Thursday, April 21, 2011


"Teachers Aren't the Enemy" by Pedro Noguera and Michelle Fine
The Nation
May 9, 2011

Summary/Key Points: Noguera and Fine give a strong, bipartisan rundown of recent events in both the teacher-bashing and teacher-lauding trends. They mention the last-in-first-out policy, recent developments from the Hill and its policymakers, and discuss some specific local teacher-friendly events. One particularly alarming piece of polemic comes from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who has invoked the historically-weighted term "final solution" when talking about his plan for education, after "slash[ing] school aid by $1.2 billion."

Intended Audience: general public

Relevance: The Nation is a fun journal-- not really particularly left-leaning or right-leaning, they are just strongly against obviously broken systems and terrible ideas, and both the democrats and republicans are offering up a lot that fits within that criteria right now. Anyway! It is good to keep on top of current events in education, and summary articles like this that both lambast and uphold are valuable condensations.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Eminently Reasonable Ruling from District Court

"Bands Promote Awareness, and Giggles, but Aren't Lewd," by Sarah Wheaton
New York Times online

Summary/Key Points: The goofy "I ♥ Boobies" silicone bracelets that have been the thing with middle and high school students for the last few months have riled up stuffy administrators and teachers who are uncomfortable with anything and everything that might be interpreted as having even a tangential relation to sex. The ruling in this case was in favor of the student, who challenged the school on free speech grounds after they punished her with in-school suspension for wearing the bracelet the day after the school banned them. The judge ruled that they were a venue to raise awareness about breast cancer, and "reduce stigma associated with openly discussing breast health."

Intended Audience: general public

Relevance: Part of the Protecting Student and Civil Rights... exam is a handful of questions about court rulings for students, and for administrators, in cases like this. Hopefully this will provide an interesting, recent example for ORELA to include on their test! It's also interesting to keep an eye on things that could be issues as we go into our schools; my school is pretty relaxed and doesn't care too much about these bracelets, and I make it a point to never tell a student to turn them around, like some teachers do. And of course, it's a good free-speech ruling: the idea that these could be anything more than the most minor of distractions reveals more about teachers' poor ability to handle their classrooms than it does about the judgment of students.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Return to Tradition

新学期まで「寺小屋」授業再開を待つ被災地で ("A Report From the Disaster Zone: 'Terakoya' Until the New Semester Starts"), 4/15/2011

Summary and Key Points: The word 寺小屋 (terakoya) caught my eye when I was browsing headlines. These "temple schools" were some of the first public education in Japan available to those outside of the rich and ruling families. Wikipedia has a solid article about them. Students at this one demolished area are participating in an impromptu version of a terakoya; it is more likely at a community center or auditorium than at a temple, but the point is that they are making a school out of whatever building is available. The article mentions them getting back to their regular curriculum: math, language arts, and PE. The students also took a field trip that has a whole new feeling to it; they walked the mountain road designated as the evacuation route in case of tsunami. Some of them mention not even knowing that it existed.

Intended Audience: general public

Relevance: Again, kind of a personal indulgence article here! It gives me more ideas about what I might pursue for my short research project grant next summer. I think it would be really interesting to continue to follow the development of impromptu schools, and see if they end up spawning a new option for Japanese students, sort of like charter schools over here. Or maybe they will end up withering as soon as regular facilities are reestablished and students can attend their big schools again.

As a cog in the public education system, it is interesting to see just how defining it is to the lives of young people. It is everything they do, more or less, so it makes sense to get them back to it as quickly as possible. Surely it is more interesting than sitting around the shelter playing videogames (ha!).

