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think4yourself

Advice to Grad Students

kohenari:

As many of the graduate students in my department are taking comprehensive exams this week, and no doubt cursing my existence as the chair of the international relations exam committee, I thought this quote from Ariel Rubinstein was fitting:

Remember that you are one of the most privileged people on earth. Society has given you a wonderful opportunity. You are supposed to do whatever you want, to think about new ideas, to express your views freely, to do things in the way that you choose and on top you will be rewarded nicely. These privileges should not be taken for granted. We are extremely lucky — we owe something in return.

(Via Michael Tofias.)

The potential for chaos is due in part to the requirement that only 51% of parents are needed to drive radical changes, a simple majority that could breed factionalism and ongoing instability especially if buyer’s remorse sets in. Schools should teach about the French Revolution, not have their parents act it out. That’s why Adam Emerson, a school-choice analyst at The Fordham Institute who is more bullish on parental empowerment than most in the education world, has suggested that a supermajority or two-thirds benchmark makes more sense as a way to ensure there is a core consensus at a school.
But Santorum doesn’t care about the facts, because attacking Obama on higher education is really just a pretext for pushing what is, for him, a more urgent message—namely that higher education should be viewed as a problem, not an opportunity. Although he currently frames this message in the Tea Party language of “liberal professors” and “indoctrination,” the roots of his stump-speech sallies against academia lie deeper than this, in a religious ideology of cosmic war.

Panel approves measure forcing non-athletes, average college students to pay $2,000 (Extra)

truth-has-a-liberal-bias:

From MSNBC:

“Students at Arizona’s three state universities will have to pay — or borrow — at least $2,000 a year to get an education under terms of legislation approved by a House panel today.

Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, said students should have some “skin in the game.” He said students will take their schooling more seriously and be less likely to drop out if they have made an investment.

“I really believe that when something is given to you, you don’t have the appreciation of having put in some work,” agreed Rep. John Fillmore, R-Apache Junction.

He said $2,000 out of $9,000 annual tuition is not that big a deal. Even with books and fees, Kavanagh said that adds only another $1,500 a year.

Kavanagh said that would leave students with $14,000 debt after four years, “less than the cost of a Chevy Sonic.”

“And I personally believe that degrees from our universities are worth far more than Chevy Sonics,” he said. Anyway, Kavanagh said that is a small amount, as college grads earn anywhere from $500,000 to $1 million more over their lifetimes than those who do not have a higher education.

The vote came despite objections from students who said there are expenses beyond tuition. Room and board aside, they said they are forced to pay for gasoline, insurance and parking.

Welcome to life,” Rep. Michelle Ugenti, R-Scottsdale, told the students.
“I don’t understand why that should affect a modest $2,000 for your education,” Ugenti continued. “We all are thrust into circumstances and unpredictable life experiences.” […]

Is there a Republican in office anywhere in the United States in the year 2012 who is not an absolute jerk? These people just ooze with contempt. If you’d like to make your voice heard on this issue, you may do so here:

http://www.change.org/petitions/the-arizona-panel-dont-add-2000-more-to-tuition-at-az-universities

It’s a petition started by Tumblr member dobbaaa.

Even if you don’t live in AZ, please sign. Things that suck sometimes start in one state & spread to another. The Republicans test-drive these horrible ideas in one state to see if they can get away with it.

Please sign. Thank You.

(via abokononist-deactivated20120714)

President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob. There are good, decent men and women who go out and work hard everyday and put their skills to test that aren’t taught by some liberal college professor that [tries] to indoctrinate them.

Republican presidential candidate RICK SANTORUM, on Sunday’s Meet The Press.

No seriously.  This guy is a fucking dick.

(via the Los Angeles Times)

(via inothernews)

pantslessprogressive:

“President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob.” - Rick Santorum, in Troy, MI Saturday (h/t washingtonpoststyle)
Above, unemployment rates from the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report.
The Wall Street Journal elaborates:

Some 1.8 million more college graduates have found work since January 2010, when the recovery began producing jobs, but about 128,000 high-school dropouts lost work in the same period, according to the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Less than 40% of the 25 million Americans over age 25 who lack a high-school diploma are employed. And those who are working don’t earn much. High-school dropouts earn about $23,400 on average, compared with $33,500 for those with a college degree.

