Saturday, December 31, 2011

Mom


On Tuesday, December 20, 2011, my mother passed away after a long illness. SATVerbalPrep will resume its regular schedule in the new year. Thank you.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Some Asians' college strategy: Don't check 'Asian'

Some Asians' college strategy: Don't check 'Asian' - Jesse Washington, AP.com via SJMercury.com

For years, many Asian-Americans have been convinced that it's harder for them to gain admission to the nation's top colleges.

Studies show that Asian-Americans meet these colleges' admissions standards far out of proportion to their 6 percent representation in the U.S. population, and that they often need test scores hundreds of points higher than applicants from other ethnic groups to have an equal chance of admission. Critics say these numbers, along with the fact that some top colleges with race-blind admissions have double the Asian percentage of Ivy League schools, prove the existence of discrimination.

The way it works, the critics believe, is that Asian-Americans are evaluated not as individuals, but against the thousands of other ultra-achieving Asians. (read more)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Debate on whether cursive writing should still be taught

Debate on whether cursive writing should still be taught Liz Bowie, Baltimore Sun via SJMercury.com

Cursive is not included in the so-called common core standards, which will govern teaching and lesson plans in 46 states beginning next year, leaving states free to shift away from a subject taught for centuries. Hawaii and Indiana have already dropped it.

With technology pervasive in society and fewer documents that need a cursive signature, some educators say there is no need to bother kids with the tedious, time-consuming lessons on cursive. They argue that we soon may no longer need to sign our names on legal documents or credit card receipts; a scan of our eyeballs or a thumbprint may be all that is needed to identify us.

But there's more than just necessity that should be considered, historians say. (read more)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

17-year-old Cupertino student wins Siemens Competition and $100,000

17-year-old Cupertino student wins Siemens Competition and $100,000 by Sharon Noguchi, SJMercury.com

For her design of a cancer-fighting technique that targets tumors and leaves healthy tissue intact, 17-year-old Angela Zhang of Cupertino has won the national Siemens Competition in Math Science and Technology and a $100,000 scholarship.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Making College More Affordable



wh.gov: Making College More Affordable

Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visit Duncan Fletcher High School in Neptune Beach, Florida to discuss the steps the administration has taken to make college more affordable and the need for Colleges to keep costs lower so the next generation of Americans can outcompete the rest of the world.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Web Tutors Become Stars Far From Classroom

Web Tutors Become Stars Far From Classroom By D.D. GUTTENPLAN, NYTimes

Sites have grown exponentially, helped by hordes of grateful parents whose dim memories of algebra or trigonometry are not enough to help with their children's homework.
'Cheating' Caught on Film Shakes U.K. Exams System

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Champions of Change: Girls and Women in STEM



Champions of Change: Girls and Women in STEM

Champions of Change event honors twelve local leaders working to recruit and retain girls and women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. December 9, 2011.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Online-College Crapshoot

The Online-College Crapshoot By LAURA PAPPANO, NYTimes
Comparing Web-based programs is a challenge. Just ask U.S. News.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Hard Decisions for Learning Disabled

Hard Decisions for Learning Disabled By JACQUES STEINBERG, NYTimes The Choice Blog
Addressing the issues that students with learning impairments may face on the path to college.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Where the Women Are: Biology

Where the Women Are: Biology By CHRISTOPHER DREW, NYTimes

Women choose fields that help people, and that pay less.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Closing the Girl Gap in Science

Closing the Girl Gap in Science By KAREN ANN CULLOTTA, NYTimes

Southern Illinois University Carbondale finds itself among a smattering of campuses looking to shrink a longtime gender disparity.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

At Moneyball U, What Are the Odds?

At Moneyball U, What Are the Odds? By ALAN SCHWARZ, NYTimes

In statistics class, don’t be surprised if the professor invokes names like Shaq and Nadal.
Interactive Quiz: A Sporting Chance

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Why Do Top Schools Still Take Legacy Applicants?

Why Do Top Schools Still Take Legacy Applicants? NYTimes: Room for Debate

The children of alumni still have an edge getting into Ivy League schools, even with the oversupply of talented applicants. Why is that?

Affirmative Action for the Rich Richard D. Kahlenberg, Century Foundation
Legacy preferences aren't necessarily associated with increased generosity, and they disproportionately benefit wealthy white students.

How Do You Define Merit? Terry L. Shepard and Debra J. Thomas, higher education administrators
State universities favor in-state children because of their taxpaying parents; shouldn't alumni donors be given a similar preference?

Bad for Diversity John C. Brittain, law professor, University of the District of Columbia School of Law
Despite 50 years of affirmative action, children of African-American and Latino alumni of elite colleges remain underrepresented in the legacy pool.