Teaching the Environment

"Our Climate Crisis Is an Education Crisis," by the editors of Rethinking Schools
Rethinking Schools, Spring 2011

Summary and Key Points: This is a rather, hrm... loud article, but by now we are used to this tone from Rethinking Schools. Dial it back, soften it a bit in your head, and look for the key points; that is the technique that I have found works best for me, when the rhetoric just gets too shrill. Anyway! The editors give a brief summary and accounting of global climate change and the things contributing to it. More interestingly, they tie this issue to education: what are the roles of teachers in teaching about this (regardless of your beliefs about its validity) enormously important issue? Which teachers are in particularly effective positions to teach about it? And the biggie: if no one is teaching about it, what will the next generation be doing about it?

Their proposals range from the immediate ("give children a sense of place—to invite children to braid their identities together with the place where they live by calling their attention to the air, the sky, the cracks in the sidewalk where the earth busts out of its cement cage") to the broad (textbook boycotts), but they do indeed offer specific advice. And the article acts as a preamble to this issue of RS, which focuses on environmental issues and the teaching of them.

Intended Audience: educators, general public

Relevance: I am an educator and an environmentalist. As a language teacher, people might see it as a stretch to integrate environmental issues into my classroom. However, the newest vogue in language teaching is "content-based instruction," which suggests that the best language learning is done in the context of learning real materials in the target language. Instead of sitting and reviewing verb forms in the contextless vacuum of the classroom, students say "the earth warms up" and "weather is warm" and "yesterday was warm."

As an environmentalist, I appreciate the efforts of the editors of RS to help educators bring these important issues into the classroom, contextualizing them for the social studies classroom, the art classroom, the LA classroom... Anything that we can teach about that is of actual relevance to students, whether to their daily lives or to the future they will live in, is, in my opinion, of the utmost worth.

Battle of the Books!

"Brains and Books team up at the Oregon Battle of the Books state finals," by Matt Buxton
Oregon Live from The Oregonian

Summary and Key Points: The Battle of the Books finale event was fought out at CCC in Salem recently. This event (for which our school started reading and forming teams back in November, I think) is an exciting way to get kids reading-- and reading critically, for a deep understanding of the content. In fact, that is what the Battle is about: students are quizzed on not just greater themes, but also on small details from the books from their age group.

Intended Audience: general public

Relevance: As a language arts teacher, I am excited about anything that promotes reading-- and all the more so if some group has already chosen half a dozen age-leveled, recent books for the purpose! Making things competitive is always a good engagement technique, and the fact that this is an actual competition with participation from all over the state gives the kids who might not be inclined to sports competition a venue to feel the thrill of competition (although I should say that our star soccer player was also on a district-winning team this year!).

As a reader and lover of all books, I snagged the high school reading list to add to my own personal summer reading list. It will be beneficial both for maintaining that crucial "withit-ness," and also just to see what sort of level is deemed appropriate for highschoolers these days.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Run. Just Do It.

Casey Parks
Teacher at Hillsboro’s Liberty High inspires unlikely athletes to excel in Liberty Fit running club
Retrieved 4/18/2011
Topic: Student fitness

Laurie Jenkins, health teacher and leader of Liberty High’s Liberty Fit, inspires and pushes students who don’t normally exercise to train for the Helvetia Half Marathon in June. Students are training for the 13 mile run with the help from a few running techniques, and motivation provided by Jenkins

Key points: teacher is doing a good job in motivating students to run, providing them a goal of 13 miles, offering different options of participation

Relevance: It is neat that this health teacher is getting students involved in running. I think many students would rather lift weights than to go running. Getting students involved in a group activity, and providing a goal is a great way to motivate exercise.

High-performing teachers get more money

Betsy Hammond
Feds insist on giving Oregon millions more to pay for high-performing teachers
Topic: Teacher salaries

A group called the Chalkboard Project was awarded $13 million to improve the quality of teacher for a few Oregon school districts. Federals have urged the group to apply for more money, and the group gained another $11 million to pay for high-performing educators.

