'Occupy the Schools Feb 1, 2012' photo (c) 2012, Michael Fleshman - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Here are some relatively recent good posts and article about education policy issues:

Forever young: the new teaching career is by Mike Rose. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles Raising Concerns About Teach For America.

There Joel Klein goes again… is by Richard Rothstein, and is an excerpt from his commentary on a recent NY Times article on computer tablets (see Two Important Quotes From Massive NY Times Articles On Tablets In Classroom).

Inside News Corp’s $540 Million Bet on American Classrooms is a somewhat interesting article/commentary on the same NY Times piece. It doesn’t really go over any new ground, however. But I did find one small snippet on “gamification” very intriguing:

Douglas Clark is an associate professor at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College, arguably the country’s top college of education, and the principle investigator on the SURGE and EGAME grants, two National Science Foundation grants aimed at studying and creating educational games. And nothing irks him more than when other people take educational concepts and run them through “gamification,” a practice whereby one “just adds points” to basic tasks.

Points are extrinsic motivations, and “when [kids] get bored with extrinsic, they stop.” Games should provide intrinsic motivation, meaning the game itself is the motivator.

He compares points to frequent-flyer miles: something auxiliary (i.e., you get FF miles from flying, but you don’t probably don’t go flying around the country just to rack up FF miles). Most “educational” games take a task, like math, and add a point system.

Haimson calls games that actually cause learning the “holy grail,” but Clark doesn’t think it’s easily accomplished. He says, “News Corp. can’t just decide we’re going to build good games for everything. That’d be too expensive.”

I’m adding that info to The Best Posts On “Gamification” In Education — Help Me Find More.

Charter School Gravy Train Runs Express To Fat City is from Forbes. I’m adding it to The Best Posts & Articles Analyzing Charter Schools.

When Media Companies Try to Become Education Companies is from The Atlantic.

‘Strategic Philanthropy’ Shifts Too Much Power to Donors is by Pablo Eisenberg. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The Role Of Private Foundations In Education Policy.

Can We Test Better? is by Renee Moore.