Respect for Tradition Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, president emeritus, George Washington University
It is foolish to ignore the benefit that appropriate prudently applied legacy admissions can serve in crafting a freshman class.

Hard-Core Economics Peter Sacks, author, "Tearing Down the Gates"
Elite institutions have an implicit bargain with their alumni that essentially says, 'You give us money, and we will move your kid to the front of the line.'

Athletes Are the Problem Michele Hernandez, college admissions consultant
We shouldn't worry about legacies, but about the recruited athletes, whose academic records are often well below a school's standards.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Stanford’s Online High School Attracting Elite Names

Stanford’s Online High School Raises the Bar Attracting Elite Names by ALAN SCHWARZ

Stanford University’s nearly $15,000-a-year Education Program for Gifted Youth will now bear the institution’s name, a move seen as a watershed in a growing field that is drawing scrutiny.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Developing Critical Thinking and Writing Skills for Test Prep

NYTimes Learning Network: Developing Critical Thinking and Writing Skills for Test Prep By HOLLY EPSTEIN OJALVO and KATHERINE SCHULTEN

Using New York Times editorials and Learning Network prompts to help SAT and ACT students improve their reading comprehension skills and to train them to think critically and respond in essays to news stories.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Moving

I am moving to a new home. I have limited access to the internet, so my posts will be infrequent. I hope to resume a regular daily posting schedule soon. Thanks--Teacher Jennifer

Friday, October 28, 2011

SAT Officials Vow More Security After Cheating Arrests on Long Island

SAT Officials Vow More Security After Cheating Arrests on Long Island By WINNIE HU and JENNY ANDERSON, NYTimes

The College Board said it was hiring a former F.B.I. director to review its testing procedures.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

At Elite Schools, Easing Up a Bit On Homework

At Elite Schools, Easing Up a Bit On Homework By JENNY ANDERSON, NYTimes

Some of New York City’s most competitive high schools, like Dalton, Trinity and Horace Mann, are working to address student stress.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Envisioning University of Future, in Person or Online

Envisioning University of Future, in Person or Online By D.D. GUTTENPLAN, NYTimes


A conference in Madrid ponders an era of escalating costs and ever-increasing mobility, predicting that the duration of academic programs would shrink and that huge classrooms will become less the norm.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Net-Price Calculators: New tools to calculate the real cost of college

New tools to calculate the real cost of college | Marketplace From American Public Media

The sticker price keeps some students from applying to certain universities. But by Oct. 29, colleges will be required to post calculators on their websites that provide a better idea of what students will pay. (download mp3)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Radio Essays Explore Technological Creativity



VOAVideo: Radio Essays Explore Technological Creativity

There are mechanisms in nature as well as in human endeavors like engineering and art. Since 1988, the creative manipulation of these mechanisms has been explored in short radio essays about the history of technology called 'The Engines of Our Ingenuity'. The man behind the series is retired University of Houston engineering professor, John Lienhard, who broadcasts his essays Monday through Friday from the university's public radio station, KUHF. Through the Internet, he now has fans all over the world.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Facebook’s Impact on Student Grades

Facebook’s Impact on Student Grades By REBECCA R. RUIZ, NYTimes

The New York TimesHow does Facebook activity affect a student’s grades?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Report Supports the Practical Value of STEM Diplomas

Report Supports the Practical Value of STEM Diplomas By THE NEW YORK TIMES The Choice Blog

Over at The Times’s Economix blog, Motoko Rich reports today on a new study from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce that indicates that college students might do well to study science, technology, engineering or math.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

How to Take the SAT



HowCast: How to Take the SAT

Doing well on the SAT can mean the difference between attending your first choice and your safety school, so you'd better learn what to do.

To complete this How-To you will need:
A computer with internet access
A registration form
Practice tests
A photo ID
2 #2 pencils
A calculator
Punctuality
Confidence
A library or bookstore (optional)
An SAT registration book (optional)
SAT resource books (optional)

Step 1: Register for the test
Register to take the SAT by signing up online at collegeboard.com or by mailing the registration form found in the SAT registration book, available in your school counselor's office.

Tip: Signing up for an online account allows you to register, view your SAT scores, and send them to colleges.

Step 2: Get registration confirmation
Receive your registration confirmation and admission ticket either online or via snail mail.

Step 3: Prepare
Prepare for the test well in advance by studying, reviewing, and taking practice tests that can be found online.

Tip: There are many books available at your local library or bookstore that will assist you in preparing. Ask a librarian or bookseller for assistance in finding them.

Step 4: Bring supplies on your test day
Bring your SAT admissions ticket, a photo ID, two no. 2 pencils, and a calculator.

