Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Education Week: State Tech Grades 2008
How does your state rank in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education? Mine got a "C". But look at California! Home of Silicon Valley and the bay area dotcom incubator, not to mention the cradle of the aerospace industry, and high tech, special effects filmmaking? A "D+"!

Many of these measurements are relative, but one interesting for me is that Ohio fills only 55% of its science teaching positions (grades 7-12) with science majors.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Sovereigns of All They’re Assigned, Captains Have Many Missions to Oversee - New York Times
On the other hand, this is some quality reporting. No rich media (sorry). Just good reporting of the kind we needed far, far, far more of o'er the past 10 years.
Iraq 5 Years InNew York Times
Have to include this interactive, as its an important milestone in where we are and where we are not in using web technology to look across time.

That said, remember that the New York Times is now become an extraordinarily bad newspaper whose columnists refuse intellectual honesty and curiosity; and whose news writers and editors can't get that they are not columnists.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Map of Israel by
Happy Easter to those of the Christian faith! Today, no bells and whistles, but a nice little Google map mashup of Places that Jesus visited.

Also on this site, Paul's journeys.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Turning Around the Nation's Worst Schools
(Fifty percent of urban and minority students don't graduate).

Tuesday in DC saw a long day of looking at this toughest of questions. Some from people who have done it. ( I didn't get to attend, though I've been in this room oft enough). There's plenty of video--use Internet explorer if you want to skip any; the shortcuts don't work in Firefox. Also audio, but the single file will fill your 80GB iPod Classic.

The day starts with this report of same name from Mass Insight: Andy's slides are here.

Key to the day is the idea of High Performing High Poverty schools (see slide 8). Many ed professors would have us believe there is no such thing, yet there are.

The second speaker is where you really want to tune in. Kevin Johnson escaped Sacrimento's worst public schools with his athletic abilities, eventually playing for the Phoenx Suns. He came back to Oak Park, where his high school was about to be taken over by the state. Instead, he persuaded the superintendent to allow to to be converted to a charter school.

At this point, 20% of 9th graders were reading at grade level. The plan received a standing ovation from teachers--for one day. In the end, a certain union spent $750,000 to oppose reform of a school where 80% of the students could not read.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Amber Around the World PBS/NOVA
Simple rollover map with nice design.
Again...Where's The Audio?

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Too Good to Last: the True Story of Reading First
40-50% of urban and Black American students do not graduate; many who do are not educated. Remember that.

Keeping on Tuesday's Sol Stern theme, here's an essay of politics as its practiced, and why good solutions are so hard to come by. A word of warning: back in the Clinton I years, there was no shortage of Republicans who would listen to any tale of evil about Mr. Clinton and those around him. No evidence needed. If you are the mirror image of such people today; one of those "open minded" people who are convinced Mr. Bush is the dumbest of the dumb, surrounded by greedy corporate stooges, skip the report. If you want to actually undo the corporate stooges, read on.

The purpose of this site is to enhance experimentation. When 40-50% of urban and Black American students do not graduate, something is wrong. Most any experiment attempting to remedy this should be given support.

Reading first was such an experiment. It was another clumsy, heavy-handed federal government experiment, but as we said,.... Plus, empirical evidence showed that it worked--at least in the basic reading area.

Find out how the lawyers, career bureaucrats, and big textbook companies shot it down.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Monday, March 03, 2008

South by SouthWest Interactive.
We were supposed to be going, and going in style. No hangin at the Motel 6 seven miles out of town, or attending sessions as another wannabe looking for funding. It looked so good to be there with a room downtown, plenty of beer money, and a live product with good sponsors and a rapidly growing audience!

I'd still trying to convince myself that the gain will be worth the risk of drawing the cash reserves to such a low level. We'd certainly be better off for the incredible learning and contacts that go on there.

Meanwhile, a little treat from the music side of the event.

Banner 2 Banner 1 go!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Happy Birth Day Common Core
(OK, I stole the lead from Education Gadfly.)

So, a year ago, we reported here as being bedside, so to speak, at the conception of a new organization. The goal was an "advocacy" organization to support basic learning of history, art, music, and more. This procreation occurred on the deck of the Washington Hotel, looking out over the White House south lawn, and we were enjoying bit of wine and cheese after a fairly rigorous day of MOVING BEYOND THE BASICS Why reading, math, and science are not sufficient for a 21st century education

After a year under the wing of the Fordham Foundation, the search for a board, director, and staff, Common Core is now born.

More on their first study later, but for now a word on their website: If they're aiming for the support of the snobby New York Times crowd, they've hit the design in spades. Hmmm, wasn't it the snobby New York Times crowd that got us in this predicament?

(Yes, I have a bit of time--could probably help them out).