How Bill Gates pulled off the swift Common Core revolution Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates is taking heat from education groups, which say the Gates Foundation’s philanthropic support comes with strings attached. Here, he responds to his critics in an interview with The Washington Post’s Lyndsey Layton. Lyndsey Layton E-mail the writer The pair of education advocates had a big idea, a new approach to transform every public-school classroom in America. But that wasn’t enough. So they turned to the richest man in the world. On a summer day in 2008, Gene Wilhoit, director of a national group of state school chiefs, and David Coleman, an emerging evangelist for the standards movement, spent hours in Bill Gates’s sleek headquarters near Seattle, trying to persuade him and his wife, Melinda, to turn their idea into reality. The pair also argued that a fragmented education system stifled innovation because textbook publishers and software developers were catering to a large number of small markets instead of exploring breakthrough products. Jay P.
18 Things White People Should Know/Do Before Discussing Racism Discussions about racism should be all-inclusive and open to people of all skin colors. However, to put it simply, sometimes White people lack the experience or education that can provide a rudimentary foundation from which a productive conversation can be built. This is not necessarily the fault of the individual, but pervasive myths and misinformation have dominated mainstream racial discourse and often times, the important issues are never highlighted. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. About your neighborhood again: Displacing people of color much? 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18.
Apps That Rise to the Top: Tested and Approved By Teachers Michelle Luhtala/Edshelf With the thousands of educational apps vying for the attention of busy teachers, it can be hard to sift for the gold. Michelle Luhtala, a savvy librarian from New Canaan High School in Connecticut has crowd-sourced the best, most extensive list of apps voted on by educators around the country. “I wanted to make sure we had some flexibility because there’s no one app that’s better than all the others,” Luhtala said. Some apps are best for younger students, others are more complicated, better suited for high school students. 30Hands allows a user to make pictures, annotate them, record a voice explainer and then packages it all into a video. Adobe Voice is a recently released education product from Adobe that allows students to narrate a story over an array of digital images. Book Creator is only available for iPads, allowing kids to easily create their own iBook by importing images, multimedia, text, and audio. Koma Koma is a simple stop-motion animation tool.
5 Tips for Avoiding Teacher Burnout I've read a lot of articles about preventing teacher burnout, so a new list is probably not that unique. However, as I reflected on what causes burnout, on times when I came pretty close to feeling burnout, and on times when I watched my colleagues burn out around me, I realized that many internal and external factors can lead to teacher burnout -- some that teachers themselves can control and some that they can't. Here are five big factors that play a part in teacher burnout, along with tips on how to prevent these factors from burning you out. 1) Maintain Your "Other" Life It's OK if teaching is your life as long as you have a life outside of your classroom. I see this a lot in new teachers, especially if they are in their early 20s and just starting out. 2) Be a Stakeholder When Changes Are Made Too much change stretches teachers thin and leads to burnout. 3) Find Lessons and Opportunities in Everything 4) Nurture Peer Connections 5) Keep It Light
15 Charts That Prove We're Far From Post-Racial On July 2, 1964, the Civil Rights Act was signed into law, officially banning discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. It also ended racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and in general public facilities. Fifty years removed from that milestone, it's apparently easy to think that we're over racism. Here are 15 facts that prove that's not the case. 1) Affluent blacks and Hispanics still live in poorer neighborhoods than whites with working class incomes. An analysis of census data conducted by researchers at Brown University found that income isn't the main driving factor in the segregation of U.S. cities. "We cannot escape the conclusion that more is at work here than simple market processes that place people according to their means," their report stated. 2) There's a big disparity in wealth between white Americans and non-white Americans. Much has been written explaining that the racial wealth gap didn't come about by accident.
To Foster Productivity and Creativity in Class, Ditch the Desks! By Leslie Harris O’Hanlon When elementary school teacher Erin Klein sat in one of her students’ desks last year, she noticed a few things about her classroom space. For one, the room itself was long and narrow, and the space was awkward. Large, clunky student desks crowded the classroom. “The desks didn’t allow for much collaboration or comfort,” said Klein, who teaches at an independent elementary school in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. What she wanted was a classroom where students could move around freely, sit comfortably, and work together. “So I decided that the desks were in our way,” she said. That thought led her to start the process of redesigning her room last school year to make it a more inviting space for her students. Research supports the link between classroom space and student learning, Klein said, including work done by Susan Kovalik at The Center for Effective Learning. But there’s one important factor to consider: Get input from your customers — the students.
Ten Documentaries On Champions of Social Justice Social activism has always been a popular subject for documentarians because it presents stories of both cause and characters. The 10 powerful films below are not a complete list of films about social activists, but certainly proof enough that social change is possible, even under the most challenging conditions. Feel free to suggest your own films in the comments below. Freedom Riders (2011) Stanley Nelson’s film about the Freedom Riders, a group of more that 400 black and white civil rights activists who rode together on buses and trains through the Deep South in 1961, violating Jim Crow laws. The Lord Is Not On Trial Here Today (2011) The story of Vashti McCollum, a young housewife from central Illinois who filed a lawsuit that led to the U.S. The Interrupters (2011) Steve James and Alex Kotlowitz’s film about former gang members in Chicago working to stop the kind of violence they once perpetrated.
