Tag Archives: Education

Racism and School Discipline

The most recent episode of the popular This American Life discussed racism in school discipline as well as rethinking school discipline generally. This story is one of the most interesting podcast I have heard in quite some time.

Here is a description from the This American Life website:

Stories of schools struggling with what to do with misbehaving kids. There’s no general agreement about what teachers should do to discipline kids. And there’s evidence that some of the most popular punishments actually may harm kids.

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Why Textbooks Cost So Much

Recently, the Planet Money podcast tackled a topic relevant to student: the increasing costs of textbooks.

Here is a description of the show from the NPR website:

Prices of new textbooks have been going up like crazy. Faster than clothing, food, cars, and even healthcare.

Listeners have been asking for years why textbooks are getting so expensive. On today’s show, we actually find an answer.

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Should We “Embrace The Common Core”?

That was the question being debated on the most recent episode on the Intelligence Squared podcast.

Moderated by ABC News’ John Donvan, the debate featured Carmel Marin (American Progress) and Michael Petrilli (Fordham Institute) who argued for the motion; and Carol Burris (South Side High School Principal) and Frederick Hess (American Enterprise Institute)who argued against the motion.

Here is description of the debate:

In K-12 education, there is nothing more controversial than the Common Core State Standards, national academic standards in English and math. Adopted by more than 40 states, they were developed, in part, to address concerns that American students were falling behind their foreign counterparts and graduating high school without the necessary skills for college and the workforce. But is this the reform we’ve been looking for? Has the federal government overreached and saddled our schools with standards that have been flawed from the start? Or will the Common Core raise the bar and improve the quality of our children’s education?

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The History of Education: Race, Gender and Standardized Testing

In a recent episode of NPR’s Fresh Air, Terry Gross interviewed Dana Goldstein author of the new book The Teacher Wars, a book which chronicle the American history of teachers, which the subtitle states is America’s Most Embattled Profession.  The book discusses how education in America intersects with race and gender as well as the controversial issues in modern education, including the role of standardized testing.  

 Here is a description an introduction to the interview from the NPR website:

As students return to school, the national dialogue on controversies surrounding teacher tenure, salaries, the core curriculum, testing and teacher competence will get more fervent.

In her new book, The Teacher Wars, Dana Goldstein writes about how teaching became “the most controversial profession in America,” and how teachers have become both “resented and idealized.”

In the New York Times, critic Alexander Nazaryan described the book as “meticulously fair and disarmingly balanced.” Although it’s largely a history, it also draws on Goldstein’s reporting on recent controversies surrounding teaching.

“One of the things I noticed, especially after the recession hit in 2008 and coming into President Obama’s administration, was we were having a big national conversation about inequality,” Goldstein tells Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross. “And teaching was something that was discussed again and again as a potential fix — a fix for inequality, something that could help poor children achieve like middle-class children and close these socioeconomic gaps that we’re so concerned about as a nation.”

For the book, Goldstein researched 200 years of teaching in America.

“What surprised me … was that we’ve always had these high expectations,” she says. “This idea that teachers have a role to play in fighting poverty and inequality has been with us since the early 19th century.”


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“More Clicks, Fewer Bricks: The Lecture Hall is Obsolete”

That was the proposition being debated on the Intelligence Squared podcast.

Moderated by ABC News’ John Donvan, the debate featured Anant Agarwa ( edX CEO & MIT Professor) and Ben Nelson (Founder and CEO of the Minerva Project) who argued for the motion; and Jonathan Cole (Provost and Dean Emeritus, Columbia University) and Rebecca Schuman (Columnist for Slate and Chronicle of Higher Education), who argued against the motion.

Here is description of the debate:

Is the college of the future online? With the popularity of MOOCs (massive open online courses) and the availability of online degree programs at a fraction of their on-campus price, we are experiencing an exciting experiment in higher education. Does the traditional classroom stand a chance? Will online education be the great equalizer, or is a campus-based college experience still necessary?

Brought to you in partnership with the Richard Paul Richman Center for Business, Law, and Public Policy, a joint venture of Columbia Business School and Columbia Law School. The Richman Center fosters dialogue and debate on emerging policy questions where business and markets intersect with the law.

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April 16, 2014 · 8:54 am

“Affirmative Action on Campus Does More Harm Than Good”

That was the proposition being debated on the Intelligence Squared podcast.

Moderated by ABC News’ John Donvan, the debate featured Gail Heriot (University of San Diego) and Richard Sander (UCLA School of Law) who argued for the motion; and Randall Kennedy (Harvard Law School) and Theodore Shaw (Columbia Law School), who argued against the motion.

Here is description of the debate:

Affirmative action, when used as a factor in college admissions, is meant to foster diversity and provide equal opportunities in education for underrepresented minorities. But is it achieving its stated goals and helping the population it was created to support? Its critics point to students struggling to keep up in schools mismatched to their abilities and to the fact that the policy can be manipulated to benefit affluent and middle class students who already possess many educational advantages. Is it time to overhaul or abolish affirmative action?

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April 2, 2014 · 8:04 pm

Reflections on Nelson Mandela and New York’s Core Curriculum

On the most recent episode of WCNY’s The Ivory Tower, CNY’s finest academics discussed the death of Nelson Mandela as well as New York State’s Core Curriculum public education standards. 

Hosted by David Rubin (Dean of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, this edition of The Ivory Tower featured a powerhouse panel including: Lisa Dolak (Syracuse University College of Law), Bob Greene (Cazenovia College), Tara Ross (Onondaga County Community College), and Kristi Andersen (Maxwell School of Syracuse University).

Here is a description of the program:

The panelists first offer some reflections on the passing of Nelson Mandela. Then they examine the controversial Core Curriculum in New York State that is meant to improve the quality of K-12 education. It has roiled parents and teachers considerably and forced the State Education Commissioner to defend it in public forums around the state.

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December 11, 2013 · 9:56 am