The only snob here is the one who is too demagogic (pardon the Newtism) to acknowledge the positive effects of a college education.

pantslessprogressive:

President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob. - Rick Santorum, in Troy, MI Saturday (h/t washingtonpoststyle)

Above, unemployment rates from the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report.

The Wall Street Journal elaborates:

Some 1.8 million more college graduates have found work since January 2010, when the recovery began producing jobs, but about 128,000 high-school dropouts lost work in the same period, according to the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Less than 40% of the 25 million Americans over age 25 who lack a high-school diploma are employed. And those who are working don’t earn much. High-school dropouts earn about $23,400 on average, compared with $33,500 for those with a college degree.

The only snob here is the one who is too demagogic (pardon the Newtism) to acknowledge the positive effects of a college education.

(Source: pantslessprogressive)

HB 1169 would allow schools to suspend or expel students whose conduct, either on or off school property, interferes with school purposes or educational functions even if the student’s activity is lawful.

« Indiana Senate Democrats: The Briefing Room

Whoa, now, Indiana.  Back up now.  You want expulsions and suspensions DOWN, but you’re creating laws that would give schools license to do MORE?

(And can we say potential first amendment cases here?)

(via girlwithalessonplan)

latimes:

Atheist teen speaks out, lands $44,000 scholarship:

A Rhode Island teen is learning that it pays to deny the existence of God: Prominent atheists plan to present Jessica Ahlquist with a scholarship of at least $44,000 — and possibly more.
It seems they were impressed with the way Ahlquist, 16, handled herself amid a roiling controversy that began in July 2010, when she complained about a prayer banner hanging in the auditorium at Cranston High School West that referred to “Our Heavenly Father.”
School authorities brushed off her complaint, saying the banner was artistic and historic, as it had been hanging there for decades. Ahlquist later joined the American Civil Liberties Union in a suit alleging that the banner made her feel “ostracized and out of place.”
After much legal wrangling, a court ruled that the banner needed to be removed — and an uproar ensued.

Photo: Jessica Ahlquist, top center, sits amid supporters during a school committee meeting at Cranston High School in Cranston, R.I. Credit: Stephan Savoia / Associated Press

latimes:

Atheist teen speaks out, lands $44,000 scholarship:

A Rhode Island teen is learning that it pays to deny the existence of God: Prominent atheists plan to present Jessica Ahlquist with a scholarship of at least $44,000 — and possibly more.

It seems they were impressed with the way Ahlquist, 16, handled herself amid a roiling controversy that began in July 2010, when she complained about a prayer banner hanging in the auditorium at Cranston High School West that referred to “Our Heavenly Father.”

School authorities brushed off her complaint, saying the banner was artistic and historic, as it had been hanging there for decades. Ahlquist later joined the American Civil Liberties Union in a suit alleging that the banner made her feel “ostracized and out of place.”

After much legal wrangling, a court ruled that the banner needed to be removed — and an uproar ensued.

Photo: Jessica Ahlquist, top center, sits amid supporters during a school committee meeting at Cranston High School in Cranston, R.I. Credit: Stephan Savoia / Associated Press

(Source: Los Angeles Times, via brooklynmutt)

girlwithalessonplan:

criticalconsciousness:

thingsipedia:

