67% of Children Left Behind
“A new study by researchers at Rice University and the University of Texas-Austin finds that Texas’ public school accountability system, the model for the national No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), directly contributes to lower graduation rates. Each year Texas public high schools lose at least 135,000 youth prior to graduation — a disproportionate number of whom are African-American, Latino and English-as-a-second-language (ESL) students.”
It gets worse. The link above is to a blog by Chad Orzel. Follow the link there to the report on the study.
A reminder from a practicing teacher that concept maps and other “non-traditional” techniques can help students learn. The exchange in the comments is as interesting as the post itself.
Euphemism and American Violence
An insightful article on words and politics and torture and the abdication of our democratic responsibility: “‘History begins today’ was a saying in the Bush White House on September 12, 2001—repeated with menace by Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage to the director of Pakistani intelligence Mahmoud Ahmad—a statement that on its face exhibits a totalitarian presumption. Yet nothing so much as language supplies our memory of things that came before today; and, to an astounding degree, the Bush and Cheney administration has succeeded in persuading the most powerful and (at one time) the best-informed country in the world that history began on September 12, 2001. The effect has been to tranquilize our self-doubts and externalize all the evils we dare to think of. In this sense, the changes of usage and the corruptions of sense that have followed the global war on terrorism are inseparable from the destructive acts of that war.”
Better than Free
Smart, provocative commentary about the internet and current society and what makes things valuable from some one who clearly spends way too much time online. Doesn’t change the power or the debatable nature of his observations.
Chris Jordan Photography
I once spent a lot of time making photographs of trash and other detritus of our culture. Jordan’s work has a more arranged quality to it (mine was more about what was found), but I like it.
SAT scores and book lists
Another take on book lists.
Why Math Matters
I get this question a lot—from students, from friends, from strangers. Dustin M. Wax provides a possible answer and I thought some of you might be interested. I think there are other answers, too, and they are almost always contextual. That is, I answer the question differently depending on to whom I’m speaking and in what situation. At what I think have been appropriate times, I have said that math doesn’t matter. Not very often.
Credit goes to Scottie and Mike M. for pointing me toward these links.