Teachers have the potential to dramatically accelerate the learning of their students – with the average student taught by a top 25% teacher (top quartile in terms of value-added) gaining half a year more of learning in English-Language Arts and four months in math than a student placed with a teacher in the bottom 25% (bottom quartile).
Doing the quick math – through the course of K-12, those taught by highly effective teachers end up with an additional 4 years of knowledge.
Commonly used measures of teacher quality, such as years of experience, are poor predictors of effectiveness in the classroom.
kids should not grow up being mystified by computers.
“At one point, there was a growing realization that people needed to learn how to write as well as read,” Resnick said. “They needed to be able to express themselves as well as understand how other people expressed themselves. Now it’s the same with new media. It’s not enough to be able to interact with new technologies; you have to be able to create with new technologies.”
What is particularly remarkable about these projects is that every student in the public school district takes this class. The projects are not just made by students who are already predisposed to computers – the “wanna-be computer geeks.” [...] This is a case of everyone learning programming in school, not the select few who know that they want to and can afford to take an expensive computer camp.
These students may not choose to be computer scientists, but they have learned computational thinking, an important digital-age skill. They will be able to use these skills to solve problems in a wide range of fields in the future.
Computer literacy is the single most critical skill anyone can learn from this point forward. It is part logical, part creative, part math, and part whimsy – It is both hands-on and philosophical all at the same time… If you learn only one thing, learn to program.
“Whoever holds the keys to programming, end up building the reality in which the rest of us live.”
Sometimes viewed as a snarky comment by students, the question deserves real answers – What is the point of school?
We need schools that recognize failure as being as much a matter ;of how well one fits into a prescribed system than how well one understands, well, much of anything really.
And kids know we are blowing smoke when we give lip-service to how everyone should think outside-the-box and then we hand them a box and tell them that everything they’ve learned should fit back into it. And when they leave things outside-the-box we define them as failures.
Channeling Dr. King, this might be Secretary Duncan’s version of that famous speech: “I have a dream that all children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin or the content of their character but by their scores on standardized tests.”
In the past, you had to go to school because the knowledge was stored there. Today, information is everywhere, 24/7, which means that kids need to learn how to formulate questions so they can turn that flood of information into knowledge. But most of our schools are ‘answer factories’ that offer ‘regurgitation education.’
Merrow rightly points out that the web-ly world is a sticky charlatan.
Young minds need guidance in this always connected community. They need some web-iquette, the modern day equivalent to not taking candy from a stranger and keeping their elbows off the table.
…this Administration, like the one before it, simply does not have a powerful vision of what genuine education might be. Full of the same hubris that led to No Child Left Behind, it believes in technical solutions.
Yea! shiny and new… No wonder the new teacher dropout rate of 50% is higher than the already sickeningly high dropout rate of students.
It’s the forest, it’s always been the forest. So simple. So profound. We may not have know, but this is what we were looking for :
Visionary headmaster Dominic Randolph and David Levin are prodding at our paradigm for education. Their vetoing homework and advanced placement classes and claiming IQ is BS and doesn’t predict success. All in favor of — Character.
“Strangely, we’ve now forgotten that. People who have an easy time of things, who get 800s on their SAT’s, I worry that those people get feedback that everything they’re doing is great. And I think as a result, we are actually setting them up for long-term failure. When that person suddenly has to face up to a difficult moment, then I think they’re screwed, to be honest. I don’t think they’ve grown the capacities to be able to handle that.”
cultivating these strengths represented a reliable path to “the good life,” a life that was not just happy but also meaningful and fulfilling.
Coupled with the help and ideas of Seligman and Duckworth, they established their core values.
People who accomplished great things, [Duckworth] noticed, often combined a passion for a single mission with an unswerving dedication to achieve that mission, whatever the obstacles and however long it might take. She decided she needed to name this quality, and she chose the word “grit.”
After a few small adjustments (Levin and Randolph opted to drop love in favor of curiosity), they settled on a final list: zest, grit, self-control, social intelligence, gratitude, optimism and curiosity.
For Levin, the next step was clear. Wouldn’t it be cool, he mused, if each student graduated from school with not only a G.P.A. but also a C.P.A., for character-point average? If you were a college-admissions director or a corporate human-resources manager selecting entry-level employees, wouldn’t you like to know which ones scored highest in grit or optimism or zest? And if you were a parent of a KIPP student, wouldn’t you want to know how your son or daughter stacked up next to the rest of the class in character as well as in reading ability? As soon as he got the final list of indicators from Duckworth and Peterson, Levin started working to turn it into a specific, concise assessment that he could hand out to students and parents at KIPP’s New York City schools twice a year: the first-ever character report card.
Perhaps we now “… live in a nation where [we] will not be judged by the color of [our] skin, but by the content of [our] character.
As Fierst put it: “Our kids don’t put up with a lot of suffering. They don’t have a threshold for it. They’re protected against it quite a bit. And when they do get uncomfortable, we hear from their parents. We try to talk to parents about having to sort of make it O.K. for there to be challenge, because that’s where learning happens.”
Overindulging kids, with the intention of giving them everything and being loving, but at the expense of their character — that’s huge in our population.
If your premise is that your students are lacking in deep traits like grit and gratitude and self-control, you’re implicitly criticizing the parenting they’ve received
… but their not entirely to blame – They themselves have never been ‘taught’ these things… The chain has to start somewhere.
“The idea of building grit and building self-control is that you get that through failure,” Randolph explained. “And in most highly academic environments in the United States, no one fails anything.”
Failure is an option, and it is backed by Coolidge’s claim that education, genius, and talent are no substitute for pure persistence and determination.
The one-teacher-in-one-classroom model that most schools still use is based on an old set of turn-of-the 20th century assumptions that focused on factories and efficiency.
Teaching, however, is a human enterprise and teachers need feedback from knowledgeable others to improve their own skills and to expand their ability to assess what the children in their classrooms need in order to reach higher standards.
Developing key partnerships with Government and Industry; bringing jobs back; and training workers for high-wage, high-skill fields – sounds like great rhetoric.
states would be eligible for funding to support bonus programs for training programs whose graduates earn a credential and find quality jobs shortly after finishing the program.
Novel idea. Actually preparing young people to be productive members of society vs. taking their money and bankrupting their futures.
The Community College to Career Fund will allow federal agencies to partner with state and local governments to encourage businesses to invest in America.
Also, sounds like good idea… also, sounds apt for abuse.
a six-week online training course on entrepreneurship that could reach up to 500,000 new entrepreneurs and an intensive six-month entrepreneurship training program resulting in entrepreneurship certification for 100,000 small business owners.
I’ve always been under the impression that starting your own businss is the best business school you can attend… Nonetheless, I applaud the intention.