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NYTimes Admires TFA Would-Be Bankers

girlwithalessonplan:

lessoninteaching:

The NYTimes recently ran an article admiring the “sacrifices” Teach For America (TFA) teachers who defer careers on Wall Street make, and I’m feeling snarky…

Teach for America also became a sought-after option for students like Eric Rodriguez, who was a senior at Harvard when the financial crisis hit. Mr. Rodriguez had completed two internships at Lehman Brothers and was fully expecting to work at the firm after he graduated. But as he started his senior year in September 2008, Lehman Brothers collapsed and Wall Street was in a free fall.

The real victims of the recession: Harvard students.  Poor Eric had to become a temporary teacher instead of working for Lehman Brothers! 

“At Harvard, they harass you: ‘I’m going to be at this place, come meet me,’ ” he said. “It wasn’t until I was desperate that I said ‘I’ll check this out and speak to this person.’ ” In 2009, Mr. Rodriguez joined Teach for America and taught in an elementary school in San Francisco for two years. Afterward, he landed a job at Facebook in its user operations department.

Yeah, because teaching is for the “desperate.”  Also, the fact that he “traded in” his teaching position for a job at Facebook illustrates so many of the problems with TFA.

“It wouldn’t have the same appeal if it were for a longer period of time,” said Kaitlin Gastrock, a spokeswoman for Teach for America. “Two years is a reasonable ask to make of folks who are just finishing up their college experience.”

No, I don’t think two years is reasonable.  Teaching is a CAREER, not a post-college experience.

Teach for America participants receive the same starting salary as first-year teachers in their districts, which is about $25,500 to $51,000 a year. That pales in comparisons to the six-figure salary and bonus structures that many elite college graduates can expect in finance.

I’m not going to applaud some 22-year-old for sacrificing himself for what I consider still a lot of money.  Maybe this should lead to questions about why recent college graduates CAN even expect six-figure salaries in finance, while lifelong teachers cannot…?

Ross Peyser, a 2011 graduate of Cornell and a second-year teacher in New Orleans, was once an intern at Oliver Wyman, a financial services consulting firm. As a teacher, he still plays the role of data analyst, creating Excel spreadsheets to diagnose his students’ learning needs.  At the end of day, he administers a five-question quiz to students to assess who understood the lesson.

I didn’t know that routine checking for understanding (and a five-question, end of the day quiz isn’t particularly innovative) makes a teacher a “data analyst.”

“T.F.A. is a really strong name,” he said. “It seems as if going to work for McKinsey or something like that; they hold the same value.”

I can’t even begin to critique this…

image

politicalprof:

theatlantic:


Why Are College Textbooks So Absurdly Expensive?


You thought the rising cost of college tuition was bad? Then check out the rising cost of college textbooks. The American Enterprise Institute’s Mark Perry has put together this chart showing the egregious, 812 percent rise in the cost of course materials since 1978, as captured in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’s consumer price index data. The price of all those Intro to Sociology and Calculus books have shot up faster than health-care, home prices, and, of course, inflation.
Read more.




Politicalprof: God I hate these “analyses.”
Speaking as an actual professor with 22 1/2 years of experience in this matter:
1. I ALWAYS CONSIDER THE PRICE OF A TEXT. So does pretty much everyone else I know. The “the professors don’t think about price” comment is both tired and intellectually lazy.
2. I HAVE NEVER BUNDLED A TEXT TO SOFTWARE OR SUPPLEMENTS. I know that’s a game, too. Bundles are not why prices go up.
3. THESE PIECES NEVER DISCUSS THE USED BOOK MARKET IN A REAL WAY. As a simple fact, the used book market means that the sales cycle of any new book today is all of one semester. After that, the book is in the used book market (even without evil bundles), and neither the author nor the publisher sees another penny. So publishers (and trust me, it’s the publishers who push this) act “rationally” and jack their prices up every new edition, all while pumping out new editions as fast as possible. Books used to have sales cycles of several years. Now they have sales cycles of one semester. 
Ironically, then, the act students take to save money (selling and buying used books) drives the cost of books ever upwards.
This is economics, people, not speculation. It may lead to books pricing themselves out of a market, or, more likely, to the emergence of lower-cost alternatives. (As an aside, when I discussed a FREE online alternative with my class, they admitted they basically never use e-books, so I don’t think that’s a real alternative yet.) But it’s why prices go up, not mystery bundles.
Are textbook prices a problem? Yes. But to fix the problem one needs to understand it, and dumb analyses like these in no way lend themselves to understanding or solving the problem.

politicalprof:

theatlantic:

Why Are College Textbooks So Absurdly Expensive?

