Blog: The Educated Reporter
More than anything else about higher ed, I am interested in the relationship between students and their studies. What could be more important? Unfortunately, this does not get written about much, but it happens occasionally. Like this piece by Keith O’Brien in the Boston Globe last week, on a finding that students study 10 hours fewer per week than they did a half-century ago. Of course my kids-today string got majorly plucked. Those lazy do-nothings! That stupid Internet!
… portable classrooms!
As school system budgets tighten, more journalists find themselves writing about—and misinterpreting the research on—class size. Nearly every education writer knows about Project STAR, the only large-scale, random-assignment experiment that has been conducted on class size. Over four years in the late 1980s in Tennessee, researchers assigned children in 79 schools to classrooms ranging from 13 to 25 students.
EWA has started a blog called Ed Beat. You’ll hear from my smart colleagues about what education journalists might keep their eye on and what questions they might ask, and I will chip in once in a while too. Please read, and contribute.
I received an e-mailed press release today that was titled “Students Aren’t Interested in Growing Field” and led with the following: “Despite the projected need for healthcare practitioners at all levels in a challenging job market, nearly half of high school-age students (45 percent of 13 to 18 year-olds) are not considering pursuing a career in healthcare and science fields.” Doesn’t that mean that at least half of all t
Michele McNeil at Education Week does a nice job of summing up the i3 grant applications today. I was psyched to see $17 million requested for something called “Free to Be,” thinking we might see a nationwide renaissance of the early ’70s hippy-dippy Marlo Thomas album that had such an influence on me and my friends …
David Griffith at ASCD has an interesting blog post about how states aren’t publicizing their adoption of the Common Core standards. The organization mapped the states that have put out statements about their adoption and linked to documentation; Catherine Gewertz’s Education Week blog, Curriculum Matters, counts more.
Bad enough that credit card companies target college students, and the schools facilitate that. But did you know that many universities have contracts with credit card companies that pay out more to the schools if cardholders go into debt? Just … ew. Check out this story by Daniel Burnett of the Red & Black, a student newspaper at the University of Georgia. Nice job.
This is a really good piece by Jennifer Epstein in Inside Higher Education about how putting one man in charge of retention—doing whatever it takes to keep students at college—has dramatically improved the graduation rate at Xavier University in Cincinnati. What have the colleges you cover done, or not done, to make sure students graduate?
Several times a year, a reporter contacts me and asks what to do with the database of teacher salaries they just acquired. When a journalist asks me whether or not to write about a piece of research that just arrived on his desk, if I don’t think there is a story there, I feel comfortable saying no. When the reporter has FOIA’d his tail off and massaged the ensuing data to the nth degree and then some, “I don’t think there is a story there” is not a very useful response.
I suppose Canada didn’t have a $75 million budget when he started out, either. But it is hard to imagine the Obama administration’s 20 “Promise Neighborhoods” blossoming anywhere nearly as robustly as the Harlem Children’s Zone they are inspired by when they get, on average, $500,000 each. The deadline for the grants is Monday, which Larry Abramson of NPR reports on this week. Still, any money that goes toward tackling the effects of poverty on children is better than nothing.
I mentioned last month that special ed identifications seem to be leveling off or even decreasing. Mike Petrilli at Flypaper offers some perspective; he is inclined to think that Reading First and Response to Intervention are behind this shift. Commenters to both our posts ask whether districts are refusing in greater numbers to provide special ed services to students who really need it.