unified's online school a first in the Bay Area by Sharon Noguchi, SJ Mercury

San Jose Unified's Liberty Online is aimed at independent learners who don't thrive in traditional schools. It is open to any student in grades 6-12 living in Santa Clara County. The school targets truants and students who are 70 or more credits behind.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Official SAT Online Course

In my opinion, CollegeBoard's The Official SAT Online Course™ is #1! If you are outside of the United States and/or don't have access to a SAT tutor and/or need to use your time and money efficiently, The Official SAT Online Course™ offers the best solution for the best value.

Also check out:

Monday, August 23, 2010

Why Johnny’s College Isn’t What It Used to Be

‘Higher Education?’ By ANDREW HACKER and CLAUDIA DREIFUS Reviewed by STEVEN KNAPP, NYTimes Book Review

Two academics pose questions about the degree to which universities’ main purpose — for them, the teaching of undergraduates — is being undermined.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Web Is Dead. Long Live the Internet

Long Live the Internet!

The Web Is Dead. Long Live the Internet
By Chris Anderson and Michael Wolff, Wired.com, August 17, 2010

Two decades after its birth, the World Wide Web is in decline, as simpler, sleeker services — think apps — are less about the searching and more about the getting. Chris Anderson explains how this new paradigm reflects the inevitable course of capitalism. And Michael Wolff explains why the new breed of media titan is forsaking the Web for more promising (and profitable) pastures.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

As Private Tutoring Booms, Parents Look at the Returns

As Private Tutoring Booms, Parents Look at the Returns By PAUL SULLIVAN, NYTimes Wealth Matter column

Wealthy parents pay a lot for their children’s tutors, and they usually expect more than improved grades. "[Tutors] are now being used far more to guide students through particularly tough courses, insure their grades are equal to or above their peers’ and, in the end, polish a child’s college application."

Friday, August 20, 2010

UC Berkeley is top public university in U.S. News' annual college rankings

UC Berkeley is top public university in U.S. News' annual college rankings AP

UC Berkeley once again is the highest-ranked public university in the nation in the latest edition of the influential U.S. News & World Report "Best Colleges" list**.

**The 2011 U.S. News & World Report "Best Colleges" list is available at bookstores/newstands. You can buy the "web only" 2011 College Guide for $19.95 and the web/book for $24.95.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Santa Clara University's Global Social Benefit Incubator

Social entrepreneurs bring lessons to Silicon Valley by Mike Cassidy, SJ Mercury News
Nineteen social entrepreneurs have come to Santa Clara University to learn the ins and outs of building a successful enterprise. But it turns out these leaders of for-profit and non-profit companies have a lot to teach Silicon Valley about the real challenges of running a business.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Do Universities Discriminate against Asian-Americans?

Do Universities Discriminate against Asian-Americans? KQED 88.5FM, Forum 03/26/2010

A look into elite universities found that many Asian-Americans are denied admission, despite higher test scores and grades than students of other races. Does this mirror discrimination against Jews in academia in the 1950s and 60s, or does it reflect universities struggling to maintain diversity? We'll also look into new admissions policies at the University of California which critics say will reduce the number of Asian-Americans allowed in. (download mp3)

  • Angela Suh Um, founder and chief consultant with the Boston Academic Consulting Group and former employee in the admissions departments of MIT and Harvard
  • Daniel Golden, editor at large at Bloomberg News and author of "The Price of Admission: How America's Ruling Class Buys Its Way into Elite Colleges -- and Who Gets Left Outside the Gates"
  • Ling-Chi Wang, retired professor of ethnic studies and Asian-American studies at UC Berkeley
  • Mark Rashid, professor of civil engineering at UC Davis and former chair of the UC's Admission Board (2006-2008)

Thanks, Candace Hardy!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

UC Berkeley will not send students DNA results

UC Berkeley will not send students DNA results by Victoria Colliver, SFGate.com

Under pressure from state public health officials, the professors behind UC Berkeley's controversial plan to genetically test incoming fresshman and transfer students.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

How to Find Cheaper College Textbooks

How to Find Cheaper College Textbooks By TARA SIEGEL BERNARD, NYTimes BUCKS blog

"College textbook prices rose about 6 percent, on average, every year — that’s twice the rate of inflation — from 1986 to 2004. And there’s nothing more infuriating than paying the sticker price on textbooks (well, with the exception of tuition itself), when many other books are available at a discount. The cost of buying the textbooks can easily add up to $1,000 a year or more."

Friday, August 13, 2010

Question on Test Scores Is Tweaked on the Common Application

Question on Test Scores Is Tweaked on the Common Application By JACQUES STEINBERG, NYTimes, the Choice Blog

"This year’s version of the Common Application, which went live on the Web late on the evening of July 31, includes something of a tweak on the section in which applicants are asked to self-report their standardized test scores to the colleges they are applying to. (Official reports will, of course, be sent to those colleges directly by the scorers of the SAT and ACT, respectively.)"

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The First Common Application for the Class of '15

The First Common Application for the Class of '15 By JACQUES STEINBERG, NYTimes, the Choice Blog

"This year’s version of the Common Application was due to be posted online around 12:01 a.m. on Aug. 1 — it wound up going up a few minutes earlier — and I wondered: How soon had the first application been sent in, by whom and why?"

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Pulling an All-Nighter for the College Application

Pulling an All-Nighter for the College Application By JACQUES STEINBERG, NYTimes

As more students each year seek to get the earliest possible jump on their applications, deans of admission are sounding a cautionary note: a premium is placed on thoughtfulness, not speed.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Education: The Economic Issue of Our Time



WH.gov: Education: The Economic Issue of Our Time

President Obama speaks about the link between higher education and economic prosperity and calls on the United States to lead the world in the percentage of college graduates in remarks at the University of Texas. August 9, 2010.

Monday, August 9, 2010

MUST READ: Founding Brothers by Joseph J. Ellis


CTForum.org: Joseph Ellis discusses the Presidency (3 min).

Joseph John Ellis is a Professor of History at Mount Holyoke College who has written influential and award-winning histories on the Federalist period. His book Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation (2000) received the Pulitzer Prize for History in 2001.

Founding brothers: the revolutionary generation, 2000

Other Books by Joseph J. Ellis: