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9 Upsetting Education News Items

06/12/2017   |   1 Comment

Charters and private school vouchers continue taking center stage, along with the Common Core and all the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) state proposals now in the hands of the U.S. Department of Education. At the same time, tech keeps increasing its domination over instruction and our children’s bingeing on social media is, in all-too-many cases, ending in depression and suicide.

And it just keeps going from there:

  1. Taxpayer-funded Brooklyn College says its students “get triggered” by police on campus and wants them to only use distant, poorly maintained bathrooms. Meanwhile, a petition is now calling for the removal of all police from the campus.
  2. The Penn State frat boys who gave a pledge at least 18 drinks in less than 90 minutes and then tried to delete the video evidence. In all, 26 now face charges in Tim Piazza’s death.
  3. At least 45 Harrisburg, Pennsylvania teachers resigned between July and October and more did so since October. The reason: student violence.
  4. Baltimore teachers protested a lack of discipline in some schools, thus putting them in harm’s way.
  5. On state tests, 33% of Baltimore’s high schools had NOT ONE student scoring proficient in math, and 6 had just 1% in that range.
  6. 19 of NYC Mayor DeBlasio’s $582 million Renewal Program’s 28 schools missed their target graduation rates, and saw 6 of them fall.
  7.  Called “digital self-harm,” about 6% of our 12- through 1-year-olds have bullied themselves online; these children are 12 times more likely to have been cyberbullied at some point.
  8.  The U.S. Department of Education is warning parents and teen to carefully consider the data they give to schools, as criminals are threatening to do violence and to do release sensitive school records.
  9. BrainCo has no invented a headset that measures a student’s brain’s activity an transmits the information instantly to the teacher.

And so it goes…

Picting: The New Literacy Amid Declining Writing & Reading Skills

16/11/2017   |   1 Comment

Carol-Josel-appleIn this era of selfies and emojis, it’s no surprise that, in a recent article, veteran elementary/middle school teacher Chrissy Romano-Arrabito says that picting–using images in place of text to convey thoughts and ideas–“is becoming the norm among today’s digital-first students.” And that, she posits, might just be a new literacy

With no mention of the ongoing decline in reading and writing skills, she continues with such facts as:

  1. Snapshot allows its more than 173 million daily users capture video and pictures that vanish in a few seconds.
  2. Social networking Instagram enjoys more than 400 million daily users all  with the ability to share both photos and videos.
  3. YouTube boasts over 5 billion videos.
  4. 75% of tweens & teens engage in social media like those above, Facebook and Twitter, too

Meanwhile, though 90% of classroom time remains text-based, 90% of non-school time is spent with image-based materials via such sites as those above.

The result: The National Center for Education Statistics finds that SAT mean scores in writing dropped from Read the rest of this entry »