Key point: each school district will design their own way of determining who qualifies as high-performing teacher,

Relevance: There is financial hope! (if you are deemed worthy of being a good teacher). What does high-performance mean? Teacher’s who get their student’s to score high on tests? Does that really mean they are worthy of the bonus? Sounds to me like this might cause more damage than good. But we shall see…

Sink or Swim

Wendy Owen
Intel surprises Beaverton and Hillsboro schools with influx of Israeli families
Topic: student influx

Intel has brought around 300 Israeli families as part of a training program to their campus, adding around 400 children to the area. Children are flooding the Beaverton and Hillsboro schools, and with little warning, teachers and administrators are scrambling to accommodate these kids into classes and with supplies. Intended audience: Beaverton and Hillsboro area parents and students

Key points: Intel is offering no amount of funding for the lack of supplies; schools are trying to figure out ESL classes for the kids,

Relevance: We were discussing the pros and cons of a track program and full immersion program for students who do not speak English. I feel like many of these students feel like they are being fully immersed in English speaking culture, it is time for sink or swim right? I am curious how this all turns out…

No test left behind

"School Daze" by Jon Carroll
Monday, March 14, 2011 in the San Francisco Chronicle

In South Carolina, 80% of students failed to achieve proficiency scores on state-mandated tests. Solution? Lower the proficiency standards on state-madated tests. 80,000 of the country's 100,000 public schools will more than likely be labeled "failing" after the next round of madatory state benchmark tests.

As Sam Dillon put it in the New York Times: "Critics of the law say it is a bit like requiring all city police forces to end certain crimes - like burglary and drug trafficking - by 2014. They have also long predicted that the law will, over time, determine that all but a handful of schools are failing - a label that would demoralize educators, lower property values and mislead parents about the instructional climates in their schools."

The writer contends that more than likely these tests are ill-conceived, poorly thought out and of course really don't tell us what they claim to be telling us: is a child proficient in a subject? We have heard it many times before, but it appears many legislators have declared war on public schools in general and teachers specifically.

With increased class sizes, higher standards on tests and fewer teachers theing should get real interesting in the next few years. This will no doubt affect us all. Let's hope this signals a rallying cry, the writer states, that says "down with no child left behind."

Upward Bound soon to be outward bound

"Upward Bound facing eviction from USF," by Nanette Asimov
April 15, 2011 in the San Francisco Chronicle

Over a hundred protesters took to the streets to express their concern and anger over the Universtiy of San Francisco's decision to evict Upward Bound from campus. The university says they need more room for student housing and must remove nine programs, including Outward Bound. The program, which has been on campus for 45 years helps 180 youth in tutoring, summer school and college prep programs.

"They claim to be a Jesuit institution that cares, but they have demonstrated that they couldn't care less about poor people, black people and brown people," the Rev. Amos Brown, president of the San Francisco NAACP, told about 100 students, faculty and clergy rallying on Turk Street in front of USF this week. The problem, protesters claim, is that unlike the other nine programs, Upward Bound relies on USF for its federal grant application, which means, in essence, if they are kicked off the university's premises they will not receive federal money.

Upward Bound proponents say that enrollment in the program doubles the liklihood of youth entering and finishing a four-year degree program. They can't understand why a university who's mission identifies social responsibility and servicde as its core would choose to end its long relationship with program.

This story is a bit upsetting for anyone who has participated in programs like Upward Bound becasue they seem to have a good trach record in helping youth get out of trouble, stay out of trouble and do better in school. Negotiations with the school are ongoing in an attempt to reverse the decision by USF.

Resistance to Test-Based School Reform is Growing

Valerie Strauss
"Resistance to Test-Based School Reform is Growing"
The Washington Post - "The Answer Sheet" Column
April 18, 2011

Ms. Strauss documents protests by teachers and students that are occurring across the nation regarding standardized testing and other school reform ideas.  The protests started locally, but are starting to go national with Facebook groups, blogs, parent groups and teachers possibly coming together in a march on Washington D.C. on July 28-31.