Step 5: Take the test with confidence
Be confident and relaxed when taking the test. The payoff could be entrance to the college of your dreams.

Step 6: Arrive on time or early
Arrive to the test center on time or early. Your confirmation will affirm your test time

Thanks for watching How To Take the SAT! If you enjoyed this video subscribe to the Howcast YouTube channel! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=howcast

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

As Online Courses Grow, So Does Financial Aid Fraud

As Online Courses Grow, So Does Financial Aid Fraud By TAMAR LEWIN, NYTimes

Online college courses have proliferated, and so have financial aid scams. Investigators are fighting to keep up.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

How To Study For the SAT



Howcast: How To Study For the SAT
Succeeding on the SAT isn't just about what you know, but also about how you approach the test. Study the test to be prepared.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Should the School Day Be Longer?

Should the School Day Be Longer? NYTimes, Room For Debate

While more time in the classroom may benefit children from disadvantaged backgrounds, is it right for everyone?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Call for Opening Up Web Access at Schools

A Call for Opening Up Web Access at Schools By WINNIE HU, NYTimes

Students, teachers and librarians across the United States are questioning whether schools should block Web sites.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

College Offers Top Applicants Two-Thirds Off

College Offers Top Applicants Two-Thirds Off By RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA, NYTimes

Seton Hall University, a private college in New Jersey, will give early applicants with strong academic credentials a tuition discount of some $21,000.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Applying for Scholarships? Think Small

Applying for Scholarships? Think Small by Emily Glazer, WSJ.com

Emily Glazer explains why students can likely forget about scoring one big scholarship and instead should try piecing together money from a host of smaller scholarships and grants.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Students’ Knowledge of Civil Rights History Has Deteriorated, Study Finds

Students’ Knowledge of Civil Rights History Has Deteriorated, Study Finds By SAM DILLON, NYTimes


Ignorance by American students of the basic history of the civil rights movement has worsened, according to a new report by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

To Hover Over Schoolwork, Parents Go Online

To Hover Over Schoolwork, Parents Go Online by Molly Baket, WSJ.com

More public and private school systems are wiring up parent-accessible data-management systems that keep track of schoolwork, grades and attendance. There are opportunities for overuse.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What if the Secret to Success Is Failure?

What if the Secret to Success Is Failure? By PAUL TOUGH, NYTimes

Why our children’s success — and happiness — may depend less on perfect performance than on learning how to deal with failure.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Bullying as True Drama

Bullying as True Drama By DANAH BOYD and ALICE MARWICK, NYTimes Opinion Page

Adults need to pay attention to the language of youth if they want antibullying interventions to succeed

Sunday, October 9, 2011

At the White House with the Google Global Science Fair Winners



wh.gov: At the White House with the Google Global Science Fair Winners

President Obama welcomes the winners of the first-ever Google Global Science Fair to the White House. Go behind-the-scenes with the three remarkable, young, American women that swept the awards and hear what the journey to success has been like. http://whitehouse.gov/stem. Also read the WhiteHouse Blog post about Google Science Fair Winners.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

College Graduation Rates Are Stagnant Even as Enrollment Rises, a Study Finds

College Graduation Rates Are Stagnant Even as Enrollment Rises, a Study Finds By TAMAR LEWIN, NYTimes

The group Complete College America cites factors like whether enrollment is full- or part-time, or at a two- or four-year institution.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Simply Finishing College Offers the Best Chance to Gain Financial Education

Simply Finishing College Offers the Best Chance to Gain Financial Education
By Dan Kadlec, Time.com Sep 28, 2011

In the muddied global effort to teach young people about money, one thing has become clear: college graduates pretty much have, or through experience and learning ability soon will acquire, enough personal finance smarts to effectively manage that part of their life.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs passed away on October 5, 2011. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends, and the employees--past and present--of Apple, Pixar, and NeXT Computer. Steve, you were an inspiration to us all!



Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford Commencement Address

Drawing from some of the most pivotal points in his life, Steve Jobs, chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, urged graduates to pursue their dreams and see the opportunities in life's setbacks -- including death itself -- at the university's 114th Commencement on June 12, 2005.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Oct 2011 SAT Essay Prompt

CollegeBoard requests the public to respect the integrity of the test and NOT to post/duplicate the essay prompts. However, CollegeBoard DOES post the essay prompts after the test.

Here is the link for the essay prompts from the most recent SAT administration in October 2011.

