Friday, October 17, 2014

Free Online Test Targets English Learners


VOA Learning English: Free Online Test Targets English Learners

A private company has just launched what it calls “the world’s first free standardized English test.” Anyone with an Internet connection can take the test for free. The test can be found at efset.org.(read more) (listen)

Words in this Story
  • launch – v. to offer or sell (something) for the first time
  • prohibitive – adj. so high that people are prevented from using or buying something
  • pilot – v. done as a test to see if a larger program, study, should be done
  • intriguing – adj. extremely interesting
  • game changer – n. an event, idea, or procedure that effects a significant shift in the current manner of doing or thinking about something.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Preparing Your Child for Common Core Tests

Preparing Your Child for Common Core Tests
By KENNETH CHANG, NYTimes

The when and what kind of tests depend on the state, but make sure your children take the tutorial about using the computer.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Why Colleges Place So Much Importance On The SAT

Why Colleges Place So Much Importance On The SAT

by PETER JACOBS, BusinessInsider.com

There have been a lot of problems attributed to the SAT, arguably the most important college entrance exam in the country.

The test has been criticized for favoring wealthy, male students. It has also been shown to be a poor indicator of a student's success in and after college.

So why do schools keep using them? (read more)

Monday, October 13, 2014

More Than Half of SAT Test-Takers Unprepared for College

US News and World Report: More Than Half of SAT Test-Takers Unprepared for College

About 5 percent of test-takers fell off track after 11th grade, missing the college readiness benchmark.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

2014 SAT scores

Washington Post: Why SAT scores were packaged with results from other College Board tests By Nick Anderson 10-07-2014

The scores have little meaning but still carry a lot of importance.

Washington Post: The serious problem with the 2014 SAT scores By Valerie Strauss 10-10-2014

with updated info

Friday, October 10, 2014

SAT Oct 2014 Countdown: 1


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.



Thursday, October 9, 2014

SAT Oct 2014 Countdown: 2


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 (updated 1/25/2013)

  • 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.
  •  Remember WHAT the topic is about, and the AUDIENCE.
  • Four Types of Dual Passages
    • Pro / Con (opposite positions)
    • General / Specific
    • 2 different academic disciplines (ex: literary criticism / autobiography)
    • Tone (objective / ironic)
  • Dual passages can be combination of the Four Types

Long Passage (updated 1/25/2013)

  • Read the blurb (who? what? where? when?)
  • Skim & underline for information (Proper Nouns, Numeric infoUnusual Punctuation, Lists)
    • Proper Nouns
      • Capitalized words tell us more about Who? What? Where?
      • possessive 's tell us more about the Proper Nouns
      • compound-words are tailored-made for the passage
    • Numeric Info
      • Numbers (especially years) tell us more about When?  How much?  How many?
      • centuries: seventeenth, eighteenth, nineteenth...
      • sequence words: first, second, third, next, prior, former...
    • Definitions (unusual punctuation) signals narrative transitions/development
      •  :colons. --dashes-- , (parentheses) give us more info about the word/phrase to the left of the punctuation
      • "air-quotes" one to four words between quotations--not reported speech, but used to  "signal" non-literal meaning, ironic tome, or that the author disagrees with the term.
      • italics, underline, or exclamation point! indicates emphasis.
    • Lists 
      • List deliver concrete details about the topic
      • look for multiple commas ,,,  semicolons ;;;   question marks ??? or repeated words in a close proximity
  • 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
    • POE: Process of Elimination
      • note similar vocabulary between the text and answer choices
      • watch out for negation in either the question, text, or answer choices
      • use symbols \ = no (not possible), ` = maybe (possible), + = yes (probable)
      • Check out The Critical Reader: Inference Questions

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!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

SAT Oct 2014 Countdown: 3 How to Write an SAT Essay


“Begin!”

SAT Essay Prompt: Can knowledge be a burden rather than a benefit?