In North Carolina the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school districts tested 52 new standardized tests and possibly adding more tests next year.  The Los Angeles School District will be implementing value-added tests that will be used to rate teachers.  President Obama has spoken out against more testing ,but ironically his proposals have increased testing.  Opponents state these tests do not adequately measure kids' learning, do not prove how good or not good teachers are and are a waste of money and time for the school kids and teachers.  Teachers have also been motivated by Diane Ravitch's book stating at one time she favored the No Child Left Behind program, but now shows it does not work

This is another article on how the public debate can be changed in favor of teachers, kids and schools and against standardized testing, poorly planned school reform and attacks against teachers.  Anybody want to go to the Washington D.C. march in July?!

Public Education Hijacked by Privileged Elites

In Public School Efforts, a Common Background: Private EducationBy MICHAEL WINERIP
New York Times
Published: April 17, 2011

Summary: There is one thing that characterizes a surprisingly large number of the people who are transforming public schools: they attended private schools.

Does a private school background give them a much-needed distance and fresh perspective to better critique and remake traditional public schools? Does it make them distrust public schools — or even worse — poison their perception of them? Or does it make any difference?

Presents a "Who's Who" list of education reformers and the elite private school they attended.

Audience: General public.

Key Points: When President Bush signed the No Child Left Behind legislation, he expressed his hope that it would combat the “soft bigotry of low expectations.” Indeed, the law could not have higher expectations: every child in the nation is required to be proficient in math and English by 2014. Schools that do not meet their proficiency goals, which are raised every year, are labeled as failing.

Last month, Mr. Duncan predicted that by the end of this year, 82 percent of schools will miss their goal. At this rate, it is highly likely that in a few years, every single public school in the United States will be labeled a failure.

Relevance: Interesting to see the list of people involved in education reform and their private education roots.

Teacher Inspires from Beyond the Grave

Katie Sanders

In memory of long-time Newton high school teacher Tom DePeter

Read more:
The Newton Tab
May 13, 2009

Topic: This is a tribute article written by a former student on a teacher who passed away. I came across it while pursuing my 'unclaimed money' hobby and thought that it needed to be a blog post.

Key Points: Great Teachers Still make a great difference. You don't have to follow the rules to be a great teacher.

Intended Audience: For the general public, but should be read by those who aspire to be teachers.

Relevance: After a semester of depressing news of budget cuts and layoffs, something inspirational.

Just Let the Children Play!

Why Preschool Shouldn’t Be Like School” by Alison Gopnik
Slate, Posted: March 16, 2011, Accessed: April 12, 2011
Topic: Play based exploration vs. direct instruction for early childhood education
Summary: The article talks about some studies and experiments with 4-year olds that point towards exploration and play as effective ways to “teach” young children.
Intended audience: Educators, Parents
Key Points:
  • Play based exploration allows children to be more creative and learn more
  • Direct instruction squashes creativity and scientific thinking
Relevance: This touches on a lot of the subjects we have talked about in Ed Psych. It also mentions NCLB and the requirement of federally funded preschools to go towards a curriculum based on direct instruction to get results for standardized tests.

Religious Education at School?!?

Before School Ends, Time to Make the Matzo” by Fernanda Santos
New York Times, April 12, 2011
Topic: “Released Time” in New York Public Schools for religious education
Summary: Since the 1950s, students in the New York Public School system have had the opportunity to leave school an hour early every Wednesday to participate in religious education. Even though the program has been challenged in court (separation of church/state issues) and fewer people participate today, the program is still in use by over 10,000 kids in the school system.
Intended audience: General Public
Key Points:
  • Kids can receive religious education once a week for an hour during “released time”. This instruction is funded by the public schools.
  • Traditionally, Jewish and Catholic students have used the program the most.
  • Instruction cannot take place on school property.
  • This provides a good alternative for parents who may not have the money to send their children to religious private schools, but still want them to receive some education related to their faith.
  • Problems can arise when so many students leave a classroom… the teacher can’t deliver any vital instruction, give tests, etc. without those students missing out.
Relevance: I found this article really interesting! I am not particularly religious, so I never would’ve participated in something like this. I do think it looks like a lot of fun to make Matzo bread though… I think it is important for students to learn about all the religions in the world, I hope this isn’t taking the place of that in the regular curriculum. It’s really a shame that not all kids get to participate in a fun out and about every week! This also brings up the same issues that we have talked about regarding pulling kids out of class for Title 1, ESOL, TAG, etc…

Is too Much "Information" Hazardous to Our Sanity?

