Education News » June 2016

Monthly Archives: June 2016

Education

The Civil Rights Problem In U.S. Schools: 10 New Numbers

Published by:

seeing-eye-to-eye_slide-1257e6c5f2c03488de7a0ad86fcf5237746b504d-s800-c85

LA Johnson/NPR

It’s a rare and remarkable view into America’s public schools and the challenges that continue some 60 years after Brown v. Board of Education:

The Civil Rights Data Collection survey.

Since 1968, the federal government has been sending it to the nation’s schools to gauge educational access and enforce civil rights law.

Today, the U.S. Education Department released its 2013-2014 CRDC results, covering more than 95,000 schools and 50 million students.

There’s a lot to wade through, but these are some of the numbers that jumped out at us (links are to previous NPR coverage).

Continue reading

Education

Coding While Black: Hacking The Future Of The Tech Industry

Published by:

1_blackmencode-reddingrucker_computer-edit_wide-9f1fbcd2af0a9ebdd4a081fe27ac1ea6bfb95256-s800-c85

Morehouse College freshmen Philip Rucker, Damon Redding and Tyree Stevenson use a programming language called Python to plot a map of weather stations in the United States.

Tasnim Shamma/WABE

At Tech Square Labs in midtown Atlanta, you’ll find glass walls and high ceilings. It follows the typical design trends of today’s “hip” innovation centers and co-working office spaces. It’s also where 14 low-income African-American students are learning Java as part of the Code Start program.

Code Start is a free, year-long training program for low-income people between the ages of 18 and 24. Participants must have a high school diploma or GED, but not a college degree. Rodney Sampson started the program. He calls Code Start, “an experiment on whether or not we can take ‘disconnected youth,’ who’ve been labeled by the system, and teach them how to be a junior level software engineer or developer.”

The idea for Code Start was born last summer, when the director of Atlanta’s Workforce Development Agency, toured one of Sampson’s minority coding and entrepreneurship classes. Katiana Stevens, says the program is intense, but having classmates she can relate to, helps. “A lot of us have been on the verge of tears after the first week,” Stevens says. “However we’ve built a strong sense of community, really fast. So we’ve all muscled through, we support each other and tell each other to keep going.”

Continue reading

Education

Green Eggs, Ham And Metaphysics: Teaching Hard Ideas With Children’s Books

Published by:

cd7a3024-edit_slide-5078ea1dc0c0b0af29b23e7a465f3352c6bb73f6-s800-c85

What is language? What is beauty? Who gets to decide?

Philosophers have grappled with these questions for centuries, and they’ve generated a pile of long (and often tortured) books in their efforts to answer them.

But for Tom Wartenberg, some of the best books about philosophy are much shorter and a lot more colorful: Frog and Toad Are Friends. Horton Hears a Who! The Paper Bag Princess.

Every spring at Mt. Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass., Wartenberg offers Philosophy 280: Philosophy for Children. Once a week, he loads his students into a bus and drives them to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Charter School of Excellence in nearby Springfield.

Continue reading

Education

Practice Makes Possible: What We Learn By Studying Amazing Kids

Published by:

talent-comic-1_custom-b4eb4b706ad5d09847aa6d262ec43258bf7c97e5-s800-c85

What made Mozart great? Or Bobby Fischer? Or Serena Williams?

The answer sits somewhere on the scales of human achievement. On one side: natural talent. On the other: hard work. Many would argue that success hangs in some delicate balance between them. But not Anders Ericsson.

Ericsson has spent decades studying the power of practice, and in his new book, Peak: Secrets From The New Science Of Expertise, co-authored with Robert Pool, he argues that “talent” is often a story we tell ourselves to justify our own failure or to protect children from the possibility of failure. He writes:

This is the dark side of believing in innate talent. It can beget a tendency to assume that some people have a talent for something and others don’t and that you can tell the difference early on. If you believe that, you encourage and support the ‘talented’ ones and discourage the rest, creating the self-fulfilling prophecy. … The best way to avoid this is to recognize the potential in all of us — and work to find ways to develop it.

Continue reading

Education

Forget The LSAT. This Law School Will Accept Your GRE Scores

Published by:

gettyimages-626532671_wide-5db63ec14165e4f35691aea33ec7f5d08d6ab961-s800-c85
Stuart Kinlough/Getty Images/Ikon Images

It’s almost cram time for anyone taking that dreaded law school entrance exam next month: the LSAT. Simon Brick, who just graduated from the University of Arizona and has an interest in international law, says he’s been studying for the test for months.

Brick hasn’t ruled out the possibility of going to law school at Arizona, where he was in a pre-law fraternity. “I know that it is a very good law program,” he says. “Right now I’m keeping my options open.”

For decades, the LSAT has been a requirement to get into any J.D. degree program, but that’s no longer the case at Brick’s alma mater. This year Arizona’s law school decided it would also accept scores from the GRE, a more general graduate school admissions test.

That means Brick could spend that LSAT Saturday in June eating bonbons, but he won’t. Instead he’ll muscle through the four-plus-hour test because he’s also interested in a handful of programs that do require the LSAT — for now.

Continue reading

Education

Career And Technical Education: Boom Or Bust?

Published by:

gettyimages-552163455_custom-e5bd4359f9bb814dbe36a805cb03ec0c996bc9c9-s400-c85
Christopher Corr/Getty Images/Ikon Images

Career and technical education in high schools has gotten lots of attention and lip service in recent years. Business and industry see it as a long overdue focus on preparing students for the world of work. Educators say CTE — once called vocational education — is an alternative path for high school graduates who don’t plan to go to college, at least not right away.

It has also come under scrutiny from researchers who say it’s just not working as well as it should. It’s poorly funded and often viewed as a “second rate” education.

Anthony Carnevale, director of the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University, has written extensively about this. He says people forget that at the turn of the last century, the booming manufacturing economy needed young people for entry level jobs.

Continue reading