Read the quote—don’t ponder the meaning of the quote, it is simply there to prime ideas.  Read the prompt, again.  THINK, for one solid minute, THINK. 

Pencils up, but don’t write your essay just yet.

THINK

It is important to know how much you can write in twenty minutes.  Yes, I know you thought you had twenty-five minutes, but it is very, very important to take one minute to THINK, two minutes to ORGANIZE, twenty minutes to WRITE, and two minutes to FIX your essay.  The time that you invest in thinking about the prompt--taking a position and narrowing your topic—will help you formulate your thesis around which you can build an effective essay.  The students who start writing immediately will usually run out of ideas half-way through their essay.  Fore-thought and organization facilitates fluency and coherence.

ORGANIZE: Sequence

After you have spent one minute thinking about the prompt, select appropriate and complementary examples which support your thesis.  Choosing a side can also affect the sequence of the examples.  Take, for example, three novels from a secondary English curriculum: Fahrenheit 451, 1984, and Scarlet Letter.  If you wrote your essay solely according to chronological order, Scarlet Letter would come first; but if you focused on the protagonists’ responses to “knowledge,” Dimsdale represents the midway point between Winston Smith’s failure and Montag’s victory.

Knowledge = Power (benefit):
1) 1984: Winston Smith is liberated by knowledge, but is betrays his love;
2) Scarlet Letter: Dimsdale is liberated by knowledge and dies free;
3) Fahrenheit 451: Montag is liberated by knowledge and lives free in a new communityà ultimate victory for GOOD!

On the other hand, if your thesis proposes that knowledge is a burden, you world present evidence from the novels in a different order, building up to antagonist’s victory over the protagonist.

Knowledge = Power (burden):
1) Fahrenheit 451: Beatty holds secret over Montag, but Montag kills him;
2) Scarlet Letter: Chillingsworth holds secret over Dimsdale; however, Dimsdale neutralizes Chillingsworth power by declaring his love for Hester.
3) 1984: O’Brien manipulates both Winston Smith and Julia to betray each otherà ultimate victory for EVIL!

ORGANIZE: Two or Three Body Paragraphs?

Look at secondary and tertiary themes or topics that the novels have in common such as the characters response to technology, the environment, the government, etc.  With preparation, a quick and confident writer can easily knock out three body paragraphs of similar length and level of detail.  A slower writer, however, may forgo the second body paragraph about the “Scarlet Letter” in favor of delivering two fully-fleshed paragraphs about dystopian novels.  Perhaps, the writer would swap out “Scarlet Letter” for “Animal Farm,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Lord of the Flies,” “The Uglies Trilogy, or even the “Hunger Games.”  A good thesis, supported by the strong examples and concrete details, are critical for the Point of View rubric.

ORGANIZE: Examples

Besides from books, where do examples come from?  Some students write about stories they recently shared from Tumblr, Facebook, YouTube.  Other students look up and write about whatever is around them.  While they scribble away about the History classroom poster-boys (Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar Chavez, Gandhi), consider their contemporaries (Malcolm X, Delores Huerta, Harvey Milk) or recent covers of TIME magazine (Barack Obama, the “Tank Man” of Tiananmen, or Malala Yousafza of Pakistan). 

For those students who default to Hitler, I’m not going to say: DON’T; I’m going to ask: WHY?  The answer, “Because it’s EASY,” will result in the low score which your lack of effort deserves. Stalin, Pol Pot, and Nicolae Ceausescu are alternatives, but it more interesting to write about people who make ethical decisions in morally ambiguous situations: pair the protagonists in “All Quiet on the Western Front” by Erich Maria Remarque with “Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien.

If you don’t like novels or history, don’t use examples from your English or History class.  If you are a nerd, write about math; if you are a jock, write about sports; if you are a musician, write about music. 

  • Same rules apply: ANSWER THE PROMPT IN DETAIL. 
  • Same process applies: THINK, ORGANIZE, WRITE, FIX. 
  • Same rubric applies: POINT OF VIEW, ORGANIZATION, VOCABULARY, GRAMMAR, SENTENCE STRUCTURE.