California Dept. of Public Health
Map: High Risk Schools in Southern California (,0,426776.htmlstory)
LA Times

Summary: An interactive map of southern California. The map allows users to explore local schools by their reported immunization rate. Interesting map.

Audience: Parents of So Cal students.

Key Points: 1) You must get your children the flu shot! 2) If you don't, and if they go to one of the bad colored schools, they will get sick and die! 3) Aren't you worried about this?!?

Relevance: We have been talking about technology and its impact on education, and I have been noticing an increasing amount of more or less useless technological information on the LA Times website. Interactive maps for flue shot rates, school ratings, teacher ratings, etc. and I have to wonder, despite the merits of any of this information, are we overloading ourselves with reasons to pointlessly worry?

Take for example the American diet: since 1977, the US government has actively attempted to influence our nutrition by preaching a particular food pyramid (the one with carbs on the bottom: This was supported by a bunch of well intentioned scientists who had a bunch of new tools at their disposal (the ability to isolate nutrients) and wanted to make a positive difference. It turns out, however, that they were incredibly off the mark, and Americans have done nothing but become fatter since 1977.

I look at some of the ridiculous but well intentioned information available to parents today and wonder how far off the mark it is and what the consequences for its constant availability will be.

School = Bottomless Abyss.....

6-Year-Old Stares Down Bottomless Abyss Of Formal Schooling
The Onion, August 15, 2008, Issue 44-33, Accessed: April 15, 2011
Topic: Compulsory Education
Summary: In a light (it’s from The Onion) article, the idea of compulsory education as a type of jail sentence for children is poked at. Poor first grade Connor just wants to play outside with his friends but hasn’t yet realized that he is doomed to a “dire and hopeless” situation.
Intended audience: General Public
Key Points:
  • “Basic math – which the child has blissfully yet to learn – clearly demonstrates that the number of years before he will be released from the horrifying prison of formal schooling, is more than twice the length of time he has yet existed.”
  • Estimated 14,400 hours of his life will be spent in a classroom (not including college)
  • “It’s difficult to know the effect on his psychological well-being when he grasps the full truth: that his education will be followed by approximately four decades of work, bills, and taxes, during which he will also rear his own children to face the same fate, all of which will, of course, be followed by a brief, and almost inconsequential retirement, and his inevitable death.”
Relevance: The article pokes fun at a 6-year old who doesn’t want to go to school and would rather play with his friends. What it really gets at is the theme that we see in most of Gatto’s writing referring to school as a prison sentence and painting a dismal picture of the compulsory education system in the United States. I feel like this article is a funnier version of Gatto’s “Dumbing Us Down”. The article may be intended as a spoof, but it touches on issues that people say seriously…

Finland's Educational Success? The Anti-Tiger Mother Approach

Joshua Levine
"Finland's Education Success?  The Anti-Tiger Mother Approach",9171,2062419-1,00.html
April 14, 2011

I loved this article!  In the last four global PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) surveys, Finland has usually finished in the top three in reading, math and science.  They have achieved such great success with shorter school hours, no national testing ("They just don't believe it does much good.") and a very short stated Math curriculum (only ten pages, up from 3 1/2 a few years ago).  Their secret for their success: their teachers.  "The U.S. has an industrial model where teachers are the means for conveying a prefabricated product. In Finland, the teachers are the standard."