You thought the rising cost of college tuition was bad? Then check out the rising cost of college textbooks. The American Enterprise Institute’s Mark Perry has put together this chart showing the egregious, 812 percent rise in the cost of course materials since 1978, as captured in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’s consumer price index data. The price of all those Intro to Sociology and Calculus books have shot up faster than health-care, home prices, and, of course, inflation.

Read more.

Politicalprof: God I hate these “analyses.”

Speaking as an actual professor with 22 1/2 years of experience in this matter:

1. I ALWAYS CONSIDER THE PRICE OF A TEXT. So does pretty much everyone else I know. The “the professors don’t think about price” comment is both tired and intellectually lazy.

2. I HAVE NEVER BUNDLED A TEXT TO SOFTWARE OR SUPPLEMENTS. I know that’s a game, too. Bundles are not why prices go up.

3. THESE PIECES NEVER DISCUSS THE USED BOOK MARKET IN A REAL WAY. As a simple fact, the used book market means that the sales cycle of any new book today is all of one semester. After that, the book is in the used book market (even without evil bundles), and neither the author nor the publisher sees another penny. So publishers (and trust me, it’s the publishers who push this) act “rationally” and jack their prices up every new edition, all while pumping out new editions as fast as possible. Books used to have sales cycles of several years. Now they have sales cycles of one semester. 

Ironically, then, the act students take to save money (selling and buying used books) drives the cost of books ever upwards.

This is economics, people, not speculation. It may lead to books pricing themselves out of a market, or, more likely, to the emergence of lower-cost alternatives. (As an aside, when I discussed a FREE online alternative with my class, they admitted they basically never use e-books, so I don’t think that’s a real alternative yet.) But it’s why prices go up, not mystery bundles.

Are textbook prices a problem? Yes. But to fix the problem one needs to understand it, and dumb analyses like these in no way lend themselves to understanding or solving the problem.

Tumblrarians, make it happen.

annaetc:

morerobots:

thelifeguardlibrarian:

It’s clear we’re a community now. So I’m thinking, as such, we should make things happen. And I know you’re hearing this a lot from me. I’m not trying to Smoot you to death. But one of those things I’m hoping might happen is to signal boost the socks off EveryLibrary.

Trust me, I have no more pennies to put into this thing. That’s not what I’m asking for either. But we pump up the followers, send out the message, we reach the people with pennies to give and we make it happen.

There’s a $500 matching pledge on this week. Let’s do it.

I’m in. Reblog this, facebook it (make sure your statuses are public though grr), tweet it, whatever trendy new social network is in it. Even if you aren’t a librarian. 

Libraries are about making information as easily accessible as possible for the public. If you don’t have a computer or internet access, it can give you that. It can help you with your homework. Everything you ever wanted to know, and then some. 

I love working in a library. I love being a librarian. Library school was one of the most last minute random decisions in my life, and today I’m so so so glad I did it because despite all of the problems the library world faces, I truly believe that this is the BEST time to be a librarian right now. Everything is changing and I love every minute of it.

As a lifelong fan of libraries and a maybe someday library school student: Yes. Good. Do this.