Also check out CollegeBoard's Writing Practice webpage.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

President Obama and Education Reform

Obama: Major Changes for 'No Child' Law By Ap Sep 23, 2011
Decrying the state of American education, President Barack Obama on Friday said states will get unprecedented freedom to waive basic elements of the sweeping Bush-era No Child Left Behind law614 words

Obama’s Education Waiver Plan: No Child Left Behind’s Final Chapter? By Kayla Webley, Time.com Sep 23, 2011
President Obama announced on Friday his plan to offer relief to states that are chafing under the strict requirements of No Child Left Behind, the federal education standards championed by George W. Bush in 2002.

Obama Encourages Learning to Students By Ap Sep 28, 2011
President Barack Obama is encouraging students to work hard in their classes, saying the country is counting on them.

Coming Together to Kill Education Reform By Andrew J. Rotherham, Time.com Sep 29, 2011

A new consensus is emerging in education politics. But can the center hold? And would reformers even want it to?931 words

Monday, October 3, 2011

President Obama's Third Annual Back to School Speech



President Obama's Third Annual Back to School Speech

Tells America's High School Students that They Are America's Future. September 28, 2011.

Obama Urges Students to Set Their Sights on College By MARK LANDLER

In a back-to-school address to students at an elite Washington public school, the president urged youths to work hard and set a goal to get college degrees.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

After Arrest, a Wider Inquiry on SAT Cheating

SAT Fraud in New York State Exposed By REBECCA R. RUIZ, NYTimes

A 19-year-old college student from Long Island allegedly charged local high school students up to $2,500 each to sit for the SAT in their name, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday

After Arrest, a Wider Inquiry on SAT Cheating By JENNY ANDERSON, NYTimes

Testing officials said a Long Island case involving seven students was an isolated event, while others argued that the problem was widespread and emphasized the need for better security at the test.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Happy SAT!

Ready for the Test!
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.

  • Leave the house early.

  • 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.


After the test, meet up with some friends, and celebrate. Good luck!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Twas the Night Before the SAT...


Don't cram for the SAT!
  • Put down that box of flash cards and back away from the BLUE BOOK.

  • Follow you normal Friday Night Homework routine.

  • Pack all your SAT supplies (ex: CHARGED-UP calculator, pencils, check your transportation/ride, etc) before you go to bed.

  • Go to bed early.

  • Set you alarm to wake-up fifteen minutes early to focus your thoughts.

SAT Oct 2011 Countdown: 1


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!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

SAT Oct 2011 Countdown: 2


Essay:

  • 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)


The Fist of No Error (see above and sidebar)


  • Subject/Verb agreement (number)

  • Tense (verb tense and aspect)

  • Pronoun (number, case, antecedent)

  • Adjective/Adverb (modifiers; infinitive/gerund)

  • Diction (correct word ex: affect/effect;phrasal verb & correct prepostition)

  • Misplaced Modifiers (modifying phrases and clauses)

  • "Patterns": comparison, parallelism, list made of similar parts of speech

  • Conjunctions: coordinating, subordinating, correlative ; also relative pronoun clauses

Improving Sentences

Improving Paragraphs

Identifying Sentence Errors

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

SAT Oct 2011 Countdown: 3


Before the Test
  • Check out CollegeBoard's Practice page.

  • 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

  • Re-Read: To Really Learn, Quit Studying and Take a Test By PAM BELLUCK, NYTimes

Friday, September 16, 2011

California's National Merit semifinalists

California's National Merit semifinalists , San Jose Mercury News

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation has announced 16,000 semifinalists nationwide in its 2012 scholarship program.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

SAT reading scores fall to lowest level on record

SAT reading scores fall to lowest level on record, San Jose Mercury News

Scores on the critical reading portion of the SAT college entrance exam fell three points to their lowest level on record last year, and combined reading and math scores reached their lowest point since 1995.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

UC investing millions in new cyber studies program

UC investing millions in new cyber studies program by Nanette Asimov, SFGate

The University of California will unveil its first top-tier cyber courses in January - 26 online offerings, from global climate change to game theory. At the same time, it's eyeing China and even American soldiers as potential sources of cash to pay for them.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Under plan, UC tuition could rise by 16% a year

Under plan, UC tuition could rise by 16% a year by Nanette Asimov, SFGate

The University of California would raise student tuition by at least 8 percent - or as much as 16%

Monday, September 12, 2011

Santa Clara County schools tops in state scores, yet feds see failure

Santa Clara County schools tops in state scores, yet feds see failure by Sharon Noguchi, SJ Mercury

In contrasting scenes of celebration and chagrin on Wednesday, South Bay schools again topped the state in annual test scores, while more of them than ever before are being labeled failures by the federal government.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 The Day That Was



VOAVideo: 9/11 The Day That Was

A video montage of how that fateful day unfolded 10 years ago

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Rick Perry's Plan: $10,000 for a B.A.

