Wednesday, June 30, 2010

How Many Graduates Does It Take to Be No. 1?

How Many Graduates Does It Take to Be No. 1? Winnie Hu, NYTimes

"Principals say that recognizing multiple valedictorians reduces pressure and competition among students, and is a more equitable way to honor achievement, particularly when No. 1 and No. 5 may be separated by only the smallest fraction of a grade from sophomore science. But some scholars and parents have criticized the swelling valedictorian ranks as yet another symptom of rampant grade inflation, with teachers reluctant to jeopardize the best and brightest’s chances of admission to top-tier colleges. "

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan honors community colleges and their graduates

Lisa Krieger, SJ Mercury

On commencement weekend, nation's top educational leader calls community colleges 'an unrecognized gem of education.'

Monday, June 28, 2010

Online Bullies Pull Schools Into the Fray

Online Bullies Pull Schools Into the Fray By JAN HOFFMAN, NYTimes

Affronted by cyberspace’s escalation of adolescent viciousness, many parents are looking to schools for justice, protection, even revenge.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Idea Incubator Goes to Campus

The Idea Incubator Goes to Campus By BOB TEDESCHI

Proof-of-concept centers are giving universities the money and other support to take unproven ideas and make them appeal to venture capitalists.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

More Federal Aid Needed for Low-Income College Students, Report Finds

More Federal Aid Needed for Low-Income College Students, Report Finds By RACHEL GROSS, NYTimes

The Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance, an independent committee that advises Congress and the secretary of education on national policy, presented a report entitled “The Rising Price of Inequality,” sending a clear message to the federal government: without a broad increase in need-based state and federal aid, fewer low-income students will have the resources to remain enrolled in college and earn degrees over the next decade.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Vice President Honors High School Service Team



WH.gov: Vice President Honors High School Service Team

Vice President Biden speaks to the Parade All-America High School Service Team about the importance of community involvement and public service. The team is composed of high school students who are changing their communities through public service. June 23, 2010.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Community Colleges Cutting Back on Open Access

Community Colleges Cutting Back on Open Access By TAMAR LEWIN, NYTimes

With states slashing budgets, many two-year colleges have cut courses and faculty, leaving them unable to handle an influx of students.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mountain View's global teacher of 1,516 lessons and counting



PBS NewsHour piece on the Khan Academy and Salman Khan

Mountain View's global teacher of 1,516 lessons and counting SJ Mercury

From a tiny closet in Mountain View, Sal Khan is educating the globe for free. His 1,516 videotaped mini-lectures '” on topics ranging from simple addition to vector calculus and Napoleonic campaigns '” are transforming the former hedge fund analyst into a YouTube sensation, reaping praise from even reluctant students across the world.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

American Literature at Sharewold

This summer, I am teaching an American Literature class (along with SAT prep) at Shareworld.

GOAL: encourage life-long reading and critical thinking.

OBEJECTIVE: Introduce students to current American Literature via reading lists (CDE, MLA, etc), the Best American Series, and other important anthologies.

1. Students will select and present a 5-minute oral report on book from the appropriate grade list of the CA Dept of Education Recommended Literature or American Library Association YALSA)

2. Students will analyze stories and articles anthologized by the Best American series.

  • No text required—copies of the selections for classroom analysis will be provided and the student can read the full story/article online.
  • Students will select and present a 5-minute oral report on a Best American story/article.

Class Readings

Selections from other anthologies under consideration:

  • Best American Fantasy 2009
  • Best European Fiction 2010
  • Nebula Awards Showcase 2009
  • The Best American Crime Reporting 2009
  • The Best American Essays 2009
  • The Best American Magazine Writing, 20079
  • The Best of Technology Writing 2008

Monday, June 21, 2010

Prep Classes for College Are Latest in Perks

Prep Classes for College Are Latest in Perks By JACQUES STEINBERG, NYTimes

Discounted or even free advice on applying to college was dangled by a cable company in a bid to attract subscribers and offered by the AFL-CIO to union members.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Cablevision Is Offering Free SAT Prep

Forget the Tote Bag; Cablevision Is Offering Free SAT Prep By JACQUES STEINBERG, NYTimes The Choice Blog

In the latest sign of the premium that society places on an elite education, and the lengths some will go to get a leg up in securing it, Cablevision announced today that it was offering a free SAT preparation course as an incentive for people to subscribe to its Optimum service. (more)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Go to College? Pro/Con

Plan B: Skip College By JACQUES STEINBERG, NYTimes

WHAT’S the key to success in the United States? Short of becoming a reality TV star, the answer is rote and, some would argue, rather knee-jerk: Earn a college degree...But there’s an underside to that conventional wisdom.

More Employers to Require Some College, Report Says By JACQUES STEINBERG, NYTimes

Jobs requiring at least a two-year associate’s degree will outpace the number of qualified applicants by at least three million in 2018, according to a report set to be released on Tuesday.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Summer Reading: The Best Technology Writing

So many great articles--here are two from each year.

The Best of Technology Writing 2006 Table of contents

  • China's Next Cultural Revolution Lisa Margonelli [Wired]
    The People’s Republic is on the fast track to become the car capital of the world. And the first alt-fuel superpower.
  • The Book Stops Here Daniel H. Pink [Wired]
    Jimmy Wales wanted to build a free encyclopedia on the Internet. So he raised an army of amateurs and created the self-organizing, self-repairing, hyperaddictive library of the future called Wikipedia.