Waiting For Superman
Davis Guggenheim | USA | 2010
So this is related into the education Q&A I went to last night with Michelle Rhee and (her husband) Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson.  The Mayor of LA was supposed to be there, but he was meeting with Obama because he was just appointed a major position at the DNC this summer.  
I’ve put off watching “Waiting For Superman” for a long time because people always told me it was garbage.  Going to UC Santa Cruz, the Master’s program was definitely very very pro status quo when it came to schools.  Pretty much every staff member was 100% behind anything that AFT or NEA did, and had VERY little good things to say about any type of reform school—whether it be charter, magnet, etc. 
As a liberal, I’ve always felt a certain uneasiness with the education reform movement.  Why?  Well, because of its, at times, anti-Union rhetoric.  I’m a big supporter of labor.  I have thoroughly enjoyed my Marxist theory, and thinkers such as Zizek and Chomsky are definitely important to me.  
However, as a member of the ‘charter school movement,’ I’ve seen first hand that it’s not some closed doors operation run by shady businessmen trying to steal something from our children.  I’ve heard horror stories about poorly run charters.  I’ve heard about cutthroat principals who fire teachers for not growing the API by x%, as if the school was an underperforming stock. 
That being said, there are FAR more horror stories in the traditional public school system.  It’s called…nearly every inner city school nationwide.  These “dropout factories” are not sustainable for the growth of our country, and we need to break them up and/or change them drastically. 
Past policies have not worked.  It will not work to slightly modify this or that.  We ultimately NEED to change the entire school cultures, and that’s not going to happen by protecting ANY of the burnout teachers, ANY of the burnout principals, and so on.  
Measurement is challenging.  Obviously standardized tests have flaws.  However, as a stats person, I do see the value in certain types of “growth” measurements.  They don’t look at test scores absolutely, but only relative to other students at that position.  For example, if your students are reading 5 grades below grade level, they are being compared to similar students, not some absolute measurement at large.  It’s all about bell curves.
My point is, this is not a black/white scenario.  If teachers think we can wait until some literally perfect system is designed, they are deluded.  There will never be a ‘perfect’ measurement tool that is 100% fair.  But we can get close, and in the meantime, change things for the better.  
I’ll use a basketball metaphor.  We need to use our pivot foot to get a step forward, and then we can pivot on that newly planted foot—-always remaining somewhat grounded, but constantly moving forward down the court.  
I know what the establishment thinks, and I sympathize.  Teachers are professionals.  No one wants a cutthroat working environment.   But allowing rigorous evaluations and cutting down various problems in the bureaucracies can lead to MORE of a professionalization of the field—-not less. 
I know this doesn’t make me popular with a lot of teachers.  I’m not an iconoclast, or a Randian Libertarian or a pro-business goon.  But no honest teacher can tell me that Last In, First Out policies are good for the profession.  Tenure should be like it is with universities—an EXTREMELY rigorous process akin to National Board cert.  It should not be handed out to the average joe or joe-ette. 
Again, I hope not to offend, but I’m tired of the teacher echo-chamber that defends the status quo while kids’ lives are literally getting destroyed around us. 

I just wanted to reblog this so more people saw CC’s opinion. His was not the original post, so I couldn’t promote it on #education.  

girlwithalessonplan:

criticalconsciousness:

thingsipedia:

Waiting For Superman

Davis Guggenheim | USA | 2010

So this is related into the education Q&A I went to last night with Michelle Rhee and (her husband) Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson.  The Mayor of LA was supposed to be there, but he was meeting with Obama because he was just appointed a major position at the DNC this summer.  

I’ve put off watching “Waiting For Superman” for a long time because people always told me it was garbage.  Going to UC Santa Cruz, the Master’s program was definitely very very pro status quo when it came to schools.  Pretty much every staff member was 100% behind anything that AFT or NEA did, and had VERY little good things to say about any type of reform school—whether it be charter, magnet, etc. 

As a liberal, I’ve always felt a certain uneasiness with the education reform movement.  Why?  Well, because of its, at times, anti-Union rhetoric.  I’m a big supporter of labor.  I have thoroughly enjoyed my Marxist theory, and thinkers such as Zizek and Chomsky are definitely important to me.  

However, as a member of the ‘charter school movement,’ I’ve seen first hand that it’s not some closed doors operation run by shady businessmen trying to steal something from our children.  I’ve heard horror stories about poorly run charters.  I’ve heard about cutthroat principals who fire teachers for not growing the API by x%, as if the school was an underperforming stock. 

That being said, there are FAR more horror stories in the traditional public school system.  It’s called…nearly every inner city school nationwide.  These “dropout factories” are not sustainable for the growth of our country, and we need to break them up and/or change them drastically. 

Past policies have not worked.  It will not work to slightly modify this or that.  We ultimately NEED to change the entire school cultures, and that’s not going to happen by protecting ANY of the burnout teachers, ANY of the burnout principals, and so on.  

Measurement is challenging.  Obviously standardized tests have flaws.  However, as a stats person, I do see the value in certain types of “growth” measurements.  They don’t look at test scores absolutely, but only relative to other students at that position.  For example, if your students are reading 5 grades below grade level, they are being compared to similar students, not some absolute measurement at large.  It’s all about bell curves.

My point is, this is not a black/white scenario.  If teachers think we can wait until some literally perfect system is designed, they are deluded.  There will never be a ‘perfect’ measurement tool that is 100% fair.  But we can get close, and in the meantime, change things for the better.  