Rick Perry's Plan: $10,000 for a B.A. NYTimes Room for Debate

The spiraling cost of higher education is an issue that resonates nationally. How feasible is the idea of creating precise targets for a low-cost college education?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Twenty SAT CollegeBoard Vocabulary Puzzles with Definitions

The Sentence Completion words for each CollegeBoard 2nd ed. test appear in the puzzles below. Because there are 130-140 Sentence Sompletion words per test, the words were alphabetized then the list was spit in half.

The word search puzzles were created via Discovery Education Puzzlemaker.

The vocabulary definitions were taken from Merriam-Webster.com or M-W's LearnersDictionary.com.

I created these SAT Vocabulary Puzzles for my students at Shareworld Learning Center. These puzzles are free to reproduce (as per the Creative Commons License) and can be used for educational purposes only.

Note: I plan to do a second series of vocaulary puzzles based on the CollegeBoard Critical Reading Passages.

Students--note the definitions and incorporate the vocabulary in your SAT and school essays. HOWEVER, do not limit your SAT prep to vocabulary only. The difficulty of a sentence completion depends on the syntax (logic) of the sentence.

Good luck on the SAT!


Monday, August 29, 2011

Online Enterprises Gain Foothold as Path to a College Degree

Online Enterprises Gain Foothold as Path to a College Degree By TAMAR LEWIN, NYTimes

Some recent entrants into the field of online education offer grounds for both concern and hope.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Short-Lived Test, Even With Coaching

A Short-Lived Test, Even With Coaching By TAMAR LEWIN, NYTimes

Signing up for some online classes, a reporter discovers she has forgotten a lot about math. Also, that studying in front of a computer is lonely.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

How to Fix Our Math Education

How to Fix Our Math Education By SOL GARFUNKEL and DAVID MUMFORD, NYtimes

The current curriculum is not a good way to prepare a vast majority of high school students for life.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Young Hispanics’ College Enrollment Rose 24% in Year, Study Says

Young Hispanics’ College Enrollment Rose 24% in Year, Study Says By SABRINA TAVERNISE, NYTimes

The Pew Hispanic Center says the increase was not just about population growth, but reflected educational attainment goals as well.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Open Courses, Nearly Free

Open Courses, Nearly Free By TAMAR LEWIN, NYTimes

The University of the People relies on volunteer professors to teach 10-week online courses to poor students in 100 countries around the world.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Do We Spend Too Much on Education?

Do We Spend Too Much on Education? NYTimes, Room For Debate

Given that high school and college are no longer a ticket to middle-class life, does our society devote too much time and money to education?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Boys and Reading: Is There Any Hope?

Boys and Reading: Is There Any Hope? By ROBERT LIPSYTE, NYTimes

Boys’ aversion to reading, let alone to novels, has been worsening for years, prompting the question — what turns boys into readers?

Monday, August 22, 2011

U.S. News’ Gold Medal High School List & Asian American Students

U.S. News’ Gold Medal High School List & Asian American Students by Tim, 8Asians.com

U.S. News and World Report put out their “Gold Medal” list of the top 100 public high schools in the United States. As expected some of the real estate forums in the San Francisco Bay Area picked this up and it started some lively debates on buying housing for the schools and school district; and of course conversations on the Asian American population in those neighborhoods and attending one of those schools. (read more)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Gold Medal List | US News Best High Schools

Mega-Congrats to #70 Monta Vista and #98 Lynbrook!

Gold Medal List US News Best High Schools

We looked at more than 21,000 public high schools in 48 states and the District of Columbia. The following are the 100 schools that performed the best in our three-step Best High Schools ranking analysis.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Back-to-School Special: 9 Credit-Card Tips For Students

Back-to-School Special: 9 Credit-Card Tips For Students by Martha White, Time.com

Even as school starts up again around the country, students may already be falling behind in one critical area of knowledge: How to choose and use credit cards. Unfortunately, until financial education is taught in high schools across America, students have to enter the world of consumer credit on their own. We talked to a couple of credit experts to ask them what they would tell students if they were teaching Credit Cards 101. (read more)

Friday, August 19, 2011

The New Students Going to Black Colleges

The New Students Going to Black Colleges by Sue Shellenbarger, WSJ.com

Many of the nation's 105 historically black colleges are increasingly wooing non-black students. The goals: to boost lagging enrollment and offset funding shortfalls.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Virtual and Artificial, but 58,000 Want Course

Virtual and Artificial, but 58,000 Want Course By JOHN MARKOFF, NTimes

Two leading experts on artificial intelligence at Stanford University will teach a free online course this fall, and tens of thousands of students from around the world have already enrolled.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

In $32 Million Contract, State Lays Out Some Rules for Its Standardized Tests

In $32 Million Contract, State Lays Out Some Rules for Its Standardized Tests By SHARON OTTERMAN, NYTimes

Under a new contract, the Education Department has stipulated the details of what will and will not be on the standardized tests it gives to nearly all third through eighth graders.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

APUSH MUST READ: Joseph Ellis' FOUNDING BROTHERS and AMERICAN CREATION



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. Professor Ellis followed up Founding Brothers with American Creation. Read together, these two books provide and in depth look at the American Revolution.