Writer’s Block

Finally, what to do when there is nothing but BLANK in your brain and on your paper.  Quick: jot down your class schedule—what has been the most interesting project or story from each class?  Are you involved with any extra-curricular activities, jobs, or internships?  Write about something that you actually have personal knowledge about and focus on how you changed during the experience.  Although teachers applaud academic success, they feel affirmed when their students apply book knowledge beyond the classroom walls.  What would you rather read: a rehash of the Industrial Revolution or the misadventures of a robotics team?  Narrow your answer and complement it with an appropriate anecdote, book, historical event, or “passion” which you can write about in under twenty minutes. 

WRITE:

Introduction: Hooks are nice, but don’t get stuck.  Write a bare bones introductory paragraph:
  1. Sentence One: THESIS = OPINION (about the essay prompt) + NARROWED TOPIC.  
  2. Sentence Two: EXAMPLE 1 + EXAMPLE 2 ( + EXAMPLE 3) will prove THESIS.
    1. Also known as the ABC Thesis

Vocabulary—while you write, vary your Vocabulary: use the word that most clearly conveys your most.
1.      Mix common words with academic and technical vocabularies to display mastery
2.      Limit colloquialisms.
3.      Rarely use slang or jargon.
4.      Never use vulgarity.

Sentence Syntax— while you write, vary your Sentence syntax: use the syntax that most effectively conveys your position.
  1. Mix simple, compound, complex, compound-complex sentences.
  2. Use lists or statistics to deliver quick, concrete detail (don’t name drop--be prepared to develop facts).
  3. Use parallelism, analogies, metaphors, dialogue, and quotes carefully.
  4. Use sparingly exclamatory and interrogative sentences or rhetorical questions.

Body Paragraph 1:
  1. Write topic sentence about EXAMPLE 1.
  2. Write one or two sentences anecdote or description about EXAMPLE 1.
  3. Write two or three more sentences with concrete detail about how EXAMPLE 1 illustrates THESIS. 

Body Paragraph 2:
  1. Write a transition from Body Paragraph 1 to Body Paragraph 2
    1. OR Skip 2 lines and add Transition 1 later.
  2. Write topic sentence about EXAMPLE 2
  3. Write one or two sentences anecdote or description about EXAMPLE 2
  4. Write two or three more sentences with concrete detail about how EXAMPLE 2 illustrates THESIS. 
  5. Key: EXAMPLE 2 must develop, expand, or contrast with EXAMPLE 2.

Optional Body Paragraph 3:  Teachers and readers prefer the standard five-paragraph essay because it allows a writer to fully expand ideas and fully explore topics.  However, students can deliver a solid four-paragraph if they compare and contrast their examples in depth.  Don’t forget to skip two lines to add transition later or to expand Body Paragraph 2. 
  1. Write a topic sentence about EXAMPLE 3
    1. OR Skip 2 lines and add Transition 2 later.
  2. Write one or two sentences anecdote or description about EXAMPLE 3.
  3. Write two or three more sentences with concrete detail about how EXAMPLE 3 illustrates THESIS. 
  4. Key: EXAMPLE 3 must develop, expand, or contrast with EXAMPLE 1 and 2.

BEWARE: One possible danger of writing a five-paragraph essay is that as the students writes against the clock, details and vocabulary drop by the way-side, leaving the essay lopsided by Body Paragraph 3.  Do not binge on verbiage—write a “normal” amount: four to five sentences—the essay still needs “room” for the conclusion.  Longer is better; complete and well-balances is the best.

Conclusion:
  1. Gather your examples and link them back to your thesis
  2. State how your thesis addresses the SAT prompt.
  3. Link your thesis through the SAT prompt to a universal theme/truth.
  4. State why your argument “matters.”