(via annaverity)

kohenari:

The interesting thing about Mitt Romney is that he really wants to be president. But what’s not clear to me is why he wants to be president — and, actually, it might not be clear to him either.
Being president means being important and it seems like a logical thing to do if you’re born into a successful, powerful family and then went on to be successful and powerful yourself.
But here’s the thing: Why would you want to be president of a country when you hold almost half of the citizenry in utter contempt?
I’m not being flippant here; this is something I desperately want someone to ask Romney. Let’s imagine that I was being interviewed for a teaching job — as I have been once or twice in the past — and someone asked me my teaching philosophy. What do you suppose would happen if my response was that I simply write off 47% of my class at the beginning of each semester because they’re stupid and lazy?
I wouldn’t get the job.
And rightly not.
Because the students in my class — all of them — are my responsibility. I want to be a teacher because I want to educate the students. Not 53% of them, all of them. I start each semester full of excitement because each class is a blank slate, a totally new opportunity to work with a room full of young people. I don’t imagine that they’re all potential Rhodes Scholars, but I’m hopeful that — as a result of doing my job — they’ll all learn something they didn’t know before or come away with a new appreciate for something we’ve read.
So, honestly, why does Mitt Romney want to be president?
Incidentally, if you want to learn more about Romney’s 47% comments, here’s more from Mother Jones: “Read Josh Barro’s piece here. Inspiration here.”

kohenari:

The interesting thing about Mitt Romney is that he really wants to be president. But what’s not clear to me is why he wants to be president — and, actually, it might not be clear to him either.

Being president means being important and it seems like a logical thing to do if you’re born into a successful, powerful family and then went on to be successful and powerful yourself.

But here’s the thing: Why would you want to be president of a country when you hold almost half of the citizenry in utter contempt?

I’m not being flippant here; this is something I desperately want someone to ask Romney. Let’s imagine that I was being interviewed for a teaching job — as I have been once or twice in the past — and someone asked me my teaching philosophy. What do you suppose would happen if my response was that I simply write off 47% of my class at the beginning of each semester because they’re stupid and lazy?

I wouldn’t get the job.

And rightly not.

Because the students in my class — all of them — are my responsibility. I want to be a teacher because I want to educate the students. Not 53% of them, all of them. I start each semester full of excitement because each class is a blank slate, a totally new opportunity to work with a room full of young people. I don’t imagine that they’re all potential Rhodes Scholars, but I’m hopeful that — as a result of doing my job — they’ll all learn something they didn’t know before or come away with a new appreciate for something we’ve read.

So, honestly, why does Mitt Romney want to be president?

Incidentally, if you want to learn more about Romney’s 47% comments, here’s more from Mother Jones: “Read Josh Barro’s piece here. Inspiration here.”

The corporate reformers believe that entrepreneurship will unleash a new era of innovation and creativity, but it seems mostly to have unleashed canny entrepreneurs who seek higher test scores by any means possible (such as excluding students with disabilities or students learning English as a second language) or who seek maximum profit. One facet of the business plan for reform is reducing the cost of instruction. Many governors tackle this head-on by slashing the budget and laying off teachers. Others, claiming to act in the name of “reform,” replace teachers with online instruction. Another way to reduce costs is to rely on inexperienced teachers, who are at the bottom of the salary scale and are likely to leave teaching for more remunerative, less demanding jobs before they are eligible for a pension.
fishingboatproceeds:

Both these comments are rhetoric and not policy, so shouldn’t be taken too seriously, but the underlying ideas here are very important to me. 
When the President says that higher education is an economic necessity, he’s is absolutely correct. If you look at the industrialized economies that are struggling around the world, they line up very closely with higher education rates. (Look at Portugal, for instance.) 
So, like, “the U.S. experienced a fairly large growth in population from 2000 to 2009. During the period, the population increased 8.68% — the 12th highest among OECD countries. Meanwhile, the rate at which the share of the population with a tertiary [post high school] education is growing has slowed to an annual rate of 1.4% — the lowest among the 34 OECD countries. Just 71% of funding for educational institutions in the country comes from public funds, placing the U.S. sixth-lowest in this measure.” [source]
So we already have one of the lowest rates of public investment in education in the industrialized world, and the lowest rate of growth in post-secondary education.
This is a real long-term and structural problem for the US economy, because the only future growth available to industrialized nations is in jobs that require education. If we only offer higher education to people who can afford it, we will lose to the many nations where university education is more highly subsidized, because they’ll have better educated workforces that will earn more and in turn pay more in taxes, which will allow future generations to be better educated still. 
Both parties would like to take political credit or assign political blame for the unemployment rate and the pace of growth etc. But the truth is, government doesn’t have a lot of say in that stuff (unless of course they screw things up so royally that there’s a debt default or something). A lot of the government’s role in economic growth is much longer term—it’s stuff like infrastructure and long-term political stability and creating a better-educated workforce.

fishingboatproceeds:

Both these comments are rhetoric and not policy, so shouldn’t be taken too seriously, but the underlying ideas here are very important to me. 