I’ll use a basketball metaphor.  We need to use our pivot foot to get a step forward, and then we can pivot on that newly planted foot—-always remaining somewhat grounded, but constantly moving forward down the court.  

I know what the establishment thinks, and I sympathize.  Teachers are professionals.  No one wants a cutthroat working environment.   But allowing rigorous evaluations and cutting down various problems in the bureaucracies can lead to MORE of a professionalization of the field—-not less. 

I know this doesn’t make me popular with a lot of teachers.  I’m not an iconoclast, or a Randian Libertarian or a pro-business goon.  But no honest teacher can tell me that Last In, First Out policies are good for the profession.  Tenure should be like it is with universities—an EXTREMELY rigorous process akin to National Board cert.  It should not be handed out to the average joe or joe-ette. 

Again, I hope not to offend, but I’m tired of the teacher echo-chamber that defends the status quo while kids’ lives are literally getting destroyed around us. 

I just wanted to reblog this so more people saw CC’s opinion. His was not the original post, so I couldn’t promote it on #education.  

Education Gap Grows Between Rich and Poor, Studies Show - NYTimes.com

Now, in analyses of long-term data published in recent months, researchers are finding that while the achievement gap between white and black students has narrowed significantly over the past few decades, the gap between rich and poor students has grown substantially during the same period.

“We have moved from a society in the 1950s and 1960s, in which race was more consequential than family income, to one today in which family income appears more determinative of educational success than race,” said Sean F. Reardon, a Stanford University sociologist. Professor Reardon is the author of a study that found that the gap in standardized test scores between affluent and low-income students had grown by about 40 percent since the 1960s, and is now double the testing gap between blacks and whites.

In another study, by researchers from the University of Michigan, the imbalance between rich and poor children in college completion — the single most important predictor of success in the work force — has grown by about 50 percent since the late 1980s.

The changes are tectonic, a result of social and economic processes unfolding over many decades. The data from most of these studies end in 2007 and 2008, before the recession’s full impact was felt. Researchers said that based on experiences during past recessions, the recent downturn was likely to have aggravated the trend.

(Source: sarahlee310, via seriouslyamerica)

Something I don’t think some tumblrcators and other #education folks really understand….

girlwithalessonplan:

No.  Really.  You can’t teach the unwilling.

Here are options in my speech class:

  • Pick your topic, whatever you want as long as it fits the genre of speech (persuasive, narrative, etc.)
  • Research it however you want, either with print or web
  • Show me some progress points as you work
  • Make whatever kind of visual aid you want
  • Choose the day you want to give it
  • I’m here for guidance all along the way
  • Perform, critique, laugh, applaud
  • Repeat the progress X 5 for a semester with various topics, techniques, and strategies
  • No textbooks.  No tests.  

And I still, STILL, won’t have kids do any work.  I have had successes in the past where I spend weeks begging, pleading, nagging, and suddenly a light flips on and the kid does something and we build from there.

But then there are some who truly, really, won’t do anything.  And there parents won’t push them, or guide or support me.  I’ve made the phone calls.  I’ve sent the letters.  I’ve done the heart to hearts and one to ones.  And out of the estimated 1,500 kids I’ve taught, there are those who refuse to work.  It’s a shrug of the shoulders.  ”Who do you want to BE?”  I ask, “What do you want to DO with yourself?” Shrug.  

kimmykaten accused me of not understanding my students.  I understand them.  I understand their 50% poverty rate.  I understand their teen pregnancies.  I understand their family illnesses that override their education.  I also understand their overbearing parents that put sports over books.  I understand their high stakes honors classes and their drive to get into the Good School.  I understand their parents that LET them not work.  I understand the siblings that blazed a path of inadequacy the younger ones feel obligated to follow.

So when kimmykaten says, A child saying “I dunno, nothing” should never be the cue for someone to give up on them, but that is clearly what this instructor with all of this “experience” has done.”  She really doesn’t get it.

I’ll teach the willing.  I leave all windows and doors to learning open.  No one sleeps.  No one plays with his phone. You sit there, child, and you think about “nothing” while the rest of us explore, debate, and ask each other questions.  And when the idea sparks and he’s ready, I am there for him.

Forcing the content on a child is just as bad as completely neglecting her.  I do neither.  

this

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