FIX

Remember: Leave two minutes to FIX your essay:
  1. Check paragraph order—are the examples developed in a logical sequence? If not, label each paragraph with the correct paragraph number. 
  2. Correct grammar mistakes, especially verb tenses and dangling participles. 
  3. Look for “to be” participles and change them to active verbs. 
  4. Scan for repetition and substitute appropriate synonyms.  Add technical vocabulary to demonstrate mastery. 
  5. Smooth transitions between paragraphs.

“Pencils down!”  Take a deep breath--there’s a whole lot more test (and life) to come. 


--How to Write an SAT Essay by Teacher Jennifer (gagliajn@gmail.com) (updated 05/21/13)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

SAT Oct 2014 Countdown: 4


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).
  • Check out The Critical Reader: Essay Tips


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 preposition)
  • Misplaced Modifiers (modifying phrases and clauses)
  • "Patterns": comparison, parallelism, list made of similar parts of speech
  • Conjunctions: coordinating, subordinating, correlative ; also relative pronoun clauses
Also checkout:

The Critical Reader: Complete SAT Grammar Rules or General Grammar Tips (updated 1/25/2013)

Improving Sentences
Improving Paragraphs
Identifying Sentence Errors

Monday, October 6, 2014

SAT Oct 2014 Countdown: 5


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...
Need more help?  Check out....


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Hong Kong Protest 2014: The Voice of a Student Leader | The New York Times



Hong Kong Protest 2014: The Voice of a Student Leader | The New York Times

A look at the fears and motivations driving the anti-Beijing protests in Hong Kong.

Produced by: Jonah M. Kessel and Mona El-Naggar

Read the story here: http://nyti.ms/1DWcPza




Hong Kong Protest 2014: The Evolution of Joshua Wong | The New York Times

Only 17, Joshua Wong cannot vote, but he is at the forefront of a student movement for democracy in Hong Kong.

Produced by: Jonah M. Kessel

Read the story here: http://nyti.ms/1wZwppI

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Loud, messy, vital: In defense of college students

Loud, messy, vital: In defense of college students
By Scott Helman, BostonGlobe.com

Sure, there are some costs to living in a university town, but the payoff is enormous.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Colleges Make It Easier for Students to Show, Not Tell, in Their Applications

A new policy at Goucher College allows applicants to submit a two-minute video rather than a high school transcript.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Boston’s college students: coming and going

By Elizabeth Gehrman, BostonGlobe.com
Which countries send students to Boston, and where US students go.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

In Colorado, a Student Counterprotest to an Anti-Protest Curriculum

In Colorado, a Student Counterprotest to an Anti-Protest Curriculum
By JACK HEALY, NYTimes

Hundreds of high school students left class in response to a Jefferson County school district proposal to oversee a curriculum that would promote patriotism and respect.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Number of Student Loans in Default Declines

Number of Student Loans in Default Declines

It was the first drop in the default rate in years, but 21 schools still have rates so high that they could be barred from federal loan and grant programs.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Academic Skills on Web Are Tied to Income Level

Academic Skills on Web Are Tied to Income Level

By MOTOKO RICH, NYTimes
A new study indicates that the higher the income level of a student’s family, the more adept the student will be on how to use the web.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

TED-ED Music and math: The genius of Beethoven - Natalya St. Clair



TED-ED: Music and math: The genius of Beethoven - Natalya St. Clair

View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/music-and-math-the-genius-of-beethoven-natalya-st-clair

How is it that Beethoven, who is celebrated as one of the most significant composers of all time, wrote many of his most beloved songs while going deaf? The answer lies in the math behind his music. Natalya St. Clair employs the "Moonlight Sonata" to illustrate the way Beethoven was able to convey emotion and creativity using the certainty of mathematics.