Diversity in young adult literature: Where's the 'Mexican Katniss'? CNN Living asked writers and YA watchers what changes they'd like to see in young adult fiction. "I hope more commercial books feature more characters of color. That would change the game. "I would like to see other socio-economical classes being represented," said Eric Gansworth, author of "If I Ever Get Out of Here." "I would like to see the best fiction from as many diverse voices as possible," said Walter Dean Myers, author of "Hoops" and "Fallen Angels." "I would like to have more people of color authors published, and more characters of color in young adult lit that are main characters," said Cindy Pon, co-founder of Diversity in YA. "With YA, you can make real, significant, social change," said Sherman Alexie, author of "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian." "We (publishers and editors) want to keep hearing more and more voices," editor Cheryl Klein said. "Reading these books shouldn't feel like taking your medicine," said J.C. What do authors want from YA?
Reddit Users Can’t Deal With a Black Kid Getting Into All 8 Ivy League Schools Updated 04/01/2014, 06:56PM A black high school student gets admitted into all eight Ivy League schools. That’s not the premise of a joke. It’s the latest news story to have fanned the racist fire among Reddit users. Kwasi Enin, a 17-year-old from Shirley, N.Y., was accepted into Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, Brown, Dartmouth, Penn, and Cornell (yes, it turns out that Cornell, despite being part state school, still counts as an Ivy). There are many reasons why Enin got into all eight schools. On Monday, the aforementioned USA Today story was submitted to Reddit’s /r/news. Harilesswalkingchimp (It’s worth noting that out of more than 1,200 comments, this is the most popular one in terms of upvotes received. ): I’m gonna get real with you reddit, no matter how pissed this makes you it doesn’t change the fact that he would not have had this absurd success if he was a white kid. Sygaldry: “I'm Asian. Rodoshi: "Seriously? So what’s the takeaway from this awful Reddit exchange?
Teaching tolerance: How white parents should talk to their kids about race. Photo by Purestock/Thinkstock Last summer, my family moved from Brooklyn to a small town in the Hudson Valley. We love our new life, but one thing about the community is not so great: It’s predominantly white. What will it mean in the long run if my white children don’t see and befriend people who come from different racial backgrounds? And are there steps I can take to instill racial sensitivity and acceptance in my kids despite the fact that they’re growing up in an ethnic bubble? To find out, I dug into research on the causes of racial bias and talked to developmental and social psychologists, race-relations researchers, and Africologists. First, a caveat: I’m writing this article as a white parent with white kids living in a mostly white neighborhood. Why? This theory makes sense. Why does this happen? Other aspects of psychology come into play to promote racial biases, too. But how should white parents talk about race with their kids? You know what else helps?
Black Children Face The Most Barriers To Success In America, Asians The Least From birth, the average black child in America is at a relative disadvantage, according to an Annie E. Casey Foundation study released Tuesday. While more than 92 percent of white, Latino, American-Indian and Asian and Pacific Islander babies are born at normal birth weight, that number for African-Americans only reaches into the high-80s. The pattern of disadvantage for black children continues into elementary school and through high school in the form of standardized testing scores and high school graduation rates. Only 66 percent of African-Americans graduate from high school on time, while more than 90 percent of Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders do. As America becomes increasingly diverse, the Casey Foundation report looked at how five racial groups fare against a dozen milestones in stages of life from birth to adulthood, including the number of eighth-graders with math proficiency and the number of young adults who are in school or working.
American Schools Are STILL Racist, Government Report Finds Public school students of color get more punishment and less access to veteran teachers than their white peers, according to surveys released Friday by the U.S. Education Department that include data from every U.S. school district. Black students are suspended or expelled at triple the rate of their white peers, according to the U.S. Education Department's 2011-2012 Civil Rights Data Collection, a survey conducted every two years. At the same time, minority students have less access to experienced teachers. Such discrimination lowers academic performance for minority students and puts them at greater risk of dropping out of school, according to previous research. "This data collection shines a clear, unbiased light on places that are delivering on the promise of an equal education for every child and places where the largest gaps remain," U.S. Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder plan to announce the survey results on Friday.
Why Can’t We Talk About Race? Last November Shannon Gibney, a professor of English and African-diaspora studies at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, was formally reprimanded for making three white male students in her class uncomfortable during a conversation about contemporary instances of structural racism. Reportedly, one of those students broke into Gibney’s lecture to ask why white men were always portrayed as “the bad guys.” Gibney says she asked them not to interrupt her lecture and pointed out that she never said white men were at fault. But the exchanges continued, and she eventually told the three students that they were free to leave the class and file a complaint if they were uncomfortable. They did, and the reprimand was the result. When I heard Professor Gibney’s story, I couldn’t help remembering an incident that happened to me in the office of an African-American studies department some years ago. What I learned from that experience is something I also recognize in Gibney’s reprimand.
28 Books That Affirm Black Boys | Baby & Blog I love reading all kinds of stories to my children, but I especially love reading books that feature African American characters, because I know that it affirms them. I previously wrote about books that affirm African American girls that I love to read to my daughter. Now, I would like to share some books that I have read to my son that he really enjoys, as well as books that I plan on reading with him as he gets older. These books feature African American boys as the main character, and include some historical figures, but mainly are stories about every day happenings that boys are sure to enjoy! Preschool age group (2-5): Daddy Calls Me Man by Angela JohnsonBippity Bop Barbershop by Natasha Anastasia TarpleyPeter’s Chair by Ezra Jack KeatsWhose Knees are These? Age 4-7 Age 8-12 Barber Game Time Books by Tiki and Ronde BarberStatic Shock series- chapter books by Tracey West. Ladies, what books would you add to this list?