Chapters from Founding Brothers and American Creation in chronological order with links to other online resources by Joseph Ellis and friends.

Note: if you are preparing for your first APUSH test (usually given on the second day of school), review AC3, Inventing, and FB2 (for a good overview of the Colonial Period, read Hannah's Escape). Remember, nothing substitutes for actually reading the book.


More resources for Founding Brothers and American Creation

Other Books by Joseph J. Ellis:

Monday, August 15, 2011

Life After High School

Life After High School By Annie Murphy Paul

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. wrote about many scary things: the firebombing of Dresden, the aftermath of the Vietnam War, the specter of individuals controlled by the state or by technology. But the most unnerving image he ever put on paper may have been this, written when he was 47 years old, recounting the words of a fellow Indianapolis high school grad: "When you get to be our age, you all of a sudden realize that you are being ruled by people you went to high school with ... You all of a sudden catch on that life is nothing but high school." (read more)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Back-to-School Special: 5 Tips on Picking a Good School

Back-to-School Special: 5 Tips on Picking a Good School By Andrew J. Rotherham, TIME.com Aug 4, 2011

...friends and colleagues who want to know how we went about picking a school, as if there were some secret education-analyst methodology I was privy to. I wish that were true! But even though I don't have access to the secret sauce, I do have a pretty good sense of how to kick a school's tires. Plus, I think it would be a shame not to use all of our parental angst for the greater good. And so, as our kids start a new year at a public school, here are some lessons from our school-hunting experience that might help guide yours. (read more)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Straight A's in High School May Mean Better Health Later in Life

Straight A's in High School May Mean Better Health Later in Life TIME.com Dec 9, 2010

Class rank is important for more than just wowing college admissions officers and securing bragging rights. According to new research, the better your grades were in high school, the healthier you are years later. It's not the first time that education has been associated with physical well-being — more degrees equal better health — but a study published in the December issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior shows that it's not only more schooling but performance that makes a difference. Read more

Friday, August 12, 2011

Two stories about Student-Athletes

Student-Athlete Equation Could Be a Win-Win By JONATHAN MAHLER, NYTimes

The term student-athlete has become a punch line, with more focus on the entertainment the athletes can provide than the education they should be receiving.


Also read:


All-Nighters for a Football Team During Ramadan By JERÉ LONGMAN , NYTimes


To accommodate its many fasting players, a high school in Dearborn, Mich., is holding practices from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Schools Plan Leap Into Data

Schools Plan Leap Into Data By MELISSA KORN And SHARA TIBKEN, wsj.com

Faced with an increasing stream of data, many companies are seeking managers who can make sense of the numbers through data analytics, or business intelligence. Finding qualified candidates has proven difficult, but business schools hope to fill the talent gap.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

College Grants Spared From Cuts

College Grants Spared From Cuts By LAURA MECKLER, wsj.org

In a deficit-reduction deal that is almost all about cutting government spending, one federal program emerged with more money: Pell grants, which help low-income students pay for college.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Heffernan: Education Needs a Digital-Age Upgrade

Heffernan: Education Needs a Digital-Age Upgrade, byVirginia Heffernan, NYTimes Opinator Blog

It’s time to stop preparing students for a world that no longer exists.

Monday, August 8, 2011

For a Standout College Essay, Applicants Fill Their Summers

For a Standout College Essay, Applicants Fill Their Summers By JENNY ANDERSON, NYTimes

Students preparing to apply to college are increasingly tailoring their summer plans with the goal of creating a better personal statement.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Nonprofit Nurtures Students as Writers

Nonprofit Nurtures Students as Writers By YUKARI IWATANI KANE, wsj.com

The executive director of San Francisco writing-skills nonprofit 826 Valencia, co-founded by writer Dave Eggers, says the need for the program has become more acute as education budgets are cut.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Progress Report on Geography

A Progress Report on Geography By TIMOTHY WILLIAMS, NYtimes

The Department of Education recently released the results of its national geography survey, and there were both good and bad implications

Friday, August 5, 2011

Online courses: Task force wants to allow fees

Online courses: Task force wants to allow fees by Nanette Asimov, Chronicle Staff Writer, SFGate.com

Hundreds, maybe thousands, of California community college students take online classes that require them to pay an access fee to a commercial publisher on top of their registration fee for the course.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Corner Office Eludes Many Asians