Lesson by Natalya St. Clair, animation by Qa'ed Mai.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

‘A National Admissions Office’ for Low-Income Strivers

‘A National Admissions Office’ for Low-Income Strivers

QuestBridge has quietly become a force in college admissions. On some elite campuses, 1 in 10 students come from the program.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Amy Cuddy Takes a Stand

Amy Cuddy Takes a Stand

A successful pose has helped Ms. Cuddy become a leading voice on TED Talks.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

To Get More Out of Science, Show the Rejected Research

To Get More Out of Science, Show the Rejected Research

A proposal aims to address the problem of studies that go unpublished even though their findings can be important.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Obama Unveils Push for Young People to Do More Against Campus Assaults

Obama Unveils Push for Young People to Do More Against Campus Assaults

The campaign will feature celebrities and television ads in an effort to enlist students in the fight to end violence against women on campus.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Why Federal College Ratings Won’t Rein In Tuition

Why Federal College Ratings Won’t Rein In Tuition

An ambitious plan to create a better-informed marketplace for education doesn’t take into account how public universities are funded.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Take Note of These Back-to-School Aids

Take Note of These Back-to-School Aids
By KIT EATON, NYTimes

Apps can put a dictionary, graphing calculator, organizer and more in the palms of students’ hands

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Big History | Big History Project



Big History Project | The Big History

Flip through the story of the Big History Project and get a glimpse of how the course came to be.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

So Bill Gates Has This Idea for a History Class ...

So Bill Gates Has This Idea for a History Class ...
By ANDREW ROSS SORKIN, NYTimes

Christian and Gates at the Four Seasons in New York.
Should one of the world’s richest men get to dictate the future of how we learn about our past?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Why Flunking Exams Is Actually a Good Thing

Why Flunking Exams Is Actually a Good Thing
By BENEDICT CAREY, NYTimes

To learn how to study, start by bombing a pretest.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Student-Built Apps Teach Colleges a Thing or Two

Student-Built Apps Teach Colleges a Thing or Two
By ARIEL KAMINER, NYTimes

Undergraduates are building apps that are faster, easier-to-navigate versions of campus systems such as the ones that manage course catalogs and class scheduling.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Active Role in Class Helps Black and First-Generation College Students, Study Say

Active Role in Class Helps Black and First-Generation College Students, Study Says
By RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA, NYTimes

A study of college students found that the trend toward more class participation, and away from a traditional lecture-based approach, raised average test scores, with bigger gains for some.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Despite Racial Disparity, Alumni Group Backs Test-Only Policy for Elite Schools

Despite Racial Disparity, Alumni Group Backs Test-Only Policy for Elite Schools
By KATE TAYLOR

Very few black and Hispanic students attend New York City’s eight specialized high schools, which base admissions solely on the results of a standardized test.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Grading Teachers, With Data From Class

Grading Teachers, With Data From Class
By FARHAD MANJOO, NYTimes

Panorama Education, aided by prominent tech investors, is refining student feedback through innovative data collection. School systems are embracing the concept.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

This American Life: 504: How I Got Into College

This American Life: 504: How I Got Into College, Sept. 6, 2013

Students all over are starting college this month, and some of them still have a nagging question: what, exactly, got me in? An admissions officer tells us the most wrongheaded things applicants try. And Michael Lewis has the incredible story of how a stolen library book got one man — Emir Kamenica — into his dream school. (download mp3) (transcript)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Generation Later, Poor Are Still Rare at Elite Colleges

Generation Later, Poor Are Still Rare at Elite Colleges
By RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA, NYTimes

Surveys of top colleges found virtually no change from the 1990s to 2012 in enrollment of students who are less well off despite a huge increase in the number of such students going to college.