When the President says that higher education is an economic necessity, he’s is absolutely correct. If you look at the industrialized economies that are struggling around the world, they line up very closely with higher education rates. (Look at Portugal, for instance.) 

So, like, “the U.S. experienced a fairly large growth in population from 2000 to 2009. During the period, the population increased 8.68% — the 12th highest among OECD countries. Meanwhile, the rate at which the share of the population with a tertiary [post high school] education is growing has slowed to an annual rate of 1.4% — the lowest among the 34 OECD countries. Just 71% of funding for educational institutions in the country comes from public funds, placing the U.S. sixth-lowest in this measure.” [source]

So we already have one of the lowest rates of public investment in education in the industrialized world, and the lowest rate of growth in post-secondary education.

This is a real long-term and structural problem for the US economy, because the only future growth available to industrialized nations is in jobs that require education. If we only offer higher education to people who can afford it, we will lose to the many nations where university education is more highly subsidized, because they’ll have better educated workforces that will earn more and in turn pay more in taxes, which will allow future generations to be better educated still. 

Both parties would like to take political credit or assign political blame for the unemployment rate and the pace of growth etc. But the truth is, government doesn’t have a lot of say in that stuff (unless of course they screw things up so royally that there’s a debt default or something). A lot of the government’s role in economic growth is much longer term—it’s stuff like infrastructure and long-term political stability and creating a better-educated workforce.

‘Intelligent Design’ Not Enough For Creationists, Now The Push For ‘Divine Mathematics’

abaldwin360:

For years now we have seen people seeking to push the bible into the science classroom. However, the move in recent years to push the religiously based ‘charter school’ system has opened up a new front in the war to erode critical thinking skills. No longer satisfied with pushing the rubbish ofCreationism or abstinence only health education, now a new model is out, attacking the foundation of mathematics itself.

The A Beka Book company provides a great many of the literature for these religious schools. We come to expect dominionists to push for their lies about science and history, but the A Beka Book company produces a whole series of dominionist school textbooks, including a revisionist form of mathematics not based on logic nor reason but instead “mathematics are a creation of God and thus absolute.”

Here is an example, taken from the A Beka Book piece titled “The Christian Approach to Elementary Math” originally published in 1980 and still used in their latest titles:

We are unabashed advocates of traditional math, not only because the students learn something that can be built upon, but also because it accords with our Christian viewpoints on education. Only from a Christian perspective can the basic rationale — the intrinsic reasonableness of traditional elementary math — be seen and appreciated. Traditional math will not succeed unless it is taught with the conviction that something more than arbitrary process derived from arbitrary principles is at work. The elementary student does not need to “understand” 2 + 2 = 4 in order to learn it and use it; he will learn the abstract principles later. But the elementary student does need to see his multiplication tables as part of the truth and order that God has built into reality. From the Christian perspective, 2 + 2 = 4 takes on cosmic significance, as does every fact of mathematics, however particular.

Note they call their Divine Mathematics “traditional math” in order to make it sound acceptable to a particular group of people. They are targeting the easily deceived who then feel that they are trying to restore “tradition.” They even claim that a student does not need to understand 2+2=4, only to accept it as a sign of divinity.

read more

This reads almost like an article from The Onion.

I mean, fuck. I used to joke about shit like this but now it’s happening, and it’s not funny anymore.

(via abaldwin360-deactivated20130708)

I fully understand that our nation is currently facing an extreme shortage of teachers and that we all have to make do with what we can get. But does that really mean we have to be stuck with some privileged college grad who completed a five-week training program and now wants to document every single moment of her life-changing year on a Tumblr?