The Corner Office Eludes Many Asians By KYLE STOCK, wsj.com

Despite an outsized share of Ivy League degrees, Asian-Americans are under-represented in executive suites, according to a new study.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

States Test No Child Left Behind

States Test No Child Left Behind By STEPHANIE BANCHERO, wsj.com

Wisconsin and other states say No Child Left Behind unfairly penalizes schools that don't meet rigid requirements. Tired of waiting for Congress to overhaul the law, some states have taken matters into their own hands.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Local Basketball Stars Shun Bay Area Colleges

Local Basketball Stars Shun Bay Area Colleges By SAM LAIRD, NYTimes

The Bay Area has one of the best crops of young basketball recruits in years, but Northern California is losing many of them to faraway schools.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Long Fights for Sports Equity, Even With a Law

Long Fights for Sports Equity, Even With a Law By KATIE THOMAS, NYTimes

While a college or university in violation of Title IX risks losing its federal funds, that penalty has never been used, and there are no examples of cases being referred to the justice department.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Sleepaway Camp Where Math Is the Main Sport

A Sleepaway Camp Where Math Is the Main Sport By RACHEL CROMIDAS, NYTimes

Educators have been brought to the campus of Bard College to teach low-income students who are gifted in mathematics concepts as varied as number theory and cryptography.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Thursday, July 28, 2011

As Best Schools Compete for Best Performers, Students May Be Left Behind

As Best Schools Compete for Best Performers, Students May Be Left Behind
By MICHAEL WINERIP, NYTimes

Parents are supposed to rank their choices for the district lottery when it comes to selecting middle schools for their children, but the guidebook is vague about what each school is looking for.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Colleges Join Plan for Faster Computer Networks

Colleges Join Plan for Faster Computer Networks By JOHN MARKOFF, NYTimes

A coalition of 29 universities will reach out to telecommunications companies for suggestions and to corporations for business ideas.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Critter People

The Critter People By TAMAR LEWIN, NYTimes

Dinosaur eggs, iguanas and ooh, look, a grad student. Inside the new school at the Natural History Museum

Monday, July 25, 2011

Getting In: The social logic of Ivy League admissions by Malcolm Gladwell

Getting In: The social logic of Ivy League admissions by Malcolm Gladwell, The NewYorker, October 10, 2005

I applied to college one evening, after dinner, in the fall of my senior year in high school. (read more)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Case Against Law School

The Case Against Law School NYTimes Room for Debate

Should the standard three-year law school model, followed by passage of the bar exam, be the only path to a legal career?


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Geography Report Card Finds Students Lagging

Geography Report Card Finds Students Lagging By WINNIE HU, NYTimes

Even as schools aim to better prepare students for a global work force, fewer than one in three American students are proficient in geography.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

New Approach Proposed for Science Curriculums

New Approach Proposed for Science Curriculums By KENNETH CHANG, NYTimes

A new approach for improving American science education includes focusing on core ideas and problem-solving.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer Reading: 7 Education Books to Take to the Beach

Summer Reading: 7 Education Books to Take to the Beach By Andrew J. Rotherham, Time.com, Jul 14, 2011

School of Thought's recommended reading list for people who care about education

  • Class Warfare, Steven Brill (Simon & Schuster)

  • Sub Culture: Three Years in Education's Dustiest Corners, Carolyn Bucior (Outskirt Press)

  • The Faculty Lounges and Other Reasons Why You Won't Get the College Education You Paid For, Naomi Schaefer Riley (Rowman and Littlefield)

  • The American Public School Teacher, Darrel Drury and Justin Baer (Harvard Education Press)

  • Special Interest: Teachers Unions and America's Public Schools, Terry Moe (Brookings Institution Press)

  • The Failure of Environmental Education (and How We Can Fix It), Charles Saylan and Daniel T. Blumstein (University of California Press)

  • The Same Thing Over and Over, Frederick M. Hess (Harvard University Press)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Do-Good Zeal of College Applicants

The Do-Good Zeal of College Applicants Caitlan Flamagan, WSJ.com

Caitlin Flanagan on the latest fashion for college applicants: combining international travel with community-service experiences in poor countries.