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Teacher Wars

‘The Teacher Wars’
By DANA GOLDSTEIN
Reviewed by ALEXANDER NAZARYAN, NYTimes

The journalist Dana Goldstein’s “The Teacher Wars” serves up historical commentary instead of a searing philippic on one of the day’s hot-button issues: the role of teaching in America.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Japan Seeks Edge With Global Talent

Japan Seeks Edge With Global Talent
By MIKI TANIKAWA

Japanese corporations are recruiting international students today to improve their ability to compete internationally.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Why Colleges With a Distinct Focus Have a Hidden Advantage

Why Colleges With a Distinct Focus Have a Hidden Advantage
By NEIL IRWIN, NYTimes

Looking at where students who gain admission to numerous colleges choose to go reveals some surprises.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Lowering Interest Rates on Loans Isn’t the Best Way to Help College Students

Lowering Interest Rates on Loans Isn’t the Best Way to Help College Students
By SUSAN DYNARSKI, NYTimes

Increasing college attendance and reducing defaults are worthy goals, and there are effective methods to do it.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Schools for Tomorrow Conference

Schools for Tomorrow Conference
NYTimes

Join us on Sept. 8 and 9 for a compelling discussion on how innovations and challenges — social, economic, political and technological — are calling into question the very nature of higher education.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Saving on College Textbooks by Molly Wood--The New York Times



Saving on College Textbooks by Molly Wood | The New York Times

There are cheaper ways to get your textbooks for college, they just involve being a better shopper. Sites like Chegg, Bookrenter and Packback allow you to digitally buy or rent books as you need them.

Produced by: Rebekah Fergusson and Vanessa Perez

Read the story here: http://nyti.ms/1vqh2ss

Subscribe to the Times Video newsletter for free and get a handpicked selection of the best videos from The New York Times every week: http://bit.ly/timesvideonewsletter

Subscribe on YouTube: http://bit.ly/U8Ys7n

Watch more videos at: http://nytimes.com/video

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Chinese Students Flock to US High Schools in Soaring Numbers

Chinese Students Flock to US High Schools in Soaring Numbers
by Shannon Van Sant, VOANews.com

As American high schools start their academic year this September, it is expected to be another record year for enrollments by Chinese students. China's booming middle class is growing wealthier, and many parents and students are taking extraordinary steps to get a unique educational experience - even if it means paying a hefty price. (read more)

Friday, September 5, 2014

New US College Entrance Test Worries China

VOANews: New US College Entrance Test Worries China

More than 200,000 Chinese students studied last year at a college or university in the United States. For many students, the Scholastic Aptitude Test, or SAT, is simply another standardized test they are required to take. But recent changes to the SAT are creating some political unease in China. (read more) (download mp3)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Picking Up an Elusive College Dream

Picking Up an Elusive College Dream
By DIANA KAPP, NYTimes

For Tenille Warren, the burden of growing up poor was too heavy for even the offer of a free ride to college to counter. But, about to turn 38, she is back on track at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

New Health Law Is Sending Many Back to School

New Health Law Is Sending Many Back to School
By PHYLLIS KORKKI, NYTimes.com

Programs at U.C.L.A. and Columbia keep health professionals and those entering the field up to date on the issues surrounding the Affordable Care Act.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Shuffle, Deal and Learn

Shuffle, Deal and Learn
By JONAH BROMWICH, NYTimes

Brainscape has many flashcard decks for free or for purchase, lets you assemble your own, and shuffles as you rate your knowledge of the cards.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Why do Americans and Canadians celebrate Labor Day? - Kenneth C. Davis



TED-ED: Why do Americans and Canadians celebrate Labor Day? - Kenneth C. Davis

View full lesson: http://bit.ly/1yZVuly

In the United States and Canada, the first Monday of September is a federal holiday, Labor Day. Originally celebrated in New York City's Union Square in 1882, Labor Day was organized by unions as a rare day of rest for the overworked during the Industrial Revolution. Kenneth C. Davis illustrates the history of Labor Day from Union Square to today.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

SuperAwesome: Art and Giant Robot | A Talk with the Curators



museumca.org: SuperAwesome: Art and Giant Robot | A Talk with the Curators

Guest Curator, Eric Nakamura and OMCA's Associate Curator of Art and Material Culture, Carin Adams talk about what makes Giant Robot SuperAwesome.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