Finland's teachers must have Master's Degrees to teach and many people compete for a few highly coveted positions each year.  In 2008, there were 1,258 undergrads who applied for the 5 year program to become elementary school teachers.  Of that number only 123 (9.8%) were accepted.  What is interesting to note is the word for teacher in Finnish (kasvatus) is the same word used for a mother bringing up a child.

Finland did not always have the best program and it took them fifty years to reform their school system.  What is interesting to note is their society is not known for its competitiveness so when they looked at how to make their school's better the Finns decided to make their worst students better.  So now there is little divide between the best and worst students.

What is heartening to read in this article is the focus of any education reform has to be the teacher and without a great teacher training program, schools cannot succeed.  It is also heartening to know that education reform can take place in a country and it can be successful!

Can Sal Khan Reform Education in America?

Alex Wagner
"Can Sal Khan Reform Education in America?"
The Huffington Post
April 11, 2011

Sal Khan has created an website ( with extensive videos (2,100 to be exact) and 100 self-paced exercises translated in many languages to assist children with mathematics.  This website was recommended to me by a co-worker at Bank of America whose kids were having trouble with math.  Once they started using Mr. Khan's website their math problems went away.  I was a little skeptical about it, but once I started seeing him appear on TED videos and being promoted by Bill Gates (which may or may not be a good thing) I started to pay attention to Khan's Academy.

As the article points out what Mr. Khan is doing (assisting with math) is not new, but he has found a way to make learning math easy to do, easy to access and something that will benefit both the student and the teacher.  And Mr. Khan points out people cannot just rely on his videos, but capable teachers are needed to provide one-on-one time with their students and to be technically savvy so to effectively use the program.

As we talked about on Saturday this website is not intended to replace teachers or to be used for technology's sake, but is a useful tool to assist and engage kids that either do poorly and/or are not engaged in math.  And if there are no computers in school the videos can be handed out on memory sticks so the videos can be used at home.  This is a very useful program and who do we have to thank for it?  As Captain Kirk once famously shouted, "Khan!!!!"

Sunday, April 17, 2011

We Can Haz GOOD NEWS!?! (Jeff, Topic Nineteen)

First of all:

Less importantly:

Howard Blume
Local Schools Honored for Education of Students from Low-Income Families (
LA Times
March 31, 2011

Summary: A short report on an award given to a group of schools in California for improving the education of students from low-income families.

Audience: General Public

Key Points: 1) Not all news on education is bad, 2) Schools who are performing well are being rewarded (or at least awarded).

Relevance: As we discussed last Saturday, education can be a real downer right now.This is especially true in the state of California. It was nice to run across a little bit of good information, recharge my "yeah, I can make a difference" batteries, and I wanted to share it with y'all.

Are Magnet Schools the Answer to Test Score Woes?

Howard Blume
Westchester High to Become Magnet School Amid Cost, Ethnicity Concerns (
LA Times
April 13, 2011

Summary: One of the predominantly black schools in Los Angeles has proposed a move away from traditional education. The proposal would turn the school into a magnet school with a focus on science. The article is a brief discussion of the implications of such a move.

Intended Audience: General Public

Key Points: 1) The school, while improving, is still struggling to break out of the bottom %20 of schools--in terms of test scores, 2) The new principle believes that a focus on math and science creates the best opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the students, 3) Opposition comes from those scared of both the budget situation and a possible shift in the school's demographics.

Relevance: Perhaps magnet schools, like trade schools, can be one answer to providing students with diverse educations. Maybe we do not all need to know the same things, and maybe providing more freedom of choice as to is available will lead to better education in general.

Education Battle at Compton Unified Schools

Jim Newton
Education Battle at Compton Unified School (,0,5430463.column)
LA Times
April 18th 2011

Summary: "The struggle for equal educational opportunity is the great civil rights imperative of our time. It pits those who demand a decent education against an educational establishment that often blithely ignores them." This quote from the article should give you a pretty good idea of what to expect from it. The article talks about a group of parents who are attempting to advocate for their children's educations, but are being opposed by the local school board.