The Best of Technology Writing 2007 Table of contents

The Best of Technology Writing 2008 Table of contents

  • The polarization of extremes / Cass R. Sunstein [Chronicle of Higher Education]
    There are six sides to every issue available at the click of a mouse. So how is it that the internet can actually limit diversity?
  • The life of the Chinese gold farmer / Julian Dibbell [New York Times Magazine]
    One of China’s newest industries—making real money hunting virtual gold

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Summer Reading: Best American Science Writing 2009

...hmmm, what should I read during Summer vacation?

Best American Science Writing 2009 is the ninth edition of the popular annual series dedicated to collecting the most crucial, thought-provoking and engaging science writing of the year. Provocative and engaging, the Best American Science Writing 2009 as edited by Angier covers the full spectrum of scientific inquiry—from biochemistry, physics, and astronomy to genetics, evolutionary theory, and cognition.


Introduction / by Natalie Angier


  1. The itch / Atul Gawande
  2. Twitchy / Sallie Tisdale
  3. The first ache / Annie Murphy Paul
  4. A journey inside the brain / Oliver Sacks
  5. The truth about autism / David Wolman
  6. Blocking the transmission of violence / Alex Kotlowitz
  7. Reading the wounds / Jina Moore
  8. A cloud of smoke / Jennifer Kahn
  9. War! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing / John Horgan
  10. Face-offs of the female kind / Marina Cords
  11. Tough lessons from golden rice / Martin Enserink
  12. Back to the future / J. Madeleine Nash
  13. A tall, cool drink of... sewage? / Elizabeth Royte
  14. Contagious cancer / David Quammen
  15. Looking up / Jennifer Margulis
  16. Birdbrain / Margaret Talbot
  17. Want to remember everything you'll ever learn? Surrender to this algorithm / Gary Wolf
  18. Hello, HAL / John Seabrook
  19. The anonymity experiment / Catherine Price
  20. The sky is falling / Gregg Easterbrook
  21. Big brain theory: have cosmologists lost theirs? / Dennis Overbye
  22. The final frontier / Karen Olsson
  23. Perhaps death is proud; more reason to savor life / Theresa Brown
  24. Evolutionists flock to Darwin-shaped wall stain / The Onion

The Best American Science Writing 2010 will be on sale Sept. 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Summer Reading: the Best American Series

...hmmm, what should I read during Summer vacation?

Best selling authors handpick the year's finest writing in short stories, comics, mysteries, essays, travel, science and nature, sports, and nonrequired reading.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Studying Engineering Before They Can Spell It

Studying Engineering Before They Can Spell It By WINNIE HU, NYTimes

To compete in a global economy, some school districts are offering engineering lessons to students in kindergarten.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Daring to Discuss Women in Science

Daring to Discuss Women in Science By JOHN TIERNEY, NYTimes

A bill passed by the House recalls a hypothesis about differences in the sexes’ aptitude for math and science.

Friday, June 11, 2010

President Obama Gives Commencement Address at Kalamazoo Central High School

In addition to the commencement address at Kalamazoo Central, the President, Vice President, First Lady, Second Lady and other senior administration officials delivered dozens of commencement addresses at universities and high schools across the country this spring. Check out a really cool interactive map of all of the commencement addresses.

whitehouse — June 08, 2010 — The President speaks about the importance of personal responsibility and giving back to the community as he delivers the commencement address at Kalamazoo Central High School in Kalamazoo, MI. The school was the winner of the 2010 Race to the Top High School Commencement Challenge. June 7, 2010.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Vote Yes For Measure B (Milpitas, CA)



Milpitas Adult Ed ESL/Citizenship proudly waving Measure B signs.

Vote Yes For Measure B! This is a group to encourage Milpitas residents to Vote Yes for a parcel tax on June 8, 2010. Schools will face more budget cuts again. If the ballot initiative is defeated, Milpitas schools could lose music, art, and sports programs.

A victory will require a two thirds majority. Meaning, for every No vote, the kids of Milpitas will need 2 Yes votes. The parcel tax is to save programs, not for salary.

The tax is $84 for 5 years for property owners. If you break it down, that equals $0.23 per day for 5 years. $7 a month for 5 years. Seniors are exempt.

Monday, June 7, 2010

States Receive a Reading List: New Standards for Education

States Receive a Reading List: New Standards for Education By SAM DILLON, NYTimes

The nation’s governors and state school chiefs released final recommendations for what students should master in English and math.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

With Diplomas in Hand, but Without Legal Status

With Diplomas in Hand, but Without Legal Status By FERNANDA SANTOS, NYTimes

The many members of the Queensborough Community College Class of 2010 who are living in the United States illegally have concerns over their prospects.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Facing Cuts in Federal Aid, For-Profit Colleges Are in a Fight

Facing Cuts in Federal Aid, For-Profit Colleges Are in a Fight By TAMAR LEWIN, NYTimes

The U.S. will soon propose regulations that would cut off federal aid to for-profit colleges whose graduates cannot earn enough to repay their student loans.