A Degree Where Techie Meets Business Smarts

A Degree Where Techie Meets Business Smarts
By ELIZABETH OLSON, NYTimes

Young professionals in the coveted STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) are discovering they can expand their career future by getting a hybrid master’s degree.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Teaching Is Not a Business

Teaching Is Not a Business
By DAVID L. KIRP, NYTimes

Reformers misunderstand how central human relationships are to the educational process.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Earning Their Stripes as Umpires and Referees

Earning Their Stripes as Umpires and Referees
By DAVID WALLIS, NYTimes

The few who make it to the big leagues or top college levels can make six-figure salaries, while others can make good part-time incomes.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Many Adults Falling Short of Degrees

Many Adults Falling Short of Degrees
By AMY ZIPKIN

The completion rate for people over age 24 returning to college is 61 percent. Many face financial sacrifice and academic pressure they did not anticipate.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Culinary Schools Speed the Rise of Hopeful Chefs

Culinary Schools Speed the Rise of Hopeful Chefs
By CECILIA CAPUZZI SIMON, NYTimes

For career changers looking to enter the increasingly competitive food industry, formal training is becoming the fastest and most efficient way to head a kitchen.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Why can’t the media talk about the Ivy League without freaking out?

Why can’t the media talk about the Ivy League without freaking out?
Laura Miller, Salon.com

"Excellent Sheep" has proved how hard it is to question the worth of elite education without provoking a firestorm.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Gaming for understanding - Brenda Brathwaite



TED-ed: Gaming for understanding - Brenda Brathwaite
Published on Aug 21, 2013

It's never easy to get across the magnitude of complex tragedies -- so when Brenda Brathwite's daughter came home from school asking about slavery, she did what she does for a living -- she designed a game. At TEDxPhoenix she describes the surprising effectiveness of this game, and others, in helping the player really understand the story. (Filmed at TEDxPhoenix.)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

How to Profit Modestly by Moving to a Nonprofit

How to Profit Modestly by Moving to a Nonprofit
By KERRY HANNON, NYTimes

Colleges across the country offer programs intended to prepare unemployed corporate professionals, or those looking to make career transitions, for the expanding nonprofit sector.

Friday, August 22, 2014

What Color Is Your Online Adult Course?

What Color Is Your Online Adult Course?
By JOHN F. WASIK, NYTimes

Massive Online Open Courses had more than 4.5 million students at the end of 2013.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Top Math Prize Has Its First Female Winner

Top Math Prize Has Its First Female Winner
By KENNETH CHANG, NYTimes.com

A professor at Stanford who made an important discovery about dynamical systems joined three other mathematicians in accepting the Fields Medal.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Chinese seek freedom, edge at US high school

Chinese seek freedom, edge at US high schools
Associated Press

After getting a glimpse of the endless cramming for China's grueling college entrance exams from the seniors in his high school, 16-year-old Zhang Kaisheng decided to take a different path. Like a growing number of Chinese teenagers, Zhang plans to enroll this fall in a private U.S. high school where he and his parents hope he will get a more well-rounded - if far more expensive - education. (read more)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Harvard Keeps Top Spot in Global University Ranking

Harvard Keeps Top Spot in Global University Ranking
By THE INTERNATIONAL NEW YORK TIMES

Harvard University has retained the top spot in the annual Academic Ranking of World Universities, a position it has held for the past 12 years.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Heading Off to College? Time to Think About Banking Needs

Heading Off to College? Time to Think About Banking Needs
By ANN CARRNS, NYTimes

First-time college students should think about the options for their financial service needs before arriving on campus and beginning school activities.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Harvard MicroRobotics Labs: Robot Self Assembly

For my students on the robotics team....



VOAVideo: Harvard MicroRobotics Labs: Robot Self Assembly

Robots can assemble themselves following origami inspired designs .
Originally published at - http://www.voanews.com/media/video/2407769.html

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Who Gets to Graduate?

Who Gets to Graduate?

Rich students complete their college degrees; working-class students like Vanessa Brewer usually don’t. Can the University of Texas change her chances of success?

