Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What a d*ck.

This guy needs to get over himself.


Monday, November 15, 2010

A great HBO documentary about a Southern Town and its first integrated prom.

In 1997, Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman offered to pay for the senior prom at Charleston High School in Mississippi under one condition: the prom had to be racially integrated. His offer was ignored. In 2008, Freeman offered again. This time the school board accepted, and history was made. Charleston High School had its first-ever integrated prom - in 2008. Until then, blacks and whites had had separate proms even though their classrooms have been integrated for decades. Canadian filmmaker Paul Saltzman follows students, teachers and parents in the lead-up to the big day. This seemingly inconsequential rite of passage suddenly becomes profound as the weight of history falls on teenage shoulders. We quickly learn that change does not come easily in this sleepy Delta town. Freeman's generosity fans the flames of racism - and racism in Charleston has a distinctly generational tinge. Some white parents forbid their children to attend the integrated prom and hold a separate white-only dance. "Billy Joe," an enlightened white senior, appears on camera in shadow, fearing his racist parents will disown him if they know his true feelings. PROM NIGHT IN MISSISSIPPI captures a big moment in a small town, where hope finally blossoms in black, white and a whole lot of taffeta.


Click on the link below. Just click on it and be astounded. (via Gawker)

Openly Gay Student Defends Teacher at School Board Meeting
Jay McDowell, a high school teacher in Howell, Michigan, was suspended last month for disciplining an anti-gay student. At a recent school board meeting, openly gay 14-year-old Graeme Taylor came to McDowell's defense with an incredibly articulate/inspiring speech. Watch inside.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Rich, Black, Flunking - from the East Bay Express direct link below

Cal Professor John Ogbu thinks he knows why rich black kids are failing in school. Nobody wants to hear it.

By Susan Goldsmith
The black parents wanted an explanation. Doctors, lawyers, judges, and insurance brokers, many had come to the upscale Cleveland suburb of Shaker Heights specifically because of its stellar school district. They expected their children to succeed academically, but most were performing poorly. African-American students were lagging far behind their white classmates in every measure of academic success: grade-point average, standardized test scores, and enrollment in advanced-placement courses. On average, black students earned a 1.9 GPA while their white counterparts held down an average of 3.45. Other indicators were equally dismal. It made no sense.

When these depressing statistics were published in a high school newspaper in mid-1997, black parents were troubled by the news and upset that the newspaper had exposed the problem in such a public way. Seeking guidance, one parent called a prominent authority on minority academic achievement.

UC Berkeley Anthropology Professor John Ogbu had spent decades studying how the members of different ethnic groups perform academically. He'd studied student coping strategies at inner-city schools in Washington, DC. He'd looked at African Americans and Latinos in Oakland and Stockton and examined how they compare to racial and ethnic minorities in India, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, and Britain. His research often focused on why some groups are more successful than others.

But Ogbu couldn't help his caller. He explained that he was a researcher -- not an educator -- and that he had no ideas about how to increase the academic performance of students in a district he hadn't yet studied. A few weeks later, he got his chance. A group of parents hungry for solutions convinced the school district to join with them and formally invite the black anthropologist to visit Shaker Heights. Their discussions prompted Ogbu to propose a research project to figure out just what was happening. The district agreed to finance the study, and parents offered him unlimited access to their children and their homes.

The professor and his research assistant moved to Shaker Heights for nine months in mid-1997. They reviewed data and test scores. The team observed 110 different classes, from kindergarten all the way through high school. They conducted exhaustive interviews with school personnel, black parents, and students. Their project yielded an unexpected conclusion: It wasn't socioeconomics, school funding, or racism, that accounted for the students' poor academic performance; it was their own attitudes, and those of their parents.
article continues


Kids studying the same thing for 12 years? direct link to WaPost article below...

Want smarter kids? Make them study something - one thing - for a long time.

By Kate Julian
Sunday, November 7, 2010; 12:00 AM

Into the rancorous wars over school reform steps Kieran Egan, who wants to make students experts on beetles. Or tea. Or dust.

His idea goes like this: Assign each student a single, specific topic, which he or she will study over and over again, from every possible angle, from early elementary school through high school. Egan, a professor of education at Canada's Simon Fraser University, hopes that by the time such students finish high school, they will be world-class experts on their topics - as well as more effective citizens and better people.

"People who know nothing in depth commonly assume that their opinions are the same kind of thing as knowledge," Egan writes in his forthcoming book "Learning In Depth: A Simple Innovation That Can Transform Schooling," which will be available in January. He also contends that "a central feature of becoming a moral person is to learn to become engaged with something outside the self."

Egan knows that his proposal could be a tough sell. He spends a third of the book heading off obvious criticisms, chief among them the threat of boredom - or, as Egan puts it, the specter of "little Nathan howling in misery because he has just been told he has to study dust for the next twelve years."

Egan, wisely, doesn't start with dust. He begins with apples. He imagines a young student first drawing apples, then cataloging apple varieties, and later collecting stories about apples (from the Garden of Eden and Johnny Appleseed to William Tell and Isaac Newton) and figuring out why apples float.

Dust, meanwhile, could take a student from house dust to the Dust Bowl, from the origins of the color khaki ("khaki" is Urdu for "dust"; how it came to refer to a color is a long story involving British camouflage uniforms and Afghanistan) to the origins of the planet.

Egan thinks his plan has the potential to cross the usual school reform battle lines: Those with more traditional views on education will like it because it emphasizes in-depth mastery; progressives will like the idea of letting students learn at their own pace, according to their own style.

In the past few years, Egan has sold a number of educators on his plan, starting in British Columbia and now extending to classrooms in the United States, Australia, Japan, England, New Zealand, Romania, Greece and Iran. All in all, a couple of thousand Egan-inspired students are busy becoming experts.

"The doubts that some expressed that students would get bored with a single topic . . . seem to have been disconfirmed," he wrote in an e-mail. "No child, apparently, has asked to drop out or change topics, [and] the students seem to be finding it their favorite activity in schools."

But what about parents? Won't they recoil at the prospect of having to listen to their child talk about dust for 12 long years? Egan says no: "Parents are often the most enthusiastic supporters of the program."

At least they are now. Check back in 12 years.


Tuesday, November 09, 2010

leave us little one and be free...

From Blogger Pictures


Monday, November 08, 2010

opus - how we miss you...

Picture of manboob


Homework helpers... direct link below

Like a Monitor More Than a Tutor
Published: November 7, 2010
Homework helpers are part of a growing niche industry. But educators wonder if this is another facet of “helicopter parenting.”


Gov. Christie tells Trenton teens teachers union is to blame for lack of school supplies, aid cuts - direct link below

blaming the teachers...