This Point/Counterpoint on The Onion. (via washingtonpoststyle)

I, for one, would follow the hell out of that Tumblr.

(via markcoatney)

And #education would likely promote the hell out of it.

(via girlwithalessonplan)

(via girlwithalessonplan)

girlwithalessonplan:

world-shaker:


With 100 meters to go, Vogel saw McMath ahead of her, and the first-time state qualifier was struggling.
“I was kind of blacking out,” McMath said. “I wasn’t too aware of my surroundings. I was just trying to keep going. When my body gave out, she was there. It was amazing.”
When McMath hit the ground, Vogel decided against running past her and avoiding a last-place finish. She stopped, picked McMath up, put McMath’s arm around her shoulders and half-carried, half-dragged her the last 20 meters.
The stadium erupted at the display of sportsmanship.

Click here for the full story.
(via Runner inspires others with act of kindness)
Photo credit: Mike Ullery, Piqua Daily Call

BRB, getting something out of my eye.

girlwithalessonplan:

world-shaker:

With 100 meters to go, Vogel saw McMath ahead of her, and the first-time state qualifier was struggling.

“I was kind of blacking out,” McMath said. “I wasn’t too aware of my surroundings. I was just trying to keep going. When my body gave out, she was there. It was amazing.”

When McMath hit the ground, Vogel decided against running past her and avoiding a last-place finish. She stopped, picked McMath up, put McMath’s arm around her shoulders and half-carried, half-dragged her the last 20 meters.

The stadium erupted at the display of sportsmanship.

Click here for the full story.

(via Runner inspires others with act of kindness)

Photo credit: Mike Ullery, Piqua Daily Call

BRB, getting something out of my eye.

The Paradox of Public Education

girlwithalessonplan:

infoneer-pulse:

Public education struggles with two conflicting facts. First, public schools are small craft organizations that require close teamwork and constant adaptation to the unpredictable development of students. Second, they are government agencies always subject to constraints imposed through politics and legal processes.

In the more than half-century since Brown v. Board of Education, the second set of facts has dominated the first. Public schools have been subject to court orders about how particular students must be educated; federal and state regulations that dictate how money is used, students are grouped, and teachers work; and labor contracts that force schools to employ teachers who are poorly matched to the needs of students and the strengths of other teachers.

School leadership, personal responsibility, and accountability have been driven out of schools, especially in big cities where local politics adds to the burden of regulation. This is not, as some have claimed, inevitable when adults educate other people’s children. Private schools govern themselves, attract like-minded faculty members and parents, and can turn on a dime when students’ needs change.

» via GOOD

It’s like infoneer-pulse reads the dash and then finds something RELEVANT.

(All the love for i-p.)

Racist Hunger Games Fans Are Very Disappointed

kohenari:

It seems that racist fans of The Hunger Games are also very bad at reading comprehension, expressing their outrage via Twitter over the fact that two characters — who are both described as having “dark brown skin” in the book — were portrayed by black actors in the film.

I read some of the tweets last night (Jamelle Bouie retweeted a bunch of them and there’s a Tumblr blog dedicated to finding and publishing them); they made my stomach churn. Prior to seeing these tweets, I didn’t have anything at all to say about The Hunger Games: I haven’t read the books, I haven’t seen the movie, and doing either of these things isn’t at the top of my list.

But, of course, now I have a comment:

In all honesty, I’m not at all surprised by the sentiment, as I have a pretty good idea that we’re not living in the post-racial paradise of (some of) our dreams and, as an educator, I know that reading comprehension is sorely lacking in this country.

But I really am shocked that people want to tweet their racism and stupidity out to the universe. I continue to long for the day when racist idiots keep their idiocy to themselves as I really believe that’s the first step in doing away with the idiocy altogether. As the philosopher Richard Rorty once wrote, “what people cannot say in public becomes, eventually, what they cannot say even in private, and then, still later, what they cannot even believe in their hearts.”[1]

Apparently, we’ve still got a very long way to go even to get to that point.

[1] Richard Rorty, “What Can You Expect From Anti-Foundationalist Philosophers?: A Reply to Lynn Baker,” 78 Virginia Law Review (April 1992), 725-726.

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