Media Commons Archive

EdMedia Commons Archive

The controversy at Mr. Jefferson’s university

Mr. Jefferson’s University was national news for two weeks as the institution grappled with the unexpected ouster, then reinstatement of its president, Teresa Sullivan. I’ve been asked to offer some sense of why there was so much opposition, especially from students, to Sullivan’s ouster.

EdMedia Commons Archive

Newspaper Revenue: Are Paywalls the Answer?

The health of the newspaper industry is increasingly at the mercy of online revenue and money made off of paywalls. So how is the largest U.S. publisher faring? Gannett, with a combined weekday circulation of 4.9 million, announced recently that their circulation revenue is expected to increase by 25 percent at the end of next year despite a circulation volume drop of 7 percent.

EdMedia Commons Archive

The Math Wars Cometh: Is Common Core Dumbing Down Math?

Debate has raged for years over how to teach math. Should students memorize multiplication tables and algorithms? Should teachers encourage students to “discover” math processes themselves? What about using calculators?

Those debates have waxed and waned over the years, but now the Common Core curriculum might fan the fires once more.

EdMedia Commons Archive

Ethics of Quoting Undocumented Students by Name

In writing about President Obama’s new immigration policy, I was pointed to an undocumented student, and told that she was willing to be quoted by name. I asked her about this at beginning of interview, and she said that indeed she had indicated this, but she wasn’t sure. Was it safe, she asked me, for her to be quoted by name. I imagine my colleagues who write about K-12 students regularly face ethical issues related to quoting them by name.

EdMedia Commons Archive

Five Questions For … University of Michigan Researcher Matthew Ronfeldt, On The Effects Of Teacher Turnover On School Communities

University of Michigan researcher Matthew Ronfeldt — along with Susanna Loeb (Stanford University) and Jim Wyckoff (University of Virginia) — examined New York City test-score data from 4th and 5th graders over the course of eight years to determine the effect of turnover on student achievement. He spoke with EWA about the study’s findings, possible implications for programs like Teach For America, and broadening the discussion of how turnover affects a school community.

EdMedia Commons Archive

Up For Debate: Does the UVA Controversy Signal the Corporatization of Higher Ed?

The fallout over University of Virginia’s decision to force out its president has unleashed a cascade of opinion pieces bemoaning what some see as the increased pressure on higher learning institutions to elevate business concerns over their academic missions.

Over at Slate, professor Siva Vaidhyanathan accused university boards of giving in to the “whims of the wealthy:”

EdMedia Commons Archive

Five Questions For … Nina Rees, Newly Named President and CEO of the National Alliance For Public Charter Schools

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, representing 5,600 schools in 41 states and the District of Columbia, has announced the appointment of Nina Rees as the organization’s new president and chief executive officer. Rees previously served as first assistant deputy secretary for innovation and improvement at the U.S. Department of Education, and more recently spent more than six years as senior vice president for strategic initiatives for Knowledge Universe, a global education company.

EdMedia Commons Archive

Should we scrap public tuition aid to students altogether?

Whether or not you believe rising student loan debt constitutes a crisis, opinion writers are coming out of the woodwork with ideas on how to combat this impending maybe-doom.

Today, the University of Chicago’s Luigi Zingales writes in the New York Times: “To avoid the next credit bubble and debt crisis, we need to eliminate government subsidies and link tuition financing to the incomes of college graduates.”

The piece continues:

EdMedia Commons Archive

Five Questions For … The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Brad Wolverton on Storytelling, Access, and Objectivity

Brad Wolverton, a senior writer at the Chronicle of Higher Education, spent three months working on“The Education of Dasmine Cathey,” the story of a semi-literate University of Memphis football player struggling to finish college. He spoke with EWA about overcoming roadblocks to access, maintaining objectivity, and staying out of the way of the narrative.

1. How did you find Dasmine Cathey?

EdMedia Commons Archive

Advertising In Schools On the Rise: Where Should The Line Be Drawn?

As the nation continues to work its way out of the recession, cash-strapped school districts are becoming more likely to allow advertising on buses, campus buildings, and even report cards.

As USA Today’s Trevor Hughes reports, posters promoting the CVS pharmacy chain’s flu shots are the lesser evil to educators in Virginia and Florida, where the advertising revenue is desperately needed to balance the budget.

EdMedia Commons Archive

Covering high school graduation

I’m trying to come up with a more innovative way to cover high school graduation, and was hoping someone here might have some ideas.

Nine public high schools graduate on the same day. In the past, we’ve done a “graduate on the street” format where a reporter/photographer does a Q&A with a graduating senior the day of graduation. We try to get a diverse group of graduates and pick someone who isn’t the valedictorian/salutatorian/perfect attendance graduate to spotlight a regular kid.

EdMedia Commons Archive

Five Questions For … CEP’s Alexandra Usher and Nancy Kober, On Student Motivation As Missing Ingredient In School Reform

Center for Education Policy senior research assistant Alexandra Usher and consultant Nancy Kober spoke with EWA about their new report on research studying student motivation, and the role it plays in overall school success.

1. What were some of the common themes among programs that appeared to be successful at motivating students?

EdMedia Commons Archive

Five Questions for … US News & World Report’s Robert Morse, on High School Rankings, Accuracy in Federal Data, and Why Magnet Programs Deserve the Spotlight

Earlier this week, U.S. News & World Report announced its new “Best High Schools” rankings. This year’s list came with some controversy, as it appears inaccurate information — drawn from the U.S. Department of Education’s Core of Common Data — was used in calculating the rankings for some of the more than 22,000 campuses on the list. Morse, U.S.