I couldn’t find a written transcript, but here’s a good excerpt The Atlantic published:
But the most important thing is that we are all 99 and a half percent the same … The half a percent matters. It gave Einstein the biggest brain ever measured. He made pretty good use of it. It’s a good thing. That half a percent means LeBron James is hard to stop if he is driving for a basket. The half a percent matters. But so does the 99 and a half percent … And when you leave here I want you to never to forget for the rest of your life in the good times and bad that we live in an interdependent world and we’ve got to pull it together which means to be a good citizen you’ve got to something sometime for someone else because they are just like you are.
The state of U.S. immigration is a very well-done and informative interactive infographic from The Washington Post. Plus, there are links on its page to several other useful Post immigration resources.
How Michelle Rhee Misled Education Reform is an extraordinary article in this week’s New Republic magazine. It’s written by Nicholas Lemann, dean of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and author of several exceptional books.
Here’s a short excerpt:
Here’s some more info on on Rhee (who lives and is based a few miles from our school):
Terrible tornadoes hit the Midwest this past weekend, and Oklahoma has been hit by devastating mile-wide one today. As of this initial writing of this post, the human toll is still unknown, and we can only hope it’s not as bad as the physical destruction indicates….
Here are a few quick resources that might be useful for teachers. I know that my students will be interested tomorrow in learning what happened.
Here’s a partial transcript of the video embedded below:
REPORTER: there have been some amazing stories of survival that are starting to emerge from the rubble and i have one of those, brandi klein, damien klein and bobby britain. damien you’re a fourth grader at plaza tower elementary school. do you remember anything from yesterday?
CHILD: we were in glass and all we heard was the sirens go off and we all ran to the hallway. some of us had a math book, some of us had backpacks and they went off again, then we ducked again and then it went off and then we went in the bathroom, and then they went off again and then we heard the tornado and it sounded like a train coming by, and then we all, we were all covered and a teacher took cover of us, miss crossway.
REPOTER: miss crossway threw her body right over you, didn’t she?
REPORTER: watts she covering you and some other students?
CHILD: she was covering me and my friend, zachary, and then she, i told her that we were fine because we were holding onto something and she went over to my friend antonio and covered him, and then so she saved our lives.
REPORTER: she did save your lives. how long do you remember being under the teacher? how long did it feel like for the tornado to pass over you?
Computers are an important part of modern education, yet many schoolchildren lack access to a computer at home. We test whether this impedes educational achievement by conducting the largest-ever field experiment that randomly provides free home computers to students. Although computer ownership and use increased substantially, we find no effects on any educational outcomes, including grades, test scores, credits earned, attendance and disciplinary actions. Our estimates are precise enough to rule out even modestly-sized positive or negative impacts. The estimated null effect is consistent with survey evidence showing no change in homework time or other “intermediate” inputs in education.
The researchers provided computers to over 1,000 students and compared their academic results with those of another thousand in a control group (to the researcher’s credit, the students in the control group also received free computers at the end of the year-long study). The summary of the study is available for free, but you have to pay five dollars for the entire paper (which I did).
I’ve always had questions about programs that give home computers to households with minimal training or accountability. Our school’s family literacy project of providing computers and home internet access to immigrant families resulted in huge academic gains because it combined training for parents and students and weekly monitoring and accountability. Without training or accountability, it doesn’t seem to me that schools should put much effort into getting technology into the hands of students at home.
And there are many other ways the idea of training and accountability can be implemented. I spent time showing students plenty of potentially engaging ways they can use the Internet at home to gain extra credit (since a sizable number didn’t have it at home I really couldn’t require it as an assignment and, instead, they had other ways to get extra credit), and many do so. Though I’m not that familiar with one-to-one laptop programs, I assume the training and accountability are integral to their operation — at least, in the ones that work.
Of course, students, parents, and teachers need to receive training to make all this work.
It’s not clear in the study if individual classes were divided into halves, with one half receiving computers and the other not. I’m assuming that was the case, which even reinforces how obvious the results were going to be — teachers then couldn’t incorporate lessons that the whole class could do at home.
I sometimes wonder how much consultation researchers do with educators to help determine how useful a study would be before it’s done….
What do you think writer Jon Henley is suggesting should be a higher priority — helping people who need assistance or not letting that get in the way of achieving your goals? To what extent do you agree with what he is saying? To support your opinion, be sure to include specific examples drawn from your own experience, your observations of others, or any of your reading (including Henley’s article).
The California Teacher Union Reform Network just had a conference over the weekend, and here are some interesting and useful tweets that came out of it. Most were shared by David B. Cohen. David Berliner and Linda Darling-Hammond were two of the speakers there, and spoke about standardized testing and Common Core (among other topics).
One portion of her piece, in particular, caught my eye:
If we want video to be an effective tool for teacher growth, here are some ways to help shore up enthusiasm.
• Keep evaluation and exercises for growth separate. As soon as evaluation becomes part of this process, the process changes. Teachers are far more likely to go into compliance mode, fearful of making mistakes. And when fear prevails, authenticity loses. So, instead, make the purpose of using video very clear: for self-reflection and growth.
Today’s post offers suggestions from two exceptional teacher authors: Roxanna Elden and Donalyn Miller. Part Two in this series will include responses from two more great educators: Alice Mercer and Bill Ivey. In addition, that post will share the many reader comments that have been and continue to be contributed.