Friday, August 15, 2014

A Quandary Over Textbooks: Whether to Buy or Rent

A Quandary Over Textbooks: Whether to Buy or Rent

The cost of textbooks continue to rise, but alternatives like renting books and downloading “open source” course documents help to keep costs manageable.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

What We Mean When We Say Student Debt Is Bad

What We Mean When We Say Student Debt Is Bad

Student loans need reform. But recent gloomy reports obscure the key benefit of borrowing for college: a college education.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

An Academy for the Elite Stirs a Culture Clash

An Academy for the Elite Stirs a Culture Clash

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A New Ratio for the Japanese Cram School

A New Ratio for the Japanese Cram School

Prep schools offering private or semiprivate instruction are a growing alternative to the usual large-group experience.

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Reality of English's Role in India

The Reality of English's Role in India
By MANU JOSEPH, NYTimes.com

Protests over the use of English in a civil-service exam highlight the complex role the language plays in the country's social makeup.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Budgeting



USED.gov: Budgeting

Taking time to make a budget can help you make smart financial decisions today and reach your goals in the future. Setting up your budget is simple. You just need to take the time to get started. To learn more about personal budgeting, visit StudentAid.gov/budget.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Princeton Is Proposing to End Limit on Giving A’s

Princeton Is Proposing to End Limit on Giving A’s

The president endorses an approach that would encourage individual academic departments to set their own grading standards.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Fraternity Life, Islamic Style

Fraternity Life, Islamic Style

At the country’s first Islamic fraternity, Alpha Lambda Mu, students get the opportunity to express both sides of their identity, the American and the Muslim.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

When the College Admissions Battle Starts at Age 3

When the College Admissions Battle Starts at Age 3
By ANNA BAHR, NYTimes

In New York City, some parents are hoping that elite prekindergarten will give their children an edge at getting into Harvard. But will it?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Who Advises Best, Pros or Profs?

Who Advises Best, Pros or Profs?

To ensure students graduate on time, many colleges are taking advising away from faculty and putting it in the hands of professionals.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Online School for Girls puts focus on connection, collaboration

Online School for Girls puts focus on connection, collaboration
SARA HAYDEN, LATimes.com

Last year, the teachers found a way to make their dream course a reality when Westridge became part of Online School for Girls, a nonprofit consortium of independent schools dedicated to educating girls. It's grown to include more than 80 schools that will offer about 1,050 enrollments this year to middle and high school students.

Monday, August 4, 2014

NYTimes Education Life Special Issue: Summer 2014

NYTimes Education Life Special Issue: Summer 2014

The theme of this Education Life is professional school — that subset of graduate education that trains for, as they say, the real world — with an emphasis on alternative ways to arrive at your chosen field of medicine, law or business.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Some Universities Crack Code in Drawing Women to Computer Science

Some Universities Crack Code in Drawing Women to Computer Science
By CLAIRE CAIN MILLER, NYtimes.com

Brochures, mentorship programs and the training of high school teachers are some of the tools being used to reverse a trend.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Big Moments on Campus

Big Moments on Campus
Jack Begg, NYTimes.com

Jack Begg, supervisor of news research at The Times, traces the nation’s history through its centers of learning. (interactive quiz)

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Ivy League Ups and (Yes) Downs

Ivy League Ups and (Yes) Downs
By LAURA PAPPANO, NYTimes.com

Why the number of applications is rising, and falling.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What Makes a Positive College Experience?

What Makes a Positive College Experience?
By TAMAR LEWIN, NYTimes.com

After a decade of research, a sociologist believes he knows what determines how students feel about their time at college.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Fading Honor Code

The Fading Honor Code
By JESSICA CHEUNG, NYTimes.com

If students fail to report cheaters, can a culture of integrity prevail?

Monday, July 28, 2014

10 Courses With a Twist

10 Courses With a Twist

Professors are capitalizing on what computers can’t do — like take walks, serve pizza, chase tornadoes and teach through experience.