Monday, July 18, 2011

How to make college cheaper

How to make college cheaper, by Schumpeter, The Economist, 2011-07-07

Better management would allow American universities to do more with less

Sunday, July 17, 2011

4 Out of 5 in Community College Want to Transfer, Report Says

4 Out of 5 in Community College Want to Transfer, Report Says NYTimes, The Choice blog

A College Board report focuses on the transition from two-year community colleges to four-year institutions, a path many students take each year.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Top Science Fair Honors Go to American Girls

Top Science Fair Honors Go to American Girls By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, NYTimes

Three girls from the United States won the top prizes in a global science fair started by Google for their projects on ovarian cancer, grilled chicken and indoor air quality.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Students Bring Innovation to Global Technology Competition



VOAVideo: Students Bring Innovation to Global Technology Competition

Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems. That is the challenge posed for innovative young people participating in the ninth annual Imagine Cup in New York. The event, which runs through Wednesday, is billed as the world's premier student technology competition, is hosted by the Microsoft Corporation. VOA Correspondent Peter Fedynsky reports.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

CSU campuses on list of steepest tuition increases

CSU campuses on list of steepest tuition increases by Nanette Asimov, Chronicle Staff Writer

California State University students won't be surprised to learn that CSU campuses dominate a new list of top public schools in the nation - for fastest-rising tuition.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Highly rated instructors go beyond teaching to the standardized test

Highly rated instructors go beyond teaching to the standardized test By Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times

Some Southern California teachers are finding ways to keep creativity in the lesson plan even as they prepare their students for standardized tests.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer School, R.I.P.

Summer School, R.I.P. , NYTimes Room for Debate

How can summer school be improved to save money and help students?

Monday, July 11, 2011

New for Aspiring Doctors, the People Skills Test

Doctors Inc. New for Aspiring Doctors, the People Skills Test By GARDINER HARRIS, NYTimes

A new admission process at medical schools involves a series of encounters meant to examine aspiring doctors’ ability to communicate and work in teams.
Well Blog: Screening for a Better Medical Student

Sunday, July 10, 2011

California Cuts Weigh Heavily on Its Colleges

California Cuts Weigh Heavily on Its Colleges By JENNIFER MEDINA, NYTimes

Sharp tuition increases and cutbacks in services threaten to erode a much-admired college and university system.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Rock-Paper-Scissors: You vs. the Computer

Rock-Paper-Scissors: You vs. the Computer By GABRIEL DANCE and TOM JACKSON, NYTimes

Test your strategy against the computer in this rock-paper-scissors game illustrating basic artificial intelligence. (fun, interactive app)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Twitter Town Hall Meeting: the escalating cost of Higher Education

President Obama responds to a tweet about the escalating cost of Higher Education at the Twitter Town Hall Meeting, July 7, 2011

MR. DORSEY: You mentioned education. There's a lot of questions coming about education and its impact on the economy. This one in particular is from a curator who is pulling from a student in Ohio, named Dustin: "Higher ed is necessary for a stronger economy, but for some middle-class Americans it’s becoming too expensive. What can be done?"

THE PRESIDENT: Well, here is some good news. We’ve already done something that is very significant, and people may not know. As part of a higher education package that we passed last year, what we were able to do was to take away subsidies that were going to banks for serving as middlemen in the student loan program and funnel that to help young people, through Pell Grants and lower rates on student loans. And so there are millions of students who are getting more affordable student loans and grants as a consequence of the steps that we’ve already taken. This is about tens of billions of dollars' worth of additional federal dollars that were going to banks are now going to students directly.

In addition, what we’ve said is that starting in 2013, young people who are going to college will not have to pay more than 10 percent of their income in repayment. And that obviously helps to relieve the burden on a lot students -- because, look, I’m a guy who had about $60,000 worth of debt when I graduated from law school, and Michelle had $60,000. And so we were paying a bigger amount every month than our mortgage. And we did that for eight, 10 years. So I know how burdensome this can be.

I do think that the universities still have a role in trying to keep their costs down. And I think that it’s important -- even if we've got better student loan programs, more grants, if the costs keep on going up then we'll never have enough money, you'll never get enough help to avoid taking on these huge debts. And so working with university presidents to try to figure out, where can you cut costs -- of course, it may mean that the food in the cafeteria is a little worse and the gym is not as fancy. But I think all of us have to figure out a way to make sure that higher education is accessible for everybody.

One last point -- I know, Twitter, I’m supposed to be short. (Laughter.) But city -- community colleges is a huge, under-utilized resource, where what we want to do is set up a lifelong learning system where you may have gotten your four-year degree, but five years out you decide you want to go into another field or you want to brush up on new technologies that are going to help you advance. We need to create a system where you can conveniently access community colleges that are working with businesses to train for the jobs that actually exist. That’s a huge area where I think we can make a lot of progress. (transcript from LATimes.com)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Newcomer Makes Good in the Credentials Market

A Newcomer Makes Good in the Credentials Market By D.D. GUTTENPLAN, NYTimes

Starting from a handful of schools in Switzerland in the 1960s, the International Baccalaureate, or I.B., has spread to 139 countries around the world.