Audience: Clear bias for the side of the parents

Key Points: 1) Education is a civil rights issue, 2) Minority schools are often ignored, 3) Even when parents in minority schools try to use the law to their advantage, it is an up hill battle.

Relevance: This hearkens back to our discussions about race a few months back. I have had a couple of discussions with one of my mentor teachers about parent advocacy and how it is generally lacking in struggling schools--especially in PPS. It is interesting to see an example of a group of parents attempting to advocate but being stonewalled in return.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

State Senate OKs bill tying teacher evaluations to layoffs

“State Senate OKs bill tying teacher evaluations to layoffs” by Molly Rosbach, The Associated Press The Seattle Times Published 4/12/11 Retrieved 4/16/11 Complete URL: Intended Audience: teachers, administrators, lawmakers Summary: The state Senate has given the go-ahead for a bill that proposes to put teachers who score the lowest on their performance evaluations at the front of the line for any impending layoffs. The bill was modified to include school principals in the layoffs as well. Opponents to the bill argue that instead of changing how teachers are laid off, they should be trying to avoid teacher layoffs altogether and focus on managing the teacher’s demands by decreasing class size, increasing planning time, and offering more student support services. Key Point: The Senate has approved a bill to order teacher layoffs by performance instead of seniority. Relevance: This is one of the first big steps in the shift to what will hopefully eventually become performance-based salaries and job security. I thought it extremely interesting that the opponents to this bill were never once reported to argue directly against preference by seniority. The old way of the exclusive, gentlemen’s-club, good-ol’-boys idea of job security is coming to an end.

iPads take place next to crayons in kindergarten

“iPads take a place next to crayons in kindergarten” by Clarke Canfield, Associated Press The Seattle Times Published 4/12/11 Retrieved 4/16/11 Complete URL: Intended Audience: taxpayers, teachers, administrators Summary: Elementary schools in Auburn, Maine, will be providing iPads to around 300 kindergarteners. The city plans to spend $200,000 on the iPads which retail for around $500 each. Advocates are enthusiastic about supplying the kids with a new learning tool that is easy to use and can access a multitude of engaging imagery, audio, and other teaching opportunities. Some, however, are hesitant to support the effort, believing the money could be more wisely spent on older students who would better appreciate and utilize the new technology.  
Key Points: • Kindergarteners are getting iPads. • This effort follows similar technological initiatives in Maine in which 50% of all high school students were eventually supplied with Apple laptops. • Supporters predict a boom in the distribution of iPads and other related technological learning tools in the coming years.  
Relevance: This is a refreshing step outside of the traditional teaching methods requiring pencil and paper and a great educational opportunity to familiarize young students with new technology. However, teachers and students should keep in mind that increasing technology tends to decrease social interaction and real-life experiences, so there still needs to be a healthy amount of other kinds of activity going on in the classroom.

Colleges that profit, students who don't

“Colleges that profit, students who don’t” by Will Bunch, Philadelphia Daily News The Seattle Times Published 4/9/11 Retrieved 4/16/11 Complete URL: Intended Audience: college students, college applicants  
Summary: Many graduates of for-profit career colleges are unable to find work in their respective career fields and therefore have no means to repay their ever-increasing student debt. The dilemma has caught the attention of the Obama administration which is proposing new regulations that would prevent students from getting federal loans to pay for tuition at colleges who do not enable enough students to find employment after graduation. Representatives of the career colleges maintain that the high percentage of their unemployed postgraduates is due to the colleges’ willingness to take a chance on more students from poorer economic backgrounds.  
Key Points • For-profit career college enrollment has increased to 11% of higher education. • These colleges are responsible for 48% of all defaults on federal student loans. • The majority of students who enroll in these for-profit career colleges are middle-income. Relevance: This is yet another example of how the rising cost of tuition and the decreasing quality of education are making higher education increasingly less attractive. The trends are the same whether it’s these for-profit career colleges or more traditional state universities, although state universities are facing these